Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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59 minutes ago, drahkon said:


Blaster Master Zero - not sure what I think of it, yet. 
 

Choose your next words VERY carefully...

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On 13/01/2020 at 1:30 PM, Nicktendo said:

I know they're not entirely alike, but I'd like to see your thoughts on DQ in comparison to Xenoblade 2. I picked it up at Xmas, but yet to start. Want to get X2 out of the way first.

I think the best way for me to go about this is to split it up into different categories where I can compare the two.

Graphics

Surely, Xenoblade 2 comes out on top here. Dragon Quest XI looks like a bloody SNES game!

Well, my Dragon Quest did, probably because I played through the entire thing in 2D mode. Didn't even touch 3D.

Real talk though, whether you play Dragon Quest flat or not-flat, Dragon Quest is a stunning looking game. I played the demo, which forces 3D mode and it's one of the best looking Switch games out there. 2D mode is no slouch, sporting some gorgeous spritework for the monsters you encounter. They're not animated however, (apart from a couple of exceptions) so it doesn't quite reach the heights of the DS remakes for me.

Xenoblade 2 can't really compete here, due to the not very good resolution during hectic battles. It's perfectly fine, but you're going to notice the shortcomings when they happen.

Soundtrack

Dragon Quest XI has a perfectly servicable soundtrack that feels distinctly like Dragon Quest, but the original tracks aren't really too memorable. I'm just thankful the Switch version has the symphonic soundtrack option, because the songs sound a bit rubbish synthesized. As a whole, Dragon Quest has done better before.

Xenoblade 2 on the other hand has some proper bangers. They got the original composers from the original game back. So no stupid, lame, Xenoblade X raps here. Field music, battle music, it's all good! Smash Ultimate should have ripped more tracks out of this game.

Plot

Dragon Quest has a relatively straightforward plot sprinkled with lots of little vignettes that have a tendency to involve a few gut punches. It's got some really neat twists to the formula, but it still feels somewhat familiar. Not a bad thing, mind. Dragon Quest has always been a good source of traditional RPG comfort food plot.

It's hard for me to comment on the characters, because I played 2D mode, which removes all voice acting (Even when a 3D FMV starts playing). And most cutscenes aren't as dynamic as they would be in 3D. So I had to use my imagination a bit when it came to their personalities, they're likable enough though. From what little I've seen from the 3D demo, the voice acting is good. Lip syncing is really good as well.

Xenoblade 2 is a game where I don't like more than half of the main characters, which is problematic. We've got big load of nothing Rex and his cringey adventures with Boobface Pyra. It applies to a lot of characters, unfortunately. Morag and Super Welsh Nia are the only good female characters, the rest are just awful. As for males, Dromarch is fine, but Zeke is the star of the show, the game would be better if he was the main character.

The game is a good showcase of everything bad about anime. Fanservice up the wazoo makes it a bit embarrassing really. And this is coming from the guy who enjoys the plot of super Japanese game, Tokyo Mirage Sessions. The difference with TMS is that it revels in how insane it's premise is and plays up to how silly it is, and it makes it a lot more fun. Xenoblade's is not even a quarter as fun as TMS.

That said, Xenoblade 2's expansion story, Torna: The Golden Country is a million times better as far as the plot goes. Definitely give that a go if nothing else.

Gameplay - Outside of Battle

Dragon Quest, like always, is very traditional. There's a big world map with various areas dotted around. And the plot dictates a pretty linear path to get to the end.

I'm always of the mind that linearity is not a bad thing. And Dragon Quest pulls it off great. Each new area is fun to poke around in and the dungeons have plenty of hidden treasures to find.

There's plenty of side quests too, if that's your thing and there's even a neat place that takes you to various areas from the past 10 Dragon Quest games.

Xenoblade 2 is much more exploration based. It's not truly open-world as the plot will gate you off before doing certain things, but each area is chock full of exploration to do. I think Xenoblade 2 manages to strike a great balance between openness and linearity that so many open-world games fail to strike for me. Then again, the first game did that as well, so it's not too surprising.

Gameplay - Battles

Is it fair to compare these two? Probably not, but I'm gonna anyway.

Dragon Quest is about as old school as you can get. Dragon Quest has always been about as old school as you can get. But if I had to compare it to another DQ, XI seems to follow more closely to DQ VIII. Mostly because each character has a skill table where you can spend points you get by levelling up. So you have some freedom over how to build your characters. It's not completely old-school, mind. There's some QoL features that stop it feeling too antiquated.

Xenoblade 2 is pretty much the polar opposite. Real-time battles where you're deciding what moves to do on the fly. The thing is with Xenoblade 2 is that it's a lot more complex. It can be overwhelming at first, but if you stick with it and pay attention to the tutorials, you'll start to get the hang of it and then it really starts to shine as you start pulling off combos and racking up the damage. Late-game boss fights are an utter joy in this game and it's where Xenoblade truly shines.

The BLADE system can provide some nice replayability factor, as you'll probably get different Rare BLADE's, which will tweak how you play, but the random nature of it can make going for 100% feel like a bit of a chore. It's a slow-burning game, even by RPG standards.

Dragon Quest is much more replay friendly thanks to the Draconian Modifiers, which provide various tweaks to the game to make it more difficult. Stronger Monsters, No Shopping and various random unlucky occurences are some of the ways you can handicap yourself. You can mix and match these as you like to make things feel fresh and challenging. Not to mention the option to switch between 2D and 3D greatly changing repeat playthroughs. So all in all, Xenoblade has higher highs, but much lower lows while Dragon Quest is consistently great. So I'd have to give it to Dragon Quest.

Edited by Glen-i
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9 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Choose your next words VERY carefully...

Ok...

It's too easy, but still enjoyable. That's all I can say after about 45 minutes of playtime.

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6 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Ok...

It's too easy, but still enjoyable. That's all I can say after about 45 minutes of playtime.

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Carrying on from my post of the previous page, I have been continuing my way through the NES catalogue on the Switch.

Twinbee (Switch)

Spoiler

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I was a big fan of Pop'n Twinbee on the SNES and figured I would play through the original game. Yeah, this ain't a patch on that game. With it being on the NES the game is visually very basic. The mechanic of powering up your ship by shooting bells out of the clouds is there and the gameplay is solid enough but it lacks the charm and vibrancy that the SNES game has. Also, I didn't realise the game doesn't actually have an ending. I read that there were 5 main stages to the game. When I finished those i was surprised to find the game shoved me onto a sixth stage. I had to Google it and it turns out the game just continues to loop until you run out of lives. 

Star Solider (Switch)

Spoiler

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This is another vertical shooter and one that i'm not familiar with. The game can be a bit messy and confusing at times. A lot of the enemy bullets blend in with the background and it makes it hard to dodge incoming fire. The game also has a very weird mechanic where your ship can actually fly under some of the scenery that scrolls on by, meaning you can actually bypass a lot of enemies. The problem is that it can become a tad annoying at times because sometimes you think you are going to fly underneath a bit of land but you don't and then sometimes you think you are heading into a group of enemies only to then dive under a bit of land or a structure. The game is pretty meaty for a shooter though, offering 16 stages to get through and boss fights on every stage. The boss fights pretty much play out the same (there's only 2 variations) and with each of them you have to kill them fast otherwise they escape and you have to loop through the stage again.

Double Dragon (Switch)

Spoiler

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This is a game I used to play at the arcades with one of my brothers. It's also a game that we owned at home but not on the NES. I wanna say it was on either the C64 or Amiga. The NES game plays and holds up pretty well. The characters are chunky enough for them to have a bit of detail on them and the music is pretty good, as well. I did have a dumb moment when I came across a bridge I needed to jump over. I was stood there wondering how the hell I was supposed to get across when I only had punch and kick at my disposal. Both buttons together! Duh! Like when I played Phantasy Star last week, I keep forgetting the limitations of the 2 buttoned controllers. :D The game is longer than I expected, especially the 3rd stage. That thing had me looping around a couple of times until I realised I had to walk into the cave. I can complete games like Bloodborne and Monster Hunter with ease but a game like Double Dragon causes me trouble and can easily confuse the hell out of me. Go figure. :p 

I think i'll continue with Crystalis next. I actually started this the other week and I need to get back to the fun, little JRPG.

I will give a quick mention to Vice: Project Doom and Journey to Silius, both of which I played in December but didn't post anything about. Both are really solid, action based NES games that I hadn't played before and well worth playing for those who have a Switch subscription. You can really see that Journey to Silius was supposed to be a Terminator game. Some of the bosses and levels are straight up Terminator themed. :laughing:

 

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One of my new year’s resolutions is posting more in this thread! So let’s kick off with what I have been playing since the start of 2020:

Iconoclasts (Switch)

This has been on my watch list for a while but I never got it until last Christmas when it was 50% off. I was expecting a metroidvania with heavy RPG influences. It is not very metroidvania as backtracking is fairly minimal, and you only acquire a couple of upgrades for your weapons. It is also not very RPG-like, there is no levelling, only some equipment slots to fill.

What you do get is a very colourful platforming game, with a surprising dark story, some good humour and it all plays well. There are some clever puzzles, but the level design is not that spectacular. I may have had higher expectations for this, so it is not as good as I would have thought, but still it is a very enjoyable game. Currently about 8 hours in and I think I’m nearing the end, so I guess it is about a 10 hour ride.

Paladins (Switch/PC)

I never noticed it was possible to get the Season Pass with in-game currency, I thought you could only get it with real money. Anyway, I had enough crystals to get it. Paladins has been my go-to game for a while, and I still enjoy playing it. I also have it installed on Steam and full cross-play means I can just grind my levels on PC as well.

The game received a graphical haul-over, as well as some QoL improvements (such as finally cutting the waiting time in match-making when everyone is locked in).

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC)

Still making some progress in this, although not as fast as I was expecting. Not that it is a bad game, far from it, but somehow I just wind up playing different games.

Anyway, I just left the first town in Peru, about 5 hours in I guess? It’s more of the same after TR and ROTTR but I like the setting as I’ve been to Peru myself and reading some of the lore makes me recognize some of the Inca culture which I picked up there.

I started this game with the Steam Controller, but I switched back to using my XBox 360 controller as I just couldn’t get used to the Steam one. It needs a proper setup but for now I can’t be bothered.

Pokémon Sword (Switch)

Making progress here as well, but also slowly but steadily. When I’m playing it I like it, but somehow it feels like a burden to start it up. Which is strange because I think I tackled the last 3 gyms plus the League in just a couple of hours.

And that is where I am now, finished the League and now have to find the Champion as some shenanigans are going on. Right now I feel like I should just rush through the story so I can then go into easy mode and start filling the Dex. May call out in the thread for some trades by then!

Red Alert 3 Uprising (PC)

And now for something completely different. I reinstalled Red Alert 3 Uprising, it is a game I sometimes just feel the urge to play again. Back in the day I played it co-op with a friend a lot and just playing it brings back so many good memories.

I never got to finish the Challenges in the Uprising expansion, although I started it many times. Decided to give it another go. It would actually be a fun game to stream, as every challenge has a catch, they are all quite short and if you would have a following you could even let them choose which challenge to do and with which faction. However, lack of followers on Twitch means I really don’t have an incentive haha. Not sure I will gain followers with this as well.

But the game is still so good. Soundtrack is awesome, and it is very satisfying to just wipe out an enemy base with a big swarm of copters. Still love it, let’s see if I can finish the challenges this time around!

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2 minutes ago, Vileplume2000 said:

Iconoclasts (Switch)

I've also got this ready and waiting on my Switch to play. I bought it when it first came out, played it a little and then forgot about it. I plan on starting it again in the future, along with a bunch of other digital only Switch games that I never got around to playing.

How are you finding the story? A lot of impressions i've read about the game had people complaining that the cutscenes are too drawn out ( not really an issue for me ) and that they get in the way of the game.

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3 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

How are you finding the story? A lot of impressions i've read about the game had people complaining that the cutscenes are too drawn out ( not really an issue for me ) and that they get in the way of the game.

I'm the same as that I don't mind a bit of storytelling. There are quite a few cutscenes but mostly they are presented well. It is a pretty dark and heavy story though, which I really wasn't expecting based on the colourful screenshots. Maybe that's a bit too much for some.

But since the platforming is pretty straightforward, I don't mind the cutscene breaks.

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I don't think there were enough cutscenes in Iconoclasts. Game's pretty good, love the sprites, love the upgrades, and I really love the worldbuilding, but they leave some things to vague, and not all the characters are developped well.

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Stardew Valley and Slay the Spire take up all my gaming time these days :D They're so addictive and relaxing.

Need to get back to Blaster Master Zero. Might boot it up over the weekend.

Edited by drahkon

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Reminder that in spite of some of my attempts this is NOT a Professional LP. Eg, the gaffe at the start of the actual episode and my puzzle solving attempts...

 

 

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My 3rd and 4th completed games of the year...

First off, Golf Story. I thought I'd already done this, but no. After getting inspired to boot it up after @drahkon started playing, I realised I hadn't done the final championship and unlocked a couple of the hidden items from the story mode. Spent a couple of hours one night rounding it off and 100%d the story mode in 20:57. Not bad at all for the price I paid. Have to say my opinion of this game somewhat diverges from our favourite German's. While I agree that it can get tedious at times and there are too many fetch quests, I really enjoyed the story mode. I like the variety in the challenges and did enjoy the characters / writing overall. 

Next up it's a classic, an SNES classic - Super Mario Kart. I think it must've been about 20+ years since I've beaten this game. I was telling @S.C.G the other day how I traded my SNES in for Conker's Bad Fur Day back in the day (awful, awful decision), so it was great to go through this again. Definitely feels like you're "going through the motions" in 50cc and 100cc, but I was genuinely surprised by how difficult 150cc was. I managed to do Mushroom and Star Cup first time out, but Flower took me a fair few goes. Special cup (which I remember being a ball-ache) was really, really tough. There were instances when I ran out of lives on the first level (Donut plains 3 from MK8). I ended up using my Pokken wired controller in the end. D-Pad is much, much better than the pro... Such a great game though, iconic. Handling took me a while to get used to, but once you nail it, it feels superb. Great items, great music and fantastically short tracks, some of which can be lapped in sub-12 seconds on 150cc. The SNES app has really brought back some great memories and this is the first game I've beaten. Might move onto Super Punch Out next as I've been enjoying that on and off over the past week. 

 

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My playing through of the NES library on the Switch continues.

Double Dragon II

Spoiler

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This one took some getting used to. The way they changed the buttons so that an attack differs depending on what direction you are facing was very fiddly to get to grips with. The game looks prettier than the original but it is far easier and shorter, despite it having more stages. Some of the stages were VERY short but had a pretty cool mechanic. One had you fighting on a helicopter and the door would constantly open and close, sucking you out of it if you got too close. It was great fun leading the enemies up towards it just as it opened. :p I was surprised to see so many sections of the game playing as straight 2D brawlers. In the first game the developers used an isometric view but with this one most of the stages are a simple, flat 2D plain.

I finished the game and was greeted with this message. 

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I guess playing it on normal wasn't sufficient to see an ending back in the NES days. I played through it again on the hardest difficulty and finally got to see the proper ending. Oh, and every time this guy showed up I couldn't help but think of Coming to America. :D 

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Ghosts n Goblins

Spoiler

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Clearly Arthur is a fan of Dark Souls.

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Seeing as I played a game that required two play throughs to see the end, I figured my next game would be this. Man, this game is absolutely solid. I thought Ninja Gaiden was tough but this one really takes the biscuit. There are so many ways to be killed and you are constantly being flooded with enemies above and below. It's not as if you can take your time either because all of the while you have the clock running down which will ultimately send you back to beginning of the stage if it runs out. The Firebrand enemy is such a pain in the backside. You can see just how cheap this enemy is with it's attacks when you rewind the game. In fact, this goes for a lot of the NES games i'm playing.

I did manage to finish it twice but was greeted with this...

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I didn't realise you needed a certain weapon to get the ending so I had to play through the last couple of stages again! 

*points to previously used Jim Carey gif*

River City Ransom

Spoiler

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This is a game i've never played but i'm very familiar with the series and art style. I played the hell out of World Cup on the NES and it uses the same character models as this. What a fun little game this is. It has some hilarious character animations that had me laughing away. Like some of the previous NES games i've played so far this year, this also has nice chunky graphics that really help the characters stand out. The soundtrack is also pretty great. It's just a shame the game is short. I would have liked a more lengthier campaign. I did't really bother much with the RPG elements of the game as they aren't really needed. Once you get both the triple kick and triple punch power ups then you are pretty much set.

 

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So, I start my physical games resolution with two digital games. Typical Jonnas.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

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Not to be confused with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, this is the 8-bit style game released as a prequel/teaser for Ritual. Guess you can't just reboot Castlevania without doing a traditional 2D action platformer first. Luckily, they handled this game's development to IntiCreates, a development team with a Grade A+ curriculum in 2D action platformers.

It really is basically Castlevania III. You start with the main character, but you quickly recruit a handful of other characters to help you on your journey. But unlike Castlevania III, this game's actually really good! [/hot take] Really, you can actually take several characters with you, you can switch them quickly on the fly, and even the level design is leaps and bounds above Castlevania III's... They refined that formula very well.

The main character Zangetsu has a dinky sword, but he attacks quickly, fast and owns a couple of very useful subweapons (making him a good boss killer); the second character Miriam is a Belmont at heart, with good jumps, a long whip, and several useful subweapons; the third character Alfred is a long-lost Belnades, being a frail mage with bombastic subweapons; the fourth character Gebel is straight-up Alucard, with an anti-air attack, the ability to turn into a bat, and no subweapons whatsoever.

Plot twist: instead of recruiting, you can actually choose to ignore, or even kill those party members. If you do kill them, Zangetsu gains a new skill. So, if you do decide to be an evil bastard, Zangetsu eventually turns into a souped-up Ryu Hayabusa (from Ninja Gaiden), with a double jump, running speed, and vertical slashes.

The game might look short, but it was designed to be replayed two-to-four times. There's a full-party run, a solo-Zangetsu run, and a couple of extra modes I won't delve into right now (other than the fact that there's a secret final boss battle that is absolutely awesome).

So yeah, loved this game. Plays like a dream, looks super retro-stylish, and I managed to complete those 4 playthroughs in a week. Oh, and the soundtrack's a total banger, too.

 

Dragon Ball FighterZ

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Y'all should already know what this game's all about. And if you care for it, you know the gist: 3-vs-3 fighting game made by Arc System Works, the game that "killed" Marvel vs Capcom. This gorgeous game got somehow released for Switch, and it was on a very generous discount last December (which I took advantage of, alongside its 1st Season Pass).

It is exactly as slick and fluid as the videos make it seem, and pretty easy to do flashy stuff. The characters are well realised, the cinematic segments look freaking awesome, and there's just an unbelievable amount of polish put into this game's aesthetics. As a fighting game, it's pretty solid, with approachable combos, and potential for very interesting mindgames. The roster feels quite varied (despite the abundance of Gokus), with a healthy amount of oddballs, grapplers, and such. There might be too much of a focus on rushdown strategies, but that's not even a flaw, it's just Mahvel, baby what happens next time on Dragon Ball Z.

On the other side of the coin, it's hilarious how bad the UI surrounding it is. The main menu is a clunky player lobby (even offline), you can change voice language, but you can't change game language (my game's stuck in Brazilian Portuguese, but at least the voices are Japanese), if you change button settings, the movelists and tutorials still show the default buttons (this is such a spectacular failure of UI design, it's staggering), etc. I keep finding small blunders in design here and there, all on this faulty UI that surrounds a gorgeous, super fun game.

On the more neutral side, you unlock extra colours, online title cards, and such via a randomized system. Lootboxes you don't pay for, which is nice, except... it's kinda silly to lock so many aesthetic unlockables behind such a tedious system. Just make them rewards for Arcade mode, or combo challenges, or whatever.

Finally, I've been mostly playing Arcade mode (where CPU opponents have horrendously inflated stats, but it's the one thing they have over me) and Online mode, which is surprisingly active on the Spanish lobby (the one closest to me). That means I haven't really touched Story Mode yet, but I do plan to. To be more precise, I plan to go through it slowly on my down time. I see it as a fun side thing to do, in a game that was clearly made for the multiplayer side of things. I'll be doing it to find out what the deal is with that Android 21 character, anyway. I don't think it'll change my opinion of this game (which is pretty positive, all things considered), but if it does change, I'll let you know.

-----------------------

I'm going to do something unconventional here. I don't know which game from my physical backlog should I start with (I know it should be an RPG), so I'm going to ask you guys in this thread if you can help me choose:

  • Should I ring a bell when you're in the dark, and play Tales of Vesperia? All of this Smash newcomer hype makes me think of Lloyd Irving, and it's kinda making me itch to play some Tales;
  • Should I go to class when they ring a bell and play Fire Emblem: Three Houses? I started it, but ended up dropping it due to unexpected circumstances. Also, Smash fans keep talking about it for some reason I totally know about;
  • Should I play as a bloke called Ringabel in Bravely Default? I keep wanting to start it, but other big games get in the way.

I won't divide my attention between them, but I can only do one. Which one do you recommend, wise people of N-Europe?

  My 2019 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (2018) Completed (January 13th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Dragon Ball Fighterz (2018) Casually

Edited by Jonnas
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Cracking two games to start off the year, @Jonnas I played them both last year and loved them to bits.

As for your question, I haven't played Tales of Vesperia yet so I can't comment on that but I have played the other two. Out of Bravely Default and Three Houses I would go with latter. Bravely Default is great game with some amazing ideas but once the second half of the game hits it then falls completely off a cliff and never really recovers. Three Houses is a meaty game and is more than solid throughout. I can only comment on the Blue Lions path but I thought the story of Dimitri was fantastic.

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@Jonnas Tales of Vesperia is amazing. Better than Tales of Symphonia in my eyes. :peace: 
I haven't played Fire Emblem, yet, and I remember not enjoying Bravely Default, so my vote goes to Vesperia.

Here's where I'm at with my stuff:

Gave up on Shovel Knight - Plague of Shadows. I dislike ice levels in platformers sooooo much and Shadow Knight moves around as if he has shoes made of ice. I simply can't enjoy it so it's not worth it ::shrug: 
My mate and I made a little bit of progress with Cuphead yesterday. We've reached world 3 now. It's such a blast to play :D 
And the obligatory "Slay the Spire is the best game ever, yadadadada" :p 

Edit: Forgot that I started Pokémon: Let's go, Pikachu! Goes to show how forgettable this one is. Got the first badge and to be honest...I'm not digging it. Not surprising, though, as my love for Pokémon has faded over the years. Not even nostalgia can bring it back, apparently.

Edited by drahkon
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Finished, and Platinum'd Assassin's Creed II Remastered over the weekend.  It's not the hardest game in the world to Platinum, but as i enjoyed this game a lot i thought it was worth doing again.  Did originally get 1000/1000 gamerscore on Xbox 360 when it first came out.  Game was as good as before, the facial animations however are something to be questioned.  Some of them look freaky at the best of times, however looking past that and you've still got a great game.

Made a start on Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Sunday.  Up to Memory 3 so far, have approx 35% Rome rebuilt already and most Borgia towers down.

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23 hours ago, Jonnas said:

That means I haven't really touched Story Mode yet

  My 2020 log (Reveal hidden contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (2018) Completed (January 13th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Dragon Ball Fighterz (2018) Casually

You should leave it that way. :heh:

Play Fire Emblem. Maddening Mode.

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16 hours ago, Jimbob said:

Finished, and Platinum'd Assassin's Creed II Remastered over the weekend.  It's not the hardest game in the world to Platinum, but as i enjoyed this game a lot i thought it was worth doing again.  Did originally get 1000/1000 gamerscore on Xbox 360 when it first came out.  Game was as good as before, the facial animations however are something to be questioned.  Some of them look freaky at the best of times, however looking past that and you've still got a great game.

Made a start on Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Sunday.  Up to Memory 3 so far, have approx 35% Rome rebuilt already and most Borgia towers down.

I played through both of these last year and you are spot on about the faces in ACII. Some of the animations are absolutely hilarious. :D It really does show you just how far we've come in terms of graphics and animations. I think more often than not we forget what older games actually look and ran like and it's not until you go back and play them that you realise that certain things are pretty rough when compared to what we have now.

Are you rolling straight into Revelations once you finish Brotherhood? I planned on finishing the collection last year but was completely burnt out by the time I got to it. It's certainly on my to do list this year though as I want the collection stuck on the complete shelf, after owning it for a number of years.

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3 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I played through both of these last year and you are spot on about the faces in ACII. Some of the animations are absolutely hilarious. :D It really does show you just how far we've come in terms of graphics and animations. I think more often than not we forget what older games actually look and ran like and it's not until you go back and play them that you realise that certain things are pretty rough when compared to what we have now.

Are you rolling straight into Revelations once you finish Brotherhood? I planned on finishing the collection last year but was completely burnt out by the time I got to it. It's certainly on my to do list this year though as I want the collection stuck on the complete shelf, after owning it for a number of years.

I plan to get Revelations done straight after Brotherhood, then i'll probably take a break before cracking on with Assassin's Creed III

It's the remaster face animations which are hilarious, i did hear that II's faces in the original game were decent.  But they look hilarious in the remaster, Brotherhood faces at least look tidier and more fluid in comparison.  Going back to the older formula Assassin's Creed games took a little getting used to, playing Origins and Odyssey with the refinements i've taken as standard now.

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New set got released on Magic The Gathering Arena (PC) so I went back to that a bit more. Not to start my collection of cards from the new set mind you, rather just to gather packs and get a head start before I rank up to about 50 boosters or so and then open them all at once to accrue wildcards to finish my Dreadhorde deck as I'm just two Rare Wildcards away from being able to finish it. If I can draft to 12 Throne of Eldraine boosters I should be able to get the cards I need to finish the deck as it's so close to being finished.

 

Image

 

Might tweak it, Infuriate has a lot of potential in combination with Dreadhorde Arcanist. All of the Dreadhorde cards are Rares, which is why it has taken so long to grind to get 4 of Arcanist, Butcher and Invasion.

 

In other news, Let's Play Metroid Prime 2 Echoes continues with the first fight against Dark Samus.

 

 

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d61d9c7dc05ce6341b1c6d226037fb2d071d4b19

"Too many votes for Three Houses, are there? And you're itching to play it as well? Well, when will you do it?"

Got it. I'll probably post about my progress in the main thread for it, though.

23 hours ago, Ike said:

Play Fire Emblem. Maddening Mode.

No can do. Started my playthrough on Hard Mode back near launch (you know, when Maddening didn't exist), and I plan on sticking to it. I'll do Maddening on my second or third run.

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1 hour ago, Jonnas said:

No can do. Started my playthrough on Hard Mode back near launch (you know, when Maddening didn't exist), and I plan on sticking to it. I'll do Maddening on my second or third run.

Haha, I wouldn't really recommend doing a blind Maddening run.

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Good start to the year for me.  Trying to blast my backlog as much as I can, in as short a time as I can.

1. Axiom Verge - great Metroid clone.  Wonderful selection of weapons, power ups, etc, but a lot of the collectibles are too well hidden behind walls that you'd never guess could be blown up or traversed through.  The glitch movement  mechanic adds so much to it, but it falls down, just as other Metroid exploration games, in sections where the path to progress is difficult to find.  Wandering around the same large map for 2 hours and unable to reach a new area becomes repetitive quickly.  Solid, not great.

2. Super Punch-Out!! - classic.  The extra power of the SNES allows for some great expression on each of the fighters, but the last Special Series is a little naff, especially the last two Bruiser brothers.

3. Bomb Chicken - a very good puzzle platformer.  Simple mechanic of laying bombs to scale heights, solve puzzles, or shoot enemies, doesn't outlast it welcome.  Short overall, and the last few levels do become frustratingly difficult, but the middle section of the game feels and plays fantastic.

4. Namco Museum - a little cheeky calling this completed, but I've played through all the games until I've had enough of them.  Rolling Thunder, Rolling Thunder 2, Splatterhouse, PacMan, PacMan Vs., Galaga, Galaga '88, Dig Dug, The Tower of Druaga, Sky Kid, Tank Force.  Standouts were Rolling Thunder for its nostalgia, played it in the arcade, and genuinely still stands up as a great Shinobi clone to this day.  And, it was with surprise and delight that I found out that Charles Martinet voices Pac Man Vs.  "PacMan ate a Cherry" in Mario's voice.  Great game, wish I had two Switches to play as PacMan though.  All the games look crisp and sharp in handheld mode, some support Tate mode, and great how to play sections that act like manuals.  Save states are a little cumbersome compared to the NES and SNES Online app, but it's possible to save a game and continue from the point where you left off.

5. Batman - The Telltale Series - a far better game than The Walking Dead Season 1.  Shorter, includes touchscreen support, and the story draws you into the multiple choice dialogue boxes unlike other Telltale games I've played.  The detective linking evidence sections, the flowing combat (with swipes and screen taps, heavy QTEs), and the choices you make seem to have a massive impact on the story.  Making me want to play through it again.

That's enough for now. 

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