Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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I got given an Indie developer code for the soon to be released Shmubedi Boo.  At first glance it looks a little un-interesting, but it controls well, and gets very difficult, very quickly.  Here's my first look, and over the next few days I'll have a few other videos with my son, too.  2-player is more competitive.

[Lee Plays] Shmubedi Boo (First Look)

Old Nintendo Gamer takes a very quick look at the upcoming eShop title Shmubedi Boo. A quirky 2D platformer that tasks you to collect many apples.
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I’ve been neglecting this thread for 2 months now so I guess it’s time for an update. In my defense, I haven’t finished that many games, although I’ve been playing my fair share of titles like A Short Hike, Kotodama, Super Mario 3D All Stars, Resident Evil 6 and replaying Starcraft II.

For now just some titles I have finished in the last months. 

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS)

 

I never got around to playing this during the 3DS days, which is weird because A Link To The Past is still one of my favourite Zelda titles and I’ve always been curious about this sequel. 

Since it is part of the Nintendo Selects series and therefore is cheap I decided to finally pick it up (with the less appealing cover…) and return to ALTTP Hyrule. I had some trouble with going back to 3DS graphics when I played Metroid: Samus Returns earlier this year. But ALBW was spot-on from the beginning. Lovely aesthetics and great use of 3D here.

The whole item rental system is interesting at first, but I never was short on rupees so I ended up renting everything and only once lost a couple of items. After being able to buy stuff instead of renting I just gathered a couple of items after every dungeon. I did like the upgrades though, it’s fun to find out just how an upgrade affects an item.

The new mechanism that was impressive though was the wall merging. Damn, it’s brilliant! Always being on the lookout for possible 2D paths never got old during the game, and with the draining magic meter I had some tense moments if I was going to make a certain walk yes or no. Very clever.

It is interesting to play a new Zelda game while you already roughly know the map, as you kind of know where to go and what to expect. On the other hand it is fun to find the differences.

Storywise I wasn’t that impressed, although the term Lorule is clever and the. I also didn’t find the game hard, I kind of breezed through it. Even the Battle Tower on hardest difficulty was very doable with plenty of upgraded items and some potions. Haven’t finished it 100% but I did do a little sweep after completion and I’m going to leave it at that. Glad to have played it!

Castlevania Anniversary Collection: Super Castlevania IV (Nintendo Switch)

 

I got the Castlevania Anniversary Collection recently in a sale mostly for two reasons: Kid Dracula and Super Castlevania IV. The first I never played, and the latter I have played a long time ago but never finished it. 

It was an interesting experience playing this, and I’m not sure if I loved it or hated it. First of all: save states were used quite a bit. The vibe is great and the soundtrack as well. But it suffers from the early Castlevania nuisances such as enemies like the Medusa heads flying in, the disability to change direction in a jump and the weird way stairs work. 

Still, I love the character and the settings, but I think after Kid Dracula I will look into the GBA games as I loved the DS trilogy. Just out of wonder, are there any good 3D Castlevania games? Is Lords of Shadows worth checking out?

Jotun: Valhalla Edition (Nintendo Switch)

 

After reading American Gods and Norse Mythology my interest in the Scandinavian mythology rekindled. Jotun was on sale so I picked it up on a whim.

The artstyle appealed to me as well as the theme, but I didn’t really know what to expect gameplay-wise. The story revolves around the fallen warrior Thora, but she drowned which isn’t considered a worthy death so no Valhalla for her. You get a chance to redeem yourself though by slaying the Jotun (mythological giants).

The gameplay is simple enough. You wield a hammer, and that gives you a quick swing or a heavy hit which costs some time to perform. For evasion you can do a dodge roll. Later on you will pick up some special skills like healing, increasing speed or attack or throwing a spear.

You then battle your way through a number of locations from the Norse mythology, like the tree Yggdrasil. Each level (accessed through a hub) consists of 2 areas and a battle with the Jotun. The levels themself are quite empty, as in there are almost no enemies in them (with a few exceptions). It is mostly about exploration, solving puzzles and finding the rune to unlock the next area and the skill and health upgrades. 

The level ends with a Jotun though, a screen-filling giant that usually can take you out in a couple of hits. Suddenly the game changes from an exploration game to a bossfight game, and you need to learn patterns in order to tackle the behemoths. This is a strange transition, coming from bare levels to an intense fight.

These fights can become quite frustrating and sometimes feel unfair, but after finding out the patterns and a little bit of luck they are doable.

The game looks gorgeous though with its hand-drawn graphics, and it isn’t overstaying its welcome with about 5 hours of playtime. For me it was worth the couple of euros just for that and for the setting. But it’s a tricky one to fully recommend.

Bomb Chicken (Nintendo Switch)

*Usually I start with my "I finished the game" tweet but Bomb Chicken somehow doesn’t allow captures.

Another indie title that was on my wishlist for a while now was Bomb Chicken, and since it was on sale recently I finally went ahead and got it (and also because @markderoos kept praising it :grin:).

In this 2D puzzle platformer you take on the roll of a mutated chicken who lays bombs instead of eggs. The whole mechanism revolves around this. You can lay a bomb and kick it to the side, or you can lay multiple eggs as a stack in order to reach higher places. Just get off it before they explode.

This leads to quite some clever puzzles and mechanics, all set in a charming 2D pixel world. The game does get pretty brutal later on though, and I cursed quite a bit during it. Later levels are chaotic, and there are also a couple of bosses which are tricky. One hit means KO which especially in the boss levels is pretty hardcore.

It is a pretty short game, you can go through it in just a couple of hours. I would recommend it though, as despite the shortness and the frustrating bits, it is a great little and charming title. I can see a lot of potential in the mechanism, so I’m hoping we’ll see a Bomb Chicken 2 which refines it a bit.

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Officially 100% completed Super Mario Sunshine.

 

Considering how infamous the Pachinko and poisonous lilypad levels are I'm surprised I never had any memory of doing either... turns out that I never actually did either level. I couldn't find the Pachinko level and never did the task of getting to the lilypad level. So in a mammoth gaming session when I was getting all the blue coins I noticed a shortfall in the amount of shines I had so I figured that I was missing a fair amount in Delfino Plaza. That was indeed correct.

 

 

 

So yeah, I used internet guides to help me find the blue coins and after wrestling with Corona Mountain (worst final Mario level ever!) I was able to do this:

 

 

 

Taking a break from playing briefly to work on a Youtube video now.

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Not done an awful lot of gaming recently, but I did try and start up God of War again.

i don't know what it is about it, but something doesn't sit right with me about it. Partially, I think it is the controls for combat. Attack controls on the shoulder buttons? That just feels really awkward to me, and I can never remember which is which. I keep doing light attacks when I mean to do heavy, or aim when i want to shield. It ends up making the combat in this really disjointed, lumbering and slow. 

The other thing that I don't like is the faux open world. Technically, yes, you can go anywhere, but you are still rigidly controlled into cramped corridors and any kind of travelling across the overworld feels like a chore.

I'm really enjoying the story and the interactions between the main characters (I've just picked up the talking head), but every time The Boy says that i can explore if I want, i feel a sort of dread in doing so, which shouldn't be the case in an open world game. Maye it's just not for me, but I do want to finish it.

 

I've also been trying to start up TLOZ:BOTW again. I decided i would forge ahead and try to do a bit more of the main story, so i headed for the volcano to try and find the inevitable meeting with the Gorons. I wasn't sure where to go, so i just went straight up the side of the volcano until I got to the 'lava moat'. Then, I skirted around the edge of the moat, using up all my fire relief potions until I got to Eldin's Bridge. I loitered around there for a while, thinking that's where I could trigger the meeting with the Gorons, but that didn't happen. So I eventually came down the mountain until I got to the Goron town, entering it the wrong way and finding that they had fireproof clothing for sale. Maybe I do need more rigid corridors in my life...?

Anyway, defeated the second boss dude, and i've done the Assassins' Creed tower in that area so now I'm up for a bit of a wander around again. I know where the third Divine beast is, because I can see it flying from across the map, but I have no idea where the fourth one even is. I'm assuming it's in the fourth quarter of the map i've yet to even open up. Thinking about exploring it actually fills me with excitement, which is how an open world game is supposed to be.

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@bob That's an interesting way to play the game (BotW, that is). Probably makes for a pretty good experience.

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[Together] Super Mario Bros. 35 (Part 1)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son take a first look and play of Nintendo’s newest addition to the 2D platforming Mario family. 35 Marios, there can only be one! Who will it be?
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Only managed to finish one more game in September, wrapped the month up by playing through Bayonetta 2. I only played the first one earlier in the year so it was pretty fresh in the memory, so I was ready for some more intense and wild action - and that's exactly what I got. I feel like the sequel was easier than the first game though, once I got the hang of the controls again I never really ran into any issues, I had just a handful of continues whereas I seemed to die a lot in the first game. Story wise it didn't hit me quite the same as the first game but it was still thoroughly entertaining (especially liked the return to Vigrid near the end) and Loki's accent was wonderfully awful (what was the actor even going for? Worse cockney accent than Don Cheadle?). Overall it didn't feel quite as satisfying as the first Bayonetta but I'm looking forward to seeing where Platinum take things next. 

First on my list for October is Super Mario Galaxy on Switch, I never got around to finishing the game the first time round and I don't think I've played it since 2007 so I'm looking forward to experiencing it again. After that I should really play through some more PS4 stuff, give the console a good send off before I sell it and put the money towards a PS5.

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[Together] NintendoLand: Metroid Blast (Part 2)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son give some to Ridley as they blast through the next 10 missions of Metroid Blast (missions 11-20).
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Another review, another opportunity for me to contribute to this thread. 

Nexomon: Extinction  

content-2-36353-nexomonextinctionsidebox.jpg

  n-europe review 

Spoiler

If you like 2D Pokémon, you shouldn't overlook this. It's surprisingly good.

Anyway, does that Nexomon pictured above look familiar to you? I can't quite place my finger on it...

 

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Great review @Glen-i

As someone who's fallen out of love with Pokémon and who's missing the good old 2D-Pokémon days, this might actually be worth the money.

Edited by drahkon
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Been playing a large variety of games recently, albeit mostly in short bursts.

 

Why? I'm current in the process of compiling the largest Youtube video I've ever made, to celebrate 20 years since I started playing video games it's going to be a kind of slideshow retrospective on every single video game I've ever played. Yes, I'm insane for trying...

 

It has lead to some interesting things though, like remembering that Donkey Konga has a story...

 

Most of my gaming time has been on a dangerous addiction to Magic Arena. Live services these days I know right? Especially bad in light of the "Walking Dead" Secret Lair that they've announced that the community has deemed problematic to the health of game. The problem is that if these sell then it just means crossovers are going to become a lot more regular. Strong rumours of a Harry Potter crossover next year...

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Tried the demo of Cake Bash that popped up on the eShop, my son is quiet in this video, as he says he was really concentrating, as usual I'm blabbing away far too much.

[Together] Cake Bash Demo (First Look)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son give all the modes and fun mini-games a run through in this first look at what the Cake Bash demo’s got baking in the oven.

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Finished Mario 64 a few weeks ago and decided to go back to Crash 2 since 4 was released recently to try and get the rest of the gold relics for the platinum. 15 relics in and i'm tearing my hair out >_> this is the last trophy I need too. Then i'll probably start Crash 3...maybe.

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Just finished the Norse God of War game. Not going to do a full review, people know all about it by now, and if you don't Mark Brown and Matthewmatosis do a far better job talking about the game then I ever could. Would like to pick out a couple things though.

As anyone who has seen my posts on this forum will know, story pretty much ranks bottom of my list for things I give a shit about in a video game. This is not because I don't like strong narratives - I'm an avid reader and movie fan after all - but most games fail to (or most times don't even bother to) present the narrative in a way that takes advantage of the strengths of the medium. As such I have lost all patience for cut scenes in recent years (ruined Death Stranding for me), and even semi-interactable exposition scenes, the likes of which Half Life made famous, have started to grate on me now.  

And yet weirdly I found GoWs story carrying me through the game. To be clear I love the core combat system, even if I felt I had mastered it a little to too quickly. But the open world didn't work for me, the side quests were uninspiring and the pacing of the game really started to take the piss in the way it just kept coming up with different reasons why you couldn't move forward.

And yet I really wanted to see what happened in the end. Kratos is a brilliant Avatar for my gamer rage, and the fact the whole game works as a single shot really reinforces that bond with him. That stupendous first scene when Baldur turns up was all I needed to get into the game and get my blood pumping. Then suddenly you got giant serpents and turtle houses and I'm sold. 

The kid had a real chance of being annoying but he had both a true gameplay value, and served as a clever exposition point (I especially liked how he would indicate when might be a good point to do sidequests, just like a hyperactive child might do). The dialogue was on the whole well written too - particular shout out to the arc of Kratos's poor story telling culminating in the tale of why he called the kid Atreus. 

Anyway good work all around. I want a sequel.

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Last episode of The Messenger has rolled.  Great game, with hugely frustrating sections, made worse by an imprecise double jump mechanic that often felt random.

[Lee Plays] The Messenger (Part 36)

Old Nintendo Gamer plays the Music Box for its last time, and watches the credits roll. It’s all over!
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Alright so I've gotten all Shines in Super Mario Sunshine EXCEPT:

- The 24 Blue Coin Shines
- The 8 100 Yellow Coin Shines
- The final Shine for beating the game

I've decided to go for the Blue Coins next to get them out of the way so that I'm not accidentally running into them while I'm collecting 100 Yellow Coins. But, I'm keeping the darn things. I can watch the 120 Shine video on YouTube whenever I want, and after collecting them all I don't wanna get rid of them lol. xD Anyway after that I'll get the Yellers and defeat Bowser.

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Started playing Suikoden.

Always wanted to see what the fuss is about Suikoden II, so I figured I'd give the series a proper go by starting with the first game.

So far...it's very slow and the battle system is very bare-bones. The menus (equipment, items) are crap. You have to manually move items between characters. One item at a time...Off to a bad start gameplay-wise, to be honest.
Story and characters are intriguing, though.

Let's see if the game keeps my attention long enough.

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[Together] NintendoLand: Metroid Blast (Part 3)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son blast through the 10 Advanced missions of Metroid Blast (missions 21-30).

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Got through Abzu in a sitting, and was more than a little disappointed, which considering I'm a big scuba diver and lover of animals is quite the condemnation. I get the Journey comparisons (which I loved), but Abzu comes out poorly in that comparison. For one Journey kept that mountain in the background throughout, visually indicating the ultimate goal of the titular journey. Abzu (maybe by fault of its concept) lacks this, and thus the story is a rather directionless progress through a series of rooms. This has a knock on effect for the music as well, which in Journey felt like a grand movement, broken only by planned lulls in the emotional narrative. In Abzu this is instead subject to the need for loading screens, and thus never really takes hold. Nice try though -  bonus points for the whale sharks.

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I have another one for today, seeing as a demo was released in short order.  Quite a lengthy demo, too.

[Lee Plays] Pikmin 3 Deluxe Demo (Part 1)

 
Old Nintendo Gamer throws the Pikmin around to see what the game offers and how the gyro controls hold up.
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Extensively working on this "Every game I've ever played" video for Youtube... and when I checked to see if anyone had done anything like this I couldn't find too much on Youtube though the search results may be skewed...

 

The video is well over an hour long as things stand. Going to have to timestamp for viewer purposes I reckon.

 

Anyway, here's a few tweets I put out during that time.

 

 

 

In case you're wondering this all has lead to something productive on gaming front... I finally have unlocked the green stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Yes after 10 years. The stumbling blocks for me Starwise? The no damage run of Bowser Jr.'s Boomsday Machine and the second Fire Flower crate destroying game. I finally managed to do it after countless struggles and even then I don't know how I actually managed to do it in the end... the most annoying kind of level clear!

 

So I proceeded to get the last remaining stars from the Special World levels and beat Bowser again... officially halfway to 100%ing Galaxy 2 now. Might work on trying to 100% all the 3D Mario games from this point on. Got a feel for it with Sunshine and past the stumbling block that saw me bench Galaxy 2.

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On 10/8/2020 at 1:31 PM, drahkon said:

Let's see if the game keeps my attention long enough.

It couldn't.

In other news: My mate and I finished Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
What a mess this game is :DBut we enjoyed it. We had a lot of fun in hour 30 hours of coop play time :)

What now?
I might finally give Mark of the Ninja: Remastered a go.

And I have to decide between Half Minute Hero and Final Fantasy VI. I've already started the former but need to see more.

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9 hours ago, drahkon said:

It couldn't.

In other news: My mate and I finished Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
What a mess this game is :DBut we enjoyed it. We had a lot of fun in hour 30 hours of coop play time :)

What now?
I might finally give Mark of the Ninja: Remastered a go.

And I have to decide between Half Minute Hero and Final Fantasy VI. I've already started the former but need to see more.

Highly, highly recommend the latter. But then I would say that... it's my favourite game of all time.

 

Anyway, made a good start on Green Stars on Super Mario Galaxy 2. Got all of the Sky Station Galaxy ones and got two of the three Yoshi Star Galaxy Green Stars. Working on doing World 1.

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Final Fantasy VI is the epitome of old school Final Fantasy. Well ahead of it's time and holds up remarkably well.

BTW, I've finally decided to continue my "Glen plays each Final Fantasy for the first time" journey with Final Fantasy XII on Switch. (I skipped XI for obvious reasons) I understand there's some fundamental differences from the original, but from what I can tell, the plot is still the same and an added job system can only seem like a benefit, quite frankly.

Weird game. Especially for Final Fantasy. But I'm intrigued so far. Gambit system seems really cool and has potential for some neat strategies. Definitely feels like Xenoblade 0.5, which can't be a bad thing.

Edited by Glen-i
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