Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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10 minutes ago, drahkon said:

@Hero of Time
you get what you deserve. That Vita comment will haunt you. :p 

Good job you've got a gripe with a different Hero of Time otherwise that could have been awkward. :p 

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32 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Good job you've got a gripe with a different Hero of Time otherwise that could have been awkward. :p 

Yeah...the private messages I got from this person...he deserved it.

...

Saved it. YES!

:p

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Did something on Pokemon Sword after trying this 

 

 

 

Galarian Star Tournament was fun, my one complaint being you can't be teammates with Ball Guy ;)

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Knights and Bikes

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I finished this today. Brilliant game and easily the best indie game I have played this month.

The game is set on a small island named Penfurzy Island and it's here you take control of Demelza and her new found friend Nessa. It's up to you to guide them on their adventure to uncover the history of the island and ultimately find the treasure that is apparently hiding on it. What makes the game so good is the relationship that develops between the two characters and how their imaginations, especially Demelza's, shapes the world you play in. It's a reminder of your childhood and how you would create your own adventures/stories whilst playing outside with your friends. I can't imagine many kids doing that these days.

The game reminds me a lot of Tearaway but mixed with Costume Quest. I suppose this makes sense given that some of the staff that worked on Tearaway made this game and it was Double Fine who made Costume Quest and now they are publishing this. It's not only the look of the game that makes me feel this way but also the childlike charm that radiates from it. Costume Quest had this in spades and it's the same for Knights and Bikes.

In terms of gameplay, the game has very little combat in it and what is there isn't going to trouble you much. You have a few sets of moves at your disposal but you will mostly be using the same ones over and over again, mainly because the standard attacks work so well. The main gameplay element is traversing the island, exploring every nook and cranny and solving the puzzles that present themselves. Most of the time these puzzles will be blocking your progress and, like most games, they start off easy but eventually you will have to put every move that you've learnt to good use. There were a couple that were real head scratches but nothing too frustrating. The lessons learnt by these would ultimately come in handy later on down the road.

Traversing the island is a lot of fun. Initially you are left to just walk around the play but not too far into the game you will be able to use a bike. This bike can be upgraded so that you can take shortcuts through mud or use speed boosts to get around quicker. It can also be customised so that it looks exactly how you want it, with many trinkets being able to be attached that will certainly take you back to your childhood. The facial expressions of pure joy that the characters express when they are riding fast or going down a hill perfectly capture what you feel like as a kid when speeding around on your own bike. Man, I miss those days.

There is a heartbreaking story in the game with a lot about loss and regret being the main focus. By the end the of game the characters, and indeed yourself, are encouraged to accept change and try to move forward in life. There are times you have to let go of certain things in order to do that and you will see this change happen with Demelza by the time the credits have rolled on the game. It's very bittersweet and it can get quite emotional.

Oh, one last thing. This game easily has the best goose in an indie game. None of that Untitled Goose Game rubbish here. In this game you have Captain Honkers by your side.

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The little guy is a true MVP in the game and is full of character, unlike that annoying prick that was in UGG. I hate that goose. 

That's 5 indie games done and dusted in the space of a week. I was hoping to get through at least 4 of them this month so i'm well ahead of what I wanted to do. I may try and finish a couple more before November is through. I have to say, i'm really enjoying playing my games this way. Maybe pick a theme, line up a selection of what I want to get through for the month and then try to finish 4 of them. I'm usually pretty focused anyway when it comes to my gaming habits and i'm not sure how long i'll keep doing this but it has been quite fun to do. 

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[Together] NintendoLand: Pikmin Adventure (Part 2)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son send Pikmin to do our bidding and possibly to their deaths in the second 8 levels (levels 9-16).

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[Together] NintendoLand: Pikmin Adventure (Part 3)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son send Pikmin to do our bidding and possibly to their deaths in the start of the advanced levels (levels 1-3).

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Just played through Bloodborne again. I came back to it cause a friend was supposedly going to play it for the first time, so I was like 'great, a co-op partner'. And then waiting for him I'm like 'I'll just do the character creation', 'I'll just beat Gasgoine', 'I'll just get to lv20', and before I know it I've beaten the game. I just love how rich the world is and how its presented to you, and so every time I play through these games I'm watching all the Lore videos, reading all the theories. Miyazaki has claimed the difficulty of the Souls games is not a feature for its own sake, but because it makes you respect the world and its characters more. Well he ain't wrong. Cannot wait for Elden Ring.

Just started on Outer Wilds and loving it too.

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Finished Burnout Paradise Remastered and got the Platinum (my 80th :D).

One of the best arcade racers. Enjoyed almost every bit of my playthrough. Only the "Drive a total of 750 miles"-trophy was a little annoying as I had to grind the last 150 miles for a while.
Had a great time, nonetheless :peace:

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1 hour ago, drahkon said:

Finished Burnout Paradise Remastered and got the Platinum (my 80th :D).

One of the best arcade racers. Enjoyed almost every bit of my playthrough. Only the "Drive a total of 750 miles"-trophy was a little annoying as I had to grind the last 150 miles for a while.
Had a great time, nonetheless :peace:

I still need to pick this up at some point. I only dabbled with it for a short time on the 360 and didn't give it the time it deserves. I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said against the game.

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1 hour ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I still need to pick this up at some point. I only dabbled with it for a short time on the 360 and didn't give it the time it deserves. I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said against the game.

I played it for a little bit and didn't like it! #ItHadToBeMe

Me and 'open world' racing don't really get on, though :blank:

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Credits have rolled on Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

I'm on my phone, so no big write up until lockdown ends, but I wanna give some immediate thoughts.

Spoiler

I always heard that the story in this one was kinda boring compared to earlier Final Fantasies, but I found it quite engaging. It's far more political in comparison, which makes for a refreshing change. Voice acting is good too, no drunk summoners in this game. (Looking at you, Yuna)

Vaan still contributes almost nothing to the story and wouldn't make any difference if he wasn't there in the first place. I still maintain he's a waste of party space and would better served by a different species that this game has, Bangaa, Seeq, those dudes from that snowy mountain whose name I forget. Anyone would be more interesting than this shirtless nothing.

You see, FF 6, 7 and 9 do well here because it goes in on the fantasy aspect and lets you have some stranger characters to mess with. Red XIII in 7, Mog in VI and Freya in IX are some good examples of non-human characters, so it's a pity this game decided to go with 6 people. No, Fran doesn't count, she's just as human as a Playboy Bunny.

The gambit system is a really clever way of avoiding AI stupidity problems. Because if your AI partners do something dumb, it's totally your fault. The problem is that this means the most efficient way of battling is to do nothing.

I've still got the Rank VII hunts to do as well as 2 more espers to find. But one of them is in that giant crystal and I don't want to go through that mapless nightmare again, so I'll leave the rest for the future.

But while I was watching the credits I noticed that Gilgamesh had a voice credit. That random boss from FF V is in this, and he's voiced by the guy who did Bender in Futurama!? How did I miss that? Is it well hidden or something?

 

Edited by Glen-i
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9 hours ago, nekunando said:

I played it for a little bit and didn't like it! #ItHadToBeMe

Me and 'open world' racing don't really get on, though :blank:

I hate open world games with a passion, but I do actually like Burnout Paradise.  It’s not my favourite in the series, but it’s a really neat take on the series’ concept and it actually does make genuinely good use of the open world level design (helps that the open world isn’t ridiculously large).

I do like the way that it encourages you to really learn the routes and find shortcuts off the beaten track.  One of only four open world games I’ve ever genuinely enjoyed (the other three being Crazy Taxi 1&2 and The Wind Waker).

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12 hours ago, drahkon said:

Finished Burnout Paradise Remastered and got the Platinum (my 80th :D).

One of the best arcade racers. Enjoyed almost every bit of my playthrough. Only the "Drive a total of 750 miles"-trophy was a little annoying as I had to grind the last 150 miles for a while.
Had a great time, nonetheless :peace:

Burnout Paradise is one of my favourite games. While the singleplayer is good, it's only a small part of the game. The online multiplayer is an absolute joy and I'm amazed that nobody has copied from it. 

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3 hours ago, Glen-i said:

I always heard that the story in this one was kinda boring compared to earlier Final Fantasies, but I found it quite engaging. It's far more political in comparison, which makes for a refreshing change.

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Excuse me? There is someone else out there who doesn't shit on FFXII's story?
You, Sir, are a good man.

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I also didn't expect to get so many responses to my Burnout Paradise Remastered post :D

13 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I don't think I've ever heard a bad word said against the game.

Somehow I remember reading a lot about how the open world doesn't really work with the game. Doesn't matter because anybody saying that is wrong. WRONG, I say!

11 hours ago, nekunando said:

I played it for a little bit and didn't like it! #ItHadToBeMe

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2 hours ago, Cube said:

While the singleplayer is good, it's only a small part of the game. The online multiplayer is an absolute joy and I'm amazed that nobody has copied from it. 

I played the multiplayer only for the trophies. It's a great mode but only if the host actually initiates some races/events/challenges.

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1 minute ago, drahkon said:

I played the multiplayer only for the trophies. It's a great mode but only if the host actually initiates some races/events/challenges.

Yeah, when it originally came out, it was before Xbox Party chat. I mange to find a bunch of people through the game to become friends and the community spirit in it was great. The challenges are the main thing I loved about it.

 

Some games I've tried recently

Dead Cells, I enjoy the gameplay, but I just can't get into the "random levels, start from beginning with some extra stuff unlocked each time you die" type of style (or roguelike for short I believe). 

Greedfall was interesting. It feels like it should have been out at the time of Dragon Age Inquisition. A somewhat interesting story. The factions are completely unlikable to start with but aren't as bad once you get to know them more (although the epilogue of "they're all perfectly good now due to events in one small city on an island" is a bit too far). Companions are interesting but just don't talk enough (especially to each other). They get you really excited at the start of the final mission as they all join you, only to all leave before the final boss. 

There was one quest which seemed like being evil was the only way. You have to influence an election for a new king in the hopes of them helping you. Even if all three options say they'll help you if they become king (due to everything you've done for them), there's no option to go "messing about with this election is wrong", you still have to do it. Other quests are a lot more black and white in terms of options as well. The quests start out very promising with how you can approach them, with lots of possible ways, but then these same ways just crop up and boil down to: kill everyone, sneak (which is a pain), wear that faction armour and walk in or buy sleeping potions and knock everyone out. Final option is the worst. It boils down to:

- Save the world by killing a completely unlikable character who most people probably wanted to die from the moment they met them.

- Destroy the world by joining him

It was quite laughable. 

Gameplay is fine, combat is enjoyable if nothing special. Subtitles are a complete and utter mess, full of wrong words and loads of spelling errors.

Replayed InFamous Second Son. Still a great game although it's shorter than I remember it being. 

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@Glen-i

Good to see you enjoyed FFXII. I'm in the camp of those who didn't care for the story. I care not for politics in real life never mind in a video game. :p I much prefer JRPG stories to be character driven rather than be about the world.

That dungeon you mentioned is a nightmare to navigate but the boss fight (if it's the one I'm thinking of) at the end of it is great. Very challenging but very satisfying. 

I loved the Gambit system. It felt a bit like FFVIII in that you can easily exploit the mechanics of it and become super OP early on.

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35 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

@Glen-i

Good to see you enjoyed FFXII. I'm in the camp of those who didn't care for the story. I care not for politics in real life never mind in a video game. :p I much prefer JRPG stories to be character driven rather than be about the world.

That dungeon you mentioned is a nightmare to navigate but the boss fight (if it's the one I'm thinking of) at the end of it is great. Very challenging but very satisfying. 

I loved the Gambit system. It felt a bit like FFVIII in that you can easily exploit the mechanics of it and become super OP early on.

I really like the story in FF12, but ultimately, the Gambit system is just too exploitable for the game to be fun for me.

When the winning strategy is to just let the game play itself? Well, might as well not be playing the game at all really :p 

The story, character and setting are all great in FF12; I love the political overtones surrounding the game.  I just wish that the gameplay was more engaging (literally!).

I feel that FF12's gameplay concept is a sound one, but the execution just doesn't hit the mark... A lot of people like to look at Xenoblade's battle system and call that "FF12 done right"; and ultimately I would agree with them :) 

Edited by Dcubed

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5 hours ago, Dcubed said:

I hate open world games with a passion, but I do actually like Burnout Paradise.  It’s not my favourite in the series, but it’s a really neat take on the series’ concept and it actually does make genuinely good use of the open world level design (helps that the open world isn’t ridiculously large).

I do like the way that it encourages you to really learn the routes and find shortcuts off the beaten track.  One of only four open world games I’ve ever genuinely enjoyed (the other three being Crazy Taxi 1&2 and The Wind Waker).

I don't think we're too far apart in our lack of appreciation for 'open world' games so for you to like Burnout Paradise means it must have something going for it, at least :grin:

I didn't give it much of a chance. I bought it for £7, installed it on PS4 and within 15 minutes it was off and ready to be traded in.

I'm sure it's probably decent enough but it's not the type of experience I want from my racing games. I like more carefully constructed and distinct tracks whereas I find with games like Burnout Paradise and some Need for Speed games that things can feel a bit samey very quickly and it can feel like there's almost too much going on along that it can be difficult to see where you need to go, particularly at such high speed!

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20 hours ago, drahkon said:

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Excuse me? There is someone else out there who doesn't shit on FFXII's story?
You, Sir, are a good man.

giphy.gif

Awww... I tolerate you too!

It's a lot more down to earth as far as Final Fantasies go, which is probably why a lot of the fanbase wouldn't care much for it. But after ten of the epic saving the world games (and the fever dream of X-2), it's a nice change of pace. I never really felt that any of the characters did something so dumb even I had to point it out. Felt very believable.

I complain about Vaan, but really, it's not like he makes the story worse. He just adds nothing and Fran needs to put some bloody clothes on! Can't take her seriously when most of her butt is visible at all times. The credit sequence shows some nice artwork and one of them was her in a more modest outfit and I wish she wore that instead.

Minor nitpicks really, Fran needs a better designer and Vaan's party spot should be given to a Bangaa character instead to help make the roster more diverse.

18 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

@Glen-i

That dungeon you mentioned is a nightmare to navigate but the boss fight (if it's the one I'm thinking of) at the end of it is great. Very challenging but very satisfying.

It's possible you might be thinking of the esper I didn't get? Because they were the best fights in the game.

Having them lock out one of your commands really forces you to change in strategy and adapt. (That said, I did have a panic-inducing moment at the one that locked out the Magic command, I actually had to use items! I never use items in Final Fantasy!)

18 hours ago, Dcubed said:

A lot of people like to look at Xenoblade's battle system and call that "FF12 done right"; and ultimately I would agree with them :) 

After playing it, totally agree. But that only means FF12 is ahead of it's time and I owe it the existence of Xenoblade and that's no bad thing.

Anyway, I now declare FF XII better than VIII, V, III and X. Maybe better than II, hard to decide at the moment. It's solid.

Anyway, I've now started Ni No Kuni. The Studio Ghibli vibes are proper strong in this game, even when the 3D models are present. It's really impressive in that regard. Gorgeous game, gorgeous soundtrack, amazing world building. There's an over 400 page encyclopedia explaining how magic in this world works as well as all the other things in the game, even has some folk tales to go with it. Might have wasted an hour just flipping through it. A lot of the more useful pages are missing though, which is totes suspish.

I'm getting some Golden Sun vibes from the magic system here, they're not just used for battles, some of them can be used for puzzle solving, which is promising.

Edited by Glen-i
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6 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Can't take her seriously when most of her butt is visible at all times.

Story of my life.

6 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Awww... I tolerate you too!

:blank:

7 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Felt very believable.

Agree.

8 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

I owe it the existence of Xenoblade

Urgh...then I have to say: FFXII is the worst game ever made :p

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:32 AM, Glen-i said:

Credits have rolled on Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

I'm on my phone, so no big write up until lockdown ends, but I wanna give some immediate thoughts.

  Some end game spoilers (Hide contents)

I always heard that the story in this one was kinda boring compared to earlier Final Fantasies, but I found it quite engaging. It's far more political in comparison, which makes for a refreshing change. Voice acting is good too, no drunk summoners in this game. (Looking at you, Yuna)

Vaan still contributes almost nothing to the story and wouldn't make any difference if he wasn't there in the first place. I still maintain he's a waste of party space and would better served by a different species that this game has, Bangaa, Seeq, those dudes from that snowy mountain whose name I forget. Anyone would be more interesting than this shirtless nothing.

You see, FF 6, 7 and 9 do well here because it goes in on the fantasy aspect and lets you have some stranger characters to mess with. Red XIII in 7, Mog in VI and Freya in IX are some good examples of non-human characters, so it's a pity this game decided to go with 6 people. No, Fran doesn't count, she's just as human as a Playboy Bunny.

The gambit system is a really clever way of avoiding AI stupidity problems. Because if your AI partners do something dumb, it's totally your fault. The problem is that this means the most efficient way of battling is to do nothing.

I've still got the Rank VII hunts to do as well as 2 more espers to find. But one of them is in that giant crystal and I don't want to go through that mapless nightmare again, so I'll leave the rest for the future.

But while I was watching the credits I noticed that Gilgamesh had a voice credit. That random boss from FF V is in this, and he's voiced by the guy who did Bender in Futurama!? How did I miss that? Is it well hidden or something?

 

You need to go back to Lhusu Mines. That place is WAY bigger than you might have initially thought, If you travel along that route you can fight Gilgamesh. Be warned though... the second encounter against him is brutally difficult if you're underlevelled. I would heavily advise taking him on when you're at least Level 70.

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6 hours ago, Aperson said:

 

  Random voice credit (Reveal hidden contents)

You need to go back to Lhusu Mines. That place is WAY bigger than you might have initially thought, If you travel along that route you can fight Gilgamesh. Be warned though... the second encounter against him is brutally difficult if you're underlevelled. I would heavily advise taking him on when you're at least Level 70.

 

Oh, right. I wandered in there unexpectedly, noticed the enemies were LV. 60-ish and noped right out of there. Guess I forgot about it afterwards.

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I finished another indie game (Guacamelee 2) yesterday evening and have just wrapped up the DLC.

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Firstly, I absolutely loved the many references of other games that are scattered throughout the game. I know a lot of people had issues with this kind of stuff in the first game but I really got a laugh out of them and didn't mind them at all. Speaking of the first game, there's actually a hidden area in this game that mocks the internet folk who bitched and moaned on about all the memes in the original. That whole area got a chuckle out of me. I wonder how many people on Gaf/Era were quoted in the game. :p 

I took a bunch of pics of a few of the references I seen on my adventure.

Spoiler

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I'm a big fan of Drinkbox Studios. I really enjoyed the first Guacamelee game and Mutant Blobs Attack but my love for the studio was cemented with Severed, a game that doesn't get enough praise and is easily one of my games of the generation. I had high hopes for Guacamelee 2 as the studio just seems to be going from strength to strength and thankfully that trend has continued with this game. Sorry, Knights and Bikes but you've just been dethroned as the best indie game I have played this month.

The game is pretty much more of the same. The first game was great and this expands upon that and refines it. If you've played the original game then you will feel right at home with this. It's something I appreciate when developers do this. When you have such a good starting point then a lot of the time it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel and instead just build on what you have. The Ratchet and Clank series has done this for years and i'm happy that Drinkbox took this approach here.

I had a look at the trophies before starting and I seen that you had to finish the game on hard difficulty and 100% for the platinum. I didn't want to do two plays of the game so decided to just use the Konami code to unlock hard difficulty from the start and to try and get 100% that way. It turns out the main game wasn't that difficult. Sure, there were a couple of challenge rooms that took a few attempts to complete but the rest of the game was pretty standard. Given how moderate the difficulty was, I do wonder just how easy normal difficultly is. Another trophy I thought may cause some issues was the one where I needed to get a 150 hit combo. Yeah, I shouldn't have been worried...

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I just love how fast and fluid the combat is in the game, especially once you unlock all of your moves. This can get a little frantic at times as the screen fills up with countless enemies but stringing together high combos can quickly dispatch anyone in your path. It's even better once you unlock certain upgrades. One of them allows you to use an unlimited amount of special moves, provided that you can keep your combo over 100. Another special allows you to heal yourself and this can come in handy if faced with a tight situation. Simply get some distance between you and your enemies and press down to gradually restore your health.

The DLC was pretty fun to play through. There are a series of 15 stages that involving either beating a certain amount of enemies, making your way through a stage or survival for as long as you can. These are usually timed missions and you need to get gold rankings in order to unlock the PS4 trophies. I left these until I had fully finished the game and by that point I had enough practice to make short work of them. Although there was one that did can me a few issues. You have to throw an enemy all the way through the stage and make him land on various switches. The time for the gold reward was pretty tight and it took some doing but I did manage it.

A big challenge in the game is presented in the special rooms/areas that require you to play as a chicken. These take absolute precise timing and precision platforming skills. There is a lot of practice needed and it's another one of those times where you will fail numerous times but if you keep at it you will eventually see victory. There was a good sense of satisfaction from completing these rooms and they are required to be finished if you want to see the good/real ending to the game.

Drinkbox have yet again crafted a fantastic Metroidvania style game. One that offers challenge for those who seek it, fun for those players who want to just go from point A to point B and an easy to navigate world with a helpful map for anyone who wants to find the collectables. It ticks a lot of the boxes of what I want from a Metroidvania game and Drinkbox have once again proved that they are one of the best indie developers in the business. I'm honestly surprised they've not been snapped up yet by a big publisher. They had a good relationship with Sony and they enjoyed working on their platforms, especially the Vita. Snap'em up, Sony.

 

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