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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

So I've got another two games done and under my belt now...

Super Mario 3D World (Switch version)

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Before talking about my thoughts on the game itself, I want to address the changes made to the Switch version in particular...

The first, and most obvious one, is the replacement of Gamepad features with the onscreen pointer motion controls.  Personally? I think that the pointer is a perfectly fine substitute for the touchscreen really, but the way that the pointer has been implemented here isn't as seamless as it is in Captain Toad (co-incidentally, also ported to Switch by NST).  Having to press a button to make the cursor appear feels a bit clunky; especially when it doesn't autocentre the cursor when making it first appear (you kind of just have to guess where on screen it's gonna appear).  I think it would've been much better if they just had the cursor onscreen at all times, ALA Captain Toad Switch.  But it's not game breaking or anything, just a bit clunkier than it needed to be.

The loss of the microphone however, has not been compensated for in any meaningful way.  As such, the microphone controlled platforms are just exorcised from the game entierly; replaced by standard, boring lift platforms.  Bit of a shame really, takes away from the uniqueness of some of the game's stages.

The loss of Miiverse is also a real shame, as I really enjoyed seeing everyone's stupid messages scattered throughout the world map.  Some sections of the map just feel a bit pointless & empty now as a result.  Thankfully they've managed to find a decent use for the original game's collectable stamps with the new Photo Mode (It's basically the same as the one in Mario Odyssey; but with a couple of extra filters added and the ability to place stamps within the scene for stupid photos); a nice compromise to an unavoidable issue.  Hopefully they do something similar with Twilight Princess HD when it inevitably gets ported to the Switch.

And of course... the big one.  For some very strange reason, NST/EPD Tokyo felt the need to increase the running speed of every character by around 30% or so.  This has some pretty big ramifications on the core gameplay; which I have semi-jokingly referred to as 200cc mode.  Outside of a couple of particular things (most notably, the Rabbits that you can chase), the stages & enemies haven't been altered in any way to compensate for this new increased speed; quite literally making it the SM3DW equivilent to MK8's 200cc mode!  Toad now absolutely blitzes through stages like he's in a Sonic game; and because of this? Each character is now much harder to control at high speeds; braking literally becomes crucial here as you now actually have to let go of the run button to not go flying off everywhere! (Letting go of the run button? In a Mario game!?!? Unthinkable!!).

The increased running speed also has other ramifications... as all new sequence breaks are now made possible thanks to each character now being able to jump further than ever before!

... while certain parts of the game have now been rendered largely trivial... The Great Goal Pole? Finished it in less than 7 seconds as Toad now literally outruns the goal poal!

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200cc Toad laughs at Wii U Peach's pathetic attempt to catch the Goal Pole

Another controversial change is the new rules behind Green Star collection; which NST/EPD Tokyo decided to change in the Switch version for goodnessknows what reason.  In the original Wii U version? You had to survive to the end of the level (or reach the next checkpoint) for a Green Star/Stamp to be counted as "collected", where deaths would reset which Green Stars/Stamp you have.  In the Switch version however, Green Stars/Stamps now stay collected as soon as you touch them; even if you die.  This ends up trivialising MANY of the Green Stars/Stamps throughout the game as a result; as you can now happily suicide jump to get any of the Green Stars/Stamps that float over a pit/lava/poison/whatever...

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Who needs friends? Or Propeller Boxes?

While I appreciate the boost in speed; and actually enjoy being able to sequence break parts of the levels in ways that were never originally intended.  I do feel really split about this decision because there's no option to play the game as it was originally designed.  I think it would've been much better if they had made 200cc an unlockable feature for beating Champion's Road.  That would've been an amazing unlockable, and it would've meant that you could still play the game as it was originally intended.

As things currently stand? It's kind of a bastardised rendition of the original game.  That's both a good thing and a bad thing, but it's a real shame that the original game design is doomed to be forgotten and left in the dust of history; as the Switch version inevitably replaces the original Wii U version in the minds of the general populace.

That being said though? Online multiplayer is an excellent addition, and it works shockingly well in my experience! It's certainly not gonna replace the couch experience, but it's surprisingly playable.

As for the game itself as a whole? It's a real good time, with some incredibly creative level design and gameplay concepts.  The Cat Suit is a brilliant addition that literally adds an extra dimension to each level and each level is bursting with new ideas & concepts, delivered at a blistering cadence that even puts Super Mario Galaxy to shame by comparison.  There are some significant problems with the game though, that are perhaps made even more obvious when looking at it in comparison with its direct predecessor, Super Mario 3D Land.

Quite frankly, this game's camera perspective is a problem... a BIG problem.  It features the same kind of orthographic projection as in the 3DS title, but without stereoscopic 3D support? This game becomes a depth perspective nightmare! I can't even tell you the amount of times where I literally had absolutely no bloody idea where my character was in 3D space! SO many deaths that came from not knowing where I was in relation to objects/ground! It actually does become pretty infuriating after a while (and this is even worse in stages that are filled with pits where you can't see your shadow).  It feels like I've had one eye poked out of me while playing this game, and it never really gets any easier; even right at the end.  Hell, I'm just gonna refer you back to that last screenshot I just posted; where the hell is the Green Star in relation to Mario? Is it in front of him? Is it behind him? Who the fuck knows!?

Another problem is that the game doesn't really put up much of a fight until the post-game.  It's fun all throughout, but it doesn't put up much a fight until right near the end of all things.  While the Green Stars & Stamps did provide some additional challenge? That of course, has been significantly nerfed in the Switch version.

Thankfully the post-game puts up a healthy challenge... and that's mostly intact in the Switch version.  If anything? Champion's Road is harder than ever before, as 200cc only serves to make your character harder to control and doesn't actually help in any way throughout this hell gauntlet...

Naturally I did it again with 200cc Toad & no items, of course :cool:

So yeah.  Super Mario 3D World is still great.  Killer level design, killer soundtrack, killer everything; but good lord does the camera make things incredibly frustrating! It's not the best 3D Mario, but it's a great time!

 

  Single Player Games I Have Completed So Far This Year (Hide contents)

New Super Mario Bros 2

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (MSU-1 Switch Remake Music Edition)

Pilotwings 64

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

Super Mario 3D World (Switch Version)

Perfect Dark Zero

 

I can't really argue with anything you've said about Super Mario 3D World!

I've got as far as beating Mystery House Marathon this afternoon meaning only one challenge remains.. and I'm worried about it for some of the reasons you pointed out 😅

As someone running through the game having beat the Wii U original, the changes to collecting the green stars and stamps making progress more straightforward is almost something of a blessing but I do agree that it completely destroys much of the challenge. For the good of the game, it was the wrong decision to change this aspect!

Anyway, before I take on Champion's Road, I want to go back and clear a few levels as Mario as my son didn't reach the end of some of them while I was having to go through as Luigi. It may give me the chance to gather a few more lives, though, as Jacob completely obliterated them every time he wanted to join me! Somehow, I don't think 14 is gonna be enough for the final level!

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I think I've discovered @Dcubed's equivalent to Sonic Chronicles. A game that has no redeemable qualities to it what-so-ever in your eyes.

Absolutely miserable, isn't it? Playing a game like that. So bad, that it's not enjoyable, but not so bad that it wraps around to being funny.

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Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Switch)

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You can read my full review on N-Europe. Very short: interesting ideas, but very dated.

It Takes Two (PS4)

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An absolutely stunning co-op game. If it were just singleplayer, it would be a really solid platformer game, but It Takes Two is built around two-player co-op and is all the better for it. The game is almost entirely in split-screen (some set pieces you'll share a single screen) however it can still be played online - and only one person needs a copy. There are loads of clever ideas and the game constantly changes with new mechanics, which are well-thought out and end up being used in multiple ways before you move on. As you explore the eras, you'll find minigames to compete against each other in, or simply just some stuff to play around with. 

Good Job! (Switch)

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While reading views about other co-op games, this one popped up. It's a Switch exclusive and published by Nintendo, but I had never heard of it. While there's not a massive amount of levels, the physical-based chaos is a joy to unleash, especially when playing with someone else. You're the son of a large business owner and have to climb the ranks of the company. The first task is to move a projector into a meeting room. How you do it doesn't matter, you can carefully open doors and manoeuvre it around, or create a slingshot with an electrical cable and launch it through the walls. 

Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-Tered

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The building destruction in this is still good fun. Everything else feels extremely standard. One big annoyance with weapons is that you have your sledgehammer, and three other slots. The Remote Bombs are pretty much a requirement, and you need a gun for dealing with goons, so there's little room to have fun with other objects. I would have also preferred more missions focused on the destruction, there's a lot of driving from A-to-B on the surface of Mars, which isn't the most interesting thing. 

Another big problem is that people around you will join your fight and help you. This makes destroying stuff harder, unless you ignore the "morale" (which just grants you extra scrap) and ignore them. They just really get in the way. One hilarious moment was one mission with a really stupidly long drive to pick up a squad, and they all jumped out the vehicle before I got to the destination anyway. Also, the main character is really dull.

 

Spoiler

Donkey Kong 64 (Wii U) 101% - 1st Jan
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order (PS4) Platinum - 5th Jan
Star Wars Squadrons (PS4) Main Story - 10th Jan
Bioshock Remastered (PS4) Main Story - 12th Jan
Bioshock 2 Remastered (PS4) Main Story + DLC - 16th Jan
Bioshock Infinite (PS4) Main Story + DLC - 21st Jan
Grim Fandango (PS4) - 25th Jan
The Secret of Monkey Island (PS4) - 27th Jan
Monkey Island 2 (PS4) - 29th Jan
Day of the Tentacle (PS4) - 30th Jan
WET (PS4) - 31st Jan
Star Wars Racer Revenge (PS4) Tournament - 31st Jan
GoldenEye (PC) - 3rd Feb
Concrete Genie (PS4) Platinum - 8th Feb
Little Nightmares (PS4) - 10th Feb
Moving Out (PC) - 14th Feb
Saints Row IV (PS4) - 17th Feb
Gat out of Hell (PS4) - 21st Feb
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4) - 22nd Feb
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS4) - 23rd Feb
Transistor (PS4) - 25th Feb
inFamous First Light (PS4) - 27th Feb
Bound (PS4) - 28th Feb
Bulletstorm (PS4 ) - 1st Mar
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) - 7th Mar
Dark Void (PS4) - 7th Mar
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PS4) - 12th Mar
Superhot (PS4) - 13th Mar
Puppeteer (PS4) - 17th Mar
Jackbox Party Pack 7 (PC) - 18th Mar
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (PS4) - 20th Mar
Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Switch) - 24th March
It Takes Two (PS4) - 29th March
Good Job! (Switch) - 3rd April
Red Faction Guerilla (PS4) - 4th April
 

 

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Night Trap (Switch)
Urgh! (Not a term I usually begin a post with!)

Reminiscent of attending an uninteresting workshop or course, where you know the information is useful, but you’re feverishly wanting it to finish so you can get on with your life.

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I’ve read it’s history & how it was discussed in Congress and thus importance of this title in video game history, so for my own knowledge & experience I’m glad I played it. Frankly though, I can’t believe this was an enjoyable game back in 1992 never mind now!

Sadly I missed most of the story since it usually played out in a separate room to where the action was happening. With just one-second intervals to correctly time each action button press & stop the intruders, I quickly got overwhelmed & multiple failure screens. My gameplay sessions resorted to writing down when & where I hit the action button to progress the story & replaying it repeatedly until I defeated enough to reach the end.

Frustratingly, and more a product of its time, were the lack of checkpoints, with just one at the halfway mark of the 30-minute story. Failures meant replaying the same sections over again with no way of skipping.

Thankfully I only had to spend around 3 hours before succeeding in reaching the end, and I’ve no desire to replay it.

As a relic of gaming history I’m glad it was resurrected, but I found it more of an educational rather than enjoyable experience.

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Made some major progress in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. After finding the easily missable platform that allowed me to make progress in the Royal Chapel I proceeded onwards, defeated the red bird boss and made my way to the Castle Keep, at the very top of the map where the next major upgrade the Leap Stone, was hiding.

 

Its at this point that I have a major issue with the game's main point of progression.

 

There's a lot of easy locations to know where to use the Leap Stone to access, most notably the library. So, where does the game expect you to use the Leap Stone to get the next major upgrade?

 

clock

 

So, I think I may have missed the hint and only knew because of this being an old game and the knowledge being around the internet but... how is the game supposed to let you know that the clock area will open up if you wait in the room for a certain amount of time? The fact that you have to do this to get major upgrades that allow you to view story cutscenes and beat the game then that's a bit much.

 

So after getting through this section and going through the next main area I reached the Colosseum area and saw the game's biggest plot twist so far! Fought the dual boss which I died to first time around but then beat on my second attempt after the Werewolf went down pretty quickly. Beat that boss and got the mist powerup. Oh hey, when exploring the library from getting the Leap Stone I beat a boss and found a dead end where I needed this mist powerup to pass through, lets go back there. So I used it and found the Bat form.

 

Further exploration allowed me to power up the Wolf form and I know there are several other areas that I can get to now. It naturally follows in a genre built around gating where you can explore behind powerups that being able to fly is going to open up pretty much everything. Its mainly why you don't get the Space Jump in Metroid games until later in the game.

 

It admittedly took a while for me to get back to SOTN due to making Youtube videos, including playing Soulcalibur VI for the tournament which reached Round 2 this week:

 

 

I don't know whether I'm going for 100% or not in SOTN but given I usually 100% Metroid games but for whatever reason didn't do the same for Hollow Knight I will probably go out of my way to explore the game a bit more.

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I finally 100%'d* Banjo-Kazooie! Took me an embarrassingly long 11 hours of game time, taking me a couple of goes at the quiz (got an instant death question wrong) and then about 10 goes at the final battle, where I kept falling off the edge after getting hit... But what a great game this is, so much character and charm. An absolutely wonderful nostalgic trip to a time when games were just pure fun and not much more. Click Clock Wood is such a joy to beat, I think it might be my favourite level in any platforming game. Just filled with fun challenges, plenty of variety and compact worlds which are full to the brim with interesting stuff to do and find. Once they started to get much bigger, these sorts of games just became a chore to play at times. BK strikes the perfect balance. Great dialogue, witty British humour and a soundtrack I don't think has ever been topped. This is easily in my top 10 games of all time. Moving on to Tooie in time, once I've had a little break from the series. 

* My save file suffered the XBLA arcade glitch where if you do Bottles' puzzles before the final few worlds the notes he collects in the jigsaws disappear from the game. I'm at 96 notes in Mad Monster Mansion and Click Clock Wood with no way of ever getting them... Going to have to play through the game again to 100% it fully! :cry:

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On 05/04/2021 at 10:22 PM, Aperson said:

Made some major progress in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. After finding the easily missable platform that allowed me to make progress in the Royal Chapel I proceeded onwards, defeated the red bird boss and made my way to the Castle Keep, at the very top of the map where the next major upgrade the Leap Stone, was hiding.

 

Its at this point that I have a major issue with the game's main point of progression.

 

There's a lot of easy locations to know where to use the Leap Stone to access, most notably the library. So, where does the game expect you to use the Leap Stone to get the next major upgrade?

 

clock

 

So, I think I may have missed the hint and only knew because of this being an old game and the knowledge being around the internet but... how is the game supposed to let you know that the clock area will open up if you wait in the room for a certain amount of time? The fact that you have to do this to get major upgrades that allow you to view story cutscenes and beat the game then that's a bit much.

 

So after getting through this section and going through the next main area I reached the Colosseum area and saw the game's biggest plot twist so far! Fought the dual boss which I died to first time around but then beat on my second attempt after the Werewolf went down pretty quickly. Beat that boss and got the mist powerup. Oh hey, when exploring the library from getting the Leap Stone I beat a boss and found a dead end where I needed this mist powerup to pass through, lets go back there. So I used it and found the Bat form.

 

Further exploration allowed me to power up the Wolf form and I know there are several other areas that I can get to now. It naturally follows in a genre built around gating where you can explore behind powerups that being able to fly is going to open up pretty much everything. Its mainly why you don't get the Space Jump in Metroid games until later in the game.

 

It admittedly took a while for me to get back to SOTN due to making Youtube videos, including playing Soulcalibur VI for the tournament which reached Round 2 this week:

 

 

I don't know whether I'm going for 100% or not in SOTN but given I usually 100% Metroid games but for whatever reason didn't do the same for Hollow Knight I will probably go out of my way to explore the game a bit more.

Yeah, SOTN has some problems with its level design being unnecessarily cryptic.  I actually don’t think the level design is all that great in general; with lots of dead ends, overly flat & long rooms and wonky pacing towards the latter half.  Aria of Sorrow/Dawn of Sorrow have MUCH better level design than SOTN.

As a result, I’ve never been able to stomach 100%ing SOTN.

6 hours ago, Nicktendo said:

I finally 100%'d* Banjo-Kazooie! Took me an embarrassingly long 11 hours of game time, taking me a couple of goes at the quiz (got an instant death question wrong) and then about 10 goes at the final battle, where I kept falling off the edge after getting hit... But what a great game this is, so much character and charm. An absolutely wonderful nostalgic trip to a time when games were just pure fun and not much more. Click Clock Wood is such a joy to beat, I think it might be my favourite level in any platforming game. Just filled with fun challenges, plenty of variety and compact worlds which are full to the brim with interesting stuff to do and find. Once they started to get much bigger, these sorts of games just became a chore to play at times. BK strikes the perfect balance. Great dialogue, witty British humour and a soundtrack I don't think has ever been topped. This is easily in my top 10 games of all time. Moving on to Tooie in time, once I've had a little break from the series. 

* My save file suffered the XBLA arcade glitch where if you do Bottles' puzzles before the final few worlds the notes he collects in the jigsaws disappear from the game. I'm at 96 notes in Mad Monster Mansion and Click Clock Wood with no way of ever getting them... Going to have to play through the game again to 100% it fully! :cry:

I’ve never liked the 360 versions of BK or BT (or Perfect Dark for that matter!).  Lots of stupid, unnecessary and clumsily made tweaks that are actually pretty disrespectful to the source material.  They also completely ruined the FPS sections in BT with one really stupid tweak they made to the controls; they made the cursor snap back to the centre when you let go of the stick (why they did this? I have no idea!) and it is absolutely MADDENING! (It makes the final battle an absolute nightmare as a result!).  It’s death by 1,000 little cuts really (like come on! Why disable saving when using cheats!? It makes Super Banjo totally pointless!).

Much prefer the original N64 versions, even with all the slowdown in BT!

Edited by Dcubed

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Releasing a version of Banjo-Tooie where you aren't able to break the game with the Super Banjo cheat should be a criminal offense. It's literally...

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Actually made me sick. The final battle being a million times harder because of the borked aiming was the final straw.

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Played and completed HITMAN I over the last few days.

I tried it on PS4 back when all the episodes were given out for free and I couldn't get into it. Did it again with the PS5 version and as always: 60fps make a huge difference for me. Looks like I've become a 60fps snob :p

Anyways, the game is very fun. Lots of opportunities and ways to tackle an objective.

However, if you're not into playing the same 6 levels over and over again trying something new, you're going to run out of content very quickly. Which is what happened to me. Doesn't help that the story is lackluster.

Still, had a fun time while it lasted and would recommend to stealth fans, but only if you can get it during a sale.

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I was looking at my shelf and saw my Mega Drive Mini sitting there, and I realised I haven't actually finished any game on it yet. (OK, I have finished Sonic 1 and 2, but that was on the Gamecube, way back)

So I booted it up and realised something. Between the Mega Drive Mini and the Switch, I think I have access to every console entry of the Wonder Boy series.

Except the first one, but no-one cares, because that game is awful.

So I've started with Wonder Boy in Monster World, which I've only just learnt isn't the second game, because the second game is called "Wonder Boy in Monster Land" and is an arcade game (Why are the titles in this series so bloody confusing!?) No, I've accidentally started with the fifth entry! Um... Woops? (BTW, what entry do you think "Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap" is? Nope! It's the fourth entry, idiot!)

Despite the fact that I've accidentally pulled a Virtue's Last Reward with this (Hi, @Dcubed), I'm going on regardless, because I'm halfway through and I doubt the order is that important as long as Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is played last.

Anyway, it's a pretty fun game so far. Leans more heavily into the Metroid genre than Dragon's Trap does. Which I guess is because the Mega Drive is more capable of pulling that off then the Master System was.

Now that I know Dragon's Trap was before this game, it's kind of strange that this doesn't have some kind of unique mechanic to replace Dragon Trap's animal transformations. It feels a lot more basic as a result. (Which is my excuse for thinking it was the second game)

The soundtrack is also kinda lame? I know, going from Cursed Kingdom's wide variety of songs and Dragon Trap's glorious remastered soundtrack is a bit unfair on this game, but it doesn't quite hit as hard.

Also, and this is probably because of it being a product of it's time, but there is one enemy that shows up that... Well, it's racist. Simply put. That kind of stereotypical native cliché that would never fly these days. It was especially jarring seeing as the setting is "Monster World" and all the other enemies are, well, monsters. So it doesn't even fit in the game! It seems to only show up in one 5 minute section that I never need to go back to again, but that's still a big "Oof".

That said, I don't think going back to mess with an original version of a game to change something like that would be the right way to go about it. But a disclaimer before I booted it up would've been welcome. (Kinda like how Warner Brothers handles their more questionable older cartoons)

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Why haven’t you played through Shining Force yet @Glen-i?

I get trying to put off finishing off Shadow the Hedgehog for as long as possible, but why do this to Shining Force!?

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21 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

Why haven’t you played through Shining Force yet @Glen-i?

I get trying to put off finishing off Shadow the Hedgehog for as long as possible, but why do this to Shining Force!?

Actually, I'm playing that on the side. I had a feeling you'd mention that.

Just recruited a robot called Adam. Which sounds cool, until I realised that he's 30 levels behind everyone else and can't hit any enemy for more than 1 damage.

Completely useless at this point in the game.

Edited by Glen-i

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