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drahkon

Your Gaming Diary 2022

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On 5/12/2022 at 11:37 PM, Hero-of-Time said:

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After two and a half months... I have finally finished Elden Ring.

 

 

The highlights of the last month of Twitter playing the game were certainly interesting...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

Still modding Rivals of Aether on the side but going over previous projects to improve quality and taking my time over things. It'll be a while before the next one is ready.

 

I'm planning on moving on to Super Meat Boy next. I still need to finish that game and I got it back in 2013...

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I took a break from playing Neo: The World Ends With You and decided to crack on with the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2

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When I played through Mega Man X4 and 5 earlier in the month I could see the series starting to lose its way but it's not until you hit MMX7 that you truly see the series fall. With MMX7 Capcom decided to go all 3D with the series and it didn't pay off at all. The camera is a nightmare to deal with, which is puzzling considering this is a PS2 game and developers should have realised by then to use the second stick for camera movement. Not only that but there are very few enemies to actually fight, especially if you compare it to the 2D entries. The game is pretty ugly as well. Gone are the beautiful 2D pixels and they are replaced with awful looking 3D character models. Also, this is the game where they added Axl. :nono:

The trophies for this game were a bit of a pain. There is one where you have to listen to every conversation that pops whilst playing and another where you have to rescue all 128 reploids that are scattered throughout each of the stages. That one was very annoying because these reploids can die by random enemy fire. If one does die then you have to restart the game or load your last save because they don't respawn. You can miss both of these trophies very easily and so you need to keep a check on what you've listened to and collected. 

MMX8 still uses polygons but they returned to the 2D formula. I can imagine Capcom getting a lot of backlash after MMX7 and so this was the logical choice to make. However, they did mix the gameplay up a bit. In this game, to power up your character you need to collect scrap metal that you can spend on things like health and other enhancements. It actually works quite well and the game can be played a little like an RPG in the sense that if you can find a good spot you grind metals to level up quickly. The game does start off pretty hard though and buying the Life Up enhancement straight away is highly recommended

Again, this game had an annoying trophy that ended up making me play through the game 3 times. There's an enemy in the series named Vile and he makes an appearance in this game. You have to fight him 4 times before heading to one of the last stages in the game. The problem is that this is largely based on RNG. I read a few trophy guides and achievement guides but none of these gave a good strategy on how to get him to spawn. On my 3rd playthrough I tried my own method and ended up unlocking the thing. ::shrug:

I played through these games back in the day and even back then I could see the dip in quality as the series went on. It really should have ended with X4 or at a push X5. The first MMX Legacy Collection has an amazing selection of games but the this one not so much.

From 2 disappointing platforming games to another in Kirby 64.

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Spoiler

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Yeah, this was pretty rough. I remember enjoying the game when I played it back on the N64 but that wasn't the case here, especially after playing the new Kirby game on the Switch. It does highlight just how far we've come though. This Kirby game is very slow and quite bland. It also lacks any of the postgame challenge that other Kirby games have. The mixing of the abilities is cool and some of the music is very charming but other than that it's a pretty bland experience.

Also, as seen in the NSO N64 thread, the game has a nasty glitch in that it makes it impossible to proceed if you get hit by a boss in the underwater sections of the game. I managed to do this multiple times on a couple of different bosses and looking around on the net, it seems everyone is suffering from this issue. I imagine it will be patched soon but it's certainly not up to the standard I expect from Nintendo and their partners when it comes to a higher tier, paid for service.

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Kirby 64 is the last time we saw the more easy going, Dream Land style before the series went all in on the Sakurai style action game.

There's no doubting that it was the right decision, though. Modern Kirby is so liked because of that style.

Those emulation softlocks are really bad though. N64 NSO might have had it's fair share of emulation issues, but you could always at least play through each game!

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Finished a couple more N64 games today. 

Spoiler

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Yoshi's Story is such a weird game. If you don't go for all the watermelons then you can blitz through the game stupidly fast. I mean, all they give you is a high score and if you aren't interested in getting a high score then it will be a short experience, even if you do play through all of the levels. Nintendo were in such a strange place during this era, as were a lot of other developers. 2D platformers were tossed aside by most and what we got were games like Kirby 64 and this. Like Kirby 64, this is also bland, short and easy.

Oh and the song that plays when you finish a level still annoys the hell out of me.

 

Spoiler

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Sin & Punishment is a game I tried playing back on the Wii VC but I never got into it. I tried it again today and didn't think it was that bad. Once you get past the fiddly controls the game is pretty fun. It's not a patch on the Wii sequel but it's enjoyable enough. However, I don't think it's deserving of the praise it gets, especially the hype it got when it was originally released. I remember N64 magazine always harping on about it.

The one thing I didn't care for were the 2D sections. There were only a couple of them but I felt they weren't really necessary and took away from the standard shooter style levels.

Nintendo's online service is going to have to start churning out some more games. I'm dangerously close to finishing everything I want to play on the thing. If they don't add another console/handheld then I can see me letting my subscription run out and leaving it like that.

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Time for another update! Other games I have been playing are Xenoblade 1 HD, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania and LEGO Jurassic World. But these games I've completed recently:

Roguebook (Switch)

I started writing for a Dutch Nintendo website and Roguebook is the first game I reviewed. It’s a roguelike deckbuilder from the creators of Faeria, in cooperation with the creator of Magic: The Gathering. It takes place in a blank storybook that you have to fill in using ink: the ink reveals the map and is obtained by defeating enemies.

There are some cool mechanics at play, such as having two characters (four are available, for each run you pick two). It matters which one is in the front or the back, and adds a good level of strategy. Also nice is that even if your run is unsuccessful you gather pages which you can spend on permanent unlocks such as more starting health, more gold, etc.

It gets a bit convoluted in the end, as there are a lot of elements in play (passives, items with certain effects, gems you can attach to cards etc.). Luck plays a big role. But when you get the right cards, items and gems and are steamrolling your enemies, that really feels good.

The most obvious game to compare it with is Slay the Spire (@drahkon!), but I haven’t played that so I can’t say how they differ. I do know I enjoyed it for the 20 hours I played it, and if you want to unlock everything I think you can triple that time.

Untitled Goose Game (Switch)

We all remember the hype around this game when it first came out. I don’t think the hype was justified, but I did find this to be a short but pretty fun puzzler. The game is charming, the concept is great and I like how you’re able to approach certain tasks in different ways. You can get through it in a couple of hours and it is fun for as long as it lasts. I’m curious how it is in co-op, so hopefully I get the chance to try that out soon.

Contra Anniversary Collection (Switch)

I played through all of the Nintendo versions of Contra in the Contra Anniversary Collection. I have some nostalgic feelings for the series (well, for Probotector). Contra I and II on the NES were pretty fun to play through, with Contra II being the better game. Contra III: The Alien Wars is horrible though. The sidescrolling levels are a collection of semi-bosses with cheap shots (seriously, even with the save/load option some were awful). The top-down bits are nauseating with a rotating screen.

The GB one was surprisingly fun as well. I did own Probotector II (which as it turns out is based on Contra III), but never played the first one. There are 2 Probotectors in the collection as well, so I’ll probably play them as well soon.

Kingdom Rush / Kingdom Rush Frontiers (Android)

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I had to find a new time-wasting game on mobile and I ended up playing Kingdom Rush and one of its sequels. They are tower defense games, but with enough mechanics to make them interesting. For instance you have a hero to control, plus you have different upgrade paths for your towers. Frontiers builds on this, with more variety and it’s a bit easier. The first game is free if you ever feel like playing a good tower defense game. Kind of makes me wish Nintendo makes a tower defense game as it’s quite a fun genre.

Edited by Dufniall
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13 minutes ago, Dufniall said:

The most obvious game to compare it with is Slay the Spire (@drahkon!)

The deluxe edition of Roguebook is on my PSN wishlist (same as Faeria's bundle).
When it gets a decent discount (and I got some money to spend), I'll get on that :p 

Edited by drahkon
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Trek to Yumi

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A very stylish game, with a black and white grainy image and a samurai setting. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a style with little substance - and the style diminishes after chapter 3, too. The combat at its best feels a bit like the Lord of the Rings games on GameCube, with the addition of a huge focus on parries - which would be great if it didn’t feel unresponsive. The main issue seems to be that pressing the LB button (which feels a bit awkward when it’s one of the most used buttons in the game) causes the block animation to start, and it needs to be finished before the parry works, so the “shine” that represents when you should parry is misleading.

Another issue is that, as nice as the style is, the odd camera angles and objects in front of the player can often make it difficult to see what is going on.
 

Paradise Killer

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A game all about solving a mystery, it’s set in a world where immoral beings (one of them being you) lord over islands of their creation, in order to create a “perfect” island to appease the gods. People keep getting corrupted by demons, making the place corrupted and requiting it to be scrapped and a new island started. Only this time, the entirety of the council has been murdered and you have to figure out who. 

You’ll need to find the answers to this mystery (as well as discover new mysteries) by exploring the island, solving puzzles and talking to the remaining residents. Everything is bright and colourful with a great upbeat soundtrack, which just enhances how dark some of the actual events are. Something I really liked was how the case is resolved: you make your case and submit evidence, with enough evidence, your answer is accepted. The game doesn’t tell you if you were right and wrong, as you can have evidence to accuse multiple people. It’s all about you being happy that you’ve got the right answers.
 

Sleeping Dogs

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I felt like playing a favourite of mine. I think it’s strange how open worlds have taken off massively, but there haven’t been many games in the “crime city” genre, with the only decent ones after Sleeping Dogs being the Watch Dogs series, which in itself have a different focus on fighting the government rather than bring about crime. 

The combat in Sleeping Dogs is still satisfying, with an interesting plot and some fun missions. Still a great game, I wish we could have another game like this.
 

Umurangi Generation

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A photography game that has a very interesting setting (one that I won’t go into because it’s fun to discover what the setting is, as it’s not obvious from the start), but is ultimately fairly bland. The game looks straight up unfinished, with textures varying in quality massively, and some straight up missing. 

The game felt much more like a “hidden object game”, where the focus is finding a list of objects rather than the actual photography. It’s quite short so if you have a bit of time, it’s interesting enough to see the setting, but that’s about it.
 

Little Witch in the Woods

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A really nice little game. It’s a 2D pixelated quest game about exploration and crafting. One huge thing I enjoyed is that there aren't a massive amount of different steps, and no long wait timers and no combat. It’s a very relaxing game, with a fascinating world and characters. It’s only a “Game Preview”, so you only get the first few sections of the game, which is a shame, but I’m looking forward to trying the rest.

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Totally agree with you about Trek To Yomi @Cube.  After about 5 mins of play, I instantly knew that I had already seen everything the game had to offer.  There's zero depth to the game's combat, every single enemy fights in exactly the same fashion, and considering that it is entierly based around Prince of Persia (original) style combat? That's pretty devestating.  I sleptwalked through about 30 mins to an hour of incredibly samey gameplay and promptly deleted it from my Xbox.

Real shame and all.  I totally dig the B&W 1930's Japanese cinema aesthetic, but the gameplay is about as shallow as a paddling pool; typical western video game design sadly.

Edited by Dcubed

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16 hours ago, nekunando said:

 

Me from the 2020 thread.

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I sat and played through Untitled Goose Game today. I picked it up as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with it.

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Hands down one of the most overrated games I have played in a while. This thing had stupid amounts of praise, won various awards and was constantly being hailed as some kind of indie darling and I fail to see why. Honestly, I think half of the praise comes down to the marketing of the game rather than the actual game itself. The game is short, easy and the charm of it wears off after about 5 minutes. The only saving grace was the post game challenges where you had to complete every stage in under 6 minutes. Other than that, not a fan at all.

 

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Never played that goose game, but I had a similar experience with Undertale. I found it to be utter tripe.

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45 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Me from the 2020 thread.

 

Was half expecting (well, considerably more than half expecting..) to be raked over the coals for not appreciating and embracing yet another media darling but found your appraisal of it oddly comforting 😅

I didn't enjoy the game anywhere near enough to warrant doing any of the extra stuff after the credits rolled. In my mind, it's done and I came away perplexed at how it was ever being talked up for Game of the Year when it came out. Pleasant visuals and humourous premise aside, the game itself was, like I said in the tweet, tedious and I was somewhat relieved when there wasn't any other scenarios to explore beyond what was there.

Dare I even play Gris..? 😖

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37 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Never played that goose game, but I had a similar experience with Undertale. I found it to be utter tripe.

You're good people, drahkon. :D 

12 minutes ago, nekunando said:

Dare I even play Gris..? 😖

Gris is decent. Lovely visuals, beautiful soundtrack and some actual decent platforming sections.

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15 minutes ago, nekunando said:

Was half expecting (well, considerably more than half expecting..) to be raked over the coals for not appreciating and embracing yet another media darling but found your appraisal of it oddly comforting 😅

You don't respect the Goose? You motherfucker.

(Don't play Gris)

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On 5/23/2022 at 4:57 PM, drahkon said:

on my PSN wishlist (same as Faeria's bundle)

The base game is on sale, but I learned that it's an always-online game. The AI is apparently going through some servers to find the optimal moves.
An always-online card game? No thank you.

Roguebook is on sale, too, but sadly still too expensive for me right now.

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Righty-o. A couple of games for me to add.

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It's brilliant. Why?
That would spoil it. You'll just have to trust me.

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NEO: The World Ends With You is the sequel to the DS title The World Ends With You. It's developed by three different groups, including h.a.n.d, and published by Square Enix. It was quite the surprise when it was announced because, well, the original didn't exactly set the world on fire. It's an action RPG with a... interesting take on battles, more on that in a bit.

The game is set in Shibuya and follows Rindo Kanade and his best friend, Tosai Furesawa (Or "Fret") as they get involved in a road accident. Soon after, they find themselves in the "Reapers Game", a game that consists of making teams with other "players" and completing missions to collect points. The game lasts 7 days, and you probably don't want to be last.

Much like the first game, there are all sorts of twists and turns that keep the plot engaging, even if some details will fly over your head if you didn't play the original game (annoyingly, some details from the non DS re-release are relevant as well, so I was pretty confused at a couple of moments).

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The battle system takes place in real time, tasking you with taking control of every character at once. Each character is equipped with a "Pin", which determines what attack they use when the corresponding button is pressed. Everyone on your team shares the same health bar, so if one person gets hit, the whole team loses health. This sounds like a disaster, but there's a few details that prevent this. Firstly, if you're not pressing a character's button, then the AI handles their movement, and thankfully, they will dodge almost every attack with near perfect timing (Some wide ranging attacks might still catch them though). Because of this, you're only ever controlling the character whose button you're pressing.

Some people might be a bit upset that the whole dual-screen mechanic of simultaneous battles are gone, but it's a neccessary compromise, because as the re-releases show, it does not work on a single screen.

All the other cool features of the original game are thankfully present in the sequel. You see, most of the pins are gotten from enemies dropping them, but there are a wide variety of ways to increase the likelihood of this, whether it be lowering your level, equipping certain clothes, or chaining multiple battles in a row. The game even has a screen that shows you the odds of an enemy dropping a pin, so you can plan on how to get what you want.

It's this kind of accesibility that makes chasing 100% completion quite doable, despite the number of collectibles to  get. The only real wall you might run into are the optional post game bosses, which are no joke! But it all makes for a relatively fun time. Well, fun enough for me to chase it.

The game has a proper great soundtrack with a wide variety of music genres! This coincides quite well with the artstyle. NEO: TWEWY has a great street art vibe thing going on that I just adore. It's a very stylish game.

It's a shame this game didn't live up to Square's expectations, because it deserves success, but I put it down to the absolutely shoddy PR the game got in the run up to its release. But that's Square Enix for you...

Spoiler

I am Setsuna
Metroid Dread, minus the Dread
Banjo-Kazooie (One hundred and Tooie %)
Banjo-Kazooie (100%, but faster)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
EarthBound Beginnings
EarthBound
Hades
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Ys Origin
Triangle Strategy (All Endings)
Grandia HD
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
NEO: The World Ends With You (100%)

 

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Moonlighter

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One off my backlog.

Very enjoyable. Combat is nothing to write home about, but in combination with exploration and selling your loot in your own shop, it makes for a relaxing experience.

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