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Messages - Ian Sane

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General Gaming / Re: Game of the Decade: Let's get this flame war started.
« on: November 18, 2019, 04:45:58 PM »
The game that hooked me more than anything else in this decade was the Mass Effect Trilogy.  Now I didn't play it until the trilogy set came out which is when the first game was finally made available on the PS3.  As a result I didn't play each game as it came out and waited years in between.  It was literally one big game to me.  I finished one game and then immediately switched to the next like I was swapping discs on a PS1 RPG.  The first game was released last decade but probably the best of the trilogy was Mass Effect 2 which was released in 2010, in January so it barely makes it.  I liked the story for ME1 the best but ME2 has the best gameplay.

I also really liked the Zero Escape series which is also a series where the first game came out last decade but the sequels were this decade.  In that scenario I would pick Virtue's Last Reward as my favourite.  The third game is very much the weakest and, again, I probably prefer the first games story but the second game introduced QoL improvements that made the game a lot more fun to play.  Replaying the game is essential to get the full story and in the first game you had to fast-forward through cutscenes you already saw and replay puzzle sections.  In the sequel they let you go back in a flow chart to where things split so there is virtually no repetition.

Some other favourites are Ghost Trick and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call.  Yeah, the 3DS was where things were at for me in the 2010s, including playing old DS games I missed.  My Wii U seemed like a wasted purchase at first but in the end was justified by Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Breath of the Wild.

I notice that these picks tend to lean towards the earlier part of the decade and that makes sense because I now tend to pay less attention to the game of the moment and instead read up on older games that build up a reputation and grab the ones that sound really appealing.  In the 2000's I was playing the BIG titles and expanding my gaming palette.  Now I don't care about stuff like that.  I know what I like and try to focus on titles that seem specifically catered to my tastes.  Sometimes, like with Zelda, this ends up being a very mainstream title but it can also be a cult hit.

So my picks are not at all a "best of" in terms of influence or importance.  These are just the 2010's game I dug the most and there are probably other titles released in that window that I haven't played yet but I'll love.

Other M could have been a canon gaiden series. It would have given the developers more room to work with in almost every aspect.

Nintendo in general is kind of bad at this.  They seem to get into a formula for their series where it's the same villain every time because that's the formula for the series.  Samus is a bounty hunter (though it was later revealed that the original dev team doesn't actually know what a bounty hunter is) so she can have an endless amount of adventures that don't involve Metroids or space pirates.  But they don't do that.  Mario almost always is against Bowser and the exceptions to that are when another dev team is involved or they're repurposing Doki Doki Panic.  In Zelda there is quite often the reveal that Ganon was the big baddie all along.  But Batman doesn't fight the Joker every time - he has a whole rogues gallery and thus only faces his arch-nemesis once in a while.  James Bond doesn't always fight the same villain.  Spider-Man doesn't always fight the same villain.  So these iconic Nintendo characters could get a lot of mileage out of some gaiden side-stories that can have the same type of gameplay but different locales and villains.  But Nintendo doesn't like to do that so Samus always fights Metroids every single time.

Though in Metroid's case there is the issue that the enemy is the title of the series.  But then Link's Awakening was a "Legend of Zelda" game without Zelda so they can be flexible with this.

I believe Blaster Master: Enemy Below is a different game than the NES one.  I'm looking at VGMaps for both titles and the layout and bosses are different.  I suspect it's a very cookie cutter sequel and could probably be looked at more as a second quest but Blaster Master fans that want more would probably like it.

To me the VC is something that should exist on every Nintendo platform and should just have older games available purely for the purpose of providing an option for a person to buy a classic game.  All this thought about how to space the releases and if it eats into new game sales comes across as very specific to the videogame industry.  Note that this isn't nearly as complicated in other entertainment industries.

If you go to the bookstore you don't only see new books.  New books coexist in the store (or on Amazon or on Kindle) with classic books.  Something like Frankenstein has probably been on the shelf of every book store in America since it was written.  While there are obviously books that go out of print it is perfectly normal in literature for readers to have access to both new books and old ones.  Same with music - old albums were sold next to new ones at stores and that continues with downloads or streaming services.  Same with movies.

Videogames are so young compared to those other fields (the founders of the videogame industry are mostly still alive; can't say that about those other industries) that I wonder if it is still immature regarding how to handle its history.  A game like Super Mario Bros. should always be available for customers to buy because it's a classic game with major historical significance.  It's also part of a series that continues to be popular today.  It sure wouldn't make sense if a new James Bond movie came out but the old Sean Connery films were out-of-print and difficult for a new fan to see.  But how do you familiarize yourself with many long running videogame series without having to seek out old systems and carts/discs or resorting to piracy and emulation?  It doesn't make sense to jump through hoops like that.  Those games should be available, not necessarily as a runaway hit but merely being "on the shelf" for the newcomer that wants to seek it out or the old fan that no longer has their old copy of the game.

General Gaming / Re: Google Stadia
« on: October 11, 2019, 11:28:49 AM »
The predictive element of negative latency makes it sound like you won't be really playing the game but rather being given the impression of playing the game.  Something as simple as a jump actually has lots of different variables that indicate if you make the jump correctly or fall to your doom.  There's speed, the point where the jump button was pressed, often how long you pressed the button, and in 3D games you also have the angle.  In the example given they would probably narrow it down to a handful of situations where you make or miss the jump and then pick one based on what is closest to what you actually did.  So you're not making the jump, you're triggering a little cutscene of the character making the jump.  That's like bad motion control games where your "swing" is just triggering a handful of pre-determined actions instead of faithfully recreating your movement.  At its extreme it sounds like Dragon's Lair.

And it's all a very convoluted solution to achieve something that already can be done with the existing console model.  I think Stadia can work well with games designed to accommodate potential lag like turn based genres (RPG, strategy) or ones like visual novels or point-and-click adventures where the timing can be off and it doesn't matter.  But the goal here is to be your standard first-choice for videogames which means it needs to do fast paced action games where lag is a major issue.  I think for now at least this would work best if it was presented as a compliment to existing game systems where it focuses on its strengths and establishes a niche.  Then if technology advances where lag is less of an issue the established customer base is there for Stadia to transition to the only console a person needs.

To be fair I didn't like the earring at the time either.  Seemed like a very blatant attempt to come across as hip, late 90's style.

This is in past tense - did you come around, or just decide that it doesn't really matter?
For what it's worth, I still think that Link's earring is lame, but it's a small enough detail that it doesn't really matter.

I noticed it, thought to myself "oh, that is so lame", and then continued to play Ocarina of Time because it's an awesome game. :)

I recall an interview with Miyamoto from years ago (post "Celda" outrage era) where he talked about the emotional turmoil he went through with "losing" control of Link/Legend of Zelda. Specifically citing the design changes he went through int the 3D era (specifically citing that Link now had a piercing, which was not his decision). I wonder if this is why he was being protective of Mario, because he didn't want to lose creative control like he did with Link.

To be fair I didn't like the earring at the time either.  Seemed like a very blatant attempt to come across as hip, late 90's style.

You have to remember its Koizumi who overlooks Nintendo's software divisions now.  This is the guy who snuck Rosalina's backstory into the first Mario Galaxy, which is one of the reasons Miyamoto lost his **** and Galaxy 2 had no story.

I'm trying to think how Miyamoto had that conversation without coming across like a complete yutz and losing the respect of his employees.  How do you even form an argument for a game that clearly has characters, and has had stories in prior games, to not have a story?  If you're going to do that why not just have stick figures interacting with geometric shapes?  And how come Zelda gets to have a story but Mario does not?  "Hey the Paper Mario games were well received by critics and fans so here I am to tell you that you did it all wrong!"

So Miyamoto ruined Paper Mario and then via the Paper Jam crossover essentially ruined Mario & Luigi so what hope is there in any future Mario RPGs?  The great ones from the past all break Miyamoto's stupid rules.

Regarding the price for this game, it kind of reveals a bit of an issue with the Switch's hybrid design.  Last gen a game like this would have probably been a 3DS game and thus not cost $60 like a Wii U game would have.  There is the perception that handheld games are not as complex as console titles and thus have a lower price point.  Nintendo needs to acknowledge that they probably need two price points based on the complexity of the game.  I love the 3DS and don't want the kinds of games that would appear on it to disappear but it doesn't seem right for them to cost the same as something like Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey.

The only Mario & Luigi game I've played is the first one.  I should point out that I'm a big fan of Super Mario RPG so I've viewed Nintendo's other Mario RPGs through a biased lens.  I quickly got frustrated with Super Star Saga because I was losing boss fights due to not pulling off the increasingly complicated special move inputs.  Super Mario RPG has timed hits but that feels like something to add an extra punch to the battles.  If you were hopeless at them you could always grind a bit to offset that.  M&L felt more like a timed hit rhythm game with RPG elements and that just wasn't what I was into.

Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario (which isn't even really an RPG series anymore) had this thing where it felt like they were technically RPGs but were trying not to be.  I almost feel that was a reaction to the N64 years where not only did the system have hardly any RPGs but Nintendo made a very deliberate effort to train their fans into rejecting them, all to combat the PlayStation having a very large library of RPGs during a time where that was the IT genre.  So these games were for Nintendo fans that didn't play RPGs.  Meanwhile Super Mario RPG was more for SNES owners that loved RPGs, mashing up Square with Mario.  These other series seem ashamed of their RPG nature while Super Mario RPG has "RPG" right in the title.

Of course today Nintendo isn't anti-RPG at all.  They've got Xenoblade and teamed up with Atlus for Tokyo Mirage Sessions.  Fire Emblem games all get localized now and actually sell really well in the Western market.  NOA published Bravely Default.  The 3DS is an RPG powerhouse.  So maybe the market for Mario RPGs that put in platformer elements to appear less RPG like to sell to an audience that doesn't play many RPGs doesn't exist anymore.  An audience playing the games I listed above would probably find Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario overly simplistic.

The Sakamoto quote is enlightening in that it shows how out-of-touch the guy is.  He feels the game didn't sell because the main character was a strong female but really the backlash was because he took a character that already was thought of as a strong female and made her look weak.

My main beef with Other M has always been that it doesn't really play like a Metroid game.  It kind of does but does so in a way where it comes across as trying to intentionally frustrate Metroid fans.  Case in point having power-ups get enabled for you by a commanding officer at arbitrary points exposes that Metroid gameplay is not as open-ended as it appears.  But the series typically has done a good job at giving the impression to the player that they found this secret area and they obtained this key item, even though the game is subtly leading you in that direction.

It's like Metroid deconstructed but in a way to mock the series.  Actually the story feels like that too.  It's like demonstrating what a female hero would "actually" be like in a way someone might do to **** on the concept.  But I think Sakamoto was acting in good faith, he's just oblivious to how it comes across.  Though I gotta say that if you wanted to sabotage the Metroid series Producers-style this seems like a genius way to do it.

I wonder how the game would be accepted if this was a brand new IP.  The story would trigger eyerolls but wouldn't be seen as character assassination and the gameplay would probably be accepted as its own thing.  I still don't think I would like this game but I would chalk that more to personal preference.  It probably would generally be considered okay, not great, but certainly wouldn't be so infamous.

Nintendo could probably just hire the core staff and have them work as a first party team.  Mario & Luigi seems like a valuable series and they would need someone to make them.  Might as well be the same team.

The Bowser's Inside Story remake was a very questionable release and I wonder how that played into this.  You can get a used copy of the DS version for a song and it plays on the 3DS!  There was just no need for the remake.

General Gaming / Re: What is your most recent gaming purchase?
« on: October 01, 2019, 02:40:53 PM »
Your Xbox One collection isn't going to be worth much if all the "physical" games you bought need patches that are no longer available to make them worth playing.

The real value will be the HDD of the system that has all the necessary patches. I also imagine this will be the case for games that were pulled from digital shops (Ducktales Remastered).

The contents of a hard drive can be copied though so someone could probably make an easy "counterfeit" drive.  Though I guess for this gen and somewhat for the prior one the process will be to get the physical copy and then download a pirated version of the patch, likely using some hack to fool the console into thinking it's really connecting to a legit server.  Of course the tech that would allow that would probably just allow for pirating digital downloads of the games period.

TalkBack / Re: Brain Age: Nintendo Switch Training Revealed For Japan
« on: September 30, 2019, 03:07:22 PM »
Nintendo's pretty quick to shaft Nintendo Switch Lite users, it seems. Interesting since it's supposed to appeal to a more casual audience, much like the Brain Age games.

Yeah, I would think that so soon after launching the Switch Lite that they would make a conscious effort to not release titles that don't work fully with it.  Like if some earlier titles don't work, so be it, but anything after this point should be specifically designed to work on both models.

General Gaming / Re: What is your most recent gaming purchase?
« on: September 30, 2019, 09:07:22 AM »
I have the Gamecube component cables but they're in some drawer somewhere at my parents' house.  I'm pretty sure they didn't throw it out since they don't throw away non-garbage things very often.  Still it's annoying to have something so valuable and not really know where it is.

The Gamecube taught me that the trick to having a valuable retro game collection is to own the least successful console of a generation and at the time buy the best games and accessories for it.  It helps if that's the only console you have for that generation so it gets your full attention.  Unfortunately with the increase in digital distribution this strategy doesn't really work anymore.  Your Xbox One collection isn't going to be worth much if all the "physical" games you bought need patches that are no longer available to make them worth playing.

One thing that really helps Link's Awakening's reputation is the context of its release.  When it came out it was only the fourth Zelda game ever made and when the DX version came out Ocarina of Time was the only other Zelda that had come out in that time.  There were no skippable Zeldas in those days.

A Link to the Past's reputation is, I think, pretty self explanatory.  Link's Awakening is essentially a sequel to LttP.  Like not just some scaled down Game Boy Zelda, it actually feels like a sequel with incremental improvements and new ideas that would become part of the Zelda formula (ie: the trade quest debuted in this game).  That was very impressive in 1993.  Remember that the Game Boy is an 8 bit system like the NES but the complexity of LA is nuts compared the original Zelda.  Here you had a Game Boy game that made the NES games look dated and archaic.

And when you have a game that is as well received as LttP, people naturally want more of it and LA was the ideal choice for that for years.  I kind of see it like Mega Man 2 & 3 or Super Mario Bros. 3 and World in that you have two games in a series released back-to-back that have similar gameplay and both of them are so exceptional that it's hard to praise one without comparing it to the other.

At the end of the day is there really ANY Game Boy game that would knock someone dead if they didn't play it at the time?  I feel the system has lots of great games but I play them wanting bite-sized 8 bit 2D titles and being impressed by what devs could achieve with such limited hardware.  Redressing them as a modern title isn't going to fool anyone.

General Chat / Re: The Fast Food Thread - Would You Like Posts With That?
« on: September 27, 2019, 02:07:45 PM »
There is one that does really great stone-fired pizza. Their hours are terrible though, and to help save the environment (yay) they just don't offer take-out (boo).

They should let you get take-out if you bring your own container.  Like you bring the box from the Dominos you had two weeks ago with the grease stains and the dried cheese in the corner and then they just plop their pizza right in there. ;)

TalkBack / Re: What is SNK and Who's Terry Bogard?
« on: September 26, 2019, 04:46:38 PM »
I think Terry Bogard is a good litmus test of videogame geek cred.  People who just play Madden or cellphone games won't know who he is.  Teenagers and children who haven't dived too far into videogame history probably don't know who he is.  So if you namedrop him to someone and they know what you're talking about they're probably quite familiar with videogames beyond a casual interest.

I first encountered Fatal Fury (and also first encountered the Neo Geo) at the Zellers in Langley.  For non-Canadians Zellers was like a Wal-Mart/Target kind of store in Canada in the 20th century.  They were actually bought out by Target and all the stores were converted and then a few years later Target Canada went bust so now we don't have Target or Zellers.

Anyway the Zellers had one arcade game near the entrance and Fatal Fury was it.  I had just recently discovered Street Fighter II and was obsessed with it in the way only kids can be.  Fatal Fury was quite clearly a knock-off and I knew that but I liked SFII enough that I was intrigued at the idea of playing MORE SFII with what would essentially be new characters.  I don't think people quite understand that appeal of clone games.  They aren't a cheap substitute, they're an unofficial sequel for people that want more Street Fighter/Pac-Man/Doom/etc.  In a weird way this was like a character expansion pack where you could only pit the new characters against each other.  Keep in mind also that as a 10 year old kid I did not pick up the subtle nuances of SFII's gameplay.  It was just punches and kicks and trying your best to maybe pull of a special move.  Fatal Fury had punches and kicks and special moves so superficially it might as well be the same game, right?

Anyway I tried to play the game whenever we were at Zellers and I would stare at the demo mode like I tended to do with every arcade game when I didn't have any quarters.  So I knew Terry quite well.  So much so that it took me a while to get used to the fact that in Fatal Fury 2 he had cut the sleeves off his jacket which is the look he has in most games.  For a long time that looked wrong to me because I had seen him with the full jacket sleeves in the first game so much.

General Gaming / Re: Genesis Mini: Anyone else excited?
« on: September 25, 2019, 11:07:11 AM »
Got mine in the mail Monday but didn't get a chance to try it out until last night.  Figures that weeks ago I had nothing to do and then this get released right when my life gets busy.

It works with the same HDMI and USB cords that I'm using on the NES and SNES Classics so it was very easy to just swap the cables.  It's nice that everything is so standardized these days.  I love the design of the system but the controller feels a little cheap compared to the real deal.  When I first grabbed the NES and SNES Classic controllers it felt like I was holding the real deal (or extremely close to it) but the Genesis one immediately didn't quite feel right.  It appears to work okay though.

I noticed the double-tap issue on the menu but nowhere else.  I'm not noticing an audio lag.  It's supposedly there but it isn't sticking out to me which is good.  I only had about an hour to play.  Main takeaway: I suck at Darius and Mega Man and Puyo Puyo.  I only sort of suck at Castlevania Bloodlines.  The Genesis always felt like kind of a halfway point between the NES and SNES.  The games are NES hard and are very action/arcade focused with graphics and sound similar to the SNES.  You're playing games that look a fair bit like SNES games but play like NES games.  Unfortunately SNES style games are more my speed.

I didn't get to try everything.  Castlevania was the first title I tried since it was one of the main titles I bought this for.  I tried Darius and Tetris because they're new.  Used Puyo Puyo to test out switching to the Japanese versions.  I'm remembering why I prefer Kirby's Avalanche to Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine; Kirby has a much more gradual difficulty curve.  In this version if you're not busting out big combos right away you can't even beat the first opponent.  Due to the short time I had free I didn't try anything long like Beyond Oasis or the Monster Land games, which I'm really interested in.  Might be weeks before I can give those a fair go.

My first impression though is that it feels like it can hang with Nintendo's efforts.  I don't like the real Sega Genesis as much as the SNES for example but this looks like it does it justice.  For someone my age that doesn't own retro hardware like I do this should be a must own, like the NES and SNES Classics are.

General Gaming / Re: So nobody likes GameStop?
« on: September 13, 2019, 10:31:13 AM »
Thinking of GameStop's history I realize that I don't have any nostalgia for THEM, I have nostalgia for Electronics Boutique.  GameStop for the most part has kept the EB Games branding in Canada but any fond memories I have of the chain are from the N64/Gamecube time frame.  Some quick research reveals that GameStop took over EB in 2005 and that's pretty much the cut off point for any fond memories I have of them.  I'm not even sure how many games I've bought from the post-GameStop EB.  Maybe five or six in 14 years.

This brings up an interesting thought - can you think of any videogame related company that you liked BETTER after a corporate merger or purchase?  Obviously Gamestop was better as separate stores, Blizzard was better pre-Activision, Square and Enix were better than the merged Square Enix, no one thinks a company got better after EA acquired them, Sega Sammy is worse than Sega alone.

Does Nintendo actually own HAL?  Because HAL is clearly superior post-Nintendo.  When they were releasing independent games the best they had was Adventures of Lolo but with Nintendo they've got Kirby and SSB.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Announces Fitness Game Ring Fit Adventure
« on: September 12, 2019, 09:23:28 AM »
The guy in the video speaks so clearly that it comes across like he's talking down to me, like I'm five years old.

The RPG makes it seem like they're to make this more of a typical videogame.  "See, it's not another Wii Fit.  It's a real game that happens to involve exercise!"  But I think that the target audience that wants an RPG just want a damn RPG without exercise gimmicks and the Wii Fit audience was perfectly content with Wii Fit's approach.  I suspect this will clog store shelves much like Labo current is as Nintendo tries to recapture the Wii magic despite the fact that the Switch is a resounding success so this is completely unnecessary.

My general disinterest with stuff like this is that control schemes like this are inaccurate.  There's a reason buttons have been the primary videogame control method since day one - they work consistently.  You push the button and, unless the game is programmed terribly, the action occurs.  That's also why practical items like computers or cars use buttons - because having wishy-washy controls that may or may not do the thing you want isn't acceptable.  I'm also not in kindergarten so I don't find waving things around or acting things out fun.  I get my enjoyment from the gameplay and if your videogame needs dumb gimmicks to hide it's shallow gameplay then your game is **** and I'm not going to play it.

But as Adrock mentions, as long as Nintendo is still making games I do like they can have the odd title like this.  And it seems mostly like there is only one team working on stuff like this as we get about one a year.  My beef with the Wii was that it was like Nintendo had changed to where games like this were the priority and that sucked.  There's nothing wrong with a company making the occasional title that isn't for you.  It's only a problem if a whole system is designed to not be for you.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo To Unveil New Fitness Plans On September 12
« on: September 06, 2019, 09:45:31 AM »
Hot take: this will fail.  Just like HD Rumble
How did HD rumble fail? It’s literally just better-rumble. And it’s the best kind of gimmick because it’s non-invasive. Players don’t have to do anything except own a controller. Nintendo has done great with Switch gimmicks because it’s more DS than Wii. It isn’t reinventing the wheel; it’s just adding stuff to the wheel that both developers and consumers can just ignore if they can’t be bothered.

The Switch Lite doesn't have HD Rumble.  Nintendo's original debut presentation of the Switch had a ridiculous amount of emphasis on the feature and yet it's of so little consequence that the Switch revision doesn't even have it.  It reminds me of the 3D on the 3DS where, again, Nintendo hyped the feature up as a big deal and in the end the public gave so little of a **** about it that later variations didn't offer it at all.  With both of these features someone at Nintendo insisted on them being included and insisted on them being marketed as a big selling point and yet if neither system never had them at all it would have had zero effect on how things turned out.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo To Unveil New Fitness Plans On September 12
« on: September 05, 2019, 03:30:40 PM »
Hot take: this will fail.  Just like HD Rumble, 1-2-3 Switch and Labo and any other attempt Nintendo does to try to recreate the Wii.  The Switch is a huge success because it offers great games that can be played on a console or a handheld with one purchase.  But I assume there is one stubborn Nintendo exec who keeps pouting and insisting on pushing this crap despite the fact that this was all a fad that died out nine years ago.

The Switch is a hit.  All Nintendo has to do is continue to make great games, which they're better at than anyone, and the money will roll in for the next few years.  No need to get cute with dumb gimmicks.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Direct To Air Wednesday
« on: September 04, 2019, 04:19:46 PM »
My fondest memory of the Wii U was completing TMS.  I don't know why that game specifically grabbed me but it did.  There is a weird selfish part of me that's upset that my Wii U is a little less essential with it being ported.  There was something special about being part of the exclusive TMS "scene" if you will.  But it's obviously for the best for this game to get the recognition it deserves by getting a release on a more popular system.  It's too nice of a game to hide away.

Though with Nintendo making the Wii U retroactively the most unnecessary system to own of all time I am rather surprised that the original Xenoblade is being ported and not the Wii U exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles X.  That seemed like a no brainer port to me.

I'm now kind of curious which system has more: Wii U ports on Switch, or SNES ports on GBA.

If you look at the first party GBA titles for 2002 the only non-port game Nintendo released that year was Metroid Fusion.  Though let's not forget a good sized period of time where it seemed that the purpose of the Wii was to release "New Play Control" versions of Gamecube games.  If a Nintendo system flops expect a TON of ports on the system to follow... unless the flopped system is the Virtual Boy in which case everything gets buried forever even when a later system has 3D as a feature.

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