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What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?

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Metroid Zero Mission (Wii U Virtual Console):

I want to reiterate how much i like SNES controller i got from SNES mini. Because Wii U still treats it as Pro Controllers i was able to play Super Metroid, Zero Mission and Fusion with it. The whole setup wiring Wiimote to SNES controller and then playing on Wii U gamepad was kinda awkward but i really liked it.

In general, i like Zero Mission, but not as much as Super. Because it's less moody maybe?.. The most enjoyable part for me was when Zero Mission veered from remaking Metroid 1 and added an original segment with unknown items and power grip. That segment really came out of nowhere and was kinda creepy.

Otherwise ZM follows the pacing of all Metroid games where you keep upgrading as you play, eventually becoming a powerhouse by the end. But the ending breaks that pacing so after peaking at the original ending you're dragged back and stripped down to nothing. Emotionally going from the high of killing Mother Brain and then having to scurry in air vents hiding from everything is too constrasting and destroys pacing. I kinda stopped caring at that point and didn't play the game for several weeks because of that.

Level design in Space Pirate ship also becomes kinda bad, with prolonged sections that are meant just to slow you down and annoy. Tunnels with dozens of bomb blocks for no other reason just to be a hassle, robots that just stands there blocking your way and gates closing if enemy sees you.

Even the final final ending annoyed me because i thought i was supposed to somehow get into the area where escape pods were so i was looking all around not realizing there will be yet another, final boss. And even after that i couldn't understand how to get into the escape pod so i died some more on final escape sequence because i didn't understand i was supposed to jump in there.

Another annoyance was defeating Mother Brain the first time and i also got kinda lost in Ridley's Lair because i was supposed to go back and forth between Norfair and Ridley on a detour through some caves to kill a wasp boss.

Once you actively start optimizing your gameplay and going for completion game becomes better. Even Mother Brain becomes easy once you understand the "secret" trick of "don't shoot the brain when it flashes".

Only then true design of Zero Mission is revealed and players realizes how the map is riddled with shortcuts like swiss cheese. First playthrough only pretends to be linear and guided by Chozo statues, but there are skips and fake walls to circumvent almost everything. Pointlessly long corridors can be zoomed right through and even seemingly random slopes can be used to chain sparkshines.

My first playthrough was 5:55:40 with 76%. First run feels weaker than in Super Metroid but second playthrough is more enjoyable due to Quality of life changes like showing area item completion percentage and map showing the presence of items.

On second playthrough i tried to "speedrun" it and got 1:41:03 with 70%. I arrived at the last area when it was already 1:30 and didn't want to spend too much time risking going over 2 hour mark, so i got less items.

Third playthrough was my 100% attempt. It took me 5:38:55. Because the game shows most items on the map, the remainder are hidden in secret rooms behind fake walls and these are the most tricky ones, including notorious puzzle rooms.

Since Fusion, shinespark puzzles became my favourite part of the series because they push the movement system to the fullest. I liked shinespark puzzles in ZM too, but overall they weren't as ingenious as the ones from Fusion. The hardest puzzle rooms in Zero Mission are the ones about Power Grip and precise twitch jumping. Adding shinespark in ball form is pretty fun but doesn't really change much.

To date i only 100%-ed Samus Returns and Zero Mission and this time i knew that final boss will be way harder than usual because of this. Back when i played Samus Returns i was really frustrated how tanky the final boss turned out to be, not realizing it was because i fully completed the game.

So far, Super is still easily the best Metroid game while Zero Mission would be #2. Onto AM2R and Metroid Prime!

I hit 100% on Ty 3: Night of the Quinkin on PC. It's an interesting, charming, and deeply flawed game and I had fun revisiting it for the first time in more than 15 years. Many of the game's issues come from it being rushed with only half of the develpment time the previous two games had but there are also some issues that come from just questionable design decisions that bog down the whole thing.

- The level design for the game's remarkably few traditional on foot missions is pretty solid. Although it is let down by the melee mechanic (we'll get to that) the more linear design works well for Ty. I haven't played the second game to completion in a while so I don't want to make any comparisons there but compared to the first game's more open design this game feels much more focused while still leaving plenty of room for collectables to be hidden.

- The melee mechanic is annoying and unnecessary but by the time it starts to become a problem because you start facing more advanced enemies in the on foot levels you can use the new boomerang customization mechanic to make yourself a pair of exploding boomerangs and start Michael Bay-ing everything instead. In what is a rather baffling move for a freaking Ty the Tasmanian Tiger game, most of the enemies are immune to having boomerangs thrown at them in order to incentivise the melee combat system. The only way past this that I am aware of is to make those boomerangs explode so if you decide to play this game for yourself, exploding boomerangs are absolutely your friends.

 For anyone who has played a game called "The Hex", I'm pretty sure the tacked on melee combat that gets added to the second Super Weasel Kid segment is a shot at this game specifically. For anyone who hasn't played The Hex you should really stop what you're doing and play that game instead.

- The boomerang customization mechanic is an interesting addition but because they tried to make combat an actual thing in this game and failed miserably you are kind of incentivized to just use it to create boomerangs that can quickly cut through enemies. In the previous games exploding boomerangs and the megarangs which would bounce between enemies were extremely overpowered. The boomerang customization mechanic allows you to create a boomerang that bounces between enemies and creates explosions upon contact which is a really good way to negate the game's shitty melee combat. There's even a turret section later in the game you can just completely bypass this way.

It is a completely different beast if you go for 100% though. At that point you are incentivized to build different types of boomerangs for different objectives. I had one boomerang that I built to be able to locate hidden objects for example while another one was built so I could use it to bring certain collectables to me, which is mandatory for a few of the game's collectables.

- The Crabmersible which is used in what is essentially this game's overworld is borderline uncontrollable with how slippery it is and takes a bit of getting used to but it is way more fun than it should be. You basically run around on a crab mech launching homing missiles at everything in your path. It is just stupid, mindless fun and even trying to force it to do basic platforming challenges for collectables when this thing isn't particularly well suited for platforming is fun in its own way, which I get the feeling was the intention.

- I would find the mech or "bunyip" missions much more favorable if they didn't have you go through the same levels twice, once with each mech, and usually with similar objectives. The levels themselves are also extremely similar to eachother thematically since one of the Mechs, the Thermal Extreme bunyip, has the ability to swim through lava so most of the mech stages has a bunch of lava to swim through and they are also all snow areas because I guess whoever designed these stages really liked that contrast. It results in a bunch of similar looking stages and the Shadow Bunyip and Thermal Extreme Bunyip don't feel distinct enough from eachother for it to feel like you are really playing the same stages in different ways. By the end of the game their abilities are similar enough that the only differences really are that the Shadow Bunyip has the ability to activate certain moving platforms with its grenades and is generally more satisfying to use in combat while the Thermal Extreme Bunyip has the aforementioned ability to swim through lava and a grappling hook.

- The Go Kart stages are kind of hit and miss and in what appears to be an attempt to pad the game out are now mandatory for story completion instead of just being a thing for 100%. Some of them have interesting objectives like having you pick up some collectables during the race before finishing in first but the demolition derby missions feel extremely luck based, especially since some of the items are difficult to use and this game's red shell equivalent is kind of inconsistent when you use it.

- The Gunyip Stages are generally more enjoyable than the helicopter and submarine stages from Ty 2 but that is not a particularly high bar and they are easily the weakest part of the game. They are however mercifully infrequent. There is a dogfighting minigame that is kind of fun, although it is quite shallow.

- The story is weird. When I was young I appreciated how dark and edgy it was but coming back to it as an adult what I've noticed is that the game kind of just stops taking itself seriously once you get out of the tutorial. It feels like some higher up at Krome decided they wanted the series to go in a grimdark direction but everyone else in the team realized it was an awful idea and did what they could to retain the series's more humorous and goofy side. While you lose the series's vibrant and colorful Australian landscapes in favor of a post apocalyptic and weirdly alien hellscape you still get the series's generally fun and charming writing.

Unlike other 3d platformers that went in a similar direction around this time, Ty feels self aware enough to be essentially in on the joke and while this anachronistic element can be jarring it definitely feels like the lesser of two evils compared to actually going serious like a certain hedgehog game with guns and mild swearing that came out a month after this one originally did.

There are people who criticise the fact that there's a new character who exists because they needed someone who wouldn't recognize Ty for a story segment and is completely forgotten about afterwards but the fact that this character introduced the line "Zombie Frills, meet Mr. Boomerang!" into my life more than makes up for it. The game's dialogue is camp and stupid in the best way and there are some absolute banger moments that you'll have to see for yourself.

The story does feel extremely rushed towards the end though. It feels like there's a cutscene that just didn't make it into the final game that would have revealed that at some point the series's usual villain Boss Cass was possessed by the Quinkin so there's a jarring moment right before the final boss fight where Ty walks up to the suddenly posessed Boss Cass completely unphased by this new development. Since Boss Cass's voice actor passed away a few years ago idk if this is something that they could fix whenever this game inevitably gets brought to the Switch with new enhancements unless they recast him and that would be extremely unfortunate in and of itself because Boss Cass has some of the best voice work in the series.

But honestly the story in Ty games is only worth paying attention to because of the fun dialogue and corny Australian accents anyways and Ty 3 has both in spades.

- The Steam version added a hardcore mode where if you die the game erases your save data which I'm not touching with an eleven foot pole. The Steam version has achievements for completing and 100%-ing the game in hardcore mode which is kind of shitty because this game really was not remotely designed around that. It is really easy to die during the gunyip and crabmersible segments so I'm going to recommend you not do hardcore mode.

Although I haven't finished the second game in a while I would probably recommend it over this one just because of how much of a stronger overall package Ty 2 is but if you liked that game and what I've said interests you than go for it.

I took a couple breaks in the middle, but tonight I finished off Pikmin 3 Deluxe on hard mode, with all the fruit. This was my third time through the game between Wii U and Switch, and the first on hard mode. I was a huge fan of the first two, and this is the best one yet.


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