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Messages - Pandareus

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Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 854: Keep Super Mario RPG Weird
« on: December 27, 2023, 12:17:58 PM »
For future reference, my top 5 was:

5 - Super Mario Bros. Wonder
4 - Suika Game/Vampire Survivors
3 - Pikmin 4
2 - LoZ Tears of the Kingdom
1 - Chained Echoes

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 849: Difficulty Hot Dog
« on: November 27, 2023, 12:55:20 PM »
Oh yeah, that's highly probable!

I almost had the same hypothesis on the show but then I thought Revenge of the Gator was Rare for some reason. Even though they never made a pinball game. I think Revenge of the Gator got jumbled with Snake Rattle and Roll in my head.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 847: Aggressive Worming
« on: November 06, 2023, 11:48:14 AM »
Ooh, thanks for the recommendation.

Yeah, I guess I said dying was frustrating but forgot to say why outside of losing your items. Oops. Yep, the map rearranging itself is BS. Having the possibility of using precious space in your grid to reveal part of the map in a new run is just adding salt to the wound.

Karen and I are probably good for co-op games for the foreseeable future: we've got Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2 to play through once we're done with Wonder.

I'm now picturing the controller screaming "Ow! Arrgh! You're crushing me!" as you use the d-pad.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 840: Mario Spreading
« on: September 25, 2023, 01:20:46 PM »

I got it for like $10 during the (still ongoing?) TGS sale. Collection of SaGa too.

Gotta finish a couple RPGs first, but I should get around to it soon.

TalkBack / Re: Pikmin 1 and 2 Sprouting Up on the eShop Today
« on: June 21, 2023, 03:25:31 PM »
The one thing I can do is confirm that the Switch version has these improvements that the Wii version had over the GameCube version of Pikmin 1.

-Manually selecting which color of Pikmin to throw
-An overhauled save system that let the player rewind to previous days
-Improved yellow Pikmin AI to make it harder to accidentally die from bomb rocks
-Pikmin thrown at pellet posies will automatically pick up and carry the pellets
-The end of day cutscene can be skipped (this one was in the PAL gamecube version)
-The display showing the number of Pikmin carrying an object matches the color of the onion they're carrying the object back to

I can also confirm it has limited, optional motion controls: turn them on in the options, and you can aim where you'll throw the Pikmin while you hold down the A button. As soon as you let go of A, however, the motion controls do nothing.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 795: Drinking Some Fresh Lon Lon Milk
« on: November 02, 2022, 12:49:14 PM »
I might have overemphasized how ameowing they are for effect. It's still pawsible to enjoy the game just fine.

TalkBack / Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2 (Switch) Review
« on: August 25, 2022, 04:27:44 PM »

Grab a friend and revisit a classic action RPG.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance was a hit back when it was released in 2001. The formula was simple: explore dungeons, kill enemies, pick up loot, go back to town to sell it. Do all this over and over, preferably with a friend. While it didn’t break new ground, for console players who could not turn to Diablo, it filled a niche.

Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 came out three years later giving players more of the same dungeon-crawling experience. And now both titles have been ported mostly untouched to the Nintendo Switch, a console with an already sizable offering in that genre, including a couple of Diablo titles. So is Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II worth getting today?

This release on the Switch is essentially the game as it was in 2004, displayed at a higher resolution. As soon as the intro CG cutscene plays in all its artifacted glory, something becomes obvious: this game is old! It comes from the era right before game studios started to use motion capture more consistently for animating humanoid characters. Puppet-like movements in important cutscenes or the playable Dark Elf’s weird bow legged stance are not without their charms if you’re old like me and grew up playing these games.

The animations are far from the only anachronistic element in this game. Details like harmless rats being crushed into a bloody pulp when you happen to walk over them come across as tryhard juvenile edginess today, to me. But back then, gratuitous gore was instead a sign that video games were aiming for a maturing audience, compared to the colorful family-friendly games that dominated the market before. Now we’ve come full circle: as I was fighting dogs giving out realistic yelps when hit, I couldn’t help but think that today’s games are more likely to give you a cute dog as a mount or as a pet that fights alongside you.

It is remarkable how much fun the game still is 20 years later, despite being barely updated at all. I had experience with Dark Alliance before, my partner did not, and we both could not get enough of slaying monsters, leveling up, and investing points into the skills that we thought would make us even more effective monster-slaying machines. The basics of the game were always solid and remain so.

This is not to say there is no room for improvement. Before the game even starts, the game has you select a predetermined character race and class blindly. No explanation what this character’s deal is. While it’s pretty easy to figure out what weapons you will be using throughout the game as a Barbarian, you can’t quite intuit what the Dark Elf will be like. She starts out equipped with a bow. Great! You spend the next 8 hours building her up as a ranged character, until a random loading screen tip reveals that she is most skilled in unarmed combat. Presumably this information was in the original release’s manual, which you don’t have here. Adding the information into the game itself seems like a basic and obvious Quality of Life improvement.

There are a lot of nitpicks one could bring up for things that ultimately don’t kill the fun of the game. But the most impactful omission is definitely the lack of online play. Just like in old beat’em-ups, the simple and repetitive gameplay works best when you’re playing with someone. Solo, the interest is limited. Not adding co-op to this release means most people cannot experience it the optimal way: with a friend.

Ultimately, if you and a partner have played the more modern co-op action RPGs already and are looking for your next fix, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 holds up where it matters. The gameplay is fun, and the both of you might find its outmoded aspects charming. But if you don’t have a buddy (or spouse, child, etc.)  close by to pick up a sword and slay goblins with you, the appeal is much more limited.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 741: Mario's Poop Joke Sommelier
« on: October 06, 2021, 11:16:44 AM »
The English-language version of the Mario Manga that came out this year is a "Best of" collection of clips throughout the years.

There's a Luigi's Mansion chapter leading me to believe there's probably a full volume adapting Luigi's Mansion in Japan.

One chapter also has a content warning about the death of a parent, but I don't know whose parent dies.

Yeah I mean, it seems to cover everything. Vol. 7 is about Super Mario Land 2, with specific locations like Tree Zone, etc.

In the previous one, one chapter is about DK in Super Mario Kart.

Vol. 4 has a crossover with Zelda.

It's not necessarily all references to the current game either. Vol. 4, published in 1993, has Subcon and Wart.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 732: The Blaster Master Bombshell
« on: August 16, 2021, 10:08:57 AM »
Aw come on. Depressingly entertaining, right?

TalkBack / Re: R-Type Final 2 (Switch) Review
« on: May 31, 2021, 10:34:06 AM »
Been chipping away at the game for a few days now, and unless you had been chomping at the bit for a new R-Type, you should probably stay away.

I'd describe myself as a shmup tourist: my ideal shooter lets me keep a fully powered ship and see the sights. IMO, that's what the "Practice" difficulty should be. Instead, you die from a bullet grazing you, depowering you and leaving you often poorly equiped to deal with the enemies just past the checkpoint. It's incredibly frustrating.

General Gaming / Re: Four on four
« on: April 29, 2021, 11:46:12 AM »

Finished Yakuza Like a Dragon on XSX.
Played all I'll ever play of Resident Evil Revelations on 3DS.
Played through Bowser's Fury on Switch.
Fingers crossed that I can manage to finish Panzer Dragoon Zwei by tomorrow.

Podcast Discussion / Re: RetroActive 49: Resident Evil: Revelaitons
« on: March 26, 2021, 02:29:14 PM »
I know I'm super late and need to catch up but at the end of chapter 1, did I just rescue a fucking paper maché Chris!?

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 707: Real Experts in Smurf Dancing
« on: February 03, 2021, 10:19:56 AM »
Check back once the next episode comes out. James took notes on our lists and I'm assuming we're just waiting so as not to spoil people.

I can always post mine here in the meantime.

Paper Mario: The Origami King
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
A Short Hike
Streets of Rage 4

Runner-ups: Wide Ocean Big Jacket, Pikmin 3, Part-Time UFO, PixelJunk Eden 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mr Driller: DrillLand, Super Mario 35

Nontendo: Forza Horizon 4

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 707: Real Experts in Smurf Dancing
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:59:42 AM »
Pretty sure the "we turn Super Nintendo World into a criminal enterprise" description is counterfactual here. Wasn't the whole point that it was ridiculously easy to keep our shady operation above board?

Any actual illegal activity we could lobby to make legal.


Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 706: The Age of Pissery
« on: January 26, 2021, 10:05:04 AM »
Did he?

I think Logan was responding to the previous episode, specifically the email where we talked about F-Zero wrestling. I didn't see any tweet from letter writer James.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 704: Paid CeX Acts
« on: January 12, 2021, 02:22:52 PM »
I considered changing the graphics to the old style but Karen doesn't seem to be a fan, so I didn't push it. Even though she assures me she's enjoying it, I can't shake the feeling that she's humoring me.

Playing with the original style wouldn't fix the dumb script anyhow.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 698: Everything's a Conspiracy Now
« on: November 17, 2020, 11:43:41 AM »
Yeah, ultimately we had no desire to push through the end game and we definitely couldn't see a way to get a gold anywhere.

And the "arcade" levels you unlock by doing the side objectives? We tried a single one of those, and oof.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 697: Gerard Depardieu, Vampire Hunter
« on: November 02, 2020, 12:58:32 PM »
I'm sure it will happen once we run out of ideas, so probably sooner than anyone thinks!

TalkBack / Re: Takeshi and Hiroshi (Switch) Review
« on: August 20, 2020, 10:36:08 PM »
When I click on the screenshots in the article, they are Paper Mario: Origami King when they go full size.

Thank you, it is now fixed.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 683: Reggie's Strangely Square Back
« on: August 04, 2020, 01:59:25 PM »
Haha, folks on The Thirsty Mage also replayed TTYD recently and had the same epiphany, I think. They didn't hate it, but they talked eloquently about the flaws they saw in the level design, especially.

I'll play Origami King whenever it shows up from the library. I do enjoy the style and humor of those games, I just think personally that the original Mario & Luigi is even funnier than TTYD, and doesn't drag on in the way that I think TTYD or even ulterior M&L games did.

With the talk of eye strain and bright TVs, does that mean James and Gui play with the lights in the room off?
I suppose I haven't thought about it in a long time, but I always play with the lounge room lights on. They are wall mounted, and less bright than the main lights on the ceiling, so maybe they give a similar effect to the LED light Gui mentioned.
Maybe! My living room doesn't have the greatest lighting: no ceiling lights, just a floorstanding lamp and a table one nowhere near the TV.

Bias lighting looks like this.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 672: A Dingo Ate My Podcast
« on: May 13, 2020, 04:41:26 PM »
Chase: Cold Case Investigations - Distant Memories

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 667: Bowser's Inside Dating Sim
« on: April 30, 2020, 09:28:21 AM »

I was particularly proud of synching James' humming to the actual music. Got a little bit more time on my hands these days, so…

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