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NWR Mafia Games / Re: Mafia LXXXVI: Sign-up Thread
« on: September 14, 2021, 04:42:14 PM »

Chubby the snowboy, can't leave the path of chronology. He is a victim of the system  :-\

Time is rigged I tell ya. A plot to line the pockets of Big Clock.

General Gaming / Re: Backlaugust 2021: Round 2: Electric Boogaloo
« on: September 02, 2021, 05:03:14 PM »
Wow, congrats to everyone, that's a huge pile beaten in one month!
Got nothing to contribute myself, all I wound up doing this month is downloading the WarioWare demo and not playing it.

I remember being interested in this when I heard about it way back on the Wii U, but never pulled the trigger until it hit $1.99 on Switch. Unlike most match-3 puzzlers, this one isn't action-based, with instead having the goal of clearing the play field of all blocks; it's a nice change of pace. The story mode is surprising lengthy, I wonder if too much, though it does introduce a new obstacle or gameplay wrinkle in each world to shake things up and try to keep them fresh. The story itself is simple and mostly nonsensical, but was sometimes worth a laugh just from being incredibly stupid. I noticed that the Wii U version had online play, but the Switch one doesn't; seems like an odd exclusion, but I doubt I would have tried it anyway.
Scored: 8/10

This is a pretty good game, yeah! I never finished it because it went on way too long like you say. Personally I found the writing deeply grating too, but the core gameplay is very solid. At a price like that I'd recommend it, it was like $25 on Wii U back in the day.

General Gaming / Re: Backlaugust 2021: Round 2: Electric Boogaloo
« on: August 24, 2021, 06:09:43 PM »
Whew, some of y'all are flying through these!
I've basically made zero progress in anything yet, with just a few days left in the month. Where did August go?!

General Chat / Re: The COVID-19 Virus is Coming For Us All Thread
« on: August 19, 2021, 04:44:30 PM »
Yeah, not a lot of encouraging news lately.  :-\ Looks like that medical vessel couldn't travel due to hurricanes.
There's been several articles (Science Magazine, NY Times, BBC) on the Covid situation in Israel lately, and it's not very reassuring. They were comparatively early to roll out mass vaccinations, with much of the population being fully vaccinated, and over 10% even having had a third booster shot.

But recently the Delta variant has been surging there regardless. Maybe the situation is very different so I shouldn't be comparing the two, but it's worrying. I'm so exhausted by all this.

Hope y'all are staying safe.

General Gaming / Re: Parenthood, Kids, & Gaming
« on: August 18, 2021, 04:50:25 PM »
I had always hoped to do a chronological introduction to game systems from NES and every year or so introduce another in their release order like some have talked about doing. But if I also plan to keep up with modern systems I know that could muddy the waters on this sort of introduction method. Also eventually they will have friends that play modern games so how long could I even maintain this restriction? I'd have to make it a faster pace than I originally planned.

A recent RFN episode (#732) kinda covers this idea. I do kinda like it in theory, but also sort of wonder about the rationale. I think it's easy to convince ourselves these games are more easily/immediately understood due to their simple nature... But conveniently forget how a lot of them are pretty difficult/demanding.

I guess it's easier if you start them off on a NES/SNES Classic before all their classmates are talking Roblox/MineCraft/Fortnite etc., since they won't have as much of a frame of reference for what games do/should look like.
Is the purpose to run them through a condensed version of technological increases/leaps and slowly increase the complexity? It makes sense, but maybe that's easy to say when we've experienced it ourselves. With the wide variety of games out there, I think children nowadays are just more accepting of vast differences in graphics and complexity than we were, demanding everything be 3D during the N64/PS1 era.

Boring answer but I guess I'd just try to gauge their interest in the hobby a few times, maybe present a few different options, and see what they gravitate towards? And if they don't enjoy older stuff, I guess we just kinda need to accept that. Maybe try again when they're teens ("this is what we played back in the day").

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo Switch Wishlist Game Recommendations
« on: August 10, 2021, 05:09:28 PM »
I see Octodad is on sale this week. It's way low on my priority list but I don't see it go on sale that often. Back in the Wii U days, it got an 8.5 and pretty positive review. But is that because of Wii U game scarcity or is it still worth playing? Anyone else ever get into this game?

It's quite funny, provided you can find humor in slapstick scenarios and games with purposefully difficult controls like QWOP or Getting Over It. Sometimes you just won't be able to do the one thing you need to progress, and need to retry it a bunch of times.
The game definitely shows its student project origins though: the first few levels are fairly short, bite-sized scenarios. Then you travel to what amounts to a new hub area with three levels linked to it. I remember being confused and thinking the whole thing was one giant stage, and it took forever. Weirdly it's back to levels after that too.

Another potential issue: I had most fun playing Octodad in couch co-op, where you'd assign one or more limbs to every player. Ideally nobody controls both arms or legs to make it more difficult. This works well for most of the game, but towards the end it does start making modest demands of the players and tries to string a story together. I wonder if those levels are still fun with multiple people.

Honestly, the best levels are the first few (wedding, home bbq, grocery store) and then the optional extra ones where Octodad serves as either waiter or surgeon. I think the game could've been stronger with an episodic setting where you'd get a new job every level. It works much better in short sessions, rather than playing 3 levels back to back to reach the end of the story.
There's also some technical jank in the version I played, with voice lines not triggering and such. Nothing important, and maybe it's better on Switch?

Overall a pretty decent comedy game, but a lot of your enjoyment will hinge on whether you think the central premise is at least amusing. I'd recommend it, but I do wonder if the past 6+ years have eroded some of the familiarity underpinning its foundation.
The family is already something of a send-up of 1950s Americana, with their white picket fence and family trip to the museum, which might just feels ancient at this point, depending on your tolerance for comedy tropes.

General Gaming / Re: Backlaugust 2021: Round 2: Electric Boogaloo
« on: August 07, 2021, 11:01:49 AM »
Great to see this initiative return. I don't have anything lined up currently, and haven't gamed in a while. Maybe this'll be enough impetus to pick something from the pile of shame and try it!

No More Heroes (Switch)

This game did not age gracefully. Much of the humor didn't hold up under a 2021 lens. Maybe I found it funny when I first played the game in my early-mid 20s. At 37, it was mostly intolerable. I remember liking Travis Touchdown as a character except he's kind of a ****.

The story was nonsense. I don't know how much of it was intentionally nonsense or something Suda51 would claim was intended to be nonsense if anyone called him out on it.

No More Heroes' greatest sin was how little it respected the player's time, and the port, unfortunately, did not fix this. There are still no "Retry" and "Restart Mission" options. If you fail or know you are going to fail, you have to sit through the loading screens to leave the mission and reenter the Mission then click through the intro every time.

Thanks for this write-up!
Having never played the series myself, I've seen some people say NMH1 "deliberately wastes players' time" with the mindless overworld chores, to make... Some sort of point about how a daily grind may be boring and slow, but is more profitable/useful for progressing than the move-fast-and-break-stuff approach of the assassination lifestyle? Did you get that impression at all, or nah?

Travis did always strike me as an arrogant idiot meant to represent the worst player impulses. The type of person who has been conditioned by anime and games to think the world revolves around them, sees women as targets/objectives to unlock, and sees violence as a natural conduit for conflict resolution. Always assumed that was the central idea behind the No More Heroes title, but maybe I'm wildly off the mark there?

I kinda want one of these, but don't want to pay for it lol.

Curious though: if the games launch every week at a set time, but the launch is staggered after its initial (seemingly small?) shipment... Do people who buy/receive their units in say March 2022 just miss out on the first season of software?

Let me tell you of the demons of gacha so you may never have to feel it for yourselves!

When you say "best practices", are those determined to be such by the fans? Like is this considered acceptable/the line most paying players won't cross? Or is it determined by developers/publishers? Just sort of informal standards of equilibrium most game producers have wound up at?

General Gaming / Re: What Is Your White Whale of Gaming?
« on: July 19, 2021, 09:43:57 AM »
Haven't played The Neverhood, but I did play Armikrog, its semi-sequel on modern platforms. That's a very poor game in almost every respect besides the claymation style, and some of the music. All you do is collect levers to open doors, it repeats every puzzle thrice, and the story feels both non-existent and entirely pointless. Like an interlude between Neverhood and some theoretical Neverhood 2, which will probably never happen.

It's not really comparable, but if you like the idea of a point & click adventure in these real world crafted environments, consider giving Lumino City a try. Quite different in tone, and it uses dioramas rather than clay animation, but it's a gorgeous game with varied puzzles. It's on PC/Mac and both major mobile platforms. I don't have a lot of patience for the genre, but was impressed by the scope of that one.

General Gaming / Re: Atari VCS, Amico, Micro Consoles
« on: July 16, 2021, 09:01:53 AM »
I think the Amico is far beyond past things we've seen from vaporware consoles, there are actual accounts and recent public events where prototypes have been played, and even some footage I believe. HOWEVER for some reason they're not publicizing this, and the only people trumpeting and talking about these hands-on experiences are their diehard community members.

Yeah, I do think Amiico will eventually launch, and it will probably be a functional gaming console. They might miss another launch date along the way, but it'll probably release. Looking on Youtube they've shown a lot of games intended to show up on it.

I didn't realize they just had no coherent messaging before, so in that regard this interview is quite an improvement lol. But like you say, when the bar is on the floor it's hard to hit your head against it.

General Gaming / Re: Atari VCS, Amico, Micro Consoles
« on: July 14, 2021, 12:53:32 PM »
NintendoLife did an interview with Tommy Tallarico specifically to follow up on the criticism that's brewed up after the developer site leak and consequent Ars Technica article. It sounds like he's had a chance to craft a much better message now and really offer a counter-narrative to the criticism that was sort of being left unanswered.

In fact, this might be the most encouraging thing I've seen in a long time by way of presenting the Amico. (I admit though that's really not saying much. However this is at least written out in text easier to digest than verbal responses on some youtube video, it contains a lot of important information about the Amico and the company themselves in one place, AND he actually goes into specifics!

Not super informed on this whole theoretical console, but reading that interview I'm not getting the same vibe at all. For something which was meant to release in April, and is currently tentatively slated for October, there's an absolute dearth of footage proving this thing truly works.
Their E3 video had a lot of fullscreen footage of games, but it's unclear if those are running on actual hardware, or are PC builds. Nothing has a release date, no studios are credited, and when their CEO says they're paying their devs fairly I guess we'll just have to take his word for it?
This interview mentions NintendoLife have seen the console in action, but we aren't shown that evidence.

It's deeply worrying a single ArsTechnica article can dominate half this interview. I won't even touch the whole fake journalism adjacent accusations ("make us look bad", "spreading misinformation to make us fail") which is a massive red flag by itself. None of this would have happened if Intellivision were doing a better job at marketing and crafting a narrative.
It's truly bizarre how "here's our console aimed at families with kids below middle school age, without predatory monetization" is so hard for them to communicate.

They clearly had no press kit ready stamped "break seal in case of leaks", they squandered their highest profile showcase (E3) to date on a pitch video you might see on a Kickstarter, and their CEO is (by own admission) prone to gaffes on Twitter. Why is he in charge of messaging and marketing, then? The Ouya had a more coherent message.

Why do we only get these partial specifications (for a product which was planned to already be out) after someone reports on Intellivision's internal documents, and are we then told these internal documents were wrong? Does Intellivision just keep a backlog of outdated documents up for its developer partners? Do they not maintain their dev portal? It paints a sloppy picture, which could easily be rectified with "here are our current guidelines" instead of issuing baseless legal threats.
By going into the weeds addressing every single point in the ArsTechnica article they're basically going on the defensive, turning this into a he-said-she-said situation. You won't win that when your company has not produced anything, while the other is a 20+ year running successful operation with respected reporters.

The weirdest thing is, I do think there could be a market for this product, but none of that market is reading tech and gaming websites. Maybe they are out there trying to reach the mom-bloggers, home shopping networks, and Nuclear Middle-Class Family Quarterly Magazine, and we're just not seeing it?
A lot of their games look less interesting to me than 2012 iPhone games, but I'm sure there's a "quick round before I drive you to soccer practice" crowd for this. Why waste so much time on rumors/reports/leaks so far outside of where your marketing needs to be? You don't see Nintendo acknowledging this type of reporting ever.

Amico really at this point needs to "put up or shut up".

Think you hit the nail on the head here. And all we're seeing right now is more talk. I'm oddly fascinated by this whole saga so will look into it more. Not interested in the product at all, but I mean, it's not meant for people like me anyway.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Official Sales Thread
« on: July 09, 2021, 01:39:50 PM »
All of these games (besides Resident Evil) have been outsold by Miitopia, which itself isn't exactly hanging with the usual Switch Big Boys club.

Oh man really? o_0 That's certainly something!

Individually I mean, Miitopia does not outsell them all combined. Miitopia sits around 179k, Resident Evil Village on PS4 is at 179k too, but it has another 50k sales on PS5.
The rest of these PS4/PS5 games all sit below 179k: Samurai Warriors 5 at ~66k, Scarlet Nexus at 31k, FF7R Intergrade at ~21k, Ratchet and Clank at ~15k, etc.

Wonder if other factors are at play too, like hardware shortages? The higher prices of Playstation games? Moves towards digital? Various lockdown measures? All of the above?

I think also in general the current climate for the Japan console market is heavily in Nintendo's favor. I think Nintendo's solidifying most of the remaining local Japanese developer niche support for that market, and doesn't Japan generally just have one big clear winner per console gen usually anyways? Also, the Japanese console market has been famously "dying" for years now, and the PS5 is very much a traditional console compared to the hybrid switch. I think PC is finally making some inroads to Japan (heck, Sony is even publishing their games on PC now right?), and Sony's own focus might be veering more to the bigger super profitable western markets for their console as Japan's market may not offer them a similar opportunity due to it's smaller scale.

Looking into the PS5 hardware sales, they fluctuate week by week, but oscillate roughly between 15 and 20k every week (with some spikes both ways). So maybe they're just supply constrained and selling out every week.
If 15-20k people buy the system every week with 1-2 games each, PS5 software sales just aren't going to spike high enough (yet?) to compete with these Switch evergreen titles which consistently move ~10k weekly for months on end. Might partially explain why a lot of PS5 games trend once upon release and then scatter below the top 10.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Official Sales Thread
« on: July 09, 2021, 10:05:16 AM »
Japan is starting to look like a very difficult market for Playstation 4 & 5 currently.
Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade, Ratchet & Clank, Guilty Gear Strive, Scarlet Nexus, Winning Post 9, Biomutant, Legend of Nayuta, and the Ninja Gaiden Collection all dropped out of the top 10 within a week.

Since April 4th only Resident Evil 8 spent 5 weeks in the top 10, and nothing besides NieR Replicant and Samurai Warriors 5 has held on for more than 2 weeks.
All of these games (besides Resident Evil) have been outsold by Miitopia, which itself isn't exactly hanging with the usual Switch Big Boys club. Not saying there aren't any Switch games which chart once and never again (Caligula2, Atelier, Famicom Detective Club, etc.), so maybe the evergreen Switch games are just overperforming?

Wonder if other factors are at play too, like hardware shortages? The higher prices of Playstation games? Moves towards digital? Various lockdown measures? All of the above?


Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo Switch Lite and Future Revisions
« on: July 06, 2021, 09:57:42 AM »
Worth noting it also comes in the Neon variant. The White one looks very sleek though, and indeed fitting alongside the day & date launch with Metroid Dread.

I will eat partial crow tonight, as I did not expect any major new hardware SKUs before March 2022 earliest. But I do feel somewhat vindicated in this not being a "Pro/Switch 2" revision, unlike some speculation and rumors appeared to hint at.

Be curious to see if the plan is for this to phase out the regular 2019 revision, or exist alongside it. If the regular model slowly disappears, it would effectively lead to a $50 price hike. Don't think that's the best move, as it's more expensive than the Xbox S, and the PS5 Digital sits at $399.
Then again they do have the Lite revision at a more competitive price point.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo Switch Lite and Future Revisions
« on: July 06, 2021, 09:36:40 AM »
Nintendo Switch OLED Model was announced today, and launches October 8th.

Video link here.

New features:
- 7 inch screen (up from 6.2 inches)
- OLED screen
- Wider kickstand with multiple height options
- Ethernet port in dock
- 64 GB onboard storage (up from 32 GB)
- "enhanced speakers"

The OLED model appears to have the same dimensions as the regular Switch, but is a tiny bit heavier (0.93 lbs, up from 0.88 with Joycon attached).

Price has been increased to $350. Earlier speculation suggested 4K resolution support and BlueTooth Audio, neither of which appear to be present here.

This appears to corroborate Bloomberg's reporting from earlier in the year.

Nintendo Switch Online Lounge Service / Re: Name That movie 2
« on: July 02, 2021, 08:11:26 AM »
Is it Ghostbusters 1, when Bill Murray goes to Sigourney Weaver's apartment, and she kicks him out?

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo Switch Wishlist Game Recommendations
« on: July 01, 2021, 11:06:41 AM »
Alright. Let’s talk demos. This could probably be a topic of its own. I don’t bother with them.

My hang-up with demos are that I don’t like the nature of getting into a game only for it to end. Obviously, the goal is to make the player want to play more now and buy the game to do so. However, if I’m going to start getting into a game and learning it, I’d rather just do it when I have the game and plan to play it all through.

Moreover, a demo of the early start of the game can still be misleading.

Is this just me? Am I just an old ornery obstinate guy when it comes to my opinion on demos?

Don't think this attitude is that uncommon. By now your tastes have probably become fairly clear to yourself, and you'll know from a variation of trailer/familiarity/reviews whether something will be up your alley.

I like demos, but mostly for things I'm on the fence about. Ironically the Age of Calamity demo convinced me to buy the game, for instance. Same with Pokkén Tournament, the new R-Type, and Radiant Historia. Other games I'm on the fence about and plan to try demos of before committing: Dragon Quest 11, Disaster Report 4, and Game Builder Garage.

When it comes to projects like Metroid Dread, I don't need a demo. I've seen enough of that game with just the trailer, have played the previous entry... I'm confident this'll be good.

There's an older article I remember which suggested releasing demos could actually hurt sales, because fence sitters like me may try one and bounce off, rather than buy it and be disappointed. I'm not sure if this trend truly exists, and if does, whether it still holds true.
I know demos take a lot of work and need to go through QA/testing, so I understand studios preferring to dedicate those resources to actual products. But as a selfish consumer I like to try them.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo Switch Wishlist Game Recommendations
« on: June 30, 2021, 02:07:58 PM »
Wowzers, that's a long list. What makes Sonic Forces interesting to you? I got the impression it was a deeply sub-par game, even amongst the spotty 3D Sonic games catalogue. Seems like the upcoming Sonic Colors Ultimate is a lot more liked.

Things I have thoughts on:
The Touryst
Daemon X Machina
Final Fantasy 8
Final Fantasy 9
Monster Hunter Stories 2
Baba is You
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Moon (PS1 RPG)
Bravely Default 2
Balan Wonderworld

So, a bunch of these have demos, which would be an obvious starting point. Goes for Monster Hunter Stories 2, Bravely Default 2, The Touryst, Daemon X Machina, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and possibly Balan Wonderland too if they didn't remove it.
Also amusing you're interested in both Fall Guys and Party Animals, when both seem near-identical.

Regarding the Final Fantasies, the Switch ports include a lot of speed-ups which are sorely needed. I think both are interesting games, with 9 being the safer but also vastly better of the two. Based on your interest in classic film, I'm going to assume you likely have a fondness for stage plays too, and FF9 is cribbing a lot from Shakespeare.
I've complained about FF8 before, and while I do prefer that game's setting and general design, it's really messy. The story is a convoluted pile of twists, its mechanics are deeply opaque, and the most fun way to play genuinely appears to be to utterly break the game by eliminating combat ASAP and never leveling your characters up at all. Bookmark a good GameFAQ if you proceed.

One I would strike from the list: Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity is just not a very good game. It wears the skin of BOTW, but its story is not at all what the marketing promises, the gameplay gets very dull very quick, and the one interesting idea it introduces (playable Divine Beasts) almost feels like the creators fundamentally misunderstood what they are meant to represent.
I bought this on the back of loving BOTW, and left feeling like I should've just watched all the (admittedly well done) cut-scenes on Youtube. This has no reason to exist besides money, I would sooner replay Mario Tennis Ultra Smash or NSMBU than this.

The pairing of Moon and Undertale feels very natural. Just keep in mind how truly small the scope of Undertale is. Its reputation casts such a wide shadow you may think "wait, is this all?" Even Earthbound seems like it has grander ambitions.

For instance, Baba Is You is a game that seems to have been highly praised. It got a 9/10 here. I even saw some video of some type of game awards or recognition being done in Japan where Sakurai was the presenter and he talked about and praised the game. The problem is when I see images of the game, it just looks dull, low budget and almost too abstract or stark for its visuals and world. That element is stronger or at least counters the knowledge I have of the critical reception that leaves me undecided on it.

Haven't tried this either for similar reasons. I'm also expecting this to be the type of game I'm not smart enough for. It's possible a lot of its praise might stem from being quite different, and presenting a new way to play with the form. I hope to try it one day.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Run[ner] the Developer 3: Choice Provisions
« on: June 26, 2021, 10:10:19 AM »
Suggesting a minor name change:

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Run[ner] the Developer 3: Choice Provisions
« on: June 25, 2021, 11:36:15 AM »
Which degenerate here played Bubsy and voted for it!?

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo E3 Direct announcements
« on: June 17, 2021, 12:08:53 PM »
Echoing the sentiments about this presentation feeling like an early 2000s flashback, what with the Monkey Ball/WarioWare/Advance Wars revivals. Initially I wasn't too hot on the Advance Wars graphics, but on second thought I think they'll do the trick. Perhaps if it does well they'll make a brand new one, but $60 feels high to launch this with.

Metroid Dread is the (obvious?) highlight in my opinion, instantly became my most anticipated project. SMT 5 also impressed me, but I will wait for reviews on that for sure.

2. Metroid Dread - I am most excited for this. Do we know who the developer is?
10. SKY: Children of the Light  - Is this supposed to be free to start like the iOS version?

MercurySteam's website confirms they are making Metroid Dread.
As for SKY, this article says it will be free-to-play with microtransactions on Switch. There are Zelda cosmetics scheduled for it this year, but the game is still just slated for Summer.

Strange Brigade seemed like it could be a fun co-op game. Anyone else checking that out?

This game gave me Lost Reavers flashbacks lol.

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