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Messages - Ian Sane

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I like this a lot more than the existing Mario sets, which are really more like playsets then a typical Lego set.  I think this concept of recreating levels from famous video games is one of those ideas that you don't think of until it gets announced and then it is so obvious in retrospect you wonder why you never thought of it.

Do something like this for Ocarina of Time with micro-versions of some of the dungeons from that game and I'm pre-ordering it.

General Gaming / Re: What Is Your White Whale of Gaming?
« on: August 24, 2021, 01:23:17 PM »
Back in the later years of the Gamecube I was debating getting a PS2.  One of the games that was making me consider it was Gradius V.  I ended up getting a PS2 in 2007 or 08 when they were marked down in price and Fire Pro Wrestling Returns was the first title I got.  But I never ended up getting Gradius V and I've never even played it.  It was on my short list of titles to get at first but I was probably playing other titles around the same time and was trying not to buy games that I was just going to put into a backlog.  Eventually you couldn't find that game new in stores anymore and the few times I saw it used it was now above the price range I was willing to pay, which of course has just gotten worse over the years.

My brother had a similar situation where he bought an N64 in 2000 and Harvest Moon 64 was one of the titles that factored into his decision but he didn't even up getting that game until a few years ago.

TalkBack / Re: Metroid Dread Announced, Launching October 8
« on: June 16, 2021, 12:35:20 PM »
My brother has recently had to start commuting to his office again after working from home because of covid.  When he got home our conversation went like this:

Me: Do you know about E3?
Him: Yeah, I had it on in the background at work.
Me: I had to miss part of it because of a phone call.
Him: Did you catch up?  Is there anything you don't know?
Me: I caught up.  I know everything.
Him: Okay so... METROID DREAD!!  HOLY ****!!

It was funny because we were feeling each other out like we were privy to some huge spoiler.  Obviously we both had the intention that if the other person didn't know what was up that they needed to see the presentation themselves, not have it merely be told to them.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Nintendo E3 Direct announcements
« on: June 15, 2021, 07:30:13 PM »
With Metroid Dread, along with re-releases of Advance Wars and Super Monkey Ball, is anyone else feeling really old?  I can remember back when Metroid Dread was first whispered about.  I remember where I lived, the office I worked at, what this site looked like, and how I felt physically (less aches/pains, more hair).  I'm getting hit by this strange rush of nostalgia, which is funny because Metroid Dread is a new game.  My nostalgia isn't for it but for the time when news of that game first came out.

Nintendo could have called this new Metroid game something different since it has been so long but calling it specifically "Metroid Dread" makes it seem like such a huge deal.  Any serious Metroid fan knows about this game that got announced and had very little info revealed but was never completed, but now that loose thread is finally tied up.  In that sense it reminds me of Star Fox 2 finally getting a proper release.

TalkBack / Re: Metroid Dread Announced, Launching October 8
« on: June 15, 2021, 06:23:32 PM »
Oh and when the direct said "we're still working on Metroid Prime 4 but this is something else" I was expecting some groan-inducing Federation Force kind of project.  Nope!  Nintendo actually delivered literally the only thing that wouldn't get backlash from fans.
I expected Samus Returns HD. While I still think that happens, it would be in Nintendo’s best interest to release it after Metroid Dread so as not to “steal” sales from the new game.

Not sure about that.  Nintendo has ported almost everything from the Wii U but that system was a flop so they were thinking that most Switch owners never played those games to begin with.  But the 3DS was a hit so Samus Returns isn't "trapped" on an obscure system.  We haven't seen too many 3DS-to-Switch ports from Nintendo thus far.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Games you DON'T want to see come out
« on: June 15, 2021, 03:35:49 PM »
There are lots of movies/books/TV shows where I feel the story concluded in a very satisfying way and there is no reason to go back to it.  The story is told, you told it well, leave on a high note.

But videogames are different because they're not just based on narrative.  Often videogame sequels are actually better because they refine the gameplay mechanics.  So when I think of how to make a sequel to a game I don't think primarily about the story but more about how the gameplay could be improved or expanded upon.

So in that sense something like Mario, where the story is irrelevant, can keep making sequels forever provided they still have good gameplay ideas.  If the gameplay gets stale and the level design becomes dull then you call it a day.

I don't want to see more DKC Returns games.  I just don't really like them.  Hard to describe why but I don't find them fun.  Also Retro Studios only releases one game at a time and I feel they're clearly talented so I would like them working on something a little more ambitious than a 2D platformer.

I also don't want to see more Metal Gear Solid games since they won't have Kojima and that series really is his baby and wouldn't be the same without him.

TalkBack / Re: Advance Wars Returning In 1+2 Re-Boot Camp December 3
« on: June 15, 2021, 03:02:49 PM »
I'm of the idea that if you neglect a franchise for 10 years you should reward the fans with a new game.  It's good for these games to be available again but if you've been anxiously awaiting a new sequel this has got to be a punch in the gut.  The same engine could probably be applied to a new game but they probably are waiting to see how this sells before greenlighting such a project.

There are lots of Wars games that American fans have never played.  If they remade those and put the Advance Wars look on them then they would essentially have a new game for the western market with the same lower development cost of a remake.

TalkBack / Re: Sequel To Breath Of The Wild Coming In 2022
« on: June 15, 2021, 02:51:25 PM »
What I loved about Breath of the Wild was the big wide open world to explore.  Exploration is my favourite element of Zelda games and that was like the whole point of that game.

One thing I really did not like about Skyward Sword was how the world was broken up into chunks.  If you're going to do that you might as well have separate levels like I'm playing Mario Galaxy.

So those elements seem completely contradictory.  How do you have the exploration gameplay of Breath of the Wild if you're using Skyward Sword's bite size chunks?  I'm still excited about Breath of the Wild 2 but this is the first thing announced about it that makes me slightly concerned.

Skyward Sword is pretty crappy in a lot of ways and Nintendo has incredibly poor self-awareness if they're going to mine it for ideas.  If Fi showed up in that trailer it would have blown up the internet, in the bad way.

TalkBack / Re: Metroid Dread Announced, Launching October 8
« on: June 15, 2021, 02:42:52 PM »
I got like two seconds into the actual gameplay when I got a work-related phone call.  Dang it!  We've been waiting for Metroid Dread for over 15 years and the call had to come in then of all times?!

Anyway, I'm thrilled to see this and I like broodwars' suggestion of it linking to Prime 4.  Why not?  The Cube/GBA days of Metroid were probably the golden age for the series at least in terms of games fans actually cared about routinely being released.  Things went astray for a long time but going back to having a 2D series and first person 3D series running concurrently would be a good way to get back on track.

Oh and when the direct said "we're still working on Metroid Prime 4 but this is something else" I was expecting some groan-inducing Federation Force kind of project.  Nope!  Nintendo actually delivered literally the only thing that wouldn't get backlash from fans.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Where is Nintendo today without Pokémon?
« on: May 20, 2021, 12:00:36 PM »
During the Gamcube years I always felt that a proper console Pokemon game was the ultimate killer app that would save the system, and I got pretty frustrated that Nintendo kept those exclusive to the handhelds.  But the key thing is that it seemed like that was the one Nintendo franchise at the time that was hot with the mainstream.  The other Nintendo franchises were older and were at that middle period where they're not new anymore but they're not old enough to create nostalgia, so they're just old.

Initially the 3DS was not catching on and the Wii U was a notorious flop, so it looked like Nintendo was in danger of pulling a Sega at that point.  That's easily the closest they got.  What games came out around the time period that the 3DS caught on?  Did that coincide with a Pokemon game?  For me it did as I bought one for Pokemon X.  If the 3DS required Pokemon to be a success then that's Nintendo's whole future right there.  If both the 3DS an Wii U flop I don't see there being any Switch.

Since the Canadian dollar fluctuates with the US dollar, my game prices have been quite different over the years.  Right now brand new games often cost between $80-90 CAD.  Back when game prices "increased" to $60 around the Wii era the Canadian dollar was about on par with the American one so while our new games were $60 that was a decrease from the $70 games of the Cube era (and N64 games were $80 because of the cart format).  If they increased to $70 USD then they'll probably be $99.99 CAD which would frankly SUCK.  Videogames are already too expensive new in Canada and this will just make it worse.

Though used games, provided they aren't old enough or rare enough to have been affected by the high prices of retro gaming, still remain affordable and non-Nintendo games still drop into the Wal-Mart cheap bin 9 months after release.  You can still afford things easily if you're not insisting on playing new games on day one.

But the PS5 is practically a digital-only console since you have to pay a premium for one with a disc drive.  There are no used digital games and no need to be clearing out old stock like a physical store does.  So price drops are entirely at the whim of the publisher.  So they nearly eliminate the few options available for people to buy games for current consoles at a low price and then increase the price of new titles at the same time?  Yeah, that's not a coincidence.

There were apparently devs who literally just bought a Vita Devkit right before the announcement was made. The whole thing was a trainwreck.

This is probably what convinced them.  Could they potentially have gotten sued for that?  This was probably a situation where the left hand didn't know what the right was doing so they decided to pull the plug without realizing that dev kits were still being sold.  I'll bet they're not selling dev kits anymore and they'll resume ending the store once they've reached the minimum amount of time the lawyers have determined would be sufficient to cover their butts.

I am in shock that they actually reversed their decision on the PS3/Vita store.  I guess lots of people were buying stuff before it disappeared and the suits saw the sales figures and decided to keep things going.

I was planning on buying the Mega Man Legends games before July 1 but now I can get the first one and see if I like it first without pressure to grab the sequel and Tron Bonne at the same time.

General Chat / Re: The COVID-19 Virus is Coming For Us All Thread
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:30:47 PM »
Today Penny Arcade had a script about getting the vaccine.  The strip's creators are a few years older than me and it hit me of how different the situation is in Canada.  I work for an American company and in a recent meeting the discussion about offices re-opening came up and a manager remarked how "most of us" had received the first shot by now, and all the Canadian employees were like "uh, what?".  In Canada the vaccine rollout has been extremely slow. If you're of working age there is no real thought about whether or not to take the vaccine because it will be months before you're even eligible.  My father just received his first shot a few days ago.  He's 72 and was only eligible because he has health issues.  He was told he would get the second shot in 4 months.  The manufacturer's recommendation for the second dose is up to 6 weeks.

The extended period of time between dosages has contributed to apprehension for receiving the vaccine among people I talk to.  The concern is that it may make the whole vaccination ineffective, so why risk any side effects by taking it at all?  Or if you can't even get the second dose what effect does "half" a vaccine have?  And if the vaccine rollout takes too long then couldn't the virus mutate to a point where the vaccine has no effect?  Defying the manufacturer's recommended time between doses have given a lot of ammunition to the anti-vaccine narrative that Canadian citizens are being used as guinea pigs.

I find the whole situation very frustrating because the vaccine was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel.  Vaccinate the population and this whole nightmare is supposed to be over.  But at this rate widespread vaccination even months from now seems like an impossible goal.  And this only works if a significant portion of the population get vaccinated and the botched rollout has increased anti-vaccination sentiment.  And this only works if the four month period between dosages isn't a mistake.  And this only works if the rollout occurs faster than the virus mutating into something immune to the vaccine.  The whole situation feels like crossing your fingers and hoping that everything works out.

The original Xbox has a battery in it that will leak and damage your system if you don't replace it.  The Turbo Duo and Game Gear have lousy capacitors that need to be replaced.  This isn't a new thing and isn't necessarily planned obsolescence, it's just that making a product that lasts for 50 years isn't a priority.  The logic is more that they're making a product that will be available for maybe 8 years and if the product can last for 15 then the R&D guys did a good job.

The one element that makes physical media appealing though is that it's not all-or-nothing.  Your system could fail but you might be able to fix it or find another one and all your games are still fine.  With digital you can have games stored on a system's hard drive but if the hardware goes and the server to redownload the games is offline then everything is gone at once.  The hope really is down to hackers.  The game executables will be backed up somewhere and it's really just a matter of being able to get something to run it.  I don't think too many games will become lost like some silent-era movie, at least not until streaming gaming is the norm and the users never have any files stored locally at all.

The future of playing your old games is unfortunately going to have to involve hacks and piracy, where as before you could just pop your old cartridges into the old system and everything was easy and legal.

General Gaming / Re: Games Industry Death Watch 2010-present
« on: March 30, 2021, 07:27:11 PM »
I heard the rumours about the PS3 store going down so my brother and I were spending a good part of the weekend downloading patches for all of our physical releases.  We only recently started living in the same house again so we had amassed independent PS3 collections over the years.  So I was going through a stack of his games downloading the most recent patches on the off-chance I might play his games someday and he was doing the same with mine.

Meanwhile I had bought some huge Capcom Humble Bundle years ago and had downloaded and installed a few of the key games I was interested in but had not downloaded a good 8 or 9 games because I was running low on hard drive space.  I had demos I didn't need anymore that I could delete but that was not a time sensitive job so I kept putting it off.  I also wouldn't have enough room for all the games anyway so I assumed I would have to upgrade the hard drive.  Well I deleted the demos on Saturday and started downloading the remaining games, often over night so as to not affect any internet performance for the rest of the family.  The lack of space was resolved by installing some of the biggest games on my brother's PS3 since he has a bigger hard drive and now that we're in the same house it really doesn't matter which PS3 "my" game is on.

Of course now it turns out you can re-download stuff so presumably this was all unnecessary.  Well, it still got me off my butt to do something I had literally put off for years so it wasn't a total waste.

I recently cleaned all of my N64 games and gave them a quick test.  I spent a bit of time in the evening playing F-Zero X.  That X Cup really is something special as you can just keep playing it again and again.  The tracks are not as good as the pre-made tracks of the other cups though.

Something odd happened though that I wasn't expecting.  At one point the sound started messing up.  I was getting loud crackling sounds in a pulse type of pattern.  The TV I was playing on is an old CRT so I thought maybe it was giving up the ghost.  I have a couple of consoles connected to it on a switch so I paused F-Zero and turned on the Genesis and it was fine with no sound issues.  So it must have been the N64.  I was on the final track of the Joker Cup and my brother suggested I go into the settings to try to the turn the sound off and continue the race.  But when I did so the game just died and the screen went black.  Resetting initially wouldn't turn it back on until I took out the cart and put it back in a few times.  The console itself wasn't warm or anything.  Odd.  Never seen an N64 game crash like that before.

Part of the appeal of F-Zero: Maximum Velocity was just how impressive it was to see something similar to the SNES F-Zero on a handheld.  Playing it today as just a "regular" videogame, it doesn't seem remarkable.  But at the time it was possibly the greatest handheld racing game ever made.  But should you buy it now?  Nah.  Only if you really dig the SNES F-Zero and want more.

While F-Zero GX is the high water mark for the series, I think F-Zero X is still a brilliant game.  They compromised the graphics to hit 60 FPS so as a result the game doesn't feel old, it just looks it.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Buying New Panels For Upgraded Switch?
« on: March 05, 2021, 03:24:43 PM »
The Switch is four years old and the other companies have started a new generation.  Couldn't this be as simple as Nintendo planning for their next generation system?  Five years is pretty standard, maybe they do 4.5.

I'm glad that at the very least Analogue has acknowledged that there were problems and has said they're going to address them.  Can't change the past but you can improve for the future.

Since the Pocket pre-order I've bought a few Game Gear games which is somewhat silly since I currently have no way to play them and if any of them were defective I won't be able to confirm that until well after the point where I could get a refund.  But I don't see Game Gear games every time I got to a retro game store so I have to take advantage of the situation, right?  I have not bought anything over 10 bucks so I have shown some restraint at least.  I got Shinobi, a few Sonics and some of the Disney games that I heard were good.

It's interesting to observe the history of re-releasing old games.  Originally we got retro compilations, usually of arcade titles, around the PS1/PS2 era when games were on cheap optical discs and the hardware could do the emulation.  But on the GBA we got SNES ports.  Then we get the VC and now retro games are released individually but as downloads only and at a low price point.  Then the next gen third parties realized they could make more by making their own retro compilations so they moved back to that and at the same time we got the "HD remaster" idea where literally games from the previous gen got ported to the current consoles which coincidently usually launched with a small lineup of original content.

A Skyward Sword remake doesn't surprise me because Nintendo has been remaking other Zelda games so this was logically going to get its turn.  I can't help but be amused by them putting in normal controls.  During the Wii years I hated motion controls and expressed that 99% of the time they were just mapping gestures to binary on/off actions and could thus do the exact same thing with buttons and get more responsive controls out of it.  But Nintendo was so adamant that these games would only work with motion controls and I like how that marketing spin is being debunked years after the fact.

The play of Mahomes throwing the ball while horizontal only to hit his receiver in the facemask is a pretty good summary for the night.  He played the best football he possibly could, but it was clearly not enough.

Last night was a textbook example of a superstar player being let down by his teammates.  While the calls were ticky-tacky, Mahomes was on the sideline while his defense gave up two touchdowns almost entirely on penalties (including lining up offside on a field goal, what the hell?).  His offensive line couldn't block **** and then he would escape and throw some miracle pass only for his receiver to drop it.  It really shows his composure that he didn't throw his teammates under the bus in post-game interviews or have a Philip Rivers-style freak out on the field.

At half time my entire family was cursing out the refs for some iffy calls on the Chiefs, but they had the second half to come back and couldn't seem to do anything right.  Their first drive in the second half looked promising and then both Hill and Kelce slipped on downs that looked like easy receptions, despite it not having raining and no one else slipping and sliding everywhere.  It was just that kind of game.  Ever have a situation where you rave about this restaurant you've been to and when you finally get friends of yours to go there with you it's the one time the food gets burnt and the waiters mess up your order and your friends and all like "what's the big deal with this place?"  That was the Chiefs last night.  I tell my parents they're the most impressive offense ever and then they completely **** the bed in the one game my parents watch.

I don't care for Tom Brady but my brother made a good point that one thing you have to give Brady credit for is that he does not squander opportunities.  If you slip on a banana peel he will finish you off, and I've seen hundreds of games where one team was just begging the other to defeat them and they didn't do it.  The guy always shows up ready to play and takes advantage of whatever opening there is.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Releases Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results
« on: February 02, 2021, 11:48:40 AM »
I think Nintendo's all ages approach has been assisted by the passage of time.  Around the N64/Gamecube eras the "kiddy" label was the kiss of death.  But keep in mind that at that point kids who grew up with the NES were in their teens and early 20's, so they were at an age where they're very sensitive about appearances and peer pressure.  Children have always loved Nintendo and now you also have middle-aged gamers that want to play games with their kids.  Or even middle-aged people without kids are perfectly fine with playing whatever games look enjoyable to them, regardless of whether a 15 year old thinks it's "kiddy".  The demographics for videogames has expanded where there are now two generations of people that grew up with them.  When Nintendo was "kiddy" you were in big trouble if you didn't have the teenager demographic but now that's only a section of the full market.

General Chat / Re: Official NFL Discussion: Great Googly Moogly
« on: February 01, 2021, 12:43:56 PM »
My brother and I have gotten into the habit of referring to Goff as "Jared Goof".  The guy got badly exposed in the Superbowl a few years back.  The Patriots realized that Goff was relying entirely on Sean McVay's playcalling so they would hold off on setting their defensive formation until after the headsets were turned off.  Unlike good quarterbacks, Goff couldn't react on the fly to the defense and the offense went nowhere.  Oddly enough Goff's huge contract came AFTER he was exposed as a fraud and the Rams organization would logically have known he was a fraud the entire time.  Never made any sense to me.

Goff is a quarterback that succeeds because of the organization around him while Stafford has probably succeeded despite it.  So in theory the trade makes sense for LA.  There is a lot of risk involved of course.  But if they win a Superbowl I doubt Rams fans will care if they have no first round draft pick for several years.  I suppose in theory if this all fails and they need the picks back they could probably get them by trading Aaron Donald or flipping Stafford again since there is always someone desperate for a quarterback.

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