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Messages - Evan_B

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1
I called the Arms Switch ability before it was cool.

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Announcements / Re: Topic of the Day
« on: July 18, 2020, 09:11:37 PM »
Khush was the hero we deserved, and also the one that the forums needed right now, but then he gave up like a wimp, so I guess that says a lot about the kind of hero this band of rapscallions deserved.

Good night, sweet prince.

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The most obvious example of this would be Affordable Space Adventures, which uses Gamepad controls in a very novel way. Scram Kitty and His Buddy on Rails can be played on other systems, but I fell in love with it on Wii U.

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Shale Jokes / Pap Smear: The Organic Kin
« on: July 09, 2020, 09:53:20 PM »
I have awakened from my thousand-year slumber to say...

Paper Mario still sucks.

*Returns to bed*

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Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 629: Public Estrangement
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:05:04 PM »
I'm glad Gui's only takeaway from my comments is "this game hates the player so much."

Great episode guys, it's the first I've listened to in a while. Glad to hear the gang's still at it.

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You'll not escape my wrath.

Black and White were one of the biggest disappointments to me as a Pokemon fan, and started my gradual departure from being a rabid fan. The post game attempt in this game was decent, but the narrative is awful and the world design suffers so greatly from its attempts at being a visual "spectacle." The game is only redeemed by its fabulous Pokemon designs, which suffer from being not as good as other gens, which would make the game harder in theory, except EXP scaling in this game is hot garbage. So yeah, it has a number of issues that Sun and Moon also share.

Have fun playing!

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Nintendo Gaming / Re: Animal Crossing, what's soo good about the game?
« on: January 30, 2019, 12:06:51 PM »
I still don’t know what makes this series good and seeing people unable to describe its positive traits more than a decade ago makes me strangely... even less inclined to try it.

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Nintendo Gaming / Re: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Is Your Body Ready?!?!
« on: January 30, 2019, 07:29:56 AM »
I don't think any of the newcomers are broken. They gave a number of veteran fighters stupid buffs and options, though.

Nice to see buffs across the board, more or less.

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Wow so you ask for advice and then you just go and don't listen to me? SMDH

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Reader Reviews / Re: A Response to the Disparity in YIIK Reviews
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:12:37 PM »
My personal blog has suffered a bit since joining Switch RPG, and I do feel a bit poorly about that. A great deal of the content I would want to write about is what I cover on SwitchRPG, so coming up with two different articles with roughly the same subject material is a bit difficult. I'm hoping to turn some of the material I wrote for the blog into video essays and transition over to a youtube channel in order to differentiate my content more.

As for the battle system- there are some moves that are combo-string oriented, where messing up one input ruins the whole combo, and others that are more straightforward, with "tiered" amounts of damage. There's also a great number of spells that have unique action commands and are much less punishing. The game also features the ability to speed up and slow down time in order to skip or focus on certain parts of action commands, respectively.

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Reader Reviews / A Response to the Disparity in YIIK Reviews
« on: January 18, 2019, 12:40:58 AM »
I am going to put this out there because I would really like to talk about what I feel is important as a journalist and as a person.

The website SwitchRPG posted their review for YIIK: A Postmodern RPG yesterday, a title which received an overwhelmingly positive response from the writer- myself. I was more than pleased with the game, and I will be completely honest, I spoke with the developers before release about some of the aspects of the narrative and gameplay, including several bugs that I experienced during my playthrough and felt needed to be addressed. They responded favorably and told me they would be working on a patch- these are issues that have been solved.

If you are on Twitter, Metacritic, or the internet and are curious about this game, you may have noticed that it has, as the Wikipedia article states, received mixed reviews from critics. I have read more than a few of these reviews- some for the PS4 version of the game, which apparently boasts issues I did not encounter in the Switch version, and some for the Switch version, which cited several issues, among them being:

-Alex is an unlikable protagonist
-The battle system is slow and broken
-The game's writing is offensive
-Review copies were buggy

There are parts of their reviews that I can sympathize with. As a reviewer, as a journalist, and as someone who cares about independent developers, I went out of my way to alert Ackk Studios about the bugs that I encountered- again, these are bugs that, as of release, have been addressed. There are also parts of their reviews that I find deeply disturbing, due to the fact that I played the game to near 100% completion (including sidequests, other additional content) and finished the game's narrative and am aware of narrative plot twists that are seemingly unaddressed in these negative reviews. Aside from this, I have seen a visceral and hateful response from a vocal group on social media denouncing the game as a trainwreck, slinging derogatory labels towards the developers and generally dismissing the game as garbage.

What I would first like to say is that I fully stand by the review that I gave the game, and whether or not the rest of the SwitchRPG staff agree, I will continue to stand by that review. I stated adamantly within my review that I wish to hear others discuss the game- the whole game- and to those of you who are curious, I would love to hold an in-depth discussion with you on the title.

Second, what I am currently working on as a response to these developments is a very thorough analysis of the game- its mechanics, its script, and its meta-narrative, in order to perhaps offer some semblance of support and context regarding what has unfolded in the last 48 hours. I have reached out to the developer in order to arrange an interview, and they have responded positively. I am not certain whether this retrospective will be organized as a piece of written content OR a video essay- I would prefer the latter- but I will post it in this thread when I am finished.

Lastly, I want to say that, as someone who strives to write quality content for the site and in general, I consider this mixed reception to be a result of a few things:

-YIIK has mechanics that are unfamiliar and therefore jarring to those with a well-established vocabulary for gaming
-Some people who submitted reviews did not see the narrative through to its conclusion
-Those who reviewed the game as well as those who have slung derogatory comments towards the developer did not understand the postmodernist message of the game.

I am hoping to cover all three of these points in depth via my retrospective. In order to make sure those who are uncertain about taking the plunge don't feel their purchase was a waste, it is my DUTY to be strong and clear about my own views and tastes as I continue to write and create content, so that those who feel their tastes align with mine are confident in making a purchase. Thank you for reading. I hope you look forward to my retrospective, no matter what form it takes.

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General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: January 11, 2019, 06:20:52 PM »
I'm playing Omega Strike on Switch right now and it's... fine, I guess? It's a Metroidvania, and I at least like that it doesn't really hold you hand with where to go. The difficulty is a bit low and the main gimmick is fine, which is that you can swap between three different characters at will who each have different kinds of weaponry and abilities- there's basic, machine-gun-toting protagonist, strongman with "rolling" bullets and the ability to push blocks, and double-jumping, shotgun wielding dude. The exploration upgrades you get- at least, all that I've uncovered, about 60% into the game- are all gifted to the basic protagonist, though, which is a bit surprising, but understandable, considering he's the most bland of the three. As of yet, the game hasn't forced me to do any clever swapping between characters and is mostly straightforward, but it's enjoyable enough.

I've also played a buttload of indie titles for my writing position, but I won't get into those. Just do yourself a favor and go play YIIK when it releases next week.

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General Gaming / Re: What Are The Games You Played/Beat in 2018?
« on: January 08, 2019, 07:22:27 PM »
You're a sick man if you'd part a good shopkeeper from his apples.

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General Gaming / Re: What Are The Games You Played/Beat in 2018?
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:30:36 PM »
45 Seems like a long time for The Last Story, no? I did every optional quest and punched the clock around 27 hours, which is a few hours above the average playtimes displayed on How Long To Beat (21-25h seems average).
Were you using a guide? I spent a lot of time speaking to people around Lazulis but I also had a hard time finding a lot of optional material, which is why my save file resulted around 40-ish hours. I don't know, I was pretty exhaustive with the game and I missed some stuff, so I'm surprised to see you say 25.

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General Gaming / Re: What Are The Games You Played/Beat in 2018?
« on: January 07, 2019, 05:32:44 PM »
Should we all pull for a Retroactive play-along of The Last Story in 2019? Surely that game is old enough by now?
That would give me an excellent opportunity to do some video capture of it, so yes.

It's also a 45 hour game so I'm not too sure.

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General Gaming / Re: What Are The Games You Played/Beat in 2018?
« on: January 05, 2019, 11:26:52 PM »
You and I share similar feelings on Sunshine. In my opinion, it has one of the better settings for a Collect-a-thon Mario, and the way that setting informed the aesthetic and design is very cool. Sunshine has the best movement options for Mario, which is largely why I continue to regard it so highly.

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General Gaming / Re: What Are The Games You Played/Beat in 2018?
« on: January 05, 2019, 09:17:52 PM »
I guess I posted my list in the wrong place.

My top ten list isn't much longer than my "2018 games played" list, but that's mostly due to being more involved in reviewing/writing and finishing my Masters.

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Reader Reviews / 2018 In Review
« on: January 03, 2019, 02:32:19 PM »
Looking back on the year, there are some games that I will never understand. Some may think that this is because I am overly critical, and they are most likely correct in some regard. I am also extremely aware of my own tastes and I know that, when I am unable to understand a game, that likely means I cannot glean any particular pleasure satisfaction from it. So when writing this list, I have done so with some very specific criteria in mind: it is highly subjective and reflects the titles that I have played in 2018, which means it is ultimately limited in exposure and scope. However, the games featured also represent the sort of year that I have experienced- one where I have avoided major, landmark titles in favor of more niche experiences. Likewise, this will feature several titles that existed before 2018, and that's okay. I try to be as fiscally responsible as possible, which sometimes means not picking up games the day they release.

Lastly, I'm the sort of person who feels suspense in list form is a silly concept. If you'd like to hear my particular thoughts on any of these games, just type the name into your search bar:

Crawl
Hyper Light Drifter
The Alliance Alive
Dandara
Kingdom: Two Crowns
Cosmic Star Heroine
Hand of Fate 2
Etrian Odyssey V
Slap City
Hollow Knight


10 ) Crawl
In an age where party games have gone the way of Jackbox, this surprising, chunky, and raw roguelike took me by surprise in all the right ways. Crawl's macabre, yet simplistic aesthetic allows for ridiculously expressive animation that lends a great deal of personality to each enemy and player character. Its inventive premise- survive as long as you can while your friends possess monsters and traps in order to kill you- is simple enough to be understood, but it's paired with a complex and enjoyable customization system that allows for various builds and approaches. Sure, Crawl can be unfair at times, but all four players are always playing, which means there's always something to do, whether it's leveling up your monsters or dropping slimes into a room in order to impede player progress.

9 ) Hyper Light Drifter
Yes, Hyper Light Drifter is good. With the additional challenges that released with the Switch port, it has even more neat secrets to find and battles to fight. The game's wonderful aesthetics, pulsating soundtrack, and its precision combat that rewards a mixture of both ranged and melee approaches make this a title worth checking out, if only to take note of the more novel elements of game design. Even so, there's a bit too much wall hugging and awkward camera tricks to make this indie title feel flawless- or, at least, as flawless as some other titles that appear later on this list.

8 ) The Alliance Alive
Many enjoy the Role-playing genre due to the ability to watch the numbers predictably climb and to familiarize themselves with a small group of characters. FuRyu's The Alliance Alive is not like this, utilizing the groundwork established in their previous release The Legend of Legacy to enhance and complicate their combat system. With each of the impressively large main cast able to enter a number of different stances and distribute their experience into a variety of abilities, the possibilities are anything but straightforward. Add in some meaningful overworld exploration, a neat guild support system, and dungeons that seek to steadily enhance challenge with some of the most difficult enemies, and you have a 3DS classic that shouldn't be forgotten, despite its unfortunate obscurity.

7 ) Dandara
In terms of games feeling and doing something unique, Dandara takes the cake. This non-linear action platformer mixes claustrophobic movement area with all manner of enemies, each with their own attack and movement patterns. Dandara is a puzzle more than anything- how can one move throughout the environment without taking damage, but also firing back? Its dreamlike soundtrack and incredible boss battles only sweeten the deal, and it makes me excited to see what developer Long Hat House has in store for the future.

6 ) Kingdom: Two Crowns
Having actually played Kingdom for the first time very recently, the New Lands version of the game already had me excited for this co-operative, campaign-oriented sequel. However, the end result was even better than I had imagined- new tech trees, unit types, mounts, and aesthetic upgrades that offered the definitive mellow-yet-methodical kingdom simulator. Plus, winter doesn't last forever, which is pretty nice. The co-operative elements also allow for further strategy and planning, which is good, considering the endgame's brutal difficulty.

5 ) Cosmic Star Heroine
I finally got around to picking up Zeboyd Games' love letter to 16-bit RPGs, and I was not disappointed. As a huge fan of both Chrono Trigger and Phantasy Star, I can say with confidence that Cosmic Star Heroine is neither of these things- however, it doesn't have to be. This game feels as if it was developed alongside such classics, and features enough unique combat mechanics, charming characters and dialogue, and of course, a fabulous soundtrack to stand toe to toe with other classics. As far as independent titles go, Cosmic Star Heroine is one of the best examples of how to do nostalgia correct- by paying homage with aesthetics and offering up something entirely different.

4 ) Hand of Fate 2
When I attempt describing Hand of Fate to those unfamiliar, the best I can come up with is "card/board game-based rogue-lite." Hand of Fate utilizes all the best parts of a board game- the dice rolls, card draws, and square-by-square navigation- in order to create a variety of scenarios that are just structured enough to become familiar with. Still, these elements are shuffled together with a selection of the player's own choice of cards, which means anything can happen once a campaign has started. Fortunately, the game is topped off by a tight, committal combat system that breaks up some of the narrative turns and offers intense and thrilling challenge. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it is one of the most fascinating and different Role-playing games I've experienced in a while.

3 ) Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
Although Nippon Ichi Software tried their hand- and succeeded- at a first-person dungeon crawler this year with Labyrinth of Refrain on Nintendo Switch, Atlus proves once again that their years of experience with Etrian Odyssey puts them leagues above the rest. With excellent pacing and new innovations to the map-making systems, EOV takes a step away from the more broken combinations of teams and focuses instead on crafting highly specialized characters well-equipped for certain scenarios. The puzzle mechanics found in each dungeon are also excellent, and boss battles are packed with neat gimmicks that can be circumvented through proper team-building and environmental manipulation. It's a classic Etrian Odyssey title, through and through, and with Nexus on the way in 2019, it's becoming harder and harder to say goodbye to this touchscreen-centric Role-playing series.


2 ) Slap City
If you had told me that I would be falling in love with not one, but two platform fighters this year, I would have questioned your sanity. However, the folks at Ludosity have crafted an immaculate Smash Bros-like game with Slap City. A crossover of the team's many franchises, you won't be able to find epic battles between Business Casual Man and Fishbunjin anywhere else. With all eight of its initial roster slots filled this year, I am eagerly anticipating more additions. Each Slap City character feels like a combination of the best traits of some Smash veterans, or a completely new and fantastic sort of character archetype. Its ludicrously low pricing only sweetens the deal, and makes me hope for some sort of console port so that more people can be exposed to this fighting masterpiece.

1 ) Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is good. Actually, Hollow Knight is GREAT. It is quite possibly one of the most absurdly-priced games out there, offering hours of content featuring a massive world, intense boss fights, unique metroidvania mechanics, an amazing soundtrack, and lovely aesthetics. There is a great deal of enemy variety, and the objective of the game often changes in order to keep you on your toes. Whether you're hoarding money for a particularly expensive piece of equipment, attempting to transport a flower without getting touched, or liberating the dreaming spirits of Hollownest, there's something to do in Hollow Knight. You can try your hand at some brutal platforming, or test your mettle in the coliseum. You can fight mantises or bees. You can choose from a few endings, depending on how much of the game you think you can handle. It is an incredibly full-featured creature, and I had a delight giving it a go. Now, we await the DLC!

Of course, I usually do a little something extra for my year review. I like to choose a game of the year, something that truly lit up my life in all the best ways. The only problem is, I ended up playing a game that is scheduled for release in 2019, and it ended up being my game of the year for 2018. All I can do is list the name, and hope that you look forward to when the review embargo lifts, when I have the chance to share this magical title with you.

Game of the Year: YIIK: A Postmodern RPG

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It...

...is finished.

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Prepare your anuses, for the final installment of Monolith Makes Worlds will drop this week with the one-year anniversary of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’ll be offering my impressions and analysis of Torna: The Golden Country.

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Nintendo Gaming / Re: Switch Discussion Thread (Year 2: Joy-Con Boogaloo)
« on: November 14, 2018, 09:16:41 PM »
Speaking of the Joy Con Boogaloo, has anyone else encountered drifting issues with their Joy Con control sticks? Have we already addressed this? Sorry if that’s the case. But my right stick is just infuriating, especially for camera control and certain games that have gauges that can be turned with sticks. I really want to get a Pro Controller just so I don’t have to deal with this **** anymore, but at the same time I’ll have to keep my Switch docked and that doesn’t make me happy, either. I would buy a new pair but I’ve heard that the rubber cap for the stick is what causes this, as it doesn’t protect the inner parts of the stick from residue and such.

...am I just a filthy person who should keep cleaning my sticks with rubbing alcohol? It’s a temporary solution but also a big process...

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Shale Jokes / Re: Stop trying to make A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE happen.
« on: November 14, 2018, 09:09:29 PM »
I’ve tried very hard to expand my reach as a writer and reviewer, as well as generate more of a presence on the twitters and instagrams and such. Not bringing me any particular happiness, so I’m going back to what brought me some comfort: being in a Nintendo echo chamber forum. <3

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Nintendo Gaming / Re: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Prediction Challenge!
« on: November 02, 2018, 12:35:21 AM »
Y’all are so boring. It doesn’t matter anyway, since the roster has already been leaked:

1) Abraham Lincoln
2) Tsubasa Oribe
3) Qbert
4) Wonder Red
5) 900 Koroks

In all seriousness though, saying Rex can’t make it because they had finished planning and then turning around and saying Fire Emblem and Pokemon are getting future reps when they are just as, if not more recent, is silly.

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Nintendo Gaming / Re: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Prediction Challenge!
« on: November 01, 2018, 09:31:16 PM »
My list of DLC possibilities has Edelgard and a Gen VIII Pokemon written in permanent Sharpie. So that basically leaves three open slots.
How can you want the two most over-represented series in this game to get more characters?

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