Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #250

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:11 pm

I think I need to see this 80 year old video game Twitch streamer...

I did indeed spend most of yesterday just farming. Got enough souls to wield the BKH and, damn, that thing seems OP as hell. R1 is fast, R2 is usable, better reach than the BKS, and it does more damage. Only downsides are that R1 is a vertical attack (rather than horizontal) and if you miss there's a lengthy recovery time, but it still seems insanely strong. Not surprised speedrunners would use it. Upgraded I was two-shotting any stray hunters that didn't dive off the cliff. I'm gonna have fun using this thing for real today.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #251

Postby Raxivace » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:50 pm

Bah never mind, looking him up again he's only 50. That's lame.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #252

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:10 pm

Made pretty good progress over the last few days. Finished off Darkroot Garden by beating Sif (pretty tough considering it was nearly impossible to stay under him and that "double swing" he does always hits on the second time for a ton of damage); made it through Sen's Fortress, which had a really cool old-school dungeon crawl feel to it with all the traps, though the Iron Golem boss was pretty easy; explored a bit in Anor Londo but accidentally got sucked into the painting (LOL, WTF?) so I guess I'll be doing that next.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #253

Postby Raxivace » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:01 pm

Yeah the Sen's Fortress boss is pretty easy though that's kind of welcome after some of the trickier traps there.

I fell for the Painting too my first time through. Really reminded me Mario 64.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #254

Postby Raxivace » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:30 pm

Jimbo with the announcement of Deadly Premonition 2 coming out next year, you should play Deadly Premonition 1.

It's basically Twin Peaks Fanfiction: The Video Game and the greatest bad but actually kind of good but still kind of bad but it doesn't even kind of matter video game ever made in history.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #255

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:19 pm

^ Well that's an intriguing recommendation. I'll add it to my PSN wishlist.

Anyway, made it through the Painted World yesterday. Really cool diversionary level. Harpies were a Phalanx, and that blobby/spear monster(s) thing was creepy AF. Boss was really interesting too. I figured out near the end of my first try that the idea was to watch the snow for her footprints so I managed to beat her on the second go. Guess I'll be back to Anor Londo today.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #256

Postby Raxivace » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:34 pm

Supposedly Painted World was originally just a test level from the early stages of Dark Souls' development, however the dev team decided they liked it so much they figured out a way to work it into the final game. I have to say I'm glad they did, it's one of my favorites in Dark Souls.

Jimbo, I'm curious what you're thinking of the story/characters at this point. Like for example, when the Painted World boss started going on about the inhabitants of that world being peaceful and kind, what did you think of that?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #257

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:15 pm

Makes sense that it would've been a test level that they worked into the game given that it's literally another world you have to step into. Very cool either way.

So far I can't tell that there is much of a story or characters. Most all the story was contained in the opening cutscene and all the characters speak in cryptic-eese. As far as I can tell, a bunch of legendary warriors defeated some dragons and there's an age of fire, but the fire starts going out and people start turning undead. You're one of the undead on a quest to... I don't really know what--restore the fire that's going out or something? That would make sense of the bonfires and whatnot. I will say that the end of the Painted World level had me going: "are we the baddies?" I guess you could've ended the level without killing her, but it seemed like much less fun. :/
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #258

Postby Raxivace » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:09 am

Yeah the Painted World thing is weird because you still get attacked by all the enemies on sight except for the boss, who is the one that goes on about kindness and such. If they're trying to make you feel like the villain its a weird, kind muddled way to do that.

As far as the main story goes I think you're on the right track.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #259

Postby Raxivace » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:21 am

Anyways even though the existence of literature is an abomination and an affront to the divine I've been reading Ian Fleming's Casino Royale lately.

There's a kind of interesting conversation in the book. I'll quote most of it here.

Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale" wrote:Bond looked away from Mathis. He studied his bandaged hands.

‘When I was being beaten up,’ he said, ‘I suddenly liked the idea of being alive. Before Le Chiffre began, he used a phrase which stuck in my mind . . . “playing Red Indians”. He said that’s what I had been doing. Well, I suddenly thought he might be right.

‘You see,’ he said, still looking down at his bandages, ‘when one’s young, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but as one gets older it becomes more difficult. At school it’s easy to pick out one’s own villains and heroes and one grows up wanting to be a hero and kill the villains.’

He looked obstinately at Mathis.

‘Well, in the last few years I’ve killed two villains. The first was in New York—a Japanese cipher expert cracking our codes on the thirty-sixth floor of the RCA building in the Rockefeller centre, where the Japs had their consulate. I took a room on the fortieth floor of the next-door skyscraper and I could look across the street into his room and see him working. Then I got a colleague from our organization in New York and a couple of Remington thirty-thirty’s with telescopic sights and silencers. We smuggled them up to my room and sat for days waiting for our chance. He shot at the man a second before me. His job was only to blast a hole through the windows so that I could shoot the Jap through it. They have tough windows at the Rockefeller centre to keep the noise out. It worked very well. As I expected, his bullet got deflected by the glass and went God knows where. But I shot immediately after him, through the hole he had made. I got the Jap in the mouth as he turned to gape at the broken window.’

Bond smoked for a minute.

‘It was a pretty sound job. Nice and clean too. Three hundred yards away. No personal contact. The next time in Stockholm wasn’t so pretty. I had to kill a Norwegian who was doubling against us for the Germans. He’d managed to get two of our men captured—probably bumped off for all I know. For various reasons it had to be an absolutely silent job. I chose the bedroom of his flat and a knife. And, well, he just didn’t die very quickly.

‘For those two jobs I was awarded a Double O number in the Service. Felt pretty clever and got a reputation for being good and tough. A double O number in our Service means you’ve had to kill a chap in cold blood in the course of some job.

‘Now,’ he looked up again at Mathis, ‘that’s all very fine. The hero kills two villains, but when the hero Le Chiffre starts to kill the villain Bond and the villain Bond knows he isn’t a villain at all, you see the other side of the medal. The villains and heroes get all mixed up.

‘Of course,’ he added, as Mathis started to expostulate, ‘patriotism comes along and makes it seem fairly all right, but this country-right-or-wrong business is getting a little out-of-date. Today we are fighting Communism. Okay. If I’d been alive fifty years ago, the brand of Conservatism we have today would have been damn near called Communism and we should have been told to go and fight that. History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.’

Mathis stared at him aghast. Then he tapped his head and put a calming hand on Bond’s arm.

‘You mean to say that this precious Le Chiffre who did his best to turn you into a eunuch doesn’t qualify as a villain?’ he asked. ‘Anyone would think from the rot you talk that he had been battering your head instead of your . . .’ He gestured down the bed. ‘You wait till M tells you to get after another Le Chiffre. I bet you’ll go after him all right. And what about smersh? I can tell you I don’t like the idea of these chaps running around France killing anyone they feel has been a traitor to their precious political system. You’re a bloody anarchist.’

He threw his arms in the air and let them fall helplessly to his sides.

Bond laughed.

‘All right,’ he said. ‘Take our friend Le Chiffre. It’s simple enough to say he was an evil man, at least it’s simple enough for me because he did evil things to me. If he was here now, I wouldn’t hesitate to kill him, but out of personal revenge and not, I’m afraid, for some high moral reason or for the sake of my country.’

He looked up at Mathis to see how bored he was getting with these introspective refinements of what, to Mathis, was a simple question of duty.

Mathis smiled back at him.

‘Continue, my dear friend. It is interesting for me to see this new Bond. Englishmen are so odd. They are like a nest of Chinese boxes. It takes a very long time to get to the centre of them. When one gets there the result is unrewarding, but the process is instructive and entertaining. Continue. Develop your arguments. There may be something I can use to my own chief the next time I want to get out of an unpleasant job.’ He grinned maliciously.

Bond ignored him.

‘Now in order to tell the difference between good and evil, we have manufactured two images representing the extremes—representing the deepest black and the purest white—and we call them God and the Devil. But in doing so we have cheated a bit. God is a clear image, you can see every hair on His beard. But the Devil. What does he look like?’ Bond looked triumphantly at Mathis.

Mathis laughed ironically.

‘A woman.’

‘It’s all very fine,’ said Bond, ‘but I’ve been thinking about these things and I’m wondering whose side I ought to be on. I’m getting very sorry for the Devil and his disciples such as the good Le Chiffre. The Devil has a rotten time and I always like to be on the side of the underdog. We don’t give the poor chap a chance. There’s a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there’s no Evil Book about evil and how to be bad. The Devil has no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folk-lore about evil people. All we have is the living example of the people who are least good, or our own intuition.

‘So,’ continued Bond, warming to his argument, ‘Le Chiffre was serving a wonderful purpose, a really vital purpose, perhaps the best and highest purpose of all. By his evil existence, which foolishly I have helped to destroy, he was creating a norm of badness by which, and by which alone, an opposite norm of goodness could exist. We were privileged, in our short knowledge of him, to see and estimate his wickedness and we emerge from the acquaintanceship better and more virtuous men.’

‘Bravo,’ said Mathis. ‘I’m proud of you. You ought to be tortured every day. I really must remember to do something evil this evening. I must start at once. I have a few marks in my favour—only small ones, alas,’ he added ruefully—‘but I shall work fast now that I have seen the light. What a splendid time I’m going to have. Now, let’s see, where shall I start, murder, arson, rape? But no, these are peccadilloes. I must really consult the good Marquis de Sade. I am a child, an absolute child in these matters.’

His face fell.

‘Ah, but our conscience, my dear Bond. What shall we do with him while we are committing some juicy sin? That is a problem. He is a crafty person this conscience and very old, as old as the first family of apes which gave birth to him. We must give that problem really careful thought or we shall spoil our enjoyment. Of course, we should murder him first, but he is a tough bird. It will be difficult, but if we succeed, we could be worse even than Le Chiffre.

‘For you, dear James, it is easy. You can start off by resigning. That was a brilliant thought of yours, a splendid start to your new career. And so simple. Everyone has the revolver of resignation in his pocket. All you’ve got to do is pull the trigger and you will have made a big hole in your country and your conscience at the same time. A murder and a suicide with one bullet! Splendid! What a difficult and glorious profession. As for me, I must start embracing the new cause at once.’

He looked at his watch.

‘Good. I’ve started already. I’m half an hour late for a meeting with the chief of police.’

He rose to his feet laughing.

‘That was most enjoyable, my dear James. You really ought to go on the halls. Now about that little problem of yours, this business of not knowing good men from bad men and villains from heroes, and so forth. It is, of course, a difficult problem in the abstract. The secret lies in personal experience, whether you’re a Chinaman or an Englishman.’

He paused at the door.

‘You admit that Le Chiffre did you personal evil and that you would kill him if he appeared in front of you now?

‘Well, when you get back to London you will find there are other Le Chiffres seeking to destroy you and your friends and your country. M will tell you about them. And now that you have seen a really evil man, you will know how evil they can be and you will go after them to destroy them in order to protect yourself and the people you love. You won’t wait to argue about it. You know what they look like now and what they can do to people. You may be a bit more choosy about the jobs you take on. You may want to be certain that the target really is black, but there are plenty of really black targets around. There’s still plenty for you to do. And you’ll do it. And when you fall in love and have a mistress or a wife and children to look after, it will seem all the easier.’

Mathis opened the door and stopped on the threshold.

‘Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.’

He laughed. ‘But don’t let me down and become human yourself. We would lose such a wonderful machine.’

With a wave of the hand he shut the door.

‘Hey,’ shouted Bond.

But the footsteps went quickly off down the passage.


While most of the book before this is kind of what I expected a James Bond novel to be like, this whole section here doesn't feel line with the films at all (I can't remember the 2006 film adaptation super well but I don't remember that being quite like this either, and I know the 1954 and 1967 versions don't have sections like this). Bond is so...talkative, and openly philosophical even. I can't even imagine Connery or Moore or Craig or any of them saying most of this.

What it really reminds me of is Metal Gear Solid. Like it really seems more like the kind of conversation that I'd expect Solid Snake to have with someone, or perhaps Naked Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3 (Especially since that one is most explicitly a Bond homage more than any other MGS game). I always figured Kojima was most influenced by the Bond movies, but now I wonder if he wasn't so nerdy that he went back to Fleming's books too.

Like the stuff about the Conservatism of today seeming like it would be Communism 50 years ago seems pretty close to stuff Hideo actually wrote in games like MGS3.

Anyways this all just struck me as really surprising.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #260

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:54 pm

^ Pretty cool excerpt. Even back when I was really into James Bond (when I was like 12) I never bothered to check out the Fleming novels. That does have a very MGS-vibe to it. Of course, Bond was wrong that The Devil had no book; William Blake would've said that John Milton wrote it (Paradise Lost), and Blake's own work was just annotations on it; the main idea being that "God" is whatever society has built and "The Devil" is the primal forces within man that threaten that order through chaos (mostly in the form of emotions). Of course, because these are abstractions they fit equally well with every society and every opposing force, which makes sense of the old "everybody is the hero of their own story, including the villains of yours."

Anyway, as for Dark Souls, I finished Anor Londo. Bosses seemed far too easy after I summoned the AI help. I think I might just skip doing that the rest o the game as it basically took the challenge completely out of the fatso/slim duo. More interesting was when I invaded the realm of the baddie that killed the Firelink flame keeper; taking on him and two cronies at once was more of a challenge, but thankfully the arena was large enough that I could maneuver and take them out one at a time with a little effort. I visited The Hollow, but, man, what a twisted maze. I'm sure there's tons of goodies in there I missed, but I couldn't be bothered with making all these ridiculous jumps just to repeatedly die. I also visited Ash Lake just enough to beat the second Hydra; much better designed this time around since the beach essentially marked the point where you'd fall to your death by going much further.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #261

Postby Raxivace » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:53 pm

Haha, I figured you have something to say about the stuff with the Devil.

Anyways having finished it yesterday I would recommend this first Fleming novel. It's pretty interesting how low-key it is compared to the Bond movies- most of it is spent on either Bond playing card games or moping around his hotel room. In some ways it feels more akin to detective novels starring Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe, which perhaps explains both why Raymond Chandler seemed to like this and why the 1954 tv film adaptation feels more like film noir (It even has Peter Lorre playing Le Chiffre! Barry Nelson of all people playing Bond as an American is pretty wtf though). Bond also seems very consciously written as a flawed character (For example, his misogynistic bent is pretty much the reason he misses what Vesper Lynd is actually doing the whole novel) which is interesting.

As far as Dark Souls goes, yeah the AI helps, especially against Biggie and Smalls. The journey to save the Firelink keeper is pretty fun, though on replay you can prevent the flame keeper's death altogether by killing Lautrec early. I like to aggro him at Firelink Shrine and then just kick him off the ledge.

I'll be curious to see what you think of the second half of the game. Other than the DLC which is great, I think there's a noticeable drop in quality in the game after you beat Pikachu and Snorlax.

I was tempted to also call the bosses Franz and Reinhold since I'm a little over halfway through Berlin Alexanderplatz now but seriously fuck Reinhold and you know what? Fuck Meck too.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #262

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:20 pm

I've heard before that the Fleming novels were quite different than the films, but that's not terribly unusual for book-to-film adaptations.

I haven't had any chance to play more Souls the last several days, mostly a combination of watching football with my dad and then there was the concert on Sunday from which I think I'm still recovering! It's only stuff like that that tends to remind me I'm getting older! It'll be a shame if the second half isn't as good as I've really enjoyed the first half so far, especially the atmosphere and level/boss designs.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #263

Postby Raxivace » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:03 am

What I'm getting out of this is that you would have played more Dark Souls instead if one of the NPC's of the game was one of these pop stars you're into.

Let's be honest, Dark Souls would be a better game with a pop star character.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #264

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:32 pm

Raxivace wrote:What I'm getting out of this is that you would have played more Dark Souls instead if one of the NPC's of the game was one of these pop stars you're into.

Let's be honest, Dark Souls would be a better game with a pop star character.
Heh, concert wasn't a pop concert! But, yes, everything is better with pop star characters. Really, football has been taking up much more of my time... there's just too many games to watch and I hate missing any in case there's a good one!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #265

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:45 pm

So, uhhh, happy Video Games day, I guess... apparently that's a thing, and it's September 12th.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #266

Postby Raxivace » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:55 am

Huh, it seems I missed out on Video Games Day, the day of video games. I still need to beat GoldenEye and then move onto Spider-Man.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #267

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:19 am

After taking last week off from gaming I started back up again this week, though going much slower now that I'm splitting my time between a lot of other activities. Still, I finished Ash Lake, The Catacombs, ad Tomb of Giants, took care of Pinwheel and Nito, managed both on my first try, though Nito was a close call. Managed to go toxic as soon as the fight started so I just decided to tank/two-hand the fight in hopes of ending it quick, and went through all my Estuses and was down to one "block" of health when I struck the final blow. I think I'm off to the Duke's Archives next.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #268

Postby Raxivace » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:18 am

Last week? Jimbo, it's been over seven years since that modern Calypso known as Taylor Swift lured you away. Why, I practically gave myself up to the suitors in the meantime, just to have something to do!

But yeah Pinwheel isn't too bad and you can actually fight him as soon as you get to Firelink if you really wanted to. Nito gives me trouble sometimes though.

Duke's Archives is kind of a neat area, will be curious to hear your thoughts on it.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #269

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:59 am

[laugh] Seriously though, you can't blame this on Swift. Football royally fucks up my schedule in general as that's like 15-20 hours of my week gone and it's hard rearranging everything. Like, I was playing games and listening to music plenty before the season started, but now I'm constantly having to choose between them, and because it's usually late when I finish doing everything it usually feels better to just relax with music rather than concentrate on a game.

Anyway, I did get through The Duke's Archives. It was alright, but the boss was pretty lame (minus the first time where death is inevitably, I guess) and I got a bit tired of backtracking up/down that huge-ass spiral staircase. Good atmosphere though with the multi-level libraries and moving staircase. Definitely one level where having more ranged attacks would've helped as those casters were a PITA.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #270

Postby Raxivace » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:04 am

Ah okay. I don't follow sports so I didn't even realize that football had already started. Most of my football knowledge comes from there having been five or six former NFL players as contestants on Survivor (If the clip was available online this is where I would post the video that shows Brad Culpepper has absolutely no idea how fucking counting works, and somehow he was still easily the best at Survivor among the NFL players), and also that time I worked at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (FUN FACT: All that "Deflategate" nonsense happened mere weeks after I left my job there. Coincidence? I think not).

Anyways yeah Duke's Archives is an interesting area. The Harry Potter staircase can be confusing though, and I'm not entirely sure I like the forced death. Seath is an annoying boss because if you just fight him regularly he's way too easy, but if you try to cut his tail off to get the secret weapon he's one of the more annoying fights in the game. And its much easier to die to him when you're trying to cut his tail off, and having to run from the last Duke's Archives bonfire through the entirety of the Crystal Caves is mad annoying.

I guess the other notable thing is that the "key" to the DLC zone is hidden in Duke's Archives for some reason. Make sure to pick that up if you missed it.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #271

Postby Raxivace » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:54 am

Image

I like how even in goofy anime form the eternal rivalry between the English and the French continues.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #272

Postby Raxivace » Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:26 pm

So while I've mostly been addicted to Fate/Grand Order the past few months (Though I'm almost caught up with the current story arc that's been released in the English version), I did manage to put some time aside to check out some Fatal Fury games. While I had heard of SNK before I had never really taken the time to check their games out (While I knew who Mai Shiranui was and liked her bonus appearances in Dead or Alive 5/6, I don't think I could have told you she originated in Fatal Fury and King of Fighters specifically), Terry Bogard being announced as DLC for Smash Bros. Ultimate had me curious.


^Terry's Smash teaser is neat.

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Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1991) - This one is pretty fun. It had some neat ideas like jumping through planes, though like some of these other early 2D fighters it could get a little tough in the single player arcade mode. Only three playable characters is a bit disappointing as well.

Fatal Fury II (1992) – One the surface seems better since there are more playable characters (Including the debut of fan favorite Mai Shiranui, the only Fatal Fury character I kind of knew beforehand), though I feel like the arcade mode is far cheaper than Fatal Fury 1 and even the Street Fighter II variants at their worst. I really struggled with this to the point it kind of ruined the game for me.

The King of Fighters ‘94 (1994) - KoF ’94 was fun and it was neat to see it had Melee-style spot-dodging. I’m not familiar with the other titles in the crossover though it the three person tag teams were neat. That last boss was fucking ridiculous though. I guess I’ve come to expect that from these old 2D fighters but damn, it’s a bit much!

The King of Fighters '98: The Slugfest (1998) – Pretty similar to KoF ’94, though the biggest difference I could tell is that besides the larger roster is that you aren’t restricted to a preset teams of three- you have anyone combination of characters in a team that you want, similar to MvC2. This is also the easiest single player mode so far I think (Though the two I played after this were also easy), which is a welcome relief. Probably my favorite of these SNK games so far, and the first one of these that I can see myself regularly replaying.

The only thing I might say against KoF ’98 is that the story is pretty minimal even by fighting game standards of the time period but eh, is that really why you play a game like this anyways?

Garou: Mark of the Wolves (1999) – The final entry in the proper Fatal Fury series (Why the name is different is a mystery to me). This seems to be the most standard of these 2D SNK fighters (1 vs 1 battles, no weird hopping between background and foreground etc.) but it’s a phenomenally done entry. Really solid 2D spritework in particular.

The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle (2002) - Basically just seems like KoF '98 with more characters from what I can tell. It's fun, but there's not much to really add to it at this point.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #273

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:59 am

With Death Stranding coming out in a few days, I'm trying to finish up some video games (Mainly FGO, as well as a visual novel about the world's sleepiest serial killer who just can't seem to wake up in the morning). Before that though...

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GoldenEye 007 (1997)

Y'know it's only now looking at the boxart that I realize this game was compatible with the Rumble Pak.

Anyways I found this to be a very frustrating game for the most part, even playing on the easiest difficulty. Before I mentioned how the controls in FPS games on the N64 threw me off as a kid, though this time they clicked with me.

Unfortunately, literally nothing else here did, though its hard for me to tell how many of issues are real flaws with the game or how many are just because its an N64 game from 1997.

I think my first issue is the general level and mission design. Frankly I got lost all the fuckin' time while playing GoldenEye. I guessed this was because its design was meant to be more inline with even older FPS games with needlessly complicated maps, though I read in some interview that realism is what the devs were going for, with logic like "Well obviously not every room in a building would be relevant to Bond's mission, but they're still there" and the like. I can't call this a flaw per se, but I didn't enjoy it much.

The actual goals in these levels too sometimes seemed vague. Like it wasn't always clear to me which specific elevator or door or such that I was supposed to go through to complete a level. One time I accidentally went through a door just trying to figure out where the hell do go and I failed a mission for going through an exit too early.

There's also far too many times I have to babysit the NPC woman. The worst is the level where she actually has a gun because several times I would be shooting at some dude only to have her jump in front my of gun as its firing bullets so she could shoot some other enemy what in the flying fuck. I feel like even by 1997 people would have realized that these kinds of escort missions really aren't that fun- it's one thing when a game like Ico is built entirely around the concept, but I just don't think it works here. At least in 2019.

Also even with Body Armor, Bond seems weirdly fragile in this game, weaker than even some survival horror protagonists. Several times in this game I would just take lots of damage and not understand why. It never really seemed like you could sneak around really either. Bond's fragility really fucked me up to with the simple act of pausing the game. It takes like a good second and a half to actually pause this thing and unpause it, and as Bond does his goofy watch animation I'm getting hit. Very frustrating.

Last thing I'll mention is that the lack of voice acting was noticeable. It's not like other games like Star Fox 64 didn't come out the same year and have tons of voiced lines.

This was probably the game I enjoyed the least this year TBH, beneath even The Last of Us. With the case of GoldenEye I think its just an ambitious early 3D game that unfortunately just got outshines by games it went on to inspire.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #274

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:06 am

^ I think it's hard for me to connect with your review because we played it at two completely different points in both our lives and history. Similar to what I was saying about SF1, I just don't remember any truly great FPS before Goldeneye. Unlike with SF1 there were FPS and some of them were pretty good, but none of them felt as realistic as Goldeneye when it was released. In terms of level design, objectives, etc., I just don't remember having anything to compare it to back then, but I don't recall having any particular difficulty with getting lost (and I tend to get lost pretty easily in games) or the goals being vague.

I can agree, though, about the babysitting levels. Not only were they annoying but the one in the control room was ridiculously difficult. On the highest difficulty, that level was right there with the final one as the levels that took me longest to beat (Jungle was a bitch too). But back then I think I thought of this more as difficulty, though, than bad design or annoyance, but, again, it's perhaps just because I didn't know any better at the time.

I don't remember there being a delayed pause or Bond being fragile, maybe because I was just so used to hard games back then most of that felt normal. You've really got me wondering how I'd react to it now, though, that I'm so far removed from my childhood of punishing NES games and my determination to "git gud" is pretty low. I'm guessing Goldeneye probably hasn't aged well and I wouldn't even enjoy it as much as something like the modern Wolfenstein, but back in the day it was a blast.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #275

Postby Raxivace » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:39 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote: I'm guessing Goldeneye probably hasn't aged well and I wouldn't even enjoy it as much as something like the modern Wolfenstein, but back in the day it was a blast.
Yeah that's why even though my post was fairly negative ("Review" seems too generous a word to describe what I write here), I tried to temper it with references to the game's age and how much FPS games have changed since 1997 anyways. In a way I'm just completely the wrong audience for this game in 2019.

I suspect most of these early 3D games from the N64/PS1 era probably haven't aged super gracefully, though perhaps I shouldn't fault GoldenEye too harshly if most of its bretheren from the time don't hold up much better.

That being said yeah the babysitting was still a bit much. Since I played on babby mode I didn't have too much trouble with the control room defense part (It was escaping immediately after that tended to give me trouble), though the jungle level annoyed me too.

EDIT: The other thing to mention is that I didn't touch multiplayer at all, and a lot of the positive memories I've read from people online about GoldenEye seem to be more about playing the multiplayer with their friends and that's fair enough.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #276

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:49 am

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Tsukihime (2000) – Several years before making Fate/stay night, the people at Type-Moon hit the doujin scene with their visual novel Tsukihime. Tsukihime follows Tohno Shiki, a boy who at a young age suffered a near fatal car accident of some kind or so he believes that he miraculously survived. The accident left him with two things- firstly, magical eyes that allow him to see strange “lines” on anything living or dead that when cut will instantly slice the object in two, and secondly he received crippling anemia. Shiki’s father was apparently pissed at him for having the gall to be in a car accident and disowned him from their rich family.

Nine years later Shiki’s father has died, and Shiki’s sister Akiha has taken over as head of the Tohno family and formally invited Shiki to return. He does so, and rich family drama naturally ensues. Also, seemingly coincidentally a serial killer has started to stalk the city at night, killing victims and seemingly sucking out their blood. Shiki starts having nightmares in his new home about violenting attacking and assaulting people, leading him to wonder if he’s the serial killer after all…

That’s a bit convoluted for a starting premise, but everything does ultimately tie together in the end.

From here, the game splits into five routes- the first two making up the “Near Side of the Moon” route which involve Shiki seeing a pretty woman named Arcueid on the street, getting a sudden urge to follow her home and then brutally murdering her by cutting her “lines”…only for her to show up alive again the next day, pissed off that some brat randomly killed her and forced her to regenerate back to life. She drags Shiki into a weird turf war between vampires. These two routes show different versions of this story- one which has Shiki continuing to work with Arcueid to hunt a vampire after they defeat an initial one together, and a different route where instead he teams up with Ciel, a cute girl from Shiki’s class who is also an assassin from the Catholic Church who hunts vampires. I generally liked these routes though the portion they share in common with a vampire villain named Nrvnqsr (If you can figure out how to pronounce that name, send me an email at raxivace@gmail.com and tell me. It should be very illegal for people to have names that are difficult to spell and pronounce IMO.) I thought was not particularly strong.

The last three routes are the “Far Side of the Moon” routes which has Shiki never even meet Arcueid and focuses more on the Tohno family drama. There’s still serial killer and urban fantasy drama throughout, though there’s less action in general and if anything these routes are more about upending initial premises from the Near Side, similar to how the FSN routes relate to each other. These three routes focus on Akiha, and the family’s two maids Hisui and Kohaku respectively. I generally preferred these routes over the first two.

It's definitely a game that's rough around the edges (It probably repeats specific dialogue scenes too often, for instance), though it got relatively popular for a reason. I wasn't super sure how much self-awareness the Akiha route in particular was written with for example ("It's not incest if were not technically related by blood!" is always going to be a hard sell on me), though the way Kohaku's route was written (Specifically how in that route Shiki refutes the "lol its not incest" argument from Akiha) makes me question that. I think that's ultimately what intrigues me about the better things that Type-Moon puts out, these elements I'm never quite sure what to make of. The "lol magical healing sex" from FSN is a prime example and that even pops up here in Tsukihime first! It would be easy to dismiss those scenes as just an excuse to make sex scenes with goofy justifications to sell these games (And they're not entire detached from VN conventions of dating sim genre in the like, though I think Tsukihime is closer to that style of game than FSN is), though they're also too tied to actual thematic elements in the story for me to be so certain about dismissing them. The Kohaku sex scene in particular where she can't even fathom the idea that someone would actually want her to feel pleasure instead of just essentially raping her stands out to me in particular as something profoundly sad.

In general Tsukihime seems like a prototype of sorts for what Type-Moon would go on to do in Fate/stay night. Similar urban fantasy genre, similar shift into psychosexual horror as the story goes on, some mythological elements in common (I think Tsukihime and FSN are even supposed to be a part of the same universe. Like supposedly Arcueid even shows up as a bonus boss in Fate/Extra) etc. I think FSN is just generally thematically stronger and more interesting takes on similar ideas. Also the art is much better. Like if you compare these two similar CG’s (Both from the early portions of both games) the difference in quality is noticeable.

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FSN only came out about four years after Tsukihime did, but you can tell that by that point Type-Moon was no longer just a small indie studio but a proper commercial enterprise.

Still while Fate as a franchise would really blow up for Type-Moon, Tsukihime was a pretty well liked and influential little game in its own right. It spawned several spinoffs (One of which I talk about below), spawned an entire fighting game franchise of all things called Melty Blood, receieved an animation adaptation (Which I'm told is so bad fans don't even consider it to exist), and seemed to have inspire other creators to make VN's in the doujin market. Ryukishi07 is probably the most notable of this bunch from what I can tell, as his first big hit Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a character that's just straight up Ciel with a different name (Lord Lyndon might appreciate this since he's seen the anime adaptation of Higurashi), and Umineko no Naku Koro ni lifts more than a few plot points from Tsukihime as well (Though is otherwise an entirely different type of beast).

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Tsukihime Plus-Disc (2001) - A sort of supplement to Tsukihime that contains four linear short stories. Three of them are just goofy fourth wall breaking comedy bits, while the remaining story focuses on a girl with the power to vaguely see the future trying to prevent a murder as she enlists the help of Shiki. Too bad the "Shiki" she finds is actually an imposter. Actually this is a pretty decent twist since Shiki never actually rececives any proper sprites in the original VN, so its easy to take the ones he receives here at face value..

That last story also serves as kind of a bridge between the original VN in the more full sequel Kagetsu Tohya, which kind of makes it worth tracking down if you're interested in these games at all.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #277

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:55 am

Anyways since nobody is actually going to read or care about the post above this one, I'll also mention that Kojima's new game Death Stranding is out now and its fucking weird. I can't really think of another game to compare it to. It has a lot of individual elements that remind me of other games, but there's always some qualifier that I'd have to add on. Like the world of the game sort of reminds of Shadow of the Colossus, except its not quite like that. There's a huge aspect on traversing the world like in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, except its different for reasons that are hard to pin down. You have to worry about a crying baby like in Yoshi's Island, except it doesn't really get kidnapped or anything and also it can sense monsters from some kind of parallel universe. There's a lot of planning how to move around dangerous enemies sort of like classic Resident Evil games, except the environment is much more open and at least in the point I'm at now, your character is much less offensive. Etc.

There's just no other game I can quite pin down as a singular comparison.

The story seems to be about a mailman in post-apocalyptic America (I think there's a Kevin Costner movie kind of like that too), though its bizarrely fun so far.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #278

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:13 pm

Raxivace wrote:Anyways since nobody is actually going to read or care about the post above this one, I'll also mention that Kojima's new game Death Stranding is out now and its fucking weird.


I read it, even though I don't play video games. I love your writing, Rax.

Ryukishi07 is probably the most notable of this bunch from what I can tell, as his first big hit Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a character that's just straight up Ciel with a different name (Lord Lyndon might appreciate this since he's seen the anime adaptation of Higurashi), and Umineko no Naku Koro ni lifts more than a few plot points from Tsukihime as well (Though is otherwise an entirely different type of beast).


You reminded me that I still haven't seen the second and third season of Higurashi. I should check them out as I really loved the first season.

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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #279

Postby Raxivace » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:33 am

The thing about the later Higurashi seasons is that the tone really changes. The second goes from absurd anime The White Ribbon into more general thriller territory as mysteries start actually getting answered en masse until the conclusion to the main story, and everything with the third season and onward is basically just comedic in nature.

That's something I've noticed with both a lot of visual novel games and anime adaptations of them- the original works and the direct adaptations of them of seem to be more serious (With Higurashi this would be the first two seasons), but everything afterwards tend to be much more lighthearted.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #280

Postby Raxivace » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:35 am

Also come to think of it it's kind of funny that Higurashi has that character that's just a blatant knockoff of Tsukihime's Ciel, because Ryukishi07's followup Umineko has multiple characters that are just explicit knockoffs of Higurashi characters!

I think some later short story R07 did had a knockoff of Umineko's lead too, which makes me wonder when this madness will ever end.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #281

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:00 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote: I'm guessing Goldeneye probably hasn't aged well and I wouldn't even enjoy it as much as something like the modern Wolfenstein, but back in the day it was a blast.
Yeah that's why even though my post was fairly negative ("Review" seems too generous a word to describe what I write here), I tried to temper it with references to the game's age and how much FPS games have changed since 1997 anyways. In a way I'm just completely the wrong audience for this game in 2019.

I suspect most of these early 3D games from the N64/PS1 era probably haven't aged super gracefully, though perhaps I shouldn't fault GoldenEye too harshly if most of its bretheren from the time don't hold up much better.

That being said yeah the babysitting was still a bit much. Since I played on babby mode I didn't have too much trouble with the control room defense part (It was escaping immediately after that tended to give me trouble), though the jungle level annoyed me too.

EDIT: The other thing to mention is that I didn't touch multiplayer at all, and a lot of the positive memories I've read from people online about GoldenEye seem to be more about playing the multiplayer with their friends and that's fair enough.
I'm guessing it hasn't aged well either, which is why I think I'll stick to my fond memories rather than proving myself (and you) right by replaying it! One thing I forgot to mention though is that there are actually more objectives on harder levels, so some of those "empty" places you went to might've served a purpose on the harder difficulties. EG, in the opening Dam level you have to go underground in those sniper towers near the end to disable a computer (or something like that).

I definitely played the multiplayer a lot too, and it was definitely fun, but I guess the single player just sticks in my mind because of how brutally difficult it was on the hardest level... similar thing with Rogue Squadron and other hard-as-hell games.

Raxivace wrote:Anyways since nobody is actually going to read or care about the post above this one, I'll also mention that Kojima's new game Death Stranding is out now and its fucking weird. I can't really think of another game to compare it to. It has a lot of individual elements that remind me of other games, but there's always some qualifier that I'd have to add on. Like the world of the game sort of reminds of Shadow of the Colossus, except its not quite like that. There's a huge aspect on traversing the world like in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, except its different for reasons that are hard to pin down. You have to worry about a crying baby like in Yoshi's Island, except it doesn't really get kidnapped or anything and also it can sense monsters from some kind of parallel universe. There's a lot of planning how to move around dangerous enemies sort of like classic Resident Evil games, except the environment is much more open and at least in the point I'm at now, your character is much less offensive. Etc.

There's just no other game I can quite pin down as a singular comparison.

The story seems to be about a mailman in post-apocalyptic America (I think there's a Kevin Costner movie kind of like that too), though its bizarrely fun so far.
Like Lord_Lyndon I also read everything you write. I'm definitely looking forward to Death Stranding even though I refuse to pay $50+ for game so it might be a while before I get it. I loved Girlfriend Reviews review of it:
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #282

Postby Raxivace » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:32 am

Well Jimbo if you have time to read my nonsense you could be finishing Dark Souls instead!!!!!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #283

Postby Raxivace » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:54 pm

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It seems Resident Evil 3 Remake cover art has leaked. It'll probably be coming out soon.

Not entirely sure how much I like the Tomb Raider-ish outfit they're giving Jill, though they'll probably have the classic outfit as an unlockable similar to RE2.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #284

Postby Raxivace » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:56 pm

I didn't like original RE3 a whole lot, definitely one of the lesser classic titles, though I'm certain a remake can only improve it. RE2 Remake at the very least seems to stand up to the original game, might even be better, which has me optimistic for this.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #285

Postby Raxivace » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:33 pm



April 3, 2020!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #286

Postby Raxivace » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:41 am

Catching up on some stuff...

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(There's no real boxart for this so I had to go with the app icon)

Fate/Grand Order (2015 - The End of Time Itself) – An RPG for mobile phones. Calling this “Beaten” is a bit of a misnomer since it continuously getting new story content (And the American version is about two years behind the original Japanese release), but I’m at least finally caught up with the story now. Even in its current form, which comprises part 1 of the story and a sort part 1.5 called "Epic of Remnant" (With the proper part 2 getting its prologue later this month), this game is so, so long...

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Very, very long and its only getting longer.

The basic story is that mysterious bad guys are going around changing history to ensure humanity destroys itself in the future. Each section of the game takes place in a different historical period that's been altered by the bad guys, and you and gaggle of Servants have to travel through time and correct these "Singularities" in history.

Some of the scenarios they come up with for the Singularities are pretty bonkers too. For example...

-One section involves an evil Joan of Arc who's invading France with an army of dragons as revenge for being burned alive. However there's a good Joan of Arc who fights her! Also the evil Joan of Arc is actually A CLONE FROM THE FUTURE with implanted memories.
-Cu Chulainn leading a Celtic invasion of America, which is being defended by Thomas Edison who has created an army of BioShock Infinite-esque robots which were maintained by using Americans as slave labor.
-King Arthur and her Knights of the Round Table waking up in Jerusalem circa the Crusades, deciding to destroy Jersualem, reestablishing Camelot.
-A sort of sequel to the Epic of Gilgamesh where a giant snake woman deciding she just really, really hates ancient Mesopotamia.
-James Moriarty making a deal with a Biblical demon to crash a giant meteorite into the Earth and destroy the world, but not for the sake of the destroying the world but just to specifically kill Sherlock Holmes.
-The Salem Witch Trials being repeated in a time loop in order to summon some Lovecraftian monster.

There are also seasonal story events as well, which feature premises like "That evil clone of Joan of Arc becomes Santa Claus and learns THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS". Good stuff. Anther event features a robot version of Elizabeth Bathory (Specifically a robot version of another version of her that's half dragon and half pop idol. Long story. Also the robot version gets mass produced at one point.) trying to make Halloween last forever. There's an obligatory "It's Summer and everyone is in skimpy swimsuits" (Though honestly a lot of the Servants in this game have pretty horny designs to begin with) event that's about uh, boars gaining intelligence, and then after a time warp those boars rebuilding their society after it experiences the apocalypse or something.

This game goes places. Very, very silly places, and it's why I haven't been able to stop playing it. If the original Fate/stay night had a tension between being goofy and being serious, and Fate/EXTRA was more serious and less goofy, Grand Order doubles down on the goofiness with only portions of the game being more serious in tone (The "Giant snake woman destroys Mesopotamia" and "King Arthur fucking over Jerusalem" being examples of more serious parts of the story. The latter in particular is kind of interesting because Arthur was very much the heroine in the original FSN and she's very much the villain here, as you side against oppressed Muslims against Camelot).

I'd say my biggest issue with the story is that it doesn't really have the thematic depth that say, any of FSN's routes have (Though those are also much longer than any section here), though FGO at least makes up for it with a huge breadth of whacky scenarios and characters.

That's where the RPG part comes in. While the basic battle system is traditional turn-based, there's a huge boatload of characters (Though unfortunately most of the good ones are won through a gachca style lottery). They all have basic attacks (Of which there are three types- one for doing extra damage, one for increasing the rate of critical hits, and one for charging your Noble Phantasm), three special skills (Though they only start with one unlocked), and their "Noble Phantasm" super attacks.

Oh and each Servant has a class, which for the most part just determines who they do extra damage to and take extra damage from. Luckily, they included a helpful chart in-game to help you remember all this.

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It's like a squid of arrows.

Anyways, while you can only have three Sevants fielded at a time from teams of six (Five of your own Servants plus either a story Servant or one from your friend's list), there's just enough variety in the Servants to make forming different teams of them fun. Leveling them up often takes a lot of time and resources too (Generally, the rarer the Servant the harder it is to find materials for them), so you often cycle through a lot of your people based on what the situation calls for.

It's fun IMO. Between leveling teams and the bonkers story stories they come up with I've been pretty consistently engaged here. I do wish it were less grindy in general though- I understand that these free to play games have to encourage you to want to spend money somehow but they could lighten up a bit on some of the resource juggling here.

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Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) – About as close to a masterpiece as 2D Mario can get, and a much better followup to the original Super Mario Bros. than either the Japanese or American versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 are. It just does 2D platforming very well, there’s not a whole lot to really say about it.

The only complaints I have is that there are a few levels that do a “2D maze” type thing that annoyed me in SMB1 and The Lost Levels, though at least this game gives you the option to skip them



^This castle in particular in World 8 annoyed me. You can even see people in the YouTube comments complaining here.

Also I think the final Bowser battle is a bit underwhelming, though I was surprised to see that this is where his Down + B attack from Smash Bros. likely originated from.

Anyways SMB3 is real good and still deserves its accolades. I think I still slightly prefer SMB1 but SMB3 is a masterpiece in its own right.

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Super Puyo Puyo 2 (1995) – A Tetris-like puzzle game. If anyone has ever played Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine or Kirby’s Avalanche, apparently those are modified versions of Puyo Puyo 1, at least based on random posts I’ve read online.

What’s kind of weird about this game though is the fact that its included in the Switch’s SNES online subscription service…despite being left entirely untranslated from the original Japanese release (Similar to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels though it’s not like it matters for that game). And this is a game with like, an actual story and cutscenes. From what I can gather, its about this girl named Arle climbing some mountain challenging various entities to not-Tetris, everything from woodland critters to witches to dragons to also a sheep. I can only presume it’s a heavy, serious drama.

Anyways its fun and actually distinct enough from Tetris to have its own unique strategies. Basically, you’re trying to line up colored beans, and the beans fall in pairs. However, the if one bean in the pair lands, the other bean will continue to fall, which is a pretty huge difference from Tetris or something like Dr. Mario. Also, because technically it’s a competition against another character if they start succeeding, they’ll fill your screen up with tons of bullshit that gets in the way of lining up your beans, similar to Tetris 99 (I’m pretty sure the sheep in particular cheats with this though, that fucker. I hate him).

Anyways Super Puyo Puyo 2 is fun and while its an odd inclusion among the Switch’s SNES library, especially untranslated, I’d recommend it to people who like this kind of puzzle game. It just would have been nice in English.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #287

Postby Raxivace » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:50 am

One last batch of games for the decade.

"But Raxivace there was no year zero so that means the decade doesn't end until 2020 is over!"

Go away you pedant! If the 12th month of the year can be named December, then we can say the first decade was only 9 years long!

Ahem, getting back to games...

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Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star (2016) – I thought this was the sequel to Fate/EXTRA, but no it turns out it’s the extra to the game Fate/EXTRA CCC, which is the alternate retelling of Fate/Extra where the plot goes off the rails that unfortunately never left Japan.

The story here is pretty thin, in that mainly it covers a territorial dispute in the Anime Matrix (Which let me remind you is on the Moon) between Nero Claudius, Tamamo-no-Mae, and Attila the Hun (Called Altera mostly in the story. I think the idea is that “Atilla” as a name is supposed to come about as being corrupted by history or something) who it turns was not only a girl but also an alien hellbent on destroying the Earth.

There are three different story paths that follow each of the respective factions in the war, as well as a fourth story you unlock after finishing the other three. I will say the main villain of the game has kind of interesting ability- for all that Japanese pop culture stuff overuses time loop type of stories, I have to say this is the only story I’m aware of where the villain is the only guy who’s looping through time, or resetting it or whatever (I didn’t quite get the specifics of how it works). Even though each main heroine wins the war in their respective route, Archimedes sends himself back in time to try allying with a different faction. In Nero’s route he sides with her, and then in Tamamo’s route he sides with her. In Altera’s route he stays sided with Saber, but Altera wins the war and the main protagonist (Basically just a self-insert for the player, who because of magical bullshit is split into three people in the story, one siding with each main faction) actually catches on to Archimedes’ time travel goofery and uses Magical Moon Matrix Bullshit to send his memories back in time, which leads to the fourth route where the protagonist on Nero’s side knows what’s going on before hand and tries to use that knowledge to unite all three factions against Archimedes, leading to ultimately somewhat of a bittersweet victory (Though I guess all of the routes except Tamamo’s were kind of bittersweet in the end).

So the gameplay is akin to stuff like Dynasty Warriors (From what I can remember of playing a Dynasty Warriors game one for five minutes over fifteen years ago at least), where the game is primarily an action RPG where you’re fighting for control of a map.

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^In this example, blue areas are your territory, red areas are the enemy’s territory, and any area flashing between red and blue is one being contested by an invading force. Basically you just run to any red area on the map and try to kill the enemy "Aggressors" there to claim it for yourself, though often you have to spawn them by killing weaker enemies, which takes time. While you’re doing that, your own territories are being invaded, either by Plants which not only launch invasions on your territories but will spawn additional generals in the area they’re already in.

There are also named characters running around the map too, basically acting as mini-bosses of sorts. They’ll either defend a sector, will chase you around the map, or will cause you to have to fulfill specific objectives- often in the form of taking over specific sectors ASAP to weaken them enough so you can actually fight them.

The core gameplay loop is fairly fun, though it gets repetitive since EXTELLA has a fairly limited number of maps and enemy Servants to fight, though the sequels to have bumped both of these numbers up from what I’ve read online. I will say playing this on the Switch does wonders for this game, since being able to play it portably in short bursts is really to this game’s benefits.

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Resident Evil 2 (2019) – I got a decent laptop for Christmas that can actually run modern games decently well, so I bought RE2 again so I can run uh certain shameless mods for it. Anyways RE2 is still excellent and I think is even more fun on a second playthrough where the arcadey aspects of the modernized classic RE gameplay style really shine. This is rising up there with the RE1 remake as one of my favorite games.

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Death Stranding (2019) - I still find this to be a really hard game to describe. The basic premise is that you're in a post-apocalyptic America that is in a real messed up state of affairs. Like shit has gotten so fucked up that if you kill someone, their dead body won't become a zombie, but will instead cause an entire fucking explosion that can take out a city. That's bad.

Also America is being invaded by weird ghost monsters from another dimension called BT's. This is also bad. Also the rain has gotten so polluted by weird supernatural shit that it causes things to age rapidly and nonliving things (Like your packages that you have to deliver as a mailman) to decay. A rainstorm is a big fucking deal here.

Anyways you play as Sam Porter Bridges, a guy who is basically a mailman. Your job is not only to just deliver packages, but to travel around getting people and cities to both symbolically rejoin America and literally join what is called the "chiral network"- a kind of supernatural internet of sorts. You do this by, well, trekking across the country- through valleys and forest and mountains and ruins. While you do get weapons and such, most of them are non-lethal (Give the whole explosion thing), and you're not really encouraged to use the lethal ones you do eventually get very often (And even those are mostly used to fight BT's). Instead you're just kind of trekking around, driving, building bridges and roads and such when you can. Connecting an area to the chiral network provides a gameplay benefit too since it allows you to see and use structures and vehicles that other players online have created or left lying around in that particular area. Its a nice fusion of story themes and gameplay.

That gets to the core gameplay idea which really is just moving around from place to place, figuring out the best path to hike from area to area, and making sure you have the proper tools to do it. Weight limit is a VERY IMPORTANT thing here since you end up carrying a lot of things on your back, and the more weight you have the more awkward Sam actually controls. Can't exactly climb a mountain easily with a hundred pounds of stuff on your back after all. While you're doing this hiking, you have to be on the lookout for B.T.'s, and also gangs of deranged former mailmen who want to take your shit so they can get likes on social media for it, as that's the only thing they live for now (I'm not making this up).

In a way this really feels like the anti-Last of Us to me, down to its demphasizing combat, emphasizing the need to build community and help others (All through gameplay!), and it even has Troy Baker voice one of the villains and boy is he having a hell of a time hamming it up here. I don't think its intentional or anything but I suppose it makes for an interesting contrast.

It's just an odd weird game overall (With a Kojima as hell ending that threw my head for a loop. The story in general is kind of bonkers, I didn't even get to Sam's fetus friend (Of course caring for them is a core gameplay mechanic here, Death Stranding is yet another "dad game" though one of the more interesting ones I think) or the weird beaches or the fact that this game has a character who calls himself "Die-Hardman"), but its also one of the more unique experiences I've had in gaming. I'm glad this decade has ended for me on such an interesting note.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #288

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:37 am

I'm also excited about REmake3. Glad you loved SMB3 so much! I have to say, if I had to pick one game that made me into a hardcore gamer from my childhood that would probably be it. I mean, I remember liking games before that, as SMB1 was the first game I played, but SMB3 was the first game I remember being obsessed with. My cousin and I spent countless hours on the game and afterwards basically pretended to be Mario and Luigi and made up our SMB games to play around the house. Hell, I even remember buying SMB3 toothbrushes back then! I don't remember anything about it being annoying but, again, so many NES games were annoying in the "you have to try this a billion times before you succeed" way that stuff like that just seemed par for the course. I still haven't seen you tackle a "so hard it's close to broken" game like the original Ninja Gaiden. Looking forward to playing Death Stranding too, though I'm still waiting for a sale. Everything I've read about it seems to suggest it's very interesting, with nobody being quite sure what to make of it all, and that tends to bode very well for stuff I'll like.

I still haven't continued with Dark Souls yet. The plan was after Christmas, but I forgot about the deluge of college football bowl games immediately after Christmas, and the NFL playoffs started this weekend. Right now it's 2:30AM on a Sunday and I've literally gotten nothing done since I got up except watch the Saturday NFL games, eat, and reply to stuff on here! Pretty soon it'll be time for me to exercise, eat dinner, and go to bed. *sigh*
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #289

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 am

I'll try and get to Ninja Gaiden at some point (And I probably should make a 2020 games thread too eventually). But yeah the few issues I had with SMB3 are pretty minor all things considered.

I think part of what's hard about Death Stranding is that this is the first time in a very long time where we've gotten Kojima's convoluted storytelling with a completely new setting (Even Snatcher situates itself as being in the same setting as Metal Gear, though that game also pretty liberally lifts plot elements from Blade Runner and Terminator. Policenauts might be the exception here but I haven't gotten far in that as I've had trouble emulating it well). The MGS games of course are convoluted, but the basic concepts of the world/characters build on each other from game to game and always give you an anchor of some kind going into them. Death Stranding isn't just Metal Gear with the names changed, which is fun and exciting but makes it harder than I think people were expecting.

Kojima's storytelling style as also been kind of different since MGS: Peace Walker, and even though that came out a decade ago I think some people still are expecting MGS1/2/3 style games again (MGS4 is kind of an inbetween the old style and his newer style, I think, even if it leans heavier toward the older games). I love those games and I can't blame them, but he's changed since those days.

Instead of going to bed, go beat Dark Souls.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #290

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:07 am

Oh yeah I forgot to mention this, but one last thing about Death Stranding is that it makes for an interesting contrast with the other 2019 game by a displaced former Konami developer that finally came out- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

RotN really is just the Metroidvania style that Koji Igarashi has more or less always done, but the characters and setting are marginally different. Other than lacking stock references to "Dracula" and "The Belmont family" and such, it might as well just be a new Castlevania game.

I really liked RotN a lot but its just a refined/tweaked version of what's come before. Death Stranding, despite arguably being Frankensteined together from individual aspects of many disparate games, does feel fresh and new.

Because of that though I think RotN might actually age more gracefully than DS, as I'm sure the gameplay style of DS will get refined over time if Kojima does a sequel, or another game in the same "genre". It'll be interesting to compare both RotN and DS again in like 2030.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #291

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:10 am

I'll probably respond in full tomorrow, but did you check out Girlfriend Reviews review of Death Stranding? I'd be curious if you had any similar complaints about the gameplay or a similar conclusion about what it all meant.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #292

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:16 am

I haven't watched that yet but I'll give it a look at some point later today, after a nice nap.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #293

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:38 pm

So watching that video, I do agree the actual delivering of packages could be way more streamlined, though the recycling thing she mentioned is hardly something you need to do. You don't actually seem to get that many resources from it from what I can tell, and if you just want to get rid of what you have you can just "drop" the items from your inventory menu.

Similarly, I feel like I could have told her that specific ladder that went into the edge of a cliff wouldn't have taken Sam to the top, though there were definitely other instances where I thought I should have been able to get over some obstacle at the top of a ladder.

Sam does control a little janky too, though I would question if in those clips they were really managing their inventory super well, if they had been doing enough to increase Sam's stats (I guess technically Death Stranding is an RPG too come to think of it), if they were really investing in those robot leg things to increase the amount of weight Sam could carry etc.

Still its really more a matter of degree to the issues she raises that I quibble with rather than if the issues themselves still exist. I think years down the line they might feel rough, but compared to contemporary games I find it perfectly playable.

The jank can be to your benefit too btw. Like the way Sam hobbles around if he has too much weight can actually be a nice way to quickly move down a mountainside or something, provided you can somehow land safely at the bottom. I bet speedrunner will abuse the physics of the game like this in some fashion.

Also, it really can't be overstated how great of a feeling it is to see other players have done something to help you, like donated to one of your roads. It really makes you want to help them too, especially because actually getting roads up and running are a huuuuggggggeeeeeee part of this game, especially once you actually start getting vehicles. Vehicles in general are already a huge game changer, and vehicles + roads are a godsend, since they allow to just seamlessly driver over incredibly rocky terrain and such.

So yeah I do agree that a large part of the game is simply about both the joy and necessity of helping others, building community and so forth. I do think there are aspects of the game that this doesn't address though. All of the stuff with the B.B.'s/fetuses I'm still not sure what to make of, and if Kojima is making some kind of comment on abortion or not through that for example.

Nicholas Winding Refn's character is kind of a weird thing in the game too, and I still don't quite know what to make of his character.
Last edited by Raxivace on Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #294

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:46 pm

Oh yeah there also times where you are actually well served by stealthily approaching the actual combat oriented parts (Or at least I was since I played the game on the hardest difficulty). That's probably the part of the video I actually disagreed with the most.

The boss fights against Mads Mikkelsen and his military unit immediately come to mind, though even some of the actual camps you can find in the open world you're probably best off trying to infiltrate through stealth, taking out patrols and such. You can try non-lethal Terminatoring your way through, but its not wise.

Same thing with the B.T. areas- especially in the beginning of the game, B.T.'s are a huge pain in the ass to deal with so you either slowly sneak through or run run run runnnnnn (If the latter is your strategy here, beginning to trigger a voidout against a B.T. by summoning a miniboss might actually be to your benefit). Only later one does combat against them become viable.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #295

Postby Raxivace » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:55 pm

Man I'm almost approaching Jimbo levels of text about this mailman simulator.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #296

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:53 am

Raxivace wrote:I'll try and get to Ninja Gaiden at some point (And I probably should make a 2020 games thread too eventually). But yeah the few issues I had with SMB3 are pretty minor all things considered.

I think part of what's hard about Death Stranding is that this is the first time in a very long time where we've gotten Kojima's convoluted storytelling with a completely new setting (Even Snatcher situates itself as being in the same setting as Metal Gear, though that game also pretty liberally lifts plot elements from Blade Runner and Terminator. Policenauts might be the exception here but I haven't gotten far in that as I've had trouble emulating it well). The MGS games of course are convoluted, but the basic concepts of the world/characters build on each other from game to game and always give you an anchor of some kind going into them. Death Stranding isn't just Metal Gear with the names changed, which is fun and exciting but makes it harder than I think people were expecting.

Kojima's storytelling style as also been kind of different since MGS: Peace Walker, and even though that came out a decade ago I think some people still are expecting MGS1/2/3 style games again (MGS4 is kind of an inbetween the old style and his newer style, I think, even if it leans heavier toward the older games). I love those games and I can't blame them, but he's changed since those days.

Instead of going to bed, go beat Dark Souls.
I feel like I've built up Ninja Gaiden too much. I should stress that the reason NG1 is memorable is because it's laughably difficult at times, and much of that is due to near-broken mechanics and truly sinister level design (like managing pin-point platforming while fending off multiple enemies from multiple angles). Thankfully, they fixed the most broken thing (the inability to climb walls) in NG2, which is a much better game overall but much easier. NG3 ramped the difficulty back up but maintained the better mechanics of NG2. I might also mention this is the first series I can remember playing that had any kind of storyline. I'm sure some games had them before that, but they were the first I remember playing.

Yeah, I'm also really interested to see what Kojima can do outside the "confines" of MGS. I'll also have to keep in mind the storytelling changes as I play the later MGS games.

LOL, No Dark Souls yesterday or probably tonight. However, there's only 8 football games left and I should be able to get back to gaming this week.

Raxivace wrote:Oh yeah I forgot to mention this, but one last thing about Death Stranding is that it makes for an interesting contrast with the other 2019 game by a displaced former Konami developer that finally came out- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

RotN really is just the Metroidvania style that Koji Igarashi has more or less always done, but the characters and setting are marginally different. Other than lacking stock references to "Dracula" and "The Belmont family" and such, it might as well just be a new Castlevania game.

I really liked RotN a lot but its just a refined/tweaked version of what's come before. Death Stranding, despite arguably being Frankensteined together from individual aspects of many disparate games, does feel fresh and new.

Because of that though I think RotN might actually age more gracefully than DS, as I'm sure the gameplay style of DS will get refined over time if Kojima does a sequel, or another game in the same "genre". It'll be interesting to compare both RotN and DS again in like 2030.
Interesting comparison. I've been looking forward to playing both CotM and RotN. Always liked Metroidvanias anyway, and a refinement of that whole "genre" sounds right up my alley even if it isn't as fresh/new as something like DS.

Raxivace wrote:Man I'm almost approaching Jimbo levels of text about this mailman simulator.
I'm enjoying reading it. [yes]
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #297

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:29 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I might also mention this is the first series I can remember playing that had any kind of storyline. I'm sure some games had them before that, but they were the first I remember playing.
Looking online, it seems the first Ninja Gaiden came out in 1988. It might be one of the first platformers with an actual story, though you had RPG's and such before then with story.

Final Fantasy 1 for example came out in 1987, and Dragon Quest 1/Dragon Warrior had come out in 1986 (In Japan anyways, America didn't get those until later). The western game Ultima 1 came out well before those too in 1981.

Yeah, I'm also really interested to see what Kojima can do outside the "confines" of MGS. I'll also have to keep in mind the storytelling changes as I play the later MGS games.
Basically, starting with Peace Walker Kojima moved from exploring a single large area a la Shadow Moses Island or the Big Shell into more individual mission structure, where the main story is composed of like 40-50 smaller little missions* (MGS4 is sort of a middle ground since it has five separate "Acts" with five decently sized areas you go through. I guess MGS2 was kind of pointing toward that direction too though come to think of it, with the Tanker and Plant chapters. MGS3 also has the "Virtuous Mission" before you get into Operation Snake Eater proper, though that ends up with you running through the first five screens of the game twice in a row).

So that changes the general pacing of the game as it is, but Kojima really started cutting down on mandatory dialogue as well. Not that there still isn't a ton at times, but there's way less mandatory 20 minute long CODEC conversations and such (With most of those being relegated to optional "tapes" and such in Peace Walker and MGSV that you choose to listen to through a menu. One of the inspired bits of MGSV was that there was actually an official iPhone and Android app you could download onto your phone that syncs up with your game's save file, so you could listen to the tapes you've unlocked on your own time). In Death Stranding, this is largely replaced with e-mails and such you often receive from other characters.

Kojima tends to have more non-verbal acting these days too. Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal of Big Boss for example is more likely to ponderously glare at others than David Hayter's portrayal in older games. I think this is largely because Kojima uses a lot of mocap now.

*P.T. is the major exception here. It still makes me wonder what Silent Hills could have been.

EDIT: Actually maybe P.T. isn't such an exception, since perhaps it could be argued that each individual loop of the hallway is a sort of mission in its own right. There's still a specific order and such in each loop that you're supposed to figure out though.

Interesting comparison. I've been looking forward to playing both CotM and RotN. Always liked Metroidvanias anyway, and a refinement of that whole "genre" sounds right up my alley even if it isn't as fresh/new as something like DS.
Just to be clear CotM is in the style of "classic" Castlevania gameplay (Specifically a riff on Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse), while RotN is the one that's the Metroidvania. Both are worth playing though.

CotM is weird though because it was initially billed as a prequel to RotN and now it's just some separate story for whatever reason.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #298

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:25 am

^ Good stuff on Kojima. I'll have to keep all that in mind as I progress. Also noted RE the CotM and RotN differences.

I'm probably going to restart Dark Souls tonight... finally, a night with nothing else to do and some free time!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #299

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:16 pm

Just a quick update, I did get some Souls time in tonight. Went to the New Londo Ruins and beat The Four Kings. Pretty interesting section despite its brevity. On the one hand, it seems like a strangely sparse and hastily done level, as if the developers didn't have more time to build it out into something more so there's just a ton of vast, empty space. Yet, in a weird way, it really works as it ended up being one of the most atmospheric sections of an atmospheric game. Specifically, I liked how the vast emptiness of the entrance transitions into the claustrophobic interiors and corridors of the building. The ghosts weren't particularly difficult, but it was an interesting new challenge having to fight enemies coming-and-going through walls, ceilings and floors. The Darkwraiths near the end were a bit more of a challenge but still pretty straight-forward (I ended up finding it pretty easy to just circle and back-stab them).

The Four Kings boss seemed to mimic the vast emptiness design of the Ruins, as fighting in pitch blackness was fascinating! I died the first time trying to fight him normally, (got swarmed when the others showed up), but the second time I just 2-handed tanked the thing and healed between each battle.

Now I think I'm going to Darkroot Basin for the next section, but it's been so long since I played the game it took me some time to just research/remember how to get there!
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