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Sprite Machine

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  1. Previously... 25.) Rock Band 4 - PS4 - 2015 I wasn't sure whether to include this in my 'completed' list, because it's one of those games that essentially goes on forever. But I've now reached the credits of the docudrama mode and the world tour mode, gained over 1,000,000 fans in the latter, played almost every single song in my library at least once... so unless I'm going to actually go out and start a band, I'm basically done. Of course I will keep playing it but I'll probably start winding down or saving it for special occasions. It was my recent acquisition of the drum cymbals that got me back into this on a regular basis, so as long as they don't fall apart, I hope to come back to this game, or its sequels, time and time again. I've enjoyed plenty of music games over the years, from Um Jammer Lammy, to Gitaroo Man, to Ouendan, to Guitar Hero, and I've loved playing various Rock Band games too (mostly on guitar), but I can honestly say that Expert Pro Drums is the most fun I have ever had with any music game, ever. I'm not saying I'm really awesome at it, I don't think you have to be. Even for beginners, the cymbals are a game-changer. How a set of add-ons that were made as an afterthought to the basic drum kit can make such a huge difference to the feel of the game is incredible. Granted, most of the credit has to go to Rock Band 3 for introducing Pro Mode in the first place, but RB4 thankfully continued it at least for the drums. Absolutely, exhilaratingly, awesome. Rock on! \m/,
  2. I like it. It's short and mildly entertaining. Plus I love travelling around different planets outdoors (miss the Mako).
  3. Accidentally did the Overlord mission in ME2 before doing the first Firewalker mission, so I just randomly had the Hammerhead vehicle before later finding the Hammerhead vehicle. Whoops! You'd think they could have patched that for the Legendary edition.
  4. No particular problems with other games. Sometimes it doesn't do it for weeks. Really weird! (RE)ED(D)IT: "It's awesomeness detection... If it senses an imminent FC it will freeze the game for added challenge."
  5. That's cool man, thanks. I will do a little investigating. It may be that another RB pedal is the best/cheapest option anyway, but we'll see. In other news, has anyone else noticed Rock Band 4 freezing during songs? Sometimes just for a couple of seconds but other times it freezes indefinitely. The music keeps playing but the track stops and none of the buttons work. I have to exit the application and restart it. It's happened twice today!
  6. I don't think my Beatles drum kick pedal is going to last much longer. Even with the sheet of metal they put over the top, the plastic underneath is starting to crack. Cheapest replacement on eBay currently is £35 for just the same pedal. Is there a better alternative that will work with the stock kit?
  7. OK, makes sense. I can wait until early in the new year, to be honest. Hopefully they'll be available by then!
  8. I haven't built a PC in about 12 years so I'm well due a new one, but... how are the lower end versions of these cards going to be priced? Is a 4070 likely to be less than 700 quid?
  9. Cool, thanks for this. I've watched it a few times. I can follow everything he's doing but actually doing it myself is another matter entirely! I am gradually getting better, though - almost always beating my previous scores on easier songs, and finding complicated bit are coming more naturally. But I don't really enjoy the sort of rapid bass-heavy songs you get in the higher tiers and metal genres. I'll give them a go but it's not really my thing.
  10. Previously... 24.) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - PS4 - 2019 Completed the story on normal difficulty (Jedi Knight). This wasn't on my radar until a friend recommended it. I've generally assumed Star Wars games are a bit pap (Lego aside) and ignored them, particulary when they have bland-looking lead characters. But this one is actually rather good! Firstly, it feels authentically Star Warsy and is part of the official canon, puts you in the shoes of a trainee Jedi as you visit typically Star-Warsy locations and even meet characters from Rogue One and other spin-offs. Granted, the protagonist is a bit dull, but the secondary cast are pretty good and the game's got production quality that you don't usually see outside of first-party games, and at times feels like an Uncharted game with lightsabers. But if anything, the game it reminded me the most of is Ratchet and Clank - freely choosing which planets to visit, circular level design with unlockable shortcuts, respawning enemies and Metroidvania-like gated off routes to be returned to later, with lots of platforming and exploration built into its levels, and a friendly little robot sidekick to accompany you. As ever with Star Wars games, the main problem comes from how to make lightsaber combat fun but not overpowered. There's no easy solution and this game does what many have before it and just puts you up against enemies with weapons that can conveniently deflect lighsabers. The combat is okay but it's very defense-focused. Moves tend to be elaborately animated and not interruptable, and the crux of the combat is in watching and memorising what enemies look like when they're about to attack so you can time when to block, which isn't always easy if it's a new enemy type or if they're being visually obscured by something. The best parts of combat are when you have more force powers and can start doing cool stuff like pushing stormtroopers off of cliffs. The platforming and exploration are the more compelling aspects to this package, as is its outstanding presentation. Fitting the storyline into the existing continuity was clearly not easy bit it seems they're releasing another one next year... and, you know what? I'm up for more of this.
  11. Previously... 23.) The Talos Principle - Switch - 2019 (2014) Completed the main game, getting endings 1 and 2 by myself and needing a guide to find the last 10 stars and reach ending 3 (underwhelming, but hey). Also completed the main puzzles in the 'Road to Gehenna' expansion/epilogue/mini-sequel. I've spent over 50 hours total on this; it's a much more substantial game than I originally expected. It's also brilliant! It's a first-person puzzler with weighted cubes, pressure pads, laser beams and all things that will be familiar to Portal players, but although the ideas are not original, the execution is exemplary. It's also got harder puzzles secretly built into its main puzzles, and often rewards you for breaking its rules. I very much enjoyed unravelling its mysteries, experiencing the surrounding narrative that gradually unfolds through fragments of text and interactive philosophical discussions, and found the general vibe of the game to be quite compelling indeed. However, I would say the Nintendo Switch is not the ideal platform for this, as it's compromised visually and the performance is poor. Then again, if you're playing it for fifty hours, you probably want it to be portable!
  12. Phew, it gets increasingly difficult to sight-read the drums as you get higher up the difficulty tiers. Currently struggling on some Challenging songs and figuring out the sticking. I imagine the hardest songs in the game will take a LOT of practise to get good at! Also, New Order's Blue Monday can go fuck itself.
  13. I've been using a google spreadsheet for years, but it's mostly just to write down games I haven't got yet that I want to get, otherwise I forget what I want - although with all these wishlist websites now available, it's perhaps a little redundant. I also make a note of what I've played and/or completed each year, but I don't have a list of everything I own or what format it's on. In Steam, I have a "To Play" folder, which I move games out of when I've played them. That's about it.
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