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Dig Dug

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  1. Spotted some talk about neo geo shumps on the last page. Ghost Pilots is one of the worst video games I’ve ever played I hated it so much.
  2. PSA grading has sky rocketed so much in price that I’ve seen long time yugioh collectors give it up and sell off all their slabs. As long as the cards are kept in a state where they will be safe (ideally double sleeved + top loader) then they will always be good for it. Also PSA have increased their grading stands to control the population of 10’s so submitting these days is an exercise in setting yourself up for disappointment. Still cool to hear about the Charizard pull however it’s always nice to pull good.
  3. As someone with a slight interest in old school yugioh card collecting these grading systems are a bit suspect. So PSA are the big company for grading trading cards and their website actively tracks the population of a graded card. So for example, if you want to know how many times they have given a Grade 10 to a yugioh 1st edition LOB-001 Blue-Eyes White Dragon you will be able to find such information on the website. That seems all well and good but then you start to look deeper and the problems begin to spring up. To start, PSA do not give a detailed grading criteria. If your card looks like a 10 but got a 9 they will not tell you why it got a 9. This has always been a problem with their system but the TCG collector boom during the pandemic has really exposed the weakness in this system. So PSA knows what the population of a card is, they are also aware of the market value of these cards and the demand for card grading, as such they have massively increased heir prices in accordance. There is now an argument to be made that it is in PSA’s best interest to keep the value of grade 10 cards high. Many in the collector community have noted that PSA have become significantly stricter with their grading over the last year and many are accusing them of purposely keeping the population of grade 10 cards low. In the past collectors would break open their grade 9 slabs and resubmit the cards for grading, but with the pricing now being so high doing that simply isn’t feasible. This lack of transparency has led to a situation where we now have dozens of rare grade 9 cards that are potentially in better condition than some 10’s which were graded years ago. You’d think with the collector boom and increased submission numbers (PSA had to close shop for a while due to backlog) that the population of 10’s would see a massive increase but that simply is not happening. The grading market has always been dubious which is why I’ll only ever look at it from a distance. If video game grading ever takes off in the mainstream (god forbid) then be prepared to see more of the same.
  4. I've got some games I want to revisit and then series whose games I replay on the regular. I'm replaying some stuff right now actually. I'll keep it to things I want to replay or own but have not started yet. Final Fantasy IX - Playing VII on switch again gave me a chance to do something I'd never done before, beat all the super bosses and get all summons, was a blast and I did it all much faster than I expected. IX I'll start eventually when I really want to play it. I finished VIII also but that was my first time beating it and honestly I'm not very fond of it. Think I've delayed starting because I played VIII and Grandia I back to back. Pretty much anything that got a remaster or definitive edition - See: Tales of Vesperia. Sega Ages: Thunder Force IV - Beat this on a one credit clear but I want to try for a no miss run to get that massive points bonus. Sin & Punishment 2 - Picked this up on wii because I saw the price was climbing but I've not touched it yet even though I adore the N64 game. Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 - I've not played these in 10 years I should fix that. Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - Not high priority but it is honestly my favourite Naughty Dog game by a distance and that's high praise considering their output. Horizon: Zero Dawn - I gave speedrunning this a go earlier this year and I wouldn't mind giving it a go again. Doing a 100% playthrough wouldn't be off the cards either it's a pretty replayable open world game. Cing's adventure games for Nintendo - Another Code, Another Code: R, Hotel Dusk and The Last Window. I have R and Dusk ready to go but acquiring Another Code and Last Window for a price I'm happy with is proving challenging. There are also a handful of series whose games I replay on the regular: Fire Emblem - I've not done a playthrough of Path of Radiance for a while. Might do that next time I go on holiday. Go for a ironman run where my units have to stay dead for a change. Thinking of giving Fates: Conquest a go also on normal, hard mode was torture but people who play on normal rank it very highly. Metroid - I've not done this in a while, I have a feeling if I play any again I'll probably do Prime 1 & 2, Fusion and Zero Mission together. Resident Evil - REmake feels overdue for a play but I'm tempted to play 4 and 2 Remake again as they are just so excellent. Koji Igarashi Castlevania games - I like these for many of the same reasons I like Metroid. I don't have the DS games anymore so I'll probably take on Symphony of the Night or Aria of Sorrow again in the future.
  5. Electric Wind God Fist is currently being debated as potentially the best move in the entire game. Every Tekken player I know are incredibly impressed with Kazuya’s design.
  6. Dig Dug

    Speedruns

    I can’t blame him for exploiting the system honestly. YouTube encourages making the same kind of video by design (and punishes diversity within a channel) so he may as well milk it while it’s hot. We’ll probably see him return to the other kind of content eventually once the well has dried or if he becomes sick of it.
  7. 2nd, my mistake. To be honest they’d have nailed on 2nd anyway had it not been for the Finland game.
  8. Fuck Ryan Giggs and fuck the Welsh FA for enabling him and then leaving the team to a league 1 manager. Knew this was coming the moment Denmark got 3rd.
  9. My only concern with it are the complaints about performance making me think maybe it’s better suited to PC.
  10. Admittedly I did overlook the use of weapons as progression keys when I made that two years ago. It is actually a true neutral.
  11. Not quite true. The difference is system and progression. Igarashi Castlevania is designed as an RPG. While it does contain several power-up based roadblocks like Metroid the main tools for unlocking progress are normally keys, macguffins and quest conditions. I think world progression method and openness are the main design elements which determine how “Metroid” a game is. Hence why I made this as a joke a while back.
  12. The Metroid series has long been a perfect go-to for example of a game where player actions define character. Pre-Other M there were very few moments where the game took away control. The player ultimately gave agency to Samus. Even then those scripted moments were things like elevator and log room dialogue (Fusion, ZM); cut-aways (ZM); boss and area introductions, character dialogue, or Samus losing her powers in a manner which the designs either didn’t know how or have time to incorporate into gameplay (Prime series). Outside these moments the user has full control, thus allowing player actions to define character. Regardless of the play style the design of the gameplay will always push Samus to be a courageous character in some form. Does Samus try to turn back every time she is locked in a boss room or forced into a bad situation? Then she is fighting to survive. Does she rush into danger and exterminate all that stands in her way? Then she is an engine of destruction. I think Fusion plays on this idea well. Samus is the survivalist who is trying to get through her mission in one piece while the SA-X is a destructive force which mows down all in its path. Also despite being able to return yo her ship, Samus will never run away from her mission, showing that she understands the stakes (the fate of the entire galaxy). Anyway back to what matters, agency. Samus’ agency is directly tied to player agency and works best during boss encounters. Let’s look at two bosses from Super: Crocomire and Mother Brain. When entering Crocomires nest the player is presented with a choice. Fight it head on, or go left and attempt to flee. Fleeing puts the player in a dead end and gives Crocomire time to close in. Fighting immediately pushes Crocomire to its acid pit death much faster. What the player does here changes the meaning of the scene. Samus is either fighting to not be pinned between the spike wall and the big monster, or she fought to remove an obstacle as quickly as possible. The endgame of Super is significantly more story heavy than the rest of the game. While technically possible to dodge, the ambush by the giant Metroid is supposed to communicate that despite their near extinction Metroids are still a massive threat anyone would be powerless against when unprepared. The player loses their control on the situation (but not on Samus), and their life tanks to push the danger across, making it all the more impactful when you are only allowed to live at the Metroids mercy. Mother Brain’s second form has the moment when you are hit with the big death beam that leaves Samus immobilised. Samus cannot get up after being hit by this beam but the player can still control her. By attempting to move in what is an otherwise scripted scene the player portrays Samus as struggling against her situation. Samus cannot stand but will try her damndest anyway. It is a player action which gives Samus the agency of trying to act even when she cannot. Fusion, despite being more narratively locked as a whole still uses such a scene when Samus is struck by the Omega Metroid to deliver the same effect. The point I’m getting to here is that the cutscenes used by Samus Returns and Dread take this away from the player. Samus isn’t who we make her, the people making the game now tell us who Samus is: a Supercilious Bad-Ass Action Girl who kills aliens and doesn’t afraid of anything. Some people dig that but it removes a great deal of Metroids “actions define character” design and I think that does a disservice to the player and the Samus Aran character. Let players create their own scenes, they’ll have more meaning.
  13. At least they didn’t lock the highest difficulty level behind them this time.
  14. I want that switch grip that lets you attach the system to the pro controller. What is it called so I can shop for one?
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