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  1. Stanshall


    Weekend of shmups so far at my gaff. Just want to throw a few thoughts out and see if anyone's got much out of these. Astebreed comes with a solid reputation for high production values, innovative controls and a charming 32-bit sensibility. I like the look of it a lot. It reminds me of both Ikaruga and Nier Automata in terms of the ship designs. It's fun but I don't yet get the scoring system and so it's more of an audiovisual spectacle at the moment. It seems pretty easy but I also don't really know what I'm doing. The controls are fucking mad. Hold R2 to shoot. Hold R bumper to use the sword to swat away bullets and do melee damage. Point the right stick to lock onto enemies in a cone and release/recentre to fire. Click and hold R3 to lock on a la Crimzon Clover, release to fire. In short, you need to be inbred Goro to work all of these attacks independently. It's fun, but maybe a bit chaotic. Too many variables and a little too fast for me to optimise what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm keen to learn its deeper intricacies, though, because that's supposed to be where the game shines. Super Hydorah. This is the exact type of shmup I'm shit at. Side-scrolling, pew pew kind of shooting, environmental hazards, massive hitbox, stingy power ups, have to be good to get anywhere. It's everything I always found off-putting about shmups until I found the hypnotic rhythms of bullet hell. I bounced off this several times. It's been hovering over the Abandoned pile for a good few weeks but I've been trying to mix things up a bit and thought I'd give it another go. I didn't realise it had fanny mode before and I've been really enjoying it ever since. I've probably done about half of the levels now and I love what the game is now doing. On Rookie, with extra shields, I'm finding the challenge just right for my level and it's really good fun. There's some decent variety between levels, some cool surprises with every boss and I really like the overall presentation. Massive props for the perfectly shit Japanese accent on the rare spoken elements. Pure inane sci-fi cheese. A very good game. Maybe one day I'll be good enough to play it on the proper difficulty. Twinkle Star Sprites came out the other week on the Switch. I quite like the idea of a cute-em-up, having never played any, and this is definitely full of silly anime tropes and some fantastically shit localisation, as well as a very cartoony daft aesthetic. The gameplay is pretty interesting and I wonder whether this was in fact the first of its kind. It's a split screen Vs Battle kind of thing, where hitting combos sends enemies over to your opponent's side. When one player takes enough damage, it's a KO. There's a colour based combo system and various other elements but I have to be honest, I didn't really know how or why I won any round because I was just trying shoot everything as fast as I could. Only when I got to the final stages did I realise that shooting red enemies can start a chain reaction of explosions to get a quick combo and make life tough for the opponent. Not an amazing single player game, in all honesty, but I'll keep it installed because I think it'll be best in local multiplayer. Rival Megagun takes great mechanical inspiration from Twinkle Star Sprites, but brings its own Saturday morning cartoon vibe and characters. It started really promisingly, good soundtrack and it looks the part. When you finally get into the gameplay though, it falls short of its cuter, smarter inspiration. It adds some decent ideas, like choosing your moment to unleash a charged shot to send some explosive projectiles over to your opponent's side, or saving up your energy bar, transforming into a mini boss and hopping across the dividing lane for a proper duel. For whatever reason, though, it's rarely very exciting. While it has some interesting ideas, they're not especially fun or satisfying. The fundamental shooting is quite boring, in fact. I'll give it more time because I suspect there's a bit more to it but it'll struggle to nudge ahead of Twinkle Star Sprites. Ahhhh, shmups.
  2. Stanshall

    Nintendo eShop (Software Chatter)

    I know, of course. I'm just being playful. You're quite right.
  3. Stanshall

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Yeah, I think people had them through several weeks ago. I had it within a week or so, I'm sure. Check your junk mail?
  4. Stanshall

    Nintendo eShop (Software Chatter)

    I'm going to have to say, "let's agree to disagree."
  5. Stanshall

    Nintendo eShop (Software Chatter)

    They've had one every year since they were knocking out playing cards. It's kind of a tradition.
  6. Stanshall

    Nintendo eShop (Software Chatter)

    It's bound to be next Thursday in the January Direct.
  7. Stanshall

    FIFA Ultimate Team & gambling

    @Danster Apologies, I was being ironic in referencing the laziest, most common analogy. I think you're right, of course.
  8. Stanshall

    Gaming Predictions 2019

    @ThorIf you like that stuff, you'll probably enjoy Gesaffelstein. If you like that stuff, you've probably heard of them. Amazing video, nevertheless.
  9. I find the facial textures in Red Dead quite ugly and - dare I say - dated but the animation is really really good. It's amazing how much emotion is portrayed through those embalmed automata. Meanwhile, AC Odyssey has fantastic skin textures and lighting and colouring, but the animation is much less nuanced. I'd say this is where Naughty Dog are the most successful overall, not at the very top with either textures or animation but taking both into account (as well as quality of voice work) they're probably just ahead. I've not seen many people criticising the RDR2 facial textures, though, so I might just be very sensitive to it. They look like their faces are made of clay, whereas AC Odyssey looks like spongey rubber. Uncharted is probably the Fleshlight stuff, I dunno.
  10. Stanshall

    FIFA Ultimate Team & gambling

    It's no worse than sticker albums, fundamentally, except you're stealing £11.99 from your parents instead of 28p.
  11. Stanshall

    Dark Souls 3

    I know my comment there seems like the faintest of praise but I genuinely felt that by the final boss, I could appreciate the distinctive lore elements which DS3 brought. The closer it got to the end, the richer it became, in fact. Genuine thanks!
  12. Stanshall

    Dark Souls 3

    Dark Souls 3 episode coming up shortly on Cane and Rinse. Really looking forward to it and will be sending through a few thoughts. Thanks again to @Minionfor making me attempt the Ringed City DLC again. It changed the feeling I was left with by DS3. It's still my least favourite but by the time I finished the final DLC, I saw something in it which struck something of a chord.
  13. Stanshall


    This game is so frigging good and still in my regular rotation. I was watching some superplay stuff a couple of days ago trying to figure out how good my scoring is on the first stage in relative terms (actually, OK) and I found a new strategy that I've been working on since. It's such a great game and the levelling up stuff is still a thrill. There are grazing games and there are max combo games and so on, of course, but this feels unique to me. It's optimisable but the options and execution are far more varied than most.
  14. Stanshall

    Your shameful gaming secrets

    Abandoned Posters (2019)
  15. Stanshall

    Your shameful gaming secrets

    Real talk, I need to get this off my chest. I got AC Odyssey on PS4 and paid for the XP booster. Then I got a One X, got it again on that, and got the XP booster again. I am literally the problem. Cant even believe I've admitted this.

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