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  1. I noticed you tweeting about it last week. Didn't realise that was you here. Anyway, it's one I've had an eye on, and definitely sounds like my sort of thing.
  2. Maybe I shouldn't have played so many games in my late teens - I had to get a Saturday job to pay for them, and that was the real waste of time. Still, it comes in handy having a decent knowledge of gaming history now. Other than that, are games a form of escapism? Power fantasies? Just a bit of fun? Thought provoking? A way of socialising? Yes, any of those things and probably more. I've written a fair bit about how games relate to the expectation of modern societies - how they reproduce the same demands, enable escape from them and reflect back critically on them at the same time. I find it interesting anyway.
  3. I don't have an issue with lack of replayability, because it clearly wasn't set up for that and it's a big enough game for a single play through. The systems are underdeveloped though, and I wonder what it might have looked like with another 6 months of refining and balancing. It would've been great to have the prostethics become more strategically interesting against those complex bosses. Anyway, it'll still be a top 10 highlight of the year. It was just so close to being so much better.
  4. The pie is the pizza. You know, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, and all that.
  5. Then there's File 12, which is all combat for as long as you can take it. Despite being post-credits it feels like an integral part of the overall structure. Not that I've got anywhere near finishing it.
  6. This year, I couldn't believe how bad Left Alive was. Not that I expected it to be particularly great, but it's rare these days for any game to be this poorly made. You'd think Square Enix and the Front Mission name might mean something, but no, it's shamelessly low budget and broken, and was still pushed out at full price. Fortunately I didn't pay for it.
  7. So, I think this is going OK so far, no doubt helped by the purhcases from here. So thanks for that. And if you've read it and feel like you could do a short review for Amazon or Goodreads, I'd really appreciate it. It will help raise the profile.
  8. Secret of Mana was still great when I played it a few years ago. Trials looks very nice but really isn't anywhere near as good.
  9. 30. Zelda: Link's Awakening 2-8 Oct Some classic Zelda-ing with a touch of odd. In some ways you can tell it came from a smaller system originally, because everything's quite compact and simple. I think mostly that's a good thing, knocking out the possibility of too much chatter between progress points or overly indulgent dungeon design. It's a nice straightforward rhythm of over and under-world exploring, with the map expanding in clear and logical ways after each boss fight. It does make enemies and especially bosses disappoiningly easy to deal with, but it all adds to a relaxed pace of near constant advancement. The few times I got stuck it was due to some rather old school puzzle design or poor communication (and I really wasn't keen on the last but one dungeon), but hardly enough to spoil things. And then there's the plot, which is sparse but rests on a neat little paradox where that I think has some scope for analysis. Overall, it's a great little counterpart to the far more complex and sophisticated Breath of the Wild. And another. Turns out I'd stopped playing this just before the final boss. Took me half an hour or so to finish it when I went back: 31. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom 24 Aug-9 Oct This is a very large Metroidvania, packed with plenty of stuff to find. But it's a mixed bag in terms of the level design and has some irritating issues that take the shine off it a lot of the time. Mean enemy placement, slidey control, and uneven checkpointing (and some checkpoints don't refill your health when you restart, which is annoyingly unnecessary) give it an old school feel, but in other ways it does everything it can to add modern quality of life features. Often it's just a little off, which is a shame because there's clearly a ton of thought and effort gone into it. The haunted mansion level near the end really stands out and shows what might have been if the quality was as high throughout.
  10. I nearly finished this a while back, but got sidetracked by other things and now face going back to do the last bit having forgotten everything. But I really should finish it. I personally thought the haunted house was by far the best part of the game (and found the volcano pretty annoying). I wish it had hit those levels of intricacy more often, it really felt like it was designed by a different team to the rest of the game. Mostly, I tihnk I found the whole thing just a bit off, despite being very generous and nicely put together. It's stuff like mean enemy placement, and those smaller checkpoints that don't refill your health when you restart from them. It doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be old school or modern and ends up a weird mish-mash of both.
  11. I mean because there's a very limited set of reactions you can get out each character when you muck about. They look for stuff you've nicked and chase you about, and not much else, other than the specific animations for actual list items.
  12. Interesting you mention the animation as I thought that was one of the weaker elements. It's overly slow to compensate for the imprecise controls and often not exaggerated enough, especially given the lack of facial features on the characters. A lot of punchlines fall flat because of it. Many of the highlights for me were when I somehow added a little twist to the actual solution. Like the rose incident, where I immediately picked up the beheaded rose and ran over to the guy to show it to him, effectively snitching on the woman. Without that, the gag itself was pretty lame. As for glitches, I struggled to find them endearing when they could be so immersion shattering or game breaking. They spoil minor things like a character chasing after you to retrieve an object, when you drop it and they instantly lose interest, turning their attention to something else. Just pick it up and give the goose a shake of the fist or something. Things like that constantly expose the very basic AI running underneath, so you feel less like you're tormenting people and more like you're exploiting programming routines. That's always bound to happen eventually, but it's just not robust enough and it all comes undone far too quickly. There's also bigger stuff though. It didn't help that I began the game stuck in the opening area for 20 minutes, trying to figure out how to get into the garden, only to check a video on YT and realise that the gardener just hadn't appeared. I had to reset and do it again. It's hard to trust the game from there. And there were a number of other solutions that didn't trigger first time or not at all after that. When you've spent 5 minutes trying to get the old man to fall on his bum and he just won't comply, the humour tends to dissipate. I spent the first minutes in each area mucking about causing general chaos, until the limitations of that set in after 10 minutes, then the rest of the time trying to get through the list, always wondering whether the thing I was trying was going to get recognised by the game, with the occasional amusing payoff. I still really like the goose and the concept, but the truth is a lot of it was spoiled by some pretty poor execution. I didn't care how long it took to finish (in fact I wanted it to end before it did), I just wanted it to be better while it went on.
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