Author Topic: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)  (Read 221074 times)

JG

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #720 on: May 24, 2023, 06:35:28 pm »
Since Sony isn't attending E3 or Summer Game Fest in a few weeks, today was their big broadcast of the year.

You can watch the video here. Skip to 50 minutes to begin the content.


A solid meh. They did the Nintendo/Apple one-last-thing right with a long preview of the first several minutes of gameplay of Spider-Man 2, but otherwise not so impressive. In fact, Sony advertised it as a wealth of new IP, and except for some of their hardware, there wasn't much new, as more than half the games presented were sequels (most to games I'd never heard of the first time around)


Games to maybe pay attention to:

Phantom Blade 0 - It looks to capitalizing on Ghost of Tsushima's success - maybe a bit too similar though. Potential dark horse GOTY nominee if the pieces fall into place.

FoamStars - This is SquareEnix's crack at trying to solve the Splatoon formula, with a team shooter that doesn't take itself too seriously and a surfing mechanic to quickly cross terrain. The main differences are human characters and colored soap bubble shooters instead of squid kids shooting colored ink. Some of the stages seem similarly humorous though, like a giant roulette table.

The Plucky Squire - Not PS exclusive (on all platforms) but has a nice Super Mario Odyssey effect of transitioning crayon-like cartoon characters from flat surfaces into the real 3D world. Its designed by the art director for Pokemon Sword & Shield so it has some pedigree and a possible nominee for indie game of the year.

Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater - Remake of MGS3 for PS5. It'll certainly look good enough and the series has a strong following so its almost a sure thing. (Doesn't interest me though)

Final Fantasy XVI - SquareEnix's biggest release of the year. Though I have to agree with the tagline that "the crystals have shaped their destiny long enough". Its time for the Final Fantasy series (and Creative Business Unit 3) to stop giving us stories that focus on restoring crystals to save a dying world.

Assassin's Creed: Mirage - Ubisoft wisely decided to reverse the decision to pump out a new AC game every year, as quality badly suffered in the last several. This one looks better and maybe puts the series back on track. If not, maybe its time for Ubisoft to walk away from the series and spend their money elsewhere. Might see more at Summer Game Fest.

Street Fighter 6 - Another series with a big following. And story mode actually looks intriguing. (Not going to buy myself, but I can see how it's got SF fans excited.)

Marathon - Bungie's newest FPS game, or rather, a complete remake of one of their first games. Bungie's track record is best in the business (even better than Nintendo or Rare's), so a lot has to go wrong for this to not be a hit. Savvy movie by Sony Interactive to buy them up last year. The game will release for Xbox, too, but any future addons or sequels are probably PS5/PC exclusives. Microsoft might get future Call of Duties, but Sony will get future Marathons.

Spider-Man 2 - The first was GOTY. This one is a likely nominee. The graphics of New York City look spectacular. I worry there is too much going on in the screen though with too much focus on the button timing mechanic. Great visuals don't matter so much when player has to focus on one area of the screen for a prompt of which button to press. It's giving me the vibes that it might be a better game to watch someone else play the game than to play the game yourself, which would certainly hurt its GOTY potential.

JG

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #721 on: June 09, 2023, 07:03:21 am »
Summer Game Fest day 1 recap:

Mortal Kombat 1
Wait, one again? Continuing the trend of video game producers to not know how to count properly, we're now rebooting the series back to one for the second time (following 2011's first reboot.) I gotta admit, it looks pretty bad ass, especially as cameo players jump in for some punches, but some of the fatalities are way over the top. Turning a half second event into this grand ten to fifteen second spectacle hasn't worked since FF7 made a similar 'upgrade' over FF6's for summonings. Looks neat the first time or two, but so damn long most players will just want to get on with the game.

Street Fighter 6 DLC
An Exoprimal crossover is not what anyone had in mind, and looks very dumb next to Mortal Kombat. In what reality is it smart to make cyborgs out of Ryu and Guile and have them fight dinosaurs? That's right: DINOSAURS in Street Fighter! No wonder Capcom wouldn't release details to people who ordered the season pass, I think they knew there would be a lot of very angry players.

Sonic Superstars
I think its a great idea for Sonic to go back to its 2D roots. The latest games have not been anything special. Its just never been as appealing in 3D as 2D. Its still 3D rendered so he can do neat stuff and do some 3D loops and stuff but plays like a 2D platformer. Of course Mario did this first, but Ill give credit to Sonic Team for finally adjusting. I do hope there is ability to change graphics from modern 2023 to classic 1990s style on pause screen like in Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX. They teased it at start and end of the trailer but seemed doubtful that it is a real feature.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Are they really changing a major event - maybe THE most major event - in the storyline? That is quite the bold move if true and sets up the final act in the trilogy to play out differently than the original. As the final third of original is quite dull compared to the first two, that may be exactly what they have in mind - to mix things up and generate interest. It would set up the final act as a must-play game of 2027 just to see how things turn out. Of course, the bad news in the trailer was the release date slipping out of the holiday season and into early 2024. PS5 is now without its marquee Christmas release, which is a major win for Nintendo.


I didn't really care about other games covered day 1 (like Alan Wake II.) I was watching a bit later than live so kept skipping through games that didn't register with me. If you saw something exciting, talk about it and maybe I'll go back to watch that bit.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2023, 07:14:22 am by JG »

Moge

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #722 on: June 22, 2023, 03:44:20 am »
What an odd Direct. Buncha indies and some stellar Mario games. Very happy to see Mario RPG is back from the grave. The original remains my favorite across all the Mario RPG franchises (that includes Paper and M&L), so this is definitely a day 1 purchase for me. I've never touched a NSMB game since i find them visually bland, but for the first time i find myself intrigued in a modern 2D Mario with Mario Wonder. The graphics really pop out, and the characters are very expressive.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #723 on: June 24, 2023, 07:14:59 am »
First NSMB is pretty good, but really on the hard side which is atypical for a Mario game (SMB1 or SMB3 level of unforgiving difficulty in some areas, not the easy stuff that came after.) They introduced a lot of stages with alternate exists that could only be reached if you stayed Tiny Mario almost the entire way through the level without any powerups.

NSMB Wii was really good, but broken in multiplayer. A fair challenge with one player and stage design that reminded me of SMW, but the fact you get turned into a balloon when KO'd that can be saved by the other players in multiplayer so nearly infinite lives. An advanced player can help novices along though, so fun if playing with a child. (I played some stages with my cousin's kids to get them past a fortress they'd been stuck on.)

NSMB2 is probably the worst SMB game. Its whole gimmick was collecting coins so the worldwide tally could be posted to Nintendo's website, so coins are all over the place and distract from good gameplay. Some stages are entirely coins with no enemies at all. It also wanted each player to collect a million coins to acquire all unlockables, but a full playthrough was maybe 30-40,000 coins, so the game was basically asking for over 25 playthroughs to 100% it, which is complete nonsense.

I don't remember NSMBU as anything memorable. I'm sure I beat it, but haven't ever replayed it. I think it was too easy. (And Super Mario 3D World came out the next year and completely overshadowed it.)

Super Luigi U is the complete opposite. It takes the NSMBU game and stages but makes them incredibly hard. Like a callback to SMB hacks or precursor to Mario Maker stages people have made with sinister intent. They sold this game for everyone but really should have labeled it better for expert players only. In today's world, it would have been DLC because as a standalone game it was terrible and probably had a high trade-in rate because of its over the top difficulty.

I am appreciating that the background elements change in Wonder - pipes squeezing and giving Mario a lift, or the trees stretching and shrinking with Mario's body to match gives some great new gameplay mechanics. Looks like high potential for fun. I'd have dropped the Bros part from the name though and just gone Super Mario Wonder, like Sunshine and Odyssey did.

I'm not sure the dog does enough to make Pikmin 4 much different from the previous four games. The nighttime exploration and Glow Pikmin might but they really didn't show off enough of this in the Direct. They're giving out a demo though, which is definitely the right thing to do because I don't think many people under 25 really know or appreciate Pikmin. If you had a Gamecube, you probably love Pikmin. If you didn't, its just another Nintendo IP.

I'm not into Warioware, but the motion control stuff looks like it would be more fun than just button presses like all the DS/3DS games were. I never thought this series was worth much advertisment until now.

Super Mario RPG excites me. I started the SNES game but never finished it. Everyone says its great though and I'd love to see it with all the new graphics and cut scenes.

The new Super Princess Peach game has me intrigued if its a proper (and long-overdue) sequel to Super Princess Peach, but I don't think it is. I think they're going for something different. I'd have a better feel for it being a sequel if they had DS games on Nintendo Switch Online or some kind of digital remake like they were doing with Pikmin 1+2.

I've already said that Sonic Superstars going back to 2D roots was exactly what the series needed after a half dozen ho-hum games.

I'm a big Dragon Quest fan, but not so much on the Monster series because they mostly either used unique characters and settings unrelated to other games, or characters people in the west didn't know or care about (like Terry from DQ6, before DQ6 was localized.) The Dark Prince gives a major backstory element to Psaro, a tragic antagonist of DQ4 that every Dragon Quest fan knows about. Its even got the DQ4 hero showing up so the stories overlap. Plus its coming December 1, which is great since just a month ago the DQ twitter teased a new Monsters game for 2024, meaning its coming earlier than expected and fills in the gap at Christmas.

Shocked Everybody 1-2 Switch! was entirely absent from the Direct. Not interested in it myself, but Nitnendo rarely misses a chance to advertise a game about to release. They not only did, but the WarioWare: Move It! game looks like it stole all its thunder for quick minigame gimmicks.

Moge

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #724 on: September 29, 2023, 12:18:54 am »
Made a top 30 list since it seems to be the rage right now on social media (actually top 25, but i added another row ;D)

You can use this site to make a list -- https://topsters.org

There's no specific order to my list btw. Structured it by genre mostly.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2023, 02:20:44 am by Moge »

JG

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #725 on: September 29, 2023, 06:09:30 pm »
Bionic Commando making the list...

(applause)

Moge

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #726 on: October 01, 2023, 05:34:29 pm »
So when are we gonna see your list ;D

Bionic Commando making the list...

(applause)
There are other great platformer run-n-guns i could name, but the grappling mechanic of BC puts it above the rest. The remake, ReArmed, is also great, but the pixel art graphics of the NES original makes it an easier choice for me to go back to.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #727 on: November 06, 2023, 03:13:50 pm »
We're about two weeks out form the big Black Friday sales, so time again to start talking gaming deals.

So far, the only notable deal is Amazon selling Mario+Rabbids Sparks of Hope for a cool $20.

Target is doing their typically Buy Two Get One Free deal though, which is nice if there's three relatively new and full-priced games on your list, but otherwise nothing special.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #728 on: November 10, 2023, 07:58:44 am »
Apparently you'll be able to get a PS5 with Spider-Man 2 or Call of Duty Modern Warfare III thrown in for free, or Xbox X with Modern Warfare III as well this season. At least this is what Best Buy is offering this weekend so others likely to match if its not a Sony and Microsoft combo deal meant to be available everywhere.

Best Buy is also offering PS5 DualSense controllers for only $50 this weekend and through the Black Friday week.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #729 on: November 12, 2023, 08:03:27 am »
Target is now running the same PS5 with Spider-Man 2 or Madern Warfare III deal for $500 and DualSense controllers for $50, so as expected, its likely the same deal everywhere.

Also offering a $15 Playstation card if you buy $100, but that's not such a great deal unless you need a PS Plus refresh and a digital game.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #730 on: November 13, 2023, 11:04:20 am »
Costco will be selling Backbone One Playstation Edition for iPhones for $75 (that's 25% off) with an additional $25 Playstation Store emailed redemption code. That basically makes it half price to stream PS4 and PS5 games to your phone with accurate button labels.

No idea if they'll sell Android models as well, but I suspect not. Most likely these are iPhone 14 and older Lightning connector models, since Apple was finally forced to adapt to supranational standards (ie, USB-C) with the new iPhone 15 (and no one wanted to spend extra money for an Apple-proprietary connector that doesn't charge anything else anyway.) Since USB-C models have a future and Lightning models don't, this could be Costco's way to unload the Lightning models.

Deal good November 20-27 but you have to be a Costco member. Potentially Walmart/Sams or Amazon will match.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #731 on: November 14, 2023, 11:26:02 am »
GameStop is now or will soon be offering some pre-Black Friday game discounts, in addition to the PS5 and DualSense discounts that seem to be ubiquitious. Some games seem to be on sale now, while others are in the ad but not discounted (yet.)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD [Switch] - $29.99
  • Pokemon Shining Pearl [Switch] - $29.99
  • Octopath Traveler II [Switch] - $29.99
  • Forspoken [PS5] - $17.50
  • Elden Ring [PS4] - $19.99
  • Saints Row: Criminal Custom Edition [Xbox] - $5
  • Tales of Arise [PS4] - $5
Shipping from GameStop is always obscene ($79 minimum order), but ordering online and picking up in store is currently carrying an additional $5 discount. I'm going to be picking up Forspoken for only $12.50 plus tax today.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2023, 11:32:24 am by JG »

JG

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #732 on: November 17, 2023, 01:49:21 pm »
Most of the big ads are out now. We're still waiting on GameStop's normal Black Friday ad though. Amazon is opting not to tip their hand on gaming deals but being entirely digital they can throw something up next week and will likely match many of these.

Best Buy
  • Mario+Rabbids Sparks of Hope Cosmic Edition [Switch] - $15
  • God of War Ragnarok [PS5] - $35
  • God of War Ragnarok [PS4] - $30
  • Star Wars Jedi Survivor [PS5 or Xbox X] - $35
  • Final Fantasy XVI [PS5] - $40
  • Diablo IV [PS5] - $50

Wal-Mart is clearly hedging their gaming bets for early in the week, and delaying their big sales to start Wednesday. It's unclear from their ad if the discounts are only good Wednesday, or only start then and are available through the weekend. (Probably continues through the weekend or until out of stock.) In any case, surrendering Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to competitors is not such a great idea unless you've got a better price.
  • Backbone One (all models, including USB-C) - $69, November 22
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom [Switch] - $52, all week
  • Luigi's Mansion 3 [Switch] - $40, all week
  • Star Wars Jedi Survivor [PS5] - $35, all week
  • Kirby's Return to Dreamland [Switch] - $30, November 22
  • Hogwart's Legacy [PS5] - $40, November 22
  • God of War Ragnarok [PS4] - $30, November 22
  • Mortal Kombat 1 [PS5] - $40, November 22
  • Super Mario Odyssey [Switch] - $30, November 22
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild [Switch] - $30, November 22
  • Street Fighter 6 [PS5] - $30, November 22

Target is pushing the Xbox consoles hard. But the ad is confusing about what is the better deal.
  • Xbox Series X - $450, plus $75 Target gift card
  • Xbox Series X with Diablo IV - $450, plus $75 Target gift card (which seems like the better deal, but why priced the same? Maybe this is the lesser hard drive model?)
  • Kirby's Return to Dreamland [Switch] - $30
  • Luigi's Mansion 3 [Switch] - $40
  • Sonic Superstars [Switch] - $35
  • Star Wars Jedi Survivor [PS5] - $35
  • Mortal Kombat 1 [PS5] - $40
  • Final Fantasy XVI [PS5] - $40
  • Hogwart's Legacy [PS5] - $40

Target just got egg on face for using page area to specifically highlight prices for Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey at $40, when Walmart has them beat by $10 on each. They do beat Wal-Mart on Sonic Superstars price by $5, and being a newer game is a slight win for Target's ad. Both of them fall flat on Sparks of Hope though, offering the basic game at $20 when Best Buy's Cosmic Edition with extra weapon skins is cheaper by $5. Best Buy also beats them by $5 on PS5 God of War Ragnarok as well. Wal-Mart's lone win is Street Fighter 6 PS5 at $10 cheaper than Best Buy.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #733 on: November 27, 2023, 01:35:12 pm »
SquareEnix games are usually discounted heavily at Black Friday - but not so much this year, with recent games like FF7 Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 not discounted at all after seeing deep discounts last year.

But they're discounting some games today, and the deals are available several places (Amazon, Best Buy, etc.) Maybe some more than these.
  • Final Fantasy XVI [PS5] - $35
  • Dragon Quest Treasures [Switch] - $29
  • Dragon Quest XI S [Switch Digital] - $35
  • Dragon Quest Builders [Switch Digital] - $35
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 [Switch Digital] - $35

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #734 on: December 31, 2023, 12:18:01 pm »
Last day of the year, so it is, once again, time for the 2023 Year in Gaming recap.

Because of one singular game, my relocation to a new city, and major Dragon Builders 2 project, I only made time for a few new games this year. Hope to do better next year now that these three things are behind me.

6. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer (Switch): D-
This looked fun, but it is actually very hard and unforgiving, even with the beat turned off. I couldn't tolerate more than an hour or so before I got too frustrated with easy death. As much as I love Zelda games, the free Nintendo Switch Online Game Trial told me all I need to know that this game is not for me.

5. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince (Switch): D+
I only played the demo, but its sufficient long that I think it qualifies as a fair test of the game. I was incredibly psyched for this game when the trailer premiered in the June Nintendo Direct: a Psaro backstory! But boy does it disappoint. The graphics for both characters and environments are a huge step back from other Dragon Quest titles: worse than DQ11, Treasures, and the Heroes games and comparable to the Builders or other spin-off series. The battles are also slow to develop and there's too many of them, making navigating the wilds between one area and another more of a chore than an adventure. The demo didn't advance the story in the 5 or 6 hours I played as much as I'd hoped and ends before introducing either of the two big baddies that are mentioned but never seen, or the third character in the party: the humorously named, Toilen Trubble. Speaking to other DQ fans, the demo seems to have done more damage than good, as I wasn't the only one who was turned from "probable preorder" into "wait and see". Given its self-published by SquareEnix and not co-published with Nintendo, there's a very good chance it comes down in price rapidly through 2024, so I'll probably be able to pick it up again later and not pay full price for a so-so game.
 
4. Franken RPG (PC): C
Easy and very short (less than one hour) with some funny inside jokes. It has a sappy ending though that is way too long (about a quarter of the game's length is the ending sequence.) If you've got an hour and just want something free and stupid to play, this will do.

3. Super Mario RPG (Switch): B-
An overdue remake of the original. Some nice new features to make combat more tolerable, but aside from updated graphics that's it. Its still very short and really could have benefited from a bit of the FF7 Remake style with added side quests or challenges. I'm not certain it provides a long enough adventure to really dictate a $60 (USD) price in today's market. If I wanted to play an RPG, $60 is much better spent on something like the Xenoblade series, which are ten times as long.

2. Super Mario Bros. Wonder (Switch): B
A fine Super Mario Bros 2D entry, somewhere between the brutal single-player New SMB game and the easy NSMB2 and multiplayer Wii and U games. Every stage having something whimsical is a nice way to prevent the stages from becoming repetitive and the use of both bubbling and undamageable characters gives novices a chance to play with more skilled players. Unfortunately, I found the stages either far too easy, far too short, or just aggravatingly hard - which is indicative of poor playtesting and balance.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch): A
Nearly perfect but a few really "Ugh" moments. Some of the puzzles should have been harder, or developers blocking cheating them with smaller doors, corners in hallways, or other restrictive means to avoid bringing items with you from one area to the next to make things easier. The difficulty seems to generally scale downwards as well as you acquire more companions when it should go the other way. There should have been a better homing device for finding wells and caves, as only guides and maps can truly help a player find them all. Hyrule felt big enough without adding both sky and the Depths - you can really get sidetracked dozens of hours between tasks. The long loading pause (over a second) that occurs when falling from overworld to Depths is rather disturbing - BotW didn't have this happen and was designed for the lesser Wii U hardware, so seeing it happen on Switch is a sign that engine improvements were not made to account for more capable hardware. Overall, longer and more interesting battles than Breath of the Wild offered, but not as solid of a story or adventure as BotW. BotW shares top billing in the series with games like Ocarina of Time, but TotK is going to have to settle for second tier because of the rough edges that weren't fully smoothed out to make for a more compact and enjoyable experience.


Most Looking Forward to in 2024:
  • The Plucky Squire (TBD) - This is my most anticipated title of 2024: it looks cute, looks like it plays well, and expands upon the Link Between Worlds idea of jumping out of bounds of the normal environment. I keep hoping for some news on release date to better plan the year.
  • Princess Peach: Showtime! (March 22) - I'm hoping this has some fun gameplay like the excellent Super Princess Peach. SPP has been long overdue for a sequel and if this doesn't measure up it will be a huge-missed opportunity and let down on behalf of Nintendo, who only seems interesting in letting the guys do all the hero work. If it ends up being a very basic game with cosplay dress-up as the hallmark feature then Nintendo should expect a lot of hate mail. It's almost certain we'll see more in a Nintendo Direct between now and mid-March to get a better idea but so far it's on my potential pre-order list.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (TBD) - If it has new features. If it's merely a port like Super Mario RPG then I'll be greatly disappointed. It's a great game - to the point that almost everyone who has played all the Mario RPG games are in near-universal agreement that Thousand Year Door is the best of the bunch. People who missed it on GameCube should get it for Switch, but don't expect me to buy it without additional features: I still have the original.
  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (February 29) - still on the list from last year, since it didn't make it into 2023; very strong chance I don't buy until later in the year though, perhaps Black Friday or something depending on timing of other releases
  • Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory (out now) - surprise unannounced release just before Christmas, I had thought this game all but cancelled. But it does exist and I remember the Paranoia RPG tabletop game being slapstick comedy at its highest so I'll probably give it a shot when it runs a big discount after a few months.
  • Tinykin (out now) - I just bought this a few days ago in Steam's winter sale so haven't had a chance to try it yet but it's been on my agenda for about two years.
  • Pikmin 4 (out now) - I'm kind of waiting for this one to come down in price a bit, or my calendar to clear up to warrant full price. I enjoyed the previous Pikmin games, I just haven't had the time to squeeze in this one yet. (And Tinykin is so similar I may have to sit on Pikmin 4 a while longer.)


Rumors/Things we did see come true in 2023:
  • Super Mario Bros. Wonder - I had mentioned in last year's review that 2023 would mark six years between mainline Mario series games, and we'd never gone to seven before. Sure enough, we got one in 2023.


Rumors/Things I want to see come true in 2024:
  • New Nintendo Hardware - All signs pointing to 2024 finally being the year. If not then they might well allow Sony back into competition for first place.
  • Metroid Prime 4 - This has been on the list for a while, but with new hardware on the horizon and both Mario and Zelda out of the picture as a launch title, a Metroid game might well be the perfect solution (barring a new Smash Bros title.) If hardware launches without either Metroid Prime 4 or a Super Smash Bros entry then I don't have any idea what Nintendo is expecting.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 3 - Hopes are getting faint. The five year anniversary passed not long ago and still no word from SquareEnix on a sequel to arguably the best spin-off game they've ever made (at the very least, the one with the longest standing appeal) But as time goes by and we get closer to Dragon Quest XII, hopes diminish. Given how horrible the reviews for Infinity Strash were, and good sales but generally unimpressive reviews for The Dark Prince, SquareEnix's DQ team really should get back to doing a game that is a near certainty to out-sell and out-review them both.
  • Dragon Quest XII News - Speaking of which... Its now been two a an half years with no screenshots, concept art, or anything. For the previous several mainline Dragon Quests, this process started well over two years in advance of release. Either SquareEnix is keeping a much tighter lid on things this time, or is expecting us to wait until 2026, which is disaster. At this point, a 2024 release seems unlikely, but we gotta get some news to calm fears as the DQ line is not looking very strong of late.
  • Dragon Quest X Offline English/European Localization - This would certainly solve the above problem. And it seems more possible now than this time last year, thanks to the Korean Playstation store leaking Korean and Chinese ports were coming some months ago. Since it would be an atrocious backstab to translate to Korean and Chinese but not English as twice promised already, if that leak was true then North America and Europe should finally see DQX in 2024, correcting a multi-year title gap and solving the confusing parts of DQ11 and Treasures that make callbacks to DQ10 that western players don't understand.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising Remake or Sequel - More of a personal wish than practical expectation. But as time goes by it seems Kid Icarus, along with F-Zero, have just been retired by Nintendo. (And so Pit and Captain Falcon should also be dropped from the next Smash Bros game roster if they will have no new games, or at minimum moved to paid DLC if inclusion is absolutely required.)


The Annual "Let's Not Do This Again" Award:
Bogus year-end-reviews from the game companies. What started as a neat reminder a few years back has become something of an annual tradition. And that's great, when its accurate. Nintendo seems to have done a good job with it this year - accurate for my playtimes and I only knew one friend who complained a gametime reported as 50 hours should have been 60, which seems close enough to simply be misremembering. But my oh my, the other guys. Playstation, for the second year in a row, was off by hundreds of hours, which totally obliterates any measures shown in the charts. And Steam, despite getting the hours played correct, butchered their own charts by not ranking games equally. You can't tell me that the six factors I enjoyed the most, with the top three that so overwhelm the bottom three and come from one game that was played for only 12% of the time, while those bottom three factors were from another game comprising 88% of game time. Thats proof positive that game A's factors are valued at 15-20 times as much as game B. Shouldn't an hour of Game A equal an hour of game B? If you're recording hours to base your charts on, it certainly should. And yet doesn't. And the fact that someone at Steam had to purposely set these factors for each game indicates full knowledge that games aren't valued equally, which is purposely misleading your customers. And if any of that valuation is being used to promote sales or provide discounts to certain game companies making certain games, that's called fraud and could lead to serious legal trouble. So next year, lets knock it off with this stupid non-useful information. Playstation needs to get their hours recorded correct and Steam needs to treat all games equally. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all.


Payoff of the Year:
Nintendo taking the time to get the physics engine of Tears of the Kingdom right. Besides the free falling being far superior to Skyward Sword and good use in a few very clever and fun Shrines, the ability to glue lots of pieces together to make gigantic vehicles and weapons of doom was just fantastic. Tell me you didn't watch at least one video this year of the crazy contraptions people were building in TotK. This got more buzz for the game than any amount of positive reviews. (And yet, God of War series wins GotY again with a rather meager physics engine and nothing that really separates it from the previous entry.)


Backfire of the Year:
Sure enough, the decision to delay Starfield to late 2023 doomed the Xbox Series S/X to last place in the console races. While Switch continued to crush and PS5 moved merrily along with its discounted God of War Ragnarok bundle though the second half, Xbox kept struggling despite a marquee game. Things got so bad that now Microsoft has significantly cut the price of the X, just to get some sales and stay relevant. No one is buying Xbox hardware, and thus no one is buying Xbox software and so Microsoft is losing out on license fees. There are now about twice as many PS5s and Xbox S and Xs, which is an insurmountable lead. Face it Microsoft: it's time to get off the dance floor and follow Sega's lead into the software-only gaming business.


Moment of the Year:
Personally it was completing my project island for DQB2, a project that lasted nearly two years. But beyond that probably hearing the news my nephew was going to get a Switch for Christmas. Despite me not being much of a multiplayer gamer, it will give me the chance to play some games with him remotely and become his gaming tutor of sorts. We're still working on the specifics of which games (Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart seem most likely) but this will give us a chance to play together since we don't see each other as often as I'd like.


What will 2023 most be remembered for? (Besides key games):
The end of E3. The organizers of E3 acknowledged that it won't be coming back in 2024, or ever again. The cancellations due to COVID and poor organization in the few years since to put together a suitable streaming solution caused all the big players to move over to Summer Game Fest, which has already basically replaced E3. What was once the year's biggest show-and-tell in gaming is now done. I only hope that Sony and Nintendo can now reengage and make SGF what E3 used to be when all the big players were present. Nintendo and Sony never missed an E3 until COVID. Nintendo had a great show every year, laying out its holiday plans and sharing the majority of its secrets in the pre-Direct days. And its where Sony had the infamous "Two-ninety-nine" mic drop that all but ruined Sega. E3 will be missed.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2023, 12:45:47 pm by JG »

JG

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #735 on: February 01, 2024, 10:32:50 am »
Once again, the Playstation State of Play was a total dud. Neat to see a few sequels, and more content of few sort-of-neat games like Rise of Ronin, but nothing to really get excited about. Very bleh and a far cry from the excellence Nintendo usually brings.





And Nintendo got the last laugh anyway, with Sakurai-san's video requesting game companies get on with showing real gameplay and knock it off with these off-system generated movies and attempts to replicate movie trailers, something Sony's been (wrongly) doing for nearly 30 years. If someone goes to a movie theater, they want to see pretty pictures and be wowed, and almost everything they see will be in the promoted movie. It is passive participation. But when people want to play a game, they wish they could hold the controller in their hands and see what that looks like. They are still passive, but game companies need to include them to feel as active as possible in the trailers. And potential buyers absolutely do not need to see video clips that aren't even in the game. It doesn't help market the game at all: all it does is market how good the CG is for the trailers. Don't sell the CG, sell the game. Sakurai-san just held out his arm, and Sony waked face first into his fist.




Death Stranding 2 had way too little gameplay to see what was different from the first game. Dave the Diver only had 11 seconds of it, all from PC, in its 69 second trailer. Judas, despite being from the creator of the excellent BioShock series went over a minute into its trailer before gameplay was shown. I don't know if any gameplay was actually shown for Zenless Zone Zero in its minite-long trailer.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #736 on: February 07, 2024, 04:48:29 pm »
I thought the State of Play was fine for what it is. I'm happy to finally see Until Dawn leave the PS4 platform with a remaster on PC and PS5. Been hearing so many horror fans rave about that game over the years that's it made me very curious. I'm kinda meh on the Silent Hill 2 remake. The original still looks good today, and everything i've seen from the remake looks like a very questionable reinterpretation.

I've watched a few of Sakurai's videos. They're incredibly informative as someone who's trying to get into game development.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #737 on: February 21, 2024, 11:36:31 am »
Another dud Direct. I don't know what Nintendo is doing here. Missed Everybody 1+2 Switch last year, now skipping highlights of Mario vs Donkey King and Princess Peach: Showtime in Directs. Do they even want to sell their own games?

And the lineup for today's Switch entries was not all that exciting. I guess the Monster Hunters Stories game may be okay but graphics not improved all that much over 3DS and doesn't look anything close to more modern Monster Hunter games. Epic Mickey had potential to nail it but the phrasing "faithful remake" tells me its going to be as absurdly hard as the original, so it's again going to overshoot its target audience (children) who find the game just too damn difficult as it was on Wii. And Fantasy Life i was way too far off (October 10) to be in a spring Direct (and yes, its the same 10/10 release in Japan, so its not a matter of being in western Direct to coincide with an earlier date in the Japanese direct.) Fantasy Life i was showcased already last year, so it indicates something has gone wrong in development to introduce such a delay - and now we're likely to see it show up in a third direct later this year. I'm also miffed that Plucky Squire never showed up indicating its also run into some kind of development delay to push it until second half, too. Some other games like Penny's Big Breakaway and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble, and South Park may be moderate successes, but Directs are usually anchored by a major hit, and this one came up empty. I don't know what the expectation for Endless Ocean: Luminous is, but it sure doesn't look like an anchor hit to me. Princess Peach Showtime and Thousand Year Door look like they're much higher sellers. If Pokemon Direct on the 27th offers the rumored Gen 5 remakes, or Let's Go sequels, they'll also far outsell Endless Ocean.

And the anger at the Japanese developers is increasing. Japanese Direct did indeed get a preview of Dragon Quest X Online: The Door to the Future and the Sleeping Girl while we still have no word on Dragon Quest X Offline localizations. And Nintendo shot themselves in the foot by announcing Mother 3 was coming to the Japanese Nintendo Switch Online set, a game highly desired for translation in the west for even longer than DQ X, and Nintendo supposed promised years ago they wouldn't touch the series again or port the game without a formal translation.

Grounded led off the show and Pentiment showed up later, and these are Xbox Game Studios games. R.C. Pro Am, Snake Rattle n Roll, Battletoads, Killer Instinct, and Blast Corps are all Rare games and Rare is now a subsidiary of Xbox Game Studios. So it seems all but certain Xbox Game Studios is going to start porting over many games to Switch and Switch successor hardware (like the recent Battletoads reboot), and maybe even make new unique games specific to Switch. I'm going out on a limb, but I suspect a Killer Instinct game for the successor hardware is under development. Microsoft may not find much success challenging series like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and King of Fighters on their own hardware, but Nintendo hardware is much more viable territory for a lesser known fighting game series, especially with Smash Bros Ultimate aging out and no apparent sequel on the way. Killer Instinct as a new hardware launch title has some potential. Its a genre Nintendo probably doesn't have in their launch lineup and a good opportunity for Rare/Xbox to reboot the franchise.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #738 on: February 26, 2024, 05:50:55 pm »
Pretty meh Direct overall. Unicorn Overlord was the highlight for me, with the demo being shadowdropped was a nice surprise. Ending the Direct with Endless Ocean was an interesting choice. I remember that series being a cult hit, but it's been well over a decade since the previous entry. I'm not the audience for that game, but i do appreciate the sentiment of Nintendo continually giving these somewhat obscure franchises new life.

It's strange that Nintendo has made profile pics for Earthbound Beginnings available on NSO. Cool game, but it feels rather random when their new games like Princess Peach Showtime or Another Code aren't getting any pics.

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Re: It's a thread! (Games discussion, etc.)
« Reply #739 on: February 27, 2024, 02:54:44 pm »
They don't provide avatar picture choices until the game is out. Princess Peach will almost assuredly have some once it releases. I can't explain Another Code as well, but maybe it just doesn't have enough variety people would recognize, to make for a good avatar picture set. The main character girl is about the only one most people could recognize.

Should point out the avatars sets are, I think, shared between Japan and the west. So with the Japanese getting Mother 3 dropped onto their NSO selection, an avatar set for Mother 1 makes a lot of sense.

I'm not against Nintendo giving obscure franchises new life. I am against them thinking its a magic bullet to solve the calendar void that's rapidly approaching. It sure doesn't look like a million seller to me. After Princess Peach Showtime and the games from the direct are out, we're left with Fantasy Life i in October and Thousand Year Door somewhere in second half, and not a lot else because the plan was always for them to close out the current hardware slate. With the news that the successor hardware is being delayed from October/November to March(-ish) and most likely taking the launch game slate with it, and the Pokemon Presents this morning indicating no Switch games for 2024 (no Let's Go sequels or Gen 5 remakes), with Pokemon Legends Z-A a likely successor hardware launch or near-launch title, then Nintendo's really got a mess on their hands trying to figure out the holiday season this year. Nintendo needs something a lot better than Endless Ocean to carry the system through the last six months. The rumored Zelda 3D collection or an updated Wind Waker and/or Twilight Princess port may be on tap just to give something heading into the holiday season, unless they delay Thousand Year Door beyond its late summer expectation (which only opens up a similar hole in the fall schedule)