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Sprite Machine

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  1. Sprite Machine

    Shadow of the Colossus Remake (Bluepoint)

    This remake is incredible. It can't be understated what a difference the higher framerate makes (in performance mode), not just to to the game's feel and the inherent 'reality' of that smoothness, but to its responsiveness of control. I swear it's much easier now. Even if it had no other improvements, the 60fps alone would be worth it! There are some nitpicks; the faces look too plasticky and Wander's face doesn't change so obviously over the course of the game (in fact, you wouldn't even notice it). Out in the world, the vibrancy, colour, sharp detailing and additional foliage make it less bleak, sparse and foggy than it originally appeared, but it's a prettier game overall and I can't really fault it for trying to be so. It's absolutely stunning to look at; the vistas, archetecture and the colossi are all incredible. I streamed my first playthrough. Image quality falters a bit but gives a sense of the smoothness when played at 60fps for those without a Pro console. I'm just doing some hard mode replays now using the game's 'Mirrored World', which was added specially for this version. It's disorienting having things flipped! Give me a follow/subscribe if you like, I'm just getting into this streaming lark (and I don't do commentaries so no prattling on over the gorgeous soundtrack). I'll be adding new videos as I redo each colossus. This game, man. Everytime I buy it (PS2, PS3, PS4), I obsess over it for a few days, and it just floors me how good it is. Also, once again, any excuse to post the amazing article on unused and beta colossi from Nomad's blog. Some of those unused creatures sound great but I really like the detective work that went into finding where they might have lived. How the versions of the map were altered, digging through old betas and videos, matching up landmarks, extracting bits of code and piecing together concept art. There's a fascinating world beyond the one that we were eventually shown.
  2. Oh god, not the "copying = taking" false analogy pearl-clutching nonsense again!
  3. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    20 hours in and so far it's almost exactly like a Zelda game... except one that somebody has sucked most of the fun and joy out of. I don't mind the bleak tone and plot, but the game's dungeons and puzzles seem intent on annoying rather than entertaining. I've lost count of the times that I've assumed a certain jump or traversal is impossible, only to find that it's possible but extraordinarily tight with no margin for error and I've wasted ages looking for a more obvious alternate route. Or the times that I've had to leave a room and come back in to reset it because certain objects can only be used once. Or the times I've slightly misjudged a jump and fallen into a hole - and rather than respawn with some life removed, I've been sent into a basement and made to fight my way back through several rooms to reach where I started. The isometric viewpoint seems to intentionally mislead, often making it unclear if a platform is above you or behind you, below you or in front of you. Solutions to puzzles, particularly ones involving stacking barrels/blocks, often feel like the solution is a glitch. Traversal isn't pleasurable, and Alundra often gets 'stuck' on corners of walls and doors. It's clearly lacking in the polish and refinement of even the worst of Nintendo's Zelda entries, but if I had to compare it to any of them, it most reminds me of the original NES game - quite hard, a little bit aimless, often frustrating and set in a world with an oppressive and forboding feel. It's a challenge, but it's increasingly becoming a tedious one. The game throws dungeons at you like there's no tomorrow, but many of them look kinda samey and don't even progress your main quest to retrieve the seven McGuffins. As such, I feel like I've hardly scratched the surface. And yet, HLTB suggests I'm over half-way through. Or just really slow!
  4. Actually, you'll know straight away when it happens, but it's the episode immediately after one with lots of green women in it.
  5. Sprite Machine

    Retro Game Club - May ‘19: Castle of Illusion

    I actually played the MS version in September for the first time. It's certainly different, both structurally and in feel.
  6. Sprite Machine

    Retro Game Club - May ‘19: Castle of Illusion

    This game reminds me of going round to my cousins' and playing on their new Megadrive, must have been circa 1991-ish. Castle of Illusion and Sonic 1. Neither had a save feature so I never saw the end of these games until I got my own system at home. I've played CoI a few times since and still enjoy it. What always delighted me about it (the MD version) was how it would go all-out on these lavish and often unique scenes and setpieces that would get used just once or twice. Like the spider-web / leaves section of the first world - totally unique with its own graphics and music track, and then it's gone forever and you never see it again. Or an underwater section inside a cup of tea with little sugarcube enemies - one and done, that's it. Or the upside-down level. Lots of little ideas that it just keeps throwing at you and then moving onto something else. For a short(ish) game, it must have cost a fair bit to develop. It's lush!
  7. Sprite Machine

    Detective Pikachu movie

    This was surprisingly enjoyable. Good-hearted, made with love and reverence for the source material, packed full of incidental details, and is much more of a standard 'in-canon' story than it is initially made out to be - once you're over the utter oddness of this film existing at all (and the trailers have taken the edge/surprise off it). It didn't go the way I thought it was going to, had a fairly complex plot for a kids' film, and had some pretty out there ideas in amongst all the cute fluffiness. Yeah, I liked it. Hopefully it's not damning it with faint praise to call it the best videogame-to-movie adaptation.
  8. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    It has a surprisingly steep learning curve for a Nintendo game, and an off-putting structure (no free play, start again if you don't get enough points, etc.). But I'm getting into it.
  9. Sprite Machine

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    @MarkN Have you tried Sainbury's own "Shroomdogs"? They're the best sausages I've ever had. Soft and moist inside with a crispy skin outside, and really well flavoured.
  10. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    Pilotwings on the SNES Mini. Now that I've sussed how to land the skydiver and hangglider properly, it's great fun! Amazingly advanced pseudo-3D graphics and semi-simulation gameplay; hard to believe this was a launch title(?) for a 16-bit console! Sure, it's showing its age and the ground texture pixels are massive, but it still holds up well. Into the Expert lessons now. Ice, wind and smaller targets. It's getting tricky.
  11. Sprite Machine

    Track your gaming expenditure 2019

    (2018 total: £30.92) Starting 2019 with selling a bunch of old stuff. January Nothing February [SOLD] Nintendo Wii modded mega bundle -£68.40 [SOLD] GameCube memory card 59 -£4.32 [SOLD] GameCube memory card 251 -£8.99 [SOLD] GameCube Wavebird controller -£30.03 [SOLD] GameCube Wavebird controller -£30.03 March Nothing April [SOLD] PlayStation 2 modded console bundle -£50.40 May [SOLD] Xbox 360 console w/pad -£14.00 [SOLD] Xbox 360 wireless pad -£10.00 [SOLD] Xbox 360 120GB HDD -£2.00 [SOLD] Xbox 360 64MB memory card -£0.01 [SOLD] Xbox 360 wireless network-g adapter -£3.00 [SOLD] Xbox 360 media remote -£1.60 [SOLD] Halo 3 (360) -£0.10 [SOLD] Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360) -£3.00 [SOLD] Ridge Racer 3D (3DS) -£4.00 [SOLD] New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) -£13.00 [SOLD] WarioWare Touched! (DS) -£3.00 [SOLD] Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) -£0.40 [SOLD] LittleBigPlanet (PS3) -£0.60 [SOLD] Singstar Rocks Microphone Bundle (PS2) -£5.00 [SOLD] Eye Toy Play camera bundle (PS2) -£0.30 Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) £8.00 Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS) £8.00 Running total: -£236.18
  12. Yeah, Chrono Cross sounds insanely good for chip tunes but it was a very late release when the PS1's hardware was better understood. For FFVII, they had to fit pretty much all music tracks into active RAM at once due to how the game loads data. FFVII is still my favourite game ever and I'm kidding myself if I think I won't buy this remake. Of course I will. But I'll have to just think of it as an action game set in a universe I love, rather than a 'remake'. A bit like Crisis Core. I'll get a little buzz running through Midgar, get all weepy at some remastered tunes and hopefully have a bit of fun along the way. We'll see. I'm still expecting it to be cancelled.
  13. Sprite Machine

    Vegetarian / Vegan recipes

    Cauliflower's also great for making "wings". Toss the florets in batter, bake them in a sauce. I'm not so keen on buffalo hot sauce but it also works well with BBQ or similar. Cauliflower's pretty amazing, really. I can't believe I used to hate it.
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