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matt0

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  1. Came in here to post Bomberman, but it's already been mentioned so: Micro Machines! You get a solo qualifying lap that determines your position on a massive starting grid (that doubles as a final straight on every lap) and then it's just mass, tiny vehicular carnage.
  2. matt0

    What games did you complete? 2019 Edition

    Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Xbox One): Finished normal and nightmare modes on veteran difficulty. I played a lot of 8 and 16 bit Castlevanias last year as well as Shovel Knight and then Celeste this January and B:CTOM didn't hold up against them for me. It looks the part and has some superb boss designs, the character switching mechanic is slick and can be played with to find all sorts of mini combos and exploits, there's branching paths mid-level, navigation puzzles, some imaginative secrets based around sub weapons, superb soundtrack etc. etc. But it never really does anything as well as those other games. The navigation puzzles aren't as good as Shovel Knight or Celeste. The secrets aren't as imaginative as Super Castlevania IV or Dracula X. The branching paths are too similar to each other to really matter. The tunes are good, but they're not Castlevania good. The meat and potatoes of old school Castlevania level design is taking one or more enemies you're familiar with and pairing them up in a new combinations or in new platforming contexts. Done right this produces memorable, tough as nails encounters that stay with you long after the ending credits. B:CTOM usually just throws one enemy type at you at a time. Or two on the same screen that don't really interact, so you kill the first one, then the second. Occasionally it pulls it off, but never with the frequency or ingenuity of Castlevania at its best. And then the character switching mechanic has a major flaw which gets worse towards the end of the game. If you lose a character you go back to a checkpoint and have to carry on with the remaining characters until all 4 are dead. In the middle of a stage you stand a decent chance of getting to the next checkpoint, even if you're down to one character. But on the final checkpoint before the a boss once you've lost two, or a boss critical character, you're almost certain to die on the boss, so it's quicker (but still an irritating bit of gaming dead air) to just chuck your remaining two characters down a pit until you get all 4 back. This becomes a real pain in the arse on the last few stages where there's some tricky platforming sections between the checkpoint and the boss. This one small design detail really soured me on the whole game and what makes it even more frustrating is the obvious solution, to just have a shared health bar for all characters, was already there in Castlevania 3, which B:CTOM is a thinly veiled remake of in the first place. A decent game that I enjoyed playing it but it still felt like a huge missed opportunity. It packs so much in, and is so slick and polished at face value that it's a mystery to me why it isn't just... better. 2019 so far:
  3. So now you don't care about the folks at AM2, or Eidos Montreal, because you bought the games? "Oh but I do care, but I would be a hypocrite if I didn't highlight..." Good day, sir.
  4. The literal opposite of what I've been saying.
  5. Yet you're the one implying there's something hypocritical about buying games at the same time as caring about the people who make them.
  6. I've not insulted anyone and if you're worried about people thinking you support bad practices and workers getting shit on then you should be more careful how you word posts. I literally just said of course I buy games, and of course some of those games will be made under bad working conditions. I don't have some kind of ethical flowchart process I apply to each and every game to decide whether or not to buy it. All sorts of things will swing my decision on whether I buy a game I'm interested in or not, and sometimes, like with Read Dead Redemption 2, those are Labour issues. I might even still buy Read Dead Redemption 2 on the cheap or second hand a few years down the line! Mindblowing!
  7. I can't work out your logic here. You think it's wrong to not buy a game because of Labour issues? You think wanting unionisation while still buying games is hypocritical? Of course I buy video games, and of course some of those games have been made under less than perfect working conditions. I passed on RDR2 for precisely those reasons and I'm less likely to buy a game in general if I hear about similar scandals.
  8. "One would hope..." Except we all know it's happening because it's constantly being reported on. And you can "voluntarily" sign away plenty of your employee rights under UK law. I say voluntarily, as in you don't have to sign, but then you won't get the job. As for being "forced" to work the hours. Nobody puts a gun to anyone's head, but again you might find you suddenly don't have a job if you don't "voluntarily" work the hours. In other industries you have unions to prevent that kind of abuse but of course, not in videogames because: fucking videogames.
  9. It's a box that plays games some of which are easier to play on this box, some of which you can't play on the other boxes.
  10. I like the art style, feels like you could reach in to the screen and pick up all the little pieces and play with them. It's also incredibly Nintendo, shades of Pikmin, Captain Toad and Link Between Worlds.
  11. matt0

    Gaming tropes that need to go away

    I mentioned this in the bad game design thread but I'll repeat myself: Small scuttling enemies that run up to you and explode. They're shit and nobody likes them and no, they are not like Serious Sam, that was about arcade style attack waves in huge open spaces. I remember Gears 2 pulled this shit about 2 encounters in to the game, where you should just be reacquainting yourself with the chunky over the top combat and getting hyped up for the journey ahead but instead you're cursing the pointless nonsense you have to battle through to get to the bits you like. Actually, Gears 2 was an entire game made of gaming tropes that should die. A platformer style instant death timing obstacle in the middle of a shooter! Quicktime event boss battles! Mini games and vehicle sections that should be about spectacle and giving you a breather from the core combat but are actually inscrutable difficulty spikes! If you want a textbook example of what to do and not to do with a franchise compare Gears 2 (an ocean of pointless, yet exactingly difficult, fluff punctuated by occasional moments of actual core gameplay) with Gears 4 (almost all core gameplay with some occasional, low friction set-pieces to break things up).
  12. That sounds incredible. I'm playing through the Division at the moment which is incredibly on the nose with it's dodgy as fuck ideological leanings, so I've been thinking about this a lot in my own (extremely limited...!) way. Would be good to get some proper insight in to the subject so... pre-ordered!
  13. Imagine thinking BOTW and Mario Odyssey were "low effort".
  14. The Cube had way better third party support than people remember, it just goes back to that whole thing of it being the wrong type of third party support for gaming snobs. EA, Activision and Ubisoft were all over it. There were a couple of titles that didn't make it over (I think Burnout 2 was one of the big ones), but the majority of the big budget multiformat games got cube versions. EA were still releasing FIFA for it for a few years after it was totally dead, not as long as the PS2 which I think they only stopped about 5 years ago (!), but still.
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