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  1. Monument Valley Yoshi’s Island Vib Ribbon
  2. DeDeDe

    The Jazz Thread

    Wallace Roney, Intrepid Jazz Trumpeter, Dies From COVID-19 Complications At 59 I feel like this is going to be a tough year for jazz. No Room for Argument is an amazing album.
  3. Whether it’s in the form of a compilation or just as separate releases, this sounds great. I’m looking forward to listening to the Super Mario Sunshine soundtrack again—arguably the best one in the Mario series.
  4. @Soulstar Mwahaha! Seriously, though. It’s a good nomination, but the series has a surprisingly long history.
  5. @Soulstar When you say “the original Mystical Ninja”, do you mean...? Anyway, if it’s still OK, I’d like to re-nominate Kuru Kuru Kururin.
  6. “A miserable pile of letters”, surely?
  7. Ban request. Seriously, though, I can understand this point of view. Pre-rendered graphics from 1996 definitely looked better on CRT TVs, and the game is a bit too whimsical in 2020. I really can’t agree that it seems that they were phoning it in, but I can imagine that the Mario IP and the concept behind the game really restricted them. A lot of the staff went on to work on the Mario & Luigi games, IIRC, and I think that they had a better grasp of how to make a game with Mario. Still—Yoko Shimomura!
  8. In what has now become typical behavior for me, I finished this over the weekend. I can see the appeal of the game: the art and sound are really great, and it has that indescribable feel that a lot of other shooters on the SNES do as well. However, I must admit that I have to agree with @Colonel Panic, @Rsdio , and @ulala––playing it in 2020 just isn't that great of an experience. I first encountered the bell-juggling mechanic in Parodius, which might have set up the wrong expectations, and in this game it just feels not quite right. I feel like the bell-juggling rubber band in Parodius was just implemented better--in Pop'n, you end up waiting/juggling a bell forever, and it really makes a tough game even tougher and more irritating. The fact that the levels also go on for ages doesn't help--although that might be more because, like @Qazimod, I decided to dial down the difficulty after a couple of aborted attempts on the standard settings. The difficulty level is implemented quite logically here--with each “turn” of the dial, you get more bullets, more enemies, etc. I imagine the developers envisioned the player beating the game in incremental steps, which is different to what you get in the arcade games. I also feel that @Protocol Penguin hit on a key point about these games: they're really made for co-op play, and the experience is not the same when you're playing by yourself. Not that it was posible for me: I played the game via the Twinbee Portable collection on the PSP, which doesn't have any option for co-op play. On the upside, the ports are great, and I didn't notice any significant slowdown in Pop'n. The same collection also has the original arcade game (a rare port), Yahho!!, and a remake of the Game Boy port. The last two are much more fun, better games than Pop'n, I feel.
  9. @Rob Rule I thought about doing just that... But my curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to know for myself what the best Goemon games were. I do wonder if I'll be able to play through all the games, but if I decide to stop the project after completing the SFC games, that's good enough.
  10. @Goemon I considered this angle, but I decided to approach the series not in terms of gameplay, but rather if the games existed in the Ganbare Goemon "universe." Bouken Judai Katsugeki certainly looks like it plays more like a mainline Goemon title, but from what I've read, it is set in an alternate, slightly more realistic universe. In contrast, it seems that Sore Yuke Ebisumaru ties up a storyline that ran in the background in Goemon 2 and Gaiden 2, even if it doesn't play like a mainline game. (I'll concede that the Sugoroku game is most likely just a Mario Party-like diversion, but I'll probably need the break after the PSX and N64 games.) I've played through the relatively text-heavy DS game, (which has a somewhat sophisticated story) so I'm not very worried about the Japanese itself. I'm not saying that I won't encounter any difficult spots, but I think I'll be OK. I assume you're familiar with many, if not most of the games? Any comments or thoughts about the games would be very welcome.
  11. I've mentioned it in other threads, but I’ve decided to start a chronological play through project of all the games in the Ganbare Goemon series. There have been only a handful of games in the series that were released outside Japan, and I’ve only really played three of the games (Legend of the Mystical Ninja on the SNES, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon on the N64, and Ganbare Goemon: Toukaidouchu Oedo Tengurikaeshi no Maki on the DS), so I thought it was time to go through all the games in the series to see what they’re about. I’ve read a lot about the games already, but I’m not exactly sure what to expect. This thread will act as a sort of diary of my travels, but if anyone else wishes to chime in, you’re very welcome to do so. I’m planning to play all of the games in the main series, and after I’ve finished that, I plan on taking a look at the the three other spin-off games on the PSX, PS2, and the GBA. ( I don’t know if I’ll even be able to play the LCD game from 1990, the feature phone games or the pachinko machines.) My roadmap for this project is this: Twenty-two games in total. Note that many of the game titles have been mangled over the years, and not just in the West. Apparently, many Japanese Goemon fans were under the impression that “Uchu Kaizoku Akogingu” (11) was actually titled “Uchu Kaizoku Akoking”. The Goemon games are at fault, really, for having such long, complicated titles. I don’t plan to tackle this project in one long stretch; I’ll take a break now and then, which probably means that this will take me about two years to go through them all. I’m looking forward the most to playing the SFC games I never got the chance to play. I'm planning to play the games in Japanese, although some controversies about the fan translations for the SFC and N64 titles tempt me to look into those as well. Aside from the games themselves, I am also very curious to see what happened in the transition to 32-bit/64-bit, and why the Goemon series lost so much of its popularity during that time.
  12. Hmm... I'm not sure I like this, to be honest. Despite the promise that "Lego Super Mario essentially brings Mario Maker to life," what I had in mind was that the Lego company would essentially just make Lego sets with custom Mario "furniture." Instead, this looks much more gimmicky and restrictive. Disappointing.
  13. DeDeDe

    The Jazz Thread

    I was just about to post about it. I don't meant to sound heartless, but it didn't come as a surprise for me, really. I was fortunate enough to get to listen to him live--which, as I recall was at the Barbican in 2005, along with the World Saxophone Quartet. I had heard that he had been having health problems, and when he came on the stage, the audience became silent as they saw the then-67-year-old slowly make his way to the piano. Once he started playing, though... It's very difficult to put it into words. It was the same sound and power I heard in all of his albums, but even deeper and more intense. I'm not the biggest of fans, to be honest. I still think his best work was with the John Coltrane Quartet, but albums such as Horizon, Trident, Extensions, Fly With The Wind, and Passion Dance are such amazing experiences. RIP. I'll be revisiting his music all this week.
  14. Truth be told, I was really happy to see Pop 'n' Twinbee win. For me, it makes a welcome departure from the tough side-scrolling games from the past three months, and it's a series I don't know anything about. Hardcore Gaming 101 has a good series of articles on the Twinbee series. Much like Parodius, the games in the series mostly stayed in Japan, with only a few of them (Moero, Pop 'n Twinbee, Rainbow Bell Adventures, and Deta na!/Bells & Whistles) coming to Europe, mainly. In Japan, the series gained popularity thanks to Shuzilow.HA's character designs, and in addition to its many spin-offs, there are probably as many radio dramas as games in the series. The series also spawned a few manga and anime series (much like the Ganbare Goemon games). Yeah, the PSP compilation seems to be probably the best way to play the game within the context of the other major games in the series. Unlike the Gradius and Parodius compilations, it was handled by M2, and I've read a lot of positive things about the ports. It's a shame that Konami refuses to release complications of this series for modern platforms (and the same for the Parodius and Goemon series).
  15. I can see this being a fun, challenging game, but after Castlevania IV and Shadow Dancer, I'm burned out. I got as far as the end of the second stage, but that was as far as I was prepared to go. It's a shame, because the presentation is great. I like the setting, and the soundtrack is really good. It shouldn't be a surprise, but it reminds me a lot of Mr Goemon, which Konami released the following year.
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