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Glennstavos

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These days I'm playing Total War: Warhammer 2.  Tons of various customization and factions to choose from. Still need to learn about the more advanced units. Keep running into the same pitfall of trying to be aggressive in the early game; only to be walled by a settlement with stronger trooper than my own. Slowing learning my lessons though.

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Since I finished Tokyo Mirage Sessions - which was not all too impressing honestly - I started with Mary Skelter 2. The humor is like the Neptunia series, something I have to get used to honestly, but the gameplay looks pretty fun. The map exploration is basically like Etrian Odyssey. Only issue I have is that the graphics are not very clear, so it is easy for me to overlook important things. Random encounters are a thing, but only can bother, if I move multiple times in a dead end. 

Also I'm in a Kirby mood right now. Finished Planet Robobot and Triple Deluxe, and now it's Star Allies's turn. 

Edited by Jules Necrofantasia

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Back into Trails in the Sky Second Chapter again.

At the beginning of Ch. 7. I'm so flipping hyped for the last stretch of the game. This has been one of the best games I've ever played. A truly exceptional experience.

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Mr Driller : Drill Land  - basically every night - I Haven't played this series in used but it's the prefect thing to kill time before I fall asleep, much like Puyo Puyo or Metoes.

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Been playing bunch of gacha/mobile games in the past few days. Exo Heroes looks like it will stick for quite some time; Couldn't get back into FGO anymore after missing out for so long, Pokemon Master is much more action packed than I thought it would be (but rampardos is almost unusable so that's frustrating), Three kingdom tactics is good but I refer the single player experience on my pc, Digimon rearise really disappointed me with limiting mega evolution (lets say you pulled two agumon, maybe only one can evolve to mega, its too much rng).

I am open to any suggestions here. Mainly looking for turn based or semi-turn based with enough attractive male characters, it's really surprising how much male units FEH has that are also as powerful/comparable to female units.

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Finished up Code Vein a while ago. Got the best ending and I loved the game in general, although its flaws are apparent.
-- Code Vein is essentially a hybrid between the gameplay of Dark Souls and the characters/storytelling of God Eater. Heck. it even has its own version of the Estus Flask, Bonfires, and Souls.
-- I loved the companions and their various banter on things, which reminded me of Dragon's Dogma. Granted, you can only have one NPC ally at a time, and for most of the game I used Yakumo who is a juggernaut with a 2h sword. Near the end I swapped over to Io, who is essentially Code Vein's "Firekeeper."
-- My main complaint is some of the move sets of the bosses lean towards unfair territory. For example, some bosses may have an AoE move that activates almost instantly, as well as having "guard break" moves that also act just as fast. Now, one could say just "get good," but either the bosses perform too quickly or the character animations are too slow for certain things. I remember reading a common complaint is that healing ("Estus") takes forever when compared to the fast paced combat. // Granted, I was playing a heavy 2-hander and relied on blocking, so maybe some bosses just countered my playstyle.
-- Also, one of the main levels, the Cathedral, is a giant maze map that overstays its welcome. I rather go through Dark Souls' Blighttown instead of the Cathedral, as at least Blighttown is shorter and can be sped through whereas the Cathedral is a slog.
-- Lastly, leveling up can be confusing there are two main progression, "Character Level" and "Blood Code (Class) Level." Raising your character level too high will make it difficult to level up your various Blood Codes to unlock skills from that class to use in any other class. Granted, this is only a problem if you are trying to go the completionist route and unlock everything - if you just plan on using the classes most suited to your playstyle, then outleveling may not be much of an issue.

In other news, I've also gotten back to playing Earth Defense Force 5 and just slowly grinding out my completion percentage by playing missions with the different classes. If you want to blow up giant insects and giant aliens, report to your local EDF recruiter today!

Lastly, I am still playing around with Another Eden, a free, mobile, gacha game that is a JRPG. I love the fact you can play at your own pace, the story is amazing, and I love the characters. Also, it has collabs with Persona 5 and the Tales series which gives the collab characters for free after progressing far enough in the collab storylines. (The collab characters are also pretty good despite being free!)
-- The only thing I dislike is that there's no "Auto" function for the more grindy parts of the game, which is mainly running dungeons repeatedly to farm for certain items or to raise the Light/Dark levels of a story character.

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Been playing a lot of Bloodborne lately. I stopped paying for PS Plus for like two years now (don't regret it at all) and only had Bloodborne because of that, so I figured I might as well buy the game. It was on sale with the dlcs and it wasn't too expensive, so I figured I might as well. Played through until before the final boss, I hate how NG+ starts automatically so I don't want to do it just yet. I'm going for 100% trophy completion and I'd like to finish the dungeons before NG+. At least your progress remains if you do go onward though. Once I get 100% I'll probably start playing Dark Souls 1 again and get 100% again. Then I'll have 100% in all FromSoftware games except Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 2. Waiting to get a PS5 for the former and the latter I have no interest in playing more of. Really their worst game.

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I dropped Mary Skelter 2 and started with Star Allies in this week since I'm totally in a Kirby mood since last month. So far I'm about halfway done I'd say, it's fun - probably more fun with more real people - but also pretty easy. The Allies aake this game really broken and the game gives so many resources. I almost hit the cap of lives. The puzzles are cool, but I wished there more which require more thoughts from the player. Behind any optional door the game tells me what to do by granting the ability the ally needs to get the rewards. Wished the puzzles were more challenging. The world building is strange since one world offers lave and ice levels. The music is nice, but it's a Kirby game, Kirby music never disappoints! Overall it's a fun game, but it also has a few flaws.

 

Edit: Beaten story mode of Star Allies which was way shorter than expected. Will give a more detailed review once I have done the side challenges like bossrushes.

Edited by Jules Necrofantasia

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In the final stretch of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It's been quite a ride. And the second half was even better than the first. I think the game itself is really great overall, but Nintendo shouldn't have marketed it as a prequel to BotW. Beyond that, it stands really strong from a story perspective (by Zelda standards anyway), and the gameplay is very well done too. My only gripes are with the performance, tbh. It's can get quite bad sometimes, but overall isn't too much of an issue. As of now, I'd give it a solid 8.5/10.

Returning to Tales of the Abyss. I dropped this game a while back because I couldn't really get into the story with how obnoxious the protagonist was. But at the encouragement of a friend, I decided to press on to see his development as it's supposed to be worth it. This time around I'm playing the PS2 version as well. 60fps for battling feels a heck of a lot better, ngl. I'm starting to really get into the story and characters too, so trying it again worked out pretty well.

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Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel:

Not to be confused with Fallout:Brotherhood of Steel, (A really bad console spin-off.) it's basically a more action-y Tactical squad-based game in the Fallout Universe, enjoying it so far and I do like actually being able to control my companions instead of relying on really bad AI.

 

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In the last couple weeks I replayed The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, attaining 100% completion in both for the first time. I bet my adolescent self would be really impressed at such a feat, but in our modern era of checklist-y open world games, the N64 zelda games barely measure up in how much time and effort is required. The completionist experience turned out to be very laid back and simple. In particular, the 100 gold skulltulas surprised me. In Ocarina, the map actually notifies you if you have all the skulltulas in an area. Had I known that as a kid, I absolutely would have tracked them down with any guide that categorized them by area.

I suppose I should have prepared some kind of thesis about whether these games I grew up with still "hold up", but I was wrapped in a calmed nostalgic state that made it difficult to think critically at the game design in front of me. My only new observations are wow Ocarina's dungeons are short as heck, and Majora's dungeons are not as bad as I remember. Great Bay Temple gets a lot of flak, but honestly its only real mistake is giving the player the ability to reverse the current from the start. If you want the map, compass, dungeon item, and boss key, all of them are attainable without engaging with the water flow. I guess they made the choice to have the switch at the start to address complaints about the water temple of the last game, but in doing so they run into the same issue of having this large, open ended dungeon with a ton of potential dead ends. A better design would have been moving the switch to another room later in the dungeon, or requiring the player to use ice arrows somehow to reverse the current. In general, I think the biggest things that weigh the game down are its beginner's traps. All the various ways the player may waste a ton of time in spite of logical decision making. It's frustrating to see a great game marred by lack of playtesting. Oh, and the save system, don't know what they were thinking with that.

 

Edited by Glennstavos

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@Glennstavos Regarding Majora's Mask, remember that the game was rushed out in a year because the original plan was an expansion of Ocarina of Time before they decided instead to make a new game, and, as a result, Majora's Mask was a game quite literally born from the developers' nightmares and daydreams and I'm not even kidding: the scene where Link is cursed into a Deku Scrub came from one of Aonuma's nightmares that he had from the stress of the game's deadline, and the idea of the moon crashing into the earth came from Yoshiaki Koizumi's daydreams that he had during the game's planning stage.

As for the save system, I imagine that the idea of tying it to going back to the dawn of the 1st day was for a bit of gameplay-and-story-integration: a new loop, a new attempt, with the owl statues acting as a similar system to the suspend system in a lot of FE games. 

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1 hour ago, vanguard333 said:

@Glennstavos Regarding Majora's Mask, remember that the game was rushed out in a year because the original plan was an expansion of Ocarina of Time before they decided instead to make a new game, and, as a result, Majora's Mask was a game quite literally born from the developers' nightmares and daydreams and I'm not even kidding: the scene where Link is cursed into a Deku Scrub came from one of Aonuma's nightmares that he had from the stress of the game's deadline, and the idea of the moon crashing into the earth came from Yoshiaki Koizumi's daydreams that he had during the game's planning stage.

 

I'm aware of the game's development. It's the same context behind Fallout 2's development. And I also have theories of my own. Like how the game's time management systems were inspired by Shenmue, a landmark next-gen game released the previous year. Nobody ever talks about the connection between these two.

Quote

As for the save system, I imagine that the idea of tying it to going back to the dawn of the 1st day was for a bit of gameplay-and-story-integration: a new loop, a new attempt, with the owl statues acting as a similar system to the suspend system in a lot of FE games. 

None of the previous zelda games had such a restrictive save feature, or so few save slots come to think of it. My guess is memory limitations. Majora's Mask was not designed for the N64's base hardware, and is one of very few games that require the expansion pak just to function. Only allowing for temporary quicksaves instead of permanent saves was most likely a concession. I mean, if it were intended design, why would it be the most substantial thing they changed for the 3DS remake?

Edited by Glennstavos

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5 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

None of the previous zelda games had such a restrictive save feature, or so few save slots come to think of it. My guess is memory limitations. Majora's Mask was not designed for the N64's base hardware, and is one of very few games that require the expansion pak just to function. Only allowing for temporary quicksaves instead of permanent saves was most likely a concession. I mean, if it were intended design, why would it be the most substantial thing they changed for the 3DS remake?

The owl statues don't even have the temporary quicksave feature in the original Japanese version; it was only implemented in the international version which lost a save slot to accommodate it, so you are correct about memory and hardware limitations.

I think, however, that while it was born from the hardware limitations, they did turn it into something that fit the game; a new loop, a new start. It's annoying, but it fits. 

As for why it was so heavily altered in the 3DS Remake, the 3DS Remake changed a lot of stuff in an attempt to make things more convenient for players as well as bring the game more inline with the rest of the series. It certainly seems like a change born from the same mentality as giving all the bosses eye weakpoints when Majora's Mask was previously the only Zelda game where none of the bosses had weakpoints, and that mentality seems to have been "make it closer to the rest of the series to make it more accessible."

While I haven't played the remake (nor have I completed the original since the last time I played it was when I was six), I have seen reviews of it and I've seen people play it and I think a lot of the changes are a mixed bag. I personally would've kept the time-travel save system and added the less restrictive save system as an option recommended for new players; that way you'd have the advantages of both. 

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Oh god, forgot about those new eye weakpoints... *urgh*

Also freely swimming through the water now costs mana. And the Ice arrows no longer create solid platforms on the water. Instead they are merely used to activate platforms that already exist.

The changes in the 3DS remake are so baffling. Quite frankly, it was a huge reason why I didn't expect BotW to be such an open game. In BotW, you can freeze any wet surface you want. In the Majora's Mask remake, they took out a similar feature from the original game on purpose. Made me feel like the future was very much Skyward Sword-like.

Edited by BrightBow

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1 minute ago, BrightBow said:

Oh god, forgot about those new eye weakpoints... *urgh*

Also freely swimming through the water now costs mana. And the Ice arrows no longer create solid platforms on the water. Instead they are merely used to activate platforms that already exist.

The changes in the 3DS remake are so baffling. Quite frankly, it was a huge reason why I didn't expect BotW to be such an open game. In BotW, you can freeze any wet surface you want. In the Majora's Mask remake, they took out such a feature from the original game on purpose.

They certainly seem like gratuitously revisionist changes to me, and it's surprising with how deliberately faithful they were in Ocarina's remake. Though there's plenty I agree with. The improved save system and double the amount of save points across the game world was a great call since the restrictive save feature of the original was a legitimate problem that needed to be addressed. And quicksaving wouldn't have even been a helpful feature on a system that can enter sleep mode. Updating the Song of Double Time to allow for advancing to any hour within the next 12, rather than strictly 12 hour intervals, that's another great change. In the N64 version, there's no way to advance just a few hours beyond Anju's grandmother stories, and she becomes unavailable past 6 PM - most of the game's specific appointments happen to be at night. Putting in a seventh bottle, and making one of them accessible from an earlier side quest is great since you'll really want four of them before you go for the zora eggs, and the only way to get four in the original is to diligently seek out any available side quest before progressing to that point of the game, or maybe grab a fifth from exploring Ikana graveyard,. An expanded bomber's notebook is great just for the game keeping better track of what you've done on that file (because unlike other zelda games, side quests aren't permanently completed on new cycles, and there's a whopping 52 heart pieces to keep track of). Changing the stray fairy rewards between dungeons 1 and 2 can be argued to make a little bit of sense, I just think changing 3 and 4 would have made even more sense.

The boss redesigns are totally unwarranted. Like yeah, Majora bosses are just all out slug fests, but that wasn't very "contradictory" to the experiences of most previous zelda games. And building each one around a giant eyeball feels like a crass parody. Gyorg probably deserves it though. Genuinely bad design for a boss. 3DS version looks legitimately fun when the fight moves underwater, and you can even continue fighting on top of the water with careful use of ice arrows. Awesome. As for the ice arrow change, that sucks. My only guess for why they did it was to "patch out" a very easy mini boss skip in great bay temple, where you can jump directly over to the boss key chest, but all they really had to do was change the height on that ledge to be just a tad higher. I can't think of any other part of the game where ice arrows allow for a major exploit that isn't also possible with hookshot or zora mask, which both precede the ice arrows.

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1 hour ago, BrightBow said:

Oh god, forgot about those new eye weakpoints... *urgh*

Also freely swimming through the water now costs mana. And the Ice arrows no longer create solid platforms on the water. Instead they are merely used to activate platforms that already exist.

I know; the worst part is that only one is even a decent idea: giving one moldorm a weakpoint and then giving Link the Giant's Mask to defeat the other, rather than both being taken out by using the Giant's Mask. Even then, having to then judo-throw the second moldorm so the giant eye dangling out the back takes damage is just dumb, and that eye makes the red moldorm look like its mother was Armogohma. 

The freely swimming costing mana thing and the change to the ice arrows is also dumb; the latter is basically spoonfeeding the player where to shoot the arrow instead of letting them figure it out, and the former... you're a Zora; you should be able to naturally swim like a Zora without having to look for jars containing magic.

 

1 hour ago, BrightBow said:

The changes in the 3DS remake are so baffling. Quite frankly, it was a huge reason why I didn't expect BotW to be such an open game. In BotW, you can freeze any wet surface you want. In the Majora's Mask remake, they took out a similar feature from the original game on purpose. Made me feel like the future was very much Skyward Sword-like.

1 hour ago, Glennstavos said:

They certainly seem like gratuitously revisionist changes to me, and it's surprising with how deliberately faithful they were in Ocarina's remake. 

I genuinely think the reason for the stark difference in how the two remakes was entirely due to how the two games are known both outside and within Nintendo:

Ocarina of Time is the goose that laid the golden eggs; it's the big one that was influential on game design for years and the one most looked back on. Ocarina of Time remake changed as little as possible because the mentality behind it was almost-certainly that of, "Let's bring back the classic; don't mess this up."

Majora's Mask, however, is the black sheep; the odd little quirky one of the franchise that's different from the rest; the one born from nightmares, daydreams and rush. The mentality behind that one's remake was probably, "Going through this strange little game again after all this time, what can we fix?"

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Played and finished Kirby's Return To Dreamland last week........again after almost a decade.

It was great to play this game again.

Easily the best Kirby game in series overall, although I find Robobot is even more fun a for a solo player at least.

 

Also finished Star Allies's story mode, but I yet have to play Heroes In Another Dimension.

I'm playing this as Kirby's Mass Attack right now.

Both games / modes are pretty fun.

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I’ll eventually get around to play FE TH in April.

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I forgot to mention that I'm playing Super Kirby Clash for Switch quite a lot right now.

If anyone's playing it and interested to play with me, feel free to add me.

Edited by Jules Necrofantasia

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Completed *Heroes In Another Dimension* in Star Allies, means collected all hearts.

This mode has the challenge puzzles I was looking for vainly in the main story. Yes, some of the puzzles are really good and force to have exact knowledge of the characters's moveset and usage of the abilities. However a few hearts are pretty much impossible to get because so easy to skip. It has been the very first time I actually had to watch a guide. Never expected to do it for a Kirby game, lol.

Edit: I just noticed it's a free DLC, so I take back what I said. For free this was a really good mode overall, made up a lot for the main game. 

Anyways final challenge awaits: boss battles rush aka Soul Melter

I have played the towned version, and this one was already extremely tough. It will become the hardest Kirby challenge ever for me.

 

Anyways next game will be Squeak Squad, so the Kirby roll continues.

Edited by Zan Partizanne

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Ever since the year started, I've felt kind of demotivated with games. I needed a quick, strange, side-show attraction like Superman Returns for the xbox 360. It's a game based on the film of the same name, but if you've been playing licensed superhero games in the 2000s, you know it's only got some vague references to the events of the film in the last hour of the game. The flying around feels really great. I bet this game was greenlit on just a prototype of that. And then the developers were given six short months to build a game around it. It's certainly the best that moving around as a superhero had ever felt by 2006, with the notable exception of Spider-Man 2. Once Superman's feet touch the ground, we're in for an unresponsive mess as you sluggishly throw punches at enemies. We're still a long ways away from the batman arkham games where your character glides toward a nearby enemy with each strike. There's a dodge and counterattack mechanic. But I found that you actually don't need to dodge any attack in order to access the counterattack. What keeps this from being abusive is just that the counterattack is just way too little damage. Anything that knocks down enemies is slow since they're invulnerable until they get back up. I even noticed one of the later game combos literally does zero damage. They didn't finish programming it.

Superman can't die. If his health bar depletes, he just staggers to the ground for a second as it refills. But what you really need to manage is the city's health bar. Anytime you or an enemy breaks something in the environment or attacks the idiot npcs, the health goes down. You can replenish it by flying injured people to a nearby ambulance. One time I was annoyed to find that the person I picked up was a cop. I dropped him off at an ambulance - from 200 feet up in the sky. He said "thanks superman!" as he began falling...and it actually counted. Abducting these npc is jank, and I loved it. My interpretation of Superman most closely resembles that of a trickster god. I didn't love the aimless gameplay though. 70% of the game is waiting for crime to happen somewhere in the world so you can thwart it. Do that a set number of times to access the next setpiece battle. I don't know if these events are procedurally generated, but they certainly felt like it. And the more curated battles aren't any better as they gratuitously reuse boss fights, sometimes even in the same arena.

23 hours ago, Zan Partizanne said:

Completed *Heroes In Another Dimension* in Star Allies, means collected all hearts.

My friend and I beat it the night it came out. We loved that update! Have fun with Squeak Squad, that's a great one too.

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I haven't had any experiences with Kirby DLCs (only know Fire Emblem so far), but seriously, it was a pleasant surprise for me giving us very enjoyable and challenging short version of story mode with some replaybility. 

I wished Fire Emblem would get the same treatment with DLCs. I mean it was nice to give us basically three Fire Emblem games in one in case of Three Houses (learned from Fates), but on the other hand it makes no sense to me paying 20 $ for like 1/3 Fire Emblem game.

 

Kirby's Squeak Squad is alright. I mean it's not really challenging, but it absolutely fulfills its purpose being a fun classic Kirby game. In the beginning I made a mistake with these Squeaks. I thought I had to fight them to get some stuff like chests from them, but I'm just forced to escape from them and not to lose the big chest. Unlike the latest games and the game is stingy with lives. Starting with only two lives and not being able to save them after resetting the game makes it a bit difficult to replay stages again when a chest was missed accidently.

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