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  #3586  
Old 31st December 2019, 09:07 PM
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In a Doctor Manhattan-ass voice

It now 2020. I just put 40 hours into the demo of Final Fantasy VII remake. I was worried about the game’s tone, but they did a surprisingly good job retaining the spirit of the original. Square released the best game in years and it’s just Final Fantasy VII again.

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Last edited by Solid Snix; 31st December 2019 at 09:10 PM.
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  #3587  
Old 3rd January 2020, 06:09 AM
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Sayonara Wild Hearts is pretty neat. It didn't fully meet my expectations, but it fulfilled its goal to be an interactive album. I wish it had enabled gapless mode from the start, I bet that's way cooler.
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  #3588  
Old 3rd January 2020, 06:18 AM
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I'm playing Shenmue finally and it's really great
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  #3589  
Old 3rd January 2020, 06:27 AM
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I can't handle Book of Mario: Thousands of Doors

[spoiler][/spoiler]
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  #3590  
Old 3rd January 2020, 09:04 AM
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i really enjoyed watching stryder play the 64 one
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  #3591  
Old 3rd January 2020, 10:49 PM
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His highlights are probably the optimal way to experience this translation. Some of it has me in tiers, but a lot of the in-between is just sort of nonsense.
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  #3592  
Old 6th January 2020, 12:57 AM
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Finished Xenosaga Episode I and started Xenosaga Episode II.

After a few days, it's still hard to sum up my thoughts on Xenosaga I. From the get-go, the series was intended to be split into six different episodes. So when you approach Episode I, you need to look at the whole game as Act One.

The party introduced in this game, from my understanding, is gonna be your party for the entire series. There is one more dude, but he's not introduced until Xenosaga II.

The party is likable. That character writing that was present in Xenogears lives on. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the development they need in Episode I, also similar to Xenogears. At least with the intention of the series being episodic, there's a possibility that characters skipped over in the first episode may get their time in another entry.

What's also disappointing is that a lot of your main characters don't interact much with the others, nor do they have a lot to contribute outside their introduction. KOS-MOS is the poster girl of the series, and she spends most of Episode I blankly standing around.

That issue with KOS-MOS is compounded when the game has two emotional moments with her (one right after the other) at the end of the game. It felt forced or unearned because she doesn't get the narrative investment she really deserves by that point.

The story itself is hard to follow, but when you step back and look at the whole, not a whole lot happens. The big thing to take away here is Lavos is gonna **** shit up and KOS-MOS is destined to stop it. Also it's Elly from Xenogears who tells you this? She's not called Elly though so I guess they can get away with it.

Also there's this crazy guy called Albedo and he's trying to... do something. And he may or may not be aligned with these shadowy figures who may or may not be angels and they all seem to know where everything is headed I guess.

Anyway, gameplay-wise, Xenosaga is alright but kind of slow. It's not a particularly deep RPG, but it's serviceable. By the end, I had to turn frame-limiting off so that I could speed through battles.

The music in the game is ace. I like the final boss theme a lot.


There's also a few tracks very reminiscent of the vocal variation of Xenogears' main theme.



A little sappy, but I appreciate them. For comparison's sake, here's the aforementioned Xenogears track.


It's a crime that variation went unused. Anyway, the game ends with a sort of stinger involving mysterious people talking about a boy named Abel, and... hey wait a minute!



I'm genuinely surprised they were able to get away with that. In case it's not clear, Xenogears and Xenosaga have the same key developers, but gears is owned by Square while saga is owned by Namco. There's no legal acknowledgment towards Square in this game, so I assumed they didn't need to ask permission for something like this. I'm just surprised how much they can go ahead and use.

There's actually a lot of reused terminology between the two titles. The Zohar, Lost Jerusalem, The Galaxy Federation -- all that. And events in Xenosaga... sure are lining up with Perfect Works. Huh.

Anyway, at this point it's hard for me to definitively judge Xenosaga Episode I. I feel like this is a series you're gonna need to look at as a whole. Thus far, I'll say I'm enjoying it and it reminds me a lot of Xenogears, but it's not quite as good as Xenogears.

I'll give my initial impressions on Episode II in another post.

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Last edited by Solid Snix; 6th January 2020 at 01:11 AM.
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  #3593  
Old 6th January 2020, 04:51 AM
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Xenosaga II has become way harder to write about. I've learned a bit about its development that... changes my perception. I'm still processing that information. I'll start by giving my initial impressions beforehand.

The greater emphasis on mechs, I like. They were a big part of Gears, so it was disappointing to see them as an afterthought in Saga I.

There's also a greater sense in Matrix-ass action scenes, which is kind of weird. Outside of those scenes, the game feels way cheaper. Character models are less animated, less detailed. It all just feels kind of stiff.

Music continues to be bomb. The gameplay? Xenosaga I is slow. Xenosaga II is molasses. The game is reliant on stocking turns, which where you spend a turn doing nothing to get an additional attack later.

Now, that's very similar to the AP system from Xenogears and Xenosaga I., But you had options with stocking in those games. Each turn, you'd gain 2 AP. Guarding uses no AP, and each attack uses 1. That plays into some light decision making.

In Xenosaga II, you need full AP to get through basic encounters. You need it to deal significant damage, take advantage of boosts, follow up on status effects. So fights just have the flow of:
>Start Battle
>Stock
>Stock
>Stock
>Attack everything with everyone
>Repeat from step 2 until victory.

Uh, I had some more thoughts about Xenosaga II originally, but the context I have for this title has changed significantly.


It's no secret the Xenosaga series faced development difficulties. A series of six chapters had to be reduced to three. Xenosaga II had been received as rushed, criticized for barely pushing the story forward. Xenosaga III crammed a ton of stuff in just to get the series finished.

For context, Xenogears was the brainchild of a husband and wife team, Tetsuya Takahashi and Soraya Saga. Soraya also served as a character designer for the series.

One of the first things you'll notice jumping from Xenosaga I to II is that the characters now have a different art style. And the reason that is might be because, during the development of Xenosaga II, Namco decided to remove Soraya from the project. At least, I'm assuming it's Namco.

Much of the story ended up having elements removed or rewritten. Soraya would go on to post about it on her blog.

Quote:
A couple of years ago, the new team had decided to refresh the series. Simply I was one of the unneeded things.
Quote:
No offense to anyone or anything. But you would know how it depresses your feeling, if you lost an egg you've been hatching for so many years. I had been really looking forward to see a flight of our dreams.
She received a lot of angry mail from people accusing her of abandoning the project. She also recieved a lot of death threats. Some of her blog posts got really dark. I'm going to spoil this next quote because it mentions the topic of suicide:

Quote:
Spoiler: (highlight to view)
A perfect world

The world without me will be beautiful.
These days I feel that way. Like my brother did.

Actually, I tried to hang myself in November 2003. (Not literarily but literally.) Unfortunately, it failed. I only bled from the nose and left eye. People asked me "What happened? Your eye is so red!". I said "Uh, it's...an accident."

In the past couple of months, I've been said as if I'm a traitor, a deserter, and a lame duck. A deserter? You can call me a garbage rather than a deserter. Please be patient awhile till a stain (=me) will be removed from the world.
I should clarify that the post I just quoted isn't necessarily a response to the incident involving Xenosaga. She had been posting about uselessness and self-loathing for a while. It isn't fair for me to say how much of an influence the whole debacle had on her wellbeing.

Either way, Soraya was in a bad place during the mid-2000's. And either way, the internet shamed her for it. You can find some 2005-era posts where some people call her an attention whore.

The whole situation is painful to read. Xenosaga II now isn't just, a weird, janky half-hearted follow-up to a super ambitious title. It's also emblematic of a lot of suffering.

I'm still processing all that right now. I think I'll be able to return to the game, but not tonight.
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Last edited by Solid Snix; 6th January 2020 at 05:15 AM.
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  #3594  
Old 9th January 2020, 03:22 PM
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started up BattleTanx: Global Assault, it's really fun - incredibly fluid 1:1 controls, a lot better single-player stage design than the first one, kinda feels like Goldeneye in some (good) ways

some of the stages take some patience, and it's been a bit buggy* at times, but i highly recommend it as a "Nintendo 64 Games You've Never Played" game, if you've never played it

Spoiler: (highlight to view)
*i had an enemy tank spawn out of bounds (on the other side of a wall) about 6 minutes into a level, and the stage required killing all enemy tanks, so i spent extra time to lure it nearby and use a grenade's blast radius to kill it through the wall. video games, huh?
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  #3595  
Old 11th January 2020, 12:41 AM
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I play the Mario Kart Tour mobile game off and on, mainly on my breaks at work. It's not amazing, but for a free game it's not too bad. It looks pretty for a mobile game, playing old courses in reverse / with trick ramps is neat, and the new courses tend to have Pretty. Good. Music.

During the Halloween update you could roll for Rosalina in a witch outfit, and despite my best efforts I was cursed with bad luck. How frustrating!! After that, I decided that I'd save my in-game currency for awhile until another good spotlight character showed up.

As incredibly fascinating as London Bus Driver Waluigi is (and I do love it), I held off for something potentially better. As it happened, to kick off the new year, they brought back the previous spotlight characters for another chance to get one of them (I was looking at the listed odds- once you get one, such as our above mentioned bus driver friend, it removes the rest from the pool).







She has different animations from standard Rosalina and they're wonderful. Too bad they'll likely never bring these alt costumes to an eventual Mario Kart 9!!
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  #3596  
Old 15th January 2020, 07:41 AM
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Removed Death Stranding from my current rotation after realizing it was just too mellow for me right now, and replaced it with Rayman 2. I think all I want to do is play Platformers anyway, so I should go with it.
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  #3597  
Old 15th January 2020, 02:18 PM
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Rayman 2 is on uplay apparently. I wonder if itís a good port.
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  #3598  
Old 15th January 2020, 04:10 PM
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I grabbed the one on GOG because I figure that's as good as I'm gonna get
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  #3599  
Old 15th January 2020, 06:39 PM
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Can you actually not play Rayman 2, considered a classic of the platformer genre, on anything newer than a PS Vita?

At least I can play Rayman 3 on my 360 AND my NGage
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  #3600  
Old 15th January 2020, 09:35 PM
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You can play an early version of Rayman Arena on PS2. And then the race potion of the game ported to ps1 in the form of Rayman Rush, released a year later. And then the finished version of Rayman Arena, released on GameCube and Xbox, also a year after the ps2 release.
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