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  #3496  
Old 5th July 2019, 01:20 AM
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AndyNPC AndyNPC is offline
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I've been playing American Truck Simulator in celebration of Freedom Day. Just wanted to remind everyone that Truck Simulator is indeed not a meme, it's a legit good game. If the idea of driving down the highway while listening to classic rock over internet radio sounds fun to you, then you should play it. You start as a contractor doing jobs with provided trucks, but soon you can start buying and customizing your own trucks and managing your own transportation business. You can even explore the world between jobs to find more dealerships and business opportunities.
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  #3497  
Old 11th July 2019, 04:49 PM
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Alakazam Alakazam is offline 3 Highscores
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Star Fox 64 (Nintendo 64, 1997)

Lately, I've been thinking about the idea of Nintendo as strictly a toy company, and their video games as interactive toys rather than "video games". Traditionally, this view is reserved for products like ROB, the Wii, and the Switch's recent Labo, but Miyamoto himself has said he'd work in toys if he didn't work in video games. This has made me start seeing certain games in a whole new light, and Star Fox 64 might be my favorite example so far.

The other day, while waiting for the Fourth of July hot dog contest to air (because why not?), I sifted through channels and came across Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. 20 years ago, I absolutely loved both Star Fox 64 and SWE1, and have fond memories of playing with the toy double-sided lightsaber, writing Darth Maul fanfiction at like 8 years old on our first computer, and lots more. I know that Star Wars fans are really split on the prequels, and I honestly don't care much for 2 or 3 (though I think they're fine), but I had a great time revisiting PM with Nills, and it held up really well for both of us.

With those Star Wars vibes still fresh in my mind, I came back to Star Fox 64 a couple days ago for a funzie run. I've mentioned this offhandedly before, but I've felt for a while like it's one of the only games that feels like a genuine cinematic experience inside a video game. After watching Phantom Menace, and with the perspective I've had on Miyamoto games lately, I realized something about that concept that's kinda obvious, but also kind of not:

Star Fox 64 is a Build-Your-Own Star Wars Story.

It just also happens to be covered up by the greatest action game of all time.

Depending on your route, the plot of your adventure changes drastically. There are so many different ways you can tell "your story" through the way you decide to play - you can even choose to end with or without a cliffhanger. When you think about it as an interactive movie, it's like taking individual "scenes" and tying them together in your own personal way.

The planets are detailed beyond belief, doused with every kind of color and element to make them memorable - from the cool, lush image of the Great Fox docked on Aquas to the 9000-degree temperatures of Solar, from the acidic pollution of Zoness to the deserts of Titania, and so much more inbetween. Each stage is like a dynamic toybox, with rescue missions and level props in-sync with team dialogue, obstacles and invincible monsters to avoid, and lots of edge-of-your-seat moments.

Also, don't forget the stages with temporary teammates! I love Katt and Bill so much, the way they're introduced without any real backstory yet our characters immediately know who they are. The use of vague familiarity fits into the story so well, and lets you connect the dots yourself. Why does Falco know Katt? Were they dating? How cool is it that Fox's old military buddy shows up? Miyamoto games were great at telling these stories without having to "explain" them, and I think it shines brightest here. (I also think it's the coolest thing how they tag along to the next level with you, and how different something like Macbeth feels depending if Katt is there or not.)

Cinematography alone wouldn't work without the gameplay, but this game is thankfully a masterpiece of action gaming. Whether you're completely new, or putting up medal scores on expert mode, it has a way of always making you feel like you're kicking ass when you accomplish something. Learning new ways to farm points through charge shots, studying routes to fly through, and watching your score climb will add just as much replay value as the movie parts of the game.

A great example of how well these aspects are blended together: the Fortuna Star Wolf fight. The typical player will end up on the easy route during their first fight, and get an early taste of the Star Wolf cast, introduced to their incredibly vibrant anti-hero charm. Over countless trials of play, and hours of leveling up in skill, a player will find themselves at the Venom Star Wolf fight, perfectly re-balanced for the difficulty curve. In general, there's usually a great nuance to difficulty curve in older Nintendo games, but the use of a plot device like Star Wolf stirs up the sentimentality, and makes it feel that much better to encounter and defeat them.

As an interactive toy, and as a video game, this is a groundbreaking accomplishment that deserves the same recognition as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time. I know most people consider it an upper echelon 64 game, but you don't quite see the same fervor as those other two, outside of us weirdos who quote the game daily in any and all contexts.

There's a reason why there hasn't been a Star Fox game as satisfying since 64, while Mario and Zelda have had countless great games since - this is a concept so much of its time, balancing classic action gameplay with the perfect scope of over-the-top action movie. It's incredibly hard to nail this idea again, especially as technology has improved and "story gaming" has become entirely different. I think that Left 4 Dead did it right, and I'd love to hear you guys mention other games that feel similar to you.

5/5
forever
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  #3498  
Old 12th July 2019, 01:28 AM
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Psn has Detroit become human for free this month plus it comes with heavy rain so I am excited to play those soon.
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  #3499  
Old 15th July 2019, 05:31 PM
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100% Orange Juice is currently running a summer event featuring a gyaru dog loli in a swimsuit as a raid boss. Are other video games even trying?
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  #3500  
Old 18th July 2019, 02:59 AM
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Donkey Kong 3 and Wrecking Crew were added to the Nintendo Switch Online's NES games. Donkey Kong 3 feels like they just took the Donkey Kong brand and threw it on a random game. There aren't any similarities between it and the other two games. DK Jr at least still had you jumping and avoiding hazards to get to the top of the board. You just spray bug repellent in DK3. It isn't much fun.

Wrecking Crew is OK. Also, it just donned on me that the yellow construction outfit Mario wears in Super Mario Maker is a reference to this game.
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  #3501  
Old 18th July 2019, 03:16 AM
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Recently been going through Moonlighter which is a fun Zelda-like where you sell all the various materials you find as you upgrade your shop and go through the games dungeons. So far it's actually pretty fun and I'm discovering things to like about it every time I play it.
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  #3502  
Old 23rd July 2019, 08:52 PM
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Alakazam Alakazam is offline 3 Highscores
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Star Wars Episode I Racer (Nintendo 64, 1999)

i got a few things to say about this game in 2019

i'll start with the bad. there's a huge issue with this game, and i've never seen anything like it: the in-game race music doesn't start until LAP THREE. this means if you minimize sound volume and maximize music volume, the game is dead quiet for two laps and then SCREAMS orchestrated songs at you

much as it sucks, i found a solution: muting in-game music and putting on the Sonic R OST. so take me baaAAaack in time...to a galaxy far, far away

once the sound issues are resolved, the game plays absolutely great! there aren't many "f-zero clones" (if you wanna call it that) with such ingenuity in level challenge design. the level on Oovo IV even has a moment of zero gravity a la Aero Gauge, something i was really pleasantly surprised with. lots of clever obstacles to avoid, and it captures the split-second thrill of pod racing that the 1999 movie tries to convey

3.75/5

---

Cursed Mountain (Wii, 2009)

Remember when video games wanted to be Resident Evil 4? There's a lot of good things about Resident Evil 4, after all. First of all, there's Ashley. Also, it's a well-designed game with the best graphics its era could offer, a revamped and refreshing gameplay system, and a masterstroke of cinematic timing that keeps the player in constant suspense.

The scariest thing about Cursed Mountain is its motion-controlled menu.

1.5/5

---

(also playing a lot of yoshi's story, and working on finishing my perfect dark run, inbetween bouts of melee practice and minecraft escapism! for further updates, my RSS feed can be found at backloggery.com/alakazam)
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  #3503  
Old 30th July 2019, 09:03 PM
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I did an OoT rando run for the first time in a while. I set it to randomize the rules, and thankfully it didn't give me 100 skultulas for Ganon. I'd like to try doing a race sometime, but I'm anti-social as heck and don't see that happening any time soon.
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  #3504  
Old 1st August 2019, 05:57 AM
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i have been playing final fantasy on the nintendo entertainment system. my main gripe is: https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Magic_bugs
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  #3505  
Old 6th August 2019, 04:49 AM
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I take it back. these guys are my main gripe. instant death that gets around the anti-instant-death item (because it's not a spell, it's a thing added into their normal attack). first encountering them in the ice cave is pretty terrifying
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  #3506  
Old 9th August 2019, 07:51 AM
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Alakazam Alakazam is offline 3 Highscores
Konami Okami
 
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a lot of AC and SA1/SA2 lately

working on catalog completion in AC GC
paying off my house from almost-scratch in an 11-year old City Folk file
playing through all of SA1 again, finding a lot of new appreciation for this game
leveling chao in SA2, building a powerful garden of critters
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  #3507  
Old 9th August 2019, 07:08 PM
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GB Printer Paper Memorial Garden GB Printer Paper Memorial Garden is offline
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Chibi-Robo, which I like a lot more than I did when first playing it, also Diddy Kong Racing Adventure mode, Geist, NFL QB Club 2002, Go Go Hypergrind (very shit game, really boring and simplistic but also has the nerve to be frustrating, BAD), and just occasionally picking up stars in a new Japanese SM64 file. A real Videogame Array
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  #3508  
Old 15th August 2019, 03:12 PM
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Three Lions on Game Boy Colour offers way more squad management and tactical options than you'd expect from a GBC football game, but get into a match and it's the same shallow Sensible Soccer-style trash I was bored of by FIFA World Cup 2002 on Nokia 3650

Disney Sports: American Football on GameCube is a strange one
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  #3509  
Old 16th August 2019, 02:18 PM
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I've done about 7 runs of FTL at this point. I enjoy the game so far, though I haven't quite figured out all the ways to counter enemy ships. It's so satisfying the way your ship gets better through the game, but never feels better enough. That feeling of wanting just one more energy, not being able to use all the systems you want together, it's just so good!
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  #3510  
Old 16th August 2019, 02:35 PM
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I've been playing a bit of Animal Crossing New Leaf because I am so desperate for AC right now. Other than that I've been dipping my toes in Fire Emblem Three Houses even though I'm not much of a fan of the series. I'm really just filling the void until Zelda in September.
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