Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q3 2021
Mbun last edited by Mbun
My Pop-Tart is Fuga: Melodies of Steel (July 29th)
For those who are hearing mention of this game for the first time, please watch this trailer. This is the closest I'm ever getting to a Bokurano game, and I could not be more pumped about it. Even if the combat doesn't end up the best, and honestly I don't expect it to, just meeting and bonding with all the characters before their final interactions as the war path is tread towards defeating the evil, totally not WW II allegory to rescue their families will make it a memorable adventure worth experiencing. This game is also technically a new entry in the Little Tail Bronx series, meaning it is related to some games you might have heard of before such as Tail Concerto and Solatorobo that I definitely want these developers to get back to making new entries for. Hell, I've been a fan of CyberConnect2 since the first four Dot Hack games, so even if this puppy doesn't review the best, I know I'm going to have a grand time with it.
My Toaster Strudel is Kena: Bridge of Spirits (August 24th)
I know people are excited for this, but I smell a Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom coming along. Actually, worse than that, I smell a The Order: 1886 coming along. This game is going to be all flash, no substance, and there's no way this team is going to make a game that looks this good be longer than 10 hours. The combat has looked subpar every time we've seen it. I've seen games like this time and time again that wow people on the visuals, but the team is too focused on the visuals so everything else suffers.
Who am I kidding though? All people care about these days are visuals, so it'll review well and be liked in spite of this.
My REAL Toaster Strudel is No More Heroes 3 (August 27th)
Were you aware that Toaster Strudels are actually the more high end pastry between Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudels? Did you know that Toaster Strudels, despite continuing to be marketed under the Pillsbury brand, have actually been owned by General Mills since 2001? You see, the Toaster Strudel has actually been considered a success since it was launched in 1985 to compete with with Kellogg's Pop-Tarts. Yes, that's right.
PillsburyGeneral Mills Toaster Strudels were actually invented to one up the Pop-Tart. However, unlike the Pop-Tart, due to innovations during the 1980s in the food manufacturing processes, the Toaster Strudel became historically notable for being instead stored frozen. Another amazing innovation of the PillsburyGeneral Mills Toaster Strudel is the included icing packet, which is there for the consumer to themselves spread on top of the pastry once it has been cooked via toaster with the heat of having been recently cooked helping to melt the icing onto the pastry. One Brandon Jones of the Games Media Journalism group Easy Allies however once went on record stating that he would instead prefer to snip one side of this included icing packet and drink it straight, skipping the flaky pastry altogether. Since August 2013, PillsburyGeneral Mills shifted to a large presence in foreign branding, creating a brand ambassador character named Hans Strudel, famous for the slogan of "Get Zem Göing". All of this is why I strongly believe No More Heroes 3 to be the clear Toaster Strudel of Q3 2021. I rest my case.
Sentinel Beach last edited by
Pop-Tart: Lost Judgment (September 24th)
Yagami returns! And even goes to school this time around. The trailer that showed all the new additions to the game really made me smile. :)
Toaster Strudel: Psychonauts 2 (August 25th)
Be wary of this, people. The whole project has just somehow smelled like "struggle" through all these years. Plus I think this'll be extremely obtuse to the potential newcomers eager to jump in.
DIPSET last edited by DIPSET
My prior picks:
Pop Tart: Riders Republic - TBD
Toaster Strudel: The Medium - 75 OpenCritic
Pop Tart: Resident Evil: Village - 84 OpenCritic
Toaster Strudel: Mass Effect Legendary Edition - 88 OpenCritic
I was pretty wrong about ME. Looks like most people appreciated the near remake elements of the first game. Honestly looks to be a really solid remaster after all.
Pop Tart: The Little Devil Inside - (July 2021)
I still have high hope for Riders Republic and I think it looks even more awesome after E3, but I already picked it when it got delayed. So let's just say I still think that is a Pop Tart but I'll pick a new one.
I found this gameplay compilation video of The Little Devil Inside on YouTube a little while ago and I think the footage speaks for itself. It looks like a pretty ambitious open world action/RPG for a small indie team. It's been around forever and I'm not entirely sure if it'll actually release this summer, but there seems to be a lot of good looking stuff in this game.
It's like an open world that reminds me of a Indie BotW but with old school Zelda-like combat. There are side-scroller parts (perhaps just building interiors?), there is hunting, crafting recipes, weapons and armour. The environments look varied and harsh. Some enemies look pretty formidable which leads me to believe you'll have to prep for battle. There is Animal Crossing-like axe chopping of cacti.
The music is pretty whimsical but a little foreboding as well. I really wonder what the call to action is in this game. Things definitely aren't what they seem.
Idk, it might get delayed again but between the systems that already exist and the really good animation, I think this will be a gem.
Toaster Strudel: Sable - (September 23, 2021)
Hard to argue with "free" since this will launch on Xbox Game Pass, but this game has been MIA for a long time. Then it suddenly reappears and it quite honestly looks like a university student futzing with Unity for the first time in their life.
Some of the animations are just outright bad while some are okay. Everything about the flow of the game feels jarring and janky. By choice the game looks like it's animated on 3s or 4s, which is kinda cool in theory, but it just doesn't look great in a 3D space.
In screenshots, Sable looks pretty decent:
But in motion.... bleh....
I feel pretty strongly about this but video game developers need to rethink the decision to have clean line art for a video game. Clean lines are A) a massive pain in the ass for animation (not necessarily 3D, but perhaps in cutscenes, B) look really bad when they tangent with other backgrounds and objects, C) just aren't meant for video games.
Clean black lines over every character, prop, and background is such a bad decision and it outright isn't meant for 3D video games. For example, in a 2D animation, you'd consider changing the line colour for BG props or objects to blend in with the prop colour itself which creates contrast with the characters in the foreground who have permanent clean black line art.
Sable cannot do that because it's in 3D space. So you can't mute BG colours to create contrast or depth like a 2D animation or comic book would. Normally, you'd lower contrast in the background and heighten contrast in the foreground to create the illusion of space, but because the player can change the camera at any moment, there isn't any way to really create depth like the comics they are trying to replicate. So they essentially just design everything with the same colour and same black clean line despite your distance from the BG or the frame composition. There is just no depth to the art here whatsoever. It looks like shit.
Look at those screenshots again. There are line tangents EVERYWHERE. There is essentially no depth between BG, MG, and FG. This stuff would get called in the QC check if it was one of the shows I've worked on. Not to mention the moire effect that seems to happen when too many unscaled clean black lines are close to each other (which can cause seizures).
Beneath all of that, the game just seems a lot more bland than the promise of open world bike exploration. I can't quite tell what the game is going for here. Is it a BotW-like game where you have different types of dungeons? Is it fetch-questy? Is it just a game where you explore at your own whim?
I am very skeptical despite being really into it at first.
Again... "free" so no matter how it turns out, it might not sting.
To show what I mean better, here is a screenshot of Invincible:
Main character has clean black line, BG painting is softer, has no visible line art or it blends into the main colour of the buildings.
Foreground characters and BG has clean black line as do the buildings in the back. However, contrast is higher in the foreground and lowered in the back to create a sense of depth in 2D space.
Compare that to Sable, where everything looks the same. It's just really really bleh to me....
paulmci27 last edited by paulmci27
Chernobylite- I've had my eye on this one for a while. Its a cross between Stalker/Metro with based building & Npc management thrown in. It's be in early access for a year and is getting good feedback from players. Hopefully console ports turn out well.
Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword-Unless they cut out all the boring parts & can sort the controls out on controler. This is once again going to be a frustrating slog. Does have good dungeons though it's all the rest that is a snooze.
El Shmiablo Banned last edited by
Pop Tart: Kena Bridge of Spirits
I have no idea why this is my poptart. It has really good graphics, and apparently that is all I care about.
Toaster Strudel: Something by Nintendo. I'm not even sure what games they are releasing since I hate them. Is that Skyward Sword remaster coming out soon? Probably that.
MiserablePerson last edited by
Prior Pop-Tart's (Q1 - Returnal, Very Good) (Q2 - New Pokémon Snap, Solid)
Prior Toaster Strudel's (Q1 - Riders Republic, Undetermined) (Q2 - Mario Golf: Super Rush, Middling)
Death's Door - Cute crows.
WarioWare: Get It Together! - I see this struggling with reviews.
Scotty last edited by
Little Devil Inside
Can't wait for this.
Looks better than Tunic.
bam541 last edited by
Since my two picks are out already and we're nearing the end of September, I feel like I can talk about how I did this quarter.
My pop tart is Kena, which is receiving good reviews, and people seem to be enjoying it. The game being compared to PS2 era platformers speaks to my soul, and it seems that they did a good job with incorporating cultural influences.
As for my toaster strudel, I have seen very mixed opinions on 12 Minutes, ranging from Hideo Kojima being quite excited on his Twitter to people being very frustrated with the game's main mechanic and story. Personally, the more I hear about this game, the less I want to play it.
Overall I think did pretty well. I almost picked Sable for this quarter's pop tart since I'm quite enamoured by it, but I know many people won't vibe with the game so I picked Kena instead, and that turned out to be a good call.
JDINCINERATOR last edited by JDINCINERATOR
Now both my pop tart and toaster strudel for this month both turned out to be pretty damn good, I can't help but feel that I should've given my toaster strudel to Far Cry 6. I enjoy Far Cry games when they're released but the formulaic approach Ubisoft has taken since FC3 has been wearing me down more and more and Far Cry 6 looks like it'll just be more of the same. I could've also given my toaster strudel to The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes after the glum mediocrity of Little Hope. Honestly I feel like there's little hope for The Dark Pictures Anthology if the games get more and more stale.
Shoulderguy last edited by
Update on how my picks have scored on OpenCritic this year:
Q1: Hitman 3 - 86
Q2: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart - 88
Q3: Kena: Bridge of Spirits - 83
I don't miss on Pop-Tarts. All 3 are among my favorite games of the year.
Q1: Bravely Default 2 - 78
Q2: Biomutant - 67
Q3: SkateBIRD - 58
And I was right about SkateBIRD. It was in rough shape when I played the demo, so not surprised at all by the low score.
Axel last edited by
Now both my pop tart and toaster strudel for this month both turned out to be pretty damn good, I can't help but feel that I should've given my toaster strudel to Far Cry 6.
Far Cry 6 is coming out as part of the upcoming quarter, so you'll have the chance to make it your toaster strudel in the next thread (which I'm about to make) ;)