Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q3 2021



  • 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.



  • My prior picks:

    Q1 2021

    Pop Tart: Riders Republic - TBD
    Toaster Strudel: The Medium - 75 OpenCritic

    Q2 2021

    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.


    Q3 2021

    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.

    Youtube Video – [01:57..]

    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)

    Youtube Video – [1:02:06..]

    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:

    alt text

    alt text

    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.

    EDIT:

    To show what I mean better, here is a screenshot of Invincible:

    alt text

    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.

    Bob's Burgers:

    alt text

    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....



  • Pop Tart

    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.

    Toaster Strudel

    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.


  • Banned

    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.



  • 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)

    Pop-Tart
    Death's Door - Cute crows.

    Toaster Strudel
    WarioWare: Get It Together! - I see this struggling with reviews.



  • @dipset said in Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q3 2021:

    Little Devil Inside

    Can't wait for this.

    @miserableperson said in Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q3 2021:

    Death's Door

    Looks better than Tunic.



  • 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.



  • 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.



  • Update on how my picks have scored on OpenCritic this year:

    Pop Tarts:
    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.

    Toaster Strudels:
    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.



  • @jdincinerator said in Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q3 2021:

    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) ;)