Just finished this review up before the Community Showcase. If anyone's down who'd like to see the full video, here it is for Coffee Talk. I wasn't initially planning on writing a review for it, but it made a good impression on me after a difficult February.
Posts made by HappyGaming
RE: Last game you finished
RE: That's News!
So they’re doing a mini scale remake of Final Fantasy VII for mobile featuring Crisis Core, Before Crisis and Dirge of Cerberus. The sprites are all reworked with new artwork and reworked scripts, and the battle system uses visuals from Remake.
RE: Last game you finished
Finally finished up Hollow Knight. Or at least I got an ending in the game.
Overall, I love it to death, but definitely have some nitpicks, mainly I think the game is too long, I think there are too many side activities that only pay off with achievements or trophies rather than tangible in-game rewards, and the lore-based story telling just isn't for me (same with the Souls games and the like, I just can't even comprehend a story that's told in this way). The first 3/4 of the game though are golden. There's so much the game does right in terms of presenting the world gradually, letting you explore, and making that exploration feel rewarding and challenging. Every area is alive in different ways, and are easily identifiable. I love the combat with the use of pins to find your own way you like to play as you go along, and the healing by collecting essence and putting yourself at risk to do it.
I think overall, I don't have many complaints other than what I've stated earlier, as well as the last section of the game just not having that satisfaction I would have liked from other games in the genre I just prefer for various reasons. Extra bosses and replaying bosses isn't a plus for me. Getting achievements doesn't do anything for me. But exploring the world and meeting the various characters and getting to know Hollownest and Dirtmouth was definitely the highlight for me. I love how expressive every character is, and I love seeing their various small arcs play out.
It's a beautifully animated, tough game that has a vast and incredibly well constructed and realized world to explore with a little too much to do and not enough plot explaining for me. This was the second time I played through it after starting over (first time completing it), and I still burnt out near the end when you're primarily backtracking through places either for side activities or to test areas for small progressions. Money had no meaning when I was done because I'd purchased everything from the stores, and had no need for small collectibles that I could sell.
All that aside, I'm still stoked for Silksong. I'll probably give it some time before jumping in when it comes out though. Especially if it's as meaty a game as Hollow Knight, and as lengthy. This is clearly just such a talented and dedicated team, I'm very excited if anything to see what sorts of ideas they bring to the sequel and how they can improve some of those nitpicks from this first game.
RE: Last game you finished
In between reviews I played through and finished Link's Awakening on the Switch.
It's been a longtime favorite of mine; the original is in my top three Zelda games ever, and was one of my favorite games growing up. The remake definitely does the original justice. The music is remade incredibly with full instrumentation (with the exception being Animal Village that sounds just bad, like a keyboard playing animal noises). Because it was a long time since I'd revisited it, I got to rediscover the game again like it was my first time, and parts hit hard when everything clicked. My girlfriend and I played through together and it was really a treat contemplating where to go next, or having her look something up while I took the reigns. It's small enough to never be cumbersome, but can take a good deal of time if you want to collect everything (or get lost in the claw game and fishing like I did. While it's been a while since I played on GameBoy, being able to hold two items while also using your sword and shield is something I didn't know would be a privilege, and even though you still do a lot of item switching, it's much easier to go through dungeons because you don't switch nearly as much.
For me the downsides are minor. The frame rate suffers, and I think it's probably because they didn't have the areas scroll in square areas like the original, so the Switch had a hard time rendering everything. I wouldn't have minded more scrolling areas for better performance. The other nitpicky thing I have is with the trading sequence and some things in the main quest just not being very well explained. There were parts we had to look a couple of things up, but it didn't detract nearly enough to make us have a bad time. Dampe's Zelda Dungeon maker wasn't bad, but I had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever outside the spoils for doing the challenges. Other than that, this game is an absolute delight. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it revitalized that feeling of adventure and whimsy I haven't had from games in so long.
RE: That's Not News!
JDINCINERATOR joined me as a guest on my not very frequent podcast to talk about the end of 2020, some of our favorite games, and some hopes for next year and the new consoles. It's available to listen on any podcast service, my SoundCloud page, and Patreon page for those interested!
RE: Resident Evil Village (PS5/XSX/PC/PS4/XBO)
I’m on blackout so I didn’t watch the presentation, but I love me some Resident Evil regardless of the form it takes. Come Halloween hopefully I’ll have a PS5 and can settle into a spooky cold village and creepy castles. So down.
RE: Our Top 10 games of 2020
I don't think I actually finished 10 games from last year last year. I'm still playing catch up and waited on others to play on PS5 after the performance boosts.
What I did play though, here's what I've got in no particular order from what I remember:
Persona 5 Royal - (haven't finished it, but played original four times so and it's one of my favorite games of all time so...?)
Final Fantasy VII Remake - Exactly what I hoped for here; it's different enough to differentiate itself and stand out from the original while feeling almost completely different in key ways
Tony Hawk 1+2 HD - I didn't remember being so bad at these games, but I loved returning to them. Most of the time I played, I was just muttering "sorry Tony" everytime I fell off my board or botched a trick
Crash Bandicoot 4 - I knocked the game a bunch in my review, but I genuinely did enjoy it despite my harsh criticism. I give harsh words because I love the franchise, and there were really awesome levels here.
Last of Us Part II - Again I haven't finished this one. Coming from the area and playing a game where everyone dies from a pandemic and many of the survivors being super politically charged violent Nazi people suddenly made the game too real too soon.
Animal Crossing New Horizons - I didn't spend a lot of time with this one. I adore New Leaf, but the introduction of crafting really made it less fun for me, and too much micromanaging. I still love the characters and charm and all that, but just too much extra economy with materials I needed to keep track of.
Huntdown- I enjoyed this a ton with special thanks to Don. While there a little too many on the nose quotes pulled from movies and references, I love how the game plays and feels, especially the boss fights. As a perfectionist there was definitely that sense of needing to restart to learn the level the best way and get all the briefcases before going on, and so I'd restart a ton! But I loved it all, and love how each character plays a little different. If only it had online multiplayer I could play with my brothers.
Doom Eternal - Again, haven't finished it, but blasting demons in the face to metal music and the added strategy of having to kill guys in different ways to recover armor, health, ammo, etc, is exhilerating. I also love the more open levels with the map. It encourages a little bit of exploration, but not enough to get lost. So you can search for secrets that tie into upgrades for further levels if you want, or plow straight though.
Neversong - Another I reviewed. I really admire when developers of Flash games end up going on to make other things, and this one didn't disappoint. It's short enough to not be obtrusive, and could use a little more mechanically, but is always a fun time just to see where things go and talk to interesting characters.
Ikenfell - My most recent review. I really enjoyed this one, less because it's an awesome, retro-style RPG, and more because of what it represents and teaches about characters and inclusivity. This is a game that ends up being specifically about inclusion, even though the plot doesn't specifically address it in the ways you expect. The underlying themes can be extremely powerful.
Super Mario 3D All Stars - This is my first time playing through Mario 64, and I picked this up the night before the fuckery in the US went down. I was really thankful to have some Mario to fall back on. Sure the camera isn't always perfect, but the amount of joy I get from jumping and trying to do different challenges is just unparalleled in the genre. Whether it's 64, Sunshine or Galaxy, I say they're all a 10/10.
RE: TV - What Are You Watching
I just finished this up a few days ago. I know I'm a little late to the party, but man, this may become one of my favorite animated series ever. It started out as a show that made me laugh, and had charming and lovable characters that would always bring a smile to my face with their adventures. In the spirit of DuckTales (specifically the 2017 version owes a ton to this show and you should absolutely watch it if you haven't), every episode takes on a different separate adventure. But as things go on, things come together, and do so in a big way. You realize these aren't just silly characters; they have depth. Some have tragedy strike them at different times. Most everyone has had breadcrumbs being laid for them the entire show, and once the last quarter comes around, it clicks just how much growth you've seen between the characters and the location itself.
The location of Gravity Falls hits especially close to home having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, with plans to move back there very soon. The show's creator, Alex Hirsch really has a keen understanding of the feel of the area, with subtle things like local legends and the way small towns feel, to more in your face things like the tall trees and pancakes. There's so much love and understanding for the area and the people, kooky or no, that live there, as well as these characters. When it came time to say goodbye at the end of the last episode, I was legitimately choked up and crying. It's short lived, but it's supposed to be. Looking back you realize there were so many adventures you got to see these characters go on, but just like Summer Vacation as a kid, nothing lasts forever. But those memories of your adventures will. Gravity Falls is a reminder of the fleeting, beautiful, and touching ways that made being a kid all the more special as an adult when you look back. When you're in those moments, they feels like they'll will never end. When you've grown and you look back at all the times you laughed together with the people closest to you, and how fast it passed you by, they become even more special.
I immediately purchased the blu-ray set. This sucker's going in my permanent collection.
RE: That's News!
Last of Us HBO series gets a new director.
I’m a little bummed that Johan Renck didn’t get it because of how much I loved his work on Chernobyl, but I’ve heard Beanpole is good even if the directing style feels decidedly different compared to what Renck did.
Songs that make you tear up
I've been listening to some Final Fantasy stuff in the background while I do things around the house, and there are certain ones that just hit really close to home. I don't know if it's my relation to them as a kid, or how their stories and characters make me feel, but certain songs just bring that misty-eyed feel that is hard to articulate and describe.
Many of the Final Fantasy VII and IX tracks do this for me, especially the overworld themes. Chrono Cross also has some excellent tracks that give me pause.
They bring back a simpler time to me, in a sense. And when they play, it brings back a flood of these positive feelings; going on adventures in fantasy worlds without the constraints that come alongside them nowadays like review scores or income. So for a second, I'm allowed to return to that time, and just live for the adventure again.
What songs do this for you, and give you that guarded place of safety, happiness and comfort?
RE: Last game you finished
@bard91 To each their own! I was recently playing Remake and found myself missing the blocky graphics, prerendered backgrounds and the ATB combat system from the original (not to say Remake doesn't rock in those and other ways), but growing up, those sorts of games have always been my jam. I adore turn based battles and retro PS1 aesthetics and sounds. It's sort of like pixel art to me, where there's just a different era of retro that has a different appeal to it.
All that being said though, I agree about the story. I like individual beats with characters, but the overall plot just never clicked or made sense in the same way 6 blows it out of the park. That one has character stories and a full plot to boot.
RE: Games That You Wish Were Better
I know it's a controversial opinion, but I really just don't like Final Fantasy XII very much. I try to get into it very couple of years (most recently about a week ago), and I just wish everything was better. I wish Vaan was a more compelling character. I wish combat was more fun. I wish the plot was better explained so I don't feel like an idiot for not knowing what's going on.
I know someone will feel the opposite on all those points, and feel combat is exceptional and freeing, and the plot is deep and makes you look closely at politics. But I just don't share in the sentiment. I just really want to love it as a Final Fantasy fan.
RE: Controller-Breaking Boss Fights
I think pretty much any boss fight that lasts for an hour and still has an attack that happens in the last half that will off your whole party in one hit. There was once or twice in Persona 5 where this happened to me and I had to just take a break in between.
I got to the last boss fight in Final Fantasy X and legitimately couldn’t beat the game. I was too low level and an initial sword attack killed everyone at once. I tried that one for a while too with different strategies and light last room grinding. The real kicker there was the one hit kill was after an unskippable ten minute cutscene. And I had to watch it every time I restarted. Double decker of things I just point two middle fingers at.