The Return of Talking Time

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Old 08-11-2017, 01:57 PM
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Default Digital Down-Low for 08/11/2017: Hyper Light Grifter

Hey kids! Don't forget that you must never fake the funk on a nasty dunk.

PSN is about one thing this week, and one thing only; punching dudes! Actually, that's demonstratably untrue, as there are only two fighting games, but they're the first two things mentioned; the Neo-Geo ports of The Art of Fighting 2 and King of Fighters '96! I'm only dimly aware of Art of Fighting as being A) the game that escalated the intergame rivalry between SNK and Capcom that ultimately resulted in the creation of Dan Hibiki and also for having the fact that you punch people so hard their clothing explodes. KoF I am on firmer ground about, but I never hear anyone talk about '96. I feel confident assuming it focuses on the boringest King of Fight, Kyo and fighting the final boss is a miserable affair that drains your body and spirit.


Accel World vs. Sword Art Online is an action RPG that lets YOU play an anime like you would a video game! At long last the dreams that formed the bedrock our civilization was built on have come to fruition! Thank you, blessed Bandai/Namco, for being the architect of this blessed new age!


Blackhole is a platformer. It is not a platformer based on the Disney movie that helped nearly tank the company back in the 80s about eh spaceship that went into a blackhole and wound up in Hell. Or the much better received Event Horizon, which is also about a spaceship that went into a black hole and wound up in Hell. No, this is a platformer about a spaceship that goes into a blackhole and winds up in platformer hell. Like Meatboy.

Futz with physics in order to rebuild your broken spaceship! And then spikes happen!


Speaking of the fact that everything in space wants you dead, we have Comet Crash 2. I'm predicting it's an Asteroids knock-off, but I haven't actually pulled up the game info yet...

...

Oh, it's actually a Tower Defense game. Well, that's egg on my face.


We're not done talking about how Space Hates You, however, so Graceful Explosion Machine is next! It came out on the Switch a few months ago, and am lead to understand it's a reasonably well regarded example of the shmup-em-up genre. Good for it! Kiiiiiind of reminds me of Fantasy Zone, except that no Shmup protagonist could ever possibly Opa-Opa in my heart, so the mere fact that it's trying is kind of insulting.


Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice is an emote-em-up that's been making the rounds lately about a lady with pretty severe psychological damage trying to find her husband and normally, my reaction to that is "Okay, fine" and I leave it at that because that's not normally my cup of tea.

But this is also an action game designed by Ninja Theory, what made DmC and Enslaved, and I loved those.

And it's also about travelling through "Viking Hell" and, man, okay. I'm on board here.


ICEY is a 2D, single-plane beat-em-up. And that's all the trailer shows. But the description mentions that it's not and the focus is more on ignoring what the narrator and mission objective menu tell you. Kind of like Portal, but with way fewer jokes and with way more stabbing robots.

That is to say the stabbing of robots. Though most of the robots have knife-hands, so probably it works the other way too.


Speaking of stabbing robots, that happens in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 as well! Not, like, as a primary focus, but each of the games has at least one Evil Robot Master who grants you a stabbing power! This collection has a smaller selection than the first Legacy Collection did, but its drawn from a more diverse set that (mostly) haven't been re-released nearly as often. And the games included seem to sit more in the "flawed but okay" side of the series. I mean, I loved 10 and most of 7, but I'm kind of the outlier there.


Next up is Lawbreakers, which is a team-based multiplayer shooter. Witha variety of unique and distinctive characters. And in a post Overwatch (and Team Fortress and, heck, even Battleborn) world, it's kind of hard to care about one of those when the entire cast is made up of snarly dudes with funny masks.

One was a robot with an emoticon face, that was something.


Masqueda: Songs and Shadows is an RPG of the Baldurs Gateiest of vintage! Move your chaps through a dungeon! Pause and use clever strategems to hack up varmints. Then take their stuff after they get killed to pieces!


Neon Drive is an obstacle-based race-em-up. Like your Rad Racers or Mach Riders and the like, set on a neon flashing grid of bass-heavy music.

It's like playing any given music video or cartoon opening from the 80s.


Sine Mora EX is the last PSN game this week, and it's another shmup-em-up. Not a whole lot to talk about right there; though the trailer showed off some neat looking setpiece sections.

The games also rated M for strong language and sexual themes.

And... it's a game about spaceships shooting other spaceships. They're not anthropomorphic spaceships like, say, Otomedius, just planes with science fictiony bits stamped on.

Does this game have an R-Type thing going on?

Genuinely confused how many sexual themes there are in this game about shooting space planes.


Now on to the eShop which starts off this week with The Troll and I, or rather, WILL start, because that's not out until Tuesday. It's another emote-em-up about a kid who befriends some awful jackass who insults people on message boards and is just hideously obnoxious all around.

Or maybe it's the billygoat-eating kind. I don't know. Figuring that out smells like research, and that ain't my style.


Also up is Ironcast which is a Puzzle Quest-y sort of Match 3 game where you pilot big ol' steampunky robots through Jolly Old England, and use your obsessive compulsive zest for making matched sets of things to power your destructive rampage.

I like Puzzle Quest, and I like Steampunk and it's gotten some positive word of mouth so I will happily gamble on this.


And speaking of things that look similar to things I already love and which I therefor will gamble my hard earned money on, we have Phantom Trigger which... well... which is basically Hyperlight Drifter. I mean, it looks really, really similar to Hyperlight Drifter.

It is the driftiest of the hyperlights.


And since we're still on the subject of "Games what be really familiar looking to these eyes" we've got Flip Wars which takes Bomberman and takes away the bombs, replacing them with flipping the colors of the ground underfoot, like... aww geez...

Right on the tip of my tongue.

It was on Gameboy. I don't think it was Flippull, or QBillion, but it was some other puzzle game with a name that did nothing to indicate what it was about...

Anyway, that, except Bomberman.


Also up, and stealthily released on the system a few days ago, is Severed! I love Severed! It's a dungeon crawler that is also Punch Out! It's also entirely touch-screen based so make sure you have a screenprotector on hand, lest you scritch your Nintendo Switch until it is fully eroded away.

Go kill a bunch of monsters to avenge your missing arm! And also your family. But mostly the arm!


Also up is King of Fighters 2000, which I DID play! ANd it marked the point when the series finally realized that Kyo was boring as heck and dropped him in favor of his Moody Broody clone! And HIS clone, the ice lady intended to be a "waifu".

And I hate those, but she's also one of my favorite KoF characters so I am conflicted about that.


The lone showing on 3DS this week is Elminage Original which is another port job I wasn't aware was in development until it without warning popped up on the eShop! And it too is a first person dungeon crawler! But this one doesn't jazz things up with all kinds of new mechanics or seek to be a a fresh new voice in the tried and true genre of first person dungeon crawlers.

Nope, this here is a straight-up Wizardry-ass dunge-em-up. The game is barely going to explain anything and expect you to muddle things out your own dang self.

I'm kind of loving it, so far?


And the WiiUVC updated twice more with two Turbografx games! And if you put a gun to my head, I swear I would never be able to tell them apart. Heck, you could tell me they were the same game and I would believe you; Soldier Blade and Final Soldier. They're both shooters. They're both sequels to Star Soldier and the name suggests that Final is the later one.

That's all I got.


Okay, that took forever. I'm going to play one of those games I said I bought already.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:10 PM
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Soldier Blade and Final Soldier. They're both shooters. They're both sequels to Star Soldier and the name suggests that Final is the later one.
*pushes up glasses* well actually
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
ICEY is a 2D, single-plane beat-em-up. And that's all the trailer shows. But the description mentions that it's not and the focus is more on ignoring what the narrator and mission objective menu tell you. Kind of like Portal, but with way fewer jokes and with way more stabbing robots.

That is to say the stabbing of robots. Though most of the robots have knife-hands, so probably it works the other way too.
I have this one on Steam.

I uh

I don't recommend it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:12 PM
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Just to warn anyone who might have had their interest piqued that Sine Mora EX is best given a wide berth, even if you've got it as a free upgrade. The original version was execrable, and the update merely adds a couple of minor features and makes no attempt to ameliorate anything about the core game mechanics or pacing, which are unrelentingly, aggressively wrong.

(Don't be fooled by any 9/10 reviews for it you might see on the big websites, either. They're doing you a disservice and should stay in their lane.)

Last edited by Klatrymadon; 08-11-2017 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:57 PM
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Sine Mora EX is the last PSN game this week, and it's another shmup-em-up. Not a whole lot to talk about right there; though the trailer showed off some neat looking setpiece sections.

The games also rated M for strong language and sexual themes.

And... it's a game about spaceships shooting other spaceships. They're not anthropomorphic spaceships like, say, Otomedius, just planes with science fictiony bits stamped on.

Does this game have an R-Type thing going on?

Genuinely confused how many sexual themes there are in this game about shooting space planes.
I don't really play a lot of shmups like Klatyrmadon, but I thought Sine Mora was fine mechanically. It feels like Einhander or R-Type Final in that it has some segments that are maybe a bit too chill? Is that it?

The story is what really sucks, and to answer Octo's question; it issuper shitty about women. There is a resistance fighting an evil empire. There are two female pilots and their motivations for fighting are: One is a rape survivor who is getting revenge on the evil empire, the other is a woman who is willing to take suicide missions because she is infertile and thus she has no value. Nevermind that there are plenty of non-gendered reasons to fight, as explored by the male pilots.

So in a genre that does not require any real plot they went out of their way to just include those horrible little details.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:33 PM
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You forgot one!



Out this Tuesday on Switch, XBONE, and PS4 (only the PC version was delayed).
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:42 PM
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I didn't forget it, it's just not next week yet.

Plus I thought of a stupid joke title for it that works better with next weeks other big release
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I didn't forget it, it's just not next week yet.

Plus I thought of a stupid joke title for it that works better with next weeks other big release
Ah, okay. I thought you put Tuesdays in the previous week, but jokes should come first.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I didn't forget it, it's just not next week yet.

Plus I thought of a stupid joke title for it that works better with next weeks other big release
I hope it involves "& Knuckles" at least once somewhere in it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Plus I thought of a stupid joke title for it that works better with next weeks other big release
This sounds like... research...
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
This sounds like... research...
Hello, I am an expert, and I can certify that it is not research.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:55 AM
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Flip Wars sounds like Mendel Palace. But I couldn't say for sure until I play it, or watch footage.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:17 AM
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The demo for Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS is also now available.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Traumadore View Post
It feels like Einhander or R-Type Final in that it has some segments that are maybe a bit too chill? Is that it?
Sorry, I was hyperbolic without really saying anything about it, there.

I actually love R-Type Final, and like that it isn't afraid to be slow-paced, but it's a lot more carefully crafted and consistent, and outside the first stage you don't see many completely dead spots. Sine Mora is full of sections where you're coasting along waiting for something to happen, and they're disjointed too - you're forever undergoing boring transitions between unrelated sections.

It makes almost every classic pratfall that Euroshmups are notorious for, and a few that are all its own work. These are some that stick out to me, just as a heads-up for anyone who might buy it:
  • Tiny targets/hitboxes on bosses, making merely tracking and shooting at things a joyless chore.
  • Tiny bullets and missiles, and poor readability in general; you might not see boss targets at first.
  • Dull, monotonous whack-a-mole enemy waves.
  • Slow and underpowered main shot, meaning even the popcorn enemies take multiple hits.
  • Analogue movement - no focus button for digital controls.
  • Scoring heavily dependent on randomised drops.
  • Cheap traps used frequently, including arbitrarily dropping a piano on you for the craic.
  • A daft system of powering down upon being hit. Lots of games do this, but here, power-up capsules are tossed from your ship to be collected again, only they can disappear all at once if you're anywhere near the edges of the screen.
  • Odd time limit system in place of lives - also ill-conceived.
  • It's very long, outstaying its welcome by several stages. Between this and the dodgy structure, it kills any motivation to try for a single-credit run, or approach the game like a shmup at all.

It just seemingly does everything it can to hinder any potential build-up of flow or momentum, and for me it's a thorough lesson on What Not To Do in a shooting game. I'm completely with you on the story, too. It's offensive bollocks, and the acclaim heaped upon it is proof that video games make us stupid.

Last edited by Klatrymadon; 08-12-2017 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:19 AM
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I do have this. I kind of liked the idea of furries in a shooter, but geez, you make this sound like Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy. I didn't hate it as much as you, but I clearly didn't analyze it as thoroughly as you have. The story everyone seems to have a problem with just struck me as the typical grimdark crap we've been seeing in video games for well over a decade. Definitely forgettable, though.
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