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“I Just Think They're Neat.” Like What You are Playing

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
As someone with a lot of love for the original soundtrack, I don't really get what they're going for with the Reload version. I figured they might use the opportunity to do some cool remixes of the tracks, but in the end they just seem like off-brand versions of the originals? The few changes they've made don't really add anything, and the new instrument samples are cleaner but also way less cool and interesting than the old ones were. What happened to the deafening, thousand-ton drums on Master of Tartarus?
Yeah, I was assuming I was just having a bad reaction to change at first but I can't get into them either. I know a lot of the original soundtrack used samples from a library so maybe they wanted it to be more original this time? But that doesn't explain some of the other changes which I agree don't work. It's nice that the songs are so much longer so things are less repetitive, but eh.

I think the exam music is a good example. This one of one of my husband's favourite tracks of the original game and when I got to this in Reload he strongly disliked the new one. It's overall very similar, there's a new flute section which I do think is fun, but something about it just isn't as good.



Wonder if they'll offer the old soundtrack as an option (for free I hope but probably not). P3P just came out last year so doesn't seem like there would be a new licensing issue this year? I dunno.

Still having a good time. Also rumor has it people are finding files related to The Answer in here, so seems like that might be coming as DLC. Still very much a rumor of course.
 

Kazin

debased Chaotix enjoyer
(he/him)
Wow, I just looked up the Master of Tartarus remix on YT and that sucks. It sounds flat to me. Glad I bought the game on PC, there'll probably be a mod to put the original music back in, which I'll definitely be doing. What a strange decision.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I just played Spooky Jumpscare Mansion. I think it's free on steam? I have had it for ages.

You run around a mansion, with corridors that all look very samey, in first person. Sometimes, a cardboard ghost pops out, and you get a little heart attack (or you are not as sensitive to jumpscares as I am). This goes on for roughly 50 short rooms. Short as in a few seconds long.

Then I entered a room with some green slime on the floor. I read a note, and then the music got creepy, and a horrifying, floating monstrosity came towards me, slowly. I paniked, and ran away. I think it followed me into the next few rooms, but too slow.

Every 50 rooms, there is a save room. I expected to be, well, save, and did something on the phone. Suddenly, horrible noises came from my pc. I looked up and died. Horribly, I guess.


I guess I need to keep playing. I also think it will cost me ten years of my live. I probably shouldn't play it, I can't even deal with cardboard ghosts suddenly popping out of walls.
 

Baudshaw

Unfortunate doesn't begin to describe...
(he/him)
I finally got to Fire Emblem: Genealogy (FE4), and I think it's a good game. I'm currently on chapter 8.

Pros:
Chapters 2-5 are incredible. Not just in their scope, their scale, or their music; but also the gameplay that barely teeters on being too hard/too easy.

The arena/castle segments are nice. At first, I thought the trading costing money would be annoying, but it's a nice balancing act. I never felt like my units were low on exp, since you could just train them up in the arena.

The idea of pairing up your units and having them inherit growths and stuff is cool, if a little esoteric. It encourages repeat playthroughs.

The legendary S-rank weapons are the best out of any Fire Emblem game. They give massive stats and are better than your other weapons by an enormous margin, but they're quite rare to compensate.

The weapon diversity is massive, with lots of cool weapons such as the return staff, the valkyrie staff, the status swords, and the elemental 1-2 range weapons.

The ring system is much better than permanent consumables, and it's a shame it's never returned. The rings somehow feel more important, instead of just blending in with your unit's stats. It also takes up inventory space, so you have to manage your rings effectively.

Mixed:
The plot. I like the stuff with Arvis and Julius, but I'm not sure how to feel about the numerous incestual stuff going on. Also, while Sigurd's barbecue at chapter 5 is interesting, his actual personality is nothing more than "benevolent conqueror guy". I think either Lewyn or Deirdre should've been the main character.

Chapters 6-8 are a little too easy, but I did look up stuff about pairing. That being said, I didn't rely on the guides too much. But it still feels like the new units are too powerful, especially the pre-promotes such as Ced, Oifey, and Shannan.

The game really doesn't have a 'loss' state. If something bad happens, you can just reset back one turn, unless you make a catastrophic error. Although this is good for keeping the flow of the game, it does make it a bit too easy to brute force solutions.

Cons:
Extremely terrible speed/pacing, with an absurd amount of backtracking. Consider bringing a speed-up tool.

The battle animations are way too long and not very good; but you can just turn them off.

The legendary weapon requirements are far too strict.


For now, I'll give it a 9/10 with speedup, and 7/10 without speedup.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I have now played two levels of Ruff & Tumble. It certainly is not The Ultimate 3d Jump'n'Run, as the commercial would have wanted me to think. But it does feel like a poor mans Banjo Kazooie.

The BK inspiration is, I think, clear. The artstyle invokes that game, it is cartoony in a similar way. Which, granted, might just be a thing of the time. But there was also some cartoony character (I think an antropomorphized clock?) who mumbled, while text was showing, so I stick with this being a BK imitator.

I don't think, that it really understands what 3d jump'n'runs really were about. In BK, Spyro or Mario 64, you have these small, open-world-y levels, where you run around, solve small puzzles, collect stuff, and that's it. Here, you have linear levels, at least that's how the first two work. Basically, you have corridors. You also have floaty physics with bad battle controls. You have to transform sometimes, which runs out after a time, but you can easily find refills for the timer, and the main thing that these transformations do, aside from letting you fight better, is to open marked switched. Also, I think you often can't avoid damage, which is solved by giving you a ton of health. And if you are hit, it's like with Sonic - your health is visible on the ground, and you can recollect it for a short amount of time.

Dunno, maybe I'm unfair. It's clearly for kids - the story is about some weirdo, who can't sleep, so he decides that no one is allowed to have nice dreams. Which means that he imprisons these little guys who are responsible for these good dreams. And it is, as implied, very easy, at least at the start. I certainly hoped for something more open. Honestly, it's an ok game. I might have liked it as a kid (probably depending on the age). It does what it does ok, not more, but also not less. That's why I'm here, and not in the gripe thread.

I'm certainly glad that, after more than two decades, I finally can try this game. And it also has this late-90s feel, which is always nice.

Also, this game has no entry in How Long to Beat. At least not under "Ruff", "Tumble" or "Ruff & Tumble".
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I had to look this up and apparently that was the game known as 40 Winks here in the US. Which really gets across the general premise of the game better.

Also an unrelated 2D Amiga game had a similar name (Ruff 'N' Tumble).
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Ah, with that name it's on How Long to Beat. Around ten hours, which is a good time.

The name makes some sense, because the boy you can play as is called Ruff, and his sisters name is Tumble (or maybe vice versa). I think they are completely equivalent, so it's nice that you can play as a girl, if you want.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
So far Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a really good Metroidvania. I've got probably almost 12-13 hours in, and there's still plenty more to do. But it doesn't feel like it's overstaying its welcome yet, either - it's full of what I consider solid content. Combat is also pretty darn tough - very reliant on dodges and counters, the latter of which sees me eat it a bunch because sometimes enemies pull moves fast. But it's been well worth the $50 I dropped on it.
 

Kazin

debased Chaotix enjoyer
(he/him)
.hack//Mutation done, combined playtime is a little over 25 hours between it and the first game. These are really not long or particularly difficult games. I'm enjoying being surprised when the credits roll, since the story is spread around four short games, the final boss has come as a surprise both times so far lol. I was able to beat this one quite easily, basically using the same tactics as the final boss from the first game.
 
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Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I always assumed they were longer than that, which maybe makes it more egregious that they split it across four games? I've definitely wanted to play through them at some point, but I don't know how soon that will be. I've owned them since they came out...

Also, they really should consider giving them the Last Recode treatment.
 

Kazin

debased Chaotix enjoyer
(he/him)
Yeah back in the day, they'd be kind of a rip off. $200 for what I'm guessing will be about 50 hours of content? Not great! lol

Lucky we can just play them for free now. I did buy the Last Recode set for $10 on sale last week, though I'm debating whether to play that or the PS2 originals.

EDIT: They gave me a level 1 party member at the beginning of the third game, which I am of course going to level up. The devs know my brain poison lol
 
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Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Thankfully, I didn't pay full price for any of them, I waited for sales and snagged them for probably an average of $20 each. I used to take advantage of GameStop's B2G1 sales quite frequently.

I'm missing the first two GU games from my collection, somehow stumbled across the third for cheap back when it was selling for a lot more than now what with Last Recode out now. I should consider adding them to the collection anyway...
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
"Like" is the wrong word, for Spooky Jumpscare Mansion. I just think it does an amazing job, considering that it looks like a dumb joke, at the start. But I had to give up, this game is just too much to me. I can't deal with jumpscares. A cardboard spider popped out of a hole in the ceiling. But unlike the other cardboard monsters you meet, it isn't alone. On the ground, a bunch of horrifying spider-like creatures bit me, and I was in such an immediate panic, that I couldn't react, before being killed. Uninstalled, and removed from Steam, I don't want to see this game ever again.

But, honestly, if you can actually deal with jumpscares, give it a shot. I think it does what it does very well.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
As someone who really likes Marvel comics, Deckbuilding RPGs and XCOM, I assumed I’d like Midnight Suns, you know, a fair amount.

I did not expect to completely fall in love before I finished the tutorial missions.

Hucking bad guys at other bad guys is among the most fun things you can do in video games, and *by god* this is a game that took “huck bad guys at other bad guys* as its main conceit and built everything else around that
 

Baudshaw

Unfortunate doesn't begin to describe...
(he/him)
Fire Emblem: Genealogy is a good time. It's unique from most Fire Emblem games and experiments with a lot of stuff, some of which has never come up in another game. I like the love system, and creating super-powerful child units by shipping two people together is a lot of fun. I also love the maps, especially how they actually line up with the world map. It's such a cool and grand adventure.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Hucking bad guys at other bad guys is among the most fun things you can do in video games, and *by god* this is a game that took “huck bad guys at other bad guys* as its main conceit and built everything else around that
I dunno if you're interested in Baldur's Gate 3 at all, but you can build a character specifically to do this. It's the best thing.
 

Kazin

debased Chaotix enjoyer
(he/him)
So I beat .hack//Outbreak and .hack//Quarantine over the past week or so. I really enjoyed myself! At least until the final dungeon of the Quarantine, which is just a slog. There's a mechanic that is present in the entire series where if you "Data Drain" too many enemies without killing a bunch of them normally, you'll get a game over. I didn't use Data Drain too much outside when I had to - there are enemies called "Data Bugs" that can only be killed with Data Drain, and the final dungeon is full of them. Makes sense thematically, since it's the end of the game and data bugs are not supposed to be present within "The World" (the name for the MMORPG game-within-a-game), but functionally... You have to spend a ton of time just hitting data bugs over and over again with your normal attack, while not letting your party members kill them, so you can slowly... Slowly... lower your infection rate, which is done by using regular melee attacks and by finishing off regular enemies. It's a ten floor dungeon (twice the normal size of dungeons) and I was level 90 (the cap is 99), and it took like two hours to get to the final boss and beat it. The final boss isn't even difficult, really, just time consuming.

Still... I really love the conceit of the series. Playing an "online" game where you can die in the real world by playing it is so fun, combined with the email system and message board, it's like it's tailored to exactly me. It does a great job of feeling like an early 2000s online game experience, while also having unique mechanics (Data Drain) and a story. I've heard the sequel series plays a lot better (these games are pretty repetitive, and I would not call the combat mechanics deep at all), and from everything I've read online, I'm going to play the remake "Last Recode" on Switch since it includes a fourth part we never got on PS2, but if they ever remade Infection/Mutation/Outbreak/Quarantine I'd definitely play them.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
It's not going to be my game of the year of anything, but Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore is a good time for an evening. The backtracking is a little much, and some of the "puzzles" are obtuse (I spent way too long trying to uncover a hidden fly to make progress), but past those caveats, I had nothing but fun with this CD-i wannabe title. Special bonus: all the villains are ineffectual, just the way I like 'em.
 
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