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Eliwood8

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Eliwood8 last won the day on November 12

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About Eliwood8

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    Grandmaster Tactician

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  • Nintendo Switch
    SW-2605-6540-4133
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  1. - Gato Roboto (Switch) A fun micro-Metroid game, though I wish it were longer (and that the controls weren't so slippery; I definitely crashed into things a lot). [image] - My Friend Pedro (Switch) Honestly, didn't like it as much as I thought I would. There's a surprising difficulty curve to really getting the hang of the game's sense of flow which means if you don't take the time to really train with the game it isn't that interesting. [image] - The Last of Us Remastered (PS4) Stealth kills are always satisfying—honestly I could do without any of the gun fights, just give me the stealth sections. The "puzzle" elements of the game are definitely meager, though. [image] - Astral Chain (Switch) Stylish and satisfying combat—pretty much what I'd expect from Platinum Games. [image] - Banner Saga 2 (Switch) Another great entry in "Excruciating Decisions: The Game." Looking forward to playing the third game and being similarly paralyzed with indecision. [image] C : 103 H: 2 P: 0 M: 0 O: 105 Challenges: 16 points
  2. It can be pretty unforgiving, even on the lowest difficulty, but I still recommend checking it out if you're interested in the style/setting!
  3. Sparklite seems interesting, I definitely want to give it a try. And my eShop wishlist grows and grows.
  4. A wisecracking duck and a taciturn boar traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape while scavenging supplies for one of the last populated settlements on Earth—well, there are stranger premises for a game. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Deluxe Edition it a tough-as-nails tactical-RPG, one that regularly puts your small band of mutants against overwhelming enemy forces and expects you to work out the best strategy for taking each enemy down without overextending your meager resources. The gameplay can be wonderfully tense and engaging, though the game's performance on the Switch leaves much to be desired. At the beginning of the game you play as Dux and Bromin (the aforementioned mutant duck and boar, respectively) though you eventually gain a few more allies along the way. The mutant pair are Stalkers, elite scavengers able to brave the hazards of the mutated landscape and bring back supplies to the Ark, the home of the remaining survivors. The post-apocalyptic setting admittedly feels a little cliché here (seen one post-apocalyptic hellscape seen 'em all, am I right?) but the writing in Mutant Year Zero still manages to shine thanks to the personalities of the playable characters and their small interactions. In fact, one of the best reasons to replay the game—aside from the gameplay—might be to hear all of the various dialogue possibilities depending on who is currently in your party. Mutant Year Zero is a turn-based tactical shooter RPG in the vein of XCOM or Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. On your turn, you move your characters around a grid-based battlefield—ideally keeping them hidden behind cover—and attack enemies with a small variety of guns or special mutant powers. Each character only has two actions per turn (move, heal, reload, attack, etc.) and attacking always ends that character's turn, so you have to plan your actions carefully. Like other games in this genre Mutant Year Zero can feel punishingly difficult at times. In terms of sheer numbers and firepower you're pretty much always at a disadvantage compared to the enemy, and any little mistake on your part can and will be punished. The key to survival is scouting out the map and planning your approach to each battle carefully—if you charge in blindly you're never going to get anywhere in this game. It's a genre that truly rewards patience and forethought, which also makes it incredibly satisfying when things go well and you survive a fight without a single scratch. For as difficult as it can be, Mutant Year Zero is also awfully addictive: it feels pretty great when you efficiently sweep through an enemy force with just your motley band of mutants. The game also highly encourages stealthy attacks in order to pare down the enemy's numbers before a full-fledged firefight begins. You're able to see each enemy's field of vision and you have a small selection of silenced weapons to allow you to pick off weaker, isolated targets. Of course, there are always some enemies that are too closely clumped together or are simply too strong to be killed before they can alert their friends, but having a chance at stealthily eliminating targets is not only hugely helpful for survival but awfully fun as well—the only thing better than executing a well-planned attack is doing it in stealth so the enemy doesn't even have a chance to react. And ultimately there is a decent amount of variety in how you approach each fight. You'll eventually have five playable characters at your disposal (though you can only bring three into any fight) and each character has his or her own skill tree of mutations. This is essentially how you level up throughout the game. In addition to some passive bonuses like increased health or movement range, you can equip mutations that allow for special attacks in battle, such as stunning an enemy with a powerful charge or shooting twice in one turn. Some are almost comically unbalanced with how much more useful they are compared to others, but regardless, your selection of mutations is the perfect way to customize your play style, or even just adjust how you approach a specific fight. Are there a lot of robotic enemies on the map? Try using mutations that can stun robots with EMP attacks. One extra-powerful enemy giving you trouble? Try brainwashing him to make him fight for you for a few turns. Mutant Year Zero provides just enough variety to let you try new things or encourage a second playthrough without overwhelming you with options. The game isn't without its problems, though. For a game that encourages scavenging the battlefield, it can be a little tedious just how slowly your characters move. When you're sneaking around it makes sense to move slowly and carefully, but when the battle is over it would be nice if they could pick up the pace. Mutant Year Zero also suffers from some technical issues, which is particularly disappointing since the load times aren't exactly short either. I ran into a few problematic bugs while playing, including a battle where an enemy fell through the floor, meaning I wasn't able to shoot him and had to restart the whole fight. It's a shame these issues haven't been addressed as of this writing. Mutant Year Zero also takes a noticeable hit in the graphics department with this Switch port. The frame rate can be rather inconsistent, which doesn't inhibit the gameplay but is still bothersome. The quality of the resolution also takes a notable dive in handheld mode. It's too bad since there's clearly a cool aesthetic at work here, but it doesn't feel like it lives up to its maximum potential on the Switch. On the audio side of things, the music is solid—moody, atmospheric—and the voice acting is well done, but my one minor quibble is wishing I could fast-forward through dialogue at times just to speed up some cutscenes. The base game can last a good twelve hours or so, with a small amount of side quests and optional areas that you can tackle. As mentioned there is also plenty of replay value thanks to varied mutations or trying a higher level of difficulty (though normal is plenty challenging on its own). Additionally, since this is a Deluxe Edition, it also includes the Seed of Evil DLC, which adds an entire short campaign as well as another playable character. This edition also includes the Stalker Trials mode which gives you challenging fights and lets you compare your score to others online. The base campaign may only be a modest length but there is plenty of additional content and replay value here. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Deluxe Edition offers some excellent tactical-RPG gameplay wrapped up in a stylish post-apocalyptic world of mutants and mutations. Strategy fans will love the high challenges available here, though less experienced players should be warned the game doesn't pull any punches. Sadly Mutant Year Zero has some pervasive technical issues on the Switch, but if you're willing to overlook them you'll find a richly rewarding and addictive tactical-RPG. Rating: 8 out of 10 Mutants
  5. Seeing the two versions side by side really emphasizes the question: what the hell were they thinking with that first design? Granted, this is only a single screenshot, but just look at how much more expressive Sonic is in the new version, and how he doesn't look like an unholy abomination anymore.
  6. Yeah, there's still that sense of majestic acrobatics while gunning down chumps, it's just not as smooth as I'd like it to be.
  7. A balletic murderer teams up with a floating psychic banana—honestly sounds par for the course for publisher Devolver Digital. My Friend Pedro sets players on a path of acrobatic destruction as you gracefully leap, spin, and shoot your way through side-scrolling levels of bloody mayhem. The game's stylish combination of shooting and platforming has its rough spots, though. As the game begins, the player character wakes up with no recollection of what is happening, but a friendly banana (imaginary? Hallucinatory? It's unclear) tells you to start shooting people, so that's what you do. It's totally absurd, in a good way, and to the game's credit it doesn't try to be much more than that. The game never bogs down the player with lengthy explanations of what is happening. At most, each level begins with a few odd, funny comments from your friend Pedro the banana, and then it's time to get into the ballet of carnage. My Friend Pedro puts a distinctly acrobatic spin on the side-scrolling shooter genre. Each level has you careening through a stage, shooting down enemies while diving through the air, ricocheting bullets off of frying pans, and pirouetting to dodge enemy fire. The basic goal is to reach the end of the level, but more importantly you want to do it with style and earn a high score by maintaining a chain of kills. In concept, My Friend Pedro is a delightfully energetic and stylish side-scrolling shooter. The execution, however, leaves something to be desired. For a game that is fundamentally built around smooth, acrobatic movements, the controls are surprisingly awkward. Your movements are far from graceful when just leaping over a small obstacle feels clumsy, which is only exacerbated in the platforming-heavy sections of the game. For some reason the default control scheme also just doesn't feel quite comfortable—I felt my fingers tripping over themselves to smoothly fire, reload, dodge, and activate slow motion with any sense of fluidity. At the very least, My Friend Pedro carries a high difficulty curve when you first start out. The first few levels—in fact, really the whole first half of the game—might leave you feeling like you just can't get the hang of what the game clearly wants you to do. The good news though is that each level is quite short, so a bit of trial and error isn't too time-consuming. The bad news is that the game is fundamentally quite repetitive. There's some variety in the kinds of enemies and hazards thrown at you, but overall the levels blend together in a pretty repetitive pattern, so taking the time to replay each level to perfection will likely only appeal to the most dedicated players. Though at least you can show off your skills with the online leaderboard. The game's presentation can be fairly repetitive as well, unfortunately. Your simple yellow outfit does have a nice way of popping against the more drab, industrial scenery, but after several levels of just that, the visuals can feel bland. Aside from one brief section in the middle of the game, My Friend Pedro surprisingly doesn't play up its surreal aspects. The music is in a similar mixed-bag position. The soundtrack, on it's own, has some great energetic tunes, but while you're playing it's hard to pay attention to any of it over the constant sound of gunfire. My Friend Pedro puts a stylish spin on side-scrolling shooters, but the result may only appeal to the most dedicated high-score-chasing players. Considering the short length of the game it's a shame how long it takes for the controls to feel comfortable, and even once you've got the basics down the challenge of actually earning a decent score might dissuade most players. My Friend Pedro is a unique experience, but ultimately a little too niche. Rating: 7 out of 10 Bananas
  8. I wonder when or if we'll see another Layton game. Seemed like the public reaction to Katrielle was squarely underwhelmed (and I agree) but I do enjoy the puzzle game formula of Layton.
  9. Terry's pretty fun to play; nice balance of speed and power, and having two side specials is pretty cool, though I definitely screwed up using the kick one a few times, sending myself off the ledge. If Ryu and Ken are any indication though I'll never get the hang of inputting the special commands consistently.
  10. At this point I hope it's just going to be 45 minutes of us watching Sakurai play with two controllers in complete silence.
  11. The difficulty definitely spikes in the post-game, that surprised me. But it's not too bad for me so far, just means I have to play thoughtfully instead of breezing through a lot of the game's boss fights like in the main adventure. And more than ever it's worth pursuing every side quest to earn bonuses/powerful equipment.
  12. Crazy how much Fire Emblem's fortunes have changed over the past few years. From a series that was never even released outside of Japan to a multi-million selling franchise. Still waiting for the rest of the Japan-only games to be remastered as Echoes, though!
  13. Yeah I decided to wait until I finished the main story before writing the review, so it was almost an entire month of playing before I started writing! I really need to get back to Three Houses as well. I'm in the middle of a Blue Lions playthrough, but put it on hold while playing Dragon Quest. As soon as I finish the post-game content though I'll be right back to the academy!
  14. - Anthill (Switch) Always game for a good tower defense game that can keep me so glued to the screen. [image] - Minit (Switch) I like the concept and it's a clever distillation of the adventure game genre, but I still wish it was a little longer/more fleshed out. [image] - Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Switch) I'm not really a super dedicated Dragon Quest fan but they're always fun, and XI is no exception. Although now that I think about it I've played most of the main series entries, so I guess I'm more caught up on the series than I realized. [image] - Untitled Goose Game (Switch) Honk. - Mutant Year Zero (Switch) Fun tactical shooter/RPG once you get into it, though it's pretty challenging even on the lowest difficulty. Shame that the game isn't better optimized for the Switch too, had some annoying glitches when I played it. [image] C : 98 H: 2 P: 0 M: 0 O: 100 Challenges: 16 points
  15. Why is it that Dragon Quest has never reached quite the same popularity in the West as it has in Japan? For over thirty years the franchise has been a titan in the gaming industry, though the vast majority of that influence and importance comes from Japanese sales. Perhaps it's because the series has never been one to stray too far from its classic RPG roots. The mainline games have always had a unifying similarity, one that harkens back to more text-based RPG adventures. Like its predecessors, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age doesn't try to reinvent itself, instead relying on familiar design elements and classic gameplay. And the result is one of the best experiences you can have on the Switch. In XI S you play as the Luminary, a hero marked from birth, destined to defeat the Dark One and save the world. Upon setting out on your adventure you encounter all manner of hardship as every town you visit seems to be suffering from some problem that you'll need to help fix, and of course you'll find plenty of allies on the journey as well. The story in XI S doesn't try to be anything too fancy, and it really doesn't need to. Even across the long play time of the game the adventure never really flags thanks to the wide assortment of side characters you meet and help. More importantly, you can't help but be charmed by the playable characters. The main hero might be a typical silent protagonist, but getting to know the other characters and helping them on their personal journeys more than makes up for a few clichés along the way. XI S is all about classic DQ action. Familiar weapon/item names, memorable monster designs from over the years, and classic turn-based battles make the gameplay instantly familiar to anyone that has played a DQ title before. There are a few minor new frills, such as the pep system that gives a character a temporary power boost and access to special combo abilities with teammates currently in the battle. For the most part though, XI S follows the formula set by past games in the series, and it works beautifully. It may not be particularly new, but there's something to be said for just doing the classic formula so well. This is quintessential RPG action, and fans of the genre will love seeing the familiar mechanics at play in a game that is so vast and engaging. Because even if the basic gameplay feels standard, it is no less enthralling than any other modern RPG. XI S pulls you into the adventure with not just charming characters but a richly customizable combat experience that allows you to customize your characters' skills as they level up. Every character has an elaborate skill tree that allows you to build them as you like. Each character can use a couple of different weapons, but in the interest of using your skill points wisely you'll probably focus on one weapon for each character so you can reach the highest skills. It's a simple bit of customization but highly addictive, especially when you see a particularly powerful skill just out of reach, pushing you to level grind a little. And don't worry, you can easily reset you skill points at any save point/priest, so the game doesn't punish you for experimenting a little before finding the ideal set-up. It also helps that, on the game's standard difficulty setting, XI S is never very challenging. That doesn't mean you can totally drop your guard while playing, but this isn't the kind of RPG that requires heavy level grinding or sticking to one specific strategy to overcome bosses. You're pretty free to cook up whatever party composition or strategy you want, even swapping characters in battle at will. The overarching format of the game is classic linear RPG, but it has none of the rigidity that characterizes those games—you even recover all HP and MP every time you level up! Ultimately it feels like the best of both worlds. One final note on the game's customization options and ease of difficulty: early in the adventure you pick up an item called the Fun-Sized Forge, which allows you to craft weapons and armor with materials collected from monsters or found while exploring. Unlike games with similar crafting mechanics, this one is incredibly convenient and easy to use. For one thing, you can use the forge anywhere. Whether you're at a campsite or standing in the middle of a monster-infested dungeon, you can whip out the forge and craft new equipment, which is almost ridiculously convenient. You're also able to re-forge almost any of the equipment you already have, so even if you find a better sword than the one you've crafted previously, you can still spruce it up a little. Finally, if you're missing an ingredient you can purchase it right there in the forging menu—no need to find the right merchant who carries that specific item. Some materials can't be bought like this—generally the most rare materials in the game—but still, it's incredibly handy, especially since spending some gold on materials is pretty much always cheaper than buying new equipment outright. The forging process is also a mini-game where you try to temper the item to just the right quality which is actually pretty fun. And, perhaps not surprisingly, there's very little penalty for failing—you still get the item and can just re-forge it to try again. The Fun-Sized Forge is perhaps the best encapsulation of the game's sense of difficulty: incredibly lenient on the player, yet still charming and engaging. And it's particularly impressive that XI S maintains that charm and engagement throughout the entirety of its length. At minimum you can expect around sixty hours of play time out of this game, not to mention the various side quests you can tackle, including the Tickington quests that allow you to revisit the previous ten DQ games, which is a particularly fun feature for fans of the series that can recognize the key characters and locations of past adventures. On top of all of this, XI S also has a fairly extensive post-game with additional tasks for your party to accomplish. Suffice it to say you're getting your money's worth with this one. Another aspect of DQ that has never wavered over the years is the delightful artwork of Akira Toriyama. His style is so distinctly recognizable: it's always bright, colorful, and elegantly simple—even the monster designs have a goofy charm to them, notably the iconic Slime mascot. The recognizable artwork helps drive home the sense of DQ as an enduring, familiar pillar of gaming, a dependable friend for hours of classic RPG fun. And Toriyama's art style manages to stay just as charming with 3D character designs, though one of the coolest features in XI S is the ability to swap to 2D graphics, in case you want to really capture that classic RPG vibe. The best part is that every aspect of the game has a more traditional style as well while in 2D mode, e.g. battles play out more like old school RPGs where you select every character's action first then they play out depending on each character's speed. However, swapping between 3D and 2D can be a little inconvenient since you have to start from the beginning of a chapter/checkpoint, which means that if you decide to swap while in the middle of a chapter you'll lose all of your progress up to that point. It would have been great to be able to swap without that restriction in place. Like the visuals, the music also has plenty of familiar beats to it—longtime fans will no doubt feel a swell of nostalgia when the series fanfare first kicks in. There are plenty of great songs to enjoy in XI S, and like swapping between 3D and 2D you have two options at play. The original game was released with MIDI audio, which is one option here, or you can opt for the full orchestral arrangement for every song in the game, which is simply fantastic. This version of the game is also fully voiced, which adds a fun layer of personality to all of the silly dialogue found throughout the adventure. Plus you're able to choose between English and Japanese voices if you're the type to stick to the original audio as closely as possible. Dragon Quest has never been as flashy as other RPGs, but at this point I doubt fans would have it any other way. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age has the same sense of heartwarming charm, classic battle system, and sprawling amount of content as past games, making it an old school RPG fan's dream. There's something to be said for taking a classic formula and executing it so perfectly, and that's really the best description of Dragon Quest XI S that there is. It may not have wild surprises for longtime RPG or Dragon Quest aficionados, but it's hard to worry about that while enjoying a sprawling, beautifully designed adventure. Rating: 9 out of 10 Slimes
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