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Eliwood8

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Eliwood8 last won the day on December 28 2018

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About Eliwood8

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    SW-2605-6540-4133
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  1. ACIII had the unenviable job of following the ACII trilogy, which I believe is still considered the peak of the franchise. I personally wouldn't call ACIII the weakest in the series, but after Ezio, Connor was totally lackluster, and after the gorgeous architecture of Italy, the woods of North America just weren't as exciting. And even if ACIII did start the ship and sailing component of the franchise, I'd argue that subsequent games did it better anyway. Regardless, I'm pretty sure the reason ACIII is getting ported over any other AC is because the PS4/XOne port is coming soon and ACIII was on Wii U, so it's probably less work to get it working on Switch.
  2. Eliwood8

    Moonlighter Review

    Out of all of the shopkeepers in video games that sell equipment to the chosen hero, how many must wish they could set out on a grand adventure of their own? In Moonlighter, such a shopkeep gets his chance, as the game blends simple shop management with dungeon-crawling action, with just a touch of Roguelike mechanics to keep players on their toes. The cycle of fighting monsters, gathering loot, then selling it in your shop proves to be a somewhat repetitious loop, but an enjoyable one all the same. Moonlighter takes place entirely within Rynoka village, a small hamlet that sprung up because of the nearby presence of a group of mysterious gates that transport adventurers into monster-filled dungeons. Will, the owner of the Moonlighter shop, dreams of entering the dungeons himself and exploring their vast riches. The game sets up a nice little world, complete with cryptic notes left by previous adventurers within the dungeons, but don't expect too much storytelling here. What little dialogue there is is fun but sadly rather light—the vast majority of the game is focused on the two halves of the gameplay: exploration and shop management. Each day in Moonlighter is divided into day and night (and don't worry, although there is a bed in your shop you don't have to worry about sleeping regularly or running out of stamina). During the day you can chat with villagers in town and open up your shop to sell items; during the night you can explore one of the four dungeons just outside of town. You can also dive into the dungeons during the day but the shop can only be opened during the day, so you do want to be a little careful how you manage your time. Regardless, Moonlighter is all about the constant cycle of procuring items from the dungeons—dropped from defeated enemies or found in treasure chests—and selling them in your shop, allowing you to buy better equipment and delve further into the dungeons. It's a simple but quite satisfying loop, one that can be quite addictive as you gradually manage to earn more and more money on each trip into the dungeons and try to maximize your profits on each run—who would've thought making money would be addictive? Moonlighter includes light Roguelike elements to keep the dungeon-crawling interesting. Every time you enter a dungeon the map will be randomly generated, though there are always three levels (plus a boss room) and every level has a healing pool. The monsters you find will be slightly randomized but each dungeon has its own selection of creatures and there isn't actually that much variety—instead you run into the typical power tier system, i.e. you might run into a level 1 golem on the first floor and then a level 3 golem on the third floor. You'll also occasionally stumble into hidden rooms, but again there isn't a huge variety here either, and it quickly becomes clear that the Roguelike elements ultimately help Moonlighter recycle gameplay features over and over. That's not to say the dungeon exploration isn't fun, but after a couple of hours you'll catch on to the typical tricks the game uses and then there won't be many surprises left in any later dungeon. The challenge of collecting as many valuable items as possible during your time in the dungeon is still there, but the game lacks exciting set piece moments. Combat also leaves something to be desired, as cutting down the same handful of enemy types over and over doesn't help spice up the gameplay either. You do have a small variety of weapons to choose from, though purchasing them can be prohibitively expensive (at least early in the game) which makes experimenting hard. Instead you'll probably end up just sticking to a couple of weapons you like straight through to the end of the game, upgrading them as you progress. And combat itself doesn't have much variety in combos or attack patterns, which can make it a little monotonous. Worse still, the healing pools on every floor, although a huge boon to the player, make combat less tense since you can always run back to the pool to heal up after every enemy encounter. Just like the exploration elements, the combat isn't bad but its simple repetitiveness reveals itself pretty quickly. Managing your shop may not be as deadly as dungeon exploration but it still requires a good deal of micromanagement. In order to sell things you have to both display them in your shop and set a fair price—too high and nobody will buy the item, but if you set the price too low you'll be missing out on profits. Shop management in Moonlighter is a bit like spinning plates as you need to keep on your toes to restock shelves, ring up customers, and chase down thieves. In somewhat opposite fashion to the dungeon-crawling half of the game, shop management has some complex details that ultimately feel kind of pointless. For example, when items are in high demand you can mark up the price a bit, but if you saturate the market and demand drops, customers won't put up with the higher price tag. It's an interesting concept but in practice it just seems to be more trouble than its worth, same with other details like hiring an assistant or fulfilling specific requests from townspeople. And yet, all that said, Moonlighter still proves to be fairly addictive. There might not be a ton of depth to the action, but there is something wonderfully engaging about escaping a dungeon with a backpack full of loot and turning a tidy profit in your shop, then doing it all again. The whole gameplay structure is brazenly cyclical, but players that enjoy the slow, steady progress of purchasing better equipment and exploring a little further bit by bit will surely enjoy Moonlighter. Micromanaging your limited inventory space within dungeons then managing shelf space in your shop is oddly satisfying, from your first dungeon run to your last. Pixel graphics in an indie game are anything but new at this point, but Moonlighter's graphics are undeniably charming all the same. There's not much in the visuals that particularly stands out at first but the design has a beautiful simplicity to it that's crisp and colorful, even when you're wandering through a dungeon for the tenth time. The music, meanwhile, is pretty great, with a lot of catchy songs that feel perfect for either exploration or keeping a watchful eye on your shop. Even if the gameplay starts to feel grindy after a while it's always fun to groove along to the music. Moonlighter mashes up two game genres into a charming little game that is undeniably repetitive and yet still manages to maintain a magnetic appeal from the first moment to the last. The micro rewards of finding valuable loot and earning a good bit of money makes for a perfect impetus to keep exploring the dungeons over and over, and the Roguelike elements help add a bit of variety without dragging down the experience into tediously difficult territory. Moonlighter may appeal to a niche audience—fans of both dungeon-crawlers and shop management sims—but the happy medium it finds between the two genres proves to be a uniquely engaging one. Rating: 7 out of 10 Dungeons
  3. Eliwood8

    Super Mario Maker 2 / June 2019

    I wonder how smooth it will actually be to place tiles using either the Switch's touch screen or a controller, but otherwise everything in the trailer looks awesome.
  4. Eh, I've never particularly enjoyed playing Tetris against other players, I just want a solo endless mode and I'd be happy. I've made it up to 6th place a couple of times but I don't see myself putting much more time into this.
  5. Eliwood8

    Link's Awakening coming to Switch

    Have players forgotten, or have they just woken up?
  6. Gonna have to rewatch the Direct later because my stream kept cutting out for some reason. Quick thoughts right now though: - Super Mario Maker 2 looks great! - Boxboy is back! I'm quite behind on the series though—I still need to play the third game. - What a tease with the Smash Ultimate update. - Dragon Quest XI S is so far away! Still looking forward to it though. - Oninaki from Square Enix seems like it could be interesting, and I'm always down for an RPG. I'm kind of getting I Am Setsuna vibes from it though, which was overall a disappointing game. Have to keep an eye on previews and impressions for this one. EDIT: Ah, yeah it's from the same developers, so yeah I'm not 100% sold on their track record. - Fire Emblem: Three Houses: to be honest I'm not loving this setting/backstory, but the battle system still looks good. - I'd totally forgotten Daemon X Machina was even a thing. I'm down to try the demo though. - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on the Switch: interesting. Been meaning to play this for a long time, now I guess I'll give it a go on the Switch. - Astral Chain: I liked what I was seeing in the trailer, and hearing Platinum Games is developing only further piques my interest. - Link's Awaking remake: yeah I'm down for a LA remake. It's not a Zelda game I remember super well so I'd gladly replay an updated version.
  7. Eliwood8

    Red Dead Redemption 2 discussion

    Sorry for bumping but I finally put some time into RDR2 (after getting it for Christmas) and, although I'm enjoying it, the little details like slowly picking up every individual item is really grating on my patience. I'm still overall enjoying the game, but not as much as RDR1, or at least not as much as I remember liking it—I'm sure there were plenty of little things that annoyed me in that game while playing it.
  8. I'm excited that they specifically called out Fire Emblem: Three Houses—looking forward to getting more details about that game.
  9. Trademark speculation always feels pretty futile but I do still have my fingers crossed that Square Enix will localize the Seiken Densetsu collection.
  10. Eliwood8

    Video Games Finished in 2019

    - Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Switch) To be honest I got a little burnt out playing this—pacing could definitely be tighter—but I do enjoy a good RPG. [image] - Mutant Mudds (Switch) Bought the Mutant Mudds Collection for Switch since it was on sale for so cheap. Been a long time since I played the original game and it still holds up well. [image] - Moonlighter (Switch) Pretty repetitive and grindy, but there's also something addictive about the loop of exploring, collecting loot, and selling it. If the combat was more engaging it'd be really great. [image] - Mutant Mudds Super Challenge (Switch) Damn, forgot how hard this game actually is. And playing it back to back with the original really emphasizes that too. [image] - Gunhouse (PS4) I don't know why but it took me a long time to wrap my head around the gameplay mechanics in this game. Maybe it's just because the whole thing feels better suited to a touch screen. Anyway it's kind of a "meh" quality game but a decent time waster at least. [image] I didn't read the challenge list too closely before; here are the ones I've completed: Bronze (1 point): 4) When In Rome: Beat a game with a Roman numeral in the title (YIIK: A Postmodern RPG) 6) Super Title 64 Advance: Beat a game with Super, 64 or Advance in the title (New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe) 9) Baker's Dozen: Beat 13 games C : 15 H: 0 P: 0 M: 0 O: 15 Challenges: 3 points
  11. What's caused the Tales games to have such inconsistent appearances on Nintendo systems? Despite originally premiering on the Super Famicom in 1995 with Tales of Phantasia, most Tales releases have skipped over Nintendo systems entirely and the last two games, Tales of the Abyss for 3DS and Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition for the Switch, have been ports. Still, Nintendo-RPG fans take their thrills where they can get them, and even if Vesperia is a 10-year old port, the franchise's signature action-RPG combat and colorful anime-inspired visuals make for a lengthy, engaging adventure. Vesperia's main protagonist is Yuri Lowell, a former imperial knight who is now something of a vigilante, standing up for the lower-quarter peasants against the uncaring nobility. Yuri is still a fairly classic take on the good-guy-protagonist trope, but his flippant attitude and determination to do what's right, even if it means doing something wrong along the way, makes him an interesting focal point for the story. The overall plot starts off extremely slow in Vesperia, though. Yuri's adventure begins with chasing down a thief, and the low stakes of his quest don't really rise until nearly halfway through the game (i.e. dozens of hours for an RPG like this). It makes the first half of the game feel a bit plodding, especially as the characters frequently, and quite needlessly, spend time discussing what each of them want to do next. The plot eventually develops some interesting twists (though still sticks to classic save-the-world tropes) but the pacing of the storytelling can make slow sections of the game feel even slower. Like all Tales games, Vesperia uses the Linear Motion Battle System, meaning battles are carried out in real-time and you have full control over one character to move freely around the battlefield and attack while the AI controls the rest of your party. This kind of action-oriented battle system can be a welcome change from traditional turn-based battles, since it makes battles a bit more engaging, almost like a fighting game as you chain together attacks and try to find the best time to block or dodge. Vesperia isn't an all-out fighting game though, and your actions feel somewhat slow and stiff—even if the gameplay is real-time you still have to think strategically about how you approach enemies. And to fight well you need to be particularly thoughtful about how you time your attacks and chain together standard strikes and special abilities called Artes. Like most RPGs it's the boss battles that truly shine and require the most strategic thought, and are hence both particularly challenging and more rewarding. The battle system also has its frustrating moments as well, though. For one thing, battling against groups of enemies is almost always a tedious endeavor since they can very easily stunlock you and deal massive damage. As you play you'll get better at avoiding such scenarios but especially in the early parts of the game it's downright frustrating. Additionally, you're always going to be wishing that your party's AI were a little smarter. You can set certain strategy plans to dictate how they act in battle (i.e. focus on healing, keep your distance from enemies, or even customize which Artes they can use), but even with these guidelines your party never feels like it's operating as efficiently as it could, especially when combos are a big part of the battle system—too often an ally's attack might knock an enemy out of your combo. On the bright side, you can have up to three friends join you in battle, and multiplayer combat tends to be much better coordinated—as long as your friends are pulling their weight. It's worth bringing a friend or two along though since another human brain in the mix has a large effect on how battles play out. Like many great RPGs, Vesperia has an almost overwhelming amount of content to sift through. In addition to learning Artes as you level up, you can also learn Skills by equipping different weapons. Skills can be as simple as increasing your strength or maximum health or have more specific benefits such as letting you chain together different Artes for longer combos. Even though you only gradually learn skills as you play they can still be somewhat overwhelming to deal with as they represent the more technical side of Vesperia's combat system. The game doesn't always do a great job of explaining the nitty gritty details of efficient Skill management, but it's also forgiving enough that the learning pains aren't too harsh. Speaking of not explaining things, Vesperia has a bad habit of hiding side quests and side content in obscure nooks and crannies throughout the game. Some of these can be as simple as an extra short cutscene, but it's still a bit annoying to miss out on things that require revisiting previous towns with no indication that there's anything new to see there. Still, even if you don't spend much time poking around for side quests, Vesperia will likely last you a good 50 hours, plenty of value for the cost of the game. This Definitive Edition also adds a few extra features, including two additional playable characters, so there's plenty of value in this little Switch cartridge. Be aware that the game has some minor instability problems, though. I experienced three crashes while playing, and one of them was far enough from a save point that I lost a good amount of progress. The cause of crashes doesn't seem to be consistent but with the threat out there it's more important than ever to save at every available opportunity. Vesperia's graphics are a good reminder of just how long 10 years actually is when it comes to video game design. That's not to say the visuals are bad, but there are few areas of the game that really push the environment graphics to be anything more than scenery, and the jagged edges of polygon models are readily apparent anytime there's a close-up. Still, the colorful anime-influence of the art design is charming and gives the characters a decent amount of personality, even if the animation can feels somewhat stiff at times. What's really disappointing is the inconsistent frame rate that can make some scenes look a little choppy—thankfully this is never an issue within battles though, and you can trust to perfectly smooth action while dishing up combos and devastating Artes. The music also has its ups and downs. There are a few standout tunes on the soundtrack but much of the music feels forgettable, and the voice work is equally inconsistent, mostly for the characters not in the main party. This Definitive Edition also includes the Japanese voices as an option every time you boot up the game though, so you can experiment with what sounds best for you. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition offers up a ton of action-RPG enjoyment, whether you're slashing away at basic monsters or pulling out all the stops during intense boss fights in the real-time combat system. The game has a bad habit of slowing down engagement of the game with a somewhat plodding storyline and an overabundance of nitty gritty details with finding side quests or managing Skills, but RPG fans will certainly enjoy the wealth of gameplay here, particularly the new features that round out this Definitive Edition. Rating: 8 out of 10 Artes
  12. Eliwood8

    Nintendo Q3 Hardware/Software Sales

    It's crazy how well Smash Ultimate has sold. I mean, I know I shouldn't be surprised since it's Smash Bros., but still, very impressive.
  13. Eliwood8

    New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Review

    Oh I didn't mean advancement in general—certainly the graphics should advance in some way. I'm just wondering how they could do it in an inventive way, instead of using the NSMB style yet again. I'd love a Mario game that is entirely like that Van Gogh-inspired swamp level in NSMBU, or maybe a game where each world has a unique visual style.
  14. Eliwood8

    New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Review

    I definitely think it's time to drop the cookie cutter visual/audio design of the New Super Mario Bros. games, though I wonder just how much Nintendo is willing to experiment with their flagship IP. The gameplay, at least, remains solid, so at least it's always fun to play even if the graphics have gotten uninspired over the years.
  15. Eliwood8

    Smash Saturdays Returns! See Updated OP

    Lot of good practice with Piranha Plant tonight! Both playing as and defending against. But yeah if only the connection were more consistently stable, but I guess that's just a…pipe dream.
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