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Everything posted by Eliwood8

  1. Look at all of these developer doodles, it's adorable. And Doug Bowser signs his name with a Bowser doodle!
  2. It really is nice to see how quickly the community has embraced Doug Bowser. Reggie has had such meme-status iconography for so many years now but fans already seem totally on board for Bowser to be the face of NoA.
  3. Good games guys. I'm ashamed of my Ike's performance on his home turf but I'm pleased I still have Samus's combat flow down after all these years.
  4. Same, especially because I'm pretty sure I've seen that trailer before when the game was announced for other systems.
  5. It's pretty incredible that after so many years of mainline Final Fantasy games skipping over Nintendo systems, the Switch has played host to several titles that past Nintendo consoles have missed out on, including Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Originally released in 2006 for PS2, the game has gotten an HD makeover for this edition, as well as updates to the soundtrack and various gameplay adjustments such as a speed-up ability to make battles progress faster. Add in the Switch's portability and you've got arguably the definitive edition of a now classic RPG. The Zodiac Age takes place in Ivalice where the empires of Archadia and Rozarria are locked in an on-going war while the small kingdom of Dalmasca is caught between them. Like most Final Fantasy games you play as a ragtag group of heroes who band together purely from chance and yet must work together to stop the tyranny of the Archadian Empire. Unlike other titles in the series though there isn't much emphasis on your characters' personal journeys—the focus of the story in The Zodiac Age is more on the overarching political conflict. As such the storytelling feels a bit bare-boned. Without strong characters for the player to focus on it's hard to get fully invested in the conflict, and too often cutscenes feel rather boring as the characters simply go through the motions of finding a mystic power that can be used to stop the evil empire—pretty standard stuff in the realm of video games. It doesn't help that the writing seems to be made to mimic some sort of Shakespearean loftiness, but the execution falls well short of that mark. The writing is necessarily bad, but it never hits the highs that normally make RPG tales so engaging. Although The Zodiac Age retains all of the recognizable, trademark creatures and traits of the Final Fantasy series (chocobos, Moogles, character classes like white mage or black mage, etc.) there's a huge difference in how battles work here compared to previous entries in the franchise. For one thing, battles begin seamlessly—if you see an enemy in the field you can run up and attack it with no transition to a battle screen. You also only directly control one character at a time, though you're able to quickly swap characters (and even change characters in your active party in the middle of a battle). The key to the battle system here is the Gambit system, which allows you to essentially create auto-commands for your AI controlled party members to follow. For example, you might have your healer set to cast cure on an ally if their health drops below 50%, that way you don't have to manually enter that command any time it occurs during a fight. Every action, spell, or item can be set with the Gambit system, and you can purchase new commands to target a huge variety of enemy types to cover any situation. There's a degree to which the Gambit system makes it feel like the game is playing itself, but the benefits outweigh that minor annoyance. Standard battles fly by thanks to this feature, and given the real-time combat structure the alternative would be a tediously slow process of making sure each character is fighting intelligently. Plus you can always assume direct control over any character's actions anyway if you just need them to quickly do one thing, such as throw out a quick healing item. As is, the Gambit system feels like a happy medium—you have enough control over the AI that you won't feel stymied by their inability to adapt to changing circumstances during a battle, particularly a boss fight (and by the way, Gambits can be easily toggled on and off at any time as well) and at the same time you don't have to micromanage your party through every enemy encounter. This Final Fantasy game also has its own slight variation on character classes. You're able to choose a character's job (or license) right from the beginning—or at least, once you've unlocked it after a couple hours of playing—and from there you have access to a job board with various abilities that can be unlocked with license points. There are some similarities between boards but each class's most defining features are unique—for example, both white and black mages can unlock mystic armor to equip, but their respective white and black magic spells are unique to their job boards. You're able to select what to unlock or upgrade so there's a decent amount of freedom in choosing how your characters grow, though you're still limited by what equipment or spells you can buy in stores—unlocking the ability to cast Firaga early in the game is all well and good but useless until you've actually purchased the spell. There's something oddly addictive about opening up your job boards and poring over what to upgrade, though it's a shame that the physical classes have quite limited variety in terms of what they unlock. You're able to purchase non-magical techniques, but they're few in number and even more limited in use. It would've been nice to have more variety among the physical classes outside of weapon choice. A new feature for this edition of the game is the ability to swap licenses (in the original game you were stuck with whatever you initially chose). This is a great help in figuring out your ideal party structure, especially since each character can more or less excel in any job, and simply makes the game more convenient to play since you don't have to restart completely if you find a certain set-up just isn't to your liking. With the aforementioned speed-up ability as well, The Zodiac Age makes some valuable quality of life improvements that make the game more accessible. It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy game without a healthy dose of optional content, and The Zodiac Age features plenty of nooks and crannies to explore that are only safe to venture into once you've reached a decently high level. There's also the hunt system which tasks you with tracking down powerful monsters and defeating them. This process can be a bit tedious when the path to a monster is particularly obtuse, but hunts pose some good challenges that thorough players should enjoy tackling. This edition of the game also includes Trial Mode for an extra challenging gauntlet of fights that rewards you with rare items that can be transferred to your main game, perfect for players who want to put their skills to the test. The remastering of the game's visuals has done a great job of polishing the graphics. It is unmistakably a game that was originally released over a decade ago, and the art style has its ups and downs—from varied and imaginative creatures to some of the most ridiculous outfits, even by Final Fantasy standards—but the new coat of paint gives it a nice HD sheen, especially the full motion cutscenes. The voice acting, unfortunately, isn't quite able to shake off its clearly dated quality as several of the major characters sound rough, either from an acting perspective or just a sound quality perspective. This probably doesn't help with making the characters feel memorable and engaging. The soundtrack doesn't feel dated at all though and music fans can enjoy three versions of the soundtrack: original, orchestral, and OST. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age introduced some innovative game mechanics into the long-running RPG series which are just as fun to play around with today as they were thirteen years ago. Some of the game's unique features might feel passé today now that ally AI has become a little more sophisticated and commonplace in RPGs, and the storytelling doesn't quite hit the high marks of other prestigious RPG titles, but the Gambit-focused battle system and satisfaction of building up unique job combinations proves plenty engaging for hours upon end. Rating: 8 out of 10 Gambits
  6. It's hard to watch other people play Overcooked. I'm sitting here yelling at my screen "pick up the cheese! THE CHEESE!!!" Good question; I can't remember now if they did that the last few years.
  7. - Danmaku Unlimited 3 (Switch) Seems like a decent bullet hell shooter but these just really aren't my style. I was going to write a full review of it but then I realized I'd pretty much just be repeating that statement over and over. [image] - Katana Zero (Switch) Super satisfying (and challenging) gameplay, but I'm not sure what to make of the story. [image] - The Flame in the Flood (Switch) Replayed this just for the hell of it. Still love the music, and how tense the early parts of the game are. [image] - OPUS: The Day We Found Earth (Switch) Cute, unique little story-driven game, though the gameplay was a bit of a bore. [image] - OPUS: Rocket of Whispers (Switch) Better in some ways than the first game, but still a bit lame that the gameplay feels so simple and repetitive. [image] Also just noticed I missed this in my last update, so I'm adding a challenge point for: Bronze 2) And They're Off: Beat a racing game (Team Sonic Racing) C : 58 H: 2 P: 0 M: 0 O: 60 Challenges: 12 points
  8. Cadence of Hyrule looks amazing, perfect combo of NecroDancer and Zelda. But I just used up my current eShop funds on Wargroove so I might have to wait a bit before actually diving into the game.
  9. I don't imagine the two games will be so linked that players really need to have played NecroDancer first, but NecroDancer is a great game (and very challenging) and definitely worth $4.
  10. They are shorter this year, yeah. Today's and yesterday's Treehouse streams were approximately six hours each, whereas last year they were around eight hours each day (going by the Youtube video lengths). Whether they're shorter due to production costs, number of games available to showcase, or just because they wanted to make a shorter and tighter live stream, who can say.
  11. It probably would be a lot better to have a controller like that when playing a fast-paced action game in handheld mode. The pro controller is enough for me for now, though.
  12. Damn, both versions of Trials of Mana look good. The classic one hits all those Secret of Mana nostalgia buttons, and the remake feels like a solid modern RPG. Urge to get both rising…
  13. Hmmm, limited quantities, I wonder if I'll be able to rent it or not. And for anyone else debating whether to get Collection or the Trials of Mana remake, it's worth noting that the remake has some significant differences, such as no multiplayer option and the ability to swap weapons: https://gematsu.com/2019/06/trials-of-mana-is-the-most-action-heavy-game-in-the-series-fully-voiced Edit: Also on the subject of the Fire Emblem: Three Houses stream, the game overall looks great but all of the activities outside of battling seems like a bit much.
  14. They're adding the ability to play Super Mario Maker 2 with friends online in a future update. Thank god, what a dumb decision to ever exclude it.
  15. Seeing it on the Treehouse stream, the dungeon creation in Link's Awakening really seems to be Zelda's version of Super Mario Maker. I can dig it.
  16. I've gotta say, the amiibo is pretty adorable:
  17. Alright going to try to collect my thoughts on all the games shown now that I finished putting together a summary post. Luigi's Mansion 3 looks dope, pretty much exactly what I'd hope to see from a sequel. Can't wait to check into the Hotel Luigi, such a lovely place. Link's Awakening continues to look adorable and creating your own dungeon(?) is definitely interesting. I guess all of the rumors/expectations for Smash DLC were true, both the Dragon Quest Hero and Banjo-Kazooie are in! The DLC is really a third-party fest but I don't mind, these seem like fun additions. Fire Emblem: Three Houses: honestly it doesn't matter what they show of the game I'm all in on it regardless. Astral Chain continues to look intriguing but not 100% sold on it. Same for Daemon X Machina actually. I can't believe they got The Witcher 3 running on the Switch! Though of course it's just months after I played through the entire 100-hour game on my PS4, so I probably won't buy it again, but it's still cool to see The Switcher 3. Trials of Mana (aka Seiken Densetsu 3) hell yes! Not sure if I want to play the original in the collection or wait for the remaster but I'm definitely excited to play it. No More Heroes 3 yeeeeessss! Grasshopper also confirmed on Twitter that it's a Switch exclusive, but regardless I'm just excited to see Travis Touchdown again in a full NMH game. Definitely did not expect to see a new Contra game! Nor a game based on The Dark Crystal for that matter. Empire of Sin looks pretty cool, I'll have to look into that one more. Never played Panzer Dragoon but I know it's well regarded so that's pretty cool to see. I'll have to give it a try. The new Zelda teaser is so exciting! Cannot wait to see what comes of that, and I love the idea of Link and Zelda potentially working together (maybe even co-op?! :-o) Oh yeah like avalonknight mentions below, pretty cute intro with Doug Bowser. Though now I kind of want to see a whole Direct hosted by Koopa King Bowser.
  18. Software lineup sizzle reel: Individual trailers on Nintendo's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Nintendo/videos
  19. Even a vague trailer and a simple confirmation that something is in development has me super hyped. I was just talking with my brother a couple weeks ago about how we'd love to see a Breath of the Wild sequel à la Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask, and boom E3 delivers.
  20. Yes that's right, Trials of Mana is the English name of SD3. The remastered version is coming next year AND the original pixel art version is available in the bundle. Kinda surprising that they'd do that, but to be honest I don't know which I'd prefer. Since I so recently replayed Secret of Mana on the SNES Classic I might hold out for the Trials of Mana remaster.
  21. They actually announced that everyone watching the first twenty minutes gets a free life-sized Tiki statue.
  22. I was kind of hoping they were already going to announce an Octopath Traveler sequel when they brought it up. :-/ Cool to see Romancing Saga 3 get an international re-release. I don't know much about it but I'm interested. Outriders could be one to watch as well. Looking forward to seeing more of the Avengers game at some point, I'm definitely intrigued. And of course the FFVII Remake. I'll probably play it at some point but not looking forward to whatever the final price will be for all pieces of the game.
  23. Devolver Digital's show continues to be a highlight of E3, though admittedly I think the joke was wearing a little thin this year. As far as the games go though Carrion looks interesting, and it's good to see a confirmation of My Friend Pedro releasing soon and The Messenger DLC coming next month.
  24. So the Bethesda showcase was…pretty much a ~70 minute wait for a look at Doom Eternal. It does look awesome though! Okay to be fair Deathloop sounds cool and I definitely have faith in the developers of Dishonored, though I'd like to see some gameplay. Ghostwire sounds interesting (though again no gameplay) and Ikumi Nakamura may be highlight of all of E3 so far.
  25. Pretty great showcase from Xbox—totally focused on just showing off games, including plenty of exclusives, and Game Pass seems like a huge value, moreso than I initially thought. Still not going to run out and buy an Xbox One but it was a fun watch. Oh yeah, and who better than Neo himself to help introduce your sci-fi cyberpunk game?