Can’t wait for Sega of America to try to clean some of this up only to have nerds yell about how IMPURE and CENSORED it is.
I have a cold and trying to fall asleep to nyquil so tried to return to Axiom Verge and everyone losing their mind at release to A New Metroid where you have a self-insert that just goes WHATS GOING ON over and over and then you get a powerup that is just use on everything and then the next three powerups are also use on everything and be dissappointed and everywhere feels the same and I couldn’t describe the differences between the three areas I went through in 20 minutes and the music fluctuates in my mind between nice and trying to hard to carry everything.
Should just be trying to play Metroid Rogue Dawn. That seemed alright from what I saw
Axiom Verge really drew me in with the promotional artwork (mainly the giant face things who take up half the screen like STG bosses). couldn’t make my attention last 15 minutes actually playing it.
i don’t get how people learned all the wrong lessons from metroid. discovering powerups isn’t fun when you already know where to use them. finding out that there’s actually a huge cavern underneath one of the starting rooms, because you didn’t imagine you could blow up terrain, is incredible. finding out that the Green Gun opens the Green Door is soporific
been replaying Final Fantasy Adventure on my phone (hurray physical keyboard!) while traveling to Pennsylvania for my sister’s wedding. Its still a nice tight little experience. Probably my second fave thing on gb after Link’s Awakening.
for those who dont know its the first game in the mana series (as in secreet of). its a little rough and rowdy with unavoidable damage, weird enemy spawns, things getting in your way and occasional bugs. Im nostalgic for this particular style of jank.
The melancholy music is fantastic on headphones with good use of stereo. I first played the game in maybe 8th grade and still hummed the tunes to myself as an adult which is partly why I went looking for it when finding a new thing to play on my phone.
Kenji Ito is a genius and the primary reason for my interest in SaGa games.
Been like 4 years since it came out so I don’t remember the introductory staging but that’s enough time to make such a claim? I mean that’s literally scratching the surface of what might be offered.
I still remember playing this on a trip as a kid at the part where your partner is bitten by a medusa (which of course turns them into a medusa) and begs you to kill them. You’re unable to leave the room until you swing the killing blow yourself. In the backseat of the car on the way to I dunno Chili’s or something, utterly devastated.
i will be honest i was also playing on an aging laptop which screeched down to a crawl once the glitchy distortion effects started to show up. resuming it properly then didn’t seem worth the effort when i still had plenty of emulatable games on my backlog.
nothing about the presentation had really captured me at that point, though; it seemed to take far too many conventions for granted (and ironically acknowledging them didn’t win it any goodwill), without being very clear what ideas it was actually bringing to the table. i’d be willing to believe there’s some clever design down the line, but as an adventure game, it didn’t make me hungry to explore after introducing its setting.
sorry if my post seemed baldly dismissive! i was sorta just trying to illustrate the rift between where my imagination went from the stuff i had to go on, versus the blunt reality of Game Design Tropes hitting me when i actually sat down to it.
At the risk of being terribly dull or against the grain on SB I guess I’ve been a little prone to blankly questioning someone’s dash of critique, when I read things like
followed by “one example there good, one example here bad” charged to effect, with my best intentions it rings like a kind of tunnel vision where I pause and think woah, would’ve been interested in someone’s disagreement with Axiom Verge, but they just hit it with a big foul and like…very little grounds imo? So I’m just given to challenging that a bit?
For me yeah I was of that chorus: Axiom Verge made the right impression of actually carrying or resonating an early “Metroid 1 type feel”, and beyond that, just one guy responsible for most/all of it! Enough creative will to produce one of the keystone works in floods of 2-D mapquest derivatives. Kind of a beautifully discordant mess where the foundation juts out: techno-organic. Maneuvering zones and weapon use felt fresh enough, didn’t find it below, if anything above average in level design and exploration.
Which is more of what you were zooming in/out for, so maybe a lot more of Axiom Verge wouldn’t have changed your mind. I don’t doubt you’ve had other first 15 minutes with Metroid-likes that made a better impression, but I’m curious what they are.
I think it’s been rightly criticized for its design and that most of its solutions to Metroidlike enervation are ‘bullet pattern variant on player guns’. The art can be fairly evocative at times.
Maybe we could hone our language around genre homages. I think they’re fairly disreputable and for good reason, but we all have a guilty fondness towards some and we can define the difference between, say, Environment Station Alpha and Axiom Verge and what aspects they think are worth reviving and what they failed to integrate from modern techniques or even the originals they look to.
Rainworld is my favorite of the Metroid revivals because it understood the emotional core of my favorite of these games, was pulling in the most underappreciated of them, and pushed the aesthetic much deeper and rawer by rethinking the scenario.
Uh, Hollow Knight is my favorite of the ones I don’t really like – the expensive, highly-produced one like Ori and Shadow Complex and Strider, which all feel like rather pedantic grid-fillers overly stuck in a structure designed for compulsion. I find the Metroid structure among the most visible and predictable, so it tends to sag down a game that I’m not invested in to the extent of dungeon-crawler flavors like the Souls games (and that menace implicit in ‘dungeon’ makes such a big difference – La Mulana benefits from the same, is it safe? am I ready? query the player is constantly running in a way that closer Metroid templates avoid, with their very powerful player characters).
I’ve played all the games you mentioned through, except for Environment Station Alpha, and tops ordered out, much as I love the great balance of scope skills art mood that HK brings, then Rainworld’s minimalist (and overly random/brutal aspects to fault) genius…Axiom Verge deserves high distinguishing praise for those tighter shooter, terrain traversal highlights and garbled freakish aesthetics. Weird Science.
I think Shadow Complex is the only time I’ve ever experienced a game-breaking glitch, and like 90% done at that. Some weird not properly flagged event toward the upper right of the map. Pretty sure I bailed slightly fuming then dove into AssCreed II.
In Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time, I encountered a nearly game-breaking bug where if I died in the final boss battle, it would spawn me as Clank instead of Ratchet, right outside the room for the fight and a portal back out to the rest of the game. Because I was Clank, the transition to the boss fight would no longer trigger, dropping me out of the level geometry if I tried to enter the boss room.
I could get around it by taking the portal back to the penultimate boss fight and going through all the sequence of events that led to the final fight, allowing me to try again. But if I died during that final fight, I was back to Clank again.
I was also playing the game a couple years after it came out; the developers never responded to my bug report.
Played a bit of this Plague Tale Innocence game. I was looking forward to this and it seemed at risk of being bad so I’m glad it’s kinda legit?? Sometimes you just wanna play a game where you get balls deep in some filth and pestilence. You get to really use the rat swarm tech in some fun ways in this game.
Just uhhh, make sure you play it in French like I expect the dev’s intended, because the English voice acting is really bad.
Yeah, it’s some of the garbled graphics -> body mutation comparison were effective on me in Axiom Verge, I wish he’d leaned into that
truly a crack in time
I spent an hour and a half in the most dismal ‘chase’ section of the rather gloomy Prince of Persia: Warrior Within trying to find an impossible platformer route away from the smoke monster. When I gave up, turned it off, and tried again the next day, I realized the room hadn’t loaded properly and was missing platforms necessary to traverse the room.
I got banned from ArcheAge because extra mountains loaded in and i climbed up them to get on top of an airship and someone reported me. At least that’s what i think happened, they would never tell me why.
Another “weekend” off, another night spent messing with Dreams.
There’s a vapor wave game that’s just a simple first person platformer where you collect soda cans amongst Grecian columns and palm trees and whatnot, but the stuff it does with colors and lighting looks great.
There’s also a pretty fantastic looking game where you guide a skeleton down a canyon via ziplines. I dunno if Dreams uses HDR (or lets people adjust it for their own games), but the sunset peeking through the rocks is a really nice effect.
As tech demos go, there’s a really sloppy car game with an incredibly impressive destruction model. The car careens all over the place, but it has a ton of pieces that pop off or flap around as you crash around.
Finally I messed with a bad FPS demo that’s sole redeeming factor was that the person ripped the audio from the Cinco Food Tube commercial that plays as you approach an electronics store.
So yeah! Dreams! A little cooler with each week that goes by.
Probably depends on what you’re looking at. I remember feeling shades of body horror and existential fear (like losing self, maybe a distant retro-pulp echo to SOMA’s bells) in the undercurrent.
Yet another thing I’d really like to replay, iirc there’s some interesting modes when doing so.
I’d have to get hands on with it again to describe why, but I think the weaponry and enemy/boss design are under-repped, not all necessary or integral but they made for a lot of involved, tense engagement. Only thing that goes against it, I think there’s a couple areas and bosses towards the end that came off really sloppy. More “shoot frantically and survive” than anything else you can properly strategize and react to.
Get ready for in two months with Kotaku article about why the Judge Eyes pinball minigame (which launches with the Unity logo) was made in Unity.
Also i won the drone race grand prix and the drones buzz by flying up a schoolgirl’s skirt and a guy take a peek and then being slapped and haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Like I said before I should probably stop. This game leans into You Can Pay For Sex In Kamurocho.