Video Games are awesome

A general discussion forum, plus hauls and silly games.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Video Games are awesome

Post by Sparky Prime »

So the first Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC, the Isle of Armor, was released last week...

Essentially it adds an entirely new Wild Area to the game. It's nice to get some Pokemon that had been omitted from the initial release back, but again, if they could have been included, why were they left out in the first place? Story wise, it's pretty short. You "compete" in a couple trials in the islands Dojo, before being awarded with their "Armor". Through this process, you also get access to "Max Soup", which gives you the option of making any Pokemon with a Gigantamax form capable of transforming into that form, rather than forcing players to capture them from Dens (which, unless there is an promotion going on for them... is a bit of a pain to even get a spawn of one).

All in all.... It's a nice addition to the game. But as I said in my earlier criticisms of the game, this all feels like stuff that should have been in the initial release, not extra paid DLC.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Video Games are awesome

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The second Pokemon Sword/Shield DLC, the Crown Tundra, was added on Thursday this week...

Like the first DLC, this adds another Wild Area for players to explore. While the first DLC only added Kubfu, Urshifu and Galarian forms for Slowpoke and Slowbro, the second adds a number of new Pokemon: Calyrex, Regieleki, Regidrago, Glastrier and Spectrier, as well as a few new Galarian forms with Slowking, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres. Unfortunately, you have to choose between Regieleki/Regidrago and Glastrier/Spectrier in a given playthrough. What little of a story there this time around essentially boils down to figuring out how to catch the legendary Pokemon. There is also one new feature with this DLC: Dynamax Adventures. Essentially this allows you to take on several Pokemon dens in a row, with the final encounter being a Legendary from one of the previous games. The drawbacks however, you have to 'rent' a Pokemon to begin with, which generally are not the best choices. You can choose to catch a Pokemon along the way to replace it however. And the same rules for a standard den battle carries over... So if you have 4 Pokemon knocked out at any point, you get kicked out of the dens altogether. There are some more returning Pokemon from previous games as well, but still, I believe over 100 have been left out from this Generation.

As I said with the previous DLC, it is a nice addition to the games, but I don't feel like that's saying much for what felt like an incomplete game in the first place. All of this is something that would have been on the game card upon release in any of the previous Generations, not extra paid DLC.

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Shockwave
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Re: Video Games are awesome

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Went through my annual Halloween time Castlevania run. Played through CV II for the NES and Super Castlevania IV. Also got the Super Mario 3D All Stars and have been playing through Mario 64 on the switch. The controls are different than I remember but the camera angles are as bad as I remember. Still fun though.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Video Games are awesome

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Metroid Dread

I just got back from a trip the day this came out, so I haven't had as much time to play it thus far as I'd like, but I'm making progress. I recently got the Varia Suit. I really like the look of Samus' power suit in this game. This game taking place after Metroid Fusion, the new suit is apparently the result of the original Power Suit slowly regenerating from the Fusion Suit.

This game was developed by the same company that produced the Metroid II: Return of Samus remake for the 3DS. As such there are a few returning abilities from that game. Such as the Aeion abilities. Although these abilities are very different in Dread. Also returning from the 3DS game is a melee attack, which you can use to counter certain enemies attacks to deal them major damage. And of course, all the classic Metroid series weapons and abilities are back as well.

Taking after Fusion with the occasional SA-X encounters, this game introduces EMMI robots which are on patrol within certain sections in each area of the game. Until you meet certain requirements allowing you to fight them, your only option is to avoid them at all costs. It is an instant game over if they catch you (although you do have a slight chance to stun them with a counter move if they catch you, but it's hard to pull off against them compared to other enemies in the game). The game is very generous with check points and save stations though, with navigation and map rooms also serving as save rooms in addition to dedicated save rooms, so it's not usually much of a setback if you're killed.

So far, I'm really liking this game.

Edit: I think I'm about half way through the game at this point, and filled in some of the blanks in the story...
Spoiler
At some point, the Chozo had contained the Metroid on SR88 and planned to eradicate them by destroying the planet. But instead of carrying out the plan, the leader of a warrior tribe, Raven Beak, wanted to use the Metroid as a bio weapon. However, he needed the help of another Chozo tribe to control them and went to planet ZDR to get their help (by killing all but one named Quite Robe). Unfortunately one of his warriors had been infected by an X parasite when they were on SR88, forcing him to deal with the outbreak of the X on ZDR. In the meantime, Samus destroyed all the Metroid on SR88 (and subsequently the planet).

Somehow, Raven Beak learned Metroid DNA was used to cure Samus when she was infected by the X parasite herself, and lured her to him by transmitting a video of the X parasite still alive on ZDR. Knowing the danger of the X, Samus heads to ZDR, where she is ambushed by Raven Beak, but for some reason, he leaves her in a weakened state (being the reason why all of her abilities are gone at the beginning of this game), and reprograms the EMMI robots to stalk her to collect the Metroid DNA from her.

It's interesting to see living Chozo in this game, and are the villains in the story at that. I've also started encountering X-parasites. I wasn't sure the power suit would still be able to absorb them like in Fusion, but it still has that ability.

One thing that frustrated me about this game so far... I came across a Chozo warrior/X parasite boss, which at the end of the fight you have to do two melee counterattacks when prompted to (when a spark on his spear appears) during a cutscene, but I didn't feel the game really made that clear you have to do this, if you don't, it repeats the second phase.

After defeating this boss, the gate to area is left open, allowing the X parasites that had been contained to spread to the rest of the planet. Essentially making the second half of the game more like Fusion. Regular enemies become mutated by the X, making them a little stronger and more durable, and will become X parasites when defeated for Samus to absorb to regain health/ammo, rather than dropping health/ammo power-ups (so it's essentially just a cosmetic change, but it's a nice attention to detail).
Edit 2: Nearing the end of the game now...
Spoiler
I kinda wish there was more variety with the EMMI robots. The robots themselves can have some different abilities. Like one can freeze Samus, another has a speed boost, another is better at tacking Samus and can fire an energy ball that stuns her... All hinting at abilities they will give Samus when defeated. But when it comes to fighting them, it's the same fight. They'll slowly crawl towards Samus allowing you to fire the "Omega Stream" to destroy the protective plates on their head, at which point they'll stand and slowly walk towards Samus, allowing a charged Omega Blast to destroy it. The last one is the only fight that differs as the Metroid DNA in Samus awakens, and allows her to absorb the energy from the EMMI... and you fight an X infected Chozo warrior instead, another boss fight that gets repeated a few times in the game. Albeit they add a shield to the mix in later fights, and their X form can spit a black beam that really hurts... So things at least slightly change for those fights.

Repeated boss fights aside, for the most part, I did really enjoy the bosses in the game. They were a lot of fun figuring out their patterns and how to defeat them.

Little confused why they felt the need to introduce the Spin Boost ability in this game. Unlike what the name suggests, it's just a double jump, and becomes completely obsolete once you get the Space Jump... Which you pick up not long after the Spin Boost anyway. Other abilities, as I mentioned before, are pretty standard for Metroid games. I like that the Super Missile essentially stacks to the regular missile in this game. The new Aeion abilities are all pretty useful as well. Pulse Radar will show you all the hidden breakable blocks in a given area. The Flash Shift is very useful for avoiding enemy attacks. The Phantom Cloak... Honestly thought it would be more useful than it is. Sure it allows you to avoid detection from enemies, particularly the EMMI's, but I often found they'd stick around the area I'd take refuge in, making it a brief respite at best. And using it for too long would begin to drain health. Generally, I found it best to just make it through an EMMI area as quickly as possible trying not to use the Phantom Cloak.

Not liking the design the Gravity Suit in this game as much as the Power/Varia suit, mostly because of the glowing lines on the front.

Still doing some item clean up throughout the game, now that I have all the abilities, before headed to the final boss...
Edit 3:
Spoiler
Finally finished collecting all the items in the game. There's some pretty tricky ones to get. For collecting 100% of the items in each area of the game, you unlock a piece of art in the gallery, showing events on ZDR prior to Samus arriving. Getting all items will unlock a hidden piece of art, showcasing some prominent characters from throughout the Metroid franchise.

In the finale of Dread... Samus heads to Itorash, Raven Beak's flying fortress. Interfacing with the computer, the Adam AI reveals that Samus is now a Metroid, with the Metroid DNA within her actively transforming her. He says this should have happened as soon as she was given the Metroid vaccine in Fusion, but that the Chozo DNA she got from the Thoha tribe had probably kept it at bay all this time, as they were the only ones that could control the Metroid. He's aware she has DNA from the Mawkin Chozo tribe as well, giving Samus her physical prowess. The computer then reveals it was actually Raven Beak posing as the Adam AI, ever since the AI lost contact at the beginning of the game, as well as that her Mawkin DNA came from Raven Beak himself. When she first encountered Raven Beak, the Metroid DNA reacted, apparently because Metroid's are genetically programmed react violently towards the Mawkin (not sure why the Thoha and Mawkin DNA in Samus didn't just cancel each other out in that case, but whatever). Seeing the potential during their first encounter, Raven Beak left Samus to trek through ZDR in order to make her the most powerful Metroid ever, and he's very pleased with the results.

Samus of course refuses to allow Raven Beak carry out his plans, and so the final boss fight begins. And it's very difficult... During the first phase, after you've countered him once, his armor glows yellow and none of your attacks will hurt him, so you're forced to counter him. Some of his attacks you can get missiles and health out of, which can be a lifesaver in this fight. The second phase, he will take flight. It's a fairly straightforward phase, where you just have to do your best to avoid his attacks and shoot him. Phase 3 is somewhat similar to the first phase, but with a few new attacks.

I wont spoil the end of the fight, but needless to say, Samus defeats Raven Beak, leading into a classic escape sequence. Due to the last minute power up, she cannot control her ship, but an X-parasite restores her, allowing her to escape ZDR before is explodes.

Unlike other Metroid games, there is no scene at the end based on time/item completion. Instead, like completing item collection in each area of the game, you get a piece of art, based on how long it took you to complete the game. It's a scene based on previous Metroid games... I've looked it up and they are: Zero Mission, Samus Returns, Super Metroid, Other M, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Dread. To unlock them all, you have to complete the game in under 4 hours on both Normal and Hard mode, which is also unlocked when you beat Normal mode the first time. Once you've unlocked them all, you get the same poster you get for 100% item completion, except it has Zero Suit Samus instead of her in the classic Varia Suit. It's a little disappointing that there is no unique ending scenes, but the art is pretty cool. Not sure if I'd be willing to beat Hard mode in under 4 hours to unlock them all though...
Overall, I really enjoyed this game. Few parts took me a little time to learn what to do to get an item or beat a particular enemy, or avoiding the EMMI's, but it felt like a fair challenge, and rewarding once I got it. There were also some fairly interesting developments in the overall Metroid storyline, I'd like to see what they may do with the series in the future after this.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Video Games are awesome

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Pokemon Legends Arceus

Started playing this today. In some ways, it's like a mainline Pokemon game. The basic premise is still that you are a trainer catching and training Pokemon. But they have changed things up a bit...
Spoiler
Your character has been transported into the past by Arceus, who tells you to capture all the Pokemon to see him again. When your character wakes up, he or she is immediately greeted by the Professor of the game, who asks you to help him recapture the starters of this game, introducing you to Pokeballs, a brand new invention in this time frame. It is a nice acknowledgment to generation 2 that these first generation Pokeballs are made from Apricorns. I would have liked to see the Apricorn Pokeballs from Gen 2 make a return here, but unfortunately, they don't. Just the standard Pokeball, Great Ball and Ultra ball. There are two new ones however, a Heavy Ball, which is different from the Gen 2 Heavy Ball, and a Feather Ball, both of which have 2 more effective variations as well. There's no traditional shop or Pokecenter. Instead, you can buy or gather ingredients to make items and for a free full heal, you can rest in various locations, which will also pass time in the game since it has a day/night cycle.

Capturing Pokemon and battles are a little different, which is a welcome change. Battles are only initiated during a wild encounter if you chose to send out a Pokemon from rather than it happening automatically. It's also kinda cool that you can still walk around during the battle, rather than just standing behind your Pokemon. If you chose not to battle, or all your Pokemon faint, you're on your own. Meaning, the wild Pokemon can attack you directly. Finally gives some weight to all those Professors telling you that it's dangerous to go into the tall grass without a Pokemon to protect you.

From where I'm at in the game so far... It's set up sorta like a giant Wild Area, giving it somewhat of an open world feel. Although for some reason, you can't freely go to and from the settlement town. You have to transition to and from basecamps instead.
It's a little slow to start, with a lot of story and tutorials to begin the game. But I have to say, I'm enjoying the new mechanics so far. I'm already feeling like this is more like what they should have done with Sword/Shield in the first place...

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Re: Video Games are awesome

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I've been play through Dark Souls Remastered on the Switch. Found a trick recently for decent grinding in fairly short amounts of time, so I decided to try starting a new game to exploit it. And so far it's going well and gives the game a different feel. When you know there are certain resources you can get quickly if you need them, it makes death a lot easier to deal with. I still die quite a bit though. This still remains one of my favorite games ever.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Video Games are awesome

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Sonic Origins

This is basically a collection of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic 2, and Sonic 3 and Knuckles. With a few twists.

I owned Sonic 3 (and not Knuckles) as a kid, but I grew up playing all these games thanks to friends/family that had the others. This is the first time I've had all of them myself though. I know they did a collection some years ago, but I missed out on it, so it's great to have all of them on my Switch and relive a little of my childhood.

Not only does this collection have the classic versions of the games, but they have an "Anniversary mode" that remasters the games. I've only played a little of Sonic 3 and Knuckles in this mode thus far. Lives are infinite, so instead of earning lives, they're replaced with coins, which can also be used to retry special stages to get the Chaos Emeralds, and I think can unlock things in the Museum. Tails can carry Sonic without the need of a second controller. Sonic has the drop dash from Sonic Mania. And they've added new animated cutscenes. Oh, and it's widescreen, where as the classic version is 4:3. I've seen some controversy over some changes to the Sonic 3 soundtrack. I guess Sega finally confirmed Michael Jackson was involved with the music, which they're unable to use, so they switched to tracks developed prior to his involvement. I do kinda miss the old music, but it's understandable.

I'm really enjoyed this collection so far.

Edit: Interestingly, Tails gets to transform to Super Tails when all the Chaos Emeralds are collected in Sonic 3, unlike the original version. And when he gets all the Super Emeralds he becomes Hyper Tails, which is like he was in the original game with the flickies that fly around him and go attack enemies.

This version feels a little glitchy. I got killed by crushing more than I'd ever been in previous versions I've played before, and noticed a few other oddities. It didn't happen often enough that I felt it was game breaking or anything, and the other games in this collection don't seem to have issues like I say in S3&K, but it does feel like it could have been a little more polished in a few aspects.

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