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Wed 23rd January, 2008

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ejamer commented on Video: What Could Xenoblade Chronicles Look Li...:

HD or SD, this game remains stunningly beautiful.

I wonder if remaking Xenoblade as an HD title would ever be financially viable though - there is just so much content they would have to create new art assets for, and JRPGs (even great ones like Xenoblade) don't appeal to a huge segment of the market. The sequel might be as close as we ever get?



ejamer commented on Feature: Kickstarter's Wii U and 3DS Campaigns...:

I really hope that Hex Heroes makes it, but am feeling nervous. The game looks awesome to me, but others don't seem to share my excitement. It's clearly made with Wii U specifically in mind... so why doesn't it get more love?



ejamer commented on EA Boss Peter Moore Apologises For Frostbite's...:

Eh, I thought the first one was funny enough and doesn't require any apology. All the things mentioned would be cool, but we know they just aren't happening.

Unfortunately the second tweet wasn't really cute or clever, and reads very poorly (unless it was intended as a direct shot at the Wii U console). Whoever is in charge of the twitter feed should've known better - or maybe they did, and someone with less sense made an unauthorized post?



ejamer commented on Two Tribes Confirms Permanent Price Drop of it...:

Which is "better" is a tough call. Depends on what you want.
I prefer Toki Tori 2+ and think that it's not even close... but others feel differently. My thoughts about both games are offered below.

In the original Toki Tori game, each level is a single and self-contained stage where you have to figure out the right actions to let you collect all of the eggs without dying or getting trapped. Levels start our just one screen in size (if I remember correctly) and later grow to be quite large, but the goal always remains the same. It also gives Toki Tori a certain number of special abilities that can be used each level to reach his goal - which usually gives you some hint of what needs to be done - and more guidance about how things work in the game world. One downside with this game is that early on you can often brute-force puzzles because there are relatively few options available, while late in the game any small mistake will force you to restart the (sometimes lengthy) level from scratch which can be frustrating.

Toki Tori 2+ is very different: no special abilities outside of a butt-stomp and a whistle, no individual levels because the entire world is connected, and very little hand-holding. In my mind, this is a far better game because I really like the exploration and how you need to observe the environment and experiment to learn new things. As you play longer, the game becomes more interesting and rewarding because you've figured out so much on your own - the open world also will let you figure out puzzles in different areas at different times. The downsides include back-tracking (sometimes you won't even know there was a puzzle waiting to be solved your first time though an area) and vaguely defined goals (you really have to enjoy figuring out things for yourself).

Caveats: I've completed Toki Tori, but haven't finished Toki Tori 2+ yet. Also, I've never tried the original release of Toki Tori 2 - only the "plus" updated version that makes some things easier for players (pointing you towards the next big objective in a more clear fashion than the original did).



ejamer commented on Swords & Soldiers HD Catapulting Its Way Onto ...:

Local multiplayer using gamepad sounds like a fantastic feature add. I've already got the Wii game and don't need another version... but this is pretty tempting. Interested to hear what the pricing will be.



ejamer commented on Two Tribes Shoots Down the Possibility of Toki...:

Toki Tori 2+ is brilliant. The game starts out easy - almost too easy and simplistic - but slowly introduces new concepts entirely by encouraging you to observe what's happening in the environment and then experiment. Eventually you realize there were puzzles and pathways where you didn't even think to look originally. It can be tough at times and there is backtracking required, but so far (I haven't finished yet, but am getting close) it's a fantastic game and has always been fair.

This type of puzzle game won't appeal to everyone due to the open world structure, and I can totally understand that. Some people undoubtedly feel burned by the lack of a level editor, despite Two Tribes giving out free Steam codes with level editor to any Wii U owners who requested one. And saying it's too hard is no crime. But one thing this game is not: poorly designed.

Comments like those from @ACK make me sad about the state gaming. "Embarrassingly obtuse game design"? If you don't like the game, that's fine... but game design prowess for Toki Tori 2+ isn't what's lacking.

All of that said, the twitter comments do seem kind of snotty. Not sure if it's just someone venting their disappointment, a reflection of the negativity they seem to have received (just look at comments here), or despair after a title that they worked extremely hard on and feel passionately about failed. Maybe it's just second-language/communication issues. Still seems like poor customer relations though.



ejamer commented on Nintendo Download: 20th March (North America):

Considering Darksiders 2. The price is great and I really want the game... but would MUCH prefer to get a retail copy instead of digital. Unfortunately haven't seen a retail copy for less than $50 locally. Hmm...



ejamer commented on Pure Chess DLC Will Be Available Day One, And ...:

Kind of interested in this, but not sure that I care at all about the DLC - regardless of when it gets released. Chess is chess, right?

Might grab one pack if I like the game just to support the developer... but unless there was something special and unique being offered (Nintendo-themed or other licensed sets being a great suggestion) then I'm unlikely to move past the base purchase.



ejamer commented on Soapbox: Ignoring The Objectification Of Women...:

I think it's interesting to see where people draw these arbitrary lines over what is ok and what isn't. Sexism? Violence? These things are ok to exist, but not to market?

I don't really like the approach of the game in question so choose not to support it. For me, that's where the line is drawn and that's where it ends. Maybe we should all be more socially active and protest against the game... but my take is that this game is just a symptom of a larger cultural issue, and protesting over a video game won't promote actual change.



ejamer commented on Nintendo Download: 13th March (North America):

I'm sure that SteamWorld Dig will look gorgeous on Vita/PS4, but having the map always visible on the lower screen is extremely convenient in the 3DS version - especially later in the game when certain power-ups add more information to the map. In my mind, that might be reason enough to favor the 3DS over other platforms.

From what I've read, there are no additional features or modes being added either - although maybe it's better to wait until next week to confirm that? The one consideration for waiting is that it might be free on PS Plus eventually... although for $5 I think it's worth playing now instead of waiting.



ejamer commented on Tyrone Rodriguez Continues to Lobby Nintendo t...:

I'm not interested personally and find the game to be kind of... disturbing? One of those cases where I question what "mature" really means in this industry, and where you worry slightly how youth would interpret the themes and actions (assuming they would stop to think about them at all).

However, I know many others loved the perverse humor in the game, and it certainly seemed to be well made. Regardless of how I feel about the themes and subject matter, I'd love to see it made available on the 3DS platform.



ejamer commented on Nintendo Download: 13th March (North America):

So are the Zen Pinball discounts only for 3DS? Hmm... I would buy Star Wars on Wii U if the sale applies there also, but otherwise maybe I'll just grab the portable version.

That's a great price for StreamWorld Dig. I know the game is coming to lots of other platforms, but it's fantastic on 3DS and well worth buying. Nice week for sales!



ejamer commented on Airtight Games Feels That Murdered: Soul Suspe...:

Lots of sour grapes in the comments. You don't want the game anyway, fine... but I think it looks interesting. Will it be good? None of us know yet - but it's unfortunate that I won't even have the option to play when it does get released.

Regarding the developer statement, I agree that they should just be more direct. The Wii U install base isn't large, and doesn't tend to support M-rated games very well. This isn't about "good games on Wii U", it's about profit and they are probably right that the development effort might not be justified.



ejamer commented on Video: The Dubious Charm Of Senran Kagura Burs...:

"Is the publisher right to use the game's overt sexuality to sell copies, or should it perhaps focus on the gameplay instead...?"

Seems to me that the publisher is being pretty up front about content in the game. Yes, it's a decent brawler by all accounts... but "breasts, bums, and bikinis" are one of the major selling points for the game.

This ad makes no effort to hide that fact, and why should it? Anything else would be like telling people that you read Playboy, but only for the insightful articles and humor. Why hide the truth?



ejamer commented on Less Than 5% of Those Polled by the Game Devel...:

The 3DS number is pretty disappointing. I expected low... but much lower than Vita or Wii U? (Actually, the intent to support Vita was pretty surprising in general considering how sales have gone for that platform.)



ejamer commented on Famicom Remix 1 + 2 Coming to Retail in Japan:

I'd buy a disc over a digital license any day. I have no interest in downloading these games but if this compilation disc was released in North America it would convince me to buy the NES Remix titles.

(Exception: I did opt for the convenience of an always-available digital version of Animal Crossing New Leaf.)



ejamer commented on Monolith Soft's X Combat is Shown Off, Based o...:

Combat in Xenoblade was good, and managed to stay engaging for the entire (long) experience - so this is good news. But what excites me more is the world they build for X. Exploration, discovering secrets and side-quests, helping to build towns... those are the memories that made Xenoblade one of my favorite games every. Hopefully these features are retained for the sequel.



ejamer commented on Talking Point: The Watch_Dogs Wii U Delay Demo...:

Tough topic.

Despite the hopes and dreams of many fans, Wii U is quickly turning into a "failed" console. First party games alone will be enough for some people (probably enough for me) but the almost complete abandonment of the platform by major third parties is terrible news and has serious implications for the profitability/sustainability of the console.

The good news for Wii U owners is that "failed" doesn't necessarily mean "bad". Dreamcast failed and was awesome. As long as Wii U support isn't pulled by Nintendo themselves, the console will still be worth owning and will end up with some awesome, exclusive games.

Here's hoping that Wii U is more of an N64 than Virtual Boy.



ejamer commented on Club Nintendo Rewards Updated for February:

Punch-Out!! seems pretty expensive at 200 coins... but it's a great game, and if it's Wii U native then maybe it's worth the high price to some?

Super Mario RPG and PictoBits are both great options as well.



ejamer commented on Feature: 10 Nintendo DS Games We Want To See O...:

Some of the suggestions people are making don't make sense to me. They are excellent games... but having the split screen between TV/gamepad would hinder gameplay. For example, Contra 4 would be really tough to play on Wii U because the game is designed to account for the gap between screens on a handheld.

That said, I'm still excited about this news. More games certainly isn't a bad thing and there are plenty of DS games that would work well.



ejamer commented on Nintendo Confirms "Super Indie Connection Sale...:

Pretty awesome price for Spin the Bottle. I don't know that I can get it played - we just don't have the right audience any more - but it's still tempting just to grab anyway at that price.

Anyone who doesn't already own Toki Tori 2+ should definitely give it a shot. Great price for a fantastic game!



ejamer commented on Talking Point: Is There A Future For The Wii U...:

I'm not a fan of the idea to remove the gamepad from the basic bundle.

There is weak support for truly innovative/excellent use of the controller now. If Nintendo make it an expensive and optional extra and nobody will buy, install base will suffer, and support will diminish further. It's great to say that the gamepad can become an optional add-on that will see strong support... but if it's not built into the console then it will wither and die. Think 3DS Circle Pad Pro or GBA-GameCube connectivity.

However, maybe being able to drop the price significantly would be worth the loss? I'd rather see compelling software make use of the hardware as it exists now... but I already own a Wii U so my opinion is colored.

The hard part is figuring out what a compelling use of the hardware actually is. Maybe something like Henry Hatsworth where players are essentially playing two separate (but interrelated) games at the same time, one on each screen? Asynchronous play works well in multi-player settings, but finding a really good use of a second screen isn't as easy for single player games.



ejamer commented on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Reduced to $19.99 on...:

Ugh... I don't like buying digital when an alternative exists, but the pricing is fantastic and I have to admit it would be nice to play some Monster Hunter again. The only thing holding me back is the need to buy more storage first - that might be a deal breaker though.



ejamer commented on Kickstarter Research Highlights Low Delivery R...:

True. But many of the "big name" video games go wildly over their initial goals without providing any meaningful reward for backers. My point was that the bigger success a Kickstarter campaign is for a video game, the less incentive there (usually) is for me to throw money at them before the project is complete.

In cases where the game really might not get made without Kickstarter support, I'm more lenient about backing - but I'm also careful to do my homework and balance out how much trust I have in the development team versus how much risk I'm willing to accept to see the project move forward.



ejamer commented on Kickstarter Research Highlights Low Delivery R...:

I'm not anti-Kickstarter... but the (usually) long development times required for video games usually turn me off from backing projects. Especially when the game is already getting created without my backing and will be available - probably on sale eventually - later. Why take on any risk if you don't need to?

You only give money once. It's like an "advance purchase" so that the developer has better cash flow, instead of leaving the developers to front all costs before the game is released. It also serves as a sort of measuring stick for public interest: if the project can't hit it's goal then maybe the developer would be better off trying to create something different.



ejamer commented on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Confirmed for the West:

I was hoping for a 2014 release for Monster Hunter 4... but since the extra content will be included it's hard to be disappointed. Really looking forward to this - especially since the 3DS release should be able to play online, unlike 3U.



ejamer commented on Renegade Kid's New 3DS FPS Is Moon Chronicles:

Awesome how everyone just complains.

Seems pretty cool to me - a full remake of a DS "hidden gem" (one I've never played but would be interested in trying) that costs $15 for the whole experience but offers a flexible pricing structure in case you aren't into the game?

Mutant Mudds didn't do it for me, and I don't have any special love for Renegade Kid... but this sounds cool and I'll keep the game in mind next time I'm looking for something to download.

PS — Rumor has it that this is just the start. If sales warrant, it would put Renegade Kid in excellent position to use the remade 3D engine for sequels.



ejamer commented on Review: Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (3DS eSh...:

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest had some ambitious ideas that failed in execution. In some cases the problems are poor design, in others it's due to limited hardware.

The game is still playable... but is definitely obtuse in many places. I'd be happy to play again, but it's tough to recommend Simon's Quest to people who (a) haven't already experienced the game, or (b) aren't hardcore retro gamers, used to the type of challenges the game presents.



ejamer commented on Cody, Haggar And Guy Are Scrapping Their Way T...:

Cool. Bubble Bobble and Mighty Final Fight are both awesome games - hopefully they'll come out here too in the near future. (I already own Bubble Bobble on Wii VC... but it's one of the few titles I'd pay to upgrade for access on the gamepad.)



ejamer commented on La-Mulana 2 Emerges Through a Kickstarter Camp...:

Loved the first game, and interested in backing... but it would need at least $500,000 to be of any use to me - and even then, I'd probably never play the game on PC. Fingers crossed for either a 3DS or Wii U release one day!



ejamer commented on Matters Of Import: A Peek Into The Tragically ...:

I understand why (from a business perspective) it hasn't been released here. North American gamers don't support Dragon Quest nearly as well as Japanese gamers, and a Nintendo game that requires a monthly subscription is just added risk.

That said, it's really a shame that we haven't seen this game localize. It looks incredible and being able to explore the Dragon Quest world in an MMO would be great fun.



ejamer commented on Nintendo Download: 16th January (North America):

Interested to find out more about Unepic. Also thinikng aboutEtrian Odyssey while it's on sale... but haven't gotten through EO4 yet and strongly prefer physical copies when possible, so will probably pass for now.

Oh yeah, and all the Castlevania 2 hate is laughable. The game is hard, and unabashedly old-school... but it's also awesome. Night/day cycles, action RPG, lots of hidden secrets and tricks that you need to figure out to progress. Not for the faint of heart but a fantastic game nonetheless.



ejamer commented on Monster Savings To Be Had On Nintendo UK's Onl...:

Sweet deal. Hopefully Nintendo honors the mistake (at least it looks like a mistake) and everyone gets to keep their cheap games. I'd love to grab Pikmin and Wonderful 101 at those prices... although still prefer physical copies over digital.



ejamer commented on Kirby: Triple Deluxe Sound CD Now Available at...:

I don't know why NoA doesn't want to offer CD soundtracks as prizes. They are cheap to produce and ship, and would be a great piece of swag for Club Nintendo members.

Even when NoA does test the water, their choices are so weird. Why was Majora's Mask the CD test case for last year's platinum prize? The quality of music isn't that good since it was all composed for the N64, and the timing is odd since the game really isn't relevant right now. (If there had been a 3DS remake released or even announced, that would be different. But there hasn't been.)

Anyway, I'll keep my fingers crossed. More CDs would be a great prize from Club Nintendo.



ejamer commented on Two Tribes Development Studio Shuts Down and N...:

So sorry to hear this news!

On the bright side, Toki Tori 2 remains a fantastic game and one of Wii U's most underappreciated gems. Everyone should play it, so I'm glad to hear that it will still be available!

Best of luck to Martijn and Collin with the current and future endeavors, and to the rest of the Two Tribes staff as they move to different work.



ejamer commented on Monolith Soft Lists "Urgent" Job Postings, Inc...:

I'm torn about online play. While that is awesome in the short term, I can't think of many games I consider "classics" that require online because games usually don't maintain a userbase long enough. 5 years later and online games tend to be replaced or forgotten. Games like Final Fantasy 6 or Xenoblade, on the other hand, will be just as awesome in a decade as they were when first released.



ejamer commented on Talking Point: Is The Castlevania Series Finis...:

Why didn't Mirror of Fate sell? You'd think if the game was good, then a free demo and word of mouth would help sales.

But when I played the demo for Mirror of Fate on 3DS, the new direction of the series simply wasn't appealing. Maybe that's the fault of the demo, maybe of the design. But either way, when making a list of 3DS games I wanted to buy Castlevania was (and still is) conspicuously absent.

It's disappointing to hear that Konami doesn't want to continue along the lines that were established with GBA/DS entries. While some were clearly better than others, almost all were more enjoyable than what I experienced of the recent 3DS release.



ejamer commented on Feature: The Biggest Wii U Games of 2014:

Am I the only one who has a hard time believing that X will arrive (in North America, at least) during 2014? Still my most anticipated game across any console - regardless of when it does arrive.



ejamer commented on NES Remix Confirmed And Available Today on the...:

Hard to know if the price is fair when we don't know more about how much content is actually included.

Looks to me like 100 WarioWare-type stages based on 16 different NES games. I have no idea what the remix modes offer though - whether they are full games or just bits and pieces with quick goals to accomplish. That second point is pretty much the "make or break" issue for value.

Since there are only 2-3 of those NES "classics" that I'd care at all to play again now (most already owned in other formats) it becomes a pretty tough sell for $15... maybe when more information is available, or when it goes on sale in the eShop, I'll reconsider.