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Everything posted by Simon

  1. [RELEASE] Baboo!

    @Ben X: I saw this on the Wizard Jam stream and have been meaning to try it myself since - really enjoyed it! Nicely structured, and the well-written descriptions and sound implementation make for a very novel and atmospheric text adventure experience. Great twist ending, too. @Cheeseness: Congratulations on the engine! I'm intrigued to see more of this type of thing so I'll try out the Winter's Wake showcase soon too. I've been writing some IF stories in Twine recently, and would be interested to experiment with Icicle when it's ready later in the year.
  2. I've been here since 2004 - came for the games journalism by Mojo alumni, stayed for the tangent-heavy podcast chat. I've really valued your ridiculous gameplay anecdotes and smart observations on the industry, and I often act on your game recommendations. But I also enjoy the other topics discussed, and actually find that mix less alienating that an all-games podcast might end up being. I just don't get round to playing dozens of games a year, so it's nice to hear about your hinterland beyond gaming and game development, be it books, films, drinks, food, robot news, or anything else. So I'll definitely be listening to the new cast! I'm intrigued as to how you'll pitch it so that people entirely new to Thumbs stuff will go for it - I suppose the (recently more theoretical) focus of Thumbs on gaming has been a draw for any gamers who stumble upon it having played Firewatch or whatever. To that end, I think preserving Idle Thumbs stream for the strongly games-related stuff is wise, as it could remain a nice gateway to this new cast (and others on the network, of course).
  3. Recently completed video games

    I'll second that - Mother 3 is wonderful in all the ways Yasawas says. Well worth getting it running with the translation patch. I found it genuinely funny but with a really consistent tone, which is a level of professionalism one might not expect from an unofficial translation. One of these days I'll buy the hardback version of that handbook to play it again - I referred to the web version when I played it, but it's such a labour of love, like the translation. Just make sure your emulator isn't skipping frames or anything, as I remember the combat in time to music is fairly crucial.
  4. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    @Ben X It is a pain in the ass, as I seem to have hit a bug that means I can't disarm the final bomb in a certain mission.
  5. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    Strange to see my observations from over 12 years ago in those threads! Also, I'd forgotten about the 'saberrealisticcombat' cheat mode that Eurogamer mentions - that should really have been a proper menu option. Without wishing to jump the gun on this thread, last week I dipped into Jedi Academy for the first time, prompted by all this. I'm struggling to get into it, but this may be partly because I've set the difficulty level high - which doesn't make it that difficult, just quite tedious (even Tusken Raiders and Stormtroopers take several lightsaber swipes to take down, which doesn't feel like Star Wars).
  6. I enjoyed the range of Mario descriptions Chris came up with in his outrage - had to go back through that section and make a note of them: 'basically some kind of capering goblin' 'grotesque homunculus who scampers around' 'pudgy little gnome who waddles around' 'weird, bulbous, gross man' 'shitty little troll'
  7. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    I'll get one but I'm definitely waiting for Super Mario Odyssey - that is exactly what I'd hoped for, but was the only trailer that set my pulse racing. I'm surprised that there's nothing like a new Metroid, Starfox or Kirby game from Nintendo to fill out this year's lineup, as other than Zelda (which looks fine, but isn't even an exclusive) and Splatoon 2, it seems a quite sparse 2017 and a long wait for Mario. Shouldn't 1-2 Switch have been bundled, like Wii Sports was? So the launch is far from perfect, but on balance I agree with Rodi that things will pick up next year and it'll be more of a 3DS story than a sorry Wii U one. It's not as confusing a proposition as the Wii U and if there are plenty of good games tailored to the handheld mode (like Snipperclips and hopefully whatever Image & Form are working on) that will sustain it nicely. I'd like to see a grey or white Joy-Con with the coloured buttons, another reason to hold out!
  8. Stardew Valley

    My brother bought this for me for Christmas, so far I've found it very engrossing and relaxing - I'm towards the end of my first Summer running a River farm. I haven't played Harvest Moon or anything like that, so it's novelty for me to play this kind of game. I like how it very gently pulls you towards several different goals at once, and I appreciate that I can dip into it for a short session and still achieve something. It only saves when you sleep, but I think an in-game day takes twenty minutes, in which time you can work towards a couple of those goals. Although there's never really enough time, which makes the game feel like a cruel analogue for life itself. The sprite work or the music alone would be an impressive achievement, but it's mind-boggling that one person made the whole thing. My biggest decision of the game so far: I'm a little offended that I wasn't then asked to join the band.
  9. The Big FPS Playthrough MISSION COMPLETE

    Ah yes, I seem to remember that it rather meanly gives you the saber and then chucks a level at you where it's relatively little use. Is it Nar Shaddaa? Persevere if you can - I remember the later half of the game being really satisfying. I'd sort of forgotten about just how painful the gunplay of the earlier was levels until this thread, but doing silly stuff with the Force powers and cutting your way through dozens of enemies in seconds should be all the sweeter once you get there. I never got around to Jedi Academy (also by Raven), but I bought it on Steam recently, I'll give that a whirl when I have time. I see it's further down your list too.
  10. Recently completed video games

    Tomb Raider (2013) I liked this enough to finish it in a matter of a few days, but have some reservations. It's much more of a shooter than I remember the early games being. The combat works well and is usually good fun, but it seems quite a shift in overall tone - I kept expecting a change of pace, for some parts of the game to have less enemies and more expansive, fiendishly puzzley tombs, but it never happened. You're usually only ten minutes from the next swathe of bad guys to blast your way past, and every stage is very contained and linear. Most of the actual tomb-raiding seems to be in the optional tombs, which are nicely designed but usually very quick one-room puzzles. Maybe I've missed a couple of tombs, but I think my % completion is more down to not finding all the collectable GPS caches etc. I'm aware that this is the origin story, and that after surviving the island Lara will follow in her father's footsteps as an archaeologist - so I'd be interested to see if Rise of the Tomb Raider has more exploration and tomb-raiding accordingly. There are some annoying interface choices too - lots of button-mashing quick-time events (it seems like the game has stopped throwing these at you halfway through, but they come back towards the end, sadly), and the XP/salvage system allowing you to upgrade weapons and abilities at campfires was unnecessary filler. I also didn't care for the sort of 'torture horror' aesthetic - the cut-scene in which Lara's head cautiously surfaces, Apocalypse Now style, in a pool of the blood and guts of hundreds of cult victims, was the point at which it became a bit ridiculous. After all those criticisms, it might seem strange to say that I did enjoy this game and was hooked on it. On the positive side, the environments look great, with a great variety across the island, and platforming around feels natural - everything blends in nicely, but you're never unsure about what around you can be grabbed onto, zip-lined along, etc. I suppose this just felt like the first half of a game that was going to love - I was never bored, but it never let me loose. Maybe the sequel will hit the spot.
  11. Best Films of 2016

    My favourite new film I saw this year was Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent (trailer). It flits between the stories of two Western explorers, thirty years apart, both seeking an ancient, mythic plant deep in the Amazon, a quest in which they're both assisted by the same sole survivor of an obscure, depleted tribe. It's beautifully shot in black and white, and has stuck with me all year. I also enjoyed: Rams (Grímur Hákonarson) Hail, Caesar! (Joel and Ethan Coen) Long Way North (Rémi Chayé) Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight) Weiner (Josh Kreigman & Elyse Steinberg) There were several new releases I missed that I intend to catch up on as soon as I can - Arrival being one.
  12. Full Throttle Remastered

    There's a nice new ten minute documentary (by 2PP) about the remastering on IGN: Kolzig: I agree, hope we get some wallpapers, those tentacle ones are on my phone too! In the meantime the new splash screen featured in the article could make a good desktop wallpaper, here it is:
  13. Recently completed video games

    Finished SteamWorld Heist on iPad. A great game to dip into for short sessions, with its quick but satisfying missions, but it also has a pleasant mechanical depth to it over the course of the game. Which characters you build up, and which weapons you stumble upon, have a big effect on what a sensible loadout looks like and how the missions therefore pan out. Mainly it's reminded me how much I enjoy well-balanced turn-based strategy game like this. Ricocheting bullets into enemies in ridiculously complex ways is immense fun, and there's that nice sense of a plan coming together as you plunder another big ship and all make it to the evacuation point in one piece. The story's just alright, but mainly it is paced smartly to allow you to finish a 'world' and play with some new types of ships and enemies before things get boring. Lends itself well to iPad Pro, the detailed cartoony steampunk art looks great. Looking forward to seeing what Image & Form are working on Switch.
  14. Star Wars VII - Open spoilers

    Yeah, Han uses Luke's saber to cut open the tauntaun in Empire so we know non-Jedi can switch them on. I felt that the melee weapon stormtrooper on Takodana was partly the film's way of explaining how Finn wasn't totally useless with it in a fight, too.
  15. Star Wars VII - Open spoilers

    I wonder if they hint at that, I'll watch out for how it's edited next time. The image of Luke's metal hand on R2 seen in the vision would support your theory, does R2 recognise Rey? Not sure I'm ready for the idea that R2 is Force-sensitive - the old EU does have a precedent for a Force-sensitive droid and it is totally bonkers.
  16. Star Wars VII - Open spoilers

    My spoilery thoughts from one viewing almost a week ago (midnight on opening day). It seems so rich and rewatchable so I'm really looking forward to catching it again soon: The crawl was terrific. I was reeling from the nostalgic rush of seeing those titles on the big screen once more, and then... - wow! In one short sentence the film grabbed me and I felt that I was in safe hands. Compare that to the pedantic Episode I crawl about disputed trade routes to outlying star systems. I don't mean to get into prequel-bashing here, but I do suspect the very first dialogue of the film being was a sly dig at the myriad embarassments of I-III. I honestly thought Han and Chewie would barely be in the film, maybe having a couple of scenes to please the fans, but in the end they turned up early and really earned their place. Ford was not phoning it in (like he arguably was even in ROTJ), but really brought Han back, and there are so many great Chewie moments to relish. I loved Finn and Rey, they needed to be great together to carry the next couple of films and they are. Both actors are great discoveries. Poe's character probably suffered for Han's prominence in this story, but I thought Oscar Isaac did a brilliant job in the little screen time he had, so hopefully Poe will have more to do in VIII and IX. was absolutely outstanding. I also liked him ...which brings me to the humour! This really has a good claim to being the funniest Star Wars film (if not it's still Empire), which is such a relief, as that's a big part of Star Wars for me. The interplay between all the new characters (including BB-8!), and even bits like those really delivered on this. Looking forward to a rewatch as there are several important plot things I need to process more, particularly that I possibly shut my eyes (didn't quite doze off) for several seconds during , of all places! Looking forward to taking it all in again when I'm a little more awake. I do have some criticisms, some of them do with the echoes of Episode IV, although I really didn't feel that as strongly as others. The big story problem for me is this:
  17. I have studied Latin, but so long ago that I'm hopelessly rusty on the grammar, so I'm little help to you off the top of my head! I'm going to guess it's your second one.
  18. Oops, I bought the game + DLC collection in the 75% off deal (these streams helped convinced me to take advantage), but I've only just realised The Old Gods wasn't included in that - I was particularly interested in playing as a Viking. Oh well, I do have plenty to be getting on with in my first plays, and I suppose there will be another sale before long. I've enjoyed the streams, it's an impressive game and seems a lot of fun even for those just bumbling through - no offence intended. Occide suas uxores!
  19. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

    Ha! Yeah, I can see what they were trying to do with the Temple of the Ocean King, but even with new gadgets and shortcuts I did find it a drag to know I was going back there for a while. Once I'm done with Skyward Sword perhaps I'll finally crack the last stretch of Phantom...there is a lot to like about the game otherwise.
  20. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

    The Minish Cap was the last Zelda game I completed, it had some excellent puzzling and just this charm about it that kept me interested. I think it's my favourite! Although I haven't revisited it for years as my friend is still 'borrowing' the cartridge I gave up on Twilight Princess eventually, due to general boredom...I did pick up my 2007 savegame a few months ago and do Snowpeak Ruins, which was a fairly good dungeon, but then I lost the momentum again. I can't believe it will actually be worth finishing. I tend to agree with Sno about that, Nintendo gave the fans what they wanted and it's just not up to scratch. Also had to abandon Phantom Hourglass because I couldn't face another descent into the Temple of the Ocean King, that whole story structure was ridiculous. That definitely put me off even trying to get into Spirit that an improvement? Anyway, I reckon Skyward Sword will break the spell of unfinished Zelda for me now - so many things I've read about it have specifically praised how it freshens the whole stinky series up, which is encouraging. I'm surprised how little hype I've seen so far. Shocked that people really are over Zelda. Anyway, I'm still falling for it, can't wait! Mine should arrive tomorrow...
  21. Monkey Island 2: SE

    I agree - I think there's just a few of these games that they could justify remaking - Curse of Monkey Island SE or DoTT SE would be clutching at straws, as those games remain really presentable and are full talkie. (For the record, I think the first two Monkey games are beautiful, but I can see how some gamers of today could only get into them via the Special Editions). They should certainly release a few more of the Steam packs to get games like Full Throttle and DoTT available again, thoough. I'd be interested to see this LucasArts team making another original game next...
  22. Making Music

    Reaper handles VST instruments well and has pretty deep MIDI features, take a look at that. I used to use Cubase but I prefer Reaper these days - the routing is actually better. My projects tend to be a mixture of recorded instruments and several soundfonts and synths controlled by MIDI, demos for my band and other odd little instrumentals I put together... It's free for a while and then it will remind you to pay ($60) although it lets you carry on using it until you get round to that. Do you have any of your music I can listen to? I'd be interested.
  23. General Video Game Deals Thread

    Just spotted that Bully is cheap on Steam (£4.25 here) just until 10pm PDT today, which I guess is a few more hours. I guess some people like me might be interested in this after it was mentioned as being very good in a recent cast. I grabbed it...
  24. Monkey Island 2: SE

    Maybe an extra verb action, 'Reflect on the making of'. You click that on stuff in the game, and commentary might start up. If there's nothing for that particular hotspot or item, Guybrush just says 'There's no commentary about that tree' or 'Tim Schafer doesn't remember much about that crazy straw' or whatever. Clearly the least clunky and horrible way of doing it...
  25. Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse

    Agreed! I'm some way into the episode and finding it to be terrifically good. I had my complaints about the first season and skipped the second, but so far I'm really happy with this. The story, atmosphere, writing, puzzling, and interface are all significantly more satisfying than before. Jake, that intro sequence is astonishingly good, well done! I've only seen it once as I didn't save my game near where it kicks in - I wish there was a button to watch it over and over.