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Everything posted by JezMM

  1. You can more or less tell by using the official soundtrack release as a guideline, where every track gets at least 2 full loops before ending or fading out. If it sounds like the song has reached a loop and the progress bar is about to hit the halfway point on the running time, it means there's no second variation. If you're only about a quarter of the way through when that happens, it means the first loop isn't really done yet - there's about to be a repeated section with some reworking done, as you described for Flying Battery, before the loop of the Mania version is over. Having said all of that, off the top of my head, I'm fairly sure Green Hill Act 2 is the only song other than Flying Battery Act 2 that goes for this. Only about 80% sure on that but yeah.
  2. I wouldn't automatically say the doors are open, it's notable that all the Advent Children tracks were directly remixes of music that originated from Final Fantasy 7 rather than original songs. If anything, to my memory, the only time Smash has ever featured original music from a non-video game entry in a series, was when they included the two versions of Ai No Uta in Brawl for the Pikmin stage (and hey that French version was really nice, it's a shame it was so short).
  3. Oh yeah, I completely forgot about the Zavok stage in Classic mode. So yeah... those looking for Deadly Six representation, there it is lol. Just not in Spirit form.
  4. Pushed in the marketing maybe, but not the game itself. If you're going to include a single spirit from Forces, is there really a question about whether to include the villian who has a few scenes near the start or the villian who is around for the entire game? (Naturally, Avatar was probably also a contender for Spirit, but I can see them choosing Infinite as he was the same character for every player, unlike Avatar). Heck, it's entirely possible that it was SEGA's request for them to include a spirit from the most recent release rather than just cover the franchise's history of main characters. Had Smash Ultimate come out later we might've ended up with a "Sonic (Team Sonic Racing)" spirit instead of Infinite, lol.
  5. JezMM


    Chamomile #208
  6. Deadly Six would've probably been a spirit if Lost World had still been the most recent game, but, well, Forces was, so yeah.
  7. Some notable stories for me would be: BioShock This was the first story-driven FPS game I ever played and while that was special in itself, it was also the first ever game that opened my eyes to the idea that video game stories didn't just have to be a movie chopped up and slapped between gameplay segments. The medium could do narratives that no other medium could do thanks to the intimacy of the player being an active participant. If you've somehow gotten through the nearly two decades since this game came out without it being spoiled, please give it a shot while you still can. Undertale Its reputation kinda precedes itself right? If BioShock was my eye opening "oh, game stories can be intrinsicly linked to gameplay", this one kinda blew the door wide open on the concept. I'm so glad I got to experience this one before it became such a cult internet thing. Amidst all the memes and fandom and spoilers, it's so easy to forget how incredibly funny and so full of heart and endearment the game is as a standalone piece of art. The above are the two I'd give anything to experience for the first time again. Beyond that though: Horizon: Zero Dawn Specifically recommended to me after I was let down by Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity's very lacklustre Nintendo-grade story, it knocked it out the park. It was a bit of a slow burn, since at first it felt like the first hour or two frontloaded a lot of crucial world-building lore about the current world's tribes and people, and the very first area of the game, which explores the old (comparitively futuristic) world, was filled with audio diary messages that are incredibly hard to follow and won't get contextualised until tens of hours later on - and end up being somewhat of a side story in the grand scheme of the world's backstory anyway. Aside from that utter trip and stumble over the starting line though, by the end of the game I had experienced a lengthy but fantastically paced story of intrigue, twists and human tragedy regarding the backstory, a ton of enjoyable episodic stories with NPC quests and a deeply personal and beautifully done arc for the extremely likeable main character Aloy. The Half-Life and Portal Series Portal has had it's praises sung many times for how it slyly inserted a fantastic story into what appeared to be a basic storyless puzzle game. Portal 2 often gets flack for going off the rails on it's pie-in-the-face humour compared to Portal 1's sneakiness but to be honest, Portal 1's finale had already blown off the rails and thrown them in the incinerator so I'm more than fine with it, because the execution was everything. The Half-Life series is just an excellent bit of sci-fi with an extremely likeable cast of characters... once they're introduced anyway. I don't care much for Half-Life 1 but it was necessary set-up for the rest. Half-Life 2 is excellent but the story is very spread out across the 10-20 hour campaign, and thus feels a lot more gameplay focused than the Episodes that followed, which managed to pack story and interesting gameplay into almost every single map. Episode 2 is the pinnacle, where I think I could name every map off the top of my head, telling you what the gameplay is and what story beat happens in each one. Half-Life: Alyx went a bit closer to HL2's pacing and tragically was missing a lot of those beloved characters that I was so looking forward to spending time with again after all these years. It also gained a weird, almost Portal 2-esque focus on comedy (just more grounded in dialogue than actual events) but thankfully, said comedy makes up for the gaps between major story beats. Even though I adore Half-Life as much as the others on this post, because it comes with those caveats it gets mentioned as a secondary note. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask I've played this game so many times it's become hard to appreciate how special and unique the story was. The presentation is aged nowadays but the ambition on display here shines through. While Link's personal journey as a protagonist doesn't really get any attention, possibly feeling even more of a blank slate character than he was in OoT due to his new, strange surroundings, all of the NPC stories build up to a narrative that is greater than the sum of it's parts and just drapes a blanket of general atmosphere over the player as they experience it in a way no other Zelda has done since, it's really something special (and if you're a Matthewmatosis viewer, yes I used some of his exact wording there from his Zelda MM review but I can't think of a better way to put it lol).
  8. JezMM


    Chamomile #207
  9. Played so much Mario 35 today out of morbid curiosity for how long it lasts and/or trying to make sure I have a really satisfying final game.  I'm almost burned out on it but... as of 20 minutes ago, it was still playable. Is this really going to last as long as people don't turn off the game, I wonder?  Sleep mode didn't affect it when I went to work today so I'm fascinated to see if I can still start a game in the morning.

    1. Harkofthewaa


      Maybe it's like when Microsoft shut off the original Xbox Live so people went to play Halo 2 online for the last time. It turned out the games stayed open as long as people stayed on so people literally stayed connected for months till their Xbox's died.

  10. Even as someone who doesn't care about NiGHTS that much (finally played the original recently and it didn't live up to the hype at all), I don't think it's unreasonable to be disappointed that it isn't in some way a spiritual successor. The designs and main character are SO evocative of NiGHTS in the same way that Yooka-Laylee, Mighty No. 9 and Bloodstained evoke Banjo-Kazooie, Mega Man and Castlevania respectively. Yes, just because those games were intentionally spiritual successors, it doesn't mean Balan has to be. Judging it in a vacuum, Balan can be whatever it wants to be... Except... it's not in a vacuum. It's being judged by humans who have the wider context of gaming to consider it in. So, either it was a conscious decision to make it NiGHTS-esque and we're kidding ourselves if we expect people to see that and not hope for a NiGHTS successor. Or it was coincidental that the same people that came up with NiGHTS wanted to do the same sort of thing again but not quite and THEY were kidding themselves that people wouldn't react hoping for a NiGHTS successor. I mean, wanting it to be NiGHTS or not doesn't really change much when the game is crap either way, but I dunno, I feel that angle of disappointment is defensible.
  11. I'm thinking if "Balan Company" even go on to make another game under that name... they uhh... shouldn't have banked on their first game to represent their identity like that, huh.

    1. Strickerx5


      Well, tbf the character designs and animations are really the only highlights the game has so the name and logo themselves aren't terrible

      but it's highly unlikely they'll be doing anything after this imo

    2. Blue Blood
  12. JezMM


    Chamomile #206 Oh... and a bonus thing I made this week too:
  13. I apologise for phrasing that so concretely, naturally there's no confirmation that the Metacritic thing is being done by anyone involved in the production of the game, when I said it was flagrantly Square that was just me stating a personal assumption. But it's just SO suspect that not a single one of them is an established account with reviews for other games too. There is a chance that they're just hyper-defensive fans, but the fact that they're all so Engrish-laden too MASSIVELY stinks of fakery to me. Oh, and finally, all the account names are vaguely-name-resembling gibberish, not a single one of them tells the tale of belonging to a real person with a username influnced by personality or interests.
  14. With still nary a professional review in sight, dummy accounts that have never reviewed any other game are giving Balan 10/10 reviews on Metacritic in a flagrant attempt from Square (I'd hope not the devs themselves) to get any more sales they can in this rapidly-decreasing window of time: https://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-4/balan-wonderworld/user-reviews This is just getting sad now.
  15. JezMM


    Chamomile #205
  16. Generally speaking, my favourite Classic Mode routes were like those of Sonic (representing key games from the franchise's history and making me smile when I "figured out" what each stage referenced) or Pit (representing various levels/battles from a single game). Like basically I adore the concept of Spirit Battles where Smash fights are set up to make imaginary versions of content from other games, but the general Spirit Gameplay and Adventure mode was bogged down for me by the rock-paper-scissors gameplay of beefing yourself up with Spirits. I want the uhh... excuse the pun, spirit of that, but with less utterly wild modifications of the gameplay. So ideally I'd have more of that sort of thing and less stuff like Banjo-Kazooie's "fight all the characters who are also duos in some way" stuff. Using them as an example since I'm intimately familiar with the original game, their route I would have preferred something like (if we go by the music choices available as a starting point for speed, though these aren't necessarily the stages I'd represent when narrowing it all down, Click Clock Wood is way too important to me to not represent for example lol); Fight against a character representing Bottles on Spiral Mountain Fight against Donkey Kong (Conga) on a stage representing Mumbo's Mountain Fight against a character representing Nipper on a stage representing Treasure Trove Cove Fight against a character representing Boggy on a stage representing Freezeezy Peak Fight against Master Hand (Grabba) on an Omega Form stage representing Gobi's Valley Fight against a character representing Napper on a stage representingMad Monster Mansion Bonus Stage Fight against a boss or powered-up character resembling Grunty on Spiral Mountain BF/Omega Form I'd way prefer something like that than kind of generic fights that just all fall under a basic "theme". Having said all that though... I really wish they had included a "Classic Classic Mode" with randomly generated stages for the sake of just enjoying a quick round of single player gameplay with a sense of structure to it. In addition, I wish Boss Rush had been an actual mode playable with any character rather than just limiting it to Sephiroth's route who I don't really enjoy playing as. Oh... and use all those unused bonus stage layouts people datamined, lol.
  17. Re-reading the Shadow "plothole" thread again, I realise now the real plothole is Shadow's eagerness to use guns considering his only experience of them prior to the game was his best friend/sister-figure being killed by one.

    1. Crow the BOOLET

      Crow the BOOLET

      Maybe he wanted to exact "justice" the same way GUN did. Idk. The first gun he picked up was just one that was lying on the ground after a GUN soldier took a laser to the face. Maybe it was drastic measure?

    2. Soniman


      So he's not batman 

    3. Indigo Rush

      Indigo Rush

      The real plothole is the friends he made along the way

  18. JezMM


    Chamomile #204
  19. Just an alternative idea - they could make it so Super Sonic is a proxy to some other kind of gameplay. A good example would be the Special Stages from Sonic Lost World 3DS (ignoring the controversy of them being gyro controlled). It wouldn't have been so out of the blue if a Super Sonic boss tasked you with fighting a boss under those same gameplay conditions. Like this example, a Super Sonic boss could use the basic control scheme of a pre-existing "minigame" that has been a part of the game the entire way through, with an extra ability or increased speed to make Super Sonic feel just a little more special than being just a reskinned version of said minigame. Understandably I could see people taking issue with this if they'd rather the game be one consistent gameplay style all the way through - it's a valid request, but at the same time, many Sonic games have already inserted alternate gameplay in and been well-recieved, and plenty of critically acclaimed games have incredibly contrasting gameplay moments without issue. Shrine gameplay and Horseback Archery gameplay in Breath of the Wild are worlds apart in terms of style, but I don't think many people would say that the Shrine gameplay would've made for a better climax. I used the term "minigame" here as a shorthand to communicate that this gameplay would be different from the core Sonic platforming experience, but as long as it's fun and well-integrated, it doesn't have to present itself as a "minigame". It could just be a natural part of the game that just happens to be different from other parts of the game, and an option to make the Super Sonic gameplay less out-of-nowhere. Special Stages, "Sky Chase" Stages and Mach Speed sections are some existing examples from the series that could be recurring throughout the game and lend their gameplay to serving the basis for the Super Sonic fight at the end (preferrably following a final exam boss or stage of the "main" gameplay style).
  20. It's a tricky needle to thread - it's certainly possible to design a new form of gameplay that is fun and easy to understand and challenging enough. But it's also worth mentioning that saying "well as long as we get a proper "final exam" boss beforehand it's fine to do whatever for Super Sonic" isn't quite as simple as it sounds either. Lots of people too issue with Unleashed's final boss, but the regular Sonic sections on Dark Gaia were exactly that, and it wasn't enough to make up the difference. To be honest I think my ideal Super Sonic boss wouldn't play TOO differently to Time Eater from Generations - like a Star Fox esque on-rails shooter where the path is automatic but you can move around to dodge/collect things, and use physical attacks instead of shooting. The problem was Time Eater was just a super weird/confusing boss, and the MASSIVENESS of the arena made it feel like there was no sense of speed. I'd love a Super Sonic final boss that feels somewhat like a playable version of the Unleashed intro, with passing through lots of different bits of scenery to get a proper sense of speed. The only other tricky part is Super Sonic's invulnerability, but I think as long as the enemy is narratively powerful enough, they can justify some attacks getting through and causing Sonic to lose rings, with smaller attacks just costing time as is tradition. But yeah, I definitely want more (good) final exam bosses, whether they come before or after the Super Sonic bonus fight, and I definitely want more final bosses with a focus on speed and/or momentum if applicable (I was bummed out that neither of Sonic Mania's final bosses made use of momentum, aside from a few of the (pretty confusing, tbh) Hard-Boiled Heavies snippets).
  21. To be honest, it's pretty much a 50/50 split on who their choice to please was there. As someone who only played vanilla P5, I'm was glad to not be punished for my lack of double-dipping, and to be honest I kinda hate the idea of a game throwing out a canon that so many folks enjoyed and demanding they pay for and play a 60+ hour game again to see the new "true" version. So on that basis I'm pretty happy with them making Royal the non-canon one if one has to be. Granted, having the characters mention Kasumi wouldn't be that much worse for me than the fact that apparently my Joker and Makoto broke up at some point in the last 6 months and the party-members that I bonded up to level 10 with all lost their upgraded Personas for unknown reasons but I do think the absence of such variable plot points are better than the inclusion of something that might confuse vanilla P5 players. Again... probably the best solution here that would have pleased everyone would've been to include your desired throwaway line(s) about Kasumi if the player has Royal data on their Playstation. And uhh... people who played Royal but then moved over to Switch or PC for Strikers be damned lol.
  22. Been enjoying it myself too - there's a few things that hold it back from feeling like a full on sequel and I wish they had just lightly allowed some old save stuff from Persona 5 to make it feel a little more like a true continuation, like occasional dialogue differences for party members/NPCs that you'd fully bonded to or started a romance with in the original (though some stuff, like everyone having their original Personas for recognisability, makes sense of course). It's strange how all the real world stuff feels a bit more shallow just for not having a time system like the original game did. Occasionally it's a bit annoying how the party has to stop and chat about every single tiny little obvious roadblock they come across in leiu of actually presenting the player with genuine puzzles but... that was kind of an issue with P5 anyway so it all feels very familiar lol. The combat is the point of the game, the rest is just set-dressing, but occasionally I have to remind myself of that. That's just part of the "half-game, half-visual novel" genre that Persona goes for, and it's not like I don't love hanging out with these guys. Sophia is friggin' adorable too, I love her.
  23. JezMM


    Chamomile #202
  24. Somehow my wife played through the entirety of Horizon Zero Dawn without me ever paying attention or being remotely interested in it (I mean... Breath of the Wild had just come out). This put me in an advantangeous position of the game having not being spoiled for when I'd finally play it this year. I had just finished Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity and since I had looked forward to that game for it's narrative content... which turned out to be very... ugh, Nintendo-quality, big surprise... I was kind of itching for an action game with a really strong narrative. She recommended I play Horizon and I'm so glad I did. While it takes a few hours to get going, once it did I enjoyed it so much I pretty much 100%'d it. While I wish the non-combat gameplay was a bit more involved like Zelda's is, the atmosphere of just being in the game's world made up the difference (I didn't fast-travel anywhere because I didn't want to cheapen it, and I also turned off the quest markers so I had to navigate to them manually using the map to plan a route rather than just blindly following on-screen destination icons without paying attention to the world). Didn't let me down on the narrative front either, absolutely fantastic story full of both intrigue and heart. Aloy is now one of my favourite video game protagonists of all time and I'm super looking forward to the sequel.
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