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  1. Because they're more realistic, and people won't take this movie about a supersonic talking blue hedgehog seriously unless it's realistic! Sonic '06 was essentially an attempt to create a Sonic movie based on the contemporary franchise philosophy, right down to really being about Sonic's human co-star. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of its decisions echoed by an actual movie based on a human-centric vision of the series.
  2. FFWF

    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

    In the specific case of Blaze hunting for the Sol Emeralds, we know that Burning Blaze is in literally the next issue so hunting for Sol Emeralds isn't really on the immediate agenda, at least. ...Presumably she can't just use the Sol Emeralds for free, though. I've been considering the possibility that using them to become Burning Blaze will have the side-effect of returning Blaze to her world once the effect wears off. That would both raise the stakes and wrap her up until her next big event.
  3. FFWF

    Team Sonic Racing - Upcoming Sonic Racing Game

    Money. That's all there is to it. Sonic just isn't a big-budget franchise any more - and when you consider what Sonic Team has tended to do with its budgets, you can see why the Sega paymasters might be drawing the pursestrings that bit tighter.
  4. FFWF

    Team Sonic Racing - Upcoming Sonic Racing Game

    Everyone had an inkling this might happen, but it's still a bizarrely unco-ordinated sight to see them actually try to sell us on "Team Vector". The whole Team angle is becoming increasingly flimsy; you can certainly argue that there are storytelling grounds a decent writer could use to make unconventional team-ups more interesting, and I agree - but it's blatantly obvious that that wasn't involved in the decision-making process at all here, this is obviously just a grab-bag of whoever was left when they realised they didn't have the budget for six teams. I suppose this would also be the only team fronted by a character other than the Speed-type, at least until Team Eggman comes along. What a bizarre game. At least now we have proof that they won't let logic get in the way of their crowbarred-in gimmick.
  5. FFWF

    IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

    I wouldn't be surprised if the lack of fixed location names was a new mandate, looking at Sonic Forces and its "City".
  6. It looks like we can in all likelihood pencil this in for a localised release around June next year. The Japanese release date is November 29th; Persona 5 and Persona 3/5 Dancing both appear to have seven-month gaps between the Japanese and western release dates, and Atlus's other Etrian-Odyssey-based 3DS title, Etrian Odyssey Nexus, just got announced for a February 5th release date, almost exactly six months after its Japanese release date a couple of weeks ago. EON is, in a first for the series, not getting an English dub, which I gather is consistent with Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Journey Redux; but EON apparently has an unusually high amount of dialogue for the series, so I can see why for the more niche of their tail-end 3DS titles Atlus decided to forego dubbing in order to get it out the door. Q2 I'm presuming will be dubbed, as Atlus seems pretty consistent at the moment in their Persona dubbing and has voice actors attached to most of the characters already.
  7. FFWF

    Do you aggree with the Two-worlds??

    Not much of a "human world," then. If one anthro community is allowed to emerge there, why do the rest have to be shuffled off to a second planet? Of course, the casual manner in which the off-screen and unmentioned portal lets the anthro characters freely mingle with humans in multiple games now also demonstrates the pointlessness of the measure.
  8. FFWF

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (December 7th)

    I guess you have to ask, "Which Vaati?" He's essentially a different character with a different appearance, abilities, and backstory between FS/FSA and Minish Cap. ...Looking back, the Four Swords elements in Minish Cap seem like a pretty late addition; I bet the villain wasn't originally Vaati.
  9. FFWF

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (December 7th)

    Veran, from Oracle Of Ages? Her whole schtick is possessing people, and transforming into a bunch of weird monsters in her final boss fight, so I don't know if she'd translate terribly well to Smash.
  10. I think fifteen would be a fine racing spin-off roster size for some franchises. But for the Sonic franchise, and for a game using the antiquated Heroes Team system, and especially for a game which relative to its predecessor cut out huge swathes of its roster specifically in order to include more Sonic characters - well, it feels a bit limited. It pretty much guarantees that there aren't going to be many surprises or creative choices; and where there are, they feel weird and inconsistent. Omachao as a racer is one thing, and I actually think that having the character who exists to give tutorials become a legitimate playable character has the potential to be amusing (though I don't have nearly enough faith in this game's writing to believe it'll live up to that potential); but Omachao replacing Cream, in the context of Team Rose, is very strange. It'll be interesting to see if they edit the probable Team Chaotix, and how they handle the fifth team.
  11. I do think that Let's Go! Pikachu/Eevee appear to have stunningly boring visual design. It's so basic and inorganic, as if they had no higher ambition than to recreate the originals with all their technical limitations, and so the map designs are oversimplified and confined to rigid, featureless grids. There's no passion. I really hope the games are being made on a low budget and aren't indicative of what we can expect from Gen VIII, as it honestly looks worse than Sun/Moon on the 3DS.
  12. I think it's probably more that they'll fill you in on everything you need to know rather than just assuming that you know everything about Persona 5 already. We know that Kamoshida is in the game in some form, after all, which if anything would seem to indicate the story will be pretty closely tied to the original P5 narrative.
  13. Famitsu scans for the game and summaries of the information contained within are out; scans here and information here; the big takeaways are that there's no route select, and the new characters aren't playable, both presumably because the playable cast is already so enormous. Also, screenshots on the website confirm that it's still an Etrian Odyssey game, which of course it is as that's what the Q in the title represents; first-person perspective, mapping, F.O.E.s, the lot.
  14. FFWF

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (December 7th)

    FNAF representation in Smash seems highly unlikely. Stepping away from questions of what is appropriate or substantial, it seems to me that the main obstacles are: 1. That the franchise has absolutely no history with Nintendo whatsoever (or indeed any console); and 2. That there simply isn't demand for FNAF representation. Consider Shovel Knight: The game has had considerable support from Nintendo, and there was a huge buzz around Shovel Knight in relation to Smash 4; I don't doubt that the character ballot took in a lot of votes for his inclusion. By contrast, who's asking for Freddy Fazbear in Smash? Anyway, my congratulations to all the fans of characters and franchises which got in last night; there's no doubt that it's fan support which secured K. Rool, in particular. I also have to say that I'm somewhat amused by Sakurai saying in the game's E3 reveal that we shouldn't expect too many newcomers, and then they just revealed five in a single half-hour last night. Doubtless there are more to come.
  15. FFWF

    What game are you currently playing?

    Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch) - Highly recommended; see my more detailed breakdown here. Rime (Switch) - This is a beautiful game with a tragedy at its heart... the tragedy of its own technical limitations. But we'll come to that. What I was looking for was a game where I could solve puzzles on an island, and this is one of the names that came up among Switch games. It's difficult to generically classify; it has puzzle elements, open-world elements, platforming elements, walking simulator elements... I understand it's a project which somewhat shifted in direction during development, and perhaps it shows, for I'm not sure it necessarily serves or is served by its various genres all that well. The open-world aspect is limited, relatively cosy areas which technically have room for exploration and non-linearity but which ultimately reveal actually very little choice, just a lot of empty space and obtusely-hidden collectibles; despite going into the game for this aspect, I actually found that my favourite world was the entirely linear third one. The platforming is rudimentary, and the game seems to foreground it more to highlight the prettiness of its scenery than for the sake of its actual gameplay. The puzzles, too, are generally on the simple side, but disguised with more platforming and pretty scenery; which isn't to say that they don't have occasional flashes of brilliance. Any of these aspects seem like they might have been better if they had been brought to the fore, at the expense of the others. In the end, the biggest victor and biggest slice of the pie goes to the experience and general sense of exploring a world which encodes a cryptic story. I don't necessarily mind that; it's a beautiful world, well-designed, and I am fond of a story which is fundamentally very simple but takes its few symbols and magnifies them and builds them into the general design, the literal and figurative architecture. It was a world I enjoyed my time in. And a good thing too - because anyone even slightly pickier than me would have put this down earlier on, because here's the catch: This is not a game which should have been on the Switch. I don't blame that on the console itself so much as on the developers; they shouldn't have attempted to bring a game to the console if they couldn't do it well. Handheld mode is, frankly, a mess; blatantly stuttery graphics, textures which rearrange themselves before your eyes, laggy menus. Strangely, it's not even consistently bad; the fourth world, a rainslick necropolis which looked to me fairly graphically intensive, actually ran almost perfectly. Well, I tolerated that, because I'm a pretty lenient person and I was enjoying the experience nonetheless. ...But. There is an unforgiveable sin among technical limitations; and what finally killed the game for me was a nasty tendency to eat my save file. I would just load up the game, and everything I did would be gone, and it would be as if I was starting it for the first time again. Now, the first time this happened, I actually gave it the benefit of the doubt, because it was literally only the second time I had turned the game on, and I experimented with saving and quitting and turning off my Switch and so on, and I couldn't reproduce the fault; it saved fine. Could I have absentmindedly selected the New Game option...? I doubted it, but I soldiered on regardless, and managed to play a good few hours through much of the rest of the game over multiple days, with no problems. And then it hit again: Turned the game on, save gone, it just booted me straight into a new game. A video walkthrough subsequently showed that I was literally five minutes from the end. Further research then indicated that this was an obscure but not unprecedented issue with the game's Switch version. I didn't restart it. Yes, Rime is a beautiful game... but it shouldn't have been on the Switch. Escape Trick: 35 Fateful Enigmas (Switch) - When will I learn? Those Flash practitioners of the escape-the-room genre, they had years of practice and countless peers to learn from, and what bloomed there were geniuses of the escape game like Neutral, Kotorinosu, and Gatamari, who produced works of stunning ambition, brilliance, logic. But off Flash, and on console? Hopeless mediocrity. Even the Zero Escape games I can only call unmemorable when it comes to the escape segments; they had no passion. But even so, I gave this title the benefit of the doubt. Mediocrity, shovelware... If I'd merely been paying for that, I suppose I could have lived with it. But oh, no. What we have here are some of the worst escape games I have ever played. But let's back off a bit. Structurally, ET35FE comprises two games: The Escape From The Sealed Room: The 16 Riddles Of The Beginning, and The Escape From The Sealed Room 2: The 19 Erased Memories. 16 Riddles first tasks you with completing eight different escapes in a linear sequence; this then unlocks seven alternative versions of those stages, escaping from and locating a particular hidden element within will open the final stage. 19 Memories, by contrast, has a pseudo-branching-paths system, where the first four levels all branch off into multiple paths - but those branches only unlock after getting other endings in the game, rather than being freely accessible, and in fact are only themselves available again from alternative versions of those original stages. To put it another way, there are about twelve levels total in the game which are effectively counted twice; but it's hard to call them hard versions, remixes, or even simple asset recycles, as quite often they feature entirely fresh puzzles or indeed swiftly transition to entirely new rooms within a single level. I'll say this for the game, it definitely gives you plenty of bang for your buck (it might have been better if they didn't). To complete my notes on structure, the two games, 16 Riddles and 19 Memories, do have plots. Those plots are separate and don't relate to each other, though both end up gesturing in the same direction; and they are also not even a little bit good. 16 Riddles's plot feels very much like an excuse to string together a bunch of originally unrelated rooms, and goes in a rather strange direction at the midway point; the final level for one brief shining moment towards the end promises to make sense of everything, but then proceeds to make even less sense than before and ends on an unresolved cliffhanger. 19 Memories has a more elaborate plot with multiple characters interacting, but the reveals fail to make even a lick of sense and read very much like somebody played Zero Escape, failed to understand it, and then decided to rip it off anyway; the final ending also feels bizarrely abrupt and inconclusive. (I have heard that, after completing the last level, there is another ending which can be gained by revisiting an earlier level; but as I don't know which earlier level, and am thoroughly jaded with the whole game, I honestly haven't the patience to try and find it out.) The localisation is mostly adequate, but of inconsistent quality; one level might throw out the colloquialism "nerdsplain," while another uses obvious literal translations like "an absolute existence"; text on in-game graphics is machine-translated and fails to match text box narration. Which brings us to visuals and gameplay. The visuals are, at best, adequate; locations are always interesting to look at, at least, and there is surprisingly little asset recycling - but visuals can also be unnecessarily cluttered, muddy and vague, or, as the locales get stranger, flat-out uncommunicative of what they're meant to represent and how you're meant to interact with them; though it's difficult to say if this is more of a graphical problem or a gameplay one. Gameplay is the big sticking-point, though, for as the games go on, the puzzles have a tendency to grow increasingly opaque and illogical; one I particularly remember is a clock-based maths puzzle which requires you to ignore how both clocks and maths work. Later levels are bizarrely unyielding of any indication of your actual objective, the victory state of the increasingly large-scale room-shifting puzzles you're asked to take on. Beyond a certain point, these aren't even escape-the-room games any more; more like point-and-click adventure games of a particularly cruel bent. This would be less of a problem if there were only some kind of hint system; but there is no hint system, which for a console escape game is an absolute must. Otherwise, if you get stuck, all you can do is go and look on the Internet; and while that felt appropriate in the old days of community-based solving of Flash escape games, that was because you were already on the Internet (and some of those had hint systems anyway!). The result is that you just end up going through the game with a video walkthrough open (I had to dig through Japanese stream archives for some of the later levels), reconstructing the logic of whatever answer the walkthrough inputs whenever you happen to get stuck (which is sometimes more interesting than the actual puzzle). Sometimes I felt this was being unfair to the game; but there were plenty of instances of solutions I can't imagine arriving at through anything other than trial-and-error or pixel-hunting. The real killer, though, is the game's molasses-slow interface. Going through your inventory, interacting with items or changing camera views, are languorous; and while there are, correctly, no glowing hotspot indicators, text boxes will frequently linger on-screen and completely null your button-presses until they go away, meaning that searching for hotspots can have long seconds of iteration time between each individual click. Item combination is context-specific rather than having a "combine" button or just letting you use one item on another, like every other escape game in existence. The comparative cheapness of online Flash games is actually an asset when it comes to gameplay speed; if you want your gameplay slower, you have to make it correspondingly easier and more obvious so the player never feels they're wasting their time if they're stuck. And don't get me started on the gimmicks. There are reviews for this game which states that it fails to innovate as it goes on. If only. This is one of the most gimmick-laden escape games I've ever come across, and only gets fonder and fonder of them. 19 Memories leans heavily on touch-and-drag mechanics, which have no on-screen indication whatsoever, and occasionally require you to interact with objects which don't even look like they should be possible to manipulate. Would that that was the worst of it. In a slow game with a particularly lazy save-reload cycle, the levels become inordinately fond of death failure states which reset you back to the beginning - often time-limit-based, too, with time passing even while you're in menus. But those are just the generalities, not the specifics. What kind of person looks at an escape game and says to themself, "You know what this needs? A minecart section." A whole minigame just to pick things up because you're piloting a submarine now. Slider puzzles where you can't let two objects in particular touch or else you'll die, but you can't tell which they are until you've played halfway through the puzzle. And, the one which killed any chance I could give this game a halfway positive review, the nadir of multi-gimmick pile-ups: Playing a slow-paced grabber minigame to grind randomly-generated resources to defer a time-limit-based failure state. Flash games perfected the escape game years ago. What's your excuse, Escape Trick? Sonic Mania Plus (Switch) - In progress. I don't think anyone on this site needs me to review this game - but my take? For me, this is the second coming of S3&K. It's absolute comfort food, so much fun and strangely relaxing to play even at the most intense speeds or through treacherous platforming. I'm glad I had to hold off until the Plus update to buy it; the area transition cutscenes, even when reliant on the Phantom Ruby, are absolute joys of animation that really liven up the whole experience. WarioWare Gold (3DS) - In progress. I'd imagined this would be a relatively quick game to play, but I foolishly vowed, out of a deep affection for this series, to 100% it - all target scores on minigames, that sort of thing. A foolish mistake - this game is packed with content, countless microgames and weird additional gimmicks and special missions and so on. It's fantastic, to be clear; the microgames are fun, hectic, hilarious to look at, and the goofy story cutscenes are fun and help to give the characters life. But this'll be a long-former, I think.

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