Diecast #279: Hyper Light Drifter, Superliminal, Mailbag

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 18, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 55 comments

I notice I get a lot of emails from people just AFTER recording the show. At first I thought this was a fluke, but now I’m wondering if they’re trying to send in their questions just before the show, but they misjudge the timing. For the curious, our recording session happens sometime on Saturday night / evening, East Coast time.

I do try to put questions in the order that I receive them, but it’s also true that last-minute emails are fresher in my mind when we do the show. That’s not advice, that’s just an observation.



Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
Diecast279

Show notes:

00:45 Hyper Light Drifter and Ghibli Influence


Link (YouTube)

12:27 Thimen24

Here is the 24/7 Twitch Steam where you can watch the adventure.

22:18 Dead Graphics Card

Press [F] to pay for a respec.


Link (YouTube)

35:03 Superliminal

Please note that we’re talking about the videogame, not the Deadmau5 track.


Link (YouTube)

44:21 Mailbag: Golden Oldies

Dear Diecast,

I was reading Programming Vexations part 9 and got to thinking. In the movies there are classics that are considered to be must-watch films like The Lord of the Rings, The Lion King, Citizen Kane, and so on.
Are there older games (let’s say at least 15 years old) that you would consider to be must-play games?
I’d say something like Super Metroid or Ultima Underworld 2 would be a definite contender.

Vale,

-Tim

50:11 Mailbag: “Nothing to Do” games.

Dear Diecast;

we’ve all seen the phenomenon of the steam review that sits at hundreds of hours played, with a thumbs down and a ‘nothing to do’ comment; you can’t really reason with that line of thought but at the same time we’ve all probably felt that way about a certain game at some point even if it’s provided us with 10 times the length/value of other games. Do you feel this is due to these games not really having an ending? When I’m done with my Skyrim playthrough, I can’t actually end it – I just have to park my Dragonborn on her backside at home and just assume she retired. I’m really enjoying Destiny 2 but if I get bored of it, I can’t actually END the game – I just have to leave my Titan hanging forever in orbit, waiting for the next mission.

Do you feel the lack of a proper diegetic ending to a game leads to this kind of feeling of running out of things to do? or are the 1000+ hour review thumbs down people just kinda nuts?

many thanks,
James Stanfield

55:06 Mailbag: Disco Elysium

Hello, Würfel-Werfer!

Have any of you played Disco Elysium? If so, what are your thoughts? For me, it transformed what a CRPG could be – allbeit it one needs to have a certain capacity to endure walls of text to appreciate it. And it being a film noir/alternate reality/”disco-punk”(?) game, I thought it should be right up shamous’ alley.

Also, in case my first question does give you much to talk about: It shares a few things with The Outer Worlds – namely a “short” game length (25-40 hours instead of 100+) and both tackle “class conflict” as a central theme.
As a full time employed dad of two daughters, I for one welcome deep RPGs that I can actually finish in a reasonable time frame.
And I do think that game stories can be political, which both games definitely are – no matter if I agree or disagree with the points the story writers want to make!

So, that’s about it, you can keep any typo or grammatical error, since english is not my native language. Regards from Autumnly Austria,

ColeusRattus

55:53 Mailbag: Replaying Old Games

Dear Diecast,

What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had when going back to a game you last played ten or twenty years ago? I don’t mean “Wow, this totally holds up” or “I can’t believe I ever liked this garbage” but reactions you wouldn’t have expected going in. Lately I’ve had realizations like “Insanaquarium was kind of the first Cookie Clicker-ish idle game” and “Planescape has custom descriptions for each of the nameless zombies in the starting area so that they’re not all the same. People just don’t do that any more!”

Ninety-Three

58:49 Mailbag: Content Creation

Dear Diecast,

When you make stuff for Twenty Sided, how much do you try to gauge audience response and use it to guide your content (“I see I get 50% more traffic on weeks where I talk about Shoot Guy, I should do more FPS content”) vs how much do you just make whatever is on your mind and hope that there’s an audience for it?

Ninety-Three

1:10:18 Mailbag: Upcoming System Shocks

Hello Diecasters

Today I got a new Backer Update for Nightdives System Shock Reboot. It looks good, it looks back on track.
Last time you talked about it in Diecast 209 after you Dumbed the project down. Now 18 month later, what are your thoughts?
And there are still no news on Othersides System Shock 3. Is no news good news or bad news – given the fact that Underworld Ascendant was released much too soon?

Regards

Lars

 


From The Archives:
 

55 thoughts on “Diecast #279: Hyper Light Drifter, Superliminal, Mailbag

  1. Joe says:

    Funny thing. Just the other day, Kotaku had an article about how November 04 was a contender for best gaming month ever.
    https://kotaku.com/15-years-later-november-2004-might-still-be-one-of-the-1839905549 World Of Warcraft, Half-Life 2, Metroid Prime 2, Metal Gear Solid 3 and Halo 2 all released then. Pretty good lineup.

    I don’t come to this site for videos, Shamus. It helps that you put the text in the article, so I don’t have to watch it. Jim Sterling puts a summary of his videos in the description, so I often don’t bother to actually watch his videos either. But on this site, I prefer text and audio.

    On the subject of not getting enough attention for something you put so much energy into, I recently put a couple of stories I wrote online. Apparently no one read them, even my sister. That was a downer. At least you get *some* engagement. I’m in much the same boat as Paul.

    1. Daimbert says:

      I have a little more engagement on my own blog but yeah, it’s a bit of an issue. I’ve been reminding myself that the point of the blog is to get things down so I stop thinking about them and/or doing things I want to do and so not worrying too much about hit counts and comments. Unless or until you go viral, there’s not much point in obsessing over hits if you’re enjoying it and think it’s useful even if few people read it.

      (And if you do go viral, the temptation to focus on giving readers what they want and so “selling out” even if you don’t like it as much might be overwhelming.)

      1. Joe says:

        I’m not getting *any* hits. Maybe I’d sell out if there was an audience, but there isn’t. Besides, I have a hard time getting my muse in order. It’s all over the bloody place. Come on, brain, give me space opera. Right, says the brain. How about steampunk?

        1. Daimbert says:

          Well, that was most specifically aimed at Shamus who always gets some hits but may not get what he wants for any particular project, but for you specifically my blog has been around for almost ten years and gets a very small amount of hits, and unfortunately to get hits in this day and age you need some kind of advertising or exposure first. There’s just too much out there to expect people to generally stumble over things.

          But one subtle way to do so if you don’t feel like pushing it is to add a link to it in signatures and when asked to potentially enter a website. That way people who think it sounds interesting can click on it without you having to aggressively promote it.

          Oh, and I can definitely relate to the issues around writing stories in general, although for me I focus on ideas and always have too many floating around rather than wanting to write a particular genre and not being in the mood for it.

  2. tmtvl says:

    Press [F] to pay for a respec.

    I see what you did there.

    On the topic of send-in timing, I send the question in when I think of it, I don’t mind having to wait a bit if needed.

  3. Duoae says:

    I’m actually a huge Hyper Light Drifter fan. I wrote a whole (incomplete) analysis of the game a few years ago in case anyone is interested:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    However, Paul is a little off in his description of Nausicaa: That manga and the anime were both created prior to studio Ghibli’s formation and it came out almost 13 years prior to Princess Mononoke.

    I think the chain dash challenge was the only one I didn’t manage to complete and I played on PS4. Paul is exactly right for how hard it is (without cheating). I think my best was 500-600…. but I’d lose my rythm around that point. I agree, it’s a ridiculous challenge. I think I saw a video on youtube where it took like 10 mins or something.

    1. John says:

      One of these days I am going to have to read the Nausicaa manga. I’ve seen the film. It’s not a bad film by any means, but I have, uh, issues with it. I’ve ranted about this before in the late, lamented TwentySided forums, so I’ll try to contain myself here. May it suffice to say that (1) I have serious questions about just how the post-apocalyptic ecosystem is supposed to work and (2) the character of Nausicaa herself irks me. I am reliably informed that the manga is better than the film–the film being a sort of a condensed adaptation of just one part of the manga–so I’m curious about the differences.

      And it seems that the manga is available from my library. Hold placed!

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Yeah, the manga is a real journey. My wife and I have both read through it twice, and having lived in Japan, it feels like a really honest dramatic struggle. I still think she was wrong to kill everyone in the vault at the end, but it’s at least lampshaded by the admission that the people of that era were less intelligent and more violent due to their genetic tinkering to acclimate them to the toxic environment. I like to read the story as an alagorical revenge fantasy by the anerobic lifeforms that were extinguished in the oxygen catastrophe, but of course, that’s stretching the narrative a bit.

      2. Henson says:

        I’d read Nausicaa on the art alone, really. But it helps that the story is pretty darn interesting.

        Going into it, I’d say not to assume that the players in the film all play the same roles. The film kinda eliminated one of the political factions and pushed some of their traits onto Pejite.

      3. Retsam says:

        Yeah, if the forums don’t come back up, I’m hoping Shamus at least posts a dump of the topics at some point. I remember the Nausicaa discussion you’re referring to; I think we had similar opinions on it.

        Having seen Howl’s Moving Castle in the intervening time; it seems Miyazaki has a talent for making beautiful, memorable adaptations that nevertheless make a hash of the plot of the thing being adapted.

        1. John says:

          The funny thing is that the Nausicaa manga is also by Miyazaki. If the film really is that different, it can’t be because he didn’t understand his own vision.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      Well, okay, I got that detail wrong. But insofar as Nausicaa and Ghibli are both largely driven by Hayao Miyazaki, the point stands.
      Had to change your background color to #DDD to make it readable. Very helpful commentary. There seem to be a lot of paralells to FF7 and the “cancer” themes, what with the “single immortal cell” idea. I wonder if the AI itself isn’t the immortal cell of corruption, and the white light was only a facade, or a hope. My main caution I would offer is there’s a temptation to read meaning into a work where there is only actually ambiguity.
      Also, no Part 4! The audacity. Good read anyhow.

      I was rather confused when the dash challenge seemed to unlock an outfit, which I was unable to discern how to don. Is there a wardrobe somewhere?

      1. The Rocketeer says:

        You can change cloaks and drone colors in your room. Each one has a bonus effect, and you can mix and match bonuses.

      2. Duoae says:

        Sorry, I wasn’t dinging you – I was just providing clarification for anyone listening. Like whether a song is written by a solo artist or the band they later joined…

        Thanks for the feedback :) – I have darkened the text which should hopefully help with readability. I prefer a darker background than one so bright as it tires my eyes. I use “night” modes in basically everything I can these days.

        My main caution I would offer is there’s a temptation to read meaning into a work where there is only actually ambiguity.

        Oh of course, I thought it was clear that was my interpretation of the events in the game.

        Yeah, I wrote out to part 5, pulling in the symbolism from the cultures that are referenced through the art and the tarot meanings and then extrapolated the missing tarot for the remaining bosses from the titles of the music that was used in each area. What was really interesting was that there’s a similarity between the layout of the map and the “cradle of civilisation”, Mesopotamia.

        This is a large conjecture on my part but evidence for that last part comes from the imagery used in the game and cutscenes, layout of the map and writing styles. There is also a curious note I found that the Gutan peoples invaded the region and they were often described as pale-skinned. For example, the Eastern kingdom being Babylonia – which is famous for the hanging gardens which were historically depicted as literally “hanging” though now are thought to be step-like in nature. :)

        You know, I should really finish writing those entries…

    3. The Rocketeer says:

      I also very much enjoyed Hyper Light Drifter. I had some nice things to say on the forum. Here, let me link it:

  4. Echo Tango says:

    It’s factored by three, because it ends in 9.

    UUUUUuuuuuuugggggggh! The rule-of-thumb for multiples of three (without taking out a calculator), is that if the sum of its digits is divisible by 3, the number itself is divisible by 3. For example, 27’s digits add up to 9, which is divisible by three; For contrast, 29 ends in a 9, and definitely is not divisible by 3 – but 30 is!

    1. Daimbert says:

      The rule-of-thumb for multiples of three (without taking out a calculator)

      Or, presumably, just dividing it out manually …

      1. Echo Tango says:

        It’s more useful for larger numbers, like 29061963.

        1. Daimbert says:

          I was more commenting on the suggestion of using a calculator vs doing the long division yourself. Kids these days, with their calculators and the like. In my day, we did the long division ourselves! Through the snow! Up hill both ways!

          1. kincajou says:

            Don’t forget square root calculations with byzantine tables!

            Boy, it was in those good old days that you separated the men from the mice!
            If one couldn’t do long form mental arithmetic they’d be cast off the cliffs by the spartan elders!

            ….

            I may be remembering things wrong

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, sorry, I recognized after I said it that it was wrong, but couldn’t be bothered to look up the real rule of thumb. I leave the challenge of listing all the radix less than 16 where 279 is prime as an exercise for the audience.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Well, the radix can’t be anything less than 10, because 279 has a “9” in it. We already know 279 isn’t prime in base 10, so we’re left with radix 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
        in rdx 11, it’s 328 (non-prime)
        in rdx 12, it’s 381 (semiprime)
        in rdx 13, it’s 438 (non-prime)
        in rdx 14, it’s 499 (PRIME!)
        in rdx 15, it’s 564 (non-prime)

        So, the answer is 14.

  5. Hal says:

    The “must play” games question is interesting, because when I think about a lot of the games I’d throw on that list, they end up being significant (in my head) for how they affected their genre rather than what they were.

    For example, one of my favorite games of all time was Earthbound, a JRPG on the SNES. One of the things that made it so good, however, was the way it played with the genre conventions of JRPGs. Does that prevent it from being timeless? Does it get pigeonholed into a time period? Does a must play game have to stand entirely on its own, or is a game significant if it was a stepping stone towards developments in a genre?

    1. Joshua says:

      Possibly. I played it only when I got the SNES Classic a couple of years ago. It didn’t really grab me, but might have done so had I played it during my original SNES years.

    2. evilmrhenry says:

      There’s a really important distinction here. The question was asking for classics/must-play games, but that could be defined in a couple different ways:
      * Games that affected the course of the medium, or created a genre. This doesn’t mean they were good, or hold up today, (I would argue that R.O.B. is a historically-important game, but I wouldn’t recommend you actually play it unless you need to for your studies) but they are still important to the history of games. (There’s also the issue that the first game in a genre usually isn’t very good, and it’s the followup that actually made the genre popular. I’d rather play DOOM than Wolfenstein 3D, or Super Metroid over Metroid.)
      * Games that hold up today. E.g., if I was to hand an SNES to someone with a few games, which ones would I pick.

      In addition, I’d consider DOOM to be a must-play game, but I’d recommend a source port so you can have modern controls and better resolution. Similarly, Super Mario Brothers is a classic, but I’d go with the All-Stars release or similar because it’s brutally hard and that release has save features.

  6. Thomas says:

    Somewhere (potentially Kotaku) someone made an interesting distinction between passing time and spending time.

    Ubisoft games are excellent at passing time, they keep your brain in a steady state of pleasure you can relax to for tens of hours.

    But very little of that time is anything you’ll choose to remember or think about afterwards. The time has been passed but not really used

  7. GargamelLenoir says:

    For fans of RPGs I’d advise Chrono Trigger. It’s pretty short for a J-RPG, no grinding bullshit, it’s a ton of fun, the pixel art is very pretty, the characters engaging, the music spectacular, the gameplay has several brilliant ideas that were sadly never used again, and the story is cool and fun.
    For fans of strategy I’d recommend Alpha Centauri. It’s quite ugly by modern standards and the interface needs some getting used to, but its atmosphere and several gameplay aspects have never been replicated since.

    1. Hal says:

      I don’t know about “no grinding.” The game has a dozen or so unique endings, and you have to play through it twice to see them all. While that isn’t the same as having to kill goblins for a few days until you’re strong enough to move on to the next portion of the game, having to go through the whole thing again may well leave a sour taste in someone’s mouth.

      1. Syal says:

        All of them are joke endings outside of the one you get the first time through.

      2. GargamelLenoir says:

        Playing the new game+ isn’t grinding at all for me, especially since they provide you with a shortcut to the boss right from the start to make your life easier.

    2. Chad Miller says:

      no grinding bullshit

      This is of course assuming we’re talking about the original SNES version and not any of the rereleases where grinding bullshit was explicitly added in. The Lost Sanctum in particular is an ordeal.

      https://lparchive.org/Chrono-Trigger/Update%2022/

    3. John says:

      Alpha Centauri is great. It’s true that the graphics and the interface are a little dated, but I wouldn’t call it an ugly game by any means. (I could see my way to serviceable or maybe adequate, but ugly is a step too far.) It’s a lot like Civilization II, which isn’t too surprising. Firaxis didn’t have the rights to the Civilization IP at the time, but they did have Brian Reynolds, lead designer on Civilization II, and Sid Meier so that they could stick Sid Meier’s name on it. The difference between the two games, other than the sci-fi setting, is that Alpha Centauri has–as you say–atmosphere, mood, characters, and even story. That’s not really true of most 4Xs, though I suppose that the Endless series (Endless Legend, Endless Space, etc.) might be an exception.

      Alpha Centauri’s other notable features, the deformable terrain system and the unit-designer, sound cool but in the end don’t contribute too much to the game. You can, for example, destroy your enemies’ coastal cities by flooding them or try to starve your enemies by raising mountain ranges that turn their agricultural lands into deserts but it’s easier and more effective to just stomp your enemies with a big army. The unit designer also lacks a certain something. There’s not a lot of room for creativity. You can’t build units specifically designed to counter your enemies’ units. Instead, you slap the best armor or weapons you have on your infantry (or rovers, or needlejets, or whatever) and go. Special abilities mostly aren’t worth it, as they make units signficantly more expensive without significantly improving their capability. I’ve heard Reynolds talk in various podcasts about how he regrets the time and effort they poured into those systems.

      Where Alpha Centauri really shines, in my opinion, is in the characters of the various faction leaders and in the way that the choices you make about your society affect their interactions with you. If you’re playing as the Gaians, for example, then you can’t choose to have a free-market economy and the Morganites–who don’t really care about political systems, but are deeply into free markets–will automatically dislike you. They’ll go to war with you the second they think they’re strong enough, whereas if you had a free market economy they might leave you alone, even if they were much stronger. The personalities and beliefs of the faction leaders are further revealed in the audio clips you hear when you discover new technologies and in the videos you see when you construct a new Wonder. They even sometimes manage to make Miriam, the fundamentalist leader of the Believer faction, seem nuanced.

      1. Gargamel Le Noir says:

        And the videos for the special projects! Man those are crazy good and haunting!

  8. Paul Spooner says:

    Oh great. You linked my video and now it’s got 41 views! How am I going to believably bemoan my cultural irrelevance with such a burgeoning viewership?

  9. 0451fan0451 says:

    System Shock is not been painful ever since the source port. Source: game came out 3 years before I was born.

  10. Geebs says:

    Must-play games that I, as an old fart who played them on release, think still hold up today:

    Zelda: Link to the Past, Super Mario World, PoP: Sands of Time, Civilisation 2, Portal, Beat Saber.

    I’ve got plenty of games that I’ve personally enjoyed more but I think those are the ones which are really timeless.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      Portal? Isn’t that only… *Googles* huh, twelve years old. But Beat Saber is super new, what’s that doing in the list?

      Anyway my “childhood games that still hold up” are Myst and Mario 64 (replayed both in recent years) as well as X-COM, which I never played back in the day, but fell in love with this decade.

      I think Tetris also deserves a mention. It’s weird because it’s not the sort of game you generally sit down to play for many hours in a row, but it did great work filling a niche that was dominated a decade ago by flash games, and now by phone games.

      1. Geebs says:

        I was going less for “old games” and more “age-doesn’t-matter” games. Bonus points were awarded for being the sort of thing you could show to non-gaming people without them looking at you funny.

        Tetris has been rubbish ever since they introduced T-spins >:-E

  11. Mikko Lukkarinen says:

    Re: Thimen24:
    It’s a robotic Far Lands or Bust? If the bot could crack dumb jokes and talk in a soothing voice, poor Kurt would be out of a job.

  12. djw says:

    I think “Masters of Magic” still holds up. Other games have cited it as an influence, and some of those have been decent, but nothing in the intervening years has quite managed to scratch the same itch, in my humble opinion.

    1. Ancillary says:

      I searched a long time for a game that delighted me the way Master of Magic did. Then I gave Eador Genesis on GOG a try. I can’t say it will satisfy every MoM fan out there, but it took the specific elements of the fantasy 4X genre that I happen to enjoy–empire building, hero/party development, treasure hunting–and really improved upon them. It’s weird that no one ever talks about that game, at least not in the English-speaking part of the Internet.

      1. djw says:

        I played Eador for a while. I liked it quite a bit. I don’t think it really hit the same notes as Masters of Magic, but it did have some unique features of its own that I liked.

  13. Echo Tango says:

    Re: Commander Keen vs Mario
    I think a better comparison is Keen vs Megaman. Both feature worse platforming than Mario and both protagonists spend more time shooting than platforming.

  14. Nessus says:

    I did that integrated graphics thing for over a year. My old card died while the cryptocurrency thing was on the rise, so I couldn’t afford to replace it.

    A surprising number of games played well on it. Dishonored 1, both Portals, XCOM, and a few others actually played perfectly on max settings. Skyrim, Mass Effect 1&2, Witcher 2, and a number of others became playable on mid/high settings if I bumped the resolution down to 720p. Basically stuff that was 1 or more generations behind cutting edge had a better than 50/50 chance of playing OK, and stuff that was designed for console then ported to PC tended to run best.

    This was surprising, as some of these games were actually a generation younger than my integrated chip!

    2d and 2.5D games ran perfectly… for the most part. The Shadowrun Returns games were totally unplayable slideshows for some reason, which was REALLY weird considering how light/basic the graphics are.

    After a while I learned to spot what settings/features were the problem areas, and which were the ones the chip could handle. Texture size had almost no impact: I could crank that up to my heart’s content. LOD, particle effects, and dynamic lighting varied from game to game, but were more often than not lenient enough that I could keep them high-ish. Shadows, anti-aliasing, and anisotropic filtering were killers that had to be kept on low. Ambient occlusion and GPU-based physics were a flat no.

    I had the same experience with Blender as Paul: It worked brilliantly. Poly count would only cause lag during high-res dynotopo sculpting, and even then it was “annoying, but manageable”. I like to have ambient occlusion turned on in Blender, as it makes topology more readable, and as the above would imply, I had to set it so low that it basically looked like black/grey sand instead of shading (still better than having it off though).

    1. John says:

      I gamed on integrated graphics from around 2009 through 2015 on a Celeron E3300, the cheapest Intel dual-core CPU I could find at the time I built the system. It went surprisingly well, but I almost exclusively played either very old games or relatively undemanding indie-ish fare like Bastion, Mark of the Ninja, and Shadowrun Returns. (My computer could handle Dragonfall but struggled with Hong Kong.)
      The most ambitious game I ever attempted was the Hitman: Blood Money demo, which ran just fine.

      In my experience, integrated graphics hate two things: smoke (particle effects?) and Obsidian games. A lot of textures in KotOR 2 that should have been opaque were instead semi-transparent. The semi-transparent swords and guns didn’t bother me too much but the aliens with semi-transparent face-tentacles were pretty creepy. I didn’t have any such problem with KotOR 1, thank goodness.

  15. Syal says:

    Must-play games, huh. Haven’t played a lot of these for a while but I’ll throw in my list.

    Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 3, and Super Mario World are solid and different enough from each other I’d call them all classics. SMB 3 is the best I think.

    Haven’t played and Zeldas since the N64, but A Link to the Past is probably the first really good Zelda game and holds up very well. Then Majora’s Mask has a very unique feel and is possibly my favorite Zelda game. I think playing both of those would let you skip Ocarina of Time.

    Has to be a Megaman on here, but I’m not sure which one. 2 was the big success but it’s got some awful stuff in the endgame. I played a lot of Megaman X but I think Megaman X2 holds up better, just because the dash isn’t inside a boss level.

    Chrono Trigger is a really solid RPG with a team-up spell system I haven’t seen copied. I’d say it’s the best-aged RPG. Super Mario RPG isn’t anywhere near as complex but is a really solid visual experience.

    Haven’t actually played and Silent Hills but I’ve watched Silent Hill 2 LPs and it really pulls off a surreal psychological horror setting. (With original voice acting, apparently they messed it up good in the re-release.)

    Morrowind is the best Elder Scrolls game.

    I’ll of course throw on Final Fantasy 8 as Not Good But Must Play. Thing is a time.

    1. tmtvl says:

      I first played SMB and Sonic when I had already played a bunch of other platformers and I gotta say, SMB doesn’t hold up to Sonic. Haven’t played any of the later Marios, so can’t comment on those.

      I would disagree that Final Fantasy 8 isn’t a good game, it good music, good graphics for a PSX title, a story that is internally consistent, and gameplay mechanics that, while weak to exploitation, do their job well enough to tie the game together.

      Chrono Trigger is an amazing game. I know Tyranny has some co-op attacks, but I can’t name any game off-hand that does it an well as CT (though I seem to recall there actually is one, but it eludes me).

      1. Syal says:

        Whereas I’ve barely played or watched the Sonic games and can’t say much about them. I’ve heard Sonic 2 was really good.

        a story that is internally consistent

        I’m calling BS on that. It might not break as badly as some other JRPGs but it’s got contradictions in various places (the Disc 1 assassination sequence comes to mind) and it’s got a constant stream of “Wait what the hell is this”, often followed by “That was really dumb”.

        1. Chad Miller says:

          FF VIII’s story is so convoluted, and fans so desperate to make sense of it, that it has not one but two popular fan hypotheses on the level of “Shepard indoctrination theory”:

          https://levelskip.com/rpgs/Final-Fantasy-RU-Rinoa-Equals-Ultimecia-Theory

          https://squallsdead.com/

          1. Syal says:

            Man, that Rinoa is Ultimecia theory is so dumb. Obviously Ellone is Ultimecia.

  16. Nessus says:

    GLadOS is HAL and SHODAN’s daughter.
    Change my mind.

  17. tomato says:

    Are you implying that Destiny is an upgraded version of Doom? Just because they are both FPS? That’s about all these games have in common. Even oldDoom and newDoom have enough differences between them that I would never consider newDoom an upgrade. They have different level design principles, different emphasis on narrative, different encounter design, etc. It’s similar for many other game genres and older games. Really sad this lack of appreciation for old game design which is often timeless as proven by modern indie games.

  18. Lino says:

    I really liked Hyper Light Drifter, but I never finished it, because it was very unforgiving on keyboard and mouse, and there was a part that required very precise dashing, and after a while, I just couldn’t be bothered. Another thing I didn’t like was how little use the game made of its unique and imaginative environments – it had all these different and quirky cultures and species, living in environments I really wanted to explore, yet the majority of the gameplay took place in generic underground dungeons.

    By the way, Paul, Protip about dashing – you can go in the Options menu and change the dash to be tied to the movement keys, rather than the mouse. This allows you to shoot in a direction different from the one you’re dashing in. However, I can’t really say which control scheme is better – some sections are much easier with mouse-directed dashing, while others are better served with movement key-directed dashing. What I did with this game and with Furi (which has a similar movement scheme) is I generally used movement key-directed dashing, and switched it to mouse-directed whenever I had to do a lot of dodging.

  19. Alberek says:

    AI race sounds like a great idea for a contest

  20. BlaezeL says:

    Ooh, this is the prefect setup for AI romance fanfic.

    Just imagine the climax: HAL docking the Discovery into Citadel’s main hangar bay, impressing Shodan with the precise manoeuvres….

    Ugh, sorry, I’ll get my coat.

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