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Days: 87.9
Mean Score: 5.72
  • Total Entries1,931
  • Rewatched35
  • Episodes5,220
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Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Jul 10, 1:06 PM
Plan to Watch · Scored -
Love Live! Superstar!!
Love Live! Superstar!!
Aug 8, 2022 5:01 PM
Completed 12/12 · Scored 2
Shion no Ou
Shion no Ou
Jul 17, 2021 7:06 AM
Watching 4/22 · Scored -
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Days: 4.6
Mean Score: 6.55
  • Total Entries153
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  • Chapters825
  • Volumes82
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Jan 27, 2021 4:11 AM
Completed 1/? · Scored 4
Guren 5
Guren 5
Jan 26, 2021 2:42 AM
Completed 14/14 · Scored 5
Haruka na Machi e
Haruka na Machi e
Jan 21, 2021 3:50 PM
Completed 16/16 · Scored 9

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Landonime Jun 17, 2:24 PM
Landonime Jun 17, 2:22 PM
Hey there. You think you can just casually shit talk and write a book long review on why Anonymous Noise sucks? You got a lot of fuckin nerve buddy. You wanna fight? HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE THE SHOW IM WATCHING RIGHT NOW AND DONT LIKE EITHER!

Plasmatize Feb 10, 9:04 AM
“I don't think you get that much out of Mario World if you go at full speed” - yeah, this is true in the sense that the more linear level layouts didn’t open the door for some of the section skips or alternate areas/paths unlocked by leveraging speed in Sonic. That said, Mario 3 and World are huge exceptions to this due to both having flight powerups that require top speed, with World in particular going nuts with the concept. The difference is that it’s just a condition for using a powerup, rather than being physics based. Still, I agree that Mario’s design was much more tailored to a first playthrough compared to classic Sonic.
As for Zelda II and Mario II, I don’t get the sense that any “replayability design” from them was purposeful. Both games did have a high difficulty with rather steep consequences, but this was more about demanding a level of mastery and consistency with the mechanics in order to proceed (make fewer than X mistakes over Y number of obstacles; some mistakes are far worse than others in Zelda II’s case). Otherwise, I think Mario II is just an early example of the Troll Game design philosophy (and not a great one IMHO), while Zelda II just has, unfortunately, some cryptic progression requirements here and there. In other words, I don’t think the designers of each were specifically thinking about tuning to 2nd or 3rd playthroughs; they just happen to have some speed bumps that are smoothed over on replay.

I’m curious if you’ve played around with the Rhythm Tower and BPM Rush modes in Hi-Fi Rush, as they sound much closer to what you’re looking for than the campaign - extended pure combat spectacles with various twists on the format. I’ve been meaning to check them out myself, but, you know, The Backlog beckons on.
Plasmatize Jan 1, 1:00 PM
And as always, it’s all good. Happy new year!

Hmm... I’ve had the same experience with not minding classic Mario’s slipperiness but disliking Sonic’s. The marketing may be part of that, although I wonder if it’s also a matter of degree and level construction. Sure, Mario had some weight, but even at his heaviest in SMB1, you could still run through levels at whatever pace you preferred, including full speed, while having enough control to emergency-brake before an incoming obstacle if needed, or correct your jump trajectory to hit a landing spot. And even if you take your time or are playing an autoscroller, the games rarely demand you wait around idly. I think it’s this combination of dynamic player control over pacing based on skill and confidence, while maintaining “fairness” and a decent rate of inputs/decision making even in the exceptions, that prevents the weightiness from feeling excessive or annoying. (IIRC according to Miyamoto, the purpose of the weighty accel/decel was to create more of an “emotional attachment” to Mario in the player that’s absent with an instant 0 to 100 to 0 response; in other words, it wasn’t really about making physics and momentum the main focus of the gameplay, compared to skillful aiming and timing, though it does add some complexity in the form of trajectory anticipation and control at higher speeds. I find the balance to be about right for these purposes.) In contrast, classic Sonic requires a lot of planning and memorization to gain that same pace control (if you’re allotted it at all), autoscrollers/vertical levels/casual play have more idle time, and Sonic is so heavy that just the act of starting and stopping feels sluggish. Maybe this is all to emphasize physics, but for me it comes at the cost of being intrinsically fun to control.
...Well, that’s my current attempt to articulate it anyway. This is something I’ll need to ponder more to fully understand, I think.

Well, you’re definitely not alone in thinking the platforming/exploration part of Hi-Fi Rush was its weakest. I personally thought it was... okay-ish? Perfectly playable, offered a break from the combat so it didn’t get stale, but I wish it had done a bit more with the “rhythm” elements than just timed/cyclical obstacles, dressed up QTEs or Simon Says. And there was perhaps too much of it for how little was done; I’ve seen platformers with individual music sections or levels that still did more interesting things with the concept. I’ll say that trying to jump and dash to the beat, and trying to mix in dash-dash-dash-attack chains for quicker movement, did help keep my engagement during exploration, but it didn’t fix the missed potential. (Incidentally, this is now the second “character action” game in a row I’ve played with lackluster exploration and platforming, the last being Bayonetta. That game’s combat system is awesome, but man, everything in between was a chore, especially when trying to find all the battle arenas and secrets.)

By the way, I got a bunch of games during the Winter Steam sale, including the full Baldur’s Gate trilogy, so I’ll likely be playing those sometime this year. Hopefully I’ll enjoy them as much as you have so far; they seem like truly fascinating games, if a little hard to break into these days.
Plasmatize Dec 3, 2023 6:27 PM
Ooh, wasn’t expecting the new text tool! Looks like it's mainly a tool for easier bbcode formatting, and so won't stop it from working. Yay for backwards compatibility!

I think what makes the homing dash work as speedrun tech is that it’s very situational; you can’t just spam it or use it wherever. There’s a certain cleverness to the ways it can be used to save time/alter routes, which makes seeing or finding those ways more exciting. It fits nicely with the level-learning process you mentioned that characterizes many of these games. But arguably unlike the old games, it doesn’t come at the expense of an enjoyable first run-through.
(That said, I did recently hear an interesting take on the old Sonic games that made me question the notion that it’s all blind leaps of faith. Wish I could remember the source but someone basically argued that classic Sonic fares better if you ignore all the branding/marketing that insists speed is the point, and instead assess them as early exploratory physics platformers, where speed is just another tool in your explorer’s box to reach certain areas by leveraging the stage layout itself. And also a way to skip through parts you're already familiar with. Sorta makes me curious to revisit/reevaluate them yet again lol)

And yeah, “jank” is an apt descriptor for the DLC in general. The ideas themselves are interesting though and I could definitely see the potential, even in the less successful ideas. But their current state isn’t good enough, and some of the ideas seem in conflict with each other. There’s even more stuff I didn’t get around to mentioning, like how many of the optional collectibles only add to combat stats you’ve got little reason to use, or how the new characters’ movesets make skipping obstacles way less interesting than with Sonic. No need for well-aimed high-speed jumps when you can just calmly glide or fly your way toward floating unobstructed collectibles for free. Fortunately many of the required challenges showcased ways to circumvent this, but outside that, it’s yet another instance of trying something different but not really making the most of it, or having it undercut stuff that was already fine as it was. Just more to add to the pile of experiments. I hope Frontiers 2 or its equivalent can pick some appropriate priorities so they can blossom, but perhaps that too is wishful thinking haha

Edit: forgot to ask, how was Hi-Fi Rush? That game is SUPER up my alley, but I'm curious to hear your experience with it.
Plasmatize Oct 21, 2023 6:44 PM
“it was just so endearing seeing this guy who I know as a total nerd turn his life around and try so hard to look cool during this dance...seeing what a long road this person has gone through got to me.”
Man, that’s awesome - congrats to him!

Regarding Frontiers’ Cyberspace stages, I’ve only played 3 other full-3D Sonic games to compare them to, those being Adventure 1, 2, and Heroes. But compared to those, Cyberspace fares reasonably well in everything but visual setpieces. There’s less random life-ending jank, no excessive level repetition like Heroes, no dull out of place character missions like the Adventure games and Heroes - just a much tighter package in general. Also, like many of the recent ones, there’s a boost button to quickly gain and maintain speed, but to add to what I said before, the levels avoid becoming “boost forward to win” (a common criticism I’ve seen for these recent games) thanks to sufficient branching paths and most of the rewards requiring more than just reaching the end. Stuff that requires skill, exploration, routing and/or optimization to pull off. The asterisk to all this is that over half the Cyberspace stages are apparently just remixes of previous Sonic levels, but for what it’s worth, the original stages are about equally good. But it’s in speedruns where things really shine - you might have seen a glimpse of this, but there’s this situational tech called a homing dash that gives you insane aerial speed instantly and allows for all kinds of crazy skips, on top of the wild amount of distance that a full-speed double-jump-airboost already allows. Bit of trivia: apparently the homing dash was found during development, but was kept because the director thought it would be a cool secret trick to discover. I’d say that was the right call!

As for the DLC... my feelings are complicated, and vary wildly between different parts of it. I guess the high-level summary would be that while the main game felt at least mechanically finished and polished, some parts of the DLC don’t, which makes much of it less smooth or satisfying to play. Also, it ramps the challenge way up from the main game, sometimes to its benefit, but other times, the aforementioned polish issues can’t support the extra demands, and it adds to as much annoyance as it does engagement. For the (very) long version, see here:

I’d imagine that a modern Minish Cap randomizer would give at least the option to have the shell reward be left out. I remember enjoying finding shells and figurines as well, but I didn’t come close to getting all of them, and frankly wouldn’t want to. Way too grindy and time consuming for me. Anyway, good luck with whatever randomizer you decide to start with!
Plasmatize Oct 3, 2023 4:07 PM
Well, the wedding just happened last Friday, and I’m happy to say I had an awesome time! I was one of the groomsmen so there was a bit of running around doing errands at the beginning, but once everything got going, it was fantastic! ngl, I choked up a bit during vows - I might be biased, but I’ve genuinely never seen a better couple than her and her new husband, and the fact that it’s my own sister just hits different. They seem so happy together! :D

Spark 3 looks like a lot of fun, but in the meantime, I started Sonic Frontiers now that the final content update is out! It’s definitely got that “proof of concept” vibe, but man is it ever a concept I’m fond of! So far it’s a more low-stakes game than I expected, but offers meaningful enough challenges to avoid the whole thing becoming an extended autopilot/”hold forward” session. The closest would be some of the cyberspace levels you can enter from certain parts of the world, which are basically a short speedrun challenge and a very easy treasure hunt that you’ll probably do in 2 separate runs, but even here, there are enough different routes to at least encourage visual engagement and route-planning.
Outside those, there’s a great carefree feeling just from zipping around a big open playground with random boosters and grind rails everywhere. This is especially true with the 2nd content update that lets you straight up tweak the movement parameters to your liking! No amount of blatant pop-in, jarring art direction, or token open world content can undercut this basic appeal! So overall, still a lot of room for improvement, but I’m having a good time with it so far.

Good luck with the Zelda randomizers! As another general tip, I think some of them do have built in hint systems these days in case something progression-essential is blocked behind some cryptic secret. I know OoT has something like this that repurposes those sheika stones to give clues to item locations, though I don’t know exactly how it works, or what other randomizers have this sort of thing. Regardless, it might lessen the need for 100% familiarity going in, because honestly, not all Zeldas are worth 100%-ing on their own (and Minish Cap is sadly one such title, but only because of the whole shell/figurine quest... it’s probably fine otherwise. Probably.)
Plasmatize Aug 26, 2023 4:10 PM
Oh, the wedding actually hasn’t happened yet - it’s at the end of September... it’s just that these things can take loads of advanced planning and I’ve been involved in some of that. We’re really looking forward to it though! Lots of great people will be there, the venue is super nice, and has amazing food to boot! This’ll be my first wedding in... I think almost 20 years! I hope your next chance to attend one is in less distracted circumstances haha.

I could honestly see a CDI-style comedy game working really well. The cutscenes are so goofy and exaggerated, but in a way totally unique to them, so embracing that could be worthwhile! And I agree, third-person 3D speed platformers have been sorely underrepresented for too long. They need a renaissance like what 3D exploratory/collectathon platformers have had! I guess one obstacle is the amount of resources needed to fully model, texture and optimize an entire 3D platformer that you can seamlessly race through at 10x the speed of most. It’s a fairly large investment to commit to developing a game like that, though there are ways to reduce the manpower cost like visual stylization and limited-but-reusable mechanics and assets. (BRB, wishlisting Spark 3!) :D

While I find many Zelda games decently replayable, especially with self-imposed challenges like 3-heart runs and such, there are indeed some parts of OoT and several others that aren’t very interesting once you know what to expect. I had a similar experience recently when I went back to finish Twilight Princess (for some reason I just never finished the final dungeon back in the day... dunno why). There are several parts of the early game especially that are barely above random busywork, but thankfully there were also more highlights throughout than I remembered. Since it had been so long, I got to reappreciate a lot of the micro-design and specific moments, despite knowing all the broad strokes of the game. In particular, I was quite impressed by several of the dungeons, with the snow area one (no spoilers) now being one of my favourites in the series!
While we’re on the topic, I can highly recommend trying a randomizer if you replay another Zelda game. You can do awesome stuff with them nowadays like QoL streamlining, difficulty tuning, enemy randomization, choosing what skips/tech if any could be needed for progression, (in OoT’s case) including skulltulas + their tokens in the item pool, or even shuffling around every entrance/transition so the whole world becomes a huge shapeshifting labyrinth! But even just basic item/chest randomization can completely transform your progression path through each run, reigniting that first-playthrough sense of adventure, discovery, and anticipation of what you’ll find, while keeping you invested even during the less interesting parts of the game. It’s like an exploration-funded slot machine that you know you’ll eventually win, but instead of just staring at flashy reels, spinning them brings unique stories of finding the hookshot in some random hole in the ground, or having to face a boss/dungeon with way fewer bottles/heart containers than normal, or going on a grand odyssey to figure out where on earth that goddamn Forest Temple key is, just like the first time around! You gotta be decently familiar with the games for it to work though, or just be willing to look up secrets on occasion in case something essential to progress winds up somewhere you didn’t know existed. But that’s part of the fun - you never know if you’ll have to earn every inch of your crawl towards Ganon, or if you’ll just be carried there by God RNG! The whole system feels practically made for Zelda-type games; definitely worth trying sometime.
Plasmatize Aug 16, 2023 11:03 PM
Jeez, 3 weeks? Sorry lol, my turn to be a slowpoke responder. Been busy with prep for my sister’s wedding(!) next month among other things, and time just kinda slipped by. (^.^’) Hope the game writing’s gone well while I’ve been gone!

Taking inspiration from CDI Zeldas? That’s brave, but maybe it could work in the right hands. And as someone who actually likes TLOZII in spite of its rough edges, I’ll definitely keep an eye on Sheep Lad!
Reminds me of another recent example of this sort of thing, Project 06, which is actually a fan mod of Sonic 06 attempting to make it actually good. I heard that when it first started, many were skeptical if such a thing was even possible, and yet, with each major update, it’s been winning over more and more people, with some even calling it the best Sonic game now! Apparently, some of the original game’s ideas turned out to have some real potential, but were just very unfinished or poorly implemented in the original release, so this rework is allowing them to blossom!

No problem - I’d be interested to know what you think of Breathedge when you play it. And same with Dave the Diver if you give it a go. I think its glowing reviews come from several factors - variety, the general concept, setpieces, theming, lots of charm - but mostly from how it always feels like you’ve got lots to do, while at the same time being able to do most of it at your own pace. Makes for a chill vibe in between all the setpieces and slightly more hectic demands the game plates up.

I liked the N64 as well; despite not owning that many games for it, most of the ones I did really stuck with me, especially Mario/Zelda. They weren’t the first of those franchises I’d owned, but were ones I went back to a lot growing up. Surprisingly, I completely missed out on Banjo-Kajooie, and I probably would have loved it, but alas, the closest game I got was borrowing DK 60 Chores from a friend. It wasn’t until way later when I got into emulation that I discovered how much I’d missed from that era, as well as before it. Went through a hardcore retro game phase at that point, and to this day I think that phase has shaped my overall taste in games. Got an everlasting itch for some of those oldschool sensibilities and experimentation, but hey, that’s what indies are for!
Plasmatize Jul 16, 2023 2:39 PM
Congratulations once again on completing your Masters! You’ve earned it! Any plans for what comes next?

Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of people who dislike any reuse of assets, even down to small things like weapon animations, but personally, I don’t have an issue with doing stuff like that to save dev time, unless it meaningfully compromises the overall experience. Admittedly, I still think Tears would be even better with new topography/locales to explore, but given the amount of time and planning it would take to make a new world with BotW’s level of effort, that would have certainly come at the cost of something else - perhaps something more fundamental to what makes Tears praiseworthy.
And as someone with skyrocketing standards for games, as much as I admire and gush about those that refine themselves to virtual perfection, I think it’s important to remember that a game can have flaws - loads of them - and still be valuable as an experience, as a reference for aspiring devs, and as a piece of expression on its own. Even infamous stuff like Big Rigs or Bubsy 3D can be interesting to examine with the right mindset lol, not to mention all the personal, outsider or avant-garde indie stuff that gets overlooked, just waiting to be uncovered.

Oh, that’s a shame to hear about Far Sky’s developers, but I guess if their hearts weren’t in it, then it makes sense for them to move on. But that indeed sounds quite a bit like Subnautica! There’s also Breathedge from 2018 which apparently was directly inspired by Subnautica, but in space. Didn’t seem like it was that well received unfortunately (something about excessive 4th wall humour that annoyed a lot of people), but it’s getting a sequel sometime, so we’ll see how that turns out.
And funnily enough, I also stumbled on a neat game sort of like Subnautica that just released, called Dave the Diver. Well, at least in the sense that you dive to gather resources and upgrades. In practice it’s more of a hybrid between one of those restaurant management flash games of old, and a diving/fishing simulator with RPG elements to be able to dive deeper, stay longer, and catch more and better fish more easily. That’s how it starts anyway - it’s one of those games that hides waaaaay more game mechanics and minigames than at first glance, revealing them at a steady pace, with most tying back in some way to either the main storyline, or the core loop of diving to catch fish/ingredients to sell at your sushi restaurant to earn money to catch more fish and run the restaurant better. So I guess not completely like Subnautica, but I’ll take what I can get. It’s a neat, chill, charming experience in its own right.

And speaking of garden variety game mechanics, if you liked that sort of thing in Emperor’s New Groove, along with oldschool 3D platformers with lots of funny or charming scenarios and secrets around every corner, then playing Banjo-Kazooie is a must. It’s THE N64 collectathon classic for all of those things, and having first played it recently, I can say it held up surprisingly well even today!
Alest Jun 29, 2023 7:20 PM
Happy Birthday!
Plasmatize Jun 25, 2023 11:31 AM
I can sort of understand the “TOTK is barely a change” takes, because on the most surface level, it could be mistaken for BotW. Same overworld (at least in terms of basic topography and major locations), same art direction, lots of returning music, same basic progression systems and primary collectibles, similar main quest structure, same basic combat systems - it’s a lot of “the same”. It’s only when you look at the actual content, substance, how you interact with things, and other stuff I won’t spoil, that you realize there’s at least as much new content as there was total content in BotW, and I’d argue Tears’s content is better on average. Still, given that the novelty and magic of discovery was such a draw for many people in BotW, I get why some are disappointed on that front. As for people’s “$70 DLC” concerns though, well, it’s a conceptually ambitious, technically astonishing and polished $70 DLC with several cool, complex, unique-for-its-genre core mechanics and 100 hours of brand new, memorable, and (mostly) high quality content to flex them on! So kind of a moot distinction lol

Yeah, the Kinect really didn’t turn out well, and was so transparently an attempt to grab a slice of the Wii’s unexpectedly massive cash cake. Not to mention there was the whole “is this camera constantly spying on our living room?” controversy that became part of the original Xbox One always-online backlash. And now, 10 years later, everyone walks around with smartphones, home assistants and smart TVs that are probably constantly listening because our data is the real product... how times have changed.

“the Reefback getting stuck on my base and becoming my pet as a result”
Aww, that’s amazing! :D

Hopefully Subnautica 3 manages to recapture the first game’s magic, or at least achieve an equally compelling new direction. In the meantime, I’m still looking out at a barren desert for promising Subnautica-likes... closest I’ve found is probably the upcoming game Forever Skies. It’s in early access, but I’m waiting for the full release/complete story and its reception before buying.
Plasmatize Jun 6, 2023 4:51 PM
I’m avoiding Frontiers speedruns for spoiler reasons, but I’ll consider checking one out after I’ve played it. Always interesting to see Sonic games pushed like that.
And yeah, some truly great sequels have come out by expanding/refining/going all in on the prior framework! On topic, Tears of the Kingdom at this point has become one of my favourite examples of that, as of about 3/4 through (I think). Some others that really stood out to me were Metroid vs Super Metroid, and recently, Uncharted 1 vs 2.

BotW really is just that uneven, and therefore divisive. It’s that 10/10 parts vs 4/10 parts thing, where it can legit be anywhere from someone’s best gaming experience ever, to completely failing to grab them, or anywhere between, purely from how much those parts matter to the person. Maybe the label “demo” is too harsh though. For clarity, I meant it more in a “final game vs first draft” way, since IMO there’s already way too much work and content put into BotW to call it a pure tech demo. That work is just EXTREMELY skewed in favour of certain parts, at the cost of others that could have far further elevated it, as proven by Tears.
But go ahead and play BotW first if it suits you; I don’t unrecommend it, it’s just a lot of time to commit to both games, so don’t burn yourself out. Hopefully you’ll be on the positive end of BotW experiences!

Yeah, those “console gimmick” mechanics did often feel like silly marketing tactics to feign innovation, or just get the press talking, rather than having compelling experiences in mind that could only be properly realized with the tech. It didn’t usually bother me as long as it functioned, although I will never forget that time Microsoft dedicated 2 big E3 conferences in a row to actors badly pretending to have fun with barely working Kinect demos. The secondhand embarrassment was real, lol.

I will say for Subnautica, I think it takes a dip in gameplay quality very near the end, but thankfully by then you’re invested in seeing the story come to a close, so it gets away with it. Still a great experience overall, and one of the most unique I’ve had. That point about having a memorable adventure every session is so true! I think everyone playing that game is going to come away with both shared and unique stories of crazy moments or situations they got themselves in! (Btw, if you enjoy that sort of thing, all the more reason to play BotW/TotK, because they are all about player-driven stories and adventures!)
The sequel Below Zero isn’t bad either - still Subnautica gameplay with some cool additions and new stuff to discover, but I have to admit some parts feel a lot more phoned in, less ambitious, or are changed at the cost of certain things that make the original work so well. I won’t say they “missed the point”, because I could sort of see what different direction they were trying to take, but the end result couldn’t quite do that direction justice.
Plasmatize May 27, 2023 3:14 PM
Whoa, congrats on finishing your master’s thesis dude!! I can only imagine the feeling!

Oh for sure, I think level-based Sonic still has its place, and I believe Frontiers even incorporates that by having separate linear stages you can find in the overworld. So it’s more like a huge open hub or hubs that you can traverse Sonic-style, but that also have their own stuff to do, like light puzzles or boss fights. I do get some of that “first attempt” feeling from looking at the game though, mainly from some clashing visual elements and pop-in.
“with the Sonic team you just never know.”
Well, I at least admire their willingness to experiment; even if many of them don’t pan out as well, a few do. They should learn to write down all the good ideas though, so they can build on them more!

Well, you can probably add Tears of the Kingdom as another successful reinvention, ‘cause it’s also really good! Although as I suspected, it does kinda feel like “Breath of the Wild, but for REAL this time!” Like it’s closer to the game they always wanted to make with that, but needed 12 years to finish. It improves greatly on some (though not all) of BotW’s biggest problems, and goes all-in on the more creative/sandboxy/immersive sim aspects, both via the tools it gives you and an even more intuitively interactive world! That was always the most interesting part of BotW to me, but it’s much better realized here. I’m less than halfway through the content I want to do, but I’ve been having a great time so far and think that’ll continue for a while yet. The only self-imposed rule I’m using is no consuming food in the middle of battle, though it’s not necessary to enjoy the experience, just my preference based on experiences with late-game BotW balancing.
But now I’m in a position where I wonder if it’s even worth recommending BotW anymore. Maybe if you just rush through the main quest stuff/leave a multi-year gap, but otherwise, I feel like playing it first would in some ways take away from the novelty of TotK, while playing TotK first would just reveal BotW for the demo it was by comparison. Definitely play Tears if you can though; I think you’ll like it!

Yeah, it’s easy to miss the second lap thing the first time through. I only found it by chance because I tried to get the Chef’s Tasks for the first stage, and saw this extra portal. It’s a great inclusion though, not least because once you know what you’re doing to speed through the escapes smoothly, it gives the perfect amount of leeway on each stage! It's like what I said before about demanding general mastery, but not crazy/grindy perfection... usually!
Oh right, thanks for reminding me I was gonna try the Megaman Battle Network stuff! So many games to play man...

To be fair, Nintendo tech is very cool, although some of it does potentially get in the way of just getting immersed in games, or 3rd parties trying to port stuff to a completely different control scheme. That’s why I like the Switch so much - it pulls off the hybrid idea without sacrificing just working as a console to plug in and play with a controller (though the weaker hardware still creates some limitations/porting challenges). And of course, everyone’s boarding that train just like their last runawii success. Though I have to admit the Steam Deck looks pretty great for what it is! PS5’s Project Q... not so much.

Glad to see you liked Subnautica btw! I loved that game’s world, my time exploring it, how the way it and its creatures were designed served the story, and got super into the fabrication loop with all the cool, helpful tech you could make! Not to mention the OST/sound design! That game was legit spooky, even terrifying at points in a very organic way. I can never unhear those creature roars...
Plasmatize May 1, 2023 2:53 PM
Agree about the need for a high speed cap and the thrill it can bring to something as simple as crossing an overworld. It's actually one of the reasons I'm so fond of the idea of an open world Sonic game that just lets you go nuts! Assuming, of course, Sonic Team can overcome the technical hurdle of rendering a seamless 3D world at such a high speed cap. Even with current tech you'd probably need a simplified/stylized art style to fully achieve what I have in my head. I bought Sonic Frontiers though, so we'll see how that one goes. It might just use the speed cap approach, or confine the top speeds to on-rails booster sections or separate levels.

Yeah, you're right actually, there are defining pieces and interactions for Zelda. Things that, when used by other games, get called "Zelda inspired" or "Zelda dungeons", etc. I just wonder if it's really the literal pieces that define it, or broader ideas and feelings that these pieces facilitate so well. Maybe it's the flow you mentioned, although that's been played with somewhat without killing the Zelda vibe (I'd add all the bite-sized combat encounters and little "click" moments from puzzles around clever use of items and environments. Those are kinda defining for me). Again, probably a discussion for another day, but for now, I guess I don't have a clear answer, and that's ok - I love what Zelda offers regardless!
"I do wonder if in my time playing I'll find a title that really nails those aspects"
For what it's worth, A Link Between Worlds probably comes closest for me to perfecting all those things you mentioned within one game. It's a pseudo-reimagining-successor kinda thing of A Link to the Past, but remixed so extensively it feels fresh throughout; it's really a separate game and experience, and one of the more unique Zeldas at that, yet is still so definitively Zelda, and gets so much of it right! In particular, it has, hands down, my favourite overworld and exploration of any Zelda, with a super cool traversal mechanic that gets used to the fullest both in and out of dungeons! It's great! Also, the item rental system adds so much freedom of progression without compromising on world/dungeon design. The challenge curve is still a little off, but never quite crossed the line from empowering into trivializing, at least for me. I highly recommend it; just saying all this makes me want to revisit it!

As someone who took the time to try and P rank some of the levels in PT, I can say that doing so has, in some cases, been the most fun I've had with the game! They're more about overall mastery than pixel precision, and the levels that are speedy throughout can be such a rush! However, that's been more inconsistent than I expected from when I initially mastered the first level. So much so, it might actually have lowered my opinion of the game (from astronomical levels to sky high levels, granted, but still). To quickly summarize, once the initial novelty of all the gimmicks and visuals wears off, a lot of the transformations with their limited movement options just feel like they slow things down. They become stop-and-start routine sections that you autopilot through, which isn't ideal when you're replaying levels to try and pull off a P rank run. The ghost and spicy chicken wing sections were especially jarring. Also, for several compounding reasons that I'll skip for brevity, Gnome Forest was such an annoying task to P rank that it kinda put me off the whole thing for a while. Thankfully, I suspect that one's an outlier.
None of this diminishes that first time experience though, and even with some limitations, I still think it'll have some longevity as a speedrun platformer.

I can definitely see where you're coming from regarding game toys; living with the artist's vision and all that. It's just that in the Zelda cases, it's either minimal or gimmicky usage, with developer approved controller-only alternatives (with the Switch release of SS). Even disregarding that, I guess my perspective is that you should be allowed to engage with a product whichever way you prefer, and artists should try to respect that, just as a consumer might respect what the artist was trying to bring across, whether or not they choose to embrace it. It's perfectly fine (and inevitable) for artists and consumers to place different value on something. I'm not a therapist though, so this advice is free, haha.
It’s time to ditch the text file.
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