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Messages - mikey

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 902
Nintendo / Re: General Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
« on: January 23, 2020, 11:54:35 PM »
Help Wanted!

Looking For Adventurers To Rescue Me From Poverty

Rewards: One Gummi, 100 Pennies spraypainted gold

Submission Center / Re: The Next Special Update (January/February 2020)
« on: January 19, 2020, 10:14:20 PM »
Why do we have to rank all of them?  Wouldn't it be more streamlined to just pick x that you're okay with?

Off-Topic / Re: This might explain some things
« on: January 16, 2020, 06:51:26 AM »
plenty people here are washed up hacks who have no ability to write music
as long as you don't do it again, don't sweat it
instead become a TWG player for life

Submission Center / Re: The Next Special Update (January/February 2020)
« on: January 12, 2020, 09:52:23 PM »
Valentine's day is just around the corner.  We could mark the occasion by arranging boss battle themes?


Nintendo / Re: General Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
« on: January 09, 2020, 07:16:11 PM »
download the demo RN, there's enough content for it to be played in more than one sitting

Gaming / Re: The NSM top 10 games of the decade 2010-2019 list!
« on: January 03, 2020, 09:29:47 PM »
Super Mario sunshines blue coins were just a gimmick this whole time I'm malding

Moons are not stars

neat! remember to have fun or I will find you

the song I could see being a PMD dungeon lol

Gaming / Re: The NSM top 10 games of the decade 2010-2019 list!
« on: January 01, 2020, 01:57:28 AM »
crazy how people really be skipping over mario odyssey

Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:59:51 AM »
forum activity

Nintendo / Re: Slow Reviews Games: A NinSheetMusic Column
« on: December 26, 2019, 06:22:20 AM »

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap -- Wii U Virtual Console (originally released in 2005 on GBA)
The Game Boy Advance was my first-ever gaming system back in the day, and whether it’s nostalgic or just my fascination with simpler video games, I’ve never grown tired of the look and sound of games for that system. The 32-bit graphics and clever soundfonts are manipulated to an absurd extent in The Minish Cap, making it a strong contender for the best-looking GBA game I’ve ever seen. And to think I somehow missed out on it back in the day! Maybe my late arrival to Zelda would have been different if I hadn’t. Either way, Capcom’s sprite work on this game is masterful, the dungeon design is stellar, and the overworld is full of fascinating detours and hidden areas (both miniscule and massive). The twenty hours I spent on The Minish Cap might well have been the most fun gaming I had all year, especially factoring in that specific tinge of nostalgia and delight that comes with playing a game for an older system for the first time as if it’s brand new.


Music / Re: What are you listening to right now?
« on: December 21, 2019, 09:18:42 AM »

apparently jake kaufman did this
and I'm not surprised

Off-Topic / Re: The Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread 2
« on: December 04, 2019, 12:48:19 AM »
depends on what you're doing
showering sucks sometimes but it's courteous to others

Submission Archive / Re: [MUL] Dark Souls - "Dark Sun Gwyndolin" by Libera
« on: November 28, 2019, 03:13:22 AM »
sounds super good to me
if I'm nitpicking I would ask that you change the bpm to 60 for ocd purposes and tie the choir voice into measure 24, since that E is much more present than the C you currently have (just to clarify not saying to remove the C)

Gaming / Re: Nocturne's Game Reviews- for when he's bored
« on: November 25, 2019, 07:15:36 PM »
I actually blacked out to Leon my first try- his level spread was pretty comparable to mine.  I thought I caught a lot of pokemon but you must have caught even more if you were that overleveled.

With the new exp share system I'm wondering if they should really turn down the exp from catching Pokemon or even remove it altogether.  That way they can set a baseline of how muc exp is actually given out by trainers and how much people need to grind if they want levels to match.

Gaming / Re: Nocturne's Game Reviews- for when he's bored
« on: November 25, 2019, 06:17:41 AM »
Pokemon S
The Joke Is That Things Are Missing

I spent the better half of a quarter hour (and that's a lot of words, so you know it was a long time) trying to come up with the perfect metaphor to explain Sword and Shield to the average gamer.  It's... not worth the time it takes.  Coming up with a metaphor that is, not the game itself, which absolutely has to be clarified.  Look out!  There's a runaway Segue!  The first thing I think should be pointed out is that Pokemon Sword and Shield are structured pretty neatly into three parts in Gyms 1-3, 4-7, and 8; sort of a three act play:

  • Part the First: In Which You Receive Your Starter and Embark on a Most Perilous Journey (Exposition)
  • Part the Second: In Which Hop Becomes a Floppy Pig Skin (Rising Action)
  • Part the Third: In Which Rose Becomes a Floppy Pig Skin (Climax, Conclusion)

When you point out this structure, it reframes the story in a way that focuses on characters and relationships, primarily Leon and Hop, Sonia and Leon, and Bede and Rose.  I'm glad I didn't jump to my computer to write a review immediately after completing the game, because A) the postgame changes the texture of the story in a relevant way, and B) giving me time to chew on the game and talk to others made me stop and think about the things that I was previously taking for granted.

During my playthrough, one of my loudest complaints was directed at the clear lack of a story.  And I don't mean to say there was no story, but rather that the kind of story I find compelling seemed to be happening to Sonia and Leon, not the protagonist.  Whenever Sonia did appear, nothing she even had to say was nearly as intriguing as I think it ought to have been.  Its presentation is almost that of a Mystery Dungeon story, where the character is presented with this strange concept about themselves that drives much of the early game story.  The presentation is there, but the depth isn't.  Naturally, my complaints were alleviated to an extent by the untimely appearance of dad bod Rose and the Rampaging Legendary.  My mistake was thinking that this was the story in play.  It wasn't.

Pokemon Sword and Shield's story is driven by the characters- Hop, Bede, Marnie, the gym leaders, Leon, Sonia...  There's a reason the game has no Elite Four- it's focusing on the characters that they've already presented.  With that in mind, there are still some criticisms.  First, the gym leaders have so little dialogue that without reading the League Cards they give you it's hard to know they have a personality at all.  The game's script, and to an ironic extent the focus on Gym Challenges themselves prevent the characters from interacting with the player in a way that gives them any sort of depth.  On the other hand, the script spends a remarkable amount of time devoted to Hop and the two new Gym Leaders.  Bede's initial portrayal is that of a stereotypical holier-than-thou rival who thinks you aren't worth his time.  Throughout the second act, the rising action, Bede as a character is given more depth when it becomes apparent that his hunt for the Wishing Stars was encouraged by Oleana, unbeknownst to Rose.  From Bede's perspective, then, Oleana destroyed any chance he had at achieving his dreams- Bede is an orphan, essentially raised by Rose.  He owes everything to Rose.  It's a surprising amount of depth dedicated to a character trope usually not invested in.  Bede's character arc is resolved by another parental figure replacing Rose, with Bede becoming the Fairy-type Gym Leader and allegedly mellowing out a bit.

To Hop, his entire world flips upside down after his loss to Bede.  To him, it's not about winning or losing- it's about his big brother's reputation.  His entire motivation in the first two acts is centered around the desire to uphold that reputation.  As soon as he fails to do so, he stops battling out of fear.  It's a relatable emotion and even situation that Hop experiences.  He starts grasping at straws trying to find footing, challenging you with all sorts of different gimmicks and team rosters in a haphazard style.  By the end, he realizes that it's better for him to stick to his guns and re-establishes his precious Wooloo (now Dubwool) as a cornerstone of his team.

Meanwhile, Sonia gets to have all the fun exploring the hero of Galar, The Darkest Day, and Dynamaxing, which all has potential as a storyline, but for some reason you're hardly involved in this parallel story.  Instead, Sonia's (and Leon's) path just intertwines with yours every so often.  Enough for her to give you some nugget of knowledge that kind of just seems self-explanatory.  It never feels like Sonia has anything important to say.  Near the end of the second act, when Leon and Sonia apparently become aware that Rose is attempting to harness Eternatus' power, you get turned aside to complete your Gym Challenge while Leon and Sonia handle it.  I think pretty much everyone would prefer helping them out to battling another gym.

Surprise!  Rose, the wealthy industrialist CEO of Corporation Incorporated is the villain!  His goal?  To avert the impending energy crisis about to hit Galar in a mere 1,000 years.  Currently, energy is nonrenewable, but I guess if you harvest a Pokemon's energy it's okay.  For the future, right?  This storyline has more ham than my mom's freezer after grocery day.  Watching everything spiral out of control during the second act while being told to continue on with your Gym Challenge was no doubt my least favorite part of the game.  Things Are Happening, and you aren't a part of it.  I don't think there's any point in griping about how mediocre all this is, because it's blatantly mediocre, and I was just happy it showed up.  I'm a kid like that.

Story problems aside, Galar's world-building is top notch.  The Gym Challenge is embedded in every fiber of the region, much like it is the story.  Taking several cues from the popularity of soccer in England, the Gym stadiums are modeled after soccer pitches (I know I always made a connection with the ring in the center as a kid), and during the opening ceremony and the Gym Leader battles, the stadiums are packed with a crowd that almost feels real- they even start chanting when the Gym Leader is down to their last Pokemon.  You could even argue that stressing this importance is the reasoning behind the player being forced to continue with the Gym Challenge rather than help investigate the Dynamax occurrences (...aside from the fact that you do exactly that as part of the postgame...).  Speaking of postgame, I feel that it would have served the game as a whole much better if it were to occur during the midgame that I felt was relatively dry.  Since the story is focusing on things around the player rather than the player themselves all you're really left with is a stint of gameplay that gets pretty repetitive- go to new town, fight Gym, battle Hop, go to new town, fight Gym, battle Hop, etc.  And to be fair to the Gyms, the missions inside are fun and impressive, without being frustrating or too difficult.

As well-built of a world Galar is, I would be remiss not to mention the Wild Area- a massive plot of land sprawling underneath the routes you travel on during your adventure.  To someone who finds appeal in the very act of obtaining Pokemon, the Wild Area, complete with its unpredictable weather, constant rare spawns, and of course max raid dens, is a paradise.  It also serves as quality postgame content- being able to challenge 5 star raids in the hopes of a Hidden Ability and stronger Pokemon to build a team and take on friends, strangers, and the Battle Tower alike.  The Wild Area successfully delivers on the concept of The World of Pokemon- simply having models appearing in the overworld is a wonder.

Where Sword and Shield are lacking, however, is the polish.  As great as the Wild Area is, performance issues such as frame drops and Pokemon AI acting strange are all too common.  While the game adds many more unique animations, some animations look strange in context, and there are some instances in battle where I think including an already-existing animation would overall make the moves look smoother.  Inteleon using Surf comes to mind- I think it would look a lot better if it were to play the enters-the-battlefield animation rather than simply hopping up over the wave.  A cutscene close to the endgame isn't even animated.  A weird motion-blur effect persists throughout the Wild Area, leaving everything fuzzy.  The Rotom Bike controls are awkward and feel too bound-by-realism.  A mouse can briefly be seen during the credits.  Even small issues like this will break immersion and leave a negative impact on the player.  The overall quality of the game suffers from what seems to be scheduling issues and a concentrated effort to find small optimizations and time-saves to keep the game's release on pace.

As far as gameplay is concerned, Pokemon of course utilizes 1-on-1 (or 2-on-2 in some instances) turn-based gameplay that I think keeps it more engaging than traditional RPGs.  You aren't cycling through each phase with so many combat options- it boils down the gameplay to its simplest concept and I appreciate that.  The gimmick mechanic of Dynamaxing is novel, but wears its welcome far too quickly.  It does present a notable challenge when each Gym Leader has their own Dynamax Pokemon, but having the mechanic available for any Pokemon makes it feel bland and uninteresting, even when limited to specific battles.  Traveling the overworld is far less cumbersome without random encounters along the way, and I found that catching wild Pokemon was a struggle due to them keeping up with my party's level, often needing to camp out when possible and sometimes even blacking out just because of how hard to catch some Pokemon were.  On the other hand, Trainer Pokemon were lower level than the wild Pokemon and just existed to keep my team above the level of the wild Pokemon.  The Gym Battles, too, were a notably lower level than my team, but still presented a challenge when I didn't have a clear type advantage.

Overall I still can't quite find the words to explain what Sword and Shield does.  They have a clearly idealized concept, and they executed on it well enough for the game to be... fine, I guess?  I specifically avoided making any direct comparisons to older games throughout this review.  It's hard to look at previous games that are so lauded and then come back and make comparisons to see that well-received concepts are eschewed in favor of something new.  I find myself coming back to previous games, even with their individual downfalls.  The final removal of HM moves doesn't sit well with me, despite the constant complaints of their existence.  It's cool that Game Freak is experimenting, and Sword and Shield, as an experiment, serve a purpose, but when people want more of the same, I think it's better to deliver on that expectation.  As a game it's completely middle of the road- it's not iconic or genre-defining in any way, but it's still a worthwhile purchase for most fans of the IP.  As a Pokemon entry, I can only hope it's just a way for Game Freak to test the waters for an upcoming release, but I fully expect that Game Freak just fails to deliver the magic of past entries that we grew up with.

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