I played Yooka laylee and I got some pagies in the first world, then I just wasn't sure what to do in that world, so I haven't played it since christmas. I'm not really sure how much I should even go for, but my next move was probably going to another world, since I don't care enough about the first one to expand it just yet. Is there just 10 Pagies in each world like Banjo-Kazooie???
There's 25 in each world, but a lot of those are only available after expanding them, and I think 100 are needed to face the final boss, so expanding at least some of them is definitely needed to beat the game. Some pagies also require backtracking (to get them, you need to use tricks that you only learn in later levels). I'm not a big fan of this kind of backtracking, so when I played the game, I just rushed through all of the levels quickly so that I could unlock all the tricks before I went back to the first level and tried to find everything in it.
Lately I've been reacquainting myself with this obscure, addicting puzzle game called Enigma. And when I say "obscure" I mean it's so obscure it's nearly impossible to find any videos of this game at all on YouTube. The premise is simple: you play as a black marble and you have to match colored pairs of oxyd stones, and the meditation levels feature multiple small white marbles that you have to roll into dents. The large amount of items, stones, and other stuff (as well as how designers might customize the programming of certain behaviors) kinda reminds me of how versatile SMW hacking is. Depending on which level you pick the main focus might be speed, dexterity, puzzle solving, or any combination.
I like how there are many levels that use some (or only a few) of this game's plethora of objects and elements for levels that just ooze creativity. At the same time, there's also quite a bit of fake difficulty in the form of trial and error gameplay, guide dang it, fake longevity, marathon levels (some with brain breakingly complex puzzles that make you wish it had some kind of savestate/loadstate feature), no "undo" button, etc.
There's this one level that I had fun with called Industrial Puzzles that kinda reminds me of how I would design puzzly ROM hack levels. The review explains it more in-depth than I could but it pretty much echoes my thoughts. Very compact, beautifully chaotic level with not too much fake difficulty. The hardest part is actually making sense of it, but after that, it's not so hard, tho you do have to remember a ton of shit.
Just completed Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for the first time on my Switch. I think back then on Wii U, I only completed the first two thirds of the game.
It was definitely an enjoyable game, though not one that I am likely to want to replay at some point. It's one of those "I'm glad I completed it once" type of games, but the "no jumping" gameplay style isn't something I am eager to return to a lot, I prefer games with controls that are as liberal as possible (kinda like Super Mario Odyssey, for example). That being said, this kind of control scheme does make for some unique and interesting puzzles.
One thing I didn't enjoy very much were the post-game levels. Well, the Super Mario Odyssey levels were fine, but the "remix" and "crown" levels weren't my cup of tea (which isn't too surprising, as I've never really liked these levels in the previous Mario games). The crown level I literally attempted just once, died after collecting 1337 coins (yeah, that randomly happened to be the actual amount I died on), saw that you actually needed 5000 to clear the challenge and then said to myself "oh well, I think I'll pass, I have enough other games in my backlog and I don't really enjoy this level all that much".
My Switch pile has shrunk a considerable amount since I've started dedicating most of my free time to games again. However, it probably won't stay like that for long, as there's already a bunch of new games on the way, some of which will take a considerable amount of time again (I'll definitely be replaying Final Fantasy X and Final Fantas XII on my Switch, and those alone will probably cost me hundreds of hours).
I played Captain Toad on 3DS and it was a game that wore out its welcome really quickly. Levels never got more interesting or more difficult, just longer. I didn't like the repeated boss fights. I didn't like that they forced longevity through a faulty mission structure and collectibles. This game made me spend way more time than I ever should on just a single level, and that is not a fun way to make me replay your game. The game's annoying to 100% and ridiculously short and unsatisfying if you don't.
Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Mario vs Donkey Kong: March of the Minis: I first thought "wow, this is kinda cute" during the first batch of levels and then quickly got bored since it was all too basic and easy. At least Captain Toad won't take over and ruin the series like the Minis did.
Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of the "secret mission" thing, either. It would have been fine if they had just not made it secret and told you the exact objective right away. The way it is, you're very likely to have to replay the majority of levels at least once. Twice if you're also going for the pixel Toads.
Some of the secret missions, especially towards the end of the game, are also very annoying. In the final story level of the game, you have to collect 220 coins or something like that. This is already kinda annoying, because that level is rather long and slow and even has a checkpoint in the middle. Since coins reset on death and all levels with a "collect X coins" objective just barely contain enough coins to fulfil that objective, you will have to manually restart the level if you die past the checkpoint. Getting the 220 coins in the first place is also only possible by finding two golden mushrooms hidden in random-ass spots somewhere in the level. On top of all that, the level ends with a boss fight which, while not exactly difficult, contains an element of RNG that I could totally see ending someone's run, wasting all of their time spent on collecting the coins in this long and slow level.
Yeah, the secret objectives in this game definitely can get quite annoying. That being said, they at least didn't annoy me enough to prevent me from enjoying the game, and it's true that without them the game would have been awfully short (even shorter than it already is).
For the first time in at least a year I decided to play Touhou, specifically the 6th one. I plan to attempt to 1cc it (on normal because I don't hate myself enough to even *attempt* higher difficulties). Been frustrating but feels so great when I actually make progress. SO far I can make it to Stage 5 rather reliably and hopefully I'll be able to beat the game eventually.
Speaking of going back to games I have left alone for quite a while I picked Trails in the Sky 1st Chapter back up and flew through Ch1 and 2 and currently on Ch 3 where
Estelle and friends fight the spooky mysterious black clothed people in Carnelia Tower
. Really wish I came back to FC sooner but it really didn't grab me way back when I had bought it.
So I was able to get my personal best time in Koopa Beach 1 for Super Mario Kart down to sub 1 minute at 59 seconds! A whole 2 seconds ahead of my previous personal best.
Huge accomplishment if I do say so myself. Especially since I've been grinding away at it like mad for the past 2 and a half hours or more.
It's all offline unfilmed practice for the real deal so y'all will have to take my word for it. xP
After playing The Beginner's Guide, I realized that I have motion sickness during first-person games. Like, I remember being a bit dizzy back when I played 007: Agent Under Fire for the GameCube but I never really thought much of it until now. It doesn't help that the game doesn't have any FOV settings and that changing the resolution breaks the UI. After that, I played a bit of Crypt of the NecroDancer (finally) and it's kinda fun. Took a while to get used to the controls and I clutched the hell out of Zone 1 though. I was dying left and right due to misunderstanding the rhythm and I got to the boss on low health, and I won with only one heart left!
And as for games I wanted to play: Baba is You. It's a puzzle game that was released just last week where you can change what each object in the game does while you are solving the puzzle. It's easier to explain by watching the trailer. (it's available on Steam too)
I've begun taking a crack at the Any% category for Super Mario Bros and I've reached the most magical part of the run in practice thus far: 4-2
It requires a wrong warp. I won't go into the details, but you can either do a 3 bump trick through the level to do it, or a 2 bump trick. Now the 2 bump trick is an optimized version that the world record holders do, and anybody wishing to contend with them has to learn it (so you can imagine...).
I was able to learn how to relatively consistently manage the 3 bump trick within a few hours practice. But after 2 hours, I was only able to do the 2 bump trick ONCE!
Recently I completed Shining Resonance Refrain. A game which I had started quite a while ago, then paused to play some other games, then resumed playing recently and finished. I probably won't be able to sum up my feelings on this game without a lot of text, but I'll try my best.
I would say the game is neither bad, nor great. It's "prettay okayish" or something like that. It feels like they tried to develop a 40 hour game with a 10 hour budget. There's only a single city in the game that you're warped back to after every major story event, and because of this, the play time is mostly achieved by making you run the same areas again and again. The monster levels do scale up after every chapter, but I still got tired of it quickly and eventually started running past all monsters. Because of this, however, I quickly ended up being quite underleveled. I had a pretty hard time, despite playing on easy. The fact that monsters give very little EXP and you level very slowly doesn't really help. They really do intend for you to fight a lot. To make matters worse, this is one of those games where dead or inactive party members don't gain any EXP at all, meaning if you play the same characters all the time, the other ones will be left in the dust. Unfortunately there is at least one event in the game where your entire party is dictated for you, and it happened to be two of the characters I never used, so that was quite a progression blocker for me and I was forced to grind for a few hours to get past that section. I was kinda lucky there because a seasonal event with easter eggs helped me to gain a lot of EXP quickly. Otherwise, it would have taken me even longer.
Another lucky thing is that the game includes a legal "cheat mode" of sorts. The main character can transform into a powerful dragon. At first, there are a few downsides to this (the character can lose control of the power), but those are simple to prevent and eventually disappear entirely. Aside from that, this mode only eats through the character's MP quickly, but by just stocking up on Ethers, you can basically use this mode most of the time. This dragon is ridiculously powerful, and even bosses won't last very long, despite being underleveled. Hadn't it been for that one "forced party" instance, I probably would have gotten through the game without any forced leveling, just because of this dragon. Some may call this "cheap game design", and it is, but since the game got so repetitive so quickly and I didn't feel like fighting the same monsters again and again, I actually appreciated this.
Getting back to the forced grind I mentioned earlier, it did at least have one good side: it made me to look into a gameplay element that I had mostly ignored until that point. There is an NPC in the game which allows you to visit a number of randomly-generated dungeons to fight monsters and earn rewards. These dungeons originally didn't seem very appealing to me and they're also quite simple in structure. It's always two regular floors and one boss floor, and there's very little to do besides fighting monsters and picking up items. Nevertheless, after playing those dungeons for a few hours to gain EXP, I've found them to be kinda enjoyable. I can't quite say why. Maybe it's because you can customize them quite a bit by using sigils, or maybe it's because there's something satisfying about just running through those mini dungeons and mindlessly defeating all the monsters on all the floors. Whatever the case, this ended up being one of the more enjoyable gameplay aspects of the game.
Now one crucial thing to note about this game is that it's not just an RPG. Half of this game is actually played like a visual novel of sorts, or like a dating sim. A majority of the content you get while you're in the city are optional scenes that feel a lot like visual novels, and yes, if you want to, you can also date members of your team. This, in theory, is kinda enjoyable, especially if you're into that kinda stuff. However, this aspect of the game also has its fair share of problems. For one, I find that the game doesn't strike a good balance here. Sure, these scenes are entirely optional, but if you don't want to miss any of them, you'll find yourself always being stuck in the city for quite a long time before get back to the story, because there's just so many of these scenes, and they usually take a few minutes. As for the dating, while also enjoyable, there unfortunately aren't that many dating scenes for each individual characters, so if there's one character you like a lot, you will have seen all of their scenes very quickly and at that point are either stuck to watching the same scenes over and over or go ahead and date a new character that you weren't too interested in.
Probably my biggest complaint about this "visual novel" aspect of the game is that it also leaks heavily into the rest of the game, though. That is: 99% of all the story in the game plays out in this visual novel-like scenes, and that just stinks. It is what mostly gives the game its low-budget feel. There is very few cutscenes in the game with dynamic camera movement. In fact, there is very few cutscenes in the game, period. It's quite bad, because dynamic cutscenes are really one of the things I enjoy most in a story-focussed RPG, so something just feels severly lacking. This would have been fine for just regular dialogue in the game, but imagine having even all of the important story scenes play out like that. Clashing swords are just boring when you don't even see the swords clashing and instead just have the screen blackout and play the sound effect of a clashing sword with a fullscreen slash effect. Heck, I could make an effeckt like that in the RPG Maker in two minutes. That just... won't do. It clearly feels like the prioritized quantity over quality here. They absolutely wanted to have a 40 hour game, rather than a shorter, more substantial one.
One thing I didn't really talk about yet are the side quests in the game, but that's because there's barely anything to say about them. They're pretty much like the rest of the game: repetitive and not very substantial. You only really have your typical RPG sidequests of "defeat X monsters" and "get this item X times". Nothing that goes beyond that. There isn't a single sidequest in the game that actually adds anything to the world or story. It's so basic that you quickly end up just skipping through all the sidequest dialogue (which isn't even that much to begin with) and be done with it. On top of that, a lot of those sidequests actually repeat infinitely. That is, once you've cleared them and walk around for a bit, the respective NPC will ask you for the exact same thing again, so you don't even feel accomplished completing a sidequest. Because of this, I always just ended up quickly running through the city, accepting all sidequests that were available without ever paying them any attention, only really completing sidequests by chance while advancing the story. I'm not sure if I've ever seen sidequests this insubstantial, and that's saying something. You could entirely remove the sidequests from the game and it wouldn't make any difference at all.
That's about all I can say about this game. I'm not sure if I can generally recommend this game. I don't regret having played through it, but it definitely felt like a drag at times. I'd say only if you're really into J-RPGs and maybe have an affinity for visual novels (or absolutely want to have a little bit of romance in your game) it's worth checking out. There's certainly better J-RPG options on the Switch, though, especially with a bunch of Final Fantasy games releasing soon.
Moving on to something more pleasent, I've started playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice recently, and I'm loving it. You might remember me having recently played Dark Souls on Switch for the first time, and while being frustrated, I liked it a lot and wanted to play more games from the series. I needed a little break inbetween, though, so Sekiro is only the second game of this kind that I'm playing. I'm glad to say that after playing for a couple of hours, it's definitely great. It's very difficult to describe, because it's similar to Dark Souls, yet at the same time so very different. The difficulty and progression flow in the game definitely feel just like in Dark Souls, but the focus of the gameplay is a very different one, rewarding you for stealthing and for going slow in general. Yeah, I REALLY don't know how to properly describe this game. It's like, it DOES feel like Dark Souls, yet at the same time, it really does not. It's like my brain constantly switches between those two mentalities. I think I'll just leave it at that for now and maybe go into more detail once I've completed the game.