realm722

RealM722's Trophy Cabinet

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5 hours ago, realm722 said:

some big snip

Hot damn this was the best lecture to have while I drank my coffee this morning xD loved your list and I think I will do a top 10 games done in 2020 too, just for kicks.

Also The Last Blade 2 was fun to read, I think I'll pick it too when it's on a sale, I never heard of it before. Looks like a Samurai Shodown kind of game.

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Let's Talk about David Cage games - views on him and why do people hate them?

 

Why on earth am I talking about this? My favorite streamer, Papa Joseph Anderson - is streaming all of the David Cage for the month of December. Some of the discussion surrounding it in chat and in general is pretty gripping to say the least - and I think it would be a good time to ask, man - how good is this interactive storytelling nonsense in all reality.

 

David Cage Games:

#1. Omikron: The Nomad Soul (1999)
#2. Fahrenheit (2005)

#3. Heavy Rain (2010)

#4. Beyond: Two Souls (2013)

#5. Detroit: Become Human (2018)

 

Why do people call them David Cage games?

 

I think you would be hard-pressed to find a studio more known for it's auteur and creator than it's own studio name. The only ones that really rival Cage are probably Hideo Kojima back with Konami. Beyond that, the notion of an "auteur" or person with an over-whelming amount of control over what and what doesn't take place in their video games doesn't really apply to the vast majority of game studios. (Testuya Nomura is another one you can add to the group of you insist) When you're playing The Last of Us II - you may have Neil Druckmann's storytelling come to mind, but you prolly don't for the gameplay elements. Unless it's a game like Stardew Valley (Eric Barone) or a game like The Witness with Jonathan Blow - typically these big-budgeted studios are so big that while there may be a recognizable name and face at the top, they rarely receive all the credit and all the blame for the project they worked on.

 

That ain't the case for Mr. Cage.

 

If you watch somebody who knows who the hell he is, if there's an inexplicably laughably ridiculous line - they're prolly gonna mention him. If there's an over-the-top absolutely bonkers quicktime event - you know he's gonna be shouted out, and if there's ever a ridiculous shower / sex scene you know even more so. Everything that happens in Cage's games is believed to be his meticulous creation. But... is that accurate? I'm tempted to say... the really ridiculous parts, yea prolly. There's just far too many weird coincidences across these games that make me think an entire studio is repeating the same bizarre notes over and over again. It's the shower scenes, the ridiculous over-the-top mellow-dramatic elements, the insistence on a serious tone, and if you really wanna get into it - some of the more creepy elements found across all his productions(we'll dive more into those allegations later). So.... yea. I'd say, you're fair to refer to them as "David Cage games" even as it's a video game studio that employs 100+ people and has for well over a decade.

 

Before we go any further, is David Cage a creep?

* Sources: Eurogamer article on toxic work culture at Quantic Dream. Star of Beyond: Two Souls, Ellen Page - explored legal action against them.

* #1. "Cage, particularly, is painted as a figure hard to work with. He is apparently ironically nicknamed "Papa", "God" and "Sun King" for his autocratic approach to working, for demanding long hours and for not listening to others."

#2. "Cage is also accused of a lack of consideration for female colleagues, and of making insistent dirty jokes, smutty remarks in the presence of his wife, and inappropriate remarks about actresses in his games."

#3. "Others have apparently witnessed homophobic or racist jokes. One incident involved a burglary caught on CCTV. After watching, Cage allegedly asked an employee of Tunisian origin, "Is that a cousin of yours?"

#4. "The most shocking [images] present Quantic Dream's collaborators in sexual positions, adorned with homophobic or sexist slurs, or even made up to look like Nazis," said Le Monde's report, translated by Eurogamer. 

* #5. "The Video Game that began with... pictures of Ellen Page"

 

Let's stop there. Uhhhh..... I mean.... okay, how do I say this in 2020. I don't think David Cage is Harvey Weinstein. But I do think he's in that bizarrely completely lack-of-self-awareness area of "he doesn't even realize how awful some of the stuff he does". I don't know if anybody here has seen The Good Place, Season 4, but basically think - Brent Norwolk. I think David Cage would 1000% unironically tell a woman she should "smile more" and say absolutely nothing wrong with it. Why do I think this? Because I think he thinks he's an incredible writer who hits on these story moments so magnificently that only he could conjure up in his own head. I don't know if this is because he's never been told no, or the fact a game like Fahrenheit(which if you've never played, I STRONGLY recommend you watch Joseph Anderson's stream of since it's brilliant) - LEGITAMATELY WON AT THE 2006 NAVGTR Awards for "Writing in a Drama". Having never played it ans finally watching it... what on earth was the planet smoking in 2006. I mean, how can I even blame him for not realizing his own shortcomings? He's built one of the most successful game studios in France, with him as the auteur, received praise and awards from award shows, these games are beloved by real people... he's honestly, a more grounded version of Tommy Wiseau in a lot of ways. He believes himself to be brilliant and he kinda is... just, not in maybe all the ways he thinks he is.

 

But back on topic for this section - is he a creep? Eh, I'll settle on the fact he's a 51-year old weirdo who will evidently make and do things in real life that'll make you cringe - and while he probably wouldn't have been called out on it in the early or even late 2000s, times are changing. I mean, the way he in general wrote women all the way up until Detroit: Become Human was... let's not even get into it. I burst out cackling when this happened in the aftermath of playing Fahrenheit - (David Cage's model dancing with Clara's model in underwear and her bra). Now, obviously, the harrassament in the workplace - making women feel uncomfortable, making tasteless race jokes, yea... cut it out David. But despite it all, I dunno, maybe I'm thinking he's too dumb to not realize what he's doing but... I root for David Cage. I think he's absolutely ridiculous, needs to stop being a frigging weirdo, and would probably be served if he took himself and his games a bit less seriously - but somehow due to how much he gets crushed in many gaming communities, I wouldn't hate it if his next release was this absolutely mind-boggling masterpiece that no one could deny. Perhaps that's easier to state from a distance. I don't know him, he's likely awful to work with and this cute persona I've created of him may make life hell for others, but at least that's where I stand today (and would be willing to change if yanno... new allegations and information came to light)

 

Why do people love his games? Why do people hate his games?
 

Why people hate David Cage games - Where to begin? The complaints can first start with the game designs themselves. These games focus on "interactive storytelling". In other words, you're not going to be shooting a gun, driving a car, or really even completing a puzzle for the most part. The vast majority of these games can be completed by hitting "QTE events" or buttons on your controller when they appear, and merely walking around environments clicking on items until the next sequence follows. Many claim this is "boring". Others say it's "awful" as "gameplay" can involve meaningless clicking X to sit down in an empty booth or check yourself out in a mirror. In essence, you're never going to be challenged in terms of completing a task while playing these games. If you gameplay is everything to you, these games probably aren't it. Another one is lambasting the "awful storytelling". It's fine to tell stories, but David Cage games don't ever actually tell them... well. Inevitably there will be ridiculous plot contrivances, absurd sequences where you'll be crawling on shards of glass, clicking QTE events for a strange out of place sex scene, and in general if you don't even have the buy-in for the story in THESE games of all games... my goodness you're gonna not have a very good time. Others like to rip on them for his writing of women which has admittedly been pretty lowbrow in virtually every release. Hell, some of the humor involving racial stereotypes in Fahrenheit really don't age that well. It wouldn't be that crazy to find why someone would be hard-pressed to find many redeeming qualities of these games.

 

But.....

 

Yo, I frigging enjoy them. I have played 2 of his 5 video games. Heavy Rain I scored a 7.1 out of 10, and Detroit: Become Human I scored a 8.0 out of 10. These aren't my favorite games - but I kinda question someone who can't find any enjoyment out of them. Are you a stick in the mud? Did you really not have a slight grin when Zlatko comes out screaming at his robot slaves "IM YOUR MASTA"? I'm not saying "these games are so bad, they're good." I believe there are sections and sequences that are 1000%, positively, GOOD video game set-pieces. Specifically in Detroit: Become Human involving Connor and Hank. That strange duo-cop dynamic working beautifully, and while Cage's detractors will point out a whole lot of that was ad-libbed. I mean... he still let it appear in his video game. I'll concede Kara's storyline was a solid knockdown, and Markus' uhh... complete focus was the lamest sections of the game for me but what the hell man - he stumbles into a good time one way or another, I can't take the good away from him and leave him purely with the bad. In general, I don't like the term "it's so bad it's good" because it often feels to me like a veil for somebody who enjoys something, but knows it's disliked and thus it's a nice veil for their "tastes". I dunno - I rated Heavy Rain as "good dumb fun" - would Cage be mad at me if he read that? It's probably not what he's going for given how much he talks at length about his emotional stories but come on! How can you not laugh at some of the stuff he includes? I don't think this is multi-levels of conspiracy where he actually takes his games intentionally over-the-top serious, knowing people think he's a joke, and thus they become all the more funnier when he's jedi-matrix fighting a druid on a snowy New York rooftop and people view it as the game taking itself as high-art. Some people are oblivious, I think David Cage is one of them, but dammit if I don't enjoy it.

 

TL;DR - David Cage is not a monster, most definitely a weirdo, a genius, but not for the reasons he thinks, has made some good/fun games and video game sequences, probably completely against his own will and vision, but all the same... I root for this man, and I imagine it's in large part due to the fact so many highfalutin gamers are against him. 

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Great post about the David Cage games, I too have only played Heavy Rain and Detroit, but planning to play Beyond: Two Souls this next year. I actually really enjoy them and I've talked about this before that there is a time where I like to play VN and similar games. These are more of interactive choose your own adventure movies, but fall into that same area of games for me. That link to the Ellen Page article Kotaku did was a pretty neat read, I didn't realize she acted with William Defoe, now I have to play that game!

 

Games aside, as an individual, David Cage falls into a larger bucket of people than most think exist on this planet, but I'm not going to get into that or dismiss that part of him, people at the top always just get more light shined on them. You can't hate him though for the games he's created. Yes they aren't for everyone, but they are advertised that way. People always find something to hate on these days for no reason. It's like when people try to say Nascar isn't real racing and will argue it forever for some reason. If it's not for you, move on...

Edited by Grotz99
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On 12/12/2020 at 6:24 AM, Copanele said:

Hot damn this was the best lecture to have while I drank my coffee this morning xD loved your list and I think I will do a top 10 games done in 2020 too, just for kicks.

Also The Last Blade 2 was fun to read, I think I'll pick it too when it's on a sale, I never heard of it before. Looks like a Samurai Shodown kind of game.

 

Haha thank you for the love! and yes, I highly recommend doing recap lists, even if they aren't as wordy mine. Really lets you reflect on a year full of accomplishments and also provides a great synopsis for keeping in mind for the future what you'd like to play. and yes! TLB2 was a quick and nice experience. I'd also be curious for your take on it given you actually have fighting game experience (Street Fighter V platinum O_____O) and see how it holds up for a game from the 90's. 

 

On 12/18/2020 at 3:55 PM, Grotz99 said:

Great post about the David Cage games, I too have only played Heavy Rain and Detroit, but planning to play Beyond: Two Souls this next year. I actually really enjoy them and I've talked about this before that there is a time where I like to play VN and similar games. These are more of interactive choose your own adventure movies, but fall into that same area of games for me. That link to the Ellen Page article Kotaku did was a pretty neat read, I didn't realize she acted with William Defoe, now I have to play that game!

 

Games aside, as an individual, David Cage falls into a larger bucket of people than most think exist on this planet, but I'm not going to get into that or dismiss that part of him, people at the top always just get more light shined on them. You can't hate him though for the games he's created. Yes they aren't for everyone, but they are advertised that way. People always find something to hate on these days for no reason. It's like when people try to say Nascar isn't real racing and will argue it forever for some reason. If it's not for you, move on...

 

Absolutely! I was actually looking at Indigo Prophecy and Beyond: Two Souls as two potential "short" platinums, but after reviewing both, I strongly recommend B:TS over Indigo since uh... the old one has some very outdated game design(as expected of something originally released in 2005). I'm currently watching Joseph Anderson play it on Twitch and it's his favorite of the 3 and he's halfway thru so it is a fun time! I also agree with what you said about the hate. YouTubers have made this point plenty - but if you look up general trends, the "Top 10 Worst Games of 2020" will get more views than the "Top 10 Best Games of 2020" videos. People feed off negativity and it can be a strange form of unity "dunking" on someone/something no matter how toxic it may be. But generally I think it's a good idea to go against that wave since honestly, how are you better off for it?

 

GENERAL ACCOUNT UPDATE: This is prolly gonna my longest "drought" without a game completion for awhile and that's a-okay with me! I took a little break after 100%'d TLB2 and recently have been playing Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I am 20 hours in and am finally really enjoying it - I have a lot of thoughts on it but it is a mammoth game and I'll get more into it with the full review, but since it's one of those huge JRPGs I haven't really dipped into other games waters. I picked up a few more from the recent sale, but I think I'll coast for the end of 2020 as I already did my end of year reviews and awards and will comeback with a fury start of 2021. As of now, go Dolphins as we hope to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and stay safe everybody!

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Posted (edited)

H2x1_NSwitch_NiNoKuriWrathOfTheWhiteWitc

Game: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered

 

Analysis: I bought Ni No Kuni 1's physical copy edition for $14.99 off of Best Buy back in mid-August 2020. Warning: This review is exhaustively detailed since I want to remember this game in detail, even when my memory for it fades in the future since time will do that to us with all experiences. You can skip the "background" section if you don't care about why I specifically choose this game for a genre I don't typically play. Spoilers from "A Rough Beginning" and onwards. You've been warned.

 

Background: I am NOT an RPG guy. Despite the fact that Persona 5 is my #1 game of All-Time during the Playstation 4 era... I think it'd be fair to say that it is my only RPG that I played for the entire generation. You can look at my list of games on the front page. You won't find a single Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, etc... (does Kingdom Hearts count? Okay if you count that one then sure). Quite simply, they're not typically my style. I don't hate turn-based combat, it's just that generally in order to invest whole-heartedly in such a lengthy experience, I'm not gonna feel comfortable committing to one I know nothing about. Could you imagine being committed for 60+ hours to a game you... don't enjoy? I know, I know - this is where we can discuss whether or not being a "trophy hunter" is damaging since you shouldn't feel obligated to complete games you don't enjoy.... whatever. I like to complete games and get a platinum. It gives me the drive to finish them and an "endgame" besides the end of the game itself. I had watched TWO. COMPLETE. 100+ HOURS. of playthroughs involving Persona 5 - and I eventually played it myself. The case regarding why I decided to play Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was much foggier. I had watched an old YouTuber of mines, VintageBeef's playthrough of the game back on the PS3 all the way back in January 2013. Suffice to say - A LOT HAS CHANGED IN 7 YEARS. But I remember loving watching that playthrough when I was younger, and when I saw the remastered version was coming to the PS4 - I was determined to jump at the chance of playing it without first refreshing my memory. This was something I adored watching 7 years ago, would my memory be faithful and I love it - or would I have the awful realization of what may be fun to watch may not be fun to play, and what I may have enjoyed 7 years ago may be just that - an enjoyment of the past. 

 

A Rough Beginning: So lemme give some spoilers up right out of the gate. WOW my memory had forgotten A LOT. Bruh they freaking kill your mom in the opening sequence. What the hell? I do remember our good ol' lovely "innit" chap, Drippy and his Welsh accent. He's a bit of a ball buster but has a good heart and friendship with Oliver (or better said, Ollie-boy) and it's a pleasant dynamic. I had also completely forgotten you can transfer between this magical world and Motorville whenever you please. I had it stuck in my mind Oliver was trapped and would be trying to find a way back home... nah, not even a little bit. He's going on this quest to try and save his mom and bring her back to life, from the clutches of Shadar, the Dark Djinn. So whaddya know - we have our motivation and we're off! You also restore the hearts and feelings of "broken-hearted" individuals by finding extra cases of ambition, love, kindness, etc... - you visit cities ranging from the typical prestige Ding Dong Dell, a desert oasis in Al Mammon, the industrial Hamelin (this was the city I most vividly remembered, but I confused the steampunk in my memory for a train station, whoops!) to Casteaway Cove, Skull Mountain, Yule, Perdida, etc... all of it is quite whimsical. In fact, in a word or description I'd give to somebody to describe this game it'd be just that. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is the word "majestic" personified in an incredible world and atmosphere. Whether it be Studio Ghibli collaborating with Level-5 to recreate their iconic visual design, to the pure innocence of Ollie-boy with his crew of Ester and Swaine, to catching the vast assortment of creative familiars from Captain Whamtastic's, Demoliceros, and Lumberowod's, to just... I dunno man. The beauty in the simplicity of traveling on your dragon Tengri to obscure islands and helping people out. When you first get a scope of the map and see the various islands the realization hits you "holy crap this is gonna be a journey", and it absolutely lives up to that expression with how it takes you across the map and back multiple times.

 

But.... I don't want to be misleading. I was not loving this game in the beginning. The intro was alright, and maybe I was contaminated by the fact I had a blurry memory of watching this game, but I honestly consider the first 15 hours of this game to be a slog. Ding Dong Dell, Al Mammon, even Hamelin... it just all felt so slow at times. I didn't think I was "rushing for the platinum" but uh, some scenes just dragged on forever, and the combat wasn't grasping me early on (Side Rant: I like the combat more than turn-based having played it fully now after 60+ hours. It's not an action game, but being able to run around the field, dodge attacks, set up moves, fire spells with Oliver, it's a nice pleasant system that doesn't detract from the experience). I feared that this would be me really trying to enjoy a game (Forgotton Anne, Owlboy) more so than... actually being taken aback but it's brilliance. But then, after I got Tengri(your personal dragon that allows you to fly and land anywhere), and around the 18 hourish mark(I was level 36 having just fought the Pirate Captain for one of Mornstar's gems or whatever) - I finally caught myself playing AND enjoying it. That's one hell of a time commitment playing something for that long that you don't enjoy. I didn't actively dislike it, but I wasn't loving it either, I was in the Graveyard Keeper phase of "playing, going through the motions". But that changed once the world opened up and you could choose between going to Yule, The Vault of Tears, or fight the captain ship. Perhaps it's because all the mechanics had become available - or the fact I could start properly making familiars my own and go wherever the hell I pleased, but the game really took an noticeable uptick for me where I would play for multiple hours on end and not want to call it quit - in fact, this brings me to a very important point I want to make about this game.

 

I believe moving forward - JRPGs or any other massive games I play must fit into this category - I need to love just hanging out on them while watching other content on my laptop. I'm not gonna pretend like Ni No Kuni received 1000% of my attention all the time. I watched multiple movies while grinding for levels. I watched Joseph Anderson's Twitch streams on David Cage games. Hell, I watched Tim Rogers' 6-hour review of Tokimeki Memorial... twice. But yanno what the sign of a great game is? I'll pause those movies to watch the game when there's an intriguing story moment or cutscene. I did that numerous times for NNK (I love the villain cutscenes with the bird, Shadar, and the White Witch particularly)

 

Completing the Story: Little did I realize how shortly after finally enjoying the game I was to finishing the main story, and that's not an indictment. I was 18 hours in to fully appreciating the game and enjoying hanging out in this playground of a world, and by the 30 hour and 55 minute mark - I had finished the main storyline. The game attempts to "fake you out" or hell, it doesn't even really do that because you can see the villain cutscenes but once you defeat Shadar at Nevermore, you think you're gonna get your celebration at Ding Dong Dell and peace out back to Motorville... NOPE! Cuz Cassopiea turns everyone into zombies! You save the 3 main cities, decide to head to hear Ivory Tower, whoop her ass back to normalcy, and finally beat the Zodiarchy to achieve true peace and happiness for all! Woohoo! You're done with the game right? Hahahha, no my friend. You have no idea. In fact, let me show you some playtime timestamps I took in my notes to point out when hit the 50% mark on your journey.

 

18 hours, 23 minutes - Lvl 36 - finally started enjoying the game

30 hours, 55 minutes - Lvl 66 - Finished the main storyline

45 hours, 27 minutes - Lvl 88 - close to finishing all bounties/errands

50 hours, 11 minutes - Lvl 99 - finished errands/bounties, colosseum

62 hours, 15 minutes - Lvl 99 - caught 250 familiars, 120 alchemy items

 

That's right folks! Once you complete the main story, you're really just getting started since -

Ni No Kuni 1 has some of the best post-game content I've ever seen in a video game.

 

I dunno if this is exclusively a JRPG thing but my goodness. The numerous new errands and bounties you had to focus on from going to these obscure forest glades you barely would have encountered or even touched if you were focused on the story, to the different boss battles that'll kick your ass if you immediately go for them without realizing they're "endgame" content (that Ulk in the Summerlands DESTROYED ME), you have the Conductor who unveils the games real secret final boss, you have all the elements of interacting with the fairies to these really long quests like delivering tikha mahala across the entire map for a guy in Al Mammon or rescuing fairies scattered across the world. The post-game content is mammoth, and that isn't even getting into the completionism aspect of catching every time of familiar when possible and making sure you gather the star sprinkling items sprawled across the entire map. 

 

My Familiars, Oh My Beloved Familiars: I'm going to list off my team of beloved creatures so they are not forgotten. (These were their stats by the end of the main storyline, I switched up my team for the post-game since I had easy "I-win" options now available to me after completing some of the errands. 

 

Oliver (Lvl 66):

Lvl 68 Obscuroboros

Lvl 55 Trapper Snapper

Lvl 35 Pyromander (got him since I liked his speed, but eh didn't ever become a huge player)

 

Esther (Lvl 66):

Lvl 69 Flurongo (prolly the 2nd most important main story familiar, got the familiar trophies with 'em)

Lvl 65 Sea Naiad

Lvl 60 Madcap

 

Swaine (Lvl 66):

Lvl 58 Aye Aye Catcher (MVP of this entire journey, got last hits on Shadar/White Witch)

Lvl 34 Paleolith (one of the best defensive familiars in the entire game)

Lvl 56 Bone Brigadier

 

My basic combat strategy was "psyching up" with Swaine using the Aye Aye Catcher (named Sieler, after Zach Sieler of the Miami Dolphins) and just crushing the competition. He's great for the main story content, but in the post-game the Bone Brigadier became my MVP for him, while for Esther I never deviated from Flurongo, but did get her a Lumberwood via Erwin's final familiar retrieve quests and Oliver I got a Dinoceros named Xavien as well which is... oh my god that familiar is so OP. I had read it was OP when doing research for the best familiar to sweep the post-game and couldn't for the life of me catch one in the plateaus above the Shimmering Sands, gave up on it, and when Erwin gave me a ticket I cashed that bad boy in and my goodness did he obliterate once I started leveling him up. Everything would be dead within seconds and nothing else really stood a chance - I'm glad I completed the main story and everything before then as it would have been far too easy and just an "I win" button otherwise. 

 

I'm Going to List a Bunch of Things I Hate About This Game: I thoroughly enjoyed this game but I just need to rant about a few unfathomably bad things it does. #1) Why on earth are YOU SO SLOOOOOWWWWWWWWW... in the overworld or running between towns. THE DEVELOPERS KNOW THIS. There's a reason they let you teleport after awhile from the start of Hamelin to the end of it to visit the prince. It's because it's agonizingly slow and it hurts... give us a sprint button. The upgrade from the bounty shop doesn't matter. It's still too slow. I hate it - and I think you could shave several hours off the playtime if they just let you freaking move more quickly man. It's not a "take your time and appreciate the art" it's "holy hell Oliver GET A MOVE ON WILL YOU". #2) Some story beats COMPLETELY missed the mark with me. I'm going to make a shocking revelation for you all, there's FOUR playable characters in this game. Oliver, Esther, and Swaine are the ones I've mentioned. Why is that? Cuz you get some jabroni named Marcassin you met way earlier in the game during the Hamelin sequence that I do not give two tosses about. Sorry, maybe there's a rabid Marcassin from Ni No Kuni 1 fanbase out there but I did not use him a single time in my entire 62 hours of play. Why would I? He was under-leveled, and more importantly, I needed Esther to catch familiars and Swaine to use mugshot to steal alchemy items. He did not receive one iota of my time and I doubt I'm the only one who played it like this. #3) Just... the animations are pretty but can we speed things up? I took for granted the fast-forward button in Persona 5 in battle. Once you're "grinding" for certain alchemy items or even just levels, seeing the same animation of your guys celebrating genociding the same poor small tadpole for the billionith time gets old. Let me skip it, please game. #4) Some of the storybeats of "Your Princess Is In Another Castle" are so goddamn tiresome because of how slow you are. There was a point where you fly across the entire map to go to a small island, read something, and then fly all the way back to where you were to report back. Once again, exacerbated by the slowness. #5) Grinding. I will list all the times I could not kill the boss in a level not because I wasn't skilled enough, but because my guys didn't do enough damage cuz I hadn't killed enough smaller enemies. #1) Volcanoe boss on Old Smokey first time around, #2) Jelly boss fight in Fairy Godmother for 2 hours #3) Grinded HARDCORE before Miasma Marshes as they destroyed me, until I was like lvl 53, #4) for some post-game bosses in the Ivory Tower. That's 4 grind sessions! (that's hot). I don't hate grinding, but it's just a mindless task where gamers with tighter time availbility to play games may not be afforded the luxury I had to just play a movie while doing so. Finally, #6) Grinding for alchemy items. This one wasn't so bad. The completionist time for the guide said 80 hours. I basically did it in 60 hours (clock rolls even when paused). But I did have to obliterate a few golden familiars in those Shonky Honkers and Hog Goblins to get some Scrolls of Truth and the such for Errand #78. I was saved by the fact I didn't have a 10-15+ hour alchemy grinding "end-of-game" sequence some poor bastards had to go through if they weren't prudent about collecting stuff in the overworld while going between various tasks. 

 

The Grand Finale: At the end of the day, I'm a simple man. If I love you look at you and enjoy your company, I'm gonna have a great time. That was Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for me. Her combat or mechanics didn't have me entranced in it's moment-to-moment gameplay like Dead Cells or Sayonara Wild Hearts. It's story didn't grip me like Banner Saga or Pyre, and even if it's overall vibes didn't quite achieve the heights of Persona 5, I'm glad I played it. I'm not sure if I'll make it a habit to play 1 giant RPG towards the end of each December (2019 - Persona 5, 2020 - Ni No Kuni 1) - but I think it would be a great change of pace to bask in a world and all it's creations for a month and rest from trying to hit my quota of 4 each time. All in all, it took me 2 weeks and 2 days to achieve this 14.81% rarity platinum and damn if it ain't a fine one to kick-off the 2021 trophy hunting season. Unless I play a plethora of masterpieces that buries it, take your bets now as I guarantee Ni No Kuni will win at least one "end of the year Game Awards" in December 2021. I'm ecstatic to get back on the saddle for this next "season" of RealM722 Trophy Hunting and let's see if I can hit my goal of achieving 150 platinums by years end. Cheers to all those who made it this far and thank you!

 

Panda Score: 8.5 / 10

Spoiler

Look at your Mr. or Ms. Nosy! This is an extra spoiler bonus notes section straight from what I wrote in my thoughts while playing the game, since I knew it was massive and I'd forget things. Think of this as my quick take notes from my experience while playing. Of course, spoilers here as well. 

 

  • bruh they freaking killed ollie’s mom and the tears over her death brought drippy to life
  • Drippy convinces us by pointing out we’re the pure hearted one, worlds linked via soulmates aka person in normal world has person in drippy’s - mom was sage and trapped boy dark djinn, given motivation to save his mom 
  • Dark djinn is gangsta to not ask help of the white witch council - shadar
  • Arrive at al mamoon, starry Mary girl is out of it - I had completely forgot you can use gateway to go back and forth as you please back to Motorvillle
  • Rusty Cartwright is a monster - time to murder
  • Drippy 3 minute clock on the volcano for nothing, had to grind a bit here vs boss
  • Completely forgot about drippy fairy homeward mother, jelly final boss grind 2 levels
  • I REMEMBER HAMELIN! Industrial / train station sorta setting
  • 0 MEMORY of Marcassin / Gascon brother thing, Tombstone area, etc.. 
  • I love the villain cutscenes, Lord Gallus two-timing? Executor Shadar is a herb
  • Didn’t think you get the dragon at level 32ish, now 3 different ways to go - I went snow
  • Frog dungeon or vault of tears was next - saved prince Ali and Yasmina
  • FINALLY really enjoying the game, pirate fight, lvl 36, bit hard but not too much - my one complaint is this game has dumb back and forth fly across the map / level nonsense
  • Khulan or “Queen of the Heavens” is a unique detail
  • Had to grind HARD before entering Miasma Marsh cuz I was getting rekt, grinder Toktoko’s south of Perdida until reaching lvl 53 wish
  • Ollie discovers that his mom, Alicia, really is dead but Pea is revitalizing him with memories
  • Freaking rekt Darth Shadar, low MP but defeated demon knight Shadar, then defeat megalord Shadar (who used to be Lucien! Protected young Alicia!) and now the worlds at peace forever woo!…. or are we just halfway thru the game? Lol, it’s like beating Orochi the 1st time
  • Bouta leave for home and then Ding Dong Dell becomes zombies due to ash bruh
  • Cassiopea’s Zodiarch council was a figment of her imagination, time to get rest
  • Beat Ni No Kuni main story line at 30 hours and 55 minutes - Oliver lvl 66 with team - (lvl 68 Obscuroboros, lvl 55 trapper snapper, lvl 35 pyromander) - Esther level 66 with team - (lvl 69 Flurongo, lvl 65 Sea Naiad, lvl 60 madcap), Swaine lvl 66 with team - (lvl 58 Aye Aye Catcher, lvl 34 Paleolith, lvl 56 Bone Brigadier)
  • So here’s some thoughts now that I’m 45ish hours in and have close to all of the bounties and errands done, just missing a few (errand 78, 131, 132, 134, 135, 136) - this game has incredible postgame content, the grind tryna get dinoceros was real and I got it and lumber wood via ticket - worried about alchemy and rare item grind but eh
  • 50 hours in and have all errands/bounties plus colosseum all done… had to grind for scrolls of truth via the “pulse” method in tombstone trail but wasn’t so bad. All lbl 99’s after grinding for golden tokotocold’s in the ivory tower too
  • ITS ALL OVER! 62 hours, 15 minutes is the finale for my alchemy grind… WOO!

 

Edited by realm722
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Posted (edited)

On 1/2/2021 at 9:11 PM, realm722 said:

Unless I play a plethora of masterpieces that buries it, take your bets now as I guarantee Ni No Kuni will win at least one "end of the year Game Awards" in December 2021

 

Unless you play Ni No Kuni 2...

 

I don't remember the first one all too much as I played it 7 years ago on PS3 and I liked it enough to get the platinum, but I do remember liking the 2nd one more. It became less Pokemony (although you still collect these things called Higgledies which help in combat) and the combat was more fun. They also fixed some of the other gripes there was with the first one. However, they are both fun and use that nice Studio Ghibli art feel.

 

I get what you are saying about RPGs, they are big time commitments.  Usually they require an engaging enough story and decent combat to keep me hooked.

Edited by Grotz99
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On 1/4/2021 at 1:07 PM, Grotz99 said:

 

Unless you play Ni No Kuni 2...

 

I don't remember the first one all too much as I played it 7 years ago on PS3 and I liked it enough to get the platinum, but I do remember liking the 2nd one more. It became less Pokemony (although you still collect these things called Higgledies which help in combat) and the combat was more fun. They also fixed some of the other gripes there was with the first one. However, they are both fun and use that nice Studio Ghibli art feel.

 

I get what you are saying about RPGs, they are big time commitments.  Usually they require an engaging enough story and decent combat to keep me hooked.

 

Hmmm... this is an interesting take! So I briefly checked out Ni No Kuni 2 via a let's player fo mine that I trust and to be honest, the protagonist turned me off a fair bit and after seeing the familiars were gone in favor of higgledies I eventually checked out around 3-4 episodes in. I'll 100% give it a reconsideration for the future tho(down the line, cuz forreal, RPGs are utterly mammoth and you can complete 3-4 "decently sized 20 hr games" in the timespan to complete one of them. Props to you for having both platinums in the series regardless!

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31 minutes ago, realm722 said:

 

Hmmm... this is an interesting take! So I briefly checked out Ni No Kuni 2 via a let's player fo mine that I trust and to be honest, the protagonist turned me off a fair bit and after seeing the familiars were gone in favor of higgledies I eventually checked out around 3-4 episodes in.

Going to have to agree with you there, the main protagonist was annoying, any chance I can change him out of the party, I took it. The rest of the characters are a lot better. I still liked it better than the first from what I remember, but it's been a while.

 

There are a lot more better RPGs probably. For instance I'm playing through DBZ Kakarot and it is great if you are a fan of the series. It also clocks in at about 50 hours. The KH series it pretty good as well, but unless you play the first one for what it was when it came out, a great Disney/Final Fantasy mashup action RPG, you have to play a bunch of others to fill in the story. The South Park games are good quick RPGs (<25 hour plats) as well if you like the show and it's toilet humor.

 

The usual RPGs that are really time consuming are going to be the more traditional JPRGs, but I would still recommend the Final Fantasys and Persona 5 (which you have already played, but thought I'd add it anyways for others :)). 

Edited by Grotz99
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OdNn1RwaO5M26HzF5Ftvu9Do.jpgGame: MLB The Show 20

 

Analysis: I bought MLB The Show 20 for $9.99 back towards the very end of December in 2020 - the all-time lowest price to date according to PSPrices


Background: WOW this was awesome. I forgot how much I loved baseball games. So first, a bit of context. I am, at my core, a sports video game player first and foremost before any other genre. There has been a HUGE variety shift in my tastes from 2018 onwards compared to pre-2018 where I would say 90% of my video game playing time went to - Madden, FIFA, MLB The Show, and NBA2k. If you sort through my account history you'll see I have every single MLB The Show dating back to MLB The Show 14 - basically, every year that I've had a Playstation 4, I've at one point or another bought the corresponding game from that year. In 17, 18, and 20 - I achieved the platinums. In 14, 15, 16, and 19 - I was denied it. (Two times, in 16 and 19 - due to the fact that one brutally difficult online multiplier trophy would deny me from it's glory)

 

MLB The Show 19 History: In fact, lemme go a bit more into detail about that since it never got an entry on here since I never platinumed it. I TRIED to get the platinum in MLB The Show 19. Not a brutally dedicated effort that I prolly could have invested even more time into - but if you look at my profile stats, my lowest trophy turnout in a month since Apr. 2018ish was... September 2019. WHY? I WAS OBSESSED WITH MLB THE SHOW 19. I loved the Diamond Dynasty mode to the point that I abandoned other games for awhile in an effort to build my team up and then play online. I played a good deal online, and if I could be arsed to reinstall the game, I'd tell my win-loss record but... ah, I can't be fussed. All I know is you needed to rank 800 or so and by the time I quit I was rank 400 - maybe peaked at the high 480's. I'm not that good at MLB The Show as I am at Madden/FIFA. I simply don't have the patience or hand-eye coordination required to hit at elite levels. Thus, the 0.30% rarity platinum in 2019 was denied for me, but even as it was denied, I still look very fondly upon my time I spent with it before moving on to other pastures (and yo - I could have been salty given I paid $20 for it on the PS Store only for it to go free for PS+ Users not too long later, could have been salty I repeat - I was happy so many others got to play it)

 

So that's enough background on my MLB video gaming history. What makes MLB The Show 20 fun? Well for one, there is no brutally difficult online multiplier trophy. You don't have to win 20 out of 21 games with a drafted team(cough MLB The Show 16 cough) or be an elite player (cough MLB The Show 19 cough). In fact, here's a crazy fact - I earned all of the non-XP trophies in the game in 2 frigging days! Yea, I got busy right away with "March to October"'s mode as the Miami Marlins and managed to have us win the division and build this stacked roster of veterans in an effort to win the World Series only to flame out in 4 games to the Cincinnati Reds. From there I tested out a bit of Road to the Show playing as my Ryan Fitzpatrick pitcher for the Detroit Tigers from my MLB The Show 19 save - my guy continue to dominate and won AL Rookie of the Year, only to be traded in the offseason to the Los Angeles Dodgers. What morons run Detroit amirite? Anyways, that'll be fun to continue in MLB The Show 21. From there, I began testing the waters in Diamond Dynasty and lemme say, it has the best Ultimate Team mode of all the video game sports franchises. Bar none. I know the game has basically been out for 10+ months(it released on March 17th, 2020) - but the way you can rank up a nearly entirely full diamond squad in a matter of hours is bonkers to me. I cannot dream of FIFA letting you build an elite team that quickly. I had my 99 Larry Walker's and Ronald Acuña Jr's raring to go and I initially plugged away at moments, before discovering later on better methods to rack up XP. But before I get into that - I got the hardest "skill" trophy(scoring 1 run in every inning) playing as the MLB Legends team vs. a Double A squad and then going to the Polo Grounds jacking the sliders in my direction. Have fun teeing off against the baby brain AI, trust me, it's fun. 

 

So now let's get to the fun part. By the time I achieved all non-XP related trophies, I had only played the game for 2 days and was Level 25ish in the Bronze Rank. You have to get up to Level 100 in order to attain the "Silver 1" trophy that is essentially playing enough and collecting enough XP to unlock the platinum. I had done everything else in 1/4 the scheduled allotment of time so now it was all about scrounging up as much as experience as possible. How does one do that? Follow my simple tricks below. 

 

1) DO THE PLAYER LIVE SERIES COLLECTIONS. You can pick up 10-20 for each team via bronzes/silvers doing buy bids for 5-10 stubs. I got from Level 29 to 55 this way.

2) Once you get the basics for player live series, focus on a few of the easier teams (Marlins, Pirates, Orioles, etc...) and fully complete their collections to unlock 3.5k XPs. 

3) As you do this, you'll unlock Veteran, Rookie, Breakout, etc... cards and can start locking in cards for those collections.

4) Have my ABSURD luck. I packed 94OVR Jacob deGrom worth 135k. Most expensive live series card there is. Also packed 120k Justin Verlander & Stanton

5) PLAY CONQUEST. You unlock an asinine amount of packs/stubs/XP this way. Especially on the 11th inning maps. It's boring and a grind but easy banks.

 

Those are my 5 strongest tips. I managed to unlock to the entire National League and get the 99 Gary Sheffield as a result - funnily enough, I sold deGrom when I was Lvl 26 and bought him back at the end via enough stubs saved up to complete the Mets collection that essentially blockades you from completing it. The American League is way too hard given Mike Trout + Justin Verlander + Gerrit Cole going for crazy amounts. But this is all to say, while working on this - I discovered my new FAVORITE game mode on Diamond Dynasty and it is - Showdown. It's honestly kinda like the MLB Draft Mode where you draft a team at random, but instead of playing online you play in baseball scenarios. It could be, record 1 extra base hit and 2 runs in 2 innings. OR - make a huge comeback like down 0-3 with 12 outs to use try and comeback vs Yu Darvish. I LOOOOOOVED THIS MODE. So much so that even as it wasn't the most efficient way to win XP (it's still a decent method, but if you fail, you get nothing vs. conquest mostly being guaranteed and losing is just a minor inconvenience). Once I was Level 95 and nearing the end, this was the only mode I played given how much I adored it. It gave STAKES to the game that Conquest couldn't give me, without the annoying cheesiness of online play. Trying to comeback vs HOF pitchers knowing your chances are dwindling is exhilarating. HUGE round of applause for the folks at San Diego Studios for coming up with this mode, I genuinely can't wait to play it again in MLBTS21. 

 

To finish things off - just a few bonus details of things I enjoyed about and my general strategy. 1) Hitting strategy was easy - pull the ball on inside pitches with power guys aiming top of the corners and slap hitters (I <3 you Kenny Lofton) to all parts of the field, unless they aggressively shift, in which case switch to a contact swing and scoop up easy doubles. 2) I loved 94 Chipper Jones and 99 Ty Cobb. Broken cards for me. 3) The soundtrack is a frigging blast as well. In the spoiler below I'm going to include my final team that I gathered after just about a weeks worth of play for a little bonus and memory for my future itself. I managed to achieve MLB The Show 20's 8.78% rarity platinum in just 1 week and 4 hours! Currently, that is the 4th fastest ever on PSNProfiles! (Props to the 3 dudes in front of my who accomplished it in under a week ya madlads). MLB The Show officially also earns the moniker as best active video game sports franchise going at the moment. A well-earned title and hey, two 8+ rated games to start 2021 is a hell of a way to kick-off the year!

 

Panda Score: 8.0 / 10

Spoiler

My Starting 9 and their Stats in Diamond Dynasty:

 

C - (94 OVR Salvador Perez) (45 games, 48 PAs, 0 home runs, 2 RBIs, .130 AVG / .128 OBP / .130 SLUG / .258 OPS)

1B - (98 OVR Dominic Smith) (58 games, 83 PAs, 6 home runs, 17 RBIs, .329 AVG / .370 OBP / .684 SLUG / 1.055 OPS)

2B - (94 OVR Daniel Murphy)

SS - (99 OVR Ernie Banks) (45 games, 72 PAs, 4 home runs, 10 RBIs, ..246 AVG / .257 OBP / .449 SLUG / .706 OPS)

3B - (99 OVR Gary Sheffield)

LF - (99 OVR Ronald Acuna Jr.) (61 games, 114 PAs, 13 home runs, 37 RBIs, .349 AVG / .360 OBP / .830 SLUG / 1.190 OPS)

CF - (98 OVR Kenny Lofton) (45 games, 90 PAs, 34 stolen bases, 6 RBIs, .433 AVG / .433 OBP / .711 SLUG / 1.144 OPS)

RF - (99 OVR Larry Walker) (61 games, 113 PAs, 16 home runs, 33 RBIs, .342 AVG / .348 OBP / .820 SLUG / 1.168 OPS)

 

Starting Pitchers:

#1. (99 OVR Bob Gibson)

#2. (99 OVR Dinelson Lamet) (17 games, 23.1 innings pitched, 11 wins, 1 loss, 2.31 ERA, 0.47 WHIP, 49 strikeouts)

#3. (98 OVR Tony Gonsolin) (27 games, 54.2 innings pitched, 23 wins, 1 loss, 0.99 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 103 strikeouts)

#4. (97 OVR Zack Grienke)

#5. (97 OVR Kevin Gausman)

 

Bullpen:

LRP - (94 OVR Codi Heuer)

MRP - (95 OVR Jake McGee)

MRP - (88 OVR Josh Hader)

MRP - (84 OVR Ken Giles) (24 games, 37 innings pitched, 4 wins, 2 losses, 14 saves, 1.46 ERA, 0.32 WHIP, 64 strikeouts)

SU - (96 OVR Rollie Fingers)

SU - (95 OVR Pat Neshek)

CP - (98 OVR Eric Gagne)

 

Edited by realm722
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Game: Touhou Double Focus

 

Analysis: I bought Touhou Double Focus for $0.99 all the way back in late August 2020 - and boy oh boy is this different from a typical game of mine.

 

Lemme say this out of the gate, I don't really play anime games, and I have absolutely ZERO knowledge of the "Touhou Universe" or any who of the characters are. In fact, I'll go one step further and say that even having played this game and achieving the platinum - I know absolutely ZERO about the story or it's characters. Hell, lemme just list them for posterity - the black haired girl who can dash everywhere and fires an aerial wave for an attack is named Aya Shameimaru while the pink haired girl you can play as her partner, used for climbing walls and shielding is named Momiji Inubashiri. I know they got sucked into a book and.... yup, nothing else. I skipped the text and dialogue behind the opening few cutscenes and dialogue trees. That may seem unfair, but I just... wasn't here for it? If there are any diehard fans who enjoy the stories/characters of these games, you have the ultimate trump(uh oh can we still say that?) card in the fact I can't really criticize it since I didn't experience it so congratulations!

 

So, 0 focus on story/characters. Why? BECAUSE ITS ALL ABOUT THE GAMEPLAY BABYYYYYY. and wooo buddy were these controls peculiar. Do you know how you bring up the pause / settings menu? Take a guess. No seriously - think. Would it be the "Options" button? No. That just brings up your skills. What about "Triangle"? Nope. None of the action buttons do anything. How about the triggers? Nope, dashes. How about... uh... clicking in L3 or R3? Nah this isn't the Playstation 2 era buddy. How about clicking the touchpad? Nope - that just brings up the map. Uhh... the share button? Now you just took a screenshot of the home area you moron. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO CLICK? DO YOU WANT THE ANSWER? TRY - DRAGGING UP ON THE FRIGGING TOUCHPAD. HAHAHAAH. ARE YOU INSANE? I legitimately put the game down for 15 minutes and took a dump in the bathroom to contemplate what I had just witnessed. You can't also move with the analogue sticks since Aya will suddenly decide to start hovering in mid-air, so this is a D-PAD only runthrough relying on the action buttons for damage / specialities and the backwards dash. (It was 15-30 minutes in when I discovered that you had to double tap the D-PAD in order to dash forwards or run on all 4's as Momiji, fun!)

 

Alright, so now that we've conquered our 1st boss (the control scheme), how was the actual game itself? Uh... honestly, pretty decent time despite the fact there are some BRUTAL trophies if you're tryna do this on a 1st run. 1) You must play on Normal. Okay, that's fair, not asking for hard and not a cakewalk on easy. 2) NO healing options for an entire playthrough is a trophy. Alright, kinda trickier for bosses but dying in the hub world doesn't matter since all you do is respawn. 3) Beat the game without saving. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why? I had to give up playing 14-15 minutes into my 1st "run" since I had missed the "deliver candy in 10 seconds" trophy and knew I wouldn't be able to beat the game in the session I had. So newsflash to those who are going to attempt this - make sure you have a 3-hourish window in order to earn 100% completion and beat the game in one setting if you wanna get it on your 1st go. In hindsight, these trophies aren't nearly as bad as there's an insanely quick route you can follow to beat the game in 20-25ish minutes, and that's on the speedrun mode soooooo yea, this is only a big concern if you wanna get almost all but 1 trophy on the 1st playthrough. How did I accomplish all this? Not by my own skill of course but with the aid of the legend, @greenzsaber - seriously, I just followed this 100% YouTube Guide video. Put that puppy on at 1.5 speed and enjoy the ride. I'll admit, the boss fights were REALLY tricky for me at 1st on my original run (I died so much to the 1st, 4th, and 1st final boss fights it's insane... and then I could beat them no damage in quick time after 15-20 attempts, amazing what knowing patterns will do for you). I had a slight panic since I thought I had missed a missable snap archive photo but it turned out to be the lady by the 1st boss room so that crisis was averted, and I only had 1 trophy left for the platinum!

 

What trophy? "Complete the Time Attack Mode within an hour. (Normal or above)". That may sound initially intimidating, but when I saw how quick a route could be done via the 22ish minues from greenzsaber's runthrough I figured even if it took me twice as long I would clutch it. The thing is, you've kinda got to have an idea of where you're going since the timer does NOT pause even on the bizarre touchpad pause menu. Plus, I'm not a pansy who'll suspend the application with Spotify or something(it's 1000% cuz I'm not a pansy, not because I don't know how to do it or anything BAKA). So yea, on my 1st attempt, I died on the 1st boss, to a sand desert shake-the-ground enemy, 2nd boss, and on the zombie ride to the Fair World. I was at the 40 minute mark due to the 20 minute penalties and decided to reset. Now with a better grasp of the 1/2 route - I kept going even after dying on the 2nd boss, died stupidly in the Water World, and I was approaching the 43 minute mark while entering the final two bosses. I beat the 1st phase flawlessly, but died on the 2nd phase start when Aya was super weak and barely doing damage. Now pushing 51 minutes, I killed his 1st stage to get the insane power-ups, and then died AGAIN, now up to 56 minutes ish - and I spammed the living hell all the way to victory with less than 4 minutes remaining - here's my final run stats. What a rush! I earned the 7.58% rarity platinum in Touhou Double Focus in just 3 days and 22 hours. Honestly, great change of pace from the two lengthy games I played to start 2021 and while I didn't love the cutesy small anime girl aesthetic, it's a nifty metroidvania and had a nice challenge to it to keep it compelling! Well worth the $1 I paid for it and strongly recommend it to anybody who wants something out of their comfort zone that'll challenge them but not take forever either.

 

Panda Score: 6.4 / 10

Spoiler

We've been having a trend at doing a spoiler for bonus content, why stop here? Here's my notes for the speedrun route that will look like gibberish to everybody but I just want it here for posterity.

 

GET GIRL SKULL

 

Left, (Up, Right), (Up, Left), Get Two Books and Leave Right, Down, Right, (Up, Left), (Up, Right), (Up, Right), (Up, Right), (Up, Left), Left, (Up, Right), (Up, Left), Up, 

 

HEAD

 

(Go down, right), (Go down, left), (Go down, right), Right, PORTAL IN ZONE WITH 3 SOLDIER GIRLS

 

Reach up to get book of scrolls + heal

 

Left, left, left, left, talk to body, left, (Up, Right for books then leave), Left, (Up, Right), Right, (Up, talk to lady, left, BOSS FIGHT #1)

 

BOSS FIGHT #1

 

Exit right, equip magic punch on white haired shield girl, go through right door, magic punch, collect 3 books, magic punch, go right, go right, (Up, Right),  Right, PORTAL EXIT

 

Heal, use magic punch on sphinx, go down, left, (Down, Right), (Down, Left), (Left), (Left), (Jump up with white girl to get portal book, then down right), (Dash for heal book, down, go left), (Down, left),  (Down, left), Left, Left, Left, ANCIENT TABLET STONE SLATE

 

Exit right, Right, Right, (Up, Right), (Up, Left), (Jump to edges of cactuses to not get rekt, continue going left), SET PORTAL, take candy from head, go through and give to shelf girl, talk to desk girl, go back through portal, get 2nd candy, go through portal AGAIN

 

Now go down through desert entrance, go left, (Down, Left), Talk Statue, then go left for BOSS FIGHT #2

 

BOSS FIGHT #2

 

Exit right, Right, (Up, Right), Right, (Cactus Bounce, Right), (Up, Right), (Up, Right), Go Through Door, Zombie Girl, Talk to Her Twice

 

Exit left, left, go up with white haired girl to grab souls book, then go down and left, left, (Up, Up back to original area)

 

Heal, use portal to teleport back to castle, Up and to the right, USE ZOMBIE RIDE WITH BLACK HAIRED GIRL, BE CAREFUL, GRAB BOOK OF SCROLLS AND USE RIDE AGAIN

 

(Fairy tale world), Right, Right, (Up, Left), Left, Grab hidden book in center and top left then exit right, Right, Right, Right, (Down, Right), (Down, Right, grab 3 books, exit left), Left, (Down Right, (Down through bone throwing girls, Right), grab book and speak to girl then exit left), Left, Kill enemies and go down then left, Left, (Up, Left), (Up, Right), BOSS FIGHT #3 RACE

 

BOSS FIGHT #3 (EQUP LIEDOWN)

 

EXIT RIGHT THEN PORTAL OUT TO HOME BASE, HEAL, DOWN TO DESERT

 

(Down Right, Right, Right via lie down to Water World)

 

(Right, Punch Right, (Down, Right), (Right), Right, Right, Right, (Down, Left), GET SECRET PORTAL BOOKS HERE GOING DOWN AND THEN GO LEFT, Left, (Up, Left), Left, Left, Left, (Down, Right), Right, Right, Right, (Down, GET SECRET INCREMENT FOR BOOK OF SCROLLS WITH WALL PART STCIKING OUT, BACK OUT, GO BOTTOM RIGHT), Right to end and then PLACE PORTAL BEFORE NPC BOAT

 

Portal back to home base

 

Talk to desk girl, heal, portal to castle, go right, SHIELD VS MAGES AND GO UP RIGHT, Right through door, get book and talk to NPC, use portal by NPC to teleport to desert area

 

Go down via head, get portaged, use portal to go back to NPC, talk to him, then teleport back to water level, and get through boat NPC, Right, Right, (EQUIP BIG AERIAL SLASH), through door for Boss Fight #4

 

BOSS FIGHT #4 

 

Exit left, Left, take boat ride back across, THROGH PORTAL BACK TO HOMEBASE, HEAL

 

Now down through desert, go left, (Down, Right), (Down, Right), should be dark murky area, (USE ZOMBIE RIDE AND GET BOOK OF SCROLLS), GO RIGHT, NPC FOR AQUA PILLAR, NOW GO DOWN RIGHT TO GET LAST PORTAL BOOK AND GO BACK HOME FOR FINAL BOSS FIGHTS)

 

Edited by realm722
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infinity-runner-oculus-rift-review-virtu

Game: Infinity Runner

 

Analysis: I bought Infinity Runner for $1.74 in mid-January 2021 (lol I bought it last week) - and according to PS Prices that's close to the cheapest it's ever gone. 

 

Sooooo don't be thrown off by the awful graphics of the wolf in the lead image - I enjoyed my time with this game! A fair amount in fact! I wanted to play something short to end January and clinch my "4th game completed this month" since I have some longer goal games I'm gearing for (CrossCode... my god CrossCode + some Harvest Moon soon, maybe?) - and as a result I wanted something I could devour in a week or so. I saw Infinity Runner's trophy guide said 12ish hours and the 100% completion leaderboard had a lot of people completing it in less than a day so I figured what the heck - screw the rumors of "glitchiness" and the fact it looks pretty poor graphically for a game released in 2014 and yea - I was right to dismiss all those prior notions. This game provided me EXACTLY what I wanted. A fun mindless game that doesn't wear out it's welcome by giving you sizable challenges that aren't insurmountable. While having the 1st person perspective of say a Mirror's Edge Catalyst, you actually aren't free-flow running anywhere you please. You can move either "left, middle, right" depending on the left analog stick, can turn your head left/right with the right analog stick, can slide with L2, can jump with R2, and the action buttons are purely used for quick-time event "fights" if you even want to call them that. The entire rest of the game is reacting at what the game throws at you and tryna to determine the appropriate route to prevent being wiped out. 

 

Admittedly, quite a lot of this early on is trial and area. Whether it be a sudden falling object that you couldn't really have been expected to dodge on your 1st go unless you have cat-like reflexes or a sudden turn that's really hard to judge until the last split second - with trial and error you can easily conquer this game. A 7/10 difficulty is a vast overstatement, more like a 4/10 with it being a 5/10 if you REFUSE to use the convenient "pause game" mode every now and then when you fly across a corridor, which when you unpause, slows down the game for 3 seconds giving you plenty of time to react to what's happening on the screen(unless it gets unusually dark which happened sometimes, then you're kinda on your own). With 56 trophies - A LOT of these are earned without even trying, in fact - I'd say 35+ of them. You're going to have to beat every level, on all 3 difficulties (Easy, Normal, Hard), without dying on all of them. With 14 levels, that's 42 flawless runs you need to complete. It sounds like a lot, but it isn't given each run can last for as long as 3:30 on slower easy to sub-2 minutes on hard for some of them. I personally played each level on each difficulty getting the flawless runs since I didn't want to lose my memory of the level(even tho there will be subtle changes depending on each difficulty, the general layout is largely the same). By the time I had finished the Story Mode I had the vast majority of the progress needed to achieve Wolf Rank #6. 

 

All I had missing was the 400k meters ran for the "Paris to Berlin" trophy and achieving 30,000 points in the Infinity Mode. The Infinity Mode is a real neat quirk they added to the game that essentially lets you play on infinitely until you lose all your lives. There's no pre-destined set-up, though the longer you play you'll notice trends that can help you predict what's coming next. Initially I would get closer and closer from 9.5k, to 13k, to 16.5k, to 23.5k, to 29.6k, before finally breaking through with a couple helpful pauses lasting for around 25 minutes and achieving a 38.5k final score. I then played out a few remaining rounds for the 400k milestone and boom - the 18.53% rarity platinum was mine in just 1 day and 22 hours! Honestly, pretty surprised at how fun the sheer concept was that I overlooked all the shortcomings (a non-existant story, let's be honest, you're running from a werewolf / are a werewolf on some outer space ship, I don't need anymore details than that thank goodness this game didn't try for anything more) and the graphics being sub-par - but the developer Wales Interactive had a decent, ran with it(heh), and made a decent little game here. Def recommend for anybody looking for a nice, decently rare, relatively time friendly platinum! (and it has cool trophy images so that's a nice bonus!)

 

Panda Score: 6.6 / 10

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Game: Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland

 

Analysis: I bought Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland for $5.99 all the way back on November 1st, 2019. Oh what a time that was. It's 2021 now!

 

So some context - why the hell am I out here playing a Playstation 2 game that literally originally released on November 20th, 2001 (yea - this year is the 20th anniversary!) Well my friends, I don't know if Stardew Valley being my #2 favorite game of All-Time on Playstation 4 was any indicator - but I ADORE the Harvest Moon franchise. I mean, here's my Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life review and platinum achievement from August 2019. So despite the fact that game had an infuriating, glitchy trophy that had me retire it for over a year - I decided to get an even older game in the franchise (AWL released in 2003, StH in 2001) - that should tell you all you need to know. Sadly, tragically, and devastatingly - my favorite HM game, Harvest Moon: Magical Melody is NOT available on Playstation. It released on the Gamecube in 2006 - and later on the Wii, but these two Harvest Moon games are the only ones to be available to modern PS4/5 consumers. (the new ones don't count, they're HM in name only, different developer). Why do I love this franchise? I mean, you're a farming kid typically who can plant crops, care for livestock, go fishing, go mining, discover old town lore, and befriend townsfolk and have real relationships to the point of marriage. That sounds like a pretty dandy time to me - and I think a lot of other people agree given how beloved this niche genre is. Animal Crossing is the "mainstream" beloved casual lovable life sim but the latest in New Horizons didn't scratch that itch for me. So I had nowhere left to turn but go... back to the past. and boy are we talking about the past since I had NEVER played this HM game. My journey starts at A Wonderful Life, to Magical Melody, then Tree of Tranquility(start of the decline, Wii era), finally with Animal Parade. Would an older game have the same charms? Was this a bygone genre for me? Well... 

 

I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Now - let me classify this as a warning: IF YOU ARE NOT A HARVEST MOON FAN, AND DO NOT LIKE FARM SIM LIFE CYCLE GAMES, DO. NOT. GET. THIS. I know it's a juicy ultra rare platinum I managed to earn a matter of days, do not be deceived. If you do not enjoy a mindless grind at times, you will not enjoy this game. The key difference is that I had MISSED this specific type of gameplay cycle and yea, it's not the cleanest or greatest on the market compared to HM:MM or Stardew Valley but the HIT WILL DO MY FRIENDS. You're a dude. You go to your grandpa's old farm. The town is going to be torn down in a year for an amusement park. You need to find a way to befriend the people and save the town. Simple? That depends on your definition. There's essentially 8 main hubs in the world 1) Your farm, 2) The transitive zone where Ronald's food shop is, 3) North where the Tool/Flower shop is, 4) Bob's Animal Shop and his farm, 5) Clone Villa and the Mansion, 6) Prarira Forest where Woody/Kurt/Joe work, 7) the Cafe/Bar and Maple Lake, and 8) the Goddess Pond. Plus a few extra areas such as the Sacred Land. Who are the characters? Let's do a rapid fire psychological analysis of this scooby-doo crew.

 

* Bob - Buff guy who's in charge of his own farm and shop. Gifts you your horse. Shames you if you let a creature die. Good bro, we like him.

* Dia - Snob rich girl who lives in a mansion with her maid and grand-daughter. She's pampered and cared for, stand-offish, but there's another side to her!

* Gina - Sweet girl who's very shy, works as Dia's maid and is her friend as well, a bit too timid for my liking but I get why she'd be someones favorite.

* Gwen - Let's be honest, the game basically implies this is your canon gf. She hates you initially, ends up blushy crushy for you, my final scene was kissing on the roof w/ her.

* Harvest Goddess - Wackiest lady in the entire town. She's useless and goes "TOODLES" whenever she bounces up outta the place offering 0 help.

* Joe - Good fisherman dude with an American cap. Ain't the brightest bulb in the room but he's a good chap and loves the ladies, can't knock that.

* Katie - The cafe/bar's grand-daughter. Very preppy, focused on getting out in the world, enjoys shopping, but her cake arc was quite endearing.

* Kurt - The gruff companion and counter to Joe's joy. You need to give him a lot of herbs in order for him to open up to you - but he's not a bad guy.

* Louis - He's the dweeb inventor of the town who crushes HARD on Lyla, bit of a clutz, choked in front of her while playing the flute but eh - earnest in the end.

* Lyla - BEST GIRL ALERT. Cheerful flower girl who's always smiling. My tastes have changed since I've gotten older but Lyla is still frigging adorable.

* Martha - Elderly woman who cares for Dia and her grand-daughter is Gina, not much interaction but she's gentle woman who cares for those in need.

* Parsley - Flower/plant weirdo who's off in his own world. Makes sense he's more of the loner type.

* Ronald - I barely even spoke to this dude more than 1-2 lines in the entire game given how irrelevant he is to all the endings, whoops.

* Tim - Nice adventurer kid who's the younger brother of Bob, his Treasure Hunt arc was fun and he's generally just excitable and looking for fun.

* Wallace/Woody - Two old dudes. Wallace is Katie's grand-father and had a thing for your grandma. Woody takes care of Joe/Kurt and is the sage of the town.

 

The general gist of the game is - build up your farm by planting crops, get a few chickens, eventually get gifted a horse, and once you get the ball rolling of maintaining all that you can even get a few cows. Meanwhile you're running around the town befriending the townsfolk talking to them each day, giving them gifts, and by doing so you'll unlock cutscenes. These cutscenes are where the games main story takes place. In the vein of a "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" you can unlock 9 potential endings. 1 for failure if you can't save the town within a year(4 seasons, 30 days each) and 8 ones where you can find a way to save it. It's incredibly straight-forward besides that. The mining is incredibly barebones with just hoeing your soil by your field, there's only 1 fishing location and the mini-game is eh at best, and aside from that there's not much else... but I still had a good time with that. There's some really sweet moments for these characters that I distinctly remember from HM:MM and seeing their "backstory" so to speak in an older game was real neat. Lyla's scenes always had me intrigued and it's just that good old lovable charm from the Harvest Moon series that most games today lack. With no stat-tracker to let you know how many hearts you're at with each person, it can make the cycle of spamming them Very Berry's every day and going straight to sleep to see if you triggered the next scene kinda obnoxious, but on the other hand the excitement when a cutscene did pop was pretty neat. But let's get to the final section to really hone in and focus on why this game has such a rare platinum.

 

TROPHIES ANALYZED - You have to get ALL 8 endings. Almost all of your stuff transfers over, except your relationship with the townsfolk. Once you finish an ending, back to Spring 2 with everybody and you have to build their love for you up all over again. That's why this platinum is so rare. In what order did I do them?

 

1) "Protecting the Endangered" - Save the village after attracting a rare bluebird. (Basically just befriending Louis and playing the gifted flute w/ your dog)

2) "Hooked" - Catch a Silver Fish and save the village. (Befriending Joe and Kurt, going on a full moon night to capture this elusive fish)

3) "Off to the Races" - Have your horse win the race and save the village. (5-star horse, befriending Bob/Gwen to the point of racing them and winning)

4) "Famous Desserts" - Help Katie win the cake contest and save the village. (5-star chickens/cows producing gold eggs/milk, befriending Katie, Gwen, Dia and Gina)

5) "Feed the Hungry" - Grow a Golden Potato and save the village. (Befriend Tim/Bob to go on a treasure hunt, befriend everybody else as well, grow rare potato)

6) "Finest Fabric" - Help complete the Goddess Dress and save the village. (Befriend Gina, Katie, Dia, and Louis - as well as the Harvest Goddess)

7) "Float like a Butterfly" - Attract an Azure Swallowtail and save the village. (Befriend Lyla, Parsley, and Louis - plant and cultivate the Blue Mist Flower)

8) "Furry Friend" - Protect Snowball and save the village. (Befriend Gwen, spam Very Berry's, befriend the sprites, then take a picture of a weasel)

 

The Collection of Guides Used to Completion: PSNProfiles ----> TrueTrophies ----> HarvestMoonFandomWiki ----> Fogu ----> IGN

 

How brutal was that? Honestly - the worst part was the general maintenance of juggling everything with your farm in the first 1-4 playthroughs above everything else. Trying to always brush and talk and care for your animals, while watering crops(which honestly, is 1000% unnecessary - corn is the best crop of the 4 but you get so much money from eggs/milk and you barely have to spend money in this game, it's pointless to waste time on it), then run around and catch villagers in their different cycles making sure you don't miss giving gifts since that will only drag out the team needed to wait for them to pop a cutscene and progress the story. There were 2-3 distinct errors in all those guides that should have been a bit more clear, in the spoiler beneath the review score of this post I'll attach my FULL playthrough stats. The general gist is this - spam gifts to the recipients you need for the ending, go home, put food in your dog bowl, leave your horse in the pasture presuming it's not raining, and once you've got a golden egg/milk you can sell your cows/chickens since aside from Katie's ending there's no need for them. I sold mine after Ending #4. Made things much quicker to blaze through as instead of tryna min/max the day, go, give the gift, go back home, go to sleep, and try to trigger the scene again and again till it happens. Could it be a boring insufferable cycle for those who don't enjoy this game? 1000%. But I had my fun. Hell, I earned the 4.51% rarity platinum in just 4 days, 3 hours. That's the 5th fastest of All-Time for 100% completion according to PSNProfiles Users. That guy who did it in 2 days is a MADLAD. You can combine some endings with some clever saving like I did towards the end of my attempts but seriously - props to him. I'll miss you Harvest Moon. I'm still looking for games in your genre such as Stardew Valley, and while games like My Time at Portia are out there... they feel hollow to me compared to the simpler times of HM. Hope the indie market can revive this genre for me on the PS4 and PS5 moving forward. Ciao! 

 

Panda Score: 6.65 / 10

Spoiler

THIS IS PURE EXTRA NONSENSE FOR THOSE WHO WANT EXTRA SPECIFIC DETAILS ON CERTAIN RUNS AND MY STATS ON THEM

 

Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland Notes:

 

(1st Run - Blind Run, Protecting the Endangered)

  • bruh we’re actually playing a HM game that’s 20 years old, there’s no way I’ll regret this
  • 3 narc questions at the beginning by the Narc Goddess to see if Im a good person
  • BOOM got the 1st power berry cutting grass for fodder on Spring 5, but now I’ve gotta plant crops for money and dawg… we are BROKE right now
  • YOOOOOO randomly popped Louis flute scene early this go around! Awesome! Spring 6 at 2:52PM - frigging awesome!
  • Got Fishing Rod from Joe on Spring 11, 2:52PM - didn’t even give him any gifts he just gave it to me - sweet!
  • Triggered 2nd scene with Louis with flute/birds/Woody and the rare Bluebird on Spring 13, 3:09PM and I’ve still yet to even get a dog thus far!
  • Finally able to pick up the brown dog by Spring 21, now it’s about building its hearts up!
  • Finally earned the horse on Spring 24, now it’s about maintaining it and building it up
  • Louis and Lyla 3rd cutscene at 3PMish on Spring 27 Saturday - my mans Louis freaking choked playing in front of Lyla we’ve all been there bud better luck next time
  • YOOOOOOO WE GOT THE 1ST ENDING! Spring 28 in the morning Louis swung by and LOL this mini game was BRUTALLY difficult, I didn’t get it right, retried it 10 times, and then the game just gave me the freaking bluebird! I’ll take it!
  • Accidentally got Tim’s treasure map cutscene on Spring 30, still on 1st save
  • Summer 1! Horse-riding cutscene lessssgooooo!!! Very happy we got that
  • Summer 5 - got a 2nd horse-riding scene, now racing, with Bob/Gwen talking ‘bout races
  • Ummm…. Weird - Summer 7 (Tuesday) at like 3:20PMish when going to Maple Lake, Louis and Lyla congratulated me and then the credits rolled - cool man! 1st ending dusted! (POST CREDITS MY MANS FRIGGING PROPOSES WHAT A LEGEND) (ended with 2 hearts to dog and horse, 2 chickens at POTENTIAL golden egg, and 0 cows - 9,480 gold)

(2nd Run - Hooked)

  • Now going for the Hooked ending! Giving berries to Joe/Kurt - I got his “there’s a special fish here in this lake” - Katie Queen Hater strolls in and hates - done on Spring 5, 7:00PM
  • Got Kurt friendly cutscene with Azure Swallowtail again - 
  • Spring 8, 7:00PM on a Monday - got 2nd cutscene with Joe about how fish may only come out at night(3 hearts on dog by now too)
  • Woody clowns Joe saying he won’t catch it cutscene, Goddess is useless - popped entering the cabin area at Spring 9(Tue), 1:30PM
  • “Have you caught anything lately? “Yea sort of”, about Louis stocking new rods on Spring 12 (Friday), 6:49PM 
  • Caught the Power Berry at Maple Lake on Spring 16, 3:30PM, just 21 fish caught thus far so hey pretty good odds I’d say!
  • Spring 23!(Tue) Waking up 6AM outside my door is Kurt - wanting those 10 herbs! Woohoo!
  • 5-star horse by Summer 2(2nd run), also finally bought a cow on Spring 30
  • Summer 2 - Kurt says “I’ll repay you back”
  • Summer 3 - cutscene with Joe at 7:19PM and 3 sprites about needing to be full moon
  • Summer 5 - Kurt comes by and gives me the Silver Fishing Rod at 6AM - cool!
  • My chicken “Gaskin” died since Bob is a cheap bastard who doesn’t stock on medicine
  • Summer 13 - 5-star dog at 8:00AM
  • Summer 14 - WOOHOO GOT THE POWER BERRY FROM THE GODDESS LESSGO SON!
  • Summer 15 - BOOM! CAUGHT THE SILVER FISH AT 10:02PM ON FULL MOON! WOO!
  • Summer 22 - the rain is over and the hooked ending popped! Woohoo baby, 2nd one done! (Katie, Joe, and Kurt come to celebrate - Joe’s aight with giving up his love of fishing since it saved this town, good mans)

(3rd Run - Off to the Races)

  • Spring 3-4 - bought the dog house / kitchen just cuz I had 28k in gold so why not
  • Spring 5 - 6AM horse riding cutscene with Bob/Gwen even tho Ive been riding for ages
  • Spring 6 - 6AM horse cutscene with Bob/Gwen about the future race, less!
  • uh… I just discovered the sprites have a burrow where they live by the farm - lol WOW
  • WHOOPS! Spring 14 triggered 2 CUTSCENES with the sprites - 1st with Gwen and them about Snowball the Weasel, and then the dog / lost Flak cutscene - cool!
  • Spring 14 - go to Bob’s shop and yea - him and Gwen are fighting cuz she’s blushy crushy for me
  • Spring 15 - wake up and get 4th power berry thanks to the harvest sprites - woohoo!
  • Spring 16 - races against Bob and Gwen popped! Beat them both, big race in 2 weeks!
  • Decided to sell all my chickens on Spring 17 cuz tired of taking care of them - Parker, Ahmed(who replaced Gaskin), Chase, Najee, Waddle, and Godwin
  • Spring 17 also managed to trigger 2nd Gwen cutscene involving Snowball, whoops
  • Spring 20 - trigged Gwen camera cutscene with Snowball, eh - I won’t even go
  • Spring 23 - Bob comes by and lets me know the horse race is in a week!
  • Spring 26 - Gwen stops by and gives me her sweet fragrance - heck yea brother
  • YOOO Spring 27 - cow produced golden milk! Awesome!
  • Spring 30 - Bob comes back as it’s the day of the big race, hope we win!
  • Summer 1 - TROPHY POPPED BABY! OFF TO THE RACES! ENDING #3 IS DONE!
  • Ending cutscene is me, Gwen, and Bob doing a few laps w/ our horses on the track

(4th Run - Famous Desserts)

  • Spring 5 - Katie cutscene in the cafe about wanting to make my grandmothers famous cake, Gwen hates on her saying she’s tryna leave - go and get the recipe, triggering another cutscene on the same day - woo!
  • Spring 6 - accidentally triggered Gina’s goddess dress 1st scene oh well
  • Spring 6 - lol, Katie’s awful cake scene - still haven’t gotten the mansion cutscene yet
  • Spring 7 - triggered Katie’s goddess dress scene now whoops
  • Spring 7 - 2nd cutscene at Villa manor involving the dress with Katie, Gina, and even Dia, am I going down wrong path?
  • Spring 15 - FINALLY! The Dia book cutscene pops - man that feels like it took forever
  • Spring 16 - Katie cutscene giving her the magical book, now need to wait till the 29th
  • Spring 29 - Moondrop cutscene with… DIA! BRUH! BLUEBERRY GIRL! Unscientific girl wants the goods but yo - it worked out. 
  • Summer 2 - Cutscene with Katie at cafe, best cake thus far - still not quite there
  • Summer 4 - Katie makes the perfect cake cutscene! It’s about damn time!
  • Summer 11 - TROPHY POPS BABY! FAMOUS DESERTS! Katie, Lyla, and Gwen pull-up to congratulate Katie and yea, 4 endings down - looking pretty tight right now!

(5th Run - Feed the Hungry)

  • Spring 2 - decided to sell Xavien (5 star Cow) just cuz there was no need for ‘em anymore
  • Spring 5- ALRIGHT! 1st Tim cutscene triggered for the treasure hunt, very good sign
  • Spring 9 - WOO! 2nd Tim cutscene where he comes by the house, gave me a copy, 
  • Spring 9 - went to Harvest Goddess and she mentioned smart doggie, now time to get lucky with the Clone Villa cutscene…
  • Spring 16 - BOOM LESSGO! VILLA DOG CUTSCENE POPPED! LESSGO! My dog “Ogbah” is a legend, Tim is hyped, 
  • Spring 18 - accidentally triggered the Lyla/parsley/Louis blue flower love triangle cutscene
  • Spring 19 - Katie / Robe Goddess Dress cutscene with outline
  • Spring 19 - Goddess says brings her the special thing for the dress, 
  • Spring 19 - Louis/Lyla camera scene with the Blue butterfly? Nice
  • Spring 21 - lol parsley gave me the blue mist flower seed, Lyla is HARD CRUSH for him
  • Spring 21 - Gina/Katie/Dia cutscene with the dress, we’re getting ALL the cutscenes
  • Spring 26 - WOOHOO! TIM 2ND CUTSCENE POST-CROPS, WE GOT THE SEED!
  • Spring 29 - Heading to Lyla’s Flower Shop and seed sprouted cutscene!
  • Summer 3 - Tim shows up at the house and says the flower has bloomed! Parsley the herb also shows up and tries to steal Lyla away from me 
  • Summer 5 - Tim shows up and says they bout dig up the golden fruit! Golden Sweet Potato, Woody and Gwen even show up. Woody gives the backstory, def the most background story
  • Summer 6 - Damn zen Woody, Bob, Joe/Kurt, Katie cooking fish, even Martha/Gina pull up at the crib, Kurt mirin’ at Gina, Katia cheesing’ at Joe, and Lyla/Louis going at it, Bob drinking ale, why is Gwen blushing at me with Ronald/old dude staring? Oh my goodness this is the longest ending by a MILE - clearly the original intended focused canon ending
  • FINALLY THE TROPHY POPS! Man I was starting to get nervous it had glitched on me lol
  • My dude really loves giving a thumbs up eh - but wow, what a great ending, kinda wish I had saved it for the last one but on the other end, easily the most stressful ending to focus on

(6th Run - Finest Fabric)

  • NOTE: Starting from 5th run - Spring 21 since I had already boosted lots of friendships
  • Spring 21 - Lyla/Parsley gave me the blue mist flower seed, but not going for this one yet
  • Spring 21 - Katie/Gina/Dia cutscene involving the robe dress, THIS IS OUR FOCUS
  • Spring 22 - Bought Silk Thread, brought it to the Harvest Goddesss cutscene
  • Spring 23 - Weasel cutscene with the sprites and Gwen, Snowball
  • Spring 25 - Gwen comes by the house and hates on me cuz of a freaking weasel
  • Spring 29 - Goddess pulls up at my crib saying “YIPPEE” and hands me the robe
  • Summer 7 - FINALLY able to give the rainbow cloth to Gina, I kept entering at 11AM but this time waited till 12PM after Dia exited and the scene finally popped for me
  • Summer 13 - cutscene with Gina/Katie, Dia is hella salty she’s with Katie, she says she’s been neglecting her work, Dia says she HATES her, I leap into action and see Dia crying, pat her head, reconciliation, she agrees to be the model of the dress and woo! All happy times!
  • Summer 14 - Gina comes by with Dia in the Goddess Dress, looks hilarious she blushing, 
  • Summer 21 - The Goddess Dress won! They swung by the house, celebrated, sprites were happy with their work and roll credits!

(7th Run - Float like a Butterfly)

  • NOTE: Starting from Summer 7 of 6th run since I had already gotten a few Gwen/flower scenes
  • Summer 16 - Parsley and the blue mist flower is fully grown, says he’s gonna take off
  • Summer 19 - Gwen shows up in order to go take a photo of the weasel at 7PM!
  • Summer 20 - Azure Swallowtail shows up! Woo! I’m with Lyla, Louis takes a photo
  • Summer 27 - Woohoo! Trophy popped, Lyla recoups the seeds, Louis tells us the good news about the endangered species and yea! We did it, only one ending left to go!

(8th Run - Furry Friend)

  • NOTE: Starting from Summer 19 of 7th run since Gwen asked for weasel pic 7PM
  • Summer 19 - 7PM at Goddess Spring and the weasel never shows up, oh well
  • Fall 3 - FINALLY GWEN AGREES TO TAKE THE PICTURES! 
  • Fall 3 - Go at 7PM to the Goddess Pond and there’s Snowball, Gwen somehow feels like she’s shooting him
  • FALL 10 - ITS ALL OVER! GWEN/LOUIS CAME! PLATINUM POPPED! WE FREE OF THE HARVEST MOON TWILIGHT ZONE GAME OVER AND OVER AGAIN! WOOHOO!
  • Bro making out with Gwen on the roof of my barn is the final scene? Hell yea brother

 

Edited by realm722
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Game: Act It Out! A Game of Charades

 

Analysis: Yea I'm not even gonna pretend, this was purely bought for an easy 100%. Got it for $1.74 towards the very end of December 2020.

 

There's not even much for me to really say here. Charades is a timeless game that's pretty fun with friends but in the absence of such - you're going to be clicking X a bunch clicking through the various modes that you need to check off before finally playing the last few games needed to achieve "10 completed games" for the easy peasy 50.74% rarity 100% completion. I managed to earn it in under an hour at 33 minutes. The one thing I will say that impressed me is under their video games category they had "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War" as a thing to describe so I give the developers credit for including that. But rather than make this post unreasonably short, let's talk some current events! I watched a 2015 film, The Big Short the other night due to the recent madness on Wall Street involving GameStop Stock - or GME, and how it's risen from being $3.76 back in March 2020 to rising as high as $469 on January 28th, 2020. Essentially, a subreddit known as r/WallStreetBets has been focusing in on this retail stock due to how much it's been "shorted" (or put it plainly, bet against, hedge funds bet that stock would go down given I mean, GameStop was already going downhill and the pandemic accelerated it's decline). Individual investors noticed this and figured they'd buy in and take advantage of these huge corporations such as Melvin Capital that over-committed to shortening GME stock. As a result, it exploded towards the end of this past January and man... seeing people who went all in with a few thousand come out with millions is bonkers. Myself personally - I haven't committed at all to stocks or cryptocurrency as it's terrifying to me. There are obviously safer investments than others, but seeing all the talk about GME, from going to the moon with dogecoin, and having diamond hands... I feel like the casino doesn't lose in these scenarios - and I fear a lot of people who got caught up in the wave and hype of it all are going to get burnt. Best way I've ever heard the stock market described is never put in any money you can't afford to live without. I just more people than not followed that advice. Oh - as for the movie(I watched it on Crackle for free w/ ads) - it's really frigging good! 8.6 / 10 and the best movie I've seen in 2021 thus far, Steve Carrell and Christian Bale are stars but from Ryan Gosling's narration to Adam McKay's directing it's a great watch to understand just a fraction of what went on during the 2008 housing crisis. Anyways, my next post will be covering a very short puzzle game but not so much that I'll have to resort to covering markets and stocks like this go-around. Until then!
 

Panda Score: 6 / 10

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21 hours ago, realm722 said:

maxresdefault.jpg

Game: Act It Out! A Game of Charades

 

Analysis: Yea I'm not even gonna pretend, this was purely bought for an easy 100%. Got it for $1.74 towards the very end of December 2020.

 

There's not even much for me to really say here. Charades is a timeless game that's pretty fun with friends but in the absence of such - you're going to be clicking X a bunch clicking through the various modes that you need to check off before finally playing the last few games needed to achieve "10 completed games" for the easy peasy 50.74% rarity 100% completion. I managed to earn it in under an hour at 33 minutes. The one thing I will say that impressed me is under their video games category they had "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War" as a thing to describe so I give the developers credit for including that. But rather than make this post unreasonably short, let's talk some current events! I watched a 2015 film, The Big Short the other night due to the recent madness on Wall Street involving GameStop Stock - or GME, and how it's risen from being $3.76 back in March 2020 to rising as high as $469 on January 28th, 2020. Essentially, a subreddit known as r/WallStreetBets has been focusing in on this retail stock due to how much it's been "shorted" (or put it plainly, bet against, hedge funds bet that stock would go down given I mean, GameStop was already going downhill and the pandemic accelerated it's decline). Individual investors noticed this and figured they'd buy in and take advantage of these huge corporations such as Melvin Capital that over-committed to shortening GME stock. As a result, it exploded towards the end of this past January and man... seeing people who went all in with a few thousand come out with millions is bonkers. Myself personally - I haven't committed at all to stocks or cryptocurrency as it's terrifying to me. There are obviously safer investments than others, but seeing all the talk about GME, from going to the moon with dogecoin, and having diamond hands... I feel like the casino doesn't lose in these scenarios - and I fear a lot of people who got caught up in the wave and hype of it all are going to get burnt. Best way I've ever heard the stock market described is never put in any money you can't afford to live without. I just more people than not followed that advice. Oh - as for the movie(I watched it on Crackle for free w/ ads) - it's really frigging good! 8.6 / 10 and the best movie I've seen in 2021 thus far, Steve Carrell and Christian Bale are stars but from Ryan Gosling's narration to Adam McKay's directing it's a great watch to understand just a fraction of what went on during the 2008 housing crisis. Anyways, my next post will be covering a very short puzzle game but not so much that I'll have to resort to covering markets and stocks like this go-around. Until then!
 

Panda Score: 6 / 10


I had to watch that movie for a college course last spring. It was a great movie and so informative as well as scary from how it all happened.

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H2x1_NSwitchDS_Gorogoa_image1600w.jpg

Game: Gorogoa

 

Analysis: I bought Gorogoa for $4.49 in early January 2021, knowing going in that it was a pleasantly short gorgeous unique puzzle game.

 

and boy did it live up to that! Listen, puzzle games really aren't my sorta thing. I like games with fun game mechanics, learning them, and then handling the challenges the game throws at you once you're acquainted with them. Puzzle games are kinda the opposite. It's all about the sense of discovery, having that "aha!" moment, and moving on. Once you beat it - you can still enjoy the transitions and smoothness of it all but the challenge is virtually non-existant unless it's a puzzle that requires rhythm or good timing. Hence, playing through it blind on the 1st run was quite fun seeing how beautifully developer Jason Roberts managed to flesh out a full-game with this mechanic of having 4 puzzle tiles, and being able to zoom in and out along with aligning them up in order to achieve solutions. Your 1st play-through shouldn't take much more than an hour, and playing it a 2nd time you'll pick-up on all of the general themes the games story covers. I quite liked this video analyzing it that's relatively brief. In essence you cover a boy's journey through life from youth, to turbulent times as a teenager as a war rages, through young adulthood and the times of restoration, to a grown adult man, and finally in old age. With regard to trophies - I'll give respect to the game for making it a little bit trickier than merely following a guide video and earning the platinum. The two biggest trophies are you need to beat the game in under 30 minutes(kinda tight) and then beat the game in under 500 moves. As far as what I read, the timer does NOT pause even when you think it would on the pause menu - so what I did was the cloud save exploit after each fruit was collected and that way in case I goofed up extra long on a segment, I would just reload from there as opposed to having to start from the beginning. Sadly didn't get the 500 moves in that run so I did a 3rd extra careful and achieved it - earning myself the 53.44% rarity platinum in just 3 hours and 45 minutes. By far one of my easiest platinums(the 4th easiest in fact - only Burly Men at Sea, Coffee Talk and Sea of Solitude were easier) - but it's so unique I'm glad to say I've played it now. Pick it up when it's cheap for $5 and it's well worth the price in my mind!

 

Panda Score: 6.15 / 10

 

19 hours ago, kingofbattle8174 said:

I had to watch that movie for a college course last spring. It was a great movie and so informative as well as scary from how it all happened.

 

Definitely agree with you on the scary bit... I mean, as the video concluded, who the hell is stopping them the next time they go unchecked? But yea... on a more positive note, I do have another movie recommendation! The Next Three Days on Netflix (2010 film), saw it late in the evening and stayed up late enthralled by it. Stars Russell Crowe & Elizabeth Banks and man I think it's best experienced completely blind. I was captivated by the opening scene(you'll see why) and from there strap yourself in. One of the 3 best movies I've seen this year.

Edited by realm722
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Platchums Decided to do a Trophy Collection Review of My Account!

 

This post is a bit out of the ordinary for me - but I wanted to give it some attention since this is prolly my favorite PS4/5 trophy hunting related channel on YouTube at the moment. I've enjoyed others in the past from LudiXP, to Mystic, and occasionally dabbled in watching other more well-known channels but since they started posting on here, these two Irishmen have been my favorite. Their accounts in case you ever wanna review their "credentials" are @N1NJ4_V4MP1R3 and @Gotakibono. Just two dudes who've been hunting since the early PS3 days and I enjoy their general banter and attitude towards trophies. So yea! Check them out if for whatever reason you haven't noticed them and if you'd like you can ask them for them to review your account(they have a bit of a backlog but they'll get to it eventually surely!) Now the rest of this post will be my commenting on what they had to say(I made a comment on the YT video but I didn't wanna word vomit like I can do in my own thread) since I really do like an outsiders perspective!

 

* 29:08 - 151 ultra rares at the time of the review but I will concede a lot of those are sports games that are my bread and butter. They tend to be a lot rarer due to the general fact most sports gamers don't care about trophies and don't even bother with them, and my general 37.49% average rarity is less because of playing really hard games and mostly avoiding really easy ones.

 

* 30:07 - A Hat in Time is a delight! I was stingy on it waiting for it to go on sale at $15 and it was well worth it. Great boss fights!
* 30:16 - lol I missed out on cracking the Top 50 fastest achievers on Abzu by 9 minutes, and that was well watching a guide for the collectibles

* 31:02 - Definitely not an older gamer lol, but I enjoy playing the classics given the love their fans have for them - and sadly I'm not as naturally skilled as it may appear, the trophies are exploitable via cloud saving and it was a life-saver for me particularly on Pac-Man and Galaga. 

* 31:38 - I've written a crap-ton about Arkham Knight but yes it's phenomenal! That final DLC pack will force you to master the combat system, def one of my proudest

* 33:24 - Coffee Talk is a very pleasant change of pace game! Very simple but a good evening game for a few nights if you've been playing action games.

* 34:19 - haha do not go back and read my Dear Esther review fellas.... it's my least favorite game I've played on the Playstation 4

* 34:53 - I see Dan is playing the game right now on his account. Hope he enjoys it as I did. I wish the gameplay was a bit more fun, but the story/voice acting is exquisite

35:36 - I very much hope so hah. I'll tolerate a less than good experience if it's very quick(cough Dark Mystery) but for the most part, my selection rate is decent

* 36:19 - I've mentioned this in the past, I have ZERO idea why the Guacamelee 2! is so common. It is a difficult platformer just like the 1st and somehow it's 3x as common. 

* 36:55 - There was a A LOT of talk on here about the Hollow Knight invincibility glitch. I used it, and made a post commenting it in detail for those who care.

* 40:02 - Yea... I bought inFamous First Light since it was on sale and pretty short. Really didn't care for it. I didn't know it was a spin-off of the original 2. Eventually I'll check out the mainline games since as you both mentioned, they're fairly straightforward.

* 41:15 - Island Saver is cool! Reminded me a mix of Slime Rancher + Viva Piñata for Kids Edition. Too bad they added paid DLC to the trophy list so they'll get $5 down the line

42:18 - Dan's on the money so many times for my account lol, yup backlog clearing! Originally played it in 2016 but pushed hard for the plat in February 2020 and got it

* 42:33 - Nate unknowingly hit the nail on the head here, it was "Madden NFL 14" but since it was the 25th game in the series they called it Madden 25, I swear I'm not a time traveler don't tell anyone

43:20 - That is the exact reason I picked it up! It was on sale for $3 so often I figured what the heck, people love the original. It's solid and not too long.

* 43:50 - I love Oxenfree. The same developers also made an earlier game on the list in Afterparty. Amazing dialogue system and one of my first non-sports platinums.

* 44:13 - Hahahaha far from an intellectual, but the visual of me dressing up like this to play FIFA had me cracking up

* 44:43 - If you lot only knew the struggle that was that Sonic Mania 100%.... one of the most difficult games simply to complete it on my entire collection 

 

* 45:20 - I also love to do what Dan mentioned here. I STRONGLY recommend using websites such as PSPrices and PlatPrices(more recent, even better) - they've made it a dream for me to filter out games I have 0 interest in and have made hunting down indies with great splash-work as he mentioned. After seeing something mildly interesting I'll typically search the game on here and if it has a 5-40% average platinum rarity, I'll likely scoop it up to try something different since as you both mentioned, finding lots of good dialogue about those games is pretty rare given they don't get many reviews. 

 

46:53 - Oh my Unravel Two is one of my hardest earned ever. 100th platinum due to how special the original was for me. You can do it single-player, just have to be very skilled.

* 48:27 - 1st trophy 7 years ago but I really only started "trophy hunting" since mid-2018 hence so many strange games from PS+ being earned far later(my 1st PS+ game I downloaded was Ratchet & Clank to give you both and idea - the only thing I used to play was sports games, and after growing jaded with the genre I made the switch to variety gaming and hunting trophies)

 

But yes! You guys are too kind. I prolly look like a psychopath laying out timestamps of analysis made while reviewing my account but since you both put in the effort to review my account I felt the impulse to do the same and give you guys some feedback. Thanks a ton once again and keep up the awesome work fellas!

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That reminds me, I really need to watch the last episode :D enjoyed their work (and banter) a lot so far! 

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49 minutes ago, realm722 said:

Platchums Decided to do a Trophy Collection Review of My Account!

 

This post is a bit out of the ordinary for me - but I wanted to give it some attention since this is prolly my favorite PS4/5 trophy hunting related channel on YouTube at the moment. I've enjoyed others in the past from LudiXP, to Mystic, and occasionally dabbled in watching other more well-known channels but since they started posting on here, these two Irishmen have been my favorite. Their accounts in case you ever wanna review their "credentials" are @N1NJ4_V4MP1R3 and @Gotakibono. Just two dudes who've been hunting since the early PS3 days and I enjoy their general banter and attitude towards trophies. So yea! Check them out if for whatever reason you haven't noticed them and if you'd like you can ask them for them to review your account(they have a bit of a backlog but they'll get to it eventually surely!) Now the rest of this post will be my commenting on what they had to say(I made a comment on the YT video but I didn't wanna word vomit like I can do in my own thread) since I really do like an outsiders perspective!

 

* 29:08 - 151 ultra rares at the time of the review but I will concede a lot of those are sports games that are my bread and butter. They tend to be a lot rarer due to the general fact most sports gamers don't care about trophies and don't even bother with them, and my general 37.49% average rarity is less because of playing really hard games and mostly avoiding really easy ones.

 

* 30:07 - A Hat in Time is a delight! I was stingy on it waiting for it to go on sale at $15 and it was well worth it. Great boss fights!
* 30:16 - lol I missed out on cracking the Top 50 fastest achievers on Abzu by 9 minutes, and that was well watching a guide for the collectibles

* 31:02 - Definitely not an older gamer lol, but I enjoy playing the classics given the love their fans have for them - and sadly I'm not as naturally skilled as it may appear, the trophies are exploitable via cloud saving and it was a life-saver for me particularly on Pac-Man and Galaga. 

* 31:38 - I've written a crap-ton about Arkham Knight but yes it's phenomenal! That final DLC pack will force you to master the combat system, def one of my proudest

* 33:24 - Coffee Talk is a very pleasant change of pace game! Very simple but a good evening game for a few nights if you've been playing action games.

* 34:19 - haha do not go back and read my Dear Esther review fellas.... it's my least favorite game I've played on the Playstation 4

* 34:53 - I see Dan is playing the game right now on his account. Hope he enjoys it as I did. I wish the gameplay was a bit more fun, but the story/voice acting is exquisite

35:36 - I very much hope so hah. I'll tolerate a less than good experience if it's very quick(cough Dark Mystery) but for the most part, my selection rate is decent

* 36:19 - I've mentioned this in the past, I have ZERO idea why the Guacamelee 2! is so common. It is a difficult platformer just like the 1st and somehow it's 3x as common. 

* 36:55 - There was a A LOT of talk on here about the Hollow Knight invincibility glitch. I used it, and made a post commenting it in detail for those who care.

* 40:02 - Yea... I bought inFamous First Light since it was on sale and pretty short. Really didn't care for it. I didn't know it was a spin-off of the original 2. Eventually I'll check out the mainline games since as you both mentioned, they're fairly straightforward.

* 41:15 - Island Saver is cool! Reminded me a mix of Slime Rancher + Viva Piñata for Kids Edition. Too bad they added paid DLC to the trophy list so they'll get $5 down the line

42:18 - Dan's on the money so many times for my account lol, yup backlog clearing! Originally played it in 2016 but pushed hard for the plat in February 2020 and got it

* 42:33 - Nate unknowingly hit the nail on the head here, it was "Madden NFL 14" but since it was the 25th game in the series they called it Madden 25, I swear I'm not a time traveler don't tell anyone

43:20 - That is the exact reason I picked it up! It was on sale for $3 so often I figured what the heck, people love the original. It's solid and not too long.

* 43:50 - I love Oxenfree. The same developers also made an earlier game on the list in Afterparty. Amazing dialogue system and one of my first non-sports platinums.

* 44:13 - Hahahaha far from an intellectual, but the visual of me dressing up like this to play FIFA had me cracking up

* 44:43 - If you lot only knew the struggle that was that Sonic Mania 100%.... one of the most difficult games simply to complete it on my entire collection 

 

* 45:20 - I also love to do what Dan mentioned here. I STRONGLY recommend using websites such as PSPrices and PlatPrices(more recent, even better) - they've made it a dream for me to filter out games I have 0 interest in and have made hunting down indies with great splash-work as he mentioned. After seeing something mildly interesting I'll typically search the game on here and if it has a 5-40% average platinum rarity, I'll likely scoop it up to try something different since as you both mentioned, finding lots of good dialogue about those games is pretty rare given they don't get many reviews. 

 

46:53 - Oh my Unravel Two is one of my hardest earned ever. 100th platinum due to how special the original was for me. You can do it single-player, just have to be very skilled.

* 48:27 - 1st trophy 7 years ago but I really only started "trophy hunting" since mid-2018 hence so many strange games from PS+ being earned far later(my 1st PS+ game I downloaded was Ratchet & Clank to give you both and idea - the only thing I used to play was sports games, and after growing jaded with the genre I made the switch to variety gaming and hunting trophies)

 

But yes! You guys are too kind. I prolly look like a psychopath laying out timestamps of analysis made while reviewing my account but since you both put in the effort to review my account I felt the impulse to do the same and give you guys some feedback. Thanks a ton once again and keep up the awesome work fellas!

 

Wow man, I honestly don't know what to say about the kind words -we're still shocked anyone even watches us! Thank you so much, it's so appreciated. I just hope our "credentials" are on par with yours because your list is crazy good, so keep it up!

 

I know this is random, but I must say as well that you're a really great writer. I was just looking through your reviews and thoughts and I accidently spent way longer than I intended reading them. In other words, I like your word vomit. Is this your main outlet for your writing or do you post them elsewhere? I have a personal channel in which I write long retrospectives and short game essays, just on the off chance you want to check that out as well: https://www.youtube.com/gotakibono It also mainly consists of my personal brand of word vomit. :P

 

 

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1 hour ago, Copanele said:

That reminds me, I really need to watch the last episode :D enjoyed their work (and banter) a lot so far! 

 

Thanks so much for the support as well, Copanele :D

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32 minutes ago, Gotakibono said:

Wow man, I honestly don't know what to say about the kind words -we're still shocked anyone even watches us! Thank you so much, it's so appreciated. I just hope our "credentials" are on par with yours because your list is crazy good, so keep it up!

 

I know this is random, but I must say as well that you're a really great writer. I was just looking through your reviews and thoughts and I accidently spent way longer than I intended reading them. In other words, I like your word vomit. Is this your main outlet for your writing or do you post them elsewhere? I have a personal channel in which I write long retrospectives and short game essays, just on the off chance you want to check that out as well: https://www.youtube.com/gotakibono It also mainly consists of my personal brand of word vomit. :P

 

Haha thanks for the love man. As much as I'd love to make a career out of blabbering gibberish, for now this is pretty much my main outlet for voicing my opinions. But I had no idea that you had your own channel where you do your own sort of critiques and such! I'll definitely check out the Mirror's Edge and Bully ones - and I think it's awesome how you have 2 more niche games in Manhunt with 30k+ views. Huge props on having 1k+ subscribers as I'm currently tryna climb that mountain lol - I've started experimenting with a YouTube channel of my own but as of right now it's just memes / sports nonsense(somehow it's doing gangbusters at the moment). My dream would be to somehow stumble my way into a fandom that would support me experimenting with an essay the way YTers like Joseph Anderson and NeverKnowsBest make but all in due time of course. 

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43 minutes ago, realm722 said:

 

Haha thanks for the love man. As much as I'd love to make a career out of blabbering gibberish, for now this is pretty much my main outlet for voicing my opinions. But I had no idea that you had your own channel where you do your own sort of critiques and such! I'll definitely check out the Mirror's Edge and Bully ones - and I think it's awesome how you have 2 more niche games in Manhunt with 30k+ views. Huge props on having 1k+ subscribers as I'm currently tryna climb that mountain lol - I've started experimenting with a YouTube channel of my own but as of right now it's just memes / sports nonsense(somehow it's doing gangbusters at the moment). My dream would be to somehow stumble my way into a fandom that would support me experimenting with an essay the way YTers like Joseph Anderson and NeverKnowsBest make but all in due time of course. 

 

I started writing posting 'Gota Blogs' to this very website, so never say never! The thing is I'm not really of the mindset that I'm going to be a Youtuber or anything. My own channel is just a creative outlet for me to pour my word vomit out into video format whenever I feel like doing so, and Platchums has just been a hell of a lot of fun with an old friend over lockdown. If it takes off that would be amazing, but I think it's the furthest thing from our minds - we're just having too much fun recording the conversations we would've been having over the phone anyway! 

 

If you do ever make a video, don't hesitate to link it to me. :)

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shu-switch-hero.jpg

Game: Shu

 

Analysis: I bought Shu for $2.99 in late December 2020. Oh, you've never heard about it? Neither had I, but boy what a pleasant surprise this was! 

 

I like to play indie games. But I also don't like to be so far away from the shore that I feel like I'm completely lost for help when playing a "new" game. Hell, that's in part because I always wait for games to go on sale - so I'm almost never going to have that fresh wonder of learning along with everybody else on how to get the trophies(with rare exceptions, FIFA 20 for example I did everything in it on my own after cultivating the knowledge of having played the series for so long). But a completely random game with 0 guide help? That's tough - and despite the fact that Shu is a game originally released in 2016, it kinda gave me that experience. There's 1 guy on YouTube who did an all collectibles for the first 5 worlds. He missed the mural on World 5, Level 1 - but we'll forgive him. The thing is, Shu added a DLC World #6 to the base game with 2 trophies for beating them and earning 100%. Are there any video guides on it? NOPE! Good luck to myself I thought, since let's be honest, I NEVER search for collectibles on my own unless they're blatantly obvious on the world map. This is a 2.5D platformer - to find the collectibles, you're gonna have to search for them on your own. All my Google searches yielded me 0 results and yet I was missing 2 murals on Level 3 and 5 despite my searching... and then I discovered, it DOES have a Steam Guide, it just never popped up in my google searches since it's in Russian. Translate that bad boy to English thanks to Google Chrome and I easily found all the remaining collectibles - and now you can do so even more easily if you decide to play this game!

 

But how the hell IS this game? You just spent the entire 1st paragraph blabbering about collectibles. I'm surprised by how much fun I had with it. Kinda like Rayman Legends, you run around as this small Owl boy(heh already played it), collect a buncha butterflies and babbles, and every now and then you'll recruit some friends that will add new gameplay mechanics. One of them can be riding a bull, another can smash through glass planes, others can float on water, and then you have those that can smash blocks, float in mid-air, slow down time, etc... it's honestly a nice palette to keep things interesting. I was expecting this to be a pretty basic 6 / 10 but the game actually does push you to get good at it. You need to earn 100% completion in all levels, collecting all gold butterflies(not every butterfly on a level - but say, 90% of them), collect all babbles and murals in each level, and finally complete a no death run. What I did was do a leisure initial play-through to learn the lay of the land and then go for a no-death, generally presenting not too many challenges (until worlds 5 and 6 O_______O). You do have to beat a developer time at least once, I foolishly spent like 40 minutes during it on Level 1, when in reality you need to do it anyway to pop the platinum on Level 4 of World 5 so you can save that trophy until then. By far the hardest level for me to complete 0 deaths was World 5, Level 4(spent like 1 hour and 20 minutes on it, you've gotta have a great straight 6 minutes of gameplay) and World 6, Level 3 that for whatever reason with the air-hovering and time-slowing characters just destroyed. Kept dying at various inexplicable points, and it took me an hour and a half before completing a perfect run. But given the fact each level takes 3-4 minutes to complete, with 21 levels in total - the game doesn't expect anything asinine out of the player, and I'd say it doesn't wear out it's welcome but rather provide a perfect brief detour when transitioning between lengthier experiences. 

 

I have no doubt if the game had more owners on here(it only has 802 at the moment, one of the smallest I own alongside Beholder 2 with the fewest and Unholy Heights with the 2nd fewest) - the trophies would be a decent bit more rare. I imagine only platforming gurus have checked it out. Honestly, such a nice a game for what I wanted out of it. The platforming isn't perfect or as lovely for me as the Unravel's for example(the jumping in Shu can be a bit frustrating sometimes... you hit the edge of a platform and don't go up it seems - like it halts your momentum completely) but the mixing of the glide mechanic along with the different power-ups you can earn from the friends you find makes it a nice time. If you wanted to be a jerk you could say "well what does it do that's different from every other platformer?" - and the answer is, next to nothing... but it's just a nicely made colorful platformer, man. Not every game has to reinvent the wheel. Sadly, the developer has barely posted anything on Twitter since 2017 and their publisher, CoatSink hasn't made much reference to them in awhile. For all the indie home-runs you see that blossom into full companies, you also have studios that make pretty good games that just... never gain traction, and that could be all you ever hear from them. Didn't mean to end this review on a bummer but it's what this game reminds me of when I see so little discussion about it in any form when I try to do research about it. I earned Shu's 18.58% rarity platinum in 1 day and 23 hours. I promise the next game I review won't end on such a somber note!

 

Panda Score: 7.1 / 10

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Beautiful massive text as always xD I have a friend who constantly recommends this game for me and always said "you will love bears after this game" without explaining why. Guess now I know hahah. 

 

Also thoughts and prayers for when you will start Jotun <3 amazing game but MY GOD the RNG will kickflip you. 

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