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Everything posted by JFo

  1. Last night, I thought I was done with the campaign for Resident Evil Reveations 2. I got to the end of Episode 4, defeated the final boss and... got the bad ending. I was not expecting that. I didnt even know there were multiple endings in this game. I immeditely looked up how to get the good ending, and spent most of today replaying Episodes 3 and 4 (in other words, half the game) in order to get it, which I did just now. I think I can finally say I’m “done” with the campaign. Now all I have to do is play the “Little Miss” and “The Struggle” bonus episodes, both of which shouldn’t take more than a couple hours combined to beat.Once all they’re done, I’ll post my thoughts on the game as a whole. I really want to have it up before the remake of RE2 comes out next week. My goal has always been to play through every game before its release. I think I will make it just in time. Oh yeah, in case you had any doubt, Barry Burton is a total badass.
  2. As I said in the Resident Evil 2 remake thread, I’ve decided to go back and replay all the major games from the Resident Evil series in anticipation of Capcom’s next installment in the classic survival horror franchise. This thread will serve as a journal of that experience. I plan on posting my thoughts on each game as I go through the series while comparing them to my memory of each game. These won’t be “reviews” per se—more like updated thoughts and impressions of each installment. Currently, I don’t have a set order I plan on playing the games in. The truth is I actually started this journey at the beginning of this month when I completed my latest run through of the REmake on PS4. Since then I’ve been jumping around a bit with regard to the chronology. I currently have a game of RE2 and RE7 in progress, and completed the Director’s Cut of the original game (my first time ever!) over the weekend. I’d like to leave RE7 to the end, but I have several hours of progress on it already and would hate to abandon it now and forget what was going on and have to start over. My best guess is that I’ll complete all the classic-style games first, move on to the behind-the-shoulder trilogy, and finish up the two Revelations games. RE7 will be slotted in there somewhere, probably as one of the next couple games I finish. The Story So Far... Below are the games I plan on including on my REplay. I’ve included some brief thoughts on each. With the exception of the REmake and RE4, these opinions are all based on what I remember about them from having only played them once—in some cases almost 15 years ago. Resident Evil Zero — (Last played circa 2003) The second game I ever played in the series. I bought it after falling in love with the REmake and hoped for a similarly great experience. I was... disappointed. I didn’t think it was a bad game per se, but there were certainly parts of it that I didn’t care for. Resident Evil (Remake) — (Last played July 6, 2018 as Chris Redfiled) Probably one of my favorite games of all time. This was my introduction to the series. I’ve played it many times over the years, and I never get tired of it. The setting, the atmosphere, the characters... I love all of it. Along with Resident Evil 4, this is only other game in the series I have completed more than once. Resident Evil: Director’s Cut — (Last played July 20, 2018 as Jill Valentine) I just completed this version for the first time over the weekend. Here’s what I posted in the RE2 remake thread about it: Resident Evil 2 — (Last played July 19, 2004, LeonA/ClaireB scenario) I played this on GameCube and remember enjoying it for the most part. Perhaps the REmake set my expectations too high, but I didn’t fall for it the way many others have over the years. I do remember liking it more than RE0 though, which isn’t saying much. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis — (Last played July 28, 2004) Similar to RE2. I liked it, but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I did with the REmake. In my mind, I think I might have liked this and RE2 about the same, although having the quick-turn move at my disposal may have given it a slight edge. Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X — (Last played June 10, 2004) Currently, this is my second favorite of the classic-style games. I’m really looking forward to playing it again. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up. Resident Evil 4 — (Last played December 27, 2013) One of the best games ever made. To date, I’ve purchased it on five different platforms (GameCube, Wii, PS3, XBox 360, and now Xbox One), and have played it many, many times over the years. This is another one I can’t wait to play again. Resident Evil 5 — (Last played March 23, 2009) Definitely good, but not as great as its predecessor. In that way, it was a disappointment. That may not be fair to it though, as it’s hard to follow up a game like that. I enjoyed the DLC as well and plan on including both Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape in my replay of the game. Resident Evil 6 — (Never completed) I played it for a few hours, grew frustrated, and turned it off. I hope to power my way through it so that I can at least say I finished it. Maybe after I get into it more, I’ll find something to like about it. I don’t know though. This is going to be a tough one. Resident Evil Revelations — (Last played July 9, 2015) I played this on my 3DS and enjoyed it quite a bit. It captured a lot of what I liked about RE4 and 5. The biggest complaint I had about it has nothing to do with the game itself and more the hardware on which I played it—the little C-stick nub on the New 3DS XL was a terrible way to turn and aim. This time, I’m playing on the Xbox One X, which should make the entire experience more enjoyable. Resident Evil Revelations 2 — (Never played) I’m interested in this one. I always liked Claire, so it’s nice to see her getting to star in another game. If it’s anything like the first Revelations, I’ll probably like it. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — (Never completed; currently playing) I like what I’ve seen so far, but I feel like things are going to ramp up before too long. This is definitely the scariest game I’ve played since the REmake, which is saying something. That’s all for now. More to come as I play through the games. The next post will cover either RE2 or RE7. Obviously, thoughts and reactions for each game are more than welcome if you care to share.
  3. Brad and Huber talk about Brad's most recent play through of Resident Evil 2 (the original). This is Brad's first time playing it since 1998.
  4. During all the Black Friday sales a few weeks ago, I picked up the the HD remaster of the original Turok by Night Dive Studios. It was on sale for $4.99 on the Xbox Store, and I figured it was worth checking out at that price. I have a lot of fond memories of playing it back on the old N64. It was one of the very first first-person shooters I ever played and probably the first I ever completed from beginning to end. I loved the violence, the gore, the over-the-top weapons, and of course, all those cheats. It was a blast back then, but I wasn't sure how well it would hold up over 20 years later. After it finished downloading, I booted it up on my Xbox One with the intention of playing it for a few minutes just to see what it was like. A couple hours later, I had reached the third world and was totally hooked. Were it not for my other obligations that day, I would have played it even longer. No matter, I evetually made my way through the entire campaign and thought I would share some impressions with you all here. First, let's talk about the port itself. Since I only ever played it on the N64, I'll focus on how this version improves upon that. As you'd expect, the game runs at 1080p and an unwavering 60fps. The graphics themselves are mostly unchanged with the same environments, character models, and texture maps. Everything looks really sharp though, thanks to the higher resolution. This is one of those instances where the new port looks the way I remember it in my head, but I know that if I go back to the N64 version, I will be shocked by what a blurry mess it is in comparison. In addition to the graphical upgrades, there are a number of quality of life improvements that make this version much better than the N64 one: Extended Draw Distance—If you played Turok on N64, you no doubt remember the thick layer of fog that hung in the air a few feet in front of your face. In this version, you opt to push it out so that you can see much further into the distance. The fog is still present, but it’s not nearly as intrusive as it was on N64. As a result, it makes the game feel more open and less claustrophobic. Aiming Crosshairs—I believe this is turned off by default, but at least it’s an option which was never present on the N64. This makes aiming much easier as you'd expect. Modern Controls—The N64 version used the analog stick for looking and aiming while the C buttons handled all movement. This worked well enough for me at the time (I even adopted this control scheme for Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark), but I’m used to modern dual analog controls now, where movement is handled with my left thumb and aiming is done with the right. Thankfully, Night Dive did the right thing and made the modern control scheme the default with the option to swap the function of the two analog sticks if you so desire. PC Soundtrack—You can select between the original N64 and PC soundtracks. The N64 soundtrack was very limited, mostly consisting of various percussion rhythms. The PC version is a bit more interesting with a wider range of instruments and some simple melodies to boot. Actually some of the track reminded me a bit of Half-Life 2 for some reason. Turn Off Head Bob—I always felt like the Turok series had excessive head bobbing while walking around. Thankfully, this can now be turned off and makes the game much easier to play, in my opinion. Of all the improvements listed here, this one is probably my favorite. As for the game itself, I was really impressed by how well it holds up more than 20 years later. More than anything, I appreciated the purity and simplicity of its design, and how it lacks all the cruft you’d expect from a modern shooter. There is no grinding for XP to level up, no skill trees to complete, and the closest thing to a side quest is collecting all eight pieces of the Chronoscepter (the most powerful gun in the game). Instead of dealing with all that bullshit, you need only to make your way through each level while collecting keys in order to unlock later levels. That's it. Each level (aside from the last) has between 2 and 6 keys to find with the majority only having three. The levels themselves are mostly linear affaris, but there are many hidden areas off the critical path for you to explore as well, helping to make them feel more like large areas to explore rather than a series of linear hallways to navigate. That’s not to say it’s perfect. While the game lacks the cruft mentioned above, it does feature many design choices that were common in the 1990s but would never fly today. Chief among them is the awful platforming. The game is littered with areas requiring you to make long leaps from one tiny platform to another over bottomless pits. Miss the jump, and it’s an instant death. This might not be such a big deal were it not for the fact that you have limited lives, and checkpoints and save stations are few and far between. The lack of save stations in particular is frustrating, as you can go 20-30 minutes before coming across one in a typical session. Still, these quibbles didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the game. As far as throwbacks go, this was about as good a one as I could have ever hoped for. It actually has me interested in checking out Night Dive’s port of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil next. That was another game I played a lot on N64. I never beat it (I couldn’t finish all the objectives on the fourth level for some reason), and I was always frustrated by how it seemed like its ambitions were greater than what the N64 hardware could deliver. I would love to play a version of that game that eliminates all these issues in a manner similar to how this port of the first game improves about that. At any rate, it’s a great game and a great port. Pick it up if you have any fondness for old Turok. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
  5. Yeah, I can’t see too many people buying these games unless they have some nostalgia for them. Normally they’re priced at $19.99 each, but I got both for $9.99 each during the holiday sales on the Xbox Store. Considering the work that went into improving these games, that seemed like more than a fair price to me. Which reminds me, I still have Forsaken, another shooter from this era developed in part by Iguana (they made the N64 version) and remastered by NightDive, that I need to play through. I bought that one at full price and played the first level. However, I apparently suck at that game because I wasn’t able to even finish it on Normal difficulty. I should give it another go and see if I can do better.
  6. I would love this tweet even more if everyone in the second picture had befuddled looks on their faces trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
  7. Since no one responded to this thread, and since only about 30 people have viewed it, I assume that there’s not much interest in the old Turok games for N64 around here. Well, too fucking bad, because I just completed Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for the first time, and I’m going to take a deep dive into this crazy game. Let’s take a trip back in time, all the way back to the year 1998. Turok 2 was a big deal for N64 owners when it came out the fall of that year. The first game was one of the most notable (and only) third-party exclusives for the system. It was, in my opinion, one of the three big holiday releases that year for Nintendo (the others being The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron). The sequel looked like it would bring back all that was great about the first game—the big open levels, the excessive gore and violence, and the crazy weapons—and do it in a world filled with much more visual detail and varied environments. This was one of the first games to take advantage of the N64 Expansion Pak. Iguana Entertainment, the game’s developer, included a “Hi Res” mode which ran the game at a 640 x 480 resolution if a player had one installed in their console. Otherwise, the game would run at the more typical 320 x 240 resolution. It was amazing to think that any game could run at that high a resolution at the time. Additionally, it shipped on a special black cartridge that was 32MB in size—the biggest at the time along with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. With all of this hype surrounding the game, the end result was... disappointing. The game certainly delivered on everything it promised, but at a cost. Turok 2's visuals were certainly far more detailed than its predecessor, but while the original ran at a relatively smooth 30fps, the sequel was much choppier. I’ve never seen a performance analysis of Turok 2 (calling, Digital Foundry Retro), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it consistently hovered at or below 20fps when there was any sort of action on screen. Couple that with an extremely narrow field of vision and you wind up with a game that feels sluggish and slow in comparison to the original. A PC port came out a couple months later in early 1999, but even that version suffered from poor performance. Going back to it 20 years later, I was curious to see how it would hold up—even more so than even the first game. I had a feeling that there was a great first-person shooter to be played, and that it was just held back by its lead platform. Maybe without those limitations and the same polish given to the first game, this one could really shine. Or maybe the absence of all those technical issues would reveal a flawed game that wasn’t very good after all. After playing through and completing the campaign for the very first time ever (I never finished the game on N64), I’m happy to say that the results are exceptional. The improvements NightDive Studios has made to this game are even more striking than they were for the first. Not only is the HD remaster of Turok 2 the best version of the game that has ever existed, it’s the first good version of the game that has ever existed. First and foremost, the game now runs at a perfect 60fps in 1080p. The results are transformative. It actually feels like a completely different game. Whereas the previous iterations felt sluggish and slow, Turok 2 remaster feels fast and fluid with responsive controls and great shooting mechanics. Additionally, the same enhancements made to the first game—including extended draw distance, N64 and PC soundtrack options, and modern controls—are all included here. It’s a great package all around. The gameplay is very similar to the first Turok. You explore large, open levels, looking for keys to unlock later levels. In this game, however, you also have additional mission objectives to complete. These include things like freeing hostages, blowing shit up, activating something, and—at the end of each level—defending an energy totem from being destroyed by a swarm of enemies. All objectives must be completed before a level can be finished. Reaching the end of the level without completing all objectives will warp you back to the start, and you’ll need to go through it again to find the objectives you missed. As you might expect, there’s a lot more backtracking in this game than there was in the original. You will likely miss mission objectives on your first run through each level since they are so big and open-ended. It’s easy to miss passageways that lead to mission objectives because there are so many paths to take in each section of the map. You need to pay close attention to where you’ve been and use the map screen to try and suss out where you still need to explore. Additionally, some areas can only be accessed after you gain abilities found in later levels. This means that even after you finished a level—collect the keys, complete the mission objectives—you’ll still need to come back again to explore areas you couldn’t reach the first time around. This is absolutely mandatory to complete the game. If you’re into all of these exploration elements, it can be fun to thoroughly explore every inch of the game. If you’re not, though, it can definitely turn into a grind toward the end. Overall, I think Turok 2, like the original, still holds up well more than 20 years later. The fast-paced action feels great and it doesn’t feature the excesses of modern games—although, like the original, it does suffer from many of the crappy design choices of games from the late-90s. I was really excited for this game 20 years ago. It’s great to finally have a version of it that lives up to its original promise.
  8. JFo

    Video Game Pile of Shame

    What, you mean like when they're probably being sold at full retail price? I could do that, or I could buy them when they're being sold for 70% off and save a ton of money in the process. That's the main culprit for why I currently have so many purchased and unplayed games. Of course the downside to this is that I'm spending money on a product I may not use for a long time. Additionally, by the time I buy said game and when I actually play it, the game might go on sale again for an even lower price or see a permanent price drop below what I spent on it.
  9. Honestly, it's just a matter of putting the time in for it. For me that usually means booting up a game after getting my boys in bed at the end of the day. I can squeeze in between 1-2 hours of gaming each night, depending on my mood. At the same time, I usually try to keep a couple games in my rotation that I can play during the weekend in front of the boys. These include games like Forza Horizion, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or Celeste (to name a few recent examples). Over the course of an entire year, these small chunks add up. That's why I've averaged +40 games finished in the past 6 years since my oldest son was born. You can get through a lot if you just play a little bit every day. However, keeping up with all these games does come at a cost. Since becoming a father, I haven't had as much time as I would like for other media, particularly movies and TV shows. I used to watch several shows at any given time as well as regularly watch DVDs, Blu-rays, and Netflix, but that's all gone out the window for the most part. For many of you, I know that's like death, but when your time is as precious and limited as mine is, you have to figure out what your priority is. For me, it's playing through as many games as possible. Everything else is secondary. Easy Allies had a good letter in their Love & Respect segment a few months back on this very subject. It was a letter from a guy who still managed to play lots of games even after becoming a parent. He offered some tips for folks worried that becoming a parent means that they won't be able to play games anymore. (Click on the video to jump directly to the segment.) I particularly like his advice to stop playing games you don't like as well as to play only when you want. I know there are many nights when I'm so tired at the end of the day that all I want to do is veg out on my iPad or go to bed. I hate the idea of officially blocking out time on my calendar for it. Then it becomes an obligation and not some I'm just doing for fun.
  10. Official Website So this is a game that came out back in January and seemed to have slipped under the radar. I, for one, didn’t hear about it until a week ago when someone mentioned it in my Twitter feed. I looked into it and purchased it a day or two later on Switch. The buzz surrounding it was pretty strong with near-universal praise coming from all the major gaming sites. IGN even gave it a 10, calling it "surprise masterpiece." Quick summary—this is a 2D maso-core platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy. You play as Madeline, a young woman determined to climb Celeste Mountain and overcome her inner demons. It offers more or less what you'd expect from the genre: simple, tight controls, steep difficulty, and pixel art graphics. Madeline's move set consists of running, jumping, and wall climbing. She can also perform a single dash mid-air in any direction, which plays heavily into the level design as you can imagine. The game is split into 8 levels, each of which introduces new mechanics and challenges to keep the experience fresh and interesting. Additionally, each level has a "B-side," a more difficult version of it for those who want even more challenge. Jumps requires near-perfect precision to execute, which means you'll be dying... a lot. Thankfully, respawning is nearly instantaneous, so you can immediately try again. It's frustrating at times, but in the good way that you expect from a challenging game like this. The best moments are when you nail a jump that's killed you 20+ times and feeling like a total badass once you finally do it. Where Celeste really distinguishes itself from the likes of Super Meat Boy though is that offers a surprisingly rich story full of great writing and memorable characters. I honestly don't expect much from the genre in that regard, but this may be one of the best written games I've played in some time The plot itself is not particularly complex—basically Madeline wants to climb a mountain and that's it—but the character of Madeline is surprisingly rich and interesting. This is not only a physical challenge for her, but an emotional and mental one as well. Without giving away too much, this is a game I can see resonating strongly with people who struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety. As I mentioned before, I purchased this on the Switch. It's available everywhere, but it's a perfect fit for Nintendo's portable/home console hybrid. It runs at a completely locked 60fps as you'd expect, and the pixel art style probably won't look any better on a PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, or a souped up PC. Plus, you have the added advantage of being able to play it on the go, which is awesome. Oh, and as added bonus, the soundtrack is pretty killer as well. Anyway, be sure to check it out and report back here in case you happen to buy it. I'd love to hear what others around here think of it.
  11. I haven’t downloaded the demo yet. I’m still trying to complete Resident Evil Revelations 2 for my REplay project before the full game releases on the 25th. I am hyped to hear that people like the demo though. My biggest fear has been that the RE2 remake doesn’t live up to the hype and just disappoints everyone.
  12. I’m glad you’re liking this, Daniel. I have it loaded on my Switch as well. It’s just a question of when I’m going to get to it. So many games!
  13. I expect I’ll continue to work through my gaming backlog over the next couple years, which is already so ridiculously long at this point that I have a “Pile of Shame” note in my Notes app so that I can keep track of all the shit I haven’t touched yet. The good news is that, aside from the remake of Resident Evil 2 in a couple weeks, there isn’t much in the first quarter of 2019 that interests me. That should (hopefully) allow me to catch up on some of those titles. I do this, not out of any sense of obligation to finish those games before the next gen, but because I simply want to play them. I know I’ll get to them. It’s just a matter of when. I also expect there to be a bit of a lull when it comes to new game releases after the launch of these new consoles in 2020 or whenever. That could give me an opportunity to further catch up on PS4 and Xbox One titles I missed or still have in my Pile of Shame at that point. I did this after the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One. I had a PS4 on launch day, but hardly played it at all in 2014. I spent a lot of that year—and 2015 for that matter—playing games I missed on PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, and Wii U. It wasn’t until 2016 when I finally started playing the current gen consoles on a more regular basis. As for the hardware I have now, I probably won’t get rid of it, simply because I don’t get rid of my old consoles and games after the next gen arrives. It’s far too early to say what I will buy at launch. I have to see what Microsoft and Sony have planned before making any decisions. If both platforms make their new consoles backward compatible as we all expect them to, I may be inclined to get them sooner rather than later, particularly if they allow for the old games to play better on the new hardware.
  14. Hey, kudos to you for actually doing all 8 chapters. The game is not easy, and just getting to the summit in Chapter 7 is one hell of an accomplishment. Getting all the hearts so that you can do Chapter 8 deserves even more praise. So, wait, are you done, or aren’t you? It sounds like you might seriously be thinking about taking on those B-sides. 😉 I actually took a break from the game before really diving into the B-sides. I needed a break from it after completing Chapter 8. It helped me recharge my batteries so that I could tackle those levels without getting too frustrated and quitting. Even then, I got to one screen in the B-side of Chapter 8 that caused me to step away from the game again for several months.
  15. In case you were wondering about how you spent 2018 playing Xbox games, Microsoft has you covered. 2018 Xbox Year in Review Some stats from my year: Top 1% GamerScore (reached 37,585 total points, which is up 25% over the prior year) Top 7% time played (376 hours total) Top 1% in number of Achievements earned (360 in total, appropriately enough) Forza Horizon 3 was my most played game at over 50 hours, followed by Forza Horizon. The most amusing thing is that because I spent so much time with the Forza Horizon series in 2018, it says my favorite genre was sports games, which is definitely not on brand for me. Anyway, as I said on Twitter, I spent a lot of time on Xbox last year, as you can probably see. Of the 47 games I completed in total, 28 of them were on Xbox One X.
  16. JFo

    The Easy Allies thread

    Heh, I'm actually watching this video right now. 😊
  17. You can dip in and out of levels whenever you like. No need to reach the end for it to save.
  18. No. The strawberries, cassettes, etc. you’ve already found will still be collected. You won’t need to collect them again. Everything can be found and collected on each stage the first time you play it. No need to “level up” later in the game—assuming something like that even happens—in order to find everything. It’s just a matter of finding where they are hidden and executing the moves to actually get them. Each chapter is even split off into sections in the main menu with an indicator to tell you how many strawberries are in each and which ones you haven’t collected yet. Once you complete a chapter, you can skip to that section immediately to find what you missed.
  19. So, is anyone planning on getting this? If you preorder, you get double the number of gold coins, which amounts to $6.00 in credit on the Nintendo Store. I'm tempted, but I'm not sure I want to double dip, especially when I have so many other games already in the pipeline. Oh, and here's Digital Foundry's look at the game. It's about what you'd expect--locked 60fps at 1080 while docked with 720p in handheld mode.
  20. Dude... “Hey! Listen!” - A 16 game tour of Link’s adventures from A to Zelda.
  21. Skill and perhaps knowledge of where everything is hidden. Some things on these levels are very well hidden. I would be surprised if someone was able to find everything—all strawberries, B-side cassettes, and hearts—the first time through. If you replay a level you've already beaten, the conditions will always be the same as when you first played it. Not on Switch, it doesn’t! That said—and this is a super minor spoiler—the number of strawberries you collect does have a very small impact on the game's ending.
  22. Interesting tweet from the makers of this game.
  23. Seven total to reach the summit with an eighth that can be unlocked if you collect the crystal hearts on each of the previous levels. I think this is what I did as well, but it's not always the best solution. There are times where I don’t want to grab onto a wall for whatever reason, and I have to remember to let go fo the button. One thing nice about the Switch version is that the ZL and ZR buttons are just buttons and not analog triggers like on PS4 and Xbox One. You get the nice click-y feedback when you press them and you don’t have to squeeze them as much to activate the function. It seems like a better fit for this game.
  24. One thing I forgot to post was that I did finally finish all of the B-side levels back in early November. Total death count by the time I completed the last level was 11,164. I have not attempted any of the C-side levels yet. I'm not sure I'm going to.