Oh, while talking games, I got the DLC season pass for Fallout 4 as it was down from £40 to £23. Figure that’ll keep me busy for a while.
At that price it’s worth it for Automatron + Far Harbour + the building extras.
Great to hear about Sonic Mania, watched a review last night and damn, it looks good - might have to cave on this one.
Had my first blast on Sonic Mania this morning and it’s legitimately great. I’m doing a quick run through the game at first and then I’ll go back and explore more (and try to get all the bonuses, emeralds and so on) on a second playthrough. Just like old times.
I’m only up to Flying Battery Zone so far but I’m already impressed by the amount of innovation here alongside the nostalgic angle. There are new gimmicks here that can stand beside a lot of great stuff from the classic four, and the level design is spot on. Can’t wait to play more.
Is this an incidence of “up early to play a couple hours of a new game before school”? That’s really taking the retro thing to a new level!
I’m still off work today. But the kids are still on French time, so it was an early start. This was one morning I was not unhappy to be up at the crack of dawn though!
Just had a few sessions with my son on Competition Mode. It’s great fun, a real improvement on the Sonic 2 version.
I haven’t tried that.
Though I’ve just realised I’ve only got the one controller do won’t be trying it for a while either!
It’s not as good as the main game (and still suffers for being in Squish-O-Vision) but it’s a fun break from when one of us doesn’t want to have to settle for being Tails to the other’s Sonic.
Another tribute to Sonic Mania: the music for Studiopolis Zone Act 1 has already achieved official Earworm status.
So booted up No Man’s Sky once more.
It started off quite positively - it does look a lot prettier, the being able to fly low was initially cool, however, the game then took a running jump and smashed itself, balls first, into the ground.
The sense of where your ship is relative to the ground is crap. Similarly the ability to judge distance and the game’s infuriating ‘arrive in’ on planets where it gives you a timer, you hit boost - and it doesn’t reduce. This side of NMS is akin to a failed racer called Fuel, which promised the biggest open world race engine ever. It also provided the biggest void ever and NMS is its successor. They think it’s being ‘realistic’ but I seriously doubt anyone gives a damn about that. Holding down the boost buitton or watching a distance clock tick down for 2-3 minutes is hugely boring and pointless.
So I decided to try my hand at piracy, shot up a freighter and then? The worst signposting in terms of where the targets were ever. It’d show a resource, so I’d shoot, to no effect, why? Probably because it was behind a wall or on the other side of the ship or somewhere else, so why give the indication that I can shoot it when I can’t? It also threw in invisible guns, I’d be watching lasers spew, look for the source and… nothing. And the lacking sense of distance in 3 dimensions is only amplified in space.
So, it looks prettier, but it still feels like a game put together by people whose understanding of games is incomplete. The inventory menus are still rubbish, the controls clunky and the game relies too much on vast distances combined with the most frequent, repeated and dense scattering of asteroids you’ll ever see.
In the end, I spent perhaps an hour, hour and a half doing sweet fuck all. It’s far prettier yes, but it’s still, at heart, a hollow product.
Oh well, time to either start in earnest on Final Fantasy XV or boot up Final Fantasy XII.
Sometimes I feel bad about the games that you give a kicking to. Not this time though. No Man’s Sky feels like it deserves it. Whilst I keep reminding myself that it’s just an indie game (and not wanting to rail against any of the dev staff) they let the hype get to the point where everyone expected them to play in the big leagues.
Every criticism you just laid out sounds like something I’d object too as well. It still doesn’t sound like much of a game.
the game then took a running jump and smashed itself, balls first, into the ground.
The sense of where your ship is relative to the ground is crap. Similarly the ability to judge distance
So that’s a literal balls-first smash into the ground?
Well, I didn’t actually test the crash mechanism, if there is one.
I finally finished Sonic Mania this morning and I agree with this entirely. It’s fantastic for all the reasons you mention. There’s actually a lot of invention here, but it’s integrated so seamlessly with the classic stuff that it’s often almost invisible.
(It’s telling that the only changes that stand out are incredibly subtle - one I noticed was a couple of extra animation frames added to Knuckles when he changes direction mid-glide - pretty minor stuff!)
I also love the ‘remixed’ nature of the levels and the gimmicks and badniks within. We might only get a handful of ‘classic’ zones here but there’s stuff incorporated from many, many more.
(That said, I’m a bit disappointed by some of the omissions, especially given what was included. Oil Ocean Zone and Lava Reef but no Labyrinth or Starlight Zone? We all have our favourites I guess - hopefully we’ll get a sequel with more classic levels.)
The new levels are fantastic too - Press Garden is an instant favourite, especially act two.
Anyway, I only finished it with the bad ending so far (with a suitably shit closing sequence), and without giving anything away I have a feeling that if I collect all the emeralds and get Super Sonic, there will be an extra final level à la S&K. That’s going to take me a while, as this is actually a pretty tricky game with some genuinely testing segments. If it was Sonic 1/Sonic 2 rules (ie. Three lives and no saves) I’d be absolutely screwed.
Yeah, I got this on my Sonic and Tails playthrough. I’m trying to get all the emeralds on a Knuckles playthrough but I don’t know how successful I’ll be! Also, I’d forgotten how much playing as Knuckles changes the game - the glide attack, wall climbing and lack of fire/bubble/electric shield secondary functions give a completely different experience.
Or, as I play it: Three lives - and playing the opening levels really slowly to pick up all the rings and bank a shit load of extra lives - and no saves.
I used to be exceptionally proud that I could obtain all the Chaos Emeralds by the end of Emerald Hill Act 2.
Coming soon: Sonic: Gray edition
So No Man’s Sky sort of redeemed itself today, a little.
I’m playing it in Creative mode because that removes most issues - including the clunky interfaces and controls. The quests it now offers is pretty basic stuff, as is the story quest, but hoping from planet to planet is kind of fun - suspect the ‘proper’ version would be quite irritating. Also every planet on that story happened to have major storm frequently.
It also offered a Star Destroyer style freighter and I now own one of those:
So, that’s quite cool.
I don’t think it’ll ever be anything more than good though - or, it’ll remain pretty but mostly hollow.
These UFO special stages are damn hard.
Either that or I’m getting worse at video games in my old age.
No, it must be the first one.