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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
Ethereal Being 1

1936 Posts

Punch Club dropped on 3DS recently and publisher Tiny Build was nice enough to gift me a copy so I could try it out. If you haven't played Punch Club or are unfamiliar with the game it's a fighting tycoon game where you train your character and manage his stats such that you improve over time to rise in the ranks of the local boxing and underground fighting scene. Like all tycoon games that focus on core stats you have to science the right numbers to progress through the ranks to level up your abilities to fight increasingly tougher and tougher foes. The story included in the game wraps the whole game up well and gives you a nice incentive to progress. Ultimately if you like tycoon games focusing on a difficult grind and are a big fan of the Fight Club or Rocky films, Punch Club is something you need to look into.

I've played Punch Club on Steam and now 3DS and the game shines on both platforms. Punch Club is very comfortable on PC with mouse controls and has been adapted to near perfection on the 3DS. Instead of click to move your character you can use the analog stick to control his movements and also where to focus attention. Since the in game fighting, working your job for in game money and training are all passive the 3DS works well there too. I found that you need to use the 3DS stylus to select things on the touch screen as tap to touch doesn't work as well as other games like Ocarina of Time 3D. Using the stylus might be a requirement for optimal control but having the it around never felt awkward to me. Bottom line, Punch Club translates incredibly well to the 3DS and if you are looking for a richer PC game experience on your handheld you should should check it out.

Punch Club is out now on 3DS, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.

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If you are waiting for Super Mario Run to drop on Android soon you might be a bit disappointed to hear it's coming in March. You can pre-register for it on the Google Play store now to get notified when the game finally ships if you are eager to be notified the moment it is available. The Android launch is somewhat odd timing as March is also the month the Switch launches. I'm curious if Nintendo's mobile apps will come to Switch at some point like Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run and Miitomo? Since the Switch has a touch screen it seem technically possible so it's just a matter of porting.

https://twitter.com/Nintendo/status/821859181435027461

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Charity Speedrunning tournament Awesome Games Done quick finally wrapped raising an incredible $2,213,397 for the Prevent Cancer Foundtation. As usual, the streams were great and I am going to focus on some of the best.

Link to the Past Race Featured above this race is one of the best of this year because not only was it of quite possibly the best game of all time, it's really fun to watch. It's really unfortunate how a few frame mistake and put someone so far behind the pack and this run highlights that.

Super Metroid One of the final speedruns is always Super Metroid which is a big part of Games Done Quick. Every year during the week people can donate to save or kill the animals in Super Metroid and this year people voted to save them. It adds a few seconds to the Speedrun but it's a nice thing people can donate extra to that really make the whole event more fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEBbCQ0D1cA

Wind Waker HD Clocking it at 3:49 you should buckle up for a long ride through this cell shaded Zelda paradise. I don't think i've seen the HD version ran before and I really enjoyed it while learning the differences between the original Gamecube title and the Wii U HD version. Wind Waker is a Zelda game I picked up used on Gamecube and haven't played much of but looks great whenever I watch someone play it.

https://youtu.be/dT-0Va0lWqE?t=16m40s

Dark Souls III Bubblesdelfuego is a legendary runner and this Dark Souls III run is superb. Until the game crashes and he has to restart it as a completely different save. Seriously game bugs are the worst but ... he was clipped way out of bounds and I bet that wasn't run through a ton of gameplay testing. Still having the game crash in a run does happen from time to time and bubbles does recover to finish out a pretty incredible run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ07UO0dubg

Super Mario 3D Land After getting a 3DS this year I spent a bit more time trying to watch streams of actual 3DS games and Super Mario 3D Land was one of them. Has Nintendo honestly ever made a bad Mario game? Even the Mario Teaches Typing had some fun moments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj0pL91H1bI

Castlevania Now that the NES Classic is bringing some older games back into the hands of players watching runs of games like Castlevania game me some ideas on how to play the game better. This race is fun to watch and most of the tricks they pull off to get through the game faster look like something you could do with practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8oorMJt1E

Batman Forever Batman Forever isn't a good game but that doesn't mean this isn't an entertaining run. I didn't know that Batman Forever was made with the Mortal Kombat engine but after you learn that the gameplay makes way more sense. Again, this isn't a very good game but it's an interesting one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDMRdy56ek

The Lost Levels I had The Lost Levels on Super Mario All Stars and never played it because the difficulty is brutal. I mean, it's a difficult game unless you are these runners and then it looks incredibly easy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOunTCq1sVY

Battle Clash I enjoyed the ol' Super Nintendo Super Scope 6 and thought Battle Clash was a really great game. Or at least my young mind thought so and after watching this run the game still looks great. This run is pretty memorable because runner scxcr plays the game backward while looking through a mirror to aim. An impressive run at 13.58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM_kixNMooc

Mario Paint Mario Paint included a fairly obscure game called Gnat Attack that until last week I had no idea was something people ran. My Grandmother had Mario Paint at her place and every time I visited her I always played Gnat Attack WAY too much. The runners said the original plastic mousepad that came with the game was terrible and maybe it was but to my child mind it was perfect. If only I knew to replace the pad I might have done better because I always felt Gnat Attack was a really hard game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnXDPHAfeCM

There are a lot of runs I didn't get to watch live that i've queued up in YouTube. If any of those stand out to me i'll post individually about the run or in a follow up post later. If you watched any runs from this year what stood out to you?

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If you love spaceship simulation roguelikes then you’ve played FTL and a big part of what that makes that game amazing is it’s fantastic score by Indie game composer extraordinaire Ben Prunty. Ben has written many other great albums and if you haven’t heard them yet you’re in luck because you can enter Giveaways for 5 of his latest albums: Deep Space Deluxe, Fragments, StarCrawlers, Dead Secret and Cipher! Ben was nice enough to gift us 3 keys for each album so make sure to send him some love on Twitter and check out his Twitch channel where every Saturday at 2pm PST/10pm UTC he makes electronic music live and answers your questions!

https://twitter.com/benprunty/
https://www.twitch.tv/benprunty

You can enter each album giveaway by hitting the link below.

http://cheerfulghost.com/giveaways

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The Nintendo Switch launch presentation just ended and they dropped some pretty important news about the new console. Namely that it will launch March 3rd side by side with Zelda Breath of the Wild. The base system with a Joy-con, docking station, HDMI & included charging cable (yay) will retail in the US for $300 and you will be able to buy it will grey joy-con or blue and red joy-con controllers. The Switch will also launch with region free games, which is pretty unique for Nintendo systems up to this point. They mentioned that online functionality would be free until the fall and then become some kind of paid service afterward. It's not entirely clear what the online service will be yet but hopefully that monthly and yearly fee will go to make it something special.

Nintendo switch will also require a bit of charging as with certain games the battery will last 2 1/2 to 6 hours. That's not too bad I suppose but I imagine Breath of the Wild might run at the 2 1/2 hour battery end. Nintendo mentioned the system can play and charge at the same time so if you are on a flight with a socket, you should be fine.

I'm pretty excited they mentioned that local multiplayer would support up to 8 systems connected together. I bet that would create for an interesting Mario Kart party with people bringing in multiple Switch systems. Something I didn't expect to hear was that the Joy-con also acts as a sort of Wii-mote. This looks to bring the Wii functionality forward to the Switch which looks to create some interesting game experiences. Not sure i'd play many of them all told, but something could come of it that I might enjoy.

Some of the games demo'd were:

Mario Odyssey which looks like an open world Mario game featuring many different planet like areas. Mario’s hat is a character that has some role in the game that seems to interacts with the Switch controller. Mario Odyssey looks like it will come out in the holiday season of 2017. A couple other titles they demoed were Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Dragon Quest 10, 11 (in Japan), Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2, Project Octopath traveler, Skyrim and Splatoon 2.

The presentation wasn't quite what I expected and I wanted more technical details of the system but from what they did show the Switch looks pretty cool and I bet it will sell out come March 3rd. What did you think of the presentation? Are you going to pick up the system or are you scratching your head a bit with the new direction Nintendo is headed?

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It's happening now. Click the link above to watch the magic.

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The Humble Bundle folks are giving away free keys DiRT: Showdown you can unlock on Steam during their continued Winter Sale.

"Race, crash and hoon your way through a world tour of motorised mayhem in DiRT Showdown! Crowd atmosphere, social gameplay and accessibility are all ramped up in this turbo- injected shot of driving delirium. Smash down the accelerator and earn the adulation of frenzied crowds at hyper-energised events at iconic locations. Trick, speed and smash your way to victory, then do it again."

Get DiRT: Showdown on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux by heading over to Humble below:

https://www.humblebundle.com/store/dirt-showdown-free-game

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Retro-bit is brining a brand new retro system to market that plays original Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance games. It has a backlit screen and includes a built-in rechargeable battery for convenience. I like the clean design being an homage to the original Gameboy and it also looks like it feels pretty good in the hand too. That said, I don't love that the L and R bumper buttons for the Gameboy Advance are above the A and B buttons. This might make some Gameboy Advance games really hard to play and I think a better design would have been to the put the buttons on the side of the system or on the back.

If you are looking for a fresh new way to play your Gameboy games the Super Retro Boy will drop in August for $79.99.

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I got a new 3DS this year from Sandy Claws and one of the first games I picked up was Ocarina of Time 3D. Ocarina is one of the few Nintendo 64 games I played a lot of when it came out back in 1998 and spent many a late nights up in my room trying to save Hyrule. Ocarina of Time is a game I come back to every couple years and have really enjoyed each play through but have noticed a few parts of the game that don't hold up as well. Because of the horsepower of the Nintendo 64 Ocarina of Time is capped to 20 frames per second which is a couple frames shy of what we're used to seeing in film. Once your immersed in the game it's not a big deal but it's noticeable when you pair it with modern games that can hit 60 FPS or higher. My other slight grumble, grumble is that the original controls are a bit odd on the Nintendo 64 controller, something I was never a huge fan of. All that said, Ocarina of Time is rightfully considered one of the best games of all time and Nintendo tossing in for a remake was a great idea.

For the Ocarina of Time 3D remastering Nintendo worked with Grezzo a Japanese game developer founded by one of the original developers on Secret of Mana. Grezzo has had a hand in a ton of Zelda games such as Majoras Mask 3D, Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Legend of Zelda Triforce Heroes. All that said the partnership with Grezzo and Nintendo was well suited because the port is top notch and fixes every problem I mentioned above and even goes beyond that. I'm including a link to The Legend of Zelda Wiki that outlines all the differences below but a couple standouts are the enhanced graphics, revamped item system and inclusion of the Master Quest after you complete the base game.

Recently I just made it to the Temple of Time and got the Hookshot from the race with Dempe. Personally I think the first part of the game up to the Temple of Time is the best paced story, gameplay and dungeon parts but if you like more complicated dungeons everything after the Forest Temple is for you. There are a few times in the game where what the game wants you to go next isn't obvious and Google can help a suffering memory when you are absolutely lost on what to do.

One thing that's nice about these remakes is that Nintendo can keep porting them forward on newer systems so if you missed Ocarina originally you might have a chance to play it on the Switch. I hope Nintendo keeps these old games fresh on newer systems and these kinds of remasters make them even more relevant to modern audiences. That said, if you absolutely need to play Ocarina of time in it's original 20 FPS glory getting out your old Nintendo 64 will always be an option.

I've included a speedrun of Ocarina of Time 3D from a couple days ago run at the Awesome Games Done Quick game charity stream so if you are looking to understand more how the remake looks I recommend you press play as the speedrunner Benstephens56 doesn't disappoint!

https://zeldawiki.org/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Ocarina_of_Time_3D

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Wick, the developer of Starship Rubicon which was published by Cheerful Ghost(yep, that's us) has dropped the first trailer to his upcoming game Crescent Loom and it looks great. Wick and I went to Steam Developer Days this year and it was fun talking to him about his ideas for the game and see how great the game is turning out.

"Crescent Loom is Kerbal Space Program crossed with the cell stage of Spore; you wire up neurons into circuits to control your little wriggling beastie and explore an alien world.

There’s so much that goes on beneath our awareness. My heart beats a steady rhythm, pumping blood through my billowing lungs down to my legs as I absentmindedly walk through the forest. I stop to admire a dragonfly glide past, wings working in perfect coordination to dart through a cloud of gnats. The croak of a frog cracks through the air in an atonal melody.

The secret to these rhythms of motion are special circuits of brain cells called central pattern generators. I have this dream of making a game that lets you — in a hands-on way — discover and get an intuitive sense for how this basic piece of our existence works. Crescent Loom is that game.
"

As a big fan of Wicks stuff i'll be covering this game all the way up to the Kickstarter and eventual launch. Curious what you think of that game so feel free to drop your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

http://wick.works/crescentloom/

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The Games Done Quick Speedrunning charity is a week long livestream dedicated to raising money for charities and this year it's The Prevent Cancer Foundation. The start of the livestream was pretty unique as they started things off with a speedrun of Ocarina of Time 3D that was complete a couple minutes under two hours. Usually Ocarina of Time is a huge draw but this is the first year they've run the 3DS version, which coincidentally i'm playing right now(expect a partial review soon).

"The Prevent Cancer Foundation is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy across the country."

You y can watch the stream and donate on the AGDQ site below:

https://gamesdonequick.com/

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"An ancient evil stirs in the ruins of Old Tristram, and a mysterious portal has appeared that leads to the halls of an all-too familiar cathedral. Deep beneath the catacombs, the Dark Lord awaits any intrepid adventurer who dares to challenge him.

For the month of January, experience an homage to the original events of Diablo, brought to you in glorious RetroVision™ and filled to the brim with nostalgia-inducing features. An evocative audiovisual extravaganza awaits you, as everything from familiar enemies to iconic items have been brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Transmogrification rewards, achievements, and a handful of extra surprises lurk in the depths of this perilous, pixelated dungeon.
"

The Darkening of Tristram event has been available for testing on the public test realms since Blizzcon but is finally coming to Diablo III in an upcoming patch for the entire month of January. It looks like a fun way to experience the original Diablo if you are a game veteran or new player. That's not the only thing coming in the latest Diablo III update but it's the most iconic and something I am interested in trying.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/20407579

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This year Valve released an official list of the top 100 best selling games on Steam. I've seen some people chide this list as No Man's Sky is one of the top Platinum sellers and many think that if you consider the returns, No Man's Sky shouldn't be a Platinum Seller. Well, that would be the case if gross revenue didn't automatically adjust for returns, which it does. So... yeah, the list is accurate and I really found it fascinating to read through.

The top Platinum sellers of 2016 weren't to surprising in Fallout 4, CS: GO, Total War Warhammer, Dark Souls 3, DoTA 2, Civilization VI, No Man's Sky, Grand Theft Auto 5, XCom 2, Tom Clancy's Division, Rocket League and The Witcher 3.

Stardew Valley and Doom rounded out the Gold top sellers and the ever continued greats such as Terraria and Age of Empires II HD charted on the bronze list.

http://store.steampowered.com/sale/2016_top_sellers/

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I was really happy to open up the New Nintendo 3DS for Christmas this year as it's nice to own a newish Nintendo handheld. Setting up the new system from boot to accessing the 3DS Nintendo online store wasn't too bad considering I've heard Nintendo's online offerings are pretty abysmal. I wasn't expecting anything fantastic with the online experience but I have been really surprised with how seamless the whole eShop system has been. In fact the whole online connected experience on the 3DS has more than met my expectations. Surprisingly enough the 3DS has the ability to watch YouTube and Netflix even though YouTube is a less than stellar experience. I'm also not sure why you'd watch a Netflix video on it either but it's here and it works well if you need to use it for that in a pinch. The web browser is pretty terrible but i'd sort of blame the lacking horsepower of the 3DS as the reason why these apps suffer compared to the smartphone in your pocket. Speaking of horsepower the 3DS sports 256 megs of RAM an 804 MHZ quad core CPU and a 4G micro SD flash card for storage. Immediately I got a 32G micro SD card for cheap because I planned on downloading a ton of 3DS demos.

The biggest draw to owning a new 3DS is playing Nintendo games and so far I've been very impressed with what I've played. The battery life seems more than adequate to my play style and the controller grip, buttons and action are superb. Makes sense that Nintendo shines here as they've been making handheld systems for years and it shows. I've heard earlier models had issues but I haven't seen any of that in what I have here.

Beyond the mountain of 3DS demos awaiting me I've picked up New Super Mario Bros DS, Legend of Starfy DS, Ocarina of Time 3D, Link Between Worlds and New Yoshi's Island. I've heard great things about the Bravely Default series and am waiting to try my hand at the demos before I decide to pick it up or not. I've also never played a proper modern Pokemon game either so, again, i'll try out the demo before I pick it up. Which, you know, is honestly pretty refreshing to have a demo of a game coming from the PC world. Demos are very rare and if they exist are capped to a very short experience on PC. On the 3DS they are gated to 30 plays which seems like a really unique way to do it. Even with the high accessibility of the eShop my preference is to own the physical game cart of a game I want to play which so far hasn't been a huge problem even though some 3DS games are no longer "in print" from Nintendo such as Link Between Worlds.

New Super Mario Bros on DS is a great game to start with as it is a pretty average difficulty Mario game and hasn't seemed overstuffed with level filler. So far I've spent about 5 hours on the game and just opened up World 6 and the final stage World 8 is up after I complete World 6 so I don't think i'm too far from the end. I've nearly abandoned Super Mario Run in favor of New Super Mario Bros as New Super Mario Bros is essentially the same game but it was cheaper ($8 used at Goodwill) and frankly, is a better game. Like Super Mario Run you can collect three big coins in a stage and go back to replay each level to collect them all. Collecting more big coins allows you to unlock special Toad Houses and shortcuts through worlds. New Super Mario Bros also comes with a Mario battle arena you can use to challenge a friend as well as a myriad of mini games I have yet to try. Since New Super Mario Bros was made for the original DS the graphics aren't as good as Super Mario Run but honestly it doesn't matter much as the base platforming is top notch. I'm not slamming Super Mario Run as they are really different games but if I had a choice between Super Mario Run and New Super Mario Bros i'd personally pick the latter one.

So far I've been really surprised with how great the new 3DS is such that I've begun to think if Nintendo can make the new Nintendo Switch as good or better then Switch will be absolutely incredible. Hopefully the Nintendo Switch will get all the great things from the 3DS and fix many of the limitations inherent with it such and underpowered system and a better online experience. It seems a lot of third party developers are jumping on the new Nintendo Switch hype train so it will be good to see what games end up chugging into the station on launch day. Nintendo will have an upcoming livestream showing off more details about the Switch and you can join the Cheerful Ghost event below if you are interested in talking more about it below.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/events/135/nintendo-switch-live-stream

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I want to thank everyone that voted in this years 2016 Cheerful Ghost Game of the Year Awards. This year Scrypt made us a cool "I Voted" image linked above that you should checkout, print out and stick on your wall if you voted.

This years winners are a very unique mix I am really happy with. I am not sure most sites would have made the choices we all did which is one of the reasons why I think our awards are different.

Triple A Game of the Year: Doom

Runner Up: Overwatch

Indie Game of the Year: No Man's Sky

Runner Up: Stardew Valley

DLC/Update of the Year: No Man's Sky Foundation Update

Runner Up: Hearthstone Whispers of the Old Gods

Mobile Game of the Year: Pokemon Go

Runner up: Super Mario Run

If you want to look into what games took the awards for the last couple years, check out the links below. I am really happy with the games that won in years past as many of them I still play to this day.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2753/cheerful-ghost-2015-game-of-the-year-awards
http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/2351/the-winners-of-the-cheerful-ghost-2014-goty-awards
http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/868/2012-cheerful-ghost-community-goty-awards

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