Travis4

Joined 01/23/2012

Web developer and all-around geek.
https://travisnewman.me

449 Posts

In this extra spooky episode, we played Ghosts 'n Goblins and were haunted by the experience!

Ghosts 'n Goblins is a brutally difficult action platformer on the NES and NES Classic that has delighted and tormented people for decades. It spawned a sequel on the SNES, two spin-off series, and a few thousand broken controllers probably.


In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio, Adam and Jon are on the floor at PRGE talking about all the fun they're having while Tim and Travis sit at home and wish they were there.


In this episode, we talk all about Matt Groening's new Netflix series, Disenchantment, and whether we think it lives up to the standard of The Simpsons and Futurama. But first we discuss what we've been playing and watching over the last month and discuss games that might not need sequels (thanks to @noigelarcane on Twitter for the idea).


Netflix is on fire lately, releasing new movies and shows at light speed. Recently they released Hold the Dark, by Jeremy Saulnier (director of Blue Ruin and The Green Room) and in this episode Jon and Travis give their reviews and talk about some of the fan reaction. If your hyper-specific Netflix categories suggest that you watch dark, slower paced, mysterious, cerebral movies, check out Hold the Dark and then come check out the episode!


In the newest episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio yet, we talk about the home release of Avengers: Infinity War, how our thoughts have changed since we saw it in the theater, and the extra stuff on the Blu-Ray.

But because it's us, and we love talking about Star Wars... we talk about Star Wars first.


In this episode we ponder what makes a good game sequel. This started as a conversation between Jon and Travis and as we discussed and debated sequels we decided this would be the perfect topic for an episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio! Have a listen and let us know what you think: what makes a good sequel, and what are some of your favorites?


Travis gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Travis gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio, we're talking all about Kirby's Adventure!

Kirby's Adventure was the sequel to Kirby's Dream Land, and is the first game to introduce Kirby's copy ability. It was developed by Hal Laboratory in 1993, late in the lifespan of the NES. Come check out our thoughts on the game and the legacy of the Kirby series in this pink and puffy episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio!

In season two of Cheerful Ghost Radio we are doing bite-sized NES Classic review episodes. We want to make you all part of these episodes, so if you want to join in the fun, head here and join in the event for next month's NES Classic review, Metroid!

https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/165/cheerful-ghost-games-club-metroid

While we have you here: what kind of games from the NES Classic and SNES Classic would you like to hear us review? Would you prefer the SNES era over the NES era? If you have suggestions, head over to Cheerful Ghost and let us know!


Travis gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Travis gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Note: tinyBuild provided us with a copy of this game for review because they're awesome. Thanks tinyBuild!

I'm having withdrawal from Graveyard Keeper. It's the kind of game that gets under your skin and has you thinking about game logic when doing day-to-day things. The grocery store is a nightmare: "No, I don't need apples, I have about 50 of those in my trunk. Wait... that's not real life, Travis." According to Steam, it took 45 hours for me to beat the game but I could have happily gone another 45. I didn't intend to wait until I beat it to write this review, it's just that I couldn't stop playing it.

If you've played a farming sim, Graveyard Keeper will feel familiar. The most obvious comparison is Stardew Valley, but comparing the two is a little unfair to both games. In short, you die, and you wake up in this medieval town where you are tasked with managing a graveyard. You don't know why, and you're just trying to get home, but you go along with hit. In order to manage your graveyard you have to saw lumber to make simple grave plots at first, then stone and marble. In order to keep getting bodies you have to keep the delivery donkey happy with carrots. In order to use the garden you have to make a deal with a merchant to sell crates of veggies... and so on. There are 6 main NPC quest lines that all interact in some way, and these will require you to use skills from a bunch of different skill trees. Things can get complicated.

You upgrade your skill trees based on three types of experience earned from physical, natural, and mindful tasks. Toward the mid-game, you'll start to need faith and science, which are somewhere between experience points and currency. Also toward the mid-game, what might seem like a simple craft gets complex. You need to make Craft A at your anvil, but that requires Craft B from your Furnace, which requires Craft C from a pottery wheel which you don't even have, and Craft D from Alchemy and... yeah, have a wiki open when you play this.

The graphics are well-done in charming pixel art reminiscent of the late 16-bit era. I had to check to see if the music was done by the same composer as Terraria, and that's a compliment. Some of it sounds like the same style, but more importantly it's pleasant and unobtrusive. You're going to be hearing the same few tracks over and over again. Much like Terraria, the music is fantastic for setting the mood and doesn't get old after the 200th time you hear it.

So yes, I loved Graveyard Keeper as you can tell. It's a chill, relaxing game like Stardew Valley, and has the same pros and cons of the genre. However, it held my interest way more because it has a tighter focus with the quests and a more complex and deep crafting system. Whereas with some games like this you can specialize in one or two crafts, in Graveyard Keeper you have to at least use all of them. Once you get a good income moving there are options to skip crafts by just buying stuff, but you'll at least have to get your feet wet with all the tech trees, and I like that about it.

A few minor issues though.

Some stuff feels like it's trying to pad out the grind. You can only carry one log/slab at a time so you spend a lot of time going back and forth to transport stuff. And in general, energy is drained really fast. There are times where you're sleeping 2/3 of the day or more because you need to craft some stuff that drains you fast. There's always a bed nearby so nothing is really lost, and you can craft food to restore energy as well. It's just a little taxing and feels like things take about twice as much energy as they should sometimes. From what I've read, this seems to be the big sticking point for a lot of people who love Stardew Valley but don't care for this. It wasn't enough to put me off by any means but it's noticeable and I'd prefer some balancing on the grind.

There are fighting mechanics that are somewhat rudimentary. There's a dungeon you must traverse for some quest items, but other than that you can mostly ignore the fighting, and that's a good thing because those are not the strongest. Everything about fighting feels clunky, and the same energy system that you use for most actions in the game gets drained super fast in the dungeon.

Then there's the fishing system which I did almost nothing with, because it isn't very fun and the window to start reeling in the fish is punishingly small.

Plus, there are some skills/recipes that you can unlock which do absolutely nothing. The highest level woodworking unlock is a piece that isn't used in anything. Maybe it's a tease for things to come in DLC, or maybe it's something that got cut but they missed this? Not sure.

The biggest issue for me, though, was a game-breaking bug. I was able to fix it with a save editor, but it's a problem. One NPC, Snake, will just stop showing up once his quests are done. I was under the (admittedly mistaken) impression that I couldn't progress in the Astrologer's quest until I was fully done with Snake's. But then when I continued the Astrologer's quest I needed to get something from Snake and he was just gone from the game. I had a save backup but it would have meant losing 12ish hours of progress, so luckily the save editor worked. I just hope it doesn't break anything in the future if there's DLC. But this is a warning to you: try not to ignore any of the six main quests or things might get broken like this. I love Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and No Man's Sky so I'm used to some crazy bugs in my games, but this one hurt a bit. It's not a common issue (since I guess most people do the quest earlier) but I've seen a few other people who ran into the same problem when researching it.

To their credit, Lazy Bear Games have been updating the game a lot post-launch to fix things, so hopefully this gets addressed. I think with a bit more polish and some rebalancing of the grind this could be even better.

But overall the issues don't pull it down. This is a game that won't be for everyone, not by a long shot. If you don't like the idea of grinding for resources, skip this. Seriously, that's most of the game, just figuring out what resources you need to grind and then doing it. But for me, it hit the perfect gameplay loop to keep me tied to it during basically all of my free hours. I had frustrations but I constantly wanted more.

If you like the farm sim games and want one that's a little more taxing, humorous, and full of corpses, you'll have a blast with Graveyard Keeper!


In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio, we play Kid Icarus!

In Kid Icarus you play as Pit, and you're tasked with finding three treasures to save Angel Land and its queen, Palutena. Kid Icarus is a mash up of many styles of gameplay, but mostly action platformer. It's bizarre and pretty tricky, and has become a cult classic over the years. Come be a part of Cheerful Ghost Radio by discussing Kid Icarus with us!

In season two of Cheerful Ghost Radio we are doing bite-sized NES Classic review episodes. We want to make you all part of these episodes, so if you want to join in the fun, head here and join in the event for next month's NES Classic review, Metroid!

https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/165/cheerful-ghost-games-club-metroid

While we have you here: what kind of games from the NES Classic and SNES Classic would you like to hear us review? Would you prefer the SNES era over the NES era? If you have suggestions, let us know below!


https://i.imgur.com/eIABOdl.png
This... this may be huge.

A new beta of the Steam client on Linux will allow you to play Windows-only games on Linux. Currently only a few games are in the list of supported titles BUT in true Linux-user fashion, you can enable it for every game and try your luck.

This works using Proton, a fork of Wine, a Windows compatibility layer that many on Linux use to run Windows software and games already. Proton provides the following improvements:


  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.

  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.

  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.

  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.

  • Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.



They are taking on the daunting task of going through the entire Steam library and finding which games work well. So far, the supported list is as follows:


  • Beat Saber

  • Bejeweled 2 Deluxe

  • Doki Doki Literature Club!

  • DOOM

  • DOOM II: Hell on Earth

  • DOOM VFR

  • Fallout Shelter

  • FATE

  • FINAL FANTASY VI

  • Geometry Dash

  • Google Earth VR

  • Into The Breach

  • Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012

  • Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013

  • Mount & Blade

  • Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword

  • NieR: Automata

  • PAYDAY: The Heist

  • QUAKE

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2

  • Tekken 7

  • The Last Remnant

  • Tropico 4

  • Ultimate Doom

  • Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® - Dark Crusade

  • Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® - Soulstorm



They've hosted Proton on Github (https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/) so you can download it and make custom versions, and the Steam client will let you use your version instead of the built-in version. I can imagine this leading to Proton configs for specific games that don't necessarily work in the built-in version, thus letting you easily use multiple configs straight from the Steam client.

Proton supports Mac, and I bet enterprising nerds will release some custom Proton configs for running games on Macs, but as of now Valve says they don't have any plans for building this into the Steam client for Mac. Plans may change if demand is there, but their language on it seems pretty firm that they have no plans for it.

This is exciting because one Wine config doesn't necessarily work for multiple games, so getting Wine games running in Linux frequently requires making new Wine configs, with their own directory structure, and therefore with their own Steam install. So to install 20 Steam games with no native Linux version, you may have 10 or more different Steam clients installed and a messy file structure.

Some people will argue that this is a step back, and that developers don't need to target Linux now because Proton will pick up the slack. Others argue that this gets more gamers on Linux, leading to more reason for developers to target Linux. Who knows how the market will react, but I'm excited because this gets Linux closer to Windows in game support, and while over 3000 games on Steam currently support Linux natively, it's been harder to get some of the bigger publishers/developers on board, and even some indies. What do you think? Does this make you more likely to use Linux for gaming?

Original announcement: https://steamcommunity.com/games/221410/announcements/detail/1696055855739350561


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