Travis4

Joined 01/23/2012

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

449 Posts

In this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio, we visit the Quantum Realm and review the new cog in the Marvel Cinematic Universe machine, Ant-Man and the Wasp! We discuss our favorite things about the film and a few issues we had, and consider how it might affect Infinity War Part II and the wider MCU.

While we have you here, after a brief hiatus Cheerful Ghost Games Club is back! We'll be reviewing Kirby's Adventure in an upcoming episode and we want your input. Come play Kirby's Adventure with us and we'll include your thoughts in the episode!

https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/163/cheerful-ghost-games-club-kirby-s-adventure


Travis gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
Travis gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
There's a bit of a theme for me today eh? Two racing games! A Day at the Races continues with Lightfield HYPER Edition! A big thanks to the folks at Lost in the Garden for providing us with review keys!

Lightfield HYPER Edition isn't exactly a racing game. There are races, yes, and that's the main focus, but sometimes this feels more like the parkour of Mirror's Edge or trick lines in the Tony Hawk games than a racing game.

You control a ship that can defy gravity and fly through the air, or snap to surfaces. You gain speed while snapped, and quickly lose speed when you aren't snapped, so the goal is to get from checkpoint to checkpoint in the most efficient path, while staying on surfaces as much as possible. Each track has the standard race challenge, but also others that have you pull off ledge jumps, rotations, find collectibles, etc.

The controls are simple, well-executed, and mostly intuitive. You're going to crash a lot and make some bad moves, but you never feel that the game is fighting against you. Basically you use the analog stick to steer, the trigger to accelerate, and a face button to snap. Those are all the controls you have, and they're all you need.

The first track is intense but mostly in two dimensions. Once you progress to the second track, you will quickly have no idea which way is up. In fact, it's best to just try to forget the concept of up and down. Just find the nearest surface that gets you to the next checkpoint and HOLD ON. But that difficulty curve ramps up fast, and that may be my biggest complaint with the game. I felt very lost on the second track. But that's the kind of game this is: it doesn't hold your hand at all and throws you in the deep end, for better or worse. Mostly better, I think. It pushes you to practice on the previous levels until you really get the gameplay, and then introduce new concepts on that solid base.

Lightfield is frustrating at times. Not in a bad way, but in an "I really want to get this right" way. Back to Mirror's Edge, if you've played this you know how a parkour run can just crash and burn when you miss a jump or a grab, and that same feeling grabs you in the gut when you miss a snap in Lightfield. But when you pull it off, it's a great feeling, and this frustration/satisfaction loop makes the gameplay really addictive. Time trial mode is a single lap that just keeps repeating, and I think I probably went about 30 rounds without stopping once, trying to get my run just right.

The other challenges interested me less. None of them are bad or boring, but I LOVE the time trials and races. They're a good way to break the intensity but I didn't put as much effort into doing as well as possible on those.

The visuals and soundtrack are very compelling, and fit the game perfectly. This is a very stylized game that perhaps resembles an updated Star Fox low-poly look, but with some intense 80s color schemes. The soundtrack, composed by Zanshin, complements the sci-fi vibe and helps drive the intensity of the gameplay.

If you're looking for a very non-traditional indie racing game, this might just be your jam. It is for me.

Keep an eye out for another review of Lightfield HYPER Edition coming soon, by our friendly neighborhood monster from the Upside Down, Timogorgon!


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.
I still can't hear the Guns 'n' Roses song, Paradise City, without thinking about Burnout Paradise. I bought it shortly after getting a PS3, and played the hell out of it. I'm not a racing game aficionado, but I've played a few dozen over the years and this one might be my favorite of the arcadey racers. So my interest was piqued when I heard about the remastered version that released a few months back, but I decided to wait for the PC release (even though I ended up buying it on PS4 instead... more on that later). Origin Access has it up now for a 10 hour demo before the launch next week.

Burnout Paradise Remastered is the full game with all the post-launch content except for the time-savers pack that just unlocked all the cars for you.

I'm not going to review the game itself here, because that's been done before, very thoroughly. I'm reviewing the changes in the remastered version. But in brief, Burnout Paradise is a different take on racing games. It's an open-world racer, where every street is a challenge. There are hundreds of gates, billboards, and jumps to discover, races or other challenges at every intersection, and full-street time trials to compete with others around the world. Criterion added a ton of post-release content: some paid and some for free: motorcycles, legendary cars that resemble famous cars from movies and TV, toy cars, Big Surf Island (a huge area with new challenges and cars), Cops and Robbers (a new mode in which you play as... well... cops and robbers), and more. In contrast to other open-world racing games, the world feels full. Everywhere you look there's something to do.

And it does all of that amazingly well.

I fired up Burnout Paradise Remastered on PC and initially I couldn't see much of a difference. The original already looked great, and I may have some rose-colored glasses. But I went back to the original and yeah, they've smoothed things out. The first frame of reference is your car, which really doesn't look very different, but when you drive around the city, the remaster becomes more apparent. The lighting and shadows are better, it's more optimized (I was getting a more consistent frame rate on the remastered version), the textures for the world elements are improved. It's a nice new coat of paint.

As it happens I then went through some email and saw that it was on sale for 50% off on PSN, so I grabbed it there and played it on my PS4 Pro and wow. This is where it really shines. In addition to the improvements I saw on PC, this runs in 4K with a steady 60fps (it will run in 4K on your PC as well if you have the monitor for it. I unfortunately do not).

This is also currently the only way to get the Big Surf Island and Cops and Robbers DLC packs on PC.

Overall, this is just great. The visual improvements aren't huge but they're noticeable, especially if you have something that can run it in 4K. I love it and can't wait to burn up the streets more. Overall, it's a Must Play, but I have to give it two ratings:
1. If you don't have the game, this is a Must Play. It's the definitive version of what's already a Must Play game.
2. If you already have it on a console with all the DLC, it's a Rad. Maybe wait for a sale. There's nothing truly groundbreaking about the additions, but they're improvements.


https://i.imgur.com/l3qsT7x.png
There's been speculation about this for a while, but earlier today Steam.tv launched to the world, appearing to be the long-assumed-to-be-coming Twitch competitor from Valve.

But it left us as quickly as it arrived!

Before it blinked out of existence, presenting merely a white page, it looked like the screenshot on this post. While it was up, all that was available was footage of the International, a Dota 2 competition. You could sign in and chat via voice or text using the new Discord-like chat that Steam recently released. You could invite groups of friends to watch videos with you and chat about it together.

But alas, someone was a bit quick on the trigger. In a statement, a Valve rep said:

“We are working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International, Dota 2’s annual tournament. What people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public.”


That... doesn't exactly seem to be the full story, since it wasn't just a video feed. But we'll see! The International kicks off next week, so we shouldn't have to wait long for an official launch.

Sources:
https://www.cnet.com/news/steam-tv-is-live-and-it-appears-to-be-valves-twitch-competitor/
https://www.pcgamer.com/valve-launches-streaming-website-steamtv/
https://kotaku.com/valve-launches-steam-tv-which-could-be-a-twitch-compet-1828431411


https://us.diablo3.com/en/switch

Diablo III is the third in the primarily PC-based series, but it has been a mainstay on consoles since 2014, with releases for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Today, Blizzard announced plans for Diablo III: The Eternal Collection for the Nintendo Switch! It’s the game we know and love, with the Reaper is Souls expansion and the Rise of the Necromancer DLC. And in addition, you get some neat Zelda bonuses. Ever wanted to dress up like Ganon, hang out with a cucco companion, or have a triforce portrait frame while playing Diablo? Now you can!

You can play couch co-op on a single Switch, locally with up to four Switch consoles, or on the online service launching soon.

No release date has been given yet, but The Eternal Collection should be out this year.

What do you think, Switch owners? Time to dive back into Sanctuary?


https://i.imgur.com/cYSPzOW.jpg
This has been a busy week on Cheerful Ghost, so we thought we'd do a round-up to tell you all about what you might have missed!

Cheerful Ghost Games BBS
First and foremost, this week we launched the Cheerful Ghost Games BBS! This brings some classic BBS games and newer browser games to you in a nostalgic BBS-like interface. We have a nice bunch of games to start, and we're adding more!
https://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/3828/play-games-on-the-new-cheerful-ghost-bbs

Plus Game Giveaways to Celebrate!
In celebration of the aforementioned launch, we're giving away a couple of games that evoke the same kind of nostalgia we're going for, VVVVVV and Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery! Join up before the end of the month for a chance to win, and keep an eye out for other neat giveaways, or give away some of your spares!
https://cheerfulghost.com/giveaways

Cheerful Ghost Games Club: Kirby's Adventure
After a brief hiatus, the Games Club is back with Kirby's Adventure! Come join us as we play this classic game, and we'll include your thoughts in our upcoming Kirby's Adventure review episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio!
https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/163/cheerful-ghost-games-club-kirby-s-adventure

A new Cheerful Ghost Radio Episode!
This week we released a new episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio about the new Netflix sci-fi film, Extinction, as well as what we've been playing and watching over the last month.
https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/3831/cheerful-ghost-radio-episode-30-exctinction

And Two Neat Reviews
Jon reviewed the new SNES Omnibus, a book deserving of every coffee table (https://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/3829/hop-aboard-the-snes-omnibus-for-a-fun-ride-around-video-game-land)
And I reviewed Candy Box and Candy Box 2, two insanely addictive and innovative browser games that we've included in the Cheerful Ghost Games BBS (https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/posts/3827/candy-box-and-candy-box-2-double-review-a-real-sugar-high)

An eventful week indeed! Thank you all for being a part of it!


In this episode, we talk about the new Netflix sci-fi film, Extinction! In Extinction, Michael Peña plays a man who has recurring nightmares about a terrible disaster... and then disaster strikes! Will his dreams help him and his family stay alive?

But first, we talk about what we've been playing and watching over the last month.

We've taken a short break from our classic game reviews, but that ends soon! We'll be back soon with our review of Kid Icarus, and we have a new Cheerful Ghost Games Club event up for our next review, Kirby's Adventure!

https://cheerfulghost.com/Travis/events/163/cheerful-ghost-games-club-kirby-s-adventure


https://i.imgur.com/6wJJ3Ws.png
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.
Candy Box is a tricky game to explain. Jon told me about it. the other day and I tried it out, and I was initially very confused. It's a candy counter that constantly goes up right? And you can either eat or throw the candy? That's all? What's the big deal? But you realize something else is behind the initial facade when a merchant (who looks like the fourth Doctor in ASCII) shows up to sell you things. The game does not tell you what you can do, and the merchant is no different. You don't have the option to buy things until you have the candy for it. But when you buy a wooden sword, you get your first glimpse into this game's surprisingly complex mechanics.

I don't want to give too much away, because the discovery of what the game is all about is part of the fun. But in brief, Candy Box is an RPG/Adventure style game. Candies and lollipops are your currency, which you use to buy things for quests. But on top of that you're managing your income of candies and lollipops like you might in a Cookie Clicker style game, only in Candy Box you don't have to keep clicking. Part of the game is idling, especially at first, so it's a good game to kinda keep open and flip back to every hour or so.

Candy Box 2 is more of the same, but things are balanced better, and the gameplay has way more depth. Definitely play the first one before you play the second one. Again, I don't want to say much about the changes in the sequel because so much of the fun is in discovering what you can do.

I found myself wholly engrossed by these games. They aren't super long, you can complete both in the span of a couple of days, but a significant chunk of that is idling while waiting for your candy/lollipops to build up. But there are multiple wikis, walkthroughs, and Youtube let's-plays of it. There are arguments over the best strategies for accomplishing certain tasks. The game is written in javascript, and there are a few instances where it really seems like the developer expects you to cheat by using your browsers developer console to find the right values for something (but you don't have to).

There's so much depth here that a review can't, and shouldn't, show. This review is short, intentionally, because going into too many specifics would ruin it (I may have already said too much), and it's an ASCII based game so a lot of things reviews normally talk about (environment, graphics, sound, controls) don't really apply here. It's stick figures and buttons and a strange, compelling, satisfying gameplay loop.

If you haven't played these games, you need to play them right now!

And you can play them right here:
https://cheerfulghost.com/games/candybox
https://cheerfulghost.com/games/candybox2


We're back in this episode of Cheerful Ghost Radio with a look at Deadpool 2, just in time for next month's home release. In this episode, Jon attempts to predict the plot of Deadpool 2 without having seen it, and Tim and Travis struggle to keep talking about DP's antics through fits of laughter.


I'm home sick with food poisoning but I set an alarm for 10:55 EST because I knew this trailer was coming out at 11. It was worth waking up for.

We've known for a little while that NEXT was coming, and that it was going to be the biggest update yet, and include more fleshed out multiplayer (the Atlas Rises update gave us a very rudimentary version with "glitches in the simulation" that were other players). This trailer is our first real peek inside.

The NEXT update is free, no paid DLC here, and it launches along with the Xbox One version coming the same day, July 24th.

UPDATE! I initially listed the changes I could see in the trailer, but Sean has posted some info on the Playstation blog. Here's a peek at the changes:

Multiplayer

  • Team up a small team of friends and explore the universe together, or be joined by random travellers.

  • You can help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive.

  • Tiny shelters or complex colonies that you build as a team are shared for all players.

  • Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies.

  • Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, creating race tracks and trails to share online.

  • Character customisation allows you to personalise your appearance.



Visual Overhaul

  • The game is fully playable in third or first person, both on-foot and in ship.

  • Planetary rings and improved space visuals make space more beautiful than ever.

  • Dramatically improved planetary terrain generation, ground textures, water and clouds bring the environment to life.

  • Significantly more detail added to ships, NPCs and buildings.



Unlimited Base Building

  • Bases can now be built anywhere on any planet.

  • Dramatically increased base building complexity and size limits.

  • Hundreds of new base parts.

  • Own multiple bases.



Command Freighters

  • Assemble and upgrade a fleet of frigates and command them from the bridge of your freighter.

  • Send your fleet out to into the universe, or deploy them to help you as you explore a specific system.

  • Improved freighter base building allows a truly custom capital ship.

  • Invite your friends aboard and take on challenging multiplayer missions from the Galactic Commision Station on your bridge.



I'm looking forward to the lore that ties all this together. How can we suddenly see other simulation test subjects? Are there still multiple galaxies (which could fracture the playerbase and limit multiplayer)? What other small fixes and changes are there? Lots of questions are still present but this should stimulate your appetite for more No Man's Sky!

Sean's full blog post: https://blog.us.playstation.com/2018/07/17/no-mans-sky-next-is-a-massive-free-update-launching-july-24-on-ps4/


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