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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
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2078 Posts

After I picked up the NES Classic and beat Mega Man 2 I figured I'd move on to another game. But I completed Mega Man 2 largely because of the NES Classic state save and load system and it was a kind of earned win but I didn't feel great about it after sitting with it for a couple days. So because of that and the fact that Mega Man 2 is an incredible game I keep coming back to play Mega Man 2 and this time don't use the save state feature. My goal is to be able to complete Mega Man 2 without any state loading and just on the terms of game itself.

So since I completed Mega Man 2 i've been playing more... Mega Man 2. Which has been a lot of fun and part of that is trying to figure out the correct ordering to take the bosses in. So far my run is Metal Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Quick Man and Heat Man. This ordering is optimized to get the Metal Blade as quickly as possible because, frankly, the metal blade is crazy powerful. You can shoot the metal blade in nearly every direction, it doesn't take up much energy when used and has a huge hit zone making it really easy to hit anything. The Metal Blade is also really good at taking down a couple bosses such as Wood Man, Bubble Man and Flash Man too making it, i'd say, the best item in the game.

Right now I can make my way to the start of Dr Wiley's stage without using a continue and only one e-tank. I'm still practicing on doing a couple stages better, currently Air Man's stage is my worst and all the others I can complete fairly easily. That said, Mega Man 2 is fairly hard so the occasional mistake can still kill you quite easily so i've got a bit more to go to be good playing it. Currently i'm focusing on my run of the robot stages and that's been fun to see myself improve there and be able to run it through without dying once.

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The Super Nintendo Classic drops next week and i'm pretty excited about it. Even though i'm going to get my pre-order and immediately put it away to open for Christmas, it's still cool that it's coming. Most people that pre-ordered it won't be waiting until Christmas to play it so i'm really eager to read their reviews of the system... *ahem* Travis.

Nintendo has said stock will be increased so... it's possible you might be able to find them in stores September 29th. If you are planning on going to one opening day let me know, I think I will just to see how many people show up to get one.

Interviews With The Original SNES Game Developers

If you need to fill your face with more Super Nintendo themed glory you can head over to the Super Nintendo Classic page to read all the interviews with the SNES Classic game developers. The interviews cover Star Fox, Star Fox 2, F-Zero & Super Metroid and from the looks of it there will be three more to come.

https://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic

Prima's Playing With Super Power Guide Got An UnBoxing Video

Prima made the guide for the NES Classic and if you love classic gaming Magazines and have a soft spot in your heart for Nintendo Power you really should check it out. I bought the softcover Playing with Power and it's a really special book that covers the origins of the NES and how the games evolved over time. Playing with Power only covers the Nintendo first party games on the NES Classic but if you didn't memorize the location of every item in Metroid it's pretty nice to have it all laid out in something made of dead trees.

Because the NES Classic book did well Prima is doing another for the SNES Classic and recently they released a unboxing video for it. Surprisingly the video has no audio, which is weird but manageable. The unboxing video is for the hardcover version which actually comes in a Super Nintendo Style box and the book looks like a Super Nintendo Game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcYV11NAo04
https://www.primagames.com/games/nintendo-snes-classics/products/playing-super-power-nintendo-snes-classics-collectors-ediiton

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Guild Wars 2 is an excellent MMO where the base game is free to play and only requires you purchase the expansions. The base game is very fun and even though I haven't quite completed all of it I can imagine the expansions are just as good and it looks to get even better with Path of Fire.

"Balthazar threatens the Crystal Desert and adjoining kingdom of Elona with his Forged legions. Explore vast new maps filled with magic-drenched desert plains, ancient temples and ruins, and beautiful oases. Uncover the secrets of Tyria's history, and discover the fate of the Elonian people after years of silence."

Path of Fire is getting a revamp to the mount system, elite specializations as well as more rewards, bounties and guild options and all new zones. I imagine this expansion will send a flood of old players back to the game so if you have yet to check it out and are interested now seems like a good time.

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/path-of-fire/

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Mega Man has been ported to nearly every system and in this episode of PortsCenter Ben Paddon talks about them. I didn't know which versions were ports and which were emulated but Ben does and it makes sense when he shows the graphics side by side with the originals. The recent Anniversary Collection on Steam seems to review well but some people note some input lag on those versions but that doesn't seem to show up for everybody.

I wonder if Capcom will just release all of the Mega Man games in one pack on Steam at some point? Hopefully Dr Wright can get them to do that.

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In Nintendo's livestream today they let us a know a couple Bethesda games are coming to the Switch. Skyrim is coming this November which was previously announced at E3. The latest news though is pretty interesting as Doom 2016 is coming this holiday and Wolfenstein II is coming next year. This is pretty big news for Switch owners as Nintendo, to date, hasn't really received a lot of big box third party titles and seeing Bethesda jump in is really interesting. I have questions about how good the ports play and the graphics of the games but if they work out well enough, this could be really interesting for the longevity of Switch and how certain gamers look at it.

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Looks like Nintendo is recommending people don't pickup a SNES Classic for more than $80 on the third party market. Hopefully they can stock many more units of the SNES Classic so things don't come to that but my guess is they will still have some supply issues.

"“I would strongly urge you not to over-bid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites,” Fils-Aimé said. “You shouldn’t pay more than $79.99.”"

Good point but again, that's really up to Nintendo if people can get one or not. All that said, Nintendo does seem to plan on stocking more SNES Classic units this holiday season.

"Certainly the demand is there and the supply chain is there. Can we do more? It depends on our ability to make more,” Mr Fils-Aimé said on stage at the Variety event. “We don’t want to have a consumer disappointed by not being able to get one for the holiday season. But managing that complex supply chain is a challenge.

It really is so we will see how easy they are to get.

http://gizmodo.com/nintendo-urges-public-don-t-pay-more-than-80-for-snes-1803138702

Nintendo Is Bringing Back The NES Classic in 2018!

I just hear about this morning but it seems Nintendo is going to bring back the Nintendo Classic in summer of 2018 and Nintendo isn't discontinuing the SNES Classic after the holidays after all!

"We’re happy to confirm that we’ll continue to ship stock of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System to Europe in 2018.

In addition, next summer we’ll also bring the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System back to Europe. More information will be shared in the future.
"

Good news for people that missed out on the NES Classic the first time around but I imagine they will still be quite hard to come by.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2017/09/nintendo_is_resurrecting_the_nes_classic_mini_and_increasing_snes_classic_inventory
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170912005798/en/Nintendo-News%C2%A0Nintendo-Increases-Inventory-Super-NES-Classic

I Was Able To Pre-Order a SNES Classic.. Again

Oh and I didn't want to make a big deal out of it but I was able to pre-order a SNES Classic on Walmart. I subscribed to Wario64 on Twitter and was part of a brief window where I was able to pre-order one for about 7 minutes. I've waited a bit to talk about it but the order seems to have "stuck" and it ships in early October. Really great news after my earlier pre-order on Walmart was cancelled. I'm planning on getting it in October and packing it up to open on Christmas.

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Link Between Worlds is the direct sequel to Link to the Past and a game I’ve been playing since I got my 3DS in December. It’s a good pickup and play Zelda Adventure that’s a must buy for any 3DS owner. Recently I beat it while on vacation and felt that the ending was a satisfying conclusion to the “To the Past” trilogy consisting of Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening and Link Between Worlds. The “To The Past” trilogy isn’t a formal Zelda trilogy but one I noticed as Link’s Awakening is a direct sequel to Link to the Past and Link Between Worlds is a direct sequel to that. I might be the only person to consider these three games a trilogy but I think I can handle that.

The entire Link Between Worlds story is a direct parallel to Link to the Past. Lorule in LBW is similar, if not the same place as the Dark World in LTTP. It’s not really spelled out if Lorule is the exact same place as the Dark World in LTTP but the dungeons line up in location, theme and even boss encounters. Even though there is that built in similarity LBW verges in that it gives Lorule a bit more personality and actual characters. That said, there is a pretty fun story based switcheroo at the end that I won’t spoil even though a few dungeons away from the end I saw coming. The switch at the end isn’t particularly hidden if you are paying attention and is a fun play off the typical Zelda style story.

Like many elements of Link Between Worlds the music is heavily influenced by themes from Link to the Past but breaks new ground stylistically. The music by Ryo Nagamatsu takes the retro SNES bit themes and arranges them with live orchestra, small ensembles and an Celt flavor that really gives the game a much more earthy tone to it. The Hyrule Dungeon theme song in Link Between Worlds is based on the original theme but Nagamatsu arranges it for a modern ensemble and his choices for the natural instruments to play the parts of the 16-bit score are well made. Linked below is the original Hyrule Dungeon theme and Nagamatu’s version that shows off how well he translated and built on the original score.

Link to the Past Dungeon Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1UyVXN13SI

Link Between Worlds Hyrule Dungeon Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyn4A52jkxg (dat woodblock & trumpet!)

Nagamatu’s original music is also quite good and never felt out of place with the old themes.

Link Between Worlds is a game I plan on coming back to which is one of the highest bits of praise I have. I really hope Nintendo rereleases this on the Switch so more people can play it because it’s such a sharp game worthy of more attention. If the past Zelda games are an indicator Nintendo should rerelease it, it’s just a matter of time. I’m not entirely sure if Link Between Worlds is a reason in itself to buy a 3DS but if you were close to picking one up and were a huge Link to the Past fan, i’d check it out. The Link Between Worlds game cart doesn’t seem to be available from Nintendo new so I picked it up used on Amazon but it’s also available digitally from the 3DS shop.

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Ben Paddon reviews a very specific port of Marble Madness packed in with Klax on the Game Boy Advance. As always the video drops some history on Game Boy Advance and several others games ported to it. Oh yeah and Ben doesn't actually recommend you get Marble Madness on the GBA as it's ... terrible. I can vouch for the NES port though, that one seems quite good and that's the one i've played the most as my cousin had in on Nintendo and we played it a lot.

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Recently I picked up an NES Classic and have been playing it a lot. I'm a huge fan of retro games and the NES Classic is a fun nod to Nintendo's past. The hardware, Operating System and choice of games are all top notch and I decided to dive in an focus on games I haven't played much before. I also have been playing all the two player games that have the ability for two players to play at the same time. Most 2 player games have each player take turns playing, one after another like in Super Mario Brothers 3 and the like. But I prefer two player games where we can play at the same time like Dr. Mario, Mario Bros. and Bubble Bobble. In fact, i'd say two player gaming is where the NES Classic shines. I plan on reviewing each game on the NES Classic separately but nothing says "frantic couch co-op fun" like Mario Bros. and trying to beat those levels with a friend.

All that to say, the NES Classic is one of the best things i've got in gaming recently and I can't wait to get to each of the games, which given how many there are should take me quite a bit to do.

One single player game I decided to focus on first was a game I played a bit in middle school called Mega Man 2. I'd say Mega Man 2 is one of the more enjoyable Mega Man games i've played and also very very challenging. It doesn't feel too punishing once you figure out how to beat a boss or complete a level but it's really unforgiving and if you don't time a jump just so or learn a particular way a boss attacks you will die. A lot. Which is one of the biggest strengths of Mega Man 2, it's really hard but balances it so well as to be an amazing amount of fun.

Oh and I beat it the other night for the first time. Completing the game gave me a really high sense of accomplishment but to do it I used the save/load feature of the NES Classic. It's a nice feature that doesn't punish you for dying and allows you to replay sections over and over until you get it just right. After beating it using save/load my current play through is using the normal lives and continue system. So far i'm getting through some stages a bit faster than my first playthrough but one penalty of using a continue is that you lose your energy tanks. It's a pretty negative consequence of using up all your lives but at some point you get so good at the game that using energy tanks isn't needed anymore. I'm not quite to that point yet but I don't need energy tanks to complete the normal boss stages anymore.

Mega Man 2 is rightly considered one of the stand out games of the Mega Man series and i'd say holds up incredibly well today. I respect that each boss stage isn't too long and Dr Wiley's boss stages amp up the difficulty to make the final confrontation seem much more menacing. If you haven't played Mega Man 2 you can get it on Steam XBox One or PS4 as part of the Mega Man Legacy Collection. The Legacy Collection comes with Mega Man 1 - 6 which is a great value at $15 if you haven't played any of these games yet. That said, expect a challenge because Mega Man doesn't hold your hand at all.

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Summer Games Done Quick was an amazing event this year packed with so many runs I couldn't watch them all. I've been slowly watching the remaining runs I missed over time and have the last "best of" batch to share.

Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link by Error72 in 49:31 is embedded above. Adventures of Link is a great game but an odd one out compared to the more traditional top down retro Zelda games. 49.31 is Error72's personal best and a minute away from the world record for Any % No Scroll lock.

Luigi's Mansion by HDlax1 in 57:25 is a great run to watch if you've never actually played the game before like me. Luigi's Mansion was a GameCube launch title and gets a lot of love for being a different kind of Mario game by actually being a Luigi game. But don't take my word for it, check out the run and see.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yJ-QP6Z5l7I

It's not a GDQ event without the Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction by MrLlamaSC ran blisteringly fast at 1:42:22. Mr Llama mixes it up by running as the Assassin, a class I rarely played in Diablo II. For me, Mr Llama runs are a GDQ staple and if you haven't seen one, now is the chance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE3oUzuJml8

GDQ likes to mix up the game formats and they did something this year I didn't expect in a speedrun race of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX by TGH and BambooShadow. Not only is Link's Awakening one of the best Zelda's but the commentary and runners make this one of the best runs i've seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTOL-vfO9z4

Not only does Alex have some incredible hair but the Portal run in 13:28 is one to watch if you are a Portal fan. This run is inbounds only so this is one of the more watchable Portal runs in that there isn't a lot of stepping outside the map for crazy ways of getting the levels to end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ6SFEH7IMI

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https://i.imgur.com/f4NG4hg.jpg
I've wanted an NES Classic for quite some time and recently picked one up used. It was fortunate that I actually found one but it didn't come with the original box. I know some people immediately discard the boxes when they buy consoles and games but I've been keeping them all for years now. I was going to buy a box online but recently Will got a NES Classic and let me have his box!

Really excited to finally get this and I want to thank Will for hooking me up!

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I think Bethesda might be the kings and queens of next level video game advertising that border on satirical art. With the recent protests of actual Nazi's in the US (can't believe that shit is real and happening) Wolfenstein II is verging into eerily real territory. In an earlier trailer for Wolf II Nazi's and the KKK stand side by side in an American street as buddies. With all that's happening in the US and the story iD Software wants to tell with Wolfenstein II it's just an interesting intersection where art imitates life but in the words of everyone favorite Nazi hunter BJ Blazkowicz...

"I got kids on the way and i'll be damed if i'm gonna raise them in a world run by these Nazi assholes!"

Preach.

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

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Retro Game Mechanics Explained is a YouTube channel that goes over some of the most highly technical explanations of retro games and systems i've ever seen. In the video i've linked above he talks about the Game Genie which I never really thought about but the explanation of how it works makes sense and it's such an elegant solution to the problem I tip my hat to the developers of it. Bit of a warning though, it's highly technical and discusses some pretty low level computer concepts such as registers and op codes.

Enjoy!

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The Super Meat Boy Forever trailer launched today with news of it's upcoming launch in 2018 on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android. This looks to be a good movement for the game and some aspects of it are refined somewhat such as the controls moving to two buttons.

"Two Buttons? That Sounds Dumb! Here’s the thing: shut up. Two buttons doesn’t mean less control, it means we designed levels to use two buttons. You can get a surprising amount of movement and precision by designing levels that complement your controls. Super Meat Boy felt great because there was a marriage of level design and controls, Super Meat Boy Forever is no different."

It's also made of dynamically constructed levels much like Diablo III taking pre-constructed segments and moving them around to make multiple playthroughs different.

"“Procedurally generated” is an overused term that applies to a wide range of things. While the levels are randomly generated, they aren’t truly random and their creation is heavily based on criteria we’ve designed and tested. Each level consists of hundreds of carefully designed “chunks” that are placed together to create a level. Chunks are selected randomly from pools that are categorized by difficulty by us. Each time you beat a level, an increased difficulty criteria is used to generate the harder version of that level. Also, levels need to have a certain cadence to them so they don’t feel like just random stuff thrown at you. We’ve worked on a system that allows us to give a criteria of difficulty and pacing that makes the levels randomly, but still within the confines of what we want the levels to be presented as. Oh and also, it sounds way cooler than “procedurally generated”."

Looks like this Meat Boy will work out just as well on PC as it will on Phones and Consoles and if it's anything like I saw at PAX in 2014 it should be great. Tommy will be at PAX this year showing the game off so I imagine we will hear much more about how the game plays then!

http://www.supermeatboy.com/

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Yacht Club games blasted on to the Indie scene with an amazing Kickstarter for Shovel Knight. The game was funded and all of the games strech goals were met giving the base game a TON of extra content. If you've had Shovel Knight since the beginning you've see it get update after update making the game get so much bigger and adding a ton of new story content like Plague Knight and Spector Knight campaigns as well as Gender Swap mode and Co-op. Shovel Knight is set to get it's final set of story based content in Shovel Knight: King of Cards in 2018!

"Shovel Knight: King of Cards is the final campaign in the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove saga, and it’s bigger and grander than ever! Step into the regal shoes of King Knight, the Gilded Goon himself, as you shoulder bash and spin jump through all those who would oppose your reign! Travel through 4 new worlds and more than 30 all new courses, all on a journey to best the “Three Kings” who lord over the land. Discover what it takes to become a true monarch, meet a friend or two, and amass a King’s ransom in items and loot! Refined platforming, exquisite visuals, story with heart, action-packed courses, glorious new bosses and more await in Shovel Knight: King of Cards!"

Strangely or unstrangely enough Shovel Knight is also getting a mini card game too that seems interesting.

"Had your fill of glamorous adventure? Unwind and sharpen your strategic mind by competing in card battles with future subjects from across the land."

I wonder if this is the first step to Yacht Club releasing a Shovel Knight-verse digital collectors card game in the same way CD Project Red released Gwent? Remains to be seen but the thought that Shovel Knight gets even a mini card game seems like a really interesting idea.. so why not?

http://yachtclubgames.com/shovel-knight-king-of-cards-press-kit/

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