jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2445 Posts

Anodyne is a 2D Zelda-like that released back in 2013 right at the top of the Indie game craze. After launch it became a Cheerful Ghost favorite and I don't think any game has come out since that has taken a run at the Zelda-like in quite the same way. After Even the Ocean the developers decided to head back to create Anodyne 2: Return to Dust which merges the Playstation & Nintendo 64 era 3D with the original 2D graphics of the original Anodyne. It looks to be the perfect follow up and now will be launching August of 2019 on Mac and PC on Steam.

"Nano Dust infects the islanders of New Theland, distorting their emotions and desires. You play as Nova, a Nano Cleaner who must explore the island, seeking out the sick and shrinking inside their bodies to suction up the Dust.

Anodyne 2: Return to Dust combines the thrilling scale and cinematic storytelling of 3D games with the tight design and easy-to-pick-up satisfaction of 2D Zelda-like adventures. With art that re-imagines the PS1 and N64 era, explore 3D cities, valleys, and wastelands then shrink into the varied 2D mindscapes of characters, from snowy, aurora-lit valleys to perilous volcanic construction sites!
"

https://store.steampowered.com/app/877810/Anodyne_2_Return_to_Dust/


Summer Games Done Quick 2019 was a great event this year and I'm sticking to my tradition of keeping a list of my favorite speedruns and sharing them with you all. I'll just be posting one more after this so stay tuned.

Super Mario Bros. 2 by coolkid in 23:21 Coolkid had two awesome runs this year and this one was a highlight. I'll share his Mega Man 2 run later as it's one of the first GDQ runs that doesn't feature any zips. That said, this Super Mario 2 run is quite incredible at 23 minutes and Coolkid makes it look effortless.

Half-Minute Hero by dowolf in 23:32 I watched the Half-Minute Hero run the first morning of SGDQ with my family for breakfast. My wife said that the game was so fast you have to have ADD to make sense of it. By it's nature Half-Minute Hero is a game played in thirty second loops and is also made faster by dowolf's expertise. It's a fun run and considering it's played on a PlaystationTV quite novel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC5R61Avbrc

The Legend of Zelda Randomizer by JamEvil and fcoughlin in 53:26 I love randomizer races and this was the first time I've seen one for the original Legend of Zelda. It's a great race by JamEvil and fcoughlin and one of my most anticipated and I wasn't let down. It's quite the nail biter all the way to the end and both player came very close to each other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgtaVj7Icj0

Super Mario World Blind Relay Race by One Tile Men and Lunar Magicians in 54:00 A new Kaizo Mario game was made specifically for SGDQ and run blind by two teams One Tile Men and Lunar Magicians. Both teams are flush with the most talented Mario players such as Barbarian, LaserBelch, PangaeaPanga, Dode, grandpoobear, juzcook, GlitchCat7 and NobleTOFU and watching them in action was one of the coolest Speedrun things I've ever seen. A total must watch.

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

Gauntlet by digshake and Eunos in 16:12 I really enjoy arcade Gauntlet and have played the NES version a handful of times. The NES version isn't easy but I didn't think too much about it as a kid. Speedrunners digshake and Eunos make quick work of it but even say that you shouldn't play it casually as it's fairly impossible to do so. According to them the most fun to be had on Gauntlet is to learn the speedrunning strats and play it that way and if the run is an indicator, it looks like that's true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOkzKt3ak5E

Castlevania (DOS) by LoZCardsfan23 in 15:59 Castlevania is one of the most classic games on the NES and one that is run at darn near each GDQ. This year they ran Castlevania DOS, a version I didn't know existed for one of the most unique runs of the summer. A few things to keep in mind, Castlevania DOS only runs at 6 FPS and if there are too many things on the screen gets quite buggy. That said LoZCardsfan23 does a good job running it and has an interesting couch to back him up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYmofDD5G5U


In the past couple years game collecting on classic systems such as the Super Nintendo and NES has been getting steadily more expensive. That said, we seem to have hit some collecting peak as game prices seem to have plateau'd and are coming down a bit. I've seen this in collecting for the DS on a lot of the non collector games you can pickup in box for 5-10 bucks. Metal Jesus has a great video on the subject on starting your video game collection in 2019. It's a useful video for people entering the space and also for folks that want to keep collecting and what to look out for that isn't expensive. As I've said the DS is a great system to collect for now and loose NES carts are pretty cheap too. That said if you are collecting for the PS3, XBox, XBox 360 and PS2 there are a ton of games you can get ultra cheap. Lot's of old PS3 and 360 games are selling for a dollar each or less depending so if you want to get a complete collection in box, this seems to be a great time to do that.

One system I've been considering buying for quite some time is the XBox One X. Jesus mentions that it's a great system to play original XBox and 360 games and he doesn't specifically mention this but it also plays 4K Bluray, something I'm quite hip to doing when I get a 4K tv. If you toss in that Apple will be supporting PS4 and XBox One controllers in the upcoming iOS 13 it's an even sweeter deal.

What systems and games have you been collecting for lately? Anything you want a complete collection for? I'm nearly flush on all the Wii U games I wanted and keep adding to my DS library slowly. I have a handful of 3DS games to get yet but after a recent Amazon Prime Day I snacked up a few titles such as Donkey Kong Country Returns for a really great price.


Super Mario Maker 2 dropped last Friday on the Switch and I'm not going to mince any words, it's one of the best games I've played in years. Nintendo clearly had a hit with the original Super Mario Maker on the Wii U and now that Switch has an even larger following, it's awesome to see Super Mario Maker 2 come out to such an excited set of fans. I don't typically play many video games where I try to fit play sessions in any few minutes block of time I can find during the day, but Super Mario Maker 2 is a perfect game for that. Which is why if I had to rate Super Mario Maker 2 it might get a perfect score. That might sound like hyperbole but the game is firing perfectly on so many levels. It's a game that has creativity as it's signature element as you can create whatever kind of Mario level you want and share them with anyone. That feature alone makes it an incredible game, but Super Mario Maker 2 also includes a fun Single Player mode where you play some of the most creative Mario stages I've seen Nintendo create. For another game the level creation and sharing tools and full single player campaign might be enough but Mario Maker 2 also includes online co-op and head to head multiplayer too! I've played a bit of co-op and while it takes a bit to start a match it's fun playing with other people and I hope to spend more time in this mode. Nintendo has also said that they will bring the ability to play with friends in a later patch and that sounds like an incredible edition to an already amazing game.

As I've said already, Mario Maker 2 might be the perfect game on the Nintendo Switch and right now, it's the top contender for my game of the year.

Let's Share Our Mario Maker Levels

To-date I've created four Mario Maker 2 stages and if you're interested, you should play them.

Bowser's Invitation: (1PP-NGF-VDG) "Bowser's invited you for tea. But what is he really up to?" This was the first Mario Maker 2 level I created and my goal was to learn how to create a level and also make something where you feel like you almost have to brawl Bowser to win. I really love Kaizo Mario levels but wanted to make something that a human could complete, so to me, this feels like a Kaizo Mario level for normal people. It has the lowest clear rate of any of my stages at 4.5%. Not gonna lie, kinda proud of how hard it is but if i'm honest it's really a bunch of hidden blocks positioned to troll the player.

Currently Gills has the World Record with a clear time of 27"337

Mario's Choice: (C4J-PP2-1WG) "What would you do to win?" This level has two paths you can take to complete it. It's a fun one because the whole name of the level and description are a hint to the fastest way to beat it. The current clear rate is 18%.

Currently Wuddle has the World Record with a clear time of 5"417

The Drop: (F3W-Y65-KTG) "Boom BOOM's secret factory has been causing problems. Can you stop him?" The Drop is an idea I've had for some time that was fun to work on but needed a bit more time to bake. I like the early platforming elements and the boom boom fight but the actual drop isn't as interesting as it could have been. This one might be a bit more experimental that I wanted it to be, but I think it's fun which is the point of all of this. The Drop has a clear rate of 45%.

Currently someone with a name entirely in Kanji that I can't easily copy to paste here has the world record of 1'10"721.

Night Time Koopa Shooter: (H89-F13-SGF) "Take Bowser's fire clown car and shoot down as many Koopa's as you can." When I realized Mario Maker has a kind of plane you could fly around and shoot things with I had to make a shooter auto-scroll level. It's a bit short, but I can't wait to see what other kinds of shooter levels people create! After seeing so many people complete The Drop I felt I was getting a bit soft so upped the difficulty of Night Time Koopa Shooter and it has a clear rate of 11%.

Currently SideTilt has the World Record of 29"483.

If you have made any levels, please share them here, I'd love to play and let you know what I think and if you want to do likewise that sounds like fun.


This years Summer Games Done Quick came to a close and as they wrapped they did so raising the most amount ever in 3 million dollars for Doctors Without Borders! This was the best SGDQ yet and I really enjoyed all the runs I watched. One of the more impressive runs above is a Blindfolded Punch-Out!! (Wii) by zallard1 in 1:10:21. Zallard is a great Punch-Out runner and the hardest part of the run seems to be the Wii menu blindfolded!

As with previous GDQ's I'm going to wrap up some of the best runs over a few posts to strap in and watch some awesomely quick Speedruns!

Borderlands 2 coop by Amyrlinn, Shockwve and TheFunCannon in 2:48:04: How fast can you run Borderlands 2? Could you do it faster in Co-Op? This is a fun run and is made even more interesting because some Gearbox devs join them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHU1UUB3k-8

Metroid by metroidmcfly in 11:26: Metroidmcfly is the best Metroid NES Speedrunner in the world and this SGDQ run in 11:26 shows you why. It's incredibly fast and the couch commentary quite interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLgnmBnW3vw


Season 3 of Stranger Things drops on Netflix on July 4th and as a compantion to it Stranger Things 3: The Game will come out on XBox One, PS4, Steam and the Switch for $20. BonusXP partnered up with Netflix to come out with the FIRST mobile Stranger Things games you can play for free, which is pretty fun. The new one costs a twenty and apparently plays quite a bit like a Super Nintendo game.

According to Polygon:

"We had a chance to play the retro-style game on Nintendo Switch this week during Nintendo’s indie game event at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. Visually speaking, its pixelated isometric world resembles 16-bit classics like Zombies Ate My Neighbors. But its creators say the game’s design borrows more from the classic Sierra adventure and exploration games of the 1990s, which prioritize storytelling and puzzle-solving above combat.

The game features local split-screen co-op, but no online play. It can also be played solo. The player navigates familiar Stranger Things environments, like moody woods and sterile laboratories, solving environmental puzzles and fighting baddies. Each character has a unique combat ability. As new characters are unlocked, the player can switch between the roster in real-time.

In the demo, we played as Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper. Joyce can spin around like a tornado, breaking boxes and stunning enemies. Jim bullrushes, clearing lines of foot soldiers. Certain characters’ skills will allow them to access additional areas and items.
"

https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/21/18272825/stranger-things-3-the-game-release-date


One game I was very excited to hear more about out of E3 this year was Age of Empire II: The Definitive Edition. Age of Empires II and its expansion Age of Kings was one of the best real time strategy games out of the tail end of the 90's and its follow up Age of Empires II: HD took the old game and rebuilt its tech to be playable on Steam and modern PC's in 2013. Microsoft released a 4K remaster of the original Age of Empires in 2017 and are working on the follow up 4K remaster to Age of Empires II! Originally the 4K remake of Age of Empires was only playable on the Windows 10 store but Microsoft is going to release it on Steam as well as the upcoming Age of Empire II 4K remake!

Recently Microsoft wrapped up all the news about the Age of Empires II 4K remake including a new video showing off how the game looks in the new engine as well as a list of new features coming. Excited to hear that they are adding 4 New Civilizations (for a total of 3) as well as 3 Brand-new Campaigns. It's also gonna launch for $20 and if you already own Age of Empires II: HD you can get a discount on Age II 4K!

So far there are not release dates for Age of Empires Definitive on steam or Age of Empire II: Definitive but when there is, i'll let you all know.

https://www.ageofempires.com/news/e3-2019-demo-recap-with-forgotten-empires/


The Summer Games Done Quick 2019 charity speedrun that’s benefiting Doctors Without Borders is happening now. It will be running all week 24/7 with runners playing everything from Aero the Acrobat to Zelda!

Games Done Quick is a highlight of the year in gaming so if you have some time head over and check the schedule to watch a run. Also consider donating because Doctors Without Borders, a fantastic charity worthy of your support!

https://gamesdonequick.com/schedule


For me, the biggest game hype to come out of E3 was for the Link's Awakening remake. The Gaming Historian recently dropped a very well made historical retrospective on Link's Awakening due to the new interest in the game because of the remake. It's a very timely look back and if you are a fan of the original or want to know more about why this game is so well loved this is something you need to watch!

"Learn the complete history of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. What began as an after-hours passion project turned into one of the greatest Zelda games of all time. Learn how the development team at Nintendo went outside the box and created The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening!"


One thing I've heard pretty strongly from the people that played Link's Awakening at E3 was that the game is incredibly beautiful BUT they haven't quite got the game performance to deliver and the game lags a bit during certain scenes. Grezzo is the company that is creating this new version and they've ported/created some of the best Zelda titles around including the Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora's Mask 3D and Luigi's Mansion on 3DS. Clearly they have the ability to make the game fluid, hopefully that comes together in time for launch on September 20th of this year.

"John takes a look at the E3 demo of Link's Awakening on Switch - it's looking really good with a remarkable level of fidelity to the original, but there is some room for improvement on this early build."


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