Bander

PlatinumGames is making what looks like a spiritual successor to Ōkami

Bander

2 days ago

@jaguarwong Christian Dolan is indeed the exception. I suspect he likes everything.
1 0

Bander

2 days ago

@jaguarwong I said something similar in response to that article, but about two days late as I didn't read it straight away.

It's not just that most of Eurogamer's writers are male, it's that the writers all have the same likes and dislikes as each other also.

The closest thing to a second opinion here, besides the comments, is when someone from Digital Foundry says something which may occasionally contrast with a review. Those guys don't need stories or multiplayer to enjoy a game.
1 0

Bander

3 days ago

Looks like it has more in common with MadWorld by Platinum Games than Okami. I suppose this shows how few people remember it.
2 0

Playing Not Tonight, a post-Brexit thriller

Bander

4 days ago

Seems massively over optimistic.

There won't be any nightclubs still standing in London that far in the future, except maybe some corner of the Millennium Dome where there are still more staff than punters, ready to throw you out if it looks like you're in danger of exceeding one unit of alcohol or sugar.
6 2

Sega Ages' Sonic, Phantasy Star, Alex Kidd headed to Nintendo Switch

Bander

5 days ago

Dear Sega

You haven't finished releasing all the Sega 3D Classics titles on 3DS in Europe, Australia and North America yet. Where did Thunder Force III and Turbo Outrun go?

Sort that out first!
1 0

Sega confirms Shenmue remasters are finally happening

Bander

1 week ago

I hope the online high score tables for the arcade games come back!
3 0

Why the games media has a diversity problem - this website especially

Bander

1 week ago

How many comments already? I can't read them all and I expect very few people will read this, but I suppose I do have something to say, so here goes:

EG definitely needs more diversity. Maybe gender or race will help, but in the main, EG is just in dire need of some regular writers who think differently to each other. The site is getting stale and that is why I am no longer compelled to check it multiple times a day like I used to for many years,

EG has been ignoring a lot of games platforms, a lot of technology, a lot of types of games. Yet a handful of titles have been granted articles over and over again for small reasons (Dark Souls, PUBG, Street Fighter, Overwatch, Switch games). For goodness sake, just try to find some writers that play something else, like VR games, phone games, motion control games, arcade games, web games, and indie titles that aren't from the developers most vocal on Twitter.

My introduction to games journalism was late '80s magazines, and as far as I recall they all had female writers on their teams. However, just as it has been with Eurogamer, I don't think any of them made a lengthy career out of it. That suggests that they eventually all concluded that they would be happier elsewhere. You need to figure out why that is.

Don't blame the readers though. Something else I recall from those '80s magazines is that some would publish the letters sent in by readers, harshly berating the writers for things like review scores the readers disgreed with. For the most part, the men would get the worse insults by far. There were probably many unpublished ones too, but having this stuff immortalised in print certainly suggests that journalists that do reviews have to expect some angry feedback.
2 0

DF Retro: Sonic CD - under-appreciated but still brilliant today

Bander

2 weeks ago

@Ryze I recall the Mega CD's RAM being 6 megabits.

I wonder if a cartridge and CD combination was ever considered for anything other than Flux? I'd not considered it before, but as it was often said at the time that a CD cost less than £1 to make, bundling Mega Drive carts with CD-ROMs that added audio tracks and maybe some extra features (cinematics, extra levels etc.) would have been very cool. If the buyer didn't have a Mega CD already, they would still get a bonus CD soundtrack to play at minimal extra cost, and would start building a catalogue of games they could play enhanced versions of if they got a Mega CD later.

For all these what-ifs regarding how games could have been enhanced, I also wonder if the Mega CD may have been better off as just a CD-ROM drive and RAM alone. The other extra chips were infrequently used, but it was an expensive machine. Developers like Treasure, Clockwork Tortoise and Travellers Tales did a great job of showing that the base Mega Drive could do a lot on its own.

I'm very happy that the driving sections of Batman Returns exist though. I don't think any other 16-bit game comes close to its 3D physics.
1 0

Bander

2 weeks ago

I loved Sonic CD. Initially I don't think I was terribly impressed, as apart from the music and intro it didn't seem quite as good as Sonic 2 in any way. There wasn't anything that wowed me, like knocking off leaves in the foreground foliage in Aquatic Ruin for example. Then I beat Sonic CD, got the bad ending, and the hunt for the good ending was on. It all clicked as the game became about finding out where I can sustain speed for long enough to time travel, and in the end I must have played it more than any other Sonic game, or perhaps any other platform game, before or since.

A couple of things bugged me that I don't think got brought up here though.

The UFO sprites in the special stages didn't scale properly, until the Christian Whitehead version. Their movement was jerky and it made it harder to tell exactly how far away they were, which was critical considering the idea was to jump precisely into them. The Mega CD could do sprite scaling, so I wonder what went wrong there? The UFOs weren't even given many frames of animation, which is odd considering the Mega CD should have had more than enough memory to play with if there was a genuine reason why scaling couldn't be used.

Also, going into the past and destroying all the machines was one way to get the good ending, while beating all the special stages was another. Personally I like how the early Sonic games give players a choice on how to play them, but having these two very different things leading to the same result felt odd, like something was missing. The Metal Sonic projections in the past didn't make a whole lot of sense either. There are far more strange things than this in games, but this bugged me a lot for some reason.
3 0

The new Vive Pro Starter Kit is only £1048

Bander

3 weeks ago

If price is such a big concern (which it should be), I wonder why nothing has been said about the $200 Oculus Go standalone headset?

The lack of any positional tracking is a shame. But a lot of people don't have space to move near ther gaming setup (as we heard over and over again when Kinect threatened to be a thing), and it's not essential for games like WipEout and Rez.
2 1

When VR meets art, something new is created

Bander

3 weeks ago

Either I've completely misinterpreted this, or what Christian Donlan has described is ordinarily called 3D modelling. Or computer aided design. Or even just sculpting.
7 0

Samsung Galaxy S9 review

Bander

3 weeks ago

I wonder what the point of having good graphical benchmark scores is?

It looks like mobile phone games still use polygon meshes taken from the previous century.
2 0

Why I don't understand YouTube: A middle-aged woman writes

Bander

3 weeks ago

Anyone who has hit 40 should remember that arcades were mostly a spectator activity. The idea was that you'd watch attract sequences and other players until you think you've figured out how to make your credits go as far as possible, then have a go. If there was an audience and you were confident, all the better. The more complicated games you'd leave until later because they were too daunting, which is why by the '90s arcades ended up settling into only a handful of genres with similar rules to each other.

Now, most games are several times more complex than the games of old, yet also easier and far, far longer if you do know what you're doing. So I'm not surprised at all that more people are watching and not playing. Games can always be passively watched, but the incentive to put effort into playing for your own enjoyment is drying up.
3 0

Sonic the Hedgehog was almost designed to look like arch nemesis Eggman

Bander

4 weeks ago

Cool, but, is that it? Hirokazu Yasuhara's talk in London earlier this year went into more detail on the making of Sonic 1 than this. Was the talk only ten minutes long?

Good to see the myth of Sonic being the product of an internal mascot competition finally debunked though. It probably came out of the arse of some marketing person in the US who didn't have a real answer for where Sonic came from.
0 0

Captain Toad headed to Nintendo Switch and 3DS

Bander

1 month ago

@jasisgreat I didn't think anyone had replied, than I looked in my junk mail folder and saw this.

The people who didn't buy into the Wii U helped Nintendo? That's some impressive mental gymnastics.

In its short lifetime, the Wii U ended up getting the number one Game of the Year here three times while gamers had their eyes closed and ears covered pretending that the machine wasn't there. Nintendo getting its act together has broken all backwards compatibility, and reset its always successful legacy of handhelds in the process. And the Switch isn't even close to having the number of enviable exclusives already out and upcoming as the original Wii had at this one year point.
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Bander

1 month ago

Dear Switch owners, here's a money saving tip you can use on these upcoming games:

Swap your Switch for a Wii U and pick up these games second hand instead. Or just get then from the eShop, the first party games are often in sales.

As a bonus, you don't even have to wait until the Switch versions are released to do this! And you get Virtual Console stuff and the entire Wii catalogue via backwards compatibility too!
1 6

Best PlayStation VR games: The 15 best PSVR games you really have to play

Bander

1 month ago

Nice recommendations but I'm surprised at the lack of driving games.
1 0

In Theory: Can a Switch hardware revision extend its lifespan?

Bander

1 month ago

I wonder, could the dock alone be upgraded, and work in tandem with the Switch using similar streaming video tech as the Wii U? I'm not sure if this is an especially worthwhile idea, but upgrading the tablet part of the Switch is going to be an annoyingly expensive proposition for consumers, as that means also replacing parts like the screen and battery for what could be only a mere processor upgrade.

One big concern for the future of the Switch has to VR though. We know Nintendo have been thinking about it, and it could be an attractive entry-level system with at least Oculus Rift DK1 visuals and with appropriate controls. But better, cheaper standalone systems are on their way soon (never mentioned on EG though). If Nintendo are seen to be falling behind with overpriced, underperforming follow-up hardware, they risk repeating the Wii U's rubbish sales and weak New 3DS software support.
1 1

PlayStation 4 has a stunning free theme for International Women's Day

Bander

1 month ago

Meanwhile, today in Answer Central in Nintendo's Miitomo, the question is 'What's one thing a woman needs to be appealing?"

They asked the same question but about men two days ago, but guess which one of the two questions is being called sexist in the answers...
6 1

The SD card and the vintage video game revolution

Bander

1 month ago

The future of retro gaming should hopefully be VR/AR. Far less latency than any flat screen television, and a headset takes up less space than a CRT. Plus the AMOLED displays that most them use offer a remarkably similar experience to the high contrasts and clearly visible subpixels of CRTs. The result is so much more vibrant than just adding scanlines.
1 0

Nintendo Switch, one year on

Bander

2 months ago

Definitely a case of marketing winning over substance. The Switch is portable, but I still never see them being used in-the-wild, and the Wii U controller enabled gaming away from the main TV at least. Beyond that, the Wii U has a lot more features. The big one being full backwards compatibility with the Wii and it's controllers straight out the box.

Now the Wii U is almost completely dead. But the likes of Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would certainly have been Wii U games if people had bought more of them! Those games are still the only compelling reasons to jump from a Wii U to Switch, and yet talk about them dropped off a lot faster than it did around the previous games in their franchises.

Of Martin's seven bullet points, two would suggest he would have been content with a Neo Geo emulator on a phone (welcome to 2009), and everything else apart from Arms is on other systems also.
2 2

Secret of Mana's 3D remake is good fun - but won't impress retro purists

Bander

2 months ago

@TinyKaiju @Nikanoru

The game never followed consistent rules and conventions of perspective, distance, nature and physics. It's all abstract.

What should have happened here is that when Randi fell, he either rolled gently down the waterfall and then climbed back up, ignoring the sword, or he just broke his spine and died then and there.

The water is see-though in the phone version. I think this vanished in the compression.
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Bander

2 months ago

@Nikanoru Is there water in the original pond? There's a tide mark. But the waterlilies don't move, and there's certainly no reflection of the sun or the clouds moving past.

The waterfalls did look nicer in motion on SNES though, probably because colour cycling was easier on that hardware. Come to think of it, that could be the main reason for the changes.

I wonder if this is how people felt when they negged me for not liking the look of Crossing Souls last week?
0 0

Bander

2 months ago

@Nikanoru I'd still take it over the wriggly murky ditches in the original.

Or the weird tin foil streams in this new remake!
0 0

Bander

2 months ago

@Nikanoru The phone remake could have been better. It does look like some tiles and sprites were redrawn mostly by upscaling them without due attention to how they would look when joined together. Playing on anything higher-res than an iPhone 3GS or 3rd-gen iPod Touch makes it worse.

On the other hand, a lot has been added to reduce repetition, there are extra animations in the scenery that didn't exist in the original, and that water scene uses three independent translucent playfields, excluding the dialogue and controls overlay. It's an effect I would have been quite excited over if I'd seen it on a 16-bit machine. I'd still take it over the versions before and after it, if I could use proper buttons. Apparently gamepad support got added later, I'll have to check that out.

Phone FFVI looks like a bunch of cardboard standees were been scanned in. I'm not sure if it was lazy, as it must take some effort to be as consistently horrid to look at as it is.
0 0

Bander

2 months ago

@Nikanoru The trees are a lot better, they even have shadows.

I think the water in the phone version looks much better also, in motion. A screenshot doesn't show the change too well.

A lot of effort must have gone into this first remake, but sadly the majority of people with blinkered memories thought it was a lazy port, overpriced at £6 or whatever it was. And I'm still stunned that this article ignored it!
0 0

Bander

2 months ago

Where's the iPhone version of Secret of Mana in this comparison? While still 2D, it was completely redrawn, and higher-res than the original, and is easily the best looking version, more so than anything shown in this video. Touch screen controls are horrid as always though.


2 1

There's a Tomb Raider Barbie doll

Bander

2 months ago

@The-Bodybuilder What changed? Get what to fit the male model dolls? Ken and Action Man have thin arms and long necks too.
0 0

Bander

2 months ago

To those whinging about the doll's physique (pretty much all of you), you should watch the Netflix show The Toys That Made Us, specifically episode 2 about Barbie.

It explains why Barbie's body shape is like it is, with the long neck and thin arms.

In summary, it's because fabric is not thin enough and too rigid to not look terrible on a doll with more normal proportions.

With just a vest on top though, this particular example is a bit of a bad one.
7 0

Is Bayonetta on Switch the definitive console version?

Bander

2 months ago

Is Bayonetta on Switch the definitive console version?
Not without the Wii U's extra control options it isn't. How come these articles never mention them?
2 1

Tech-noir tactics game All Walls Must Fall leaves Early Access next week

Bander

2 months ago

I've learned to avoid early access games.

Why would I want to play a game that's based on the feedback of people who are happy to play incomplete games without any return on the effort invested? And will pay do so for that matter?

When playing a game, I love it when the progression, challenges, and story if applicable all get introduced in a way that makes the game more compelling, immersive and awe inspiring, and early access people don't care about any of that. They just like being the first ones to play with the new toys even if assembly isn't finished yet.

Plus it's very worrying if the developers don't have the confidence in themselves to make a game any other way.
1 0

Crossing Souls review - pitch-perfect 80s nostalgia trip

Bander

2 months ago

@Kintypoo121 Yes. Most of the popular '80s games, from cheap home computers to arcade machines, exhibit creative and sometimes charming pixel art. Some more recent low resolution games do also, like Shantae.

This game doesn't. The visuals remind me of now, not then.
1 0

Bander

2 months ago

@fatbob1080 The visual style puts me off also. No 8 or 16-bit games ever looked like this. It doesn't make me nostalgic, it makes me think that the developer didn't have an artist.
3 4

Poundland now sells video games for a fiver

Bander

2 months ago

Poundland wants to sell Wii U games in the future.
Good luck finding a source of Wii U games that can be sold for a fiver without making a loss.
2 0

Media Molecules' Dreams will let you build and share your own PSVR games

Bander

2 months ago

So it's like Kodu Game Lab and Project Spark, but more likely to receive some degree of media coverage instead of none?
9 6

For the first time, Evo won't have a Marvel game

Bander

2 months ago

With no Virtua Fighter anymore, I don't have any interest in EVO as a fighting game tournament anyway.
2 0

Switch Bayonetta 2 is a turbo-charged Wii U port

Bander

2 months ago

I want to know if the touch controls remain the same.

That Bayonetta 2 worked as well as it did with the touchscreen only was quite a surprise. Nobody had managed such a feat with an action game before, or have done so since. But the Switch's touch screen was unfortunately a downgrade to capacitive. Plus you can't use the touchscreen and still have the game running on a big TV at the same time anymore.
1 0

Why the founder of Traveller's Tales released a director's cut of an old Sonic game 25 years later

Bander

2 months ago

Burton says that that his biggest problem with 3D Blast is unfixable: 'It's an isometric game controlled with a D-Pad.'
The Sega Mouse doubled as a trackball if you held it upside down. Lots of games are compatible with it, especially on the Mega CD.
0 0

The Virtual Console's continued absence on Switch is creating some exciting possibilities

Bander

3 months ago

The closure of Miiverse is creating some exciting possibilities

The end of Wiiware is creating some exciting possibilities

The shutting down of Miitomo after only two years is creating some exciting possibilities
5 1

Nintendo is shutting down Miitomo, its first smartphone game

Bander

3 months ago

@northlondon01 Miitomo's bugs and limitations, and not being able to make the coins work with Switch, are additional reasons why I don't have much confidence in Switch becoming much more than the rebranded Wii U it currently resembles. But it seems that many people wanted little more than that anyway.
1 1

Bander

3 months ago

Miiverse, dead, despite still being advertised as a feature on their newest console, the 2DS XL.

Miitomo, dead, released less than two years ago.

Wiiware, also about to be laid to rest, despite not being something that should require much maintenance.

It's a shame so many left Miitomo before its 2.0 update which added sidekicks, Answer Central, room decorating, Candy Drop and more. Also, I wonder how many people missed out on the My Nintendo tokens? I got two free 3DS titles out of it last month.

I just don't have much faith in Nintendo at the moment. Miyamoto is quoted as saying that he would rather not hire gamers. It looks like Nintendo aren't hiring software engineers either. Hence the bulk of AAA Switch games being Wii U updates, and the next big thing being made out of cardboard.
5 5

Sonic Generations revisited: better than Forces, runs beautifully on PC

Bander

3 months ago

Sonic Generations was the game that made me become more of a PC gamer than console gamer. I took one look at Sonic Generations running at 30fps on my Xbox 360, and knew that I could no longer put up with having no control over how smoothly games ran. I'd go back to 480p if I had to, but 60fps in an action game was critical!

Hirokazu Yasuhara, the planner and level designer of the first Sonic game, gave a talk in London on Thursday. The first part of the talk was specifically about Sonic 1, and although I was always fond of it, I have an even greater appreciation of it now, knowing the philosophies of what went into the level construction. Also the Sonic 1 engine had some harsh limits to work around that I had never heard about anywhere before last week. It took some real ingenuity to make the levels as big as they were.
7 1

Me, myself and UI

Bander

3 months ago

I was always fond of the VR 'Eye-Phone' sequence in the movie Johnny Mnemonic.



It struck me as strange that when phones with multi-touch came along, suddenly companies like Apple were trying to claim that they had invented all these 'new' UI ideas. Or at least their fans were. Which includes tech journalists.

As for Metro, it was a shame people were so attached to the Start Menu as it was not anywhere near as fast to use as the Start Screen of Windows 8.1 once you get used to it. That goes for using it with a mouse, tablet touchscreen, or as a floating AR screen, which I played about with in 2014 with an Oculus Rift DK2 and LeapMotion. Metro was very Kinect-friendly too. But new UIs are inconvenient, hence you hear so little that is positive about them. Until Apple has a go I suppose...
1 0

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is secretly Nintendo's first Early Access game

Bander

3 months ago

Also, a big problem with 'evolving' games like this, which we are seeing with Pokémon Go and many other games, is that there's a chance it'll eventually no longer run on your hardware in the future. Or at best will eat up more storage space, become slower, and more likely to crash over time
1 0

Bander

3 months ago

Shame I didn't visit Eurogamer at all over the weekend or I would have pointed out the massive error in the title straight away.

It isn't the first. Miitomo has changed massively over time, with the reasons for logging in frequently being very different now to what they were at launch. But it appears the writer of this article must have given up on it very quickly, probably before the 2.0 update.

...

Early access is a terrible thing to happen to video games by the way. Why would any serious gamers want games made based on the feedback of people who don't mind playing things that are unfinished, unbalanced, and are spoilers to the experience of the final product anyway? These people have bad taste in games and would be content with just playing with toys like building blocks or dolls with their online mates.
2 0

Wii U games Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Hyrule Warriors headed to Nintendo Switch

Bander

3 months ago

@FilthyAnimal To that list I'd also add the Wii catalogue, which the Wii U can play but the Switch cannot.

I suspect a lot of Switch owners had a Wii but skipped the Wii U. However, I skipped the Wii, which makes letting go of the Wii U a lot harder.
4 0

HTC announces "premium" Vive Pro VR headset with higher resolution display

Bander

3 months ago

I've only just learned of the Oculus Go machine, a wireless standalone VR headset that should cost under $200, be lightweight, and come with a controller. Much more interesting!

It's not expected to have any positional tracking or AR capability, but that's a competitive price if they hit it. Less than a Nintendo 3DS XL.

https://www.oculus.com/go/
1 1

Kinect was amazing - in a museum

Bander

4 months ago

Kinect's potential was and still is huge. It worked for dancing games, especially the completely overlooked Konami ones. It worked for the toy-like titles on 360 like Kinect Party. It worked for games on rails like the amazing Child of Eden (still better than Rez Infinite) and The Gunstringer. It ran the best version of Fruit Ninja there has ever been, and I say that having played it on giant touch screens and even a projection onto mist.

It worked as a UI. I can use Kinect to control the 360's dashboard without having to hunt down a controller or batteries, and it feels good and intuitive doing so.

It worked brilliantly for art displays, and as interactive panels in places like Japanese arcades.

It works in robots, either designed to research AI and movement, or ones that are designed to manoeuvre around places humans cannot safely go.

While not specifically Kinect, infra-red emitters are certainly capable of things like recognising a person, scanning objects, and using a VR/AR user interface. Some of the stuff LeapMotion has been doing is amazing and makes me wonder why Valve/HTC and Oculus/Facebook even bothered making their own controllers for VR.

Kinect 2.0 was capable of a lot more. It could even sense a heartbeat. To my knowledge, nobody has been able to fool the face detection in the last Microsoft Lumia phones, unlike the Kinect 1.0 tech in the iPhone X (I'm not saying the Lumia's use Kinect 2.0, just that MS had a lot more experience of what works and what doesn't).

In the future, I hope the inside-out tracking of mixed reality isn't dismissed so rapidly, whether it's Microsoft, Google, Apple or maybe Magic Leap doing stuff with it. It allows so much more freedom of movement than external positional trackers, and adds a lot to sense of presence, while also cutting down the number of peripherals. It seems pretty daft, but what's keeping me from using VR a lot at home is all the kibble involved, that has to go somewhere between uses.

Kinect clearly had no place with Call of Duty and FIFA. But with the rise in popularity of games that are more about story telling, puzzle solving or just being toys, with gamers, journalist and developers, it's sad that this ideal tool lost popularity so rapidly.


---


It's still pretty weird that Eurogamer didn't bother to review any version of Fantasia: Music Evolved. As a game combining Harmonix with Disney, riding the success of Frozen with children and adults at the time, it was strange that neither Microsoft or Disney wanted anything to do with marketing the thing. But it was a great game!
4 2

DF Retro takes on Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct

Bander

4 months ago

@dark10x I have no problem with DKC being called being an important game historically. That it appeared to many that the SNES could still compete with more powerful consoles was testament to that.

But "one of the most influential games of all-time" still bothers me. If you want an example of a redefined iconic video game character, Pac-Man went through a lot more, a lot earlier.
1 1

Bander

4 months ago

23 years on from its initial release, Donkey Kong Country remains one of the most influential games of all-time.
How so? Most of the handful of games that use pre-rendered CG sprites and backgrounds are from the 16-bit era, like Stardust on Amiga and Pulstar on Neo Geo. The technique didn't get used very often on later hardware.

Also, I don't understand why DKC on GBA looks so bad, when Pinobee, which also used pre-rendered CG sprites, was a launch title by a new developer and looked a lot better.
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