akellard

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp review

akellard

5 months ago

Re: the expectations vs what we got comments - I think the disappointment stems, rightly in my opinion, from how the core strengths of Animal Crossing are not on display in this iteration.

Fair enough, it's a scaled down freemium game and doesn't necessarily pretend to be anything else, but is it a good example of that even? And does it honour the brand/name/whatever of Animal Crossing, which it's clearly trading in to get our attention?

No, it isn't and no it doesn't. It's serviceable I guess, and compulsive, but it's also empty and mercenary. You gather stuff, you level up, you wait, you gather stuff, you level up. It could so easily imbue that standard formula with easy but worthwhile detail. There's no sense of time progressing (no seasons, no daily events etc). There's minimal banter. There's no puns (!). It looks and sounds great but you can't collect anything and appreciate your efforts. No one cares about your camper, which is essential a house on the move (cool idea but poorly implemented).

Perhaps it will be a better game in six months, but right now it's monotonous and full of wasted potential.
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My spoilery Firewatch theory

akellard

2 years ago

Henry, for me, is defined by a mistake he's already made (abandoning his wife) and this controls the game, not the invisible walls, lack of interactivity etc.

Everything I did was informed by Henry's crappy choice: constantly replacing the photo on the desk, putting the wedding ring back on, friend-zoning Delilah. Limited as the interaction was I took every opportunity to remind Henry of his commitment to his wife and his mistake in leaving her.

Firewatch is about redemption for me in this sense I think, and for that purpose the game absolutely revolves around Henry and his turmoil (and succeeds amazingly as a result). The game is rigid, staged, in some ways but it still allows for choice in ways that are meaningful to the story and Henry as a character - a man that's avoiding making a choice. Everything feeds into this for me and I didn't feel a loss for not being able to walk around everywhere or interact with everything.

Anyway, thank you for the thoughtful article. I think I disagree but I found this take interesting!

(Edited to decrease comma use. Man alive!)
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Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Yakuza 6

akellard

2 years ago

Appreciate EG + DF for all the Yazuka coverage. More exposure, more interest, more chance of localisation for newer games... hopefully?
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Games love rules - but don't forget the rituals

akellard

3 years ago

@Uncompetative You've nailed my confusion about this article.

I enjoyed the writing, but watchtower example doesn't demostrate ritualistic behaviour in my experience. My desire to climb them in Farcry for instance was driven by getting free weapons and more access to the map. This is gameplay. Me always using the zip line to descend after activating is ritual.
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Eurogamer.net Podcast #56

akellard

7 years ago

'Mike Hunt has seen it all' oh lord, choking on my chips.
6 0

Goodbye Sims Online, hello EA-Land

akellard

10 years ago

High-fives for the Achewood link.
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"More Portal for sure" - Valve

akellard

10 years ago

TOB isn't a game.

Mm, all this 'best game ever' hyperbole is a bit misinformed, I agree. It's like saying the Blue album is the greatest LP The Beatles ever released - doesn't quite stand up to reasoned assessment.

TOB was a stroke of loving genius, nonetheless, and the Valve adoration is completely justified. If they somehow integrated the Portal gun into Episode Three... I'd weep sweet tears of joy.
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Blue Dragon

akellard

11 years ago

morriss: Thank you!

peeetah: Pretty much, but I never liked my loved ones anyway.
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Super Mario Galaxy

akellard

11 years ago

One of the best reviews I've read on Eurogamer. Give Margaret Robertson more work!

(Nice review, too, ChrisS)
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Eternal Sonata

akellard

11 years ago

Didn't they announce recently that ES is going to be released on the PS3 at a later date?

Plus the arguments about "core audiences" seem a bit short-sighted considering how much Microsoft have emphasised their intentions toward Japan. Halo, Gotham etc might be the cornerstones of the Western market (which I don't really agree with - I bought my 360 for Oblivion and the BioWare RPGs, past and future), but if they want to develop a market in Japan they need solid RPGs.

Plus, RPGs aren't the complete niche attractions they once were. Why would Square-Enix invest its time/money in a simultaneous international release of a new RPG IP in Last Remnant if it was such a nowhere market?
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Final Fantasy III

akellard

12 years ago

The review seems to miss the point of this being a remake in the truest sense of the word. Squenix made no claims that it would be trying modernise the game; if anything they wanted to keep it as true to its root as possible.

Still, I'd agree it's antiquated in a rather grating way, but the point is people shouldn't buy Final Fantasy *3* if they're looking for innovation in the series. All the subsequent criticisms that stem from this just seem a bit obvious. I think the moderate facelift mislead people to think that other aspects would be modernised, but if you approach the game knowing you're basically playing a NES game it's just as charming and addictive as any other FF.

I dunno, this review rubbed me the wrong way. The underlying points have merit and people need to be alerted to the ancient gameplay (though the difficulty alleviates when you adjust to accommodate it), but the whole thing smacked of 'no shit, sherlock'. I'd agree with a 6 if it was expressed in a slightly more informed/understanding way, but really it read more like an extended whinge.
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Pokémon Diamond/Pearl

akellard

12 years ago

when you say you can access Pokemon from GBA carts, do you mean the GBA cart inserted in the DS? because that's pretty nifty.
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Ninety-Nine Nights

akellard

12 years ago

Cheers for the well written review!
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Valve pledges support to 360

akellard

12 years ago

I've seen HL2 for Ł20 in HMV, too.
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Final Fantasy XII

akellard

12 years ago

This review upset me purely because it reminded me how long we'll have to wait until it gets a European release.
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Level-5 working on new RPG

akellard

12 years ago

Yeah, Blerk is right. Edge reported Rogue Galaxy a few months ago. It uses the same style of graphics as Dark Chronicle and DQVIII and is a PS2 game. Looks pretty interesting!
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Drakengard 2

akellard

12 years ago

Nicely written article. Cheers!
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Shadow of the Colossus

akellard

12 years ago

The graphics have their fair share of flaws but the level of design is what really blew my mind. Same with ICO - there's something so vacantly beautiful about things, but with these little hints of character that keep it from being too abstract. Definitely a high 9 in my opinion.

And cheers for the review, disc. Good stuff!
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BloodRayne 2

akellard

12 years ago

This review was hilarious. Nice work of making light of a shite game, Matt!
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Special FFXII PS2 unveiled

akellard

12 years ago

All this stuff means to me is that the actual game release is that much closer...
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Gripshift

akellard

12 years ago

A well written review - good work!
0 0

Xenosaga Episode II

akellard

12 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Uzuki

Seems it was a purely an asthetic one.
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akellard

12 years ago

Cheers for the comments guys. I'm -definitely- cutting the length of my next one to half the size of this beast, though, I promise. The dodgy grammar and formatting are going to be sorted out as well.

itamae: I kinda liked Jin (he was a good little scrapper and an interesting dynamic to Shion), although I can see where you're coming from. Do you think he was just there to appease Xenogears fans?

I worry for episode three as well. The idea of a six-part epic is what really appealed to my RPG fanboy loins in the first place, and now it feels the series has lost its guiding force in Takahashi and turned towards more the fan-service. Can't say idea of seeing Xenogears 'remade' didn't tickle my fancy either...

Decoded: Yeah, most of my Game Overs came before I fully understood the battle system (how to air/ground break especially). It may have been dimness on my part but it felt like the fundamentals of the battle system were never properly explained, not even in the manual. I definitely enjoyed it once everything came together, though.
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Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana

akellard

13 years ago

Don't forget Ultima 7, too.
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Dragon Quest VIII: The Journey of the Cursed King

akellard

13 years ago

Impressive review: a convincing lead up to a 9/10 score! I'm definitely excited about this release. Hopefully we'll get some FFXII demo loving with it, too.
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Mario Kart DS

akellard

13 years ago

Cheers for the thorough preview, Ellie. Good work!
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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

akellard

13 years ago

"Personally San Andreas was the first GTA I really got into. That huge world (and the ability to fly planes) must just appeal to the RPG fan in me."

I completely agree with this... until those fecking Catalina missions.
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