xandaca

There're some big names in Nintendo's Black Friday Switch eShop sale

xandaca

3 weeks ago

Or on the US eshop:

FIFA 19 - ~£28
Skyrim/Doom/Wolfenstein/Valkyria Chronicles 4 - ~£24
Mario + Rabbids - ~£19
South Park: The Stick Of Truth/Okami - ~£12

Create a US Nintendo account set to a tax-free US zip code and top up your account with US eshop cards - easy to find online, albeit only in multiples of $5. Okami plus Stick of Truth for ~£24 is much cheaper than buying from the UK eshop, while the Bethesda games are also a fair bit cheaper than anywhere in the UK, although your mileage may vary for games you can get much cheaper on other consoles.
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Try before you buy with a Football Manager 2019 demo

xandaca

1 month ago

Sadly, it's really not very good. The same old issues abide under a new coat of paint and with a truly awful new training system, which (as the Eurogamer review lays out) expects you to either leave 99% of it to your assistant, or plan out different schedules every day of every week, or at least for every possible weekly outcome. The match engine has some nice new animations, but strikers still continually waste easy chances and keepers make physics-defying saves (the way the game keeps down the scores of competent attacking teams), while players will transparently refuse to chase down easy balls, for instance, if the outcome of the highlight requires the opposition to gain possession. In terms of tactics, emphasizing systems (e.g. gegenpressing, tiki-taka, etc.) is on the surface a good step forward in terms of humanising the old system of sliders and drop-downs, but since you still need to customise each system to your liking, ultimately it's just the same thing with a brighter coat of paint. I'm sticking with 18, which I already wasn't mad about. And for the record, I'm not complaining for the sake of it: I love this series, having played it for the better part of two decades, and think SI's monopoly on the genre is wholly deserved. However, since FM16 - a very strong entry, IMO - longstanding issues have become increasingly prevalent as new 'features' have been piled on top and exacerbated their effects.
5 0

Football Manager 2019 review - rare blip in form for a sim with permanent class

xandaca

2 months ago

I've been playing FM (and CM) for the better part of two decades. It's an incredibly accomplished series and while there have been ups and downs, and the difficulty of iterating for so long on a format that was already excellent in its earliest incarnations, the series feels increasingly cluttered and needing to sort out serious, but not attention-grabbing, issues lingering under the bonnet and causing problems as gimmicks are added on top of it. The most noteworthy in 18 was the 'squad dynamics' system: morale and player interaction has been a mess for a while, with players' moods swinging on a wildly inconsistent whim, as though every player were a quasi-Balotelli. The dynamics feature exacerbated the issue, meaning it was more likely that one player becoming randomly infuriated spread to all the key players in your squad. Press conferences, too, have been a shambles since introduction. Meanwhile, the match engine has never sorted out its handling of attacking teams, with the makeshift solution being a succession of glaring misses and opposition super-keepers to keep scores down. A massively elevated rate of penalty misses is a new addition to that particular gallery.

The constant overhauling of the UI, while understandable in terms of making the game look fresh, has often resulted in useful changes from one edition being lost in the next, or functions suddenly vanishing from easy access because something else became the emphasis du jour. And then there's training, which has changed a number of times but always been somewhat opaque and rarely found the balance between fun, intricacy and realism. My favourite was the one from a while back where you could set training groups ('defenders', 'attackers', 'creatives', etc.) and a recurring weekly schedule, plus post or pre-match rest periods and the like. It was intricate enough, but not overwhelming and wasn't a huge time sink. The new system sounds like it somewhat harkens back to that, except having to set a schedule every week and with many more options for each training slot: frankly, it sounds like far more time consuming than is worthwhile, and leaving it all to the AssMan means abandoning a key area of the game.

On the plus side, the move away from sliders to a more general, but relatable, presentation of systems and player roles is very welcome and an intelligent change reflecting that a manager deals with human beings, not toggles (I doubt Mourinho ever told Frank Lampard: "I want you to be 8/10 attacking today.") So while this post is mostly complaining, let it not be said that SI haven't continued to find ways of positively refining the FM experience, which remains as easily addictive as ever, which I say as someone gravely disappointed in FM18, despite finding FM16 to be a very well-balanced entry. I'll try the demo for 19 when it launches, but much of what has been shown so far has left me cold (except the purple, which has left me a bit nauseous). If I'd encourage SI to do anything, it's perhaps to dial back the 'new features' for 20 - especially as, I'd venture, most people only notice and use a couple of them - and focus on getting those core, longstanding issues into better condition. And ditching the horrendous manager creation, which... good gravy, what a monstrosity.

(I'd play FM Touch, which in many ways is closer to the more streamlined experience full FM should be aiming for, except as someone deeply invested in youth football, the fact it inexplicably cuts out the Under-18s and associated players means losing perhaps my predominant pleasure in playing the game.)
4 0

Here's our first look at Wiimote and Nunchuk prototypes for the GameCube

xandaca

2 months ago

Don't care how much snark I get, I loved the Wiimote and nunchuck. IR aiming was a huge leap forward for console gaming - although I appreciate that people with carpal tunnel syndrome had a hard time with it - and being able to play with your hands (relatively) free was very satisfying. Unfortunately, the facts that (1) the motion sensing was initially far too wonky to do what it was marketed to do, (2) it wasn't an HD console, and (3) Red Steel, the 'core' launch game, was clearly rushed and made a mess of its controls, meant people assumed that because it was rough at the start and developed a 'casual' reputation, it would be worthless forever. As the Switch has somewhat proven with the nunchucks, the good stuff from the Wiimote was always great and deserved to be properly iterated upon (maybe another analogue for those who struggled with IR, plus another few buttons). The nunchucks are passable replacements, but I doubt I'll ever enjoy console FPSing as much again as pulling off headshot and headshot with IR aiming, even on a severely downgraded COD.
17 0

Nintendo surprises Switch Online subscribers with stealth release of a "souped-up" The Legend of Zelda

xandaca

2 months ago

@TimothyDalton You earn an upvote for your username being TimothyDalton. The man who portrayed Bond, Prince Barin, Rassilon AND Simon Skinner should be one of history's greatest heroes (alongside Diana Rigg, aka: Emma Peel, Teresa Di Vicenzo, and Oleanna Tyrell). I look forward to playing LoZ at the same time as you, assuming you aren't distracted by having to run the local supermarché.
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xandaca

2 months ago

Does anyone get lag playing Super Mario Bros? It happens to me in castles when there are fire bars on-screen, or when running through levels at top speed. I don't know if it was present in the NES version of the game, but even if it's not especially common, it's still mighty irritating, particularly on a modern console.

As an aside, technical issues apart, I'm surprised by how I've been enjoying the original Mario more than Mario 3. Possibly because I've played the latter to death, but the former has a simplicity and challenge which is appealing, while 3 feels trapped between being more complicated than the original without quite being as bold as SMW. 3's art style has the same problem: neither as iconic as the original, as stylish and colourful as SMW, or as idiosyncratic as 2 (aka: Doki Doki Mario). That's not to say it's anything but a superb game which I've enjoyed many, many times; it's just proven surprisingly difficult to get into.
4 4

Bowsette game mods are getting out of hand

xandaca

2 months ago

When I saw the sub-header, I thought 'dollars to donuts this is an Emma Kent piece'.

Whaddayaknow.
2 0

Nintendo to launch updated Switch next year - report

xandaca

2 months ago

@Achtung_Englander It makes the most sense to me to do a refresh once the original version's sales have started to tail off, particularly if the aim is to draw out the console's lifespan. That could happen next year, but at this point, it still seems to be more than holding its own sales-wise. I could certainly see a Switch 1.5 in 2020, though.
1 1

xandaca

2 months ago

Copied from what I wrote on Reddit: Unless they're going for something like a handheld-only option (smaller, integrated joycons, no dock), I find it hard to believe this is true. Even if they were to release it next Christmas, the console would still only be 2.75yrs old - that's far too early to start putting out upgraded versions, particularly when the current iteration still seems to be selling well.
9 2

Emma Kent joins Eurogamer as our new reporter

xandaca

2 months ago

I Kent believe it.

(Yes, that's all I came in here to say. I've completely wasted the two seconds of your life it took you to read that terrible and completely unnecessary joke, and am not ashamed in the slightest. Booyah!)
14 2

Nintendo unveils Splatoon 2's final new stage, coming in October

xandaca

3 months ago

Needs more Flounder Heights + Salmon Run maps.
0 0

Playing Football Manager doesn't make you a football manager

xandaca

3 months ago

"Yet here we are, decades after and the tales of Football Manager players' applying for real football manager jobs still keep coming."

Do they, though? I'm a huge football fan, longtime FM player (and contributor to their community forums) and follower of a wide range of news sources related to both - albeit more gaming in the latter case than specifically FM, unless you count the forums, where this sort of thing would likely merit a mention. Aside from the aforementioned chap who got a job in the Azeri Premier League, and someone who got an amusing reply from Steve Gibson, Middlesbrough chairman, after sending in a facetious enquiry for their managerial opening, I can't think of any other instances of people using FM as the basis of job application - and of the two in question, the former was likely a publicity stunt, the latter clearly a joke. I'd also imagine that if clubs, even lower league, were being inundated with applications from delusional armchair managers, it'd get some degree of attention. Rather than dishonestly inventing a phenomenon for the sake of clicks and sensationalism, maybe next time, maybe just ask 'Is playing Football Manager a credible representation of coaching'? Unfortunately, I suspect that article wouldn't get much attention as the self-evident answer is 'no'.
10 3

Nintendo Switch requires weekly online check-in to play NES games

xandaca

3 months ago

It's genuinely impressive how thoroughly they're fecking this up, even by Nintendo standards. Against all good judgment I'll probably end up paying because of Splatoon, but even for £18, there are no illusions that it's anything but atrocious value.
13 2

Two Point Hospital discounted to £13.38 / $19.84 for the next few hours

xandaca

4 months ago

@Zorgulon Then don't do it. It's not complicated. However, since there are people who might want to do it, I'm not going to keep it to myself even if the additional saving is only tiny.
2 0

xandaca

4 months ago

@Funhorse Go to Topcashback, look up Voidu, access the site and buy the game through their link (with ad and pop-up blockers disabled) and your Topcashback account will register 6% of the purchase price, which you'll be able to withdraw in (usually) a few weeks.
0 1

xandaca

4 months ago

And another 6% off from Topcashback, don't forget.
0 2

The big Doom Eternal interview: Switch timings, multiplayer and a whiff of Heaven

xandaca

4 months ago

Definitely getting this, on Switch (how kinky!), but my concern is that they overdo the 'Doom Universe' angle. One of the great things about Doom 2016 was its simplicity in gameplay and story, how it largely eschewed clogging up the experience with unnecessary narrative and got on with the business of letting you explore and blast the living hell (pun intended) out of everything that moved. If anything, I'd have been even happier if the story had been stripped down even more: "A science laboratory has opened a portal to hell. Go through and close it". That's more than enough plot for me. I hope the developers remember that keeping the experienced streamlined, fast and brutal was a huge part of what made 2016 so exciting, and don't force the lore or narratively, or add too many additions to the supremely thrilling, and surprisingly elegant, fundamental mechanics of giving the player a shotgun, rooms filled to bursting with diabolical creatures, and power-ups out the wazoo.
7 4

Two Point Hospital books in a release date

xandaca

5 months ago

Need to read reviews first to be sure this is something more than a flat, Yooka-Laylee-esque nostalgia simulator, but am certainly hopeful.
2 1

Nintendo E3 2018 conference live report

xandaca

6 months ago

So, no Pikmin, no Metroid, no Animal Crossing, no dream game that's only existed in my head for the past fifteen years and I'm still livid Nintendo haven't made yet... poor show, chaps. And wasn't Pikmin nearly finished in 2015?
1 0

xandaca

6 months ago

We'd better get Pikmin 4 after sitting through all that.
0 0

xandaca

6 months ago

"And before I go, I can reveal the release date for Smash Bros Ultimate... last month."
0 0

xandaca

6 months ago

The Switch 2's iteration of Smash is going to be out by the time this is over.
0 0

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Battle Royale mode called Blackout, has vehicles

xandaca

7 months ago

I'm game, in the unlikely event of there being a Switch version. Never enjoyed the COD campaigns, so not fussed about this game not having one. Doubt they'll cut the price accordingly, though.
1 3

Leaks suggest Nintendo's Switch Pokémon RPG set in Kanto, starring Pikachu and Eevee

xandaca

7 months ago

@Rpt81 *Sees collapsed Big Ben and surrounding city*

"No! No! I slept too long!"
13 0

You'll need to pay Nintendo Switch's online subscription to backup your saves

xandaca

7 months ago

Rubbish. Yes, it's relatively cheap, but Sony and Microsoft offer a good variety of free and fairly recent games, integrated voice chat, generally good online service and multiple ways of backing up saves. As far as Nintendo goes, backing up saves shouldn't be paywalled, the free library is limited and most games are around thirty years old, the quality of the service is dodgy-to-terrible, and they're trying to force their phone app on people by denying players features that there's no reason not to have through the console. It's a £20 Splatoon tax right now. Even if they'd offered some SNES and N64 games, that would have been enough. Maybe they will eventually, but there's no guarantee of that - I suspect the Virtual Console, definitely absent, transmogrified into their 'Mini' consoles. If more games I want to play online come out, I may shell out. I'm not doing so just for Splatoon, however, and since 95% of what I do on my Switch is Splatoon, I might eventually be tempted to sell the thing altogether. And maybe read a book. LOOK WHAT YOU'RE DRIVING ME TO, NINTENDO.
9 0

Concept art for cancelled TimeSplitters 4 shows never-before-seen characters

xandaca

8 months ago

Here's a game which would be absolutely perfect for Nintendo to finance as an exclusive, as they did Bayonetta. It's an FPS, a genre their console is lacking. Its graphics and tone are comic, which suits their more varied age demographic. The previous two games both sold well on Nintendo consoles, even if it was a long time ago, so (especially since Nintendo's audience tends to be loyal) there's a positive precedent for success. The developers' history is linked to a beloved Nintendo classic, GoldenEye 007. While a cult title, it has a vocal following and a revival, particularly on a relatively hot console, would attract publicity. It's not a guaranteed success by any means, but I'd say it'd be a safer bet than Bayonetta 2 was and could easily bring more people to the Switch.
9 0

Theme Hospital successor Two Point Hospital showing at EGX Rezzed 2018

xandaca

9 months ago

Interesting to see how this turns out. Games (most things, in fact) whose appeal is heavily dependent on nostalgia have a habit of going wrong and inheriting the dated shortcomings of their predecessors - see: Laylee, Yooka (as much as I'm pleased for a small team like Playtonic to have got it out the door). Another Theme Hospital seems like an easy win, but hopefully Two Point will remember to make the game stand on its own terms and not content themselves with 'wink, wink' references and copious rehashing. Maybe if it's a success, Sega can help port it to Switch eventually, where it seems a perfect fit.
1 0

Nintendo Switch, one year on

xandaca

10 months ago

@porkface Thanks! Noticed RE Revelations 2 is on sale in the US, so will see if I can make the plunge.
2 0

xandaca

10 months ago

How do you buy games from a foreign eshop? Once you change region, it doesn't accept UK cards anymore.
0 0

Sources: This year's COD is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

xandaca

10 months ago

If there is a Switch version, it'll be interesting to see what motion controls get integrated. Will it be full-on aiming with separated joycons - as for the Wii/Wii U CODs, albeit using gyroscope rather than pointer unfortunately - or something more along the lines of Splatoon, traditional dual analogue with motion enhancements for small adjustments? Hopefully it won't just be 'waggle to aim' or something, but since Treyarch did all the previous Nintendo versions and became experts at Wiimote pointer aiming quite quickly, I trust they'll go the extra step.

As for the game itself, I like COD but have no interest in WW2 or futuristic settings, so this will work for me (again, assuming it comes to Switch). The single-player doesn't interest me at all, with my preference being for more non-linear shooters offering stealth options and the like, but even though they get a bad rap, COD is like FIFA for me: a nice option to have for lazy, pick-up-and-play gaming. It's no Splatoon, though.

(It should be pointed out that the CODs I've played have all been on Nintendo systems, with no DLC or loot boxes etc., so I have no idea if they ruin the game or not.)
0 0

Nintendo Switch announcement tonight to reveal "new interactive experience"

xandaca

11 months ago

This won't be for me. I'm not young at heart. Only yesterday somebody told a joke and I notified the authorities. Cease this buffoonery at once.
8 1

The Game Awards 2017 live report

xandaca

1 year ago

Well, that was certainly an occurrence. Martin, commentators, it's been fabulous. Thanks for indulging my terrible puns and relentless jabber about hobnobs. I'd like to dedicate this award to[ADVERT BEGINS] (Night, all - or morning, I suppose)
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Also: annoys me a bit when people talk about Odyssey being inspired by Mario 64, when it CLEARLY took its cues from Banjo Kazooie (or Tooie, when it comes to the T-Rex)
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Wasn't the consensus that Mario Odyssey was the better game between the two?
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Looks like Eiji Aonuma's going up this time. At last he's feeling 'Stagey' Aonuma. (OK, I'll stop now)
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

No, Martin, she's not miming, she's Pauline and I refuse to accept another word of dissent.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

All those poor people, possessed by caps. Do you think there are miniature cars whizzing about the auditorium?
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Pauline's had a dye job. Also, hooray, it's Pauline! (No, she's definitely called Pauline)
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Can't be bothered with real music at this time of the morning. As far as orchestras go, this always makes me laugh, though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpFQLw5_N2o
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

@bigbramble Well, it's got a lot of passion and told the Oscars to fuck itself. So, in short, yes. Credibility out the wazoo.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Glad I haven't got to get up early this morning. To be a cliché and toss out a semi-relevant Oscar Wilde quote: "To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.”
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

I've been making these bad jokes for so long, I've started self-referencing. Entered my Tarantino phase.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Eiji Aonuma not going up? Maybe he's feeling 'Cagey' Aonuma. (I have even more jokes as contrived as this one)
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Ed Boon, stopping all of us from getting to Bed Soon.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Coming right up... another three hours of this stuff!
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

This lady's fashion choices could not be less appropriate (reverse-colour gymwear with additional nipples and wedges?) but you have to love the madness.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Rex from Xenoblade 2 should get a nod in this category just for the laughs.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

@Ozziw Remember that Konami E3 conference with Tak Fuji which was looped forever? It's like that. ONE MIRRION LOOOOOOOPS.
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

@ozthegweat *applauds*
0 0

xandaca

1 year ago

Fashion choices are the real winners.
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