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This NiGHTS: Into Dreams HD review makes me scratch my head

Nights’ brutal difficulty is its ultimate failure in my opinion. Reaching all the levels requires not only completion but the performance level that might only be available to the young or the quick … or the most willing to grind their way through memorization and muscle practice. This game style isn’t as prevalent as it used to be for a reason. The bosses are particularly difficult, needing a trial-and-error approach to figure out how best to avoid their idiosyncratic dangers. The issue here is that when the several trials occur, failure doesn’t just mean trying the boss again. You must replay the four sub-levels first to face the boss again. If you don’t figure out the specific tricks needed to defeat the boss nightmares, you’re in for significantly repetitive gameplay.

I get that the nightmare tracks are supposed to be disorienting since they are set in a dream landscape, but the continual bombardment with reminders of your own failure is a bit much. While some core players will find this to be a compelling feature, I personally do not. I have many more interesting things to do with my gaming time than continue to get bad grades, then falling just short of completing the levels at a seemingly arbitrary level of expertise. Seriously, if I wanted to do that, I’d go back and get another college degree.

- Rob LeFebvre’s 2012 review of NiGHTS: Into Dreams for Venture Beat

When I hear somebody say that NiGHTS: Into Dreams is kind of a confusing game to play, I understand. When you spell out what you have to do, it can seem a bit arbitrary, especially in the context of a modern game:

  1. Deposit giant glowing crystal in to altar.
  2. Crystal turns you in to a flying jester.
  3. Gameplay changes from 3D to a 2D track that loops around the stage and back to the altar.
  4. A countdown timer appears.
  5. Collect blue marbles
  6. Touch weird looking cage, deposit marbles.
  7. Deposit enough marbles, cage explodes, get another glowing crystal.
  8. Deposit next crystal in to altar. Countdown restarts, new 2D track.
  9. Continue until there are no more crystals.
  10. If time runs out, you are screwed.

Right? A lot of those actions seem unrelated. Without somebody telling you, you’d probably never know that’s what you were supposed to do. But once you figure it out, it’s a very fast, very fun game. As became a staple with Sonic Team’s releases, it is a very practice-based game.

But… brutally difficult? Once you understand the sequence of events required to complete a level… like, the game is not challenging at all. It’s a high-score game. Everything is predicated on you getting a good score. It was what constitutes as an “arcade game” by 1997 standards. I can’t even fathom the thought that NiGHTS would be difficult. And like, I’m actually sitting here trying to come up with another arcade game that could relate to this, but there aren’t any. Your primary penalty is a low score, and even then, it’s so easy to get at least a B rank once you figure out that you can just… run laps to get more points. It may actually be more difficult to intentionally fail at NiGHTS than it is to finish the game, outside of maybe like, the final boss.

It begs the question as to whether this guy actually tried to figure anything out about the game at all, or if he struggled against it for five minutes and wrote it off entirely based on that.

I actually wrote out an outline for a video that talks about NiGHTS and Journey of Dreams, and the game’s perception, but like a lot of the non-video-review stuff I’ve written out, I don’t know that I’ll ever have the time or the tools to get around to it any time soon.

Oh well!

motwera:

blazehedgehog:

Always record more footage than you need.

XP is dead and no more supported, I repeat, dead

So, like, I know you’re probably trying to be helpful and all, but apparently this bares repeating…
[[MORE]]
I can’t upgrade off Windows XP or I will most likely lose my ability to capture video. If I lose my ability to capture video, my Youtube channel is going to go to waste, and I’d rather not let that happen as it does make me a little bit of money.
I tried investing in new capture hardware, but what you can get in my price range is kind of mega-garbage. It has tons of problems, is a headache to use every single time, and produces really crummy quality videos:

Buying better capture hardware means upgrading literally my entire computer. I am at a point where if I have to upgrade one component I have to upgrade basically all of them (except for maybe the PSU and the graphics card).
So, that means:
$80-$150 for a new motherboard
$150-$200 for a new processor
$75-$100 for new RAM
$150-$200 for a new video capture device
$70-$140 for Windows 7
I am trying to save up what I can where I can but it’s not easy and things keep coming up that eat in to what I have saved up (I also help pay the bills). It’s going to be a long time until I can afford to get anything better.
More than one person has suggested I do a Kickstarter or some kind of crowd funding campaign. Even my own Mother, the woman who sternly raised me to reject any and all handouts, told me to go for it.
Things keep piling up that stand in the way of even thinking about something like that, and even then, I’m still wrestling with whether or not it would be worth it. I don’t want to risk embarrassing myself. I absolutely know there would be people who would not approve of me turning to asking for handouts.
So yeah, I know. Windows XP is dead. Thanks for the update. But unless you want me to break my contract with Fullscreen and let my Youtube channel die, then this is the way it’s gotta be, and is going to be. It sucks and it’s scary, but that’s the way it’s gotta be right now.
And if I seem a little testy, it’s because I get a lot of guff from my friends about it, too (some of them make up the people who have told me to consider crowd funding). I’m a little fed up hearing about it like I don’t know. I’m also fed up when people refuse to hear what I have to say about certain things because they’d rather blame my complaints on the fact I’m still on XP. It’s like if you’ve got a bum leg and you go, “I’ve got a headache.” and everybody tells you it’s just your leg. Like, no.
I’ll get around to it when I can afford it. Which probably isn’t going to be soon. Okay? Okay.

motwera:

blazehedgehog:

Always record more footage than you need.

XP is dead and no more supported, I repeat, dead

So, like, I know you’re probably trying to be helpful and all, but apparently this bares repeating…

Read More

Always record more footage than you need.

Always record more footage than you need.

Ending Credits
Unknown

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, tweaking it a little bit every couple of nights, ever since I posted the Star Fox 64 one.

I think I’m finally happy with it. Maybe. Probably.

Original MIDI by “Double Zero”.

(This was a private message but I’m gonna respond to it publicly, partially because it got kind of long and because it feels like the sort of thing I would’ve posted publicly. :p)
It’s not entirely that I don’t like plot, it’s that… some game developers are clearly trying harder to make movies than games.But even that’s tricky to say, because I loved The Walking Dead Season 1, and that’s almost not even a game at all. So it varies.I suppose it’s if one feels like its getting in the way of the other. The worst part of Telltale’s Back to the Future adventure game was when they would stop and make you do adventure game puzzles in the middle of the story. BTTF’s story was fun and interesting, but needing to show the right item to the right person or crank valves to the right position was a bummer. That’s the sort of stuff that The Walking Dead corrected, and is further developed in The Wolf Among Us (where you can straight up just miss stuff and it’s okay because all it means is you lose some information going forward).I haven’t actually played a Metal Gear Solid game in a long time. I own MGS2 and MGS3, but I didn’t finish either of them, and I haven’t booted either of them up in like, 4 or 5 years now. Maybe that’s telling of how I feel about them. I know I was getting really exhausted by the intro of MGS3. It goes, and goes, and goes. Between the intro cutscene and first codec call it’s gotta be like 10-15 minutes long. If it was a game just about story that might be acceptable, but it’s not. It’s actively keeping you from playing the game itself. That’s the problem. I’ll gladly listen to a journal entry in Gone Home, because that’s what that game is about. But MGS3 has like, stealth and shooting and camo indexes and food preparation and mental states and boss battles. Watching and playing are two different states and when I want to do one I don’t necessarily want to do the other. It’s hard to shift gears.I’ve never played The Last of Us, though, so I can’t really comment on how well it does that, either. But as long as it doesn’t have Metal Gear Solid length cutscenes, it’s probably fine.
(I do generally like what MGS is going for, though, it’s just… I dunno, haven’t felt like going back and finishing MGS2 or 3)

(This was a private message but I’m gonna respond to it publicly, partially because it got kind of long and because it feels like the sort of thing I would’ve posted publicly. :p)

It’s not entirely that I don’t like plot, it’s that… some game developers are clearly trying harder to make movies than games.

But even that’s tricky to say, because I loved The Walking Dead Season 1, and that’s almost not even a game at all. So it varies.

I suppose it’s if one feels like its getting in the way of the other. The worst part of Telltale’s Back to the Future adventure game was when they would stop and make you do adventure game puzzles in the middle of the story. BTTF’s story was fun and interesting, but needing to show the right item to the right person or crank valves to the right position was a bummer. That’s the sort of stuff that The Walking Dead corrected, and is further developed in The Wolf Among Us (where you can straight up just miss stuff and it’s okay because all it means is you lose some information going forward).

I haven’t actually played a Metal Gear Solid game in a long time. I own MGS2 and MGS3, but I didn’t finish either of them, and I haven’t booted either of them up in like, 4 or 5 years now. Maybe that’s telling of how I feel about them. I know I was getting really exhausted by the intro of MGS3. It goes, and goes, and goes. Between the intro cutscene and first codec call it’s gotta be like 10-15 minutes long.

If it was a game just about story that might be acceptable, but it’s not. It’s actively keeping you from playing the game itself. That’s the problem. I’ll gladly listen to a journal entry in Gone Home, because that’s what that game is about. But MGS3 has like, stealth and shooting and camo indexes and food preparation and mental states and boss battles. Watching and playing are two different states and when I want to do one I don’t necessarily want to do the other. It’s hard to shift gears.

I’ve never played The Last of Us, though, so I can’t really comment on how well it does that, either. But as long as it doesn’t have Metal Gear Solid length cutscenes, it’s probably fine.

(I do generally like what MGS is going for, though, it’s just… I dunno, haven’t felt like going back and finishing MGS2 or 3)

How would you feel about sharing the email Kellie Parker sent you in which she accused you of hacking Sega's website? I dont know about your other readers, but I'd very much like to read it.

After I first mentioned that email, I actually went digging for it in my inbox and I can’t find it.

That’s sort of like a worst-case scenario, too, because you don’t bring up something like that unless you can back it up, right? I don’t know if my email search is just passing it over, I don’t know if the inbox ate it… and I doubt I would delete something like that. The only other course of action would be to go through the the 21,000 emails in my inbox one by one until I find it.

And then of course it starts this panic state where you start to wonder… am I checking the right email address? I mean, I don’t think I had any contact with Sega CMs on any other address, so probably. Was it actually over email? That’s the only “private” way to contact me, and I doubt they’d say something like that to me publicly, though I did get my twitter account in 2010…

It’s been just long enough to make my memory hazy as to the exact placement of that email, and it’s kind of freaking me out a little bit. To the point where I’m not even sure I should be saying this publicly.

(But then, I already stepped in this turd by bringing it up originally, so I might as well be clear.)

Thinking Outloud (7/16/2014)

Somebody the other day told me that I had a unique voice. This isn’t the first time.

I used to get bummed out when people talked about my voice. Some people don’t like it. If I’m to continue doing what I do, I can’t really worry about it, and more and more, it’s sliding off my back.

It’s when people say something like “You have a unique voice.” that trips me up. They’re obviously avoiding using terms like “good” or “bad”, they’re just saying… unique.

What does that mean? What can I do with that? I suppose my only take-away is that it means I have a memorable “sound”. Like when I said it’s good that people know TSSZ by name, it means I have something that people know. They can pick me out.

Right? I guess? Doesn’t mean it’s not still weird, though. I want to know how its unique. I hear my voice every day, I can’t tell you what it’s like. Just that it’s mine. Am I nasally? Scratchy? Too high pitched? Too soft?

How am I unique? How can I better avoid things people don’t like about my voice?

I feel like I need a voice coach.

blazehedgehog:

People like to assume that console wars are because kids don’t have a lot of money and are therefore locked in to their decisions for an entire generation.
I think kids just like to feebly assert their dominance over really dumb, trivial stuff.

blazehedgehog:

People like to assume that console wars are because kids don’t have a lot of money and are therefore locked in to their decisions for an entire generation.

I think kids just like to feebly assert their dominance over really dumb, trivial stuff.

Knuckles is innocent, he has no reason to use firearms. He's called Knuckles for a reason, ya feel me?

Anonymous

With all those wraps on his guns, they’re probably considered concealed weapons

last anon was probably talking about those sonic dance power compilations in the 90's

Anonymous

Oh, right, yeah.

Man what a weird thing.