GrantHeaslip's forum posts

#1 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

There were a few text logs in Assassin's Creed Unity that mentioned specific intersections and landmarks in Montreal that I was very familiar with. It's cool when written fiction is set in real locations that have been part of your day-to-day life.

As for my hometown and current home Toronto: it got nuked at the beginning of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, I guess? That might be the closest Toronto's come to playing a significant role in a AAA game. I'd probably buy just about any AAA open-world game set in Toronto that wasn't complete trash.

#2 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

@slag said:

You're right Grant, there isn't a whole lot of "all ages" developed heavily marketed AAA stuff. Gone is the day when Mario and Sonic were the biggest things in town.

It seems to me like kids games these days outside the Toys2Life category just don't get that kind of budget anymore, lot of it seems done on the cheap or touch screen free to play stuff. Minecraft being the obvious exception, but even that is hardly new.

I always dismissed Klonoa as one of the also ran mascot platformers when there was a glut of them. Sounds like I shouldn't have.

I would guess that games were also just plain cheaper to make at that point. This is in the same era when companies like Sega were pumping out an almost unbelievable number of games, many of which were comically unmarketable, at least here. AFAIK, you didn’t need that many people to make a modest game until well into the PS2 era, and my understanding is that most of the Japanese (and to a lesser degree Western) development staff were poorly-paid and worked to the bone. I think there was also much more of an appetite (at least as a percentage of the overall market) for games that weren’t blockbusters, or meaty in terms of dollars per hour of gameplay.

#3 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

@mormonwarrior said:

Klonoa/Klonoa 2 are such pleasant, fun, oft-overlooked platformers. The GBA games are cool too, though they're much more in the "puzzle-platformer" vein.

How was the Wii exclusive remake of Door to Phantomile? I never ended up checking it out, even though I found an $8 copy at GameStop once.

I’ve heard that about the GBA games. Doesn’t immediately sound like what I’m looking for, but I’m willing to give them a shot.

I’ll be following up with impressions on the Wii version when my copy shows up!

I have a copy of this but I've never played it. Maybe I'll pop it in this afternoon.

I should have also mentioned that it’s a very short game – probably less than 5 hours for a single run. It moves at a brisk pace and doesn’t get bogged down in repetition.

@grantheaslip said:
@humanity said:

Well.. someone had to play it.

You just wait until I get to playing Nights into Dreams, Sonic Adventure, Rayman 1, etc.

Looking forward to your Sonic Adventure coverage. Having recently watched a Let's Play of that game, it might not hold up to my memories of it when I was 10, to say the least. Your "I bought these games on sale on PS3" backlog is weirdly similar to mine though.

I was a Nintendo kid, so Klonoa never even crossed my radar growing up. That said, I appreciated your write up. Maybe I'll give this a look if I'm ever in the need to play something on my PS3.

If you’re anything like me (also a Nintendo kid!), you’ve glanced through PSN sales over the past couple of years and bought a lot of PS1/remastered games that you feel like you should know about as a self-respecting video gamer. PSN is a treasure trove for someone who never owned a PS1 or PS2. The JRPGs alone are seemingly endless. I’m currently playing Suikoden for the first time on the Vita.

I remember Klonoa as a series showing up on my radar a fair bit since the GBA games were coming out when I had magazine subscriptions, including Nintendo power. I’m guessing Nintendo Power were sidelining/omitting the fact that the games were sequels of a PS1 exclusive, so I’m not sure I actually knew much about the game itself.

#4 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

@grantheaslip said:

I'm at peace with the fact that FFXIII as a whole is forever going to get more shit than it deserves, but it does bum me out that the soundtracks get so little play. Lightning Returns is particularly tragic since (somewhat understandably) almost nobody gave a shit.

It deserves all the shit it gets. The characters and story in the XIII trilogy are a fucking travesty. Easily some of the worst storytelling in any medium ever. But we've been through this many, many times before.

In the context of this thread though, I'll agree that the music is pretty ridiculously awesome sometimes.

Okay, for the sake of clarity: I'm at peace with the fact that FFXIII as a whole is forever going to get more shit than I think it it deserves :).

#5 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

All three of the Final Fantasy XIII games had amazing soundtracks. I'm at peace with the fact that FFXIII as a whole is forever going to get more shit than it deserves, but it does bum me out that the soundtracks get so little play. Lightning Returns is particularly tragic since (somewhat understandably) almost nobody gave a shit.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 probably has my favourite soundtrack of the three. It takes the musical base of XIII and layers on an eclectic mix of club music, electronica, J-pop(ish), and general bombast. If nothing else, it deserves credit for its sheer audacity. Some of the English lyrics get pretty goofy, but no more goofy than Persona.

#6 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

This has been kind of a weird year for me. I got super hard into Dyling Light, fell off a cliff of interest all of a sudden, then got pretty into it again.

I totally forgot to mention that I want to try Dying Light! I've heard a good number of completely independent rousing endorsements of the game. It doesn't immediately seem like it's up my alley, but I want to give it a shot when the price is right.

I was so sure [Fallout 4] was going to be my number 1 of the year, but in a way I completely lost interest in pursuing quests.

I remember being super high on Oblivion and gradually settling into disinterest, boredom, then outright resentment. That experience was so sour that I haven't been able to muster the enthusiasm to try another Bethesda game. I feel like I get bored even watching gameplay, and I know I have a low tolerance for bugs and jank. I know that's not entirely rational, and I know a lot of people who are way into Bethesda games. As I said, I was so ready to believe that this was finally the next big step in Bethesda games, but when it became apparent that it was Just Another One Of Those, my interest just cratered. Maybe I'll finally crack open Skyrim next year.

Then, Legacy of the Void came out of nowhere with this sweet cooperative online mode with unlocks. It hooked me so hard, it is just so much fun to play.

I don't have a PC to play it on anymore, but LotV's release has given me a weird hankering for more SC2. Early in WoL, I was convinced that I was going to get into 1v1 multiplayer, but I hit a point where I realized I wasn't actually enjoying myself, and in fact was unhealthily stressed out whenever I played. I don't think I have that diligent competitive streak in me, unfortunately.

#7 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

@marokai said:

@grantheaslip: @zeik sort of just nailed how I feel in general. so I don't want to just rephrase his post. But to be clear, I don't really disagree that the ATB system isn't very impressive. It is archaic and I wouldn't want that system back. I just think it's really disappointing that SE turns around and decides to just recycle their action-RPG formula they've been using more and more since the first Kingdom Hearts. Everyone loves being snobby about how we need to "evolve" past turn based combat and move into the "future" but I see nothing innovative here.

I agree that there are parts of Kingdom Hearts that are legitimately challenging (I thought the final boss fights were a lot of fun) but the fact that SE didn't decide to create a more specialized combat system for this game (and I guess, to be fair, we certainly don't know everything yet and this game won't be out for awhile) is disappointing. It feels safe.

Yeah, I’d (at least theoretically) like to see them try something new as well. It was definitely a bit weird to look at that footage and think “that’s FFXV,” but if the choices were that or a straight copy of the original system (which was definitely being speculated), I guess I’d prefer FFXV combat.

I definitely know what you mean about vague proclamations about JRPGs needing to “evolve” or “get with the times.” It’s often said, but very rarely with any concrete ideas for improvement accompanying.

#8 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

@marokai said:

Kingdom Hearts combat is fine when it's Kingdom Hearts. That kind of incredibly simplistic combat system works there, because those games are basically for children. Also, with another KH game coming out, those people are already getting their fix on mashy boring combat. I'm just going to be super disappointed if that's literally all it ends up being. I'm far from married to the ATB system (it's had its day) but it's disappointing when plenty of other JRPGs have experimented with different battle systems that work and Square chooses the simplest format they have. That's why I think it's kind of cowardly and a missed opportunity.

But this is a FF7 remake. I guess the goal from the start was raking in $$$$$.

FFVII was basically for children as well, at least judging by the fact that it was a lot of people’s first JRPG. In my estimation, a lot (most?) of the people excited about the remake were very young when FFVII came out. I was 7, and I had friends who played it not long after its release, and certainly before high school. (I don’t say that in a disparaging way – a lot of my favourite games were designed with children in mind.)

I finally played FFVII last year and generally found it very easy. My opinion on ATB (from VI, VII, and later VIII) is that it’s very undemanding. In most cases, I was basically just mashing through menus and doing the same actions over and over again. It’s pretty easy to break the FFVII game balance with Materia, though I’m not sure I’d have immediately figured that out as a child. I also generally dislike the “feel” of ATB – it’s an odd mix of waiting and unsatisfyingly rushing through menus. I was glad to see the real-time combat, though I hope it’s a step up from the sloppy implementation of the FFXV demo.

Ironically, I’d say Kingdom Hearts (at least the first one) is a harder game than FFVII. Not necessarily in a good way, but I feel like has a higher skill ceiling and more variance in player skill.

FWIW, I’d have liked to see the FFVII remake use the FFXIII battle system, but I never in a million years expected that to happen.

#9 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

Oh man – that Sony fanboy rant call brought back memories. Crazy to think that it’s been over 9 years since I heard it last.

#10 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1869 posts) -

I’ve used a Chromebook as a secondary computer for years and have had pretty good experiences. Worth noting that I’m a heavy Google services user. Outside of work (web development tools) and a few edge scenarios (like converting and tagging music to upload to Google Play Music), almost everything I do on a computer happens within Chrome. For me, the downsides of Chrome OS (no native apps, little local storage) don’t particularly matter, and the upsides (zero maintenance, silent updates, great performance, Chrome sync) are very useful.

My old Samsung Chromebook had perennial issues with its hinge – the screen’s backlight would cut out when I opened it past a certain angle, though I could usually nudge it open to my desired angle if I was careful. There was an era in 2013 when Chrome OS got slower and I was feeling down on the device, though to Google’s credit, it improved in 2014. A lot of Flash videos (for example, the GB Flash player) never performed well on it, but considering it had a low-end ARM processor, I wasn’t entirely surprised by that. The 2 GB of RAM was also never quite enough – I had to be very careful about how many tabs I kept open, and aware of which services didn’t perform well. Despite all of that, it was a trusty $200 device for light browsing, watching YouTube videos at the breakfast table, and taking notes in class. The trackpad and scrolling were top-notch – very responsive, great momentum algorithm, no detection issues.

That Chromebook's hinge finally became unworkable a few months ago, and I replaced it with an Acer C740 (4 GB RAM version). I love the thing – I think it actually has better scrolling and general browsing performance than Chrome on my 2012 i5 Mac Mini. I did a bunch of research, and the C740 seemed to be the best option in terms of price:performance, and crucially for me, had a matte (rather than glossy) screen. The screen is admittedly pretty shitty (not unlike the Samsung it replaced), but for $270 Canadian ($200 American), it’s tough to complain.

P.S. The C740 has a minor that causes the keyboard to make contact with the screen when it’s closed and any pressure (for example, a backpack) is exerted on it. Keyboard gunk ends up on the screen, which is annoying. I bought some vinyl bumper pads (like these) and stuck a couple on the top left and top right corner of the screen bezel. Kind of ugly, but it solved the problem entirely.