Mento

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Mento

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#1 Mento  Moderator

@nodima: Ahh, good catch re: Beethovens, and the rolling thereof. I'm sure you're right but that's quite the reference for a 1999 monster truck game to make. The in-game soundtrack certainly didn't indicate a familiarity with classic rock.

Also, the Double/Triple Axels refer to figure-skating, which I also had to check now that I've become paranoid about the game's references going over my head. Am I... am I not cultured enough to appreciate Monster Truck Madness 64?

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#2 Mento  Moderator

@manburger: Next one's going to be a real doozy. The good times had to end eventually.

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#3 Mento  Moderator

@arbitrarywater: Hybrid Heaven's definitely one of my pre-selects, albeit pretty far down the list. Wrestledent Evil, as I've taken to calling it. (Quest 64 is even further down that same list. I happen to own a copy, so desperate was I for N64 RPGs at the time.)

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#4 Mento  Moderator

@tartyron: For sure, the late-game component requirements are getting crazy. I'm butting up against the time limits just because it takes so long to create the necessary amount of carbon steel for everything. I've since added another industrial furnace to my set-up (making three that can produce c-steel) and that's helped a little. Fortunately, if you find a good cache of iron ore you can get several hundred units from one trip to the ruins and not have to worry about raw materials for a while, but I'm looking for more ways to expedite things. Maybe make a few generators too because I keep forgetting to refuel everything.

I appreciate that I have options, at least, and all this downtime is making it easier to catch up with socializing and any commissions/side-quests that don't require the assembly platform. That the game can be this compelling and still have so many areas to improve makes me excited for Sandrock's potential.

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#5  Edited By Mento  Moderator

@nateandrews: Thanks! Nintendo's made it easier than ever to play Super Mario 64 in recent months, albeit through the most gouge-y way possible. They've yet to add F-Zero X to the Nintendo Switch Online thing however so it's viable for this feature until that happens. Just a healthy 1-in-376 chance of it showing up.

@arbitrarywater: Ogre Battle's actually on my shortlist of pre-selections, though some way down. There's precious few RPGs for that system and the only one I've played (besides Paper Mario, which is already on NSO and thus off the table) is Quest 64. I realize it's a small pool but surely it can do better than little old Brian and his magic stick? (Watch as Quest 64 becomes next week's Random pick.)

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#6 Mento  Moderator

@beard_of_zeus: Thanks for the heads-up about Undernauts. It's on my Steam wishlist already, but I guess they're delaying the EU Switch/PS4 ports for some reason? I'll keep an eye out for them as the year continues. Ditto some of their other DRPGs if I see them cheap enough.

Spirit Hunter: NG is almost certainly something I'll get around to for an Indie Game of the Week later this year, I'm sure. I think they're releasing another one soon as well? Shibito Magire, which I hope has the tagline "you had me at 'boo'".

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#7 Mento  Moderator

@bigsocrates: I'd be curious to find that out too. "Millionaire overnight" type Indie successes like Super Meat Boy have become much rarer as the market has grown larger and more competitive. It might be that most Indie developers get incremental bumps courtesy of when their game goes on sale for the first time (or has a new highest discount), hits a new system, or some prominent streamer or review site covers the game some time after release - so many Indies launch every week that it seems tough to get eyes on a new release unless there's a pedigree behind its franchise or its developer, and the frequency of these post-release bumps become the true test of a game's viability. Among Us only exploded in popularity several years after it came out, if I recall. If those bumps in revenue are enough to help subsidize the developer's next project (and keeps the company solvent and pays for living expenses, for that matter), I think that's probably enough. (Without knowing for sure as an external observer, it does seem harder to be an Indie dev these days, or at least a runaway success like those featured in Indie Game: The Movie.)

Actually, now I'm wondering if Indie games are given overly optimistic launch prices because seeing them on sale at 50% or 75% off a year or so later is a good way to draw new interest. Releasing at a much fairer price that would negate the need for heavy discounts might not be as conducive to dividends in the long-run. A cynical take, maybe, but I could see the appeal for Indie developers. It's not like they need to worry about reprints or their games suddenly becoming harder to find (at least, no more than they were at launch).

The Voxel Agents, the developers of this game, have been around since 2009 making iOS games so I'm sure they would've been fine whether The Gardens Between did much for them or not. Probably thought it was worth the risk to attach a moderate price tag. Not to sound reductive, but there are so many games of its particular "attractive, story-focused, movie-length" approach (What Remains of Edith Finch, Bound, Firewatch, Tacoma, and The Last Campfire are others) that I'm sure they must all do sufficient sales numbers whether they happen to win awards or don't.

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#8 Mento  Moderator

@bigsocrates: Right, I think that was what I was scrambling towards with that sushi comparison. It's definitely asking a lot for a little, length-wise if not quality-wise. There's also the issue that everyone's perception of value/worth is subjective and it's hard to critique that aspect as a result. Since it's a three-year-old game, I was able to pick up Gardens in a recent PSN sale for like £4 (annoyingly, it just went on sale for £3) which was far more my speed. (It also explains why I haven't reviewed any 2021 Indies on here yet.)

As long as the developers of any Indie game are open to discounts in the future, I don't mind them charging whatever they feel their game is worth: the market will ultimately decide if that's the right choice, excepting factors like how difficult it is for any game to get attention on the PSN store. Feels like I'm walking into the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark every time I boot it up.

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#9 Mento  Moderator

Whoops.

Also, done.

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#10 Mento  Moderator

@zombiepie: Nah, not really. Closest was that recent trilogy of Shadowrun RPGs and the first Mario + Rabbids. I'm certainly not against the idea of playing more games in that vein, and I have a few in the backlog (XCOM 2 and Xenonauts), but they're usually huge timesinks so I'm always a bit hesitant. I might be more receptive to something a bit more story-focused and linear like Mutant Year Zero - somewhere in the 15-20 hour range would suit me best.

I guess Underrail kinda counts, which I just completed a few days ago. It's not squad-based or has a whole lot of features based around overwatching while behind cover but it's from a similar vintage I'd say. Very tactical, very strict, very likely to hit a game over if you mess up. It's also the only non-XCOM game where I regularly seemed to miss shots that purported a 70%-90% chance to hit.