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Seeric

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There must be something incredibly wrong with one or more of the many ports considering the amount of their fanbase's goodwill and hype they are throwing straight into the trash with such a last minute delay. Plus, as others have said, this is going to hurt it when it comes to Game of the Year stuff considering how close to the end of the year it's (presumably) coming out.

My guess is even with so many more days of crunch it's going to release as a buggy mess on par with a Bethesda offering with different versions taking vastly different amounts of time to receive patches. They'll probably try to blame it all on the game being so big and expansive and so on, but for the most part it comes back to crunch.

Human beings aren't machines. Being forced to work ~80-100+ hours week after week is going to wear people down both mentally and physically. Code becomes sloppier and results in more bugs, these same exhausted and overwhelmed individuals now need to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it, and when a fix does appear it's likewise probably less-than-perfect and might not work or might create even more bugs.

Crunch only results in more crunch to 'fix' the problems created by crunch. I am reasonably confident that the game would have come out sooner and in a better state with happier employees if there was little to no crunch with a healthy amount of breaks so everyone could work at their best as efficiently as possible.

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Seeric

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I'm legitimately not sure why people have a problem with timed store exclusives. Console exclusives are one thing since you may not own the console in question that gets a game first, but since it's all on PC in this case that's not an issue. There is also no reasonable way to expect a new digital storefront to compete with Steam's massive install-base without taking actions such as offering better deals to developers for temporary exclusivity. Desura sure couldn't compete, itch doesn't compete, and GOG somewhat sidesteps the issue by offering a significantly more curated and focused experience.

It's hard to get people to look at a new store when all their online friends and achievements and installed games (and trading cards) have all been clumped together in one place for years on end. It's not a matter of quality so much as it is a matter of momentum. Steam has the same sort of momentum WoW had (and still has to a degree) in that people have become so invested in it on so many different levels that it is very, very difficult to get them to even look at anything else, let alone interact with it.

Lastly, to be blunt, Valve needs some legitimate competition. They're currently coasting on the same sort of hubris Sony was back during the PS3's launch. They believe themselves to be untouchable and they believe the money will keep endlessly rolling in, so they put in virtually no effort. Their storefront is an uncurated apocalypse of asset flips, stolen games, things which are outright broken, and anime porn with only the faintest shadow of "gameplay" to make it qualify as a game (ex: memory match).

Even when problems are reported, they so rarely take action that they still haven't banned at least one developer who has had multiple commercial games taken off due to said games being stolen freeware. Valve has no reason to lift even a single finger so much as a centimeter if everyone complains about their lack of effort while still giving them money. However, just as they "coincidentally" decided to revamp their outdated messaging system after Discord became popular, a competitor who consistently and tangibly bites off a small portion of their profits may be the incentive they need to finally expend at least the bare minimum effort towards maintaining their store; it would be nice to no longer have the defunct YoYo Games Sandbox be the closest comparison to the Steam Store.

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Seeric

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So far it's Baba is You for me. I'm a big fan of the developer's previous work, Environmental Station Alpha, but I wasn't sure if Baba is You would grab me. I ended up getting hooked instantly and even after I had put dozens of hours into it and completed every puzzle I still wanted more. It's also a great game to watch other people play because everyone ends up speaking what sounds like nonsense while trying to figure out solutions. I'm not sure if it'll remain my favorite by the end of the year since we still have plenty of time, but it'll definitely remain up there at the very least and I'm eagerly awaiting the official release of the level editor.

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Seeric

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By the way, you might want to back up your save file somewhere since there's an annoying bug (an unintended one) that can delete all of your archiving progress. I didn't know about it at the time, but I got hit with it while exploring several hours after the credits and it killed my desire to play more of the game, or at least until it gets fixed.

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Seeric

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#5  Edited By Seeric

I will honestly be surprised if this does well beyond the initial release. Aside from potential concerns around having even less control over your games due to no files being on the player's side at all, I think the technology simply isn't there yet. Even if everything is fantastic 100% of the time on Google's end, what about the player's end and their ISP's? I'm not sure if this is realistically viable for many people with monthly data caps since, even if it's just streaming video, that could end up using up more data over dozens of hours of playtime than a single game download would.

There's also the matter of potential latency issues and interruptions during single player games. The difference between this and something like a music or video streaming service is that video games are not passive experiences. Listening to a song isn't the same as inputting 100+ button presses per minute in a rhythm game just as watching an action movie isn't the same as jumping between platforms while dodging attacks in an action platformer. And if something does go wrong on Google's side, just as it did during their very own GDC stream, does that mean a climatic cutscene might start stuttering or jumping frames? A little bit of lag here and there in something like an MMO is usually fine because those games are built from the ground up to compensate for such things, you're probably not going to wipe on a raid boss because the healer or the tank had a few frames of lag (especially since some MMO's even let you queue up skills to a degree), but single player experiences aren't designed with such issues in mind.

Stadia's ability to make truly massively multiplayer games a reality is fascinating, but I think the moment someone feels like latency issues caused them to die or take damage or the moment a problem on Google's side, however rare, causes issues during gameplay or a cutscene is the moment that person starts questioning why they are playing their single player game on Stadia.

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Seeric

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Sword Master on the NES has a ton of problems, but its soundtrack definitely isn't one of them:

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Seeric

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I use a GC controller for Smash and like it a lot, though I don't have a Pro Controller to compare it to. Price was a factor here as I already have working GC controllers from back in the days of Melee and I'm fine with the Joycons for other games, so buying an adapter saved me about $45 over a Pro Controller. I had a fairly large number of incorrect inputs with the Joycons, such as sometimes crouch-walking with the Belmonts when just trying to walk forward or using an up special when trying to use a side special, and the shape of the GC controller's gate fixed that. I also like how easy it is to press A+Y for performing neutral and forward aerials from the ground and I've found Ness's lightning in particular to be far easier to aim.

In summary, if you already have a functional GC controller sitting around and this is the only game you want a controller for, that controller feels like a big improvement over the Joycons when it comes to Smash and buying an adapter will save you a lot of money over a Pro Controller. If you don't already have a working GC controller, it's almost certainly better to buy the Pro Controller because the cost will come out to about the same, the Pro Controller seems entirely fine from what others have said, and the Pro Controller can be used for far more games.

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Seeric

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#8  Edited By Seeric

@companionpube: Gender roles are social constructs and, like any constructions, they can be deconstructed and reconstructed anew as demographics and social norms shift. Writing beautiful poetry and carrying around dapper umbrellas used to be considered the absolute peak of masculinity while tech jobs like working with computers were associated more with women until around the 80's. Roles flip-flop, become forgotten, and/or become gender-neutral across time and culture, they're far from set in stone.

If you feel like some "feminist agenda" is forcing female protagonists down your throat, that's only because you grew up in a time when stronger female characters were the exception and not the rule and where just about the only times a female character could be in an action role were if 1) they were constantly framed as "a tomboy" 2) they were forced into it because the only other choice was to die or 3) the focus was still more on a male protagonist and they were secondary. Somewhere along the line companies finally started to realize that girls and women actually do make up a fairly big chunk of the fantasy/action/sci-fi media fanbase so they finally decided to put female characters in leading roles in such media once in a while without feeling a need to justify it in some weird way within the story's framework. If you're somehow feeling attacked(!) by this though, don't worry, it's an incredibly minuscule uptick in female protagonists in such genres as I can assure you the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of leading roles are still dominated by male characters.

As for the anime comparison, I used shonen specifically because that's the demographic all of these games we're talking about would fall into. They're definitely not mature stories aimed at adult men, they are action-y sci-fi and fantasy affairs aimed primarily at teenage boys. I never claimed that Japanese media aimed at other demographics didn't have its own share of problematic fanservice (though even then stuff like Ghost in the Shell certainly doesn't come close to the sheer degree of something like Xenoblade Chronicles 2), I merely compared these games to the types of anime and manga they are the most similar to, shonen.

And let's be clear here, revealing clothing and outright nudity are not inherently fanservice nor are they inherently problematic. They only become problematic when they are framed in such a way they they diminish a character into little more than a sex object, distract from the story or kill the tone/atmosphere of a scene in favor of attempts at eliciting "cheap thrills" from the target demographic (in this case teenage boys), and/or make for a moral lesson that a good chunk of the audience feels uncomfortable about or disagrees with (ex: making a situation where a female character serving a male character and putting all of the male character's own wants and needs above their own is framed as an ideal, healthy thing to do while caring about her own desires is framed as wrong and bad). If you truly enjoy a product, the best thing you can do concerning it is criticize what you believe to be its faults as enough criticism can lead to an even better product down the line or, on a more personal level, you may end up being told about an existing product with all the features you love and few or none of the elements you dislike.

Lastly, I'm sorry that you're upset at being grouped in with people who get angry about soup cans on social media, but, well, everything you said and continue to say matches up so well that I guess you just fit therole.

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@matmaelstrom11: Not all pandering to fans is sexist, but when that pandering takes the form of having the defining character trait of multiple female characters be their desire to serve and fulfill the wishes of the bland male protagonist (the deliberately bland, deliberately generic character the intended audience is expected to project themselves onto), I'm really not sure what you could call it beyond sexist. It's sexist because it hurts the characters themselves and the writing itself, it removes or at least subtracts from any attempt at real depth in favor of creating a pandering, simpering thing that exists solely to give the type of unrealistic attention to the protagonist/player that the player may so desperately desire in real life.

Again, if people want to seek out porn games or just dating games or even simply wish fulfillment games that have nothing to do with sexual/romantic desires, I think that's 100% fine because those products exist for an explicit reason and they're doing what they're designed to do. People get lonely, they get scared and depressed and a whole host of other things and sometimes they to tune out and escape into the unrealistic worlds of such media for a while and that's fine. I think this type of pandering in things like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 though absolutely deserves criticism because it hurts the characters, hurts the worldbuilding, puts extra strain on the audience's limits for suspension of disbelief, and overall makes the game less than what it could be. Criticism like this doesn't really pop up if a game has, say, an unlockable "sexy maid outfit" for a female character (or an unlockable "sexy loincloth" for a male character for that matter) or one or two characters who pop up briefly and then go away forever, but when the game constantly treats its player like they are a horniest teenage boy on Earth who wants to get off to more or less the entire female cast, it can at the very least be rather annoying and detracts from the overall experience.

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Seeric

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#10  Edited By Seeric
@companionpube said:

Seeking out game series that are known for providing fanservice and then calling out the newest entry for once again featuring fanservice isn't valid criticism.

This isn't a matter of seeking out series known for fanservice though? Nobody's talking about stuff like Conception here where you know what you're in for the moment you read the back of the box. Xenogears, Xenosaga, and, yes, previous entries in Xenoblade don't come close to being as fanservice-y as Xenoblade Chronicles 2. JRPG's as a subgenre certainly don't inherently have fanservice. Anime/manga as artforms also definitely don't need fanservice to be good (ex: Berserk is a classic and one of my favorites and, while it runs the gamut on mature content, it doesn't have one drop of this type of fanservice).

In fact, let's be completely blunt here: yes, fanservice aimed at teenage boys is common in shonen anime - One Piece has some characters in "sexy clothing", Dragon Ball and My Hero Academia have jokes revolving around "pervert characters", Bleach feels like it constantly has one maiden or another in distress, Kenichi has *all* of these things, but can you seriously say that you've ever seen a shonen anime/manga outside of ecchi or straight up hentai that has as much blatant, constant fanservice as Xenoblade Chronicles 2? I haven't, and there's a decent chance that I've watched more anime than you have (and I've definitely played more JRPG's).

Also, people belonging to the crowd that uses terms like "feminist agenda" quite literally have been known to do things like write angry rants on social media because female superheroes appeared on cans of soup...so let's not go screaming about censorship and trying to push one's moral values onto others, okay?