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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:19 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Indivisible I think is the rpg equivalent of a euroshmup: a game made by people who either hate or fundamentally don't understand the genre they're working with and think that they're genius innovators for adding things that break the concept of the genre.

That's the best, concise description I've heard of a euroshmup in a long time, and I'm gonna try to remember it next time I run into someone trying to argue that euroshmups can be good. (if it's good, it's probably not a euroshmup)


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:26 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Indivisible I think is the rpg equivalent of a euroshmup: a game made by people who either hate or fundamentally don't understand the genre they're working with and think that they're genius innovators for adding things that break the concept of the genre.

That's the best, concise description I've heard of a euroshmup in a long time, and I'm gonna try to remember it next time I run into someone trying to argue that euroshmups can be good. (if it's good, it's probably not a euroshmup)


Apidya was good though. Or at least I remember it as being the only computer shmup that could hold a candle to the MD/SNES shooters I'd played.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:04 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Indivisible I think is the rpg equivalent of a euroshmup:

I suppose it depends on what one considers the "essential" elements of the genre; myself, I'm not a huge fan of micromanagement in my games (which is why I tend to prefer JRPGs to Western ones, though I readily acknowledge that the former is merely a riff on the pioneering innovations of the latter), so the absence/simplification of such elements doesn't much bother me, though again, seeing as the initial pitch for the game made it seem a good deal more "epic" than it turned out to be it's not unreasonable that folks more in tune with that style of game would be disappointed in the final product. On a similar note I'm generally less interested in story elements than even fellow JRPG aficionados (Graces is easily my favorite of the Tales games I've played, if that sets the stage for you), which nicely segues into...

Quote:
The writing isn't just comedy oriented: it's seems absolutely bafflingly awful from what I've heard.

I haven't exactly been taking copious notes in this area, but offhand I'd chalk up most of my own misgivings about the dialogue to the things I mentioned earlier, namely a jarring overall tone and a lack of character depth to explore with any amount and/or quality of text; I wouldn't personally be inclined to call what is in there completely irredeemable, as more than enough of the gags have gotten at least a chuckle out of me, but again, it definitely wasn't what I was led to expect from the game, so I can definitely understand that some folks had a "...wait, what the hell is this nonsense?" reaction to it. I also found most of the voice acting to be pretty solid, which helps too.

Quote:
Game makes me mad fuckin' salty

Another way in which Indivisible carries the spirit of fighting games! In seriousness though, yeah, I'll readily admit that there's a great of unfulfilled potential here, though I do think (again, at least so far) that it succeeded at enough to still be worth playing. Now, of course, we get to see if the rest of the trip proves me a liar and moves me into the "yeah, everyone else was right, I hate it" camp. :P
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:23 am 


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Marc wrote:
Apidya was good though. Or at least I remember it as being the only computer shmup that could hold a candle to the MD/SNES shooters I'd played.

True, but that's because it mimicked its japanese inspirations so closely, instead of misguidedly trying to 'improve' on them like most of its peers. The same applies to Z-Out, which is also very solidly designed, even if it's not quite as good as Apidya. I consider neither game as euroshmups, but rather as shmups made in europe.

So I guess what Sumez says still stands: (if it's good, it's probably not a euroshmup)


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:29 pm 


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Oh look, more Bayonetta. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqz46aLf4b0
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:50 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:


lol. just picked it up on the steam sale and playing it today.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:10 am 


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Contra Hard Corps (Genesis) - Owned this one for years but never gave it an honest go. I am having fun. Slowly getting the hang of it, but I'm not very good at run&gun games. Stuck on a pretty annoying boss fight in the Jungle where most of the fight is getting chased or chasing this mechanical thing. I think I'm on the final form where is shoots lighting that I can't seem to dodge. Not going to watch a vid cause that will spoil it, these roadblocks are puzzles.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:29 am 


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That stretched out jungle boss fight is the single most annoying thing in Contra HC, and having to play it every time regardless of the path taken really hurts an otherwise excellent game. In fact, I gave up on my plan to finish it with all endings because at one point I just couldn't stand the thought of playing the jungle level one more time.

If you want to make it slightly less annoying:

Spoiler: show
You can cheese some scenes with him with the right weapons to make it go over a little more quickly. If you hang on the left side of the ceiling during the very first encounter and aim diagonally downwards, a strong weapon will end this sub-fight before the boss gets dangerous. During the helicopter-like ascend you can simply climb the right wall until you're not in the visible area of the screen anymore. Apparently, collision is only checked if objects are visible. The same works in the scene with the slope and the reflecting lasers. You can hang on the ceiling so your hitbox is not in the visible area, but your gun is. Aim diagonally downwards without worrying about the lasers.


As for the lightning attack during the boss's last form:

Spoiler: show
Only the boss's main body hurts you, his arms don't. You can simply dodge the lightning by moving in a circle around him.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:03 am 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
If you want to make it slightly less annoying:


:oops: Thanks, hints I don't mind, but I try to avoid copying videos. :mrgreen:
I had figured out the first form and trick on the helicopter part, the bouncing lasers were mostly RNG so sometimes got through them okay. In my last handful of tries I figured out the hitbox of the lightning phase, it is just a matter of time because I figure out the right execution.

Glad to know that's the worst part of the game, in some sorta way. I have credit fed Shattered Soldier on PS2 a couple times, but it had some similar annoying parts iirc. I have no idea what is the better game.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:10 am 


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picked up Super Arcade Racing on Switch over the weekend, not bad at all.
Top-down racing with nice slippery handling, does exactly what it says on the lid. Lacks the speed of a Thrash Rally or Neo Drift-Out at the min, but not bad at all for four quid.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:27 am 


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That talk about Indivisible's writing reminds me a lot of The Messenger in which every single piece of dialogue is "hurr durr video game tropes", and there's a lot of it.

While I do usually enjoy self referential humor in video games, trying that hard, and stopping in its tracks every other minute for another dialogue dump that serves little purpose other than more contrived comedy, gets real tiring real fast.

It also falls into the category as a type of game where you'd probably have expected the tone to be different.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:53 pm 


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Been playing Alien Isolation.

Mixed reactions to it for sure. It's a good game, but it feels unfinished and what story their is isn't all great (acting, writing).

There's a lot of untapped potential, and it's kind of sad that it generally won't have a follow-up. It's sad that Sega decided to abandon the possibility of a sequel and that the dev team was dissolved.

There is the bones of a really fantastic game there.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:01 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
That talk about Indivisible's writing reminds me a lot of The Messenger in which every single piece of dialogue is "hurr durr video game tropes", and there's a lot of it.

While I do usually enjoy self referential humor in video games, trying that hard, and stopping in its tracks every other minute for another dialogue dump that serves little purpose other than more contrived comedy, gets real tiring real fast.

It also falls into the category as a type of game where you'd probably have expected the tone to be different.


Yeah it's not a good look (see also: Yiik). That being said what I've seen and heard and been told of Indivisible's writing is less "self aware" and more an attempt at MCU/Whedon-esque "qupping" every five seconds. That in itself wouldn't be the most offensive thing in the world (though I do find that style banal overall), but I know a little about the games attempts at drama and how offensive they are as they contradict its own heavy handed morals and attempt at a theme.

What makes it EVEN MORE infuriating is knowing the history of the project. It was artist Alex Ahad's brainchild, a deeply personal story about his culture and religion that he had rediscovered in adulthood. The original plot was - from the sound of it - tonally somewhere between Chrono Trigger and Xenogears. But then Alex got sacked (I personally by the same people who later went on to cancel Mike Z) and a host of 12 contractors (can you say too many cooks?) were brought in to rewrite the story into an incoherent farce.

It makes me mad.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:16 am 


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Sumez wrote:
That talk about Indivisible's writing reminds me a lot of The Messenger in which every single piece of dialogue is "hurr durr video game tropes", and there's a lot of it.


At least The Messenger used the silly dialog as a bullet point. I wasn't even aware of how silly the dialog in Indivisible was until I heard about it here.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:57 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
What makes it EVEN MORE infuriating is knowing the history of the project.

I wasn't aware of that sequence of events, though it would certainly make sense in light of what I recalled earlier on about the game not initially being pitched as a comedy but eventually blindsiding (and in some cases repelling) players tonally once it actually came out. Do you happen to have a link to a source for that, I'd be interested in more details.

At any rate, right near the end of the game now...
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:14 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
Do you happen to have a link to a source for that, I'd be interested in more details.


It's all very scattered across the web at this point.

Alex was gushing about his plans for the game in early dev streams and interviews when it first went on kickstarter. They're probably still floating around somewhere that can be found by googling and watching/reading through old stream and press archives and shit. I talked to him briefly at a convention and shook hands and while we didn't talk about Indivisible thematically (as far as I remember), he definitely gave me a "living the dream" vibe.

The 12 contractors was something that came up in either a thread or a convo with friends (can't remember), but IIRC the source was the credits or something.

Alex getting let go pre-release was something the company was very quiet on. Most people learned through a screencap of his personal art discord where he mentioned that he was no longer working at Lab Zero in a somewhat brief and forlorn manner. Later on, one of the titty coomer artists who helped cancel Mike Z happened to let it slip in a tweet that Alex was "let go" by "other leaders" because he was being "hostile" a decision that said coomer artist "agreed with". He also let slip that Alex took his firing to court and even managed to force a settlement. I dunno if that unfortunate tweet slip of the tongue is still up, but my friends screencapped it just in case.

Beyond all that, there are a lot more rumors floating around, but I can't back up all of them so I didn't mention. For example I'm told that Kinuko, one of the artists who also helped cancel Mike and out him from the company (very funny coincidences, these) took over as story lead after Alex's sacking because "nobody else wanted to do it" (HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM). This is all part of why I really don't trust anything the poor souls who helped cancel Mike and ruin his career have to say.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:39 am 


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The thing about Lab Zero, and their new office they've formed or whatever.

Is even if MikeZ was the monster people say he is.. what is this new studio going to produce?
Skullgirls afaik was born of the creative partnership of Z and Ahad.

Absent those two i'm not holding my breath for anything worth a damn coming out of this new studio.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:43 am 


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Maybe nothing worth a damn was gonna come out of it either way.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:49 am 


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Whaddayamean?
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:00 am 


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I just think it's weird to attribute the failings of a game to a single person being pushed out from a company.
If he was really as big of a POS as everything seems to point to, there might be a lot more problems here than just someone being prevented from realizing their vision.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:09 am 


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Are you confusing mikeZ with Ahad here?

Either way I'm not speaking on Indivisible so much as just doubting anything good will come out of the reformed studio.

As for Indivisible, I actually crowdfunded the fucking thing and never got my backer reward - a copy of the game. Not sure how to chase it down or if i can even be bothered to play it now.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:07 am 


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Seems to almost be par for the course for Kickstarters :(
Same thing for me and Mighty no. 9. I never bothered claiming the reward I never got, because of the game's reception.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:15 am 


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Do not confuse Alex Ahad and Mike Z

Alex Ahad is an artist and still has his reputation intact. He'll probably work in the industry again (if he even wants to after this shit).
Mike Z is a programmer, game designer, director, etc. who's had his reputation and career ruined.

They were among the founders of the studio (co-founders? It's been awhile), but their partnership of "celebrated speedrunner and fighting game pro turned game programmer x fan-favorite cult artist" was what got the studio the hardcore niche fanbase that ultimately kept it alive for all these years.

Sumez wrote:
I just think it's weird to attribute the failings of a game to a single person being pushed out from a company.


Z and Alex were the gameplay and artistic heart and soul of the company, there's no arguing otherwise.

Alex was responsible for the unique art style and character designs of Skullgirls and Indivisible and what gave it such a unique look, and it's incredible telling that after he was booted the character redesigns and writing both took enormous artistic dives into the trashbin. Mike Z was behind everything that made Skullgirls play the way it did. It absolutely sold itself on being a fighting game designed and balanced by an veteran and community favorite tournament pro and it was completely honest in that claim: he built the engine it ran in from scratch and spent almost 8 years feverishly patching game balance to perfection. He'd leave his own comments and dorky little puns on the patch notes. He was absolutely the gameplay soul of the company.

It's not an exaggeration to say there's almost nothing interesting interesting about the company without those two, which is being evidenced now by FutureClub having no idea what they're doing and trying to broach Virtual Youtubing / Streaming instead of making games.

That being said, I think Mike didn't know what he was doing with Indivisible's design and it still would have played poorly regardless. But if Alex had been on board it might've at least had a charming story and risen to the level of "flawed but likable".

Sumez wrote:
If he was really as big of a POS as everything seems to point to,


I'm going to be honest: from all the snooping I've done and personal interactions, I don't think he was.

I think he's a pretentious, socially awkward weirdo with OCD who doesn't know how to interact with people, which made him prime target for defamation after putting his foot in his mouth one too many times. A friend of mine put it best in a convo we had about him:

Yiggles wrote:
what I recall of your theory of how it all went down is likely quite near to the truth: years of working with an autist builds up a lot of awkward moments which, when given the "I can't breathe" joke and the right push from a few powerhungry people, starts to snowball

plus the high off of successfully booting ahad

people naturally try to get their Truth from those around them, and when those around them start saying more about how this guy's no good, people will, subconsciously and without realizing they ever truly felt another way, adjust their interpretation of reality to be more in line with their peers, and thus they start recontextualizing every interaction

was that awkward conversation the other day really just a socially awkward guy trying his best to socialize, or was it some unwanted advance? was that weird flirting something you were fine with but uninterested in, or was it totally uncomfortable and he should have known better?

and the human brain doesn't store memories as like recordings, it stores them as feelings and associations of ideas and abstract concepts, and when a few key elements enter the mind, it reconstructs the memory as best it can. And if your opinion of a person changes, how your brain reconstructs the memory changes. No longer do you remember the awkward guy you're friends with saying something weird and you shrug it off, now your brain thinks this guy is no good so it constructs the event as something more sinister and creepy

and the next thing you know, you have a studio full of friends who've elected one friend from within them to be a former friend, and eject him from the group
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:33 pm 


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Been playing Hollow Knight - Steelsoul mode.

That's just a permadeath run of the game. No-miss or bust.
It's going aiit, just beat the Soul Master. he only hit me twice. Whole game feels like a really different experience. faster too.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:48 pm 


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Noita just hit 1.0 today.

Been getting blowed up good, but I'm figuring out how to customize new wands.

I like how enemies drop double gold if you kill them with emergent environmental hazards rather than just zapping them to death directly.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:21 am 


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The Indivisible discussion went a ways beyond what I expected after I started playing it, but anyways I just finished, and while I certainly wouldn't recommend it to everyone for me it was worth the playthrough. Methinks that most any game, including the ones each of us considers classics (and especially ones with as much hype behind them as this one had), will wind up diminished in our minds if we manage to catch wind of What Might Have Been if not for misfortune or malfeasance, but I imagine that if someone emerged from under a rock and played it completely blind they'd say "worth a try on sale, at least". It'll never shake the unmistakable, frustrating whiff of incompleteness about it, but IMO that isn't enough to completely debase it; if you can deal with the stuff mentioned earlier and approach with expectations held in check there's still a good amount to like.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:02 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
It's not an exaggeration to say there's almost nothing interesting interesting about the company without those two, which is being evidenced now by FutureClub having no idea what they're doing and trying to broach Virtual Youtubing / Streaming instead of making games.

While I haven't followed the studio a lot before and don't know much about Mike Z as a person, this is what I instantly thought of when I heard about the new company some days ago. Mike Z was the one who made the Skullgirls engine on his own and the game's mechanical feel seemed fueled by his specific vision and fighting game experience.

It would be nice if the new studio can still make good games, because well, that would give us good games. But if they crash and burn dramatically because they can't do anything without this core duo they kicked out it'll be a good laugh too. I had no idea they went the Vtuber route, said crash might be faster than I thought. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:53 pm 


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I think this would be my favorite N64 game if I weren't so terrible at it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:28 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
Methinks that most any game, including the ones each of us considers classics (and especially ones with as much hype behind them as this one had), will wind up diminished in our minds if we manage to catch wind of What Might Have Been if not for misfortune or malfeasance


A lot of the things that I don't like about the game run deeper than that. In fact I'd dare say most of my core turn-off's with the gameplay were always going to be a part of the package no matter what.

As I said, I think Mike just didn't "get" rpg's, leaving a wonky euroshmup-esque project where the whole thing would've been more coherent if it'd just been a realtime brawler instead of a janky turn-based collision of rpg, brawler, and metroidvania by someone who only likes and respects only 2 of those 3 genres.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:43 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
As I said, I think Mike just didn't "get" rpg's, leaving a wonky euroshmup-esque project where the whole thing would've been more coherent if it'd just been a realtime brawler instead of a janky turn-based collision of rpg, brawler, and metroidvania by someone who only likes and respects only 2 of those 3 genres.


???

Seemed like a straightforward clone of Valkyrie Profile to me.
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