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 January-March 2018 Quarterly Review: Admintendo XXI - The Key Of The Door

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PostJanuary-March 2018 Quarterly Review: Admintendo XXI - The Key Of The Door

ZeroJones: Step up, step up! Come one, come all! It's time to being Admintendo... er... XXI, is it now? Blimey. Embarrassed With me, as ever, is my admin-in-arms, Mr. Jayseph 'Edgeworth' Moyles! Say 'Hi' to the nice ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jay!

JayMoyles: Hi everybody! I feel like Dr. Nick Riviera now.

ZeroJones: As long as your degree is more legit, I think we're OK!

JayMoyles: They tell me that it's a real degree. Grin

How The Forum And Gaming Began 2018

ZeroJones: I should hope so too! Today we're covering the first few months of Space Year Twenty Eighteen in Nintendo Land (hmmm). What have been your favourite forum fings (er) from this last quarter, Jay?

JayMoyles: Well, as much as some of our fine forumites have cooled off on the format, I still enjoy a good voting thread so I'd be remiss to not to mention the Forum Awards and Balla's brilliantly constructed Switch Year One vote thread... even if the results were not what I was looking for in the latter!

Beyond that, with the announcement of a new Smash Bros. game on its way I've liked speculating and theorycrafting on what (or who, even!) will turn up in the new Smash game with the rest of the gang. There's nothing like Smash Bros. for making even the quietest of us turn into fervent fanboys once again.

ZeroJones: Agreed on the Switch Vote, which was a great thread with a surprising conclusion. Hopefully by the time the next Switch vote rolls around I'll have played Zelda and seen what all this fuss is about!

JayMoyles: I'm still stunned that you didn't jump on it right away after getting your Switch! Dubious game choices on Switch aside, what have your forum highlights been over the last few months, Zero?

ZeroJones: How rude! Razz To be honest, I've most enjoyed seeing the Switch forum fill with threads of all shapes and sizes. There are nearly 10,000 posts in there now which, for a machine that's only been out there for just over a year, is immense. Thinking of questions for If... is also fun for me.

JayMoyles: That's a huge albeit not surprising number of posts. A testament to why the Switch forum picked up Forum of the Year, I suppose. If... is a cracking thread and a favourite of mine to partake in too. Props, good sir. Thumbs Up!

ZeroJones: Why, thank you! My compliment fishing plan worked perfec-I mean, let's move on to the games of the last quarter! What tickled your video gaming fancy these past three months, Sire?

JayMoyles: The biggest title over the last few months has to be Monster Hunter World for me. After getting over my initial disappointment about the game not heading Switchwards, I grew steadily more excited for it over the last year and thankfully it's provided well over a hundred hours of fun so far. The changes implemented are exactly what I wanted to see from a console Monster Hunter game. I suppose my only gripe about it is getting used to a change in the end-game as there's not as much as in previous titles due to the fact that the West usually receives the "Ultimate" versions stuffed full with content. They're feeding us content steadily in a Splatoonesque model though, so there's still plenty to do.

I've also enjoyed a bit of Bayonetta which was hectic, madcap and most importantly a lot of fun. I'm stunned I never got around to this back at its time of release originally, but better late than never! And lastly, I've embarked on my Grand Final Fantasy Journey (trademarked) to play as much of the Final Fantasy series as I can. So far, I've sampled a lot of the free iOS offerings and I'm about 75% through the original Final Fantasy, although I'm playing an updated and definitive PSP port. It's good, but it's definitely an old RPG full of all the annoying trappings of the genre. I'm salivating at the quality of life changes I know are coming in later instalments of the series.

JayMoyles: (phew!)

ZeroJones: I'm glad you've got a lot out of MHW and that there's more to come; hopefully a Switch Monster Hunter will be announced before too long, though I gather we would be nuts to expect World on Nintendo's little hybrid that could?

JayMoyles: I think so as in this instance I don't think the Switch could handle MHW sadly, at least not in its current form. I think they'd have to strip too much away to port it across. What I do think is much more likely - and I'm sure Drunka has speculated as such too - is that we'll continue to see a Monster Hunter Portable series popping up on Switch. The demand for MonHan on Nintendo is too great to ignore.

ZeroJones: And rightly so! If a Switch Monster Hunter comes to the West, I pledge here and now that I will buy it on Day One. You heard it here first!

I'm also pleased to see you playing both Bayonetta and Final Fantasy! How many FF's have you got lined up?

JayMoyles: That's another GNamer Admintendo exclusive news scoop for you!

I think I'm set up to play nearly all the numbered entries with little fuss. The PSP should get me easy access to 1 through 9 (minus 3, that'll be on 3DS), I already own X on PS4 along with XII and XV and I've got a copy of XIII on PS3 somewhere. I won't be touching the MMOs in all likelihood - it's the spin-offs that'll be trickier, but I'm not even thinking about them yet! I'm insane for even attempting this but it's going to be a helluva journey. Smile

ZeroJones: It certainly is, and I wish you good luck and good skill! As for my own gaming quarter, it's been dominated by a certain game which I believe we'll be talking about a lot in this Skypecast.

Anyway, January started off with me finishing off the lovely L.A. Noire, a very fine piece of software. That left me with no cart game for the Switch, so I went back a generation to finish off The Wonderful 101 (not quite so wonderful) and Arkham Origins on the Wii U. They got traded in for Batman: The Telltale Series on Switch, allowing me to Batarang back to the most modern Nintendo console with aplomb. Played that one almost entirely in handheld mode, dontchaknow - there was no real reason to put it on the big screen, I felt. Also around the same time...

CELESTE. This little downloadable game was quite costly, in two different ways: it was £20, which is honestly a bit more than I believe it's worth; and it's kinda ruined the last few games I've played, simply because they were after it. Yooka-Laylee suffered, as did Kirby Star Allies... in fact, the only game I could safely say I was into for the rest of the period was Dragon Quest 8.

Then my wife got me a SNES Mini for our anniversary, and all other bets were off. Wink

JayMoyles: What were your thoughts on LA Noire? I think I've only played an hour of it on Switch - my poor, poor backlog.

I've enjoyed your chronicle of your time with the SNES Mini. As much as I'd much prefer simply playing these games on Switch through a worryingly non-existent Virtual Console, you can't fault Nintendo for a brilliant idea with the SNES (and by extension, the NES) Mini. Any highlights so far?

JayMoyles: (not ignoring Celeste, will raise that after this Razz )

ZeroJones: (five of our seven questions involve Celeste! Shocked )

JayMoyles: (wonder who sent them... Laughing )

ZeroJones: I loved L.A. Noire and put it third in the Switch vote. A hugely sprawling and ambitious adventure, the likes of which I don't think we'll ever see again (imagine how much it would cost now!). I loved cruising through downtown L.A., particularly when I decided to have a go at the side quests.

The highlights of the SNES Mini are the vast amount of cracking games it contains! I've loved reconnecting with Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island and Star Fox. The big surprises have been Star Fox 2 (really competent, pumped-up game), Super Punch-Out!! (which I've not really played before, but is a glorious technicolour boss rush) and finding that Donkey Kong Country is not as bad as I thought it might be in 2018.

JayMoyles: I think the studio which made LA Noire has sadly gone under, which is a real shame. Sad

I enjoyed watching your First Play video of SF2 (not you, Ryu) - definitely more than a hint of Command in there. DKC is still a great platformer, albeit a brutally tough one. Rare know their stuff.

I suppose that brings us to the red-headed elephant in the room... Celeste. I've also played some of this before being sidetracked by my Final Fantasy saga, but I really ought to return to it as I've not played a 2D platformer quite like this. It's got the fluid movement of Super Meat Boy without as much of the frustration along with a really charming aesthetic and what seems so far to be a pretty well woven story, especially for a 2D platformer. Of course, you're the boss on this one as you've beaten it, so the stage is yours for some Celeste chat, good sir.

ZeroJones: Then I will have to tread carefully to avoid spoilers! Ouch. I'm not usually fond of this kind of platformer, which I call 'persistence platformer': ones where you have to learn level layouts, rather than just being able to react to them as they come. However, Celeste felt completely fair in its treatment of the player, and somehow gave me the same determination as Madeline to get to the top of the ruddy mountain (incidentally, 'celeste' is Spanish for 'sky blue', which is why whenever someone mentions the mountain, the text is in light blue. Fun fact! No, wait - you usually say 'fun fact' first. D'oh).

The story also builds very well and has what I believe to be an excellent pay-off. It felt like a game where everything came together perfectly and I haven't dared go back to it since the day I finished it in case the illusion shatters (but I do want to see what a B-side feels like, as well as capturing a few more of those dang strawberries). How far did you get in the end, Captain Jay?

JayMoyles: I've beaten a windy level, so chapter 5 is next up, I believe. The B-sides are well worth checking out - I've beaten the B-side for chapter 2 and that was a hell of an undertaking. My fingers were aching by the time I reached the end so ample use of the Switch's sleep mode is advised. They're tough cookies, for sure.

I think "persistence platformer" is a fair classification for this type of platformer. Super Meat Boy falls into that bracket as well and is likely why I'm drawing comparisons here. Much like SMB, I think the instant respawn in Celeste is so important, as it should be for any games trying to cut themselves from the same cloth as the aforementioned pair. It eases any frustration of having to replay large swathes of a level and keeps the pace moving forwards nicely. Ach, I'm making myself want to fire it up after this Admintendo session!

ZeroJones: As you well know, it is quite highly thought of by a number of us, so I can only recommend that you do - I would do the same if I didn't have a recently-downloaded-and-yet-unplayed copy of Graceful Explosion Machine winking at me from my Switch!

Speaking of explosions, it's about time we got to our forumite questions.


My segue skills were never that good.

JayMoyles: Not a very... graceful transition. Cool

Forumitely Asked Questions

ZeroJones: Question The First, from a user we shall call 'Balladeer': “What would you like to see the developer of Celeste do next? Celeste 2, another genre, or what?”

JayMoyles: Hm... not having beaten this yet does scupper me somewhat as I don't know if I'll be left wanting more or left feeling wholly satisfied with my time spent climbing that mountain. I suspect the latter, considering how much bonus content is awaiting anybody who picks up the game. I suppose my answer to this would be another platformer, but not a direct sequel to Celeste.

Yourself, Zero?

ZeroJones: I reckon there's a cute JRPG in the Celeste team somewhere. The story feels very well-written for a genre that is not typically known for same; putting those skills to work in a genre that is known for its epic storylines could be fascinating.

Question The Second?

JayMoyles: Question Dos comes from another user we'll name as "that user with a Celeste avatar - no, not that one, the other one". They ask: "Celeste has brought up the topic of pixel art afresh. What are some of your favourite pixellated gaming aesthetics?"

ZeroJones: It's hard to look beyond Shovel Knight for this, certainly in this (OK, the previous) generation. Blaster Master Zero's done some good work in this field, too, and obviously Celeste is no slouch either! What say you, Field Marshal Jay?

JayMoyles: I brought it up when chatting about Hyper Light Drifter, but Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery is a particularly impressive game from a visual standpoint. The level of detail in its pixel art is staggering. Question Trois, Zero?

ZeroJones: Eh bien, mon pote! This from the Musical User Man: "Celeste's soundtrack has been rightly fawned over. What have been your most memorable musics from year 1 of the Switch?"

JayMoyles: I think the soundtrack crown has to go to Super Mario Odyssey, but I did enjoy the soundtrack in Breath of the Wild, especially as it's so different to previous Zeldas and it's a perfect accompaniment for roaming the hills and glens of Hyrule. Special mystery prize goes to the ARMS title theme... and you're now humming it in your head. :p

Et toi, Zero?

ZeroJones: I am not humming it - I'm using da's (da da daa da, da da daa da, daa daa DAA!). Some of the tunes in Shantae: Half Genie Hero are brilliant versions of themes the series has been using for a while now. Sonic Mania's themes are very nostalgic. Other than that, I have to side with you on Super Mario Odyssey!

Question Vier?

JayMoyles: A user by the name of "Celeste Superfan Numero Uno" demands that we answer this question: "Celeste was among the Switch games that got a lot of attention from us in the Switch's first year, but what are your unsung heroes of the Switch's early days?"

ZeroJones: My only unsung hero is Golf Story, another entry in the sports sim/RPG mashup genre that previously only contained Inazuma Eleven of note. I have a few unsung average games but I suspect no-one really wants to read about those! Yourself, Commander-In-Chief Jay?

JayMoyles: I'll highlight just the one too, with my pick going to Blaster Master Zero. I thoroughly enjoyed this - a cracking little side scrolling shooter crossed with very light Metroidvania elements that didn't overstay its welcome by any means. Well worth a look. Take this chariot onwards to the next question, Legionnaire Zero!

ZeroJones: From the forum's most postiest poster, this: "Is it fair to criticise Nintendo for the Switch drought? Should the fact that their software teams aren't split over two platforms mean we get more games? Or should we be grateful that we've got the blinders we have (like Celeste) and sit tight until E3?"

JayMoyles: No. No. Yes. Moving on. Wink

No, in all seriousness I'm welcoming a small breather. There are so many titles that have likely passed us by on eShop, so it's time to look back on what we might have missed. The releases will come thick and fast soon enough. Plus, you've got Dark Souls coming soon!

Your thoughts, fellow Admin?

ZeroJones: It's an interesting one, that even with a new Zelda, a new Mario, a well-polished version of the best Mario Kart, a new Splatoon, the experimental but rewarding ARMS and a good few others, we've still got nothing to play. I suspect we have got more games than we would have if the teams were still split, and there are obviously more coming. The overflowing eShop could bridge a gap of a year in a mere week.

On upcoming news, though, I suspect there'll be another Direct before E3. Next, Supreme Lord Jay?

JayMoyles: So, somebody with the handle "Admintendo Question King" sent us: "After the Galaxies and Odyssey, where should Nintendo take 3D Mario next?"

ZeroJones: I want a game that integrates Yoshi brilliantly, and is designed for him to be taken from level to level, like the old Super Mario World there once was. I felt the Yoshster was a bit stiff in SMG2 and he deserves better. Yourself, Galactic Emperor Jay?

JayMoyles: I'm enjoying my ever-increasing promotion in rank, here. Razz

Honestly? I want Odyssey 2. I think there's plenty that can still be done with Cappy and I don't think I'm alone in wanting more from that formula. Chuck Yoshi into the mix, give us more Kingdoms full of Moons to find and even more creative uses of Cappy... sorted.

Take us home, Taxi Man Zero!

ZeroJones: So, the seventh and final question comes from the forum's leading Dreamcast fan, and it is as follow: "This week saw 33 new releases on the Switch eShop - how do you fix the eShop so that the best of those are visible and past weeks' games don't get lost?"

JayMoyles: Nintendo are trying, bless 'em, with their news posts highlighting the best of a particular genre on the eShop, but a lot of those are unsurprisingly dedicated to their own titles. I'd love to see a part of the eShop that's curated regularly of "top picks" or something along those lines.

How about you, good sir?

ZeroJones: The eShop is a fascinating insight into 'Burned Nintendo'. After putting more effort into the Wii U eShop front end than the Wii one and, of course, seeing much of that effort go to waste when the Wii U sold like cold cakes, the effort in the Switch eShop is laughable. I want a front end that bursts with colour and life. I want the search function to pop out something more than a list. I want weekly charts, never mind monthly ones, that you can always find in a simple calendar. It would also be remiss of me not to mention that it might also benefit from a piece of music that's updated every once in a while. Wink

JayMoyles: Yep - it's all quiet on the western storefront, sadly. Aww!

ZeroJones: I see what you did there. Grin

Thank You So Much For Reading My Text

JayMoyles: Where to next, tour guide?

ZeroJones: Well, we've exhausted the questions that were submitted, so I guess it's time to gently close the curtain on this here Admintendo! My inexhaustible thanks to you, sir, for accompanying me on this text adventure.

JayMoyles: It's been an honour and a privilege, good sir. Thanks to all who sent in questions to tax our feeble Admin minds with - enjoyed answering them!

ZeroJones: Yes! Without the input of y'all, we would be literally nothing. A good set of questions to push our knowledge and imaginations to their very limits and beyond - far, far beyond. I wish all'o'y'all a fine day on this fine day, and will now be away to play Shantae. Cool So it's farewell from Jay –

JayMoyles: Cheerio!

ZeroJones: And farewell from me - au revoir, à bientôt!

*curtain gently folds shut*
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January-March 2018 Quarterly Review: Admintendo XXI - The Key Of The Door :: Comments

I likely will check out a few of the side-games considering I own a few already. I've heard decent things about Crisis Core and it's easily accessible too. It's stuff like Crystal Chronicles or FFTA that might see a skip considering that'll need to dig out older consoles and track down a copy to ever play them which all sounds like a bit too much effort to play something I'm only half interested in, if you ask me!
Well they're proper off shoots as they're not tied to a mainline unless you go into Ivalice or Fabula Nova Crystallis related games.
masofdas wrote:
I'm just coming from the other side when some say that games 2hrs long and are £20 that's bad value, well is it?

If this hypothetical person thought it wasted their time then yes it would be, there's just no clear-cut answer for this because every person is different.
It'd have to be a blinding game for me to think that £20 for 2h was good value. Most games I've played can't reach any sort of pay-off in that time.

January-March 2018 Quarterly Review: Admintendo XXI - The Key Of The Door

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