: Hello, friends. It's time for another edition of your favourite text-based interview/long-form chat thing, Admintendo! We've plenty to talk about considering the Christmas of gaming has just wrapped up, but first, a warm welcome to my admin-in-arms, Balladeer!Balladeer
: I thought forum policy was that we shouldn't treat it like a Christmas of Gaming any more? JayMoyles
Todd Howard is still real to me.Balladeer
: Thank you for having me, Jayseph! It's good to be back in the saddle, despite the unfortunate circumstances that have led me to being here. How are you sir?JayMoyles
: I'm fine and fair on this afternoon - my World Cup Sweepstakes prospect just played rather well! Yourself?Balladeer
: Your World Cup Sweepstakes prospect has been playing rather poorly in the only sport that matters.
I've been saved by Les Allemands actually remembering how to kick the ball thingy into the goal thingy.
But enough about football: shall we talk about the only Beautiful Games that matter? JayMoyles
: Yes... so, pro-wrestling, no? Balladeer
: I'd make a flippant comment about that being a TV series, not a game, but with all the diving that goes on in football... anyway. Our Fantastic Forum JayMoyles
: Talking about the World Cup Sweepstakes is a perfect opportunity to put a spotlight on some world-class forum moments from the last quarter. Anything caught your eye thus far, Balla?Balladeer
: Yes there are!
One of the obvious ones was the rejuvenated activity around and after E3. You can say what you like about the Extraordinary Edvertising Extravaganza (if you're South African), and we will later on, but it certainly did see the levels of talk on GNamer shoot up. For that, I'll always be grateful.
The Cappuphilliccino Kid's Football Sweepstake was obviously also a good thread, that gave me a reason to pay attention to the footy results. Even if, thus far, they haven't really been going my way. At all.
I'm not bitter. JayMoyles
: Well, your teams are underperforming to a huge degree - I thought you were about to wrangle another win in a sweepstakes for an event you're not too fussed about, Mr. Royal Rumble Winner 2015. Balladeer
: I was very fussed about that, sir!
Mr. Roamin' Rains did a great job for me, and I followed him every step, pin, and clothesline of the way. (Clotheslines are a wrestling 'thing', right?)JayMoyles
: They are. Although, no pins in the Royal Rumble match, but nice try. Balladeer
: But yes, thank goodness for that German fella's injury time free kick. I'm still in this! We're
still in this. (Ed: Oh dear.) (Other Ed: STUFF THE GERMANS AND THE PLANE THEY RODE IN ON.)
I should finish off with a tip of the hat to our new affiliate, GRcade. They do seem like a natural choice given their lettering, don't they?
But I've enjoyed the steady influx of new posts into GNamer, as well as going over there and deluging their cricket and gaming threads with my opinions. One of their members did try to make out that GRcade was the real successor to NGC, but you can't win 'em all! (Hi Smurphy.)
Also it's been nice to see members like O_R and Wrathy being slightly revived, as well as the new members like Raxicori. Who I mention because they've made the most posts out of the new members. (Any GRcaders reading, post a lot in GNamer and this could be you next quarter!) (Ed: Kerr9000 gets a mention here since time of 'recording' - bravo sir/ma'am/other!)JayMoyles
: Indeed - a warm welcome to any GRcade folks reading this. We often have forum members on for this and like Balla said, this could be YOU next time.
That sounded like a threat. It wasn't meant to sound like a threat. Balladeer
: Wait - it wasn't?
Anything else caught your fancy in GNamer Q2 Jay?JayMoyles
: Well, I'd be remiss not to bring attention to the Old Magazine Chat thread. It's been a delight seeing excerpts from mags of yore - some of the lines have been crackers. I need to go and dig out my old magazines to contribute myself. Top marks to Cappa and anyone else who's contributed some scans thus far.
I'll second the influx of activity over E3 season too. Nintendo Directs and E3 as a whole tend to draw a lot of posts to the good ship GNamer, which is always nice to see. Even if opinion on E3 as a whole has become muted somewhat over the years, having a chat about the goings on at E3 is always a highlight for me.
And on a note that'll be discussed more heavily on the next Admintendo I'm sure, I'm glad to have nailed down details and accommodation for the GNamer Meetup. I'm looking forward to it! Balladeer
: I'm sure we'll touch on both E3 and the meet-up later in this very Admintendo...?
Some of those old magazine lines have been belters, I agree. What with the almost-death of print journalism in recent times, it's easy to forget why we used to buy the magazines we did. Cappa (and GJones) are reminding us of that, one scan at a time.JayMoyles
: Yes - I knew there was somebody else contributing loads to that thread, but I couldn't remember if it was Jimbob or Gjones. Props, Mr. Jones.Balladeer
: Jimbob did of course submit the Amstrad Action scans, so it was indeed both!
More MS Acorn magazines please!JayMoyles
: Like you said though, we may very well touch upon E3 in this Admintendo… in fact, we may even be doing so RIGHT NOW.The Christmas of Video GamesJayMoyles
: SO. E3. The showcase of the immortals. The granddaddy of them all. The - no, wait, I'm talking about Wrestlemania. Balladeer
: Ah yes, Wrestlemania. I am familiar with that. Er. Cough.JayMoyles
: You should be - the winner of the Royal Rumble goes onto main event Wrestlemania, so you should be familiar with your boy Mr. Reigns's progress in recent years. Balladeer
: He is indeed my boy. JayMoyles
: But I digress. Ahem. E3. It's been coined as some as Gaming Christmas and by others as a distracting mess of advertising and grandstanding. Still, new games or closer looks at upcoming games are always exciting, so let's look back on the E3 that was. Shall we do this company by company, Balla?Balladeer
: Why not? I might have relatively little to say about some companies, but I take it you took in most of the showings, Mr. Multiformat Admin.?JayMoyles
: Yep, I did get the chance to watch at least some of all the conferences.Balladeer
: I believe they began with EA? In the words of the parody Twitter account Kaz Hirai, 'Starting E3 with EA is like starting the World Cup with Russia vs. Saudi Arabia.'
Or possibly the other way around. The point still stands.JayMoyles
: Yes, EA. I didn't catch this one live but I saw some... ahem, "highlights". There were sports games, a cry of "NO LOOTBOXES" which drew shifty looks from everyone with a brain cell, and a terribly long segment about a horrendous Command and Conquer mobile game. By all accounts, pretty dull!Balladeer
: Hooray! I must say that I liked the look of weird youkai platformer-alike Sea of Solitude. The rest I could take or leave.
I left it.JayMoyles
: As did I.Balladeer
: Let's move on quickly then! What came next?JayMoyles
: Ah. I Heard Good Things about them.JayMoyles
: And this year, they did pretty well!
I mean, their exclusives weren't mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination, but for a traditional E3 conference (game, talk about game, gameplay demo, trailer trailer trailer ANNOUNCEMENT and repeat) it was easily the pick of the bunch this year.
There was something for everyone in terms of the games shown, from your shooty goodness you're used to from Microsoft in Halo and Gears, some racing from Forza and some platforming fun from Ori
. The highlight for me was Cyberpunk 2077
which looks right up my alley.
This good showing, coupled with some great practices (cross play, backwards compatibility) and a less than impressive showing from Sony - we'll come to that- has got me looking to greener pastures for my next home console purchase.Balladeer
: If the showing sold you, a discerning fella, a console, we must ask ourselves: what showing could do more?JayMoyles
: I wouldn't say I'm sold as of yet - let's see the machine first - but it's got me a hell of a lot more interested than past conferences from MS.
What was your personal take on Microsoft, if anything?Balladeer
: Incredibly MS actually had two games that actually got me interested, one of which (Ori 2
) was an exclusive. (Not sure about the other, Tunic
- I think it might be a timed console exclusive only, but can't recall. Hope it comes to Switch!) Needless to say, given that MS is usually typecast as being about guns 'n' gore 'n' gore 'n' guns, that's a win in my book! Except not because I want Ori 2
but will never play it. Ho hum.
Being MS there was, of course, also a lot of stuff I couldn't give two monkeys about. Woo, cars in Edinburgh. I really don't understand why that's as popular as it is.
Then there's Gears, which I do understand - I just don't care about it. But that was a given. I'd still say they've done good... but of course they needed to.Cyberpunk
is Witcher-like stuff, isn't it? Did they actually show any gameplay? (Something I'll be coming back to when we touch on Ubi's conference...) JayMoyles
: It's from the guys behind The Witcher
- that's CD Projekt Red - but it's a first person shooter-cross-RPG thing. There was in-engine footage shown off, but gameplay was only for closed doors previews with journalists. The write-ups from the lucky few who got to see the game has me very excited, though.Balladeer
: At least there was actual gameplay somewhere then. But, as mentioned, that's for another time/conference assessment. What came next?JayMoyles
: Bethesda. I actually stayed up for that one. I regretted my decision.Balladeer
Although you have my sympathies. Nothing of interest?JayMoyles
: Well, there was a lot of self-congratulatory back patting, some VR stuff and Rage 2
which was preceded by a musical performance for a song called "Let's Get Ready to Die", which summed up matters for me, really.Balladeer
: By the self-proclaimed King Of Partying, I believe!JayMoyles
: That's yer man - Andrew WK.
The interesting stuff comprised of Fallout 76
which has me really concerned considering how janky Fallout is - combining that with multiplayer will only lead to disaster - and a teaser for TES:VI. I suspect we won't see that for another few years as we pretty much got the Metroid Prime 4
: I don't actually mind the Metroid Prime 4
approach: at least it lets us know things are coming, and allows expectations to be managed. For all the talk about how Nintendo show only things coming over the next six months and how good that is, a simple screen saying 'F-Zero SX
Coming 2020' would shut a lot of people up and give a lot of others comfort! JayMoyles
: I prefer getting to see the game in action and then hearing that it's only a year or so away. Revs up the hype train to max right from the start.Balladeer
: But I digress. Sounds like we can pass over Bethesda with minimal comment. Speaking of self-congratulatory back-patting...JayMoyles
: Well, if you're referring to Ubi, there were a couple of smaller conferences between Bethesda and Ubi.Balladeer
: I thought Sony came next. Never mind. Thought I was being clever there! JayMoyles
: First off, Devolver Digital. I hear that was madcap, but I've not checked it out yet. Last year's conference was bonkers so I'd suspect much of the same.Balladeer
: I saw the My Friend Pedro
trailer from Devolver. That seemed their normal brand of batpoop. And of course Metal Wolf Chaos
has its fans. (It's a From game so of course it does.)JayMoyles
: And then Square. They went for the Nintendo Direct approach this time round with a flurry of trailers for Just Cause 4
, Kingdom Hearts III
and the new Tomb Raider, amongst other things. I really wish I could get into Kingdom Hearts as the Disney levels look great, but it's just too difficult to approach considering the absolutely insane main story detracting from the magical Disney fun.Balladeer
: Square didn't have Bravely Third
or more TWEWY, so wasn't worth following. JayMoyles
: Agreed on the latter game from Square. Balladeer
: Moving on! This time it must be Sony, surely?JayMoyles
: Nope! Ubisoft.Balladeer
YOU EVEN SAID THAT JUST UP ABOVEJayMoyles
: Balla's secret desire to talk about Sony is revealing itself here. Balladeer
: Plot twist: Balla is a Sony fanboy! A... very very well hidden Sony fanboy.
UbiSoft had some wonderful moments, and some dodgy bits. What stood out for you?JayMoyles
: Fox turning up along with Miyamoto was a surprise and shows that Nintendo and Ubi are really rather close. I'm keen for BG&E2, but it didn't have the best of showings at the conference. But a massive thumbs up to Grant Kirkhope performing some Rabbids tunes live on stage.
: Grant Kirkhope's live concert was one my moments of E3, and so (yes!) was the Just Dance panda cheerleader at the beginning. I genuinely thought it was just... fun. Spectacle and fun. Games are great, but I'll take fun!
The BG&E2 trailer I really did not like. Not because it didn't look good: it did, it looked good and less stupidly sweary than the last one. But when there's not a shred of gameplay in there, and it comes from UbiSoft, what are the odds that the end package will look anything like that? Pretty low I'd say. What's the space equivalent of radio towers, Jay?JayMoyles
: Erm, satellites? Oh god, we're going to get map uncovering satellites. :OBalladeer
: Vast open space-field with satellites in. That's what we'll see. Also maybe some story. Maybe.JayMoyles
: I'm quietly hopeful that the game ends up being good. But then again, games with stupidly long development cycles have a rough track record. Balladeer
: I guess we'll see. We really don't know much at all at this stage.JayMoyles
: Anyways... hey Balla, what conference was next? Balladeer
I thought Nintendo showing off TLoU2 was a stroke of genius.JayMoyles
: The seven minute banjo performance was a bit much from Reggie though.Balladeer
: It does seem like something they'd do... Anyway, the real reason I'm so keen to talk about Sony is that I hear they weren't much cop!JayMoyles
: Thankfully, I didn't stay up for this one.
Again, I've only caught snippets from this conference but it seemed to be bizarrely put together with long musical interludes, venue changes (???) which were covered up by having a recap panel mid conference and a general sense of self-importance. Sony are back to their not-so-winning ways. It seems like the games were decent, but that's not what anybody was talking about post-conference.Balladeer
: That seemed to be the Fortnite thingy. They really have overbalanced into their own egos, haven't they?
I liked the look of Death Stranding
, I have to admit, and everyone else sounded like they liked Spider-Man
, but... yeah, not great.JayMoyles
: I'm still very dubious about Kojima's Actor Funtime Hour, but I'm all over Spidey. Balladeer
: Fair enough! Get off him though, he won't be able to swing with you all over him.JayMoyles
: He's strong. He'd manage.Balladeer
: What does that leave us with, then...?JayMoyles
: Ach, just another small publisher conference... nothing major. Balladeer
: Okay then! Moving onto the next topic...
..more seriously, what did you think of the
Smash Bros. Direct
Nintendo showcase? And did you stick around for Treehouse, or watch the Invitationals?JayMoyles
: I enjoyed the showcase! I mean, the main event for me was always going to be Smash and I don't think it'd be wrong to state that I'm the forum's biggest Smash fan, so I was all over that showcase. I caught bits of Treehouse and I watched the Smash tournament to attempt to satiate my Smash desire. It ticked nearly all of the boxes for me in terms of what I wanted from a Smash game.
As for the rest, that mech game looks cracking and I'm keen for Octopath
when that rolls around.
Now for an altogether different take...Balladeer
: I don't know what you mean!
More seriously, I was disappointed with what was shown, as I think everybody knows by now. SSBU is not what I wanted from the series. From a purely presentational point of view, the dive into it felt too deep; from a gameplay point of view, I'd be quite happy to sacrifice Snake, Lucas, Ryu, Wolf, Corrin, Roy, Bowser Jr... etc. etc. for characters I've never played as before. Sakurai saying that there wouldn't be so many newbies was the most disappointing moment of E3 for me.
That said, I think we can all agree that RIDLEY being a newbie is good news!JayMoyles
: I think what made all those characters being back so great for me was that those characters are my favourites to play as. I was really worried they'd get the chop - let's face it, the characters you listed have popularity or legal issues - so that's what made it brilliant to see them announced as returning.
But yes, big thumbs up to Ridley.Balladeer
: If you're a big fan of the borderline characters then it's probably a bigger deal for you. I'd sacrifice Mario to get Boxboy in the game. (Well, there or thereabouts.)
As for the rest of the conference, the mech game does look absolutely blinding, Fortnite
would have been bigger had it not been leaked by feckin' everyone, and... well it seems like it's revamped Pokémon RBY
and rejigged Smash 4
as the big guns this year.
The sparse nature of Treehouse only reinforced that. It was mostly SSBU, but the fact that they had a game of Mario Tennis Aces
of all things suggested to me that they didn't have huge amounts to show. Not right now anyway.
People are right when they say that Directs will come along and announce games we didn't know we wanted, but I think insofar as BIG BIG games go, it's those two for this year.JayMoyles
: Nintendo have never marched to the beat of E3's drum but rather their own. Like you said, we'll get a Direct in a few months time that might do nothing for me but have you fully aboard about the hype train. I don't think they had as strong a showing overall as last year, but the whole conference could have been Smash-centric and I'd be over the moon. Balladeer
: Nintendo are really really difficult to predict with this sort of thing. In an expert segue into our next section that I will then spoil, one of their smaller announcements last year has become one of my recent favourite games... but that was shown off in Treehouse. The lack of any new games in Treehouse, even on 3DS, is bewildering to me.
And now to spoil that segue by not segueing yet: what did you think overall this year, Jay? For me, E3 is
Nintendo pretty much, so I was underwhelmed, but you have your fingers in more gaming pies...JayMoyles
: I was still a bit underwhelmed by it all as well. The games that have me interested likely won't be coming for a couple of years at least and it's made me somewhat pessimistic about Sony moving forwards too.
Having said that, Smash closing out E3 for me ended it all on a high note, so big thumbs up to Sakurai for saving E3 for me.Balladeer
: (grabs big thumb, tries to force it downwards, tussle ensures)
Shall we finally segue then?JayMoyles
: Let's segue.The Age Old QuestionJayMoyles
: So, you brought up in the last section that you've been enjoying a smaller announcement from last year, so that begs the age-old question... what have you been playing, Balla?Balladeer
: This is an interesting one for me, because since Celeste
wowed me last quarter I've tried out a lot of games in this one, but none have stuck. (Apart from finishing up with SMO, which was tremendous, natch.)
In fact, since Celeste
, I've played:
- Golf Story
- Jotun: Valhalla Edition
- Labo Variety Kit
- Light Fall
- Lost Sphear
- Yoku's Island Express
...and I've just got Mario Tennis Aces
on hand. I also want to buy Hollow Knight
and probably a few other ones I've missed. However, none of them have really grabbed me, for one reason or another, even though only Jotun
has really felt 'bad' to me.
That all changed when the Empire attacked.JayMoyles
: I appreciate the reference. Balladeer
: Yes, I've been playing away on Sushi Striker
and I love it. I find the gameplay really addictive, puzzle battling mixed with RPG systems. The campaign is mostly fun, and trying to get all the stars on all the bouts has added an extra level of challenge. The story and narration are a bit bleah - there's only so much work you can do to make a foodstuff feel like something to go to war over. And I don't even like sushi! But overall, a solid recommendation from me thus far.JayMoyles
: Did you play the demo for Sushi Striker
? If so, does the gameplay in the main game become more strategic than what was offered in the demo? I liked the presentation of the game, but the core game struck me as a bit simplistic to flesh out a fully-fledged game.Balladeer
: I did not, I'm afraid. I jumped straight in. I'd say that, between plate matching, plate throwing, speeding up and down lanes, skill usage, and the gimmicks they occasionally add, there's enough.
But then, I've always liked puzzle-battle games, and I don't think they need to be too complex to be successful. Let me tell you about our Lord and Saviour Meteos
: Hm. One to watch out for on a sale then, from the sounds of things.Balladeer
: I've seen a lot of complaints about the price, and if you don't know if you'll like it then waiting for a sale seems sensible. I think there's enough in there to justify £30-£40, if not £50. (Also it's selling like burnt trousers and it doesn't deserve that.
Meanwhile, what have you been dabbling in?JayMoyles
: I've really only dug into three games in any major depth since the last instalment.
I've beaten Celeste
which I'm not going to dedicate too much time in speaking about considering the depth of conversation that's already been had on previous Admintendos and the forum at large. I will say though that it was very good - even great - but I don't think I liked it as much as some on the forum. Still a belter, mind you.Balladeer
: That's fair. I'm just surprised I liked a 2D platformer anywhere near that much!JayMoyles
: The next game that I'm still tucking into has been Yakuza 0
- somewhere, Andy is cheering. Streets of Rage is the closest comparison in terms of its core brawling gameplay, but focusing just on that would be to do the game a massive disservice. Wandering around each Japanese town uncovers bonkers sub-stories to engage in which serve as a brilliant change of pace from the much more serious main plotlines centring around crime and Yakuza goings-on. There's also a plethora of minigames to tuck into, including fully working versions of Outrun
and Space Harrier
. I spent three hours playing Mahjong. It's brilliant.Balladeer
: It's the sort of thing I'd very gladly get into if it came to anything I owned. I'm most excited about the detailed recreations of parts of Japan, I think. Mine is an exciting life filled with excitement.JayMoyles
: It's coming to PC soon! Although, that's dependant on having a decent machine to play it on, I suppose.Balladeer
: Mac. And not a very powerful one at that. JayMoyles
Lastly, I've been enjoying Hollow Knight
. It's captured the thrill and tension of exploring uncharted areas like no other Metroidvania I've played before and it's done so with an atmosphere that I've been on record as calling "desolate yet enchanting". The closest comparison I have for it is a cross between Shovel Knight
(from a gameplay perspective, at least) and Dark Souls
. It's captured the essence of traversing Lordran and it's full of little moments where you uncover a shortcut back to a previous area or find a hidden passage into an optional area. The bosses are a treat to battle with each character being beautifully designed. I can't recommend this enough.Balladeer
: Can you hunt monsters in it too? If so it sounds like somebody's been probing Jas' dreams for inspiration! JayMoyles
: I'm getting a distinct impression that I'm the real monster killing all these bugs in HK. Balladeer
: It's disturbing, when you think about it, how happy so many videogame heroes are to commit widespread genocide among the enemy populations...
I mentioned HK as a game I'd like to play, and hopefully will get around to. The only thing I worry about is that 'desolate yet enchanting' atmosphere, which I tend to interpret as 'drab and grey'. Hopefully there are moments of colour and joy amidst the gloom.JayMoyles
: You'd be doing the game a disservice interpreting it like that. There's a green and lush area more akin to a jungle, there's a orange-tinged area filled with fungus, an area with pink tones filled with jellyfish amongst other areas I've yet to discover.Balladeer
: Fair enough - I've not played the game yet, and the screenshots have been a bit monochrome, but I'm willing to believe that (like in the From Software game you mentioned above) there's genuine beauty I've just not seen yet!
Should we go onto the final segment?JayMoyles
: Let's a goooo!Balladeer
: Okey-dokey! PAH PAH PAH PAH PAH PAH...The Quarter to ComeJayMoyles
: So, with Hollow Knight
in your near future, what else are you looking forward to in the quarter to come?Balladeer
: Games-wise I'm struggling. I have quite the backlog, as I've said already, but among the games we know about, there's nothing that really excites me for the rest of this year. Not until Smash
is a week away and I can't stop myself. Looking at Mas' list of 'big Switch games' I'll pick up Octopath
and the XC2 DLC from Q3, but I'll mostly be hoping for some exciting indie releases, a firmer release date for Dark Souls Remastered
, or a Nintendo Direct with some further announcements.
Forum-wise the future is brighter: there's the meet-up coming, natch! Those are always good fun. And I'm also looking forward to a forumite's project that I can't talk about right now, I don't think. Hopefully the boosted discussion will continue too!
Anything in Q3 that lights a fire under your bottom Jay? I hear there is some monster hunting (in English) that might make your list...JayMoyles
: It might, but having already played the game - albeit not understanding what was going on at points - it's not really got me excited. I'm firmly in your camp for there being nothing must-have on the horizon, but I'll likely pick up Octopath
as well, and I'll check out Spidey when that hits at the tail end of the quarter.
It's all about the meet-up for me coming up! Any excuse to play games, drink and have some good times with good people is a thumbs up from me. It's going to be a blast. Balladeer
: And it's only two weeks from the date of typing too... Excite!
I think I'm lacking in other things to say... shall we make like Spider-Man and wrap up?JayMoyles
: I think that's best. Let's go and be friendly neighbourhood admins, shall we?Balladeer
: You can be friendly if you like. Wrapping UpJayMoyles
: Well, that does it for another Admintendo! As always, it's been a pleasure talking about games and taking names with your good self Balla. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Balladeer
: Thanks for having me sir! Hoping for another great quarter, for you and the forum. JayMoyles
And with that, it's time to close the curtain. Take care, troops!Balladeer
: (dances off with cane and top hat, vaudeville style)