Tag Archives: Honest Game Trailers

Return to Sinnoh with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

As foretold by prophecy… and a month in review coming up segment… my daughter and I each found a Pokemon title for our Switch under the Christmas tree yesterday.  She got Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and I got Pokemon Shining Pearl, the remakes of the 2006 Pokemon titles that moved the series off of the single screen GameBoy hardware and onto the new Nintendo DS devices.

Diamond and Pearl remade

That is where we started our Pokemon journey when, in anticipation of another long airline flight to Hawaii, my wife sent me out to buy a DS and a few games to keep our daughter occupied on the trip.  I spent a lot of time with my then young daughter reading the things she could not yet manage and became enamoured with the title myself and ended up with a Nintendo DS Lite and a copy of Pokemon Diamond for myself.  That cobalt blue unit, which I still have on the bookshelf behind me, and which still runs just fine, might be the best piece of hardware I have ever gotten from Nintendo; compact, with a sharp screen and a long battery life, it was a nice design.

Of course the question is whether of not, after nearly 14 years, my daughter and I can find joy in a Pokemon title that is an echo from the past.

Pokemon Diamond and the DS Lite

The Switch Lite isn’t the DS Lite, or even my handy 2DS XL.  It is larger, a bit awkward to hold, only has a single (if much larger) screen, and has noticeably less battery life than any of the DS series units we have owned.  (And still own.  In addition to the DS Lite and 2DS XL I mentioned there are also a couple of 3DS XLs, a DSi, and DSi XL somewhere around here.  I just need an original model DS to have the foundations of a DS museum.)

Honest Game Trailers goes after the game pretty hard for being a remake without much in the way of change.

And there is the odd art style which tried to capture the charm of the original pixel-focused art style in a high resolution format.  Here is what it looked like back then.

Pokemon Diamond back in the day

And here is a glimpse of it in the remake.

Into a Switch rendered Sinnoh… also, you can do screen shots on the Switch

But you know what?  It is all working for me so far.  The charm, the light story where an ten year old child is allowed to wander the world with just a kiss on the cheek and a “stay safe!” from his mom about two minutes into the game… as compared to the ponderous, goes on forever intro to Pokemon Sword & Shield…  and the rather simple game play, that is all a bonus for me.  I am happy with it.

There are, of course, a few changes.  The mechanics of the switch demanded some, so your Poketech smart watch now grabs the corner of the screen as opposed to owning the second screen on its own.  Experience share is now party wide by default from the start, as in Sword & Shield, rather than depending on the experience share item being held by a single Pokemon.

We will see if that spirit lasts.  The pandemic times have also been the years of the remakes for me, with things like WoW Classic, Burning Crusade Classic and, Diablo II Resurrected, all of which I have enjoyed to some extent.  Why not some old school Pokemon?

I am already in possession of the first gym badge, so I will have to see how far my daughter and I get.

Honest Game Trailers does New World

Just in time for our group to get stuck into New World, Honest Game Trailers has an episode devoted to the game.

Welcome to a New World

The video actually hits on a number of points that we have experience in our short run so far.   I mentioned in my first post about us getting into the game that trading between players and the trading post were turned off due to yet another dupe bug.

 

We’re still having fun of course, and are getting into the various aspects of the game, which does have its own flavor.  And we’re clearly past the main problems of the first few weeks of the game where just being able to log in was an issue.

But in looking into the news I keep running into the statement that it uses a “client authoritative” model, something that Amazon says is not so, but admits that it has been allowing the client to override server inputs leading to some of the exploits that have been coming up… and that keep coming up.

Anyway, we’re low enough level, just entering the 20s, that we’ve not been impacted by the various issues that have come up.  We cannot, for example, even afford houses yet, so a furniture dupe bug isn’t even an option.  Still, we’ve seen more than our share of graphical glitches and other oddities while playing together.   We’ll be sticking around for now, but it is starting to become a bit of a meme about there being some fresh new major issue every week.

Honest Game Trailers does Diablo II Resurrected

By about the 30 second mark of this video I felt very seen.

 

I mean, I don’t play with random people online and I haven’t had much problem with the servers being offline… I play on BNet, but being in Pacific time zone has been good to me… but I am definitely ignoring a lot of newer and arguably better games to play something that’s mechanics are past the 20 year mark.

Also, I am pretty sure I have paid for Diablo II at least three times.  I kept a copy at work and another at home back in the day.  And, frankly, I am kind of interested in how it plays on console.  Is the Switch Lite screen too small for that to be a realistic option?

And while I am somewhat numb already to the sheer quantity of loot that drops, I do get kind of a surge when I get something like this out of the blue.

Just a chest in a building, maybe I should skip it…

That was in Act I on Normal mode.  The RNG hates me most days, then suddenly goes soft and throws me four rares out of left field that I will probably end up wearing through Act V because nothing else good will drop for the next month.

Anyway, there will probably be more posts about Diablo II Resurrected here because I post about what I play.

Honest Game Trailers does Burning Crusade Classic

One of the problems with playing mostly old games is that Honest Game Trailers is mostly videos of games I probably won’t ever play.   But not this time.  This time they had Burning Crusade Classic.

Before the Dark Portal

And their assessment all feels pretty true to me.

 

I have a a few posts already from WoW Classic in the Burning Crusade era that have us still back in Azeroth taking care of unfinished business, including getting our epic mounts.  But I also leveled up my druid from 36 to 60 and, that done, started in on my level 21 rogue rather than spend my free time playing my mains.

Some of that was, in part, because of the instance group taking a bit of a summer hiatus.  We do go places now then.  But some of it is just reminding me that, over the years, I have said that I wasn’t too keen on the overland questing in Outland and that I might not have been mis-remembering how I felt at the time.

Still, I am not getting on the refugee boat to FFXIV.

Nope, not going there.  I can hold out for Wrath of the Lich King.  I swear.  I’ll level up in Outland eventually.

Honest Game Trailers Takes On Valheim

Tired of Valheim posts yet?  Well, they’re not done.  Not yet.  But if you’re chafing about all this Valheim stuff, then Honest Game Trailers has you covered as they dig into the game to expose its many flaws.

I have to admit that a lot of what they say is true, though the measure of fun and depth will vary for people.  Stamina management though, it is very much a thing.  I am just surprised they mentioned the cart then didn’t show how you can mess up even that.  Or maybe that was just me.

Trying to push the cart is sub-optimal

But you know you’ve made it as an indie title on Steam if Honest Game Trailers features you.  Now to see if Zero Punctuation gets around to the game.

Among Us

I did actually play a popular game this year.  I played Among Us.

Among Us

I was going to say a “new” game, but it came out in 2018, so it is only newly popular thanks to becoming the game to stream on Twitch at some point this year.  But this year was it, even getting a Honest Game Trailers video.

Liore, formerly of the Cat Context blog, invited some people to come play for her birthday and I made the cut and got to try the game out.  I bought the version on Steam for $5.00, though you can play it on your mobile device for free, and you can play across different platforms.  They make money selling cosmetics and pets for you character.

I went and practiced a bit before the big birthday match, but I was still pretty lost when the time came.

Not that the game is all that complicated.  We had nine people all on voice coms together.  When you start the game somebody is selected as the imposter… or, if the group is big enough, two people are selected.  The main crew has to run around and do tasks.  Completing all the tasks give them a win.

The imposters run around and sabotage the tasks in order to stop the crew from winning.  Some sabotage, if left unaddressed as a timer counts down, will cause the crew to lose.

Or the imposters can just kill people for the win.  This is actually much easier when you don’t know what is going on as there is a big button that says “KILL” to click when you get near the crew members.

I got picked as one of the imposters for the first game and I set about killing people with my fellow imposter.

When one of the crew discover a body an emergency meeting is called and you can discuss what you saw and your suspicions and then people vote on who they think the imposter is.  This is the only time you’re suppose to talk while playing… unless you’re dead, in which case you have to be quiet.  No outing your killer as a ghost.

Voting time… the imposters can see each other marked in red, the crew cannot

The winner is then sent to their death and you find out if that pick was correct.  The first game out people did not guess very well and Elly and I, the imposters, won.

Imposter syndrome for the win

However, people got a bit more canny as time went along and we played more matches.  Also, the RNG kept picking me as one of the imposters, so I think I became suspect by default after a few matches.

The crew wins

When I wasn’t an imposter, the game was a bit more nerve wracking and it was easy to start suspecting people who seemed to be following you around.  Either way, you have to be aware of your surroundings and who is passing by and where people were when the body was discovered.

They can see me through the window… and I can see them

Overall it was a fun little game.  I would play it again.  It is probably best played with five friends or more.  You can play random games on the internet, but I suspect that would be less satisfying that voting on people you know.

The Steam Summer Sale of 2020 Slips Away

Yesterday the annual Steam Summer Sale wrapped up, the mass of discounts were reduced to the usual state of something on my wishlist always being on sale, and whatever sticker collection game they had going came to an end.

Summer 2020

The ongoing pandemic, which is especially acute in the US where wearing a mask is now seen as a political testament, seems like a good time to have a sale on video games.  I’m coming up on four months of working from home and not going anywhere on weekends. There is only so much television I can watch in a day, so gaming seems a likely outlet for me.

The timing of the sale was poor for me.  It landed just as our group was having a bit of a resurgence of activity in WoW Classic, when the new Minecraft world still seemed fresh (and there was a new Minecraft update which I have yet to go into), and then a war began to brew in EVE Online.

The latter, the war in New Eden, has actually eaten up most of my gaming time since it started to boil last week.

Given all that, my need for, and bandwidth to deal with, has been somewhat restricted.  Anything I purchased from the sale was likely to go into my library and sit unplayed, and I have enough titles like that already.

Still, I did end up making two purchases.

The first wasn’t a new game but some DLC.

Space empire building of another sort

I saw that Stellaris had its addons marked down so I figured I would grab those.  I like the game and have played it quite a bit.  It is one I will likely go back to at some point when things are slow.

The second was another remaster.

Retro RTS Remaster

The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, which came out just over a month ago, was marked down a bit, so I grabbed a copy.

I am still a fan of the RTS genre and willing to play some classics.  I have not, however, played any of the Command & Conquer series before.  Skronk, who has, said we ought to give it a run, and the price, even without the discount, was not too dear.  And, it had been on my mind anyway as Honest Game Trailers did a video about it.

So I have those two to dig into when the war settles down in EVE Online.  Until that happens though, expect more posts about space battles.

Honest Game Trailers and Zero Punctuation Reviews go after Minecraft Dungeons

As I was playing and writing about Minecraft Dungeons, I decided to avert my eyes a bit from some of the other press it was getting, if only to not influence my view while it was still starting to gel.

It is Minecraft and Dungeons

Now that I think I have written about all I am going to for the time being, I thought I would bring out a couple of video reviews of the game.

The first up is Honest Game Trailers.

 

Honest Game Trailers generally has two modes.  They either give titles they look at light hearted jabs at their weak points or else they go for the jugular.  This one is the latter as they savage the game as a low effort Diablo clone.

And then there is Zero Punctuation.

 

Yahtzee’s modus operandi is generally to be grumpy and dissatisfied with any game he reviews, grudgingly offering respect or compliments once he has vented for the few titles he eventually warms to.  In that continuum, Minecraft Dungeons falls into a valley of mild complaints that it is not really anything to do with Minecraft while being a competent if very lightweight action RPG.

And Yahtzee unable to either damn or compliment a game is almost the worst outcome, as it reveals an underlying lack of passion generated by the game.

So it goes.

As I said in my own post, there isn’t anything really wrong with the game.  It seemed fun enough for a bit.  But I also stopped playing it after a week once I made it through the main story and found that all you got after that was the same level with more difficult mobs.

Honest Game Trailers does Animal Crossing New Horizons

All the rage on the Nintendo Switch these days… to the extent that I have been feeling the pressure to join in… is Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

All the rage

So naturally it was deemed a prime topic for Honest Game Trailers, who explore the game in their own special way.

Sold out in most stores… as is the Switch itself… and now soft-banned in China because people have been sharing their Hong Kong protest themed decor and apparel… I am tempted to join in.

My daughter has been way into this.  But she only asked for a Switch Lite for Christmas because she heard there was was going to be a new Animal Crossing title out for the platform.  Animal Crossing: New Leaf was her favorite non-Pokemon title on the DS series, so she was very keen the new game.

I am less certain.  I never played it on the DS and, while my Twitter time line was filled with talk about the game, I am not sure it would fit in with my gaming needs.  I used to play a lot of Pokemon on the DS at specific times, like when watching sports on TV. (Wife is a hockey fan.)  But now there are no sports and not a lot of quiet time with everybody stuck at home all the time and working from home where there is no longer the hard cut-off of getting up to go home.

And, of course, others have had mixed relationships with the title.

Business Insider is of several minds…

If it were not $60, I’d be more inclined.  Likewise if I had finished up Pokemon Sword already, but I am only at the 6th gym there.  Again, finding time/place/peace to play it can be a challenge.

But my daughter is all-in and enjoying it still.  I am trying to get her to throw together 500 words about it, but she is simultaneously too busy for that and chafing for something to do.

Honest Game Trailers Hits Warcraft III Reforged Hard

I mentioned at the end of January that Warcraft III Reforged had finally been released by Blizzard, linking out to some of the early problems with the work that people were complaining about.  I had pre-ordered it back after BlizzCon 2018 and was going to wait a while before tackling it because I figured Blizzard might have a plan to fix things.

Meanwhile, the heat on the game just kept getting hotter, and now it is the turn of Honest Game Trailers.

Honest Game Trailers has a tradition at hitting at the weak spots of titles in a way that is often light and doesn’t make you feel bad if you’re a fan.  For example, every video about a Pokemon game reminds us how close to the path GameFreak stays.  But we like it that way and can laugh at ourselves for our devotion.

And then there is their new video about Warcraft III Reforged… but I suspect that it might be tough to find fans of the remake give the tally of issues that have been discovered since it launched.  Have you seen its score on Metacritic?

I was surprised the user score dropped below 1

Ouch.  So instead of a self-deprecating chuckle that fans can have at their own expense, this episode runs more like an indictment.

Compare to that, the look back to the Warcraft RTS franchise they did about four years back is practically a love letter.

I don’t want to say that Warcraft III Reforged necessarily should have been a slam dunk for Blizz… though they still had a lot of goodwill and nostalgia going for them… but they set expectations back at BlizzCon 2018 that they not only didn’t meet, but features that were kind of expected were removed.  Oh, and to keep everything in sync, they were also removed from that copy of Warcraft III you own if you updated it to play online.  Not a good look for what SynCaine is calling the “New Blizzard.”

As for a plan, as reported elsewhere, Blizzard is offering “no questions asked refunds.”

That is less of a plan and more or a mea culpa I suppose, but it is something I guess.  And since this apparently being my month for disillusionment and refunds, I applied for the latter (having experience the former) and it was approved within a few minutes.  There are a series of options to choose from when you request a refund, but for this one “Regret” seemed to be pretty much on the nose.  I am sure that applies to Blizzard’s feelings as well at this point.

My credit card hasn’t been reimbursed yet.  The messaging is a bit muddled, with various responses telling me I’ll have my refund in 3, 7, or possibly 15 days.  But I expect it will come through eventually. (Edit: Just checked and I have been refunded within the 3 day estimate, so high marks for Blizz on that I guess.)

Maybe I should stop pining for a Diablo II remaster and just keep hoping they don’t mess up WoW Classic.  I am still enjoying that.