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Just to echo - Valfaris is hard, but not impossibly so, and most of the time I find myself laughing at how insane it all is rather than being frustrated that the game is unfair. It's more like "You want me to do what now? Are you mad?" kind of difficulty than "Fuck this piece of shit!" difficulty.

 

Also there's a risk/reward checkpointing system that really helps. Basically you go around finding resurrection stones and each one you hold increases your life gauge. However you'll also pass stone tables that you can spend a resurrection stone at, saving that spot as a checkpoint. So you basically end up hoarding what resurrection stones you can until you get to a seemingly impossible bit, die, fight your way back to the nearest checkpoint then spend a stone (and lose a bit of your maximum health) so you get to keep chipping away at the tough bit without having to restart too far away from it each time you die. At which point you either spend another stone at the next checkpoint to save yourself from ever having to do that section again, or decide you know what you need to do to get past it now, so risk it by continuing on. It's a great system, because it means they can be generous with the checkpoints, but punish you for using them all. It gives the game just the right amount of challenge without it ever not being fun.

 

Honestly, it's bloody great!

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2 hours ago, Horribleman said:

The bosses are great too. Not too rigid so you can do them your way once you've cracked their tells. 

Although the cheap 

Spoiler

explosions after you kill them

can fuck right off :) Need to go back and polish this off but will probably have to restart as I'll have lost my touch. Got past the golden dude with the big hammer/axe before the review was due.

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Skulls of the Shogun is under a fiver on sale now and has been on my wishlist for a wee while. Anyone got impressions of it? I love turn-based strategy but I don't need another one (Disgaea 4 arrived yesterday ffs!). But maybe I do.

 

I have a weird hankering for SmileBASIC today, I've been investigating that and Fuze 4 Switch recently and it seems the better supported. I've always wanted to tinker with programming, I loved BASIC on the Speccy and this seems like a wonderfully awkward way to do it.

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34 minutes ago, Yasawas said:

I have a weird hankering for SmileBASIC today, I've been investigating that and Fuze 4 Switch recently and it seems the better supported. I've always wanted to tinker with programming, I loved BASIC on the Speccy and this seems like a wonderfully awkward way to do it.

 

I got smilebasic at the Japan release what must be a year ago. I've enjoyed playing the uploaded games so I've got my money's worth. As someone with no experience of basic/game coding I found the Japanese documentation/online guides pathetic, especially compared to the likes of pico 8. I'd like to see it catch on outside Japan as that's about the only way it will ever get some decent guides (Japanese users don't seem big on putting their time into making free step by step guides in general in the way you get on the English language internet, not that I blame them).

 

There are some pretty impressive shmups on it, but less representation of non-shmup genres.
 

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11 minutes ago, partious said:

There are some pretty impressive shmups on it, but less representation of non-shmup genres.

 

Nice! I think I might bite, cheers. I did have a quick shot of the demo yesterday (which isn't in English although I understand the full program is now thanks to a patch) and my rudimentary Japanese at least got me far enough to see it wasn't the toy I might've assumed - it does seem pretty full-featured, slick and not aimed overtly at kids.

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1 hour ago, Yasawas said:

Skulls of the Shogun is under a fiver on sale now and has been on my wishlist for a wee while.

 

It's good.  Plays a brutal little game of turn based strategy. Limited amount of units and a limit on how many you can activate each turn makes it tick along at a good pace, quite a lot of these games get bogged down.  It didn't engage me that well.  I've had a couple of versions of it and never seen the end, but it's well worth a fiver.

 

This has made me want to play it again.

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2 hours ago, Yasawas said:

Skulls of the Shogun is under a fiver on sale now and has been on my wishlist for a wee while. Anyone got impressions of it? I love turn-based strategy but I don't need another one (Disgaea 4 arrived yesterday ffs!). But maybe I do.

 

I have a weird hankering for SmileBASIC today, I've been investigating that and Fuze 4 Switch recently and it seems the better supported. I've always wanted to tinker with programming, I loved BASIC on the Speccy and this seems like a wonderfully awkward way to do it.

Please say you have Into the Breach.

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2 hours ago, partious said:

 

I got smilebasic at the Japan release what must be a year ago. I've enjoyed playing the uploaded games so I've got my money's worth. As someone with no experience of basic/game coding I found the Japanese documentation/online guides pathetic, especially compared to the likes of pico 8. I'd like to see it catch on outside Japan as that's about the only way it will ever get some decent guides (Japanese users don't seem big on putting their time into making free step by step guides in general in the way you get on the English language internet, not that I blame them).

 

There are some pretty impressive shmups on it, but less representation of non-shmup genres.
 

It does seem like the perfect time right now to give something like this a go. I've always been interested in learning a bit of programming. This and Sunless Sea might have to be this week's pickups.

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31 minutes ago, friedgold said:

It does seem like the perfect time right now to give something like this a go. I've always been interested in learning a bit of programming. This and Sunless Sea might have to be this week's pickups.

 

It's all code so you'd learn programming but just be warned it uses BASIC as opposed to something more commonly used/potentially financially beneficial like c# , Java or Javascript. It seems to be fairly standard BASIC, no object oriented stuff etc (I may have read FUZE uses BASIC modified to be more like python, but also that it was buggy and smilebasic is the more competent program). I know some practical Javascript/Ruby on Rails but not enough about "programming" to go in depth on how useful learning BASIC is as a starting point in 2020.

I want to look into smilebasic more myself too, maybe the situation with guides etc has improved in the past year. Around the Japanese release it was a bit like just being thrown in the deep end and told "swim".

The games that people upload are competent/enjoyable 8 bit style games that are actually quite fun to play, if nothing flashy/mindblowing. I've had a lot more enjoyment from the Smilebasic user creations than anything on Dreams.

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I have no pretensions of being some kind of late-blooming Derek Yu tbf. I've just always found it fascinating without really ever having had a means of grounding myself in the subject, even at a basic level.

 

That said if I can make eventually graduate to building my own Switch Spelunky, or my dream Dwarf Fortress Switch game I'll always remember my roots.

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Just now, Omizzay said:

Just picked up Volgarr the Viking for next to nothing.  Man, this is the hardest game I've played in a long time.  

 

Real Ghouls n Ghosts vibe, but seemingly even more unforgiving.  Is it worth pursuing?

Yeah it's brilliant. It's very old school but lots of fun. 

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2 minutes ago, Omizzay said:

Just picked up Volgarr the Viking for next to nothing.  Man, this is the hardest game I've played in a long time.  

 

Real Ghouls n Ghosts vibe, but seemingly even more unforgiving.  Is it worth pursuing?

Yeah, I loved it a few years ago when I played it on Xbox. You improve constantly.

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Rive is well worth the £1.30 it costs just now. Classic arcade platform shooter sort of thing that occasionally turns into a horizontal shmup, quite tricky, very fast and smooth. The blathering main character is irritating mind you. 

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35 minutes ago, mdn2 said:

Any opinions of Ironcast? It's got good reviews and is on sale at the minute. 

It’s pretty good up to a point. That point being the final (final) boss which was a ridiculous difficulty hike and I couldn’t be bothered playing it over and over to work out a winning strategy and actually get the stuff needed to implement it.

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I'm quite enjoying Hammerwatch, which I picked up in the sale. Sort of Gauntlet with combos. I find it quite hypnotic and soothing, until I've got one more objective to finish on a level and sometimes it results in a bit of wandering around empty levels trying to find the switch I missed.

Has anyone played Super Pixel Racers? It's the kind of thing that *could* be my bag, but could also be a dogs dinner.

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Blasphemous is in the current sale. I'm about 50 percent through it and I like it a lot.

 

It's not as hard as I was expecting and once you start unlocking some powers the map opens up beautifully with shortcuts and portals. The save points are spaced out decently too.

 

The difficulty lies in working out where to explore next rather than the combat, which I've found to be precise with some satisfyingly crunchy sound effects.

 

Fab game if you want Dark Souls fused with Super Metroid.

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