Goodbye, 3DS — Now Playing: Monster Hunter Stories

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Reminds me a bit of Link Between Worlds or NSMB 2 as a revisit to a classic in light of both subsequent entries and subsequent criticism.

That's a really interesting description! I've heard a lot about this being the last great game on the 3DS, so I feel like I really should pick it up at some stage. Especially when I like Metroidvanias so much.

Stevintendo wrote:

the last great game on the 3DS

That makes me sad. Not that I don't recognize that the 3DS has reached the end of its life, but it's still sad to be reminded of it.

It's odd to think that there are a small number of releases left for it that are actually worth paying attention to. The remake of Bowser's Inside Story is out in a few days. Yokai Watch 3 and Etrian Odyssey Nexus are out next month. And then... that's it, unless Atlus decides to localize Persona Q 2.

Next month is really the end.

Then they can port all the 3DS games to Switch and sell them again.

I would buy so many 3DS games for the Switch. Would the missing second screen be an issue for many games? They ported the World Ends With You so I guess anything is possible, but that was dramatic.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

As a sequel to Other M, Samus Returns is really interesting.

What are the odds that this gets an eventual Switch port? I was waiting for a price drop, but I think I missed the last sale when it dipped below $30.

Dyni wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

As a sequel to Other M, Samus Returns is really interesting.

What are the odds that this gets an eventual Switch port? I was waiting for a price drop, but I think I missed the last sale when it dipped below $30.

It's currently $25 at Target. I think Amazon is price matching, last I saw.

How likely is a Switch port? To date, there have been zero first-party games ported from 3DS to Switch and only two simultaneous releases. I wouldn't hold my breath.

gravity wrote:

I would buy so many 3DS games for the Switch. Would the missing second screen be an issue for many games?

It depends on the game. Some would need quite a bit of retooling, while others could lose the second screen fairly easily.

A bigger issue might just be quality of assets. The resolution of the 3DS top screen is 400x240, and that's what games were built for. Some of them would scale up better than others, but pushing a 240p game to 1080p would need significant texture and model work to not just look like total ass.

I'm not saying it won't or can't happen, but it's a bigger undertaking than porting a Wii U game to Switch, for example.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Dyni wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

As a sequel to Other M, Samus Returns is really interesting.

What are the odds that this gets an eventual Switch port? I was waiting for a price drop, but I think I missed the last sale when it dipped below $30.

It's currently $25 at Target. I think Amazon is price matching, last I saw.

How likely is a Switch port? To date, there have been zero first-party games ported from 3DS to Switch and only two simultaneous releases. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Huh. I thought there had been a few 3DS to Switch ports, but I guess no first-party games.

I clicked on that Target link earlier, but I missed the "& more" section where Metroid was hidden. Thanks for the tip I'll try to swing by my local Target tomorrow to see if it's in stock.

Edit: doesn't look like Amazon is price matching

The reason it feels like there have been 3DS to Switch ports is because there have been Wii U to 3DS ports and Wii U to Switch ports.

Yeah technically things like Hyrule Warriors gave been ported. But yeah not first party, despite all the Nintendo characters.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

A bigger issue might just be quality of assets. The resolution of the 3DS top screen is 400x240, and that's what games were built for. Some of them would scale up better than others, but pushing a 240p game to 1080p would need significant texture and model work to not just look like total ass.

I'm not saying it won't or can't happen, but it's a bigger undertaking than porting a Wii U game to Switch, for example.

That's a bummer. Even simply scaling that to the 1280 x 720 handheld screen would leave 40px bars on each side of the screen, which would probably make the port feel cheap. I don't know enough about how textures are built in practice to know if they already have higher res ones made generally that are scaled down for the lower res, but if so that'd be a ray of hope.

Stele wrote:

Yeah technically things like Hyrule Warriors gave been ported. But yeah not first party, despite all the Nintendo characters.

It also wasn't really ported from the 3DS. The Switch version was ported from the Wii U version, which weirdly got all the content that was added with the 3DS release by way of a code included with the 3DS cart.

Sushi Striker was originally announced as a 3DS game but was a simultaneous launch on both systems. Fire Emblem Warriors was a simultaneous launch. I really can't think of any others.

I’m also thinking of Captain Toad. That one might feel like a 3DS port if you’re not familiar with the original.

Oh, good call! I'd forgotten about the 3DS port of that since I already played it on Wii U.

Did you ever play the original Metroid II: Return of Samus, Clock? I only ask because of your observations regarding the map. They pretty much kept it as close to the original GameBoy game as possible, which is largely a more linear progression.

Lord, I tried, but I just couldn't get in to it. I don't have the wherewithal to get into Game Boy games.

It's understandable. I played Metroid II in high school, when that gameplay style was still close enough to be playable. I don't know if I could return to the original GameBoy game. They did some great stuff atmospherically with the limited tech, but at the same time it is so, so much easier to get lost that 50% of game time is spent spider-balling everywhere trying to figure out if you missed something.

Darn. My local Target doesn't even carry Metroid: Samus Returns.

Whew. I finally finished Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux! I've been playing it on and off since May, and I set it aside multiple times to focus on other games.

I played the original DS release, so this was a little bit of a replay for me. Strange Journey is one of my favorite games and possibly my favorite RPG. So how does the Redux release stack up?

Redux is a more welcoming, more accessible release. It trades many of Strange Journey's sharper edges for modern conveniences designed to help players through the game. And while on its face that might make it sound like the game is easier or simplified, the net effect is to offset some of the original release's more egregious bullsh*t.

A good example of this is how the player's death is handled. In the original release, if the player character falls in battle, the game is over. It doesn't matter if another member of the party could theoretically resurrect them or cure a lethal status ailment, the game is over. This can be immensely frustrating when fighting bosses who will throw out unblockable one-hit kills or who can change their vulnerabilities on the fly. In Redux, where the player's whole party needs to die before the game ends, those bosses are unchanged, but they're less aggravating for not randomly making you have to start over from your last save.

Redux also adds new content to the game, most notably new characters, new endings, new bosses, and a sprawling new dungeon that you unlock in layers as the game progresses. The dungeon designs in Strange Journey have been favorites of mine, and the new dungeon added in Redux is on par with the best of the originals, offering new and unexpected twists on the mechanics of the original game.

The new endings are a bit of a curiosity. The original release is somewhat notorious for having remarkably negative endings; there are three of them, and they all pretty much feel like the "bad ending" from other games. It fits with the game's dour, pessimistic view of the world, but it's an unusual story beat to end the game on. Redux offers variants on those three original endings that are considerably less negative and, while still imperfect, aren't quite so bad as they were before.

The nice thing about all of these changes and additions is that they're almost all optional. You don't need to explore the new dungeon or engage much with the new story. Even the changes to the death of the player character that I mentioned earlier can be switched on and off. Some changes are inevitably unavoidable, but there was clearly an effort made to preserve much of the original experience should you want to go for it.

All in all, I'm impressed with the Redux release and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, provided you're up for a tough as nails dungeon crawler.

That sounds nice. Pretty sure one of those BS boss deaths is why I quit playing the original.

I finished up Samus Returns, and despite one really frustrating and unclear boss fight, I was impressed with it throughout. If you're a fan of the series or the genre, I'd say give it a go.

I'm also replaying a bit of Super Mario 3D Land after picking up a copy from Target for $5. It's interesting to be reminded of just how aggressively that game tried to push the system's 3D feature, especially in light of Nintendo eventually backing off of the glasses-free 3D entirely. As it is, I'm playing on a New 2DS, so most of that is lost on me. I might pop it into my New 3DS for a level or two, although it won't be much more than that. The 3D feature gives me splitting headaches.

I'm not quite sure what to play next. I'm slowly poking at Persona Q and Stella Glow but haven't really sunk my teeth into either.

Stella Glow is my pick. Cause I haven't played it.

Stella Glow it is!

I finished Super Mario 3D Land. I won't say a lot about it, because saying that a Mario platformer is fun, polished, and technically flawless is like astutely observing that water is wet. Some of the 3D perspective tricks can be annoying in 2D, but overall, it's as good as I remembered it being. I'm still so impressed by how well it plays as a 3D platformer while having virtually no camera controls.

Next up, another Target impulse buy: Luigi's Mansion, and Stella Glow.

I meant to question which was the frustrating and unclear boss fight in Samus Returns, but I imagine I know who it was.

Spoiler:

The digger dude, who upon subsequent playthroughs actually became a piece of cake. It's one of those "once you figure it out" things. However, I still hate that chase through the tunnels beforehand.

You're kind of making me want to go back and replay 3D Land. It's funny, because I just had a conversation the other day with a friend about how the 3DS used to be my favorite gaming platform based on the experiences appearing on it, but now it may as well be dead to me. It has nothing to do with the games, but more because of this gooseneck tablet holder thingy. If I'm not sitting on a chair or couch playing off of a TV, then I'm laying down in bed with my Switch hooked to that thing, hands to my side holding the Joy-Cons. It's great for giving my back a break and is just a lot more comfortable. It's also super-handy for gaming before bed and first thing I do waking up on a Saturday morning.

In comparison, while I was able to deal with all the different positions you could play 3DS in, they now all seem so... uncomfortable. Either my head, my arms, or both are going to get tired no matter what position I'm in, and as a result it's a lot more difficult to want to go back and replay games on it.

This is where someone would normally say "I wish they would just port blah", but many of those games would be lesser experiences without the second screen. Not to say they wouldn't work – I've played Metroid and Zelda games without a second screen, after all – it just wouldn't be the same.

To try and bring this back around to you, Clock, have you noticed a different in comfort between devices? Is one preferable to you over another?

You were right which Metroid boss gave me trouble.

Do you mean which 3DS device is preferable to me, or do you mean which consoles/platforms in general are more comfortable? I've played on a launch 3DS, a New 3DS XL, a 2DS, and a New 2DS XL, and they're roughly most comfortable to use in that order. I'm pretty pleased with the design of the New 2DS XL, overall.

I suppose I more meant do you find the Switch more comfortable than the 3DS, though it's interesting to see your experiences with all the other variants. I think I'm most comfortable with a 3DS if I'm sitting in a chair, but then either my head is tilted down and it starts to hurt my neck or my arms get tired holding the system. If I'm laying down, my arms or head get tired even faster, making it an uncomfortable position to play in.

Do you find that, if you are playing a game with stylus controls, your left hand cramps after a while (assuming that you hold the 3DS with your left)? That happens to me.

I've never really run into that issue myself, and I did a lot of that sort of gaming with Kid Icarus and Theatrhythm (though I think with the latter I moved to traditional button prompts anyway).

Persona Q2 has been rated in Australia, suggesting an international release. Yay!

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garion333 wrote:

Stella Glow is my pick. Cause I haven't played it.

So, Stella Glow.

I have a sometimes unhealthy interest in mass media train wrecks. You know the kind: the movie where the original director got fired halfway through production and had to be replaced with someone totally different; the TV show where the stars all had to get written out because they got busted for drunk driving; the album recorded by band members who recorded their parts separately and emailed them to the producer to stitch together. Or this: the game that was supposed to be a celebration of a studio's tenth anniversary that ended up being their final product when the CEO literally went missing and the company abruptly folded.

Given all the drama surrounding its development, I wasn't sure what to expect. The developer, Imageepoch, was one whose games I had heard about but hadn't played: Luminous Arc, 7th Dragon, Time & Eternity, Sands of Destruction, Fate/Extra, Criminal Girls. All I really knew about the game itself going in was that Stella Glow was an SRPG.

And... it's an SRPG, and not really a notable one, at that. It's an intersection of just about every current cliché in Japanese role-playing games: you play as a boy who has a unique gift to awaken the magical powers of a cast of partially-dressed female characters through a ritual that's an obvious metaphor for sex; between missions, you have a limited amount of free time to spend however you'd like, including getting a part-time job, boosting your stats, or spending time with your team mates to improve the bond between you, unlocking new abilities with each relationship milestone; and of course, your ultimate adversary is a villain from the moon who is God with a host of angels.

I got "bingo", how about you?

It's not a bad game, by which I mean that it's not poorly made or poorly balanced, but it's not an especially interesting one, either. The sexism of the premise is off-putting, and I can't begin to tell you how tired I am of micro-leveling social links through skits about girls' cooking and/or outrageous appetite for cake. I'm willing to tolerate that in other games for the sake of interesting mechanics, because there really aren't a lot of developers who aren't catering to the otaku market who are doing interesting things with these kinds of gameplay systems. But the mechanics here aren't especially interesting, either. Picture a bog-standard Japanese SRPG like you can find by the dozens in a mobile app store. Voila! You probably nailed something like 90% of the mechanics in Stella Glow.

I'll throw in a caveat here: about 6 hours into the game, you finally unlock the last set of gameplay mechanics, these revolving around different songs characters can sing that have field-wide effects during combat. There's some potential for interesting things there and some of the other mechanics hinted at in the process, but even if they're super cool, that's still six hours to slog through to get there.

I'm going to keep playing for now, but I wouldn't rush out to play Stella Glow unless you're short on generic SRPGs and racy anime costumes and somehow the rest of the internet just doesn't provide.

Somehow I'd never heard of this game, but I don't really care because hot diggity dog I want the NoClip documentary of that studio's history. I'm going to have to go and read through it more thoroughly, but a translator went and put together a bunch of info found in an interview from 4Gamer with the former CEO here on Twitter. It sounds like the guy probably became a Hikikikomori for a brief time, so nothing super dramatic but most certainly quite Otaku in nature.

So I guess the documentary wouldn't be as entertaining as I thought, but man. Still a fascinating one.