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noiseredux
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by noiseredux Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:38 am

I sometimes get the feeling that the handheld entries in the Legend Of Zelda series aren't really remembered as fondly as the console ones. Well, that's not quite fair. I think everyone knows and loves Link's Awakening. But I'm sort of in shock when I hear a Zelda fan say that they haven't played A Link Between Worlds yet. And I've heard that - in 2018. It's weird. And really when I think about it I just don't feel like all those portable titles that happened between Link's Awakening and Link Between Worlds are really a very big part of the conversation. It's like they're just kind of there. They exist, but they're easily forgotten as opposed to the titles we always come back to - the Ocarinas and what have you.

I know for certain that I played Oracle Of Ages back in the day; I remember it quite fondly. And while I also know for a fact that I OWNED Oracle Of Seasons, I'm now not entirely certain that I ever got around to playing it back then. So it was a fun little surprise when I linked my Nintendo ID to my New 2DS XL and found out that for some reason I owned Oracle Of Seasons on the Virtual Console. I had no memory of acquiring that one (or Metroid either apparently), but it turns out that I owned Oracle Of Seasons TWICE and never got around to playing it.

So I finally got around to booting up Oracle Of Seasons last night. It immediately has that sort of Link's Awakening look - basically 8bit LTTP - no big surprise given the hardware. And of course it has that unmistakable GBC pallet. It's cute as fuck, but it's not super hand-holdy either. It doesn't explicitly point you in any direction too often. Much of your quest is going to rely on talking to NPC's and poking around on your own - at least early on. This isn't good or bad, it just is. Compared to Link To The Past which I just completed again this past week, it feels like it's slightly more obtuse. There aren't a lot of moments in LTTP where you don't know where to go next for instance. It feels like Seasons requires a bit more experimentation (unless it's just that I know LTTP a lot better already). But I mean I found myself in an area that required a boomerang... and it turns out that that rhythm mini-game that I assumed was optional was how to get the damn thing. Hmm. So maybe it's just that. Maybe things that WOULD be optional in LTTP are just the meat and potatoes here and I need to switch my brain to that way of thinking.

At any rate, the game itself feels really great. The visuals are excellent and the controls are tight and responsive. Link's Awakening is an undisputed classic within a series filled with classics, and so far Oracle Of Seasons feels like a solid follow up to that one. So I'm happy to be playing this one right now. I'm probably two or three hours in already, and so far I've beaten the first major dungeon, and am now dicking around in the second one. I've found the bracelet that lets you lift heavy objects, and I know where the boss is but I seem to have missed a key somewhere so I need to backtrack a bit.
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Ack
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by Ack Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:35 am

Prisoner of Ice

I haven't played Shadow of the Comet, and since this game is a sequel, there may be some plot elements I miss as a result. I may go back after this, but Prisoner apparently has time travel elements while Shadow doesn't to my knowledge, hence why I have started here.

Somewhere in what appears to be Antarctica, a rescue mission by a British submarine with some kind of American attache recovers a Scandinavian man and two crates encased in ice. Unfortunately, a German ship spots them and drops depth charges, resulting in a fire that melts one of the crates. The thing that breaks free kills the captain, and it's up to our American hero to save the sub.

This is just the first part of the game, but having now gotten out of the submarine, I've learned some valuable lessons about how this game plays:

First, there are timed puzzles that result in death if you cannot solve them. However, the game will autosave at the start of each puzzle, so don't be too concerned about dying a few times while you figure out what to do.

Second, the inventory is found by bringing the mouse up over the action screen. Keyboard commands are used to turn sound, voicework, and onscreen text on and off. This means you might accidentally turn off a key component, so be careful.

Third, this is a pixel hunting game. I got stumped for half an hour on the sub because I didn't know I could click on the small black circle in the bottom right side of the corner in one room for an item. I thought I had hovered the mouse pointer over it, but I guess not. I kept finding more and more stuff, some of which were red herrings.

Fourth, the game requires you figure out a lot and doesn't provide much help...or any, really.

And fifth, things often require specific events to have occurred to enable certain kinds of interaction. For example, a character will not respond to a command unless a certain event has occurred, or you may not be able to use an item on an object until the plot has advanced to a certain point. While it sometimes makes sense, it's also frustrating that I can grab so many items and I know they interact, but they won't until they have to.

Yet I can't help but be intrigued. I'm now in the Falklands (take that, Argentina) at a Royal Navy base. Time to investigate whatever I can about the other ice crate and why they contain bizarre tentacled horrors.
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nullPointer
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by nullPointer Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:14 pm

For my timey-wimey adventures, I started up Prince of Persia: Sands of Time last night. I'd forgotten just how much of the ancestral DNA for Assassin's Creed got its start in this game. The parkour always feels dynamic and lends itself well to an 'action packed' sense of adventure. Just as with Assassin's Creed though, the walls can occasionally feel 'sticky' and you'll often find yourself executing a wall run when you had no intention of doing do, and this can sometimes lead to some janky feeling deaths. But death is rarely a permanent state in Sands of Time. The Dagger of Time allows you to (among other things) rewind time in 10(?) second increments. In some ways this serves as your 'lives' in the game (each time you rewind, you burn through one of your vials of the titular Sands of Time). The levels are masterfully designed around your parkour abilities, which is one of the real highlights here. Furthermore the highly acrobatic combat feels fast, fun, and exhilarating (though I suppose once you've explored the available move set, it starts to become a bit samey after a while).

All told, I'm glad I'm playing this game once again. I'd forgotten how good it is.
Last edited by nullPointer on Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheSSNintendo
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by TheSSNintendo Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:47 pm

I think Space Quest IV for the PC also had a time travel element.

Looks like it's time for me to break out Chrono Trigger or Ocarina of Time.
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:20 pm

Great post, Noise. Both of the Oracle games are very solid. I bought them at release and fell asleep marathoning them. Good times.

I actually really like the portable Zelda games. Spirit Tracks is my least favorite in the series, but even it’s pretty solid.
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Ack
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by Ack Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:02 pm

Prisoner of Ice

I have discovered how time travel factors into this game. It plays a crucial plot element. The elder gods lie beyond time, waiting for someone to open the door and unleash them once again upon the Earth. Unfortunately, it looks like the Nazis are planning to open that door. They have already opened a small one and are conversing with the shamans of the past and in the future.

Yeah, the plot of this game has gone a bit crazy, but it's still fascinating. It's definitely rooted in the good American opposing the Nazis and their mystical goals for world domination via pure evil. It's also not the first time I've played a video game where time traveling Nazis was such a major element; that was pretty much the whole point of the game Mortyr.

Yet those Nazis weren't talking to Nyarlathotep. In Prisoner of Ice, Nyar seems much more associated with Aztec-style religion, though I usually see him equated with Egyptian in various works. I guess once you're big on pyramids, what's a ziggurat to you? And Nyar also has some powers over time, which makes things worse; Cthulhu just wants to eat our souls. Nyarlathotep wants existence to worship it as it eats our souls. Lovely fella, ain't he?

So now I'm in the future, gathering info on how to beat time traveling Nazis who want to bring the Old Ones to their time and potentially attain a form of godhood while committing mass genocide against the rest of humanity. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Prisoner of Ice. Come for the Elder Gods. Stay for fucking with the Fuhrer.
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by Exhuminator Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:43 pm

I'm finding it very interesting reading your playthrough of Prisoner of Ice. My own copy is one of a few unplayed CD-ROM games I've had sitting on my PC gaming shelf since the '90s. I'm not sure why I never cracked it open, but playing it vicariously via your descriptions is intriguing.

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So I've revived my play of Professor Puzzlefetish and the Unwound Semblance of Sanity. I originally started this game earlier this year, in a bid to eventually complete all Layton games. Then I fizzled out on it, because for some reason I never find the Professor Layton games quite as amazing as the collective gaming community does. Seriously, during the DS' lifespan, Professor Layton was hot stuff that sold well even in the west. There are a few Layton games on the 3DS as well, but they didn't capture the same level of fervor. Probably because much of this series' demographic had moved on to smartphone gaming by then. Anyway, I'm digressing. This is PL3, I've previously beaten PL1 and PL2 before this years ago.

Last night I think I figured out why I don't like the Layton games as much as others. The problem is I always beat all the puzzles. All of them. Even the crappy ones, which honestly describes most of the puzzles in these games. So last night I decided I would only solve the puzzles I -had- to solve to progress the story. Doing this has sped up the pace considerably. Now the storyline is moving at a speed that makes it more interesting, and the prime-time puzzles - the ones tied to the story itself - are always considerably better than the droves of filler puzzles.

The plot in Unwound Future is very much about time travel. Professor Layton and his cohorts bounce between different versions of London, all existing in distinct time periods. This is done using a time machine that looks like a big clock.

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Yep. I've often read that PL3 has the best plot in the whole series. Sadly I already know some of the big spoilers because internet idiots. All the same, I'm enjoying this game's plot a lot more than the first two games.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:56 am

I'd say, at least for me, that I drifted away from the Layton games because the plots got absolutely nonsensical and more importantly the puzzles got absolutely dreadful. I tried the 4th one on DS and put it down after a couple hours after getting fed up with yet another ridiculous puzzle that was nothing but stupid (something about counting pictures of cats in some artistic painting). The puzzles had already been going downhill since the 2nd game (although I feel 3 had better puzzles than 2 overall), and 4 just convinced me that the series was not maintaining a level of quality that I could be happy with.
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noiseredux
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by noiseredux Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:49 am

Worked out a trade with Stark for a copy of Chrono Trigger over the weekend so now I'm wondering if I should focus on that this month instead.
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Re: November Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die

by MrPopo Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:45 am

noiseredux wrote:Worked out a trade with Stark for a copy of Chrono Trigger over the weekend so now I'm wondering if I should focus on that this month instead.

You definitely should.
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