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Sprite Machine

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  1. Sprite Machine

    Crash Team Racing - Nitro Fueled

    This was a genuine Mario Kart rival back in the day. I loved it. Nice to see it brought back. Hope they hit 60fps with this one.
  2. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    Ah yes! I would say this compares favourably to that in some respects. There's none of the pixel-hunting "try everything" gameplay you get in the Bladerunner game, and you can't be boxed into a permanent fail state, or go the wrong way very often. It's much less interesting, though.
  3. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    I'm well into Chapter 2 now (not sure how many chapters there are, Snatcher only had three). It's difficult to compare it to anything other than Snatcher, as this kind of "adventure-detective-game-with-occasional-shooting-gameplay" isn't very common. That said, if I am halfway through the game, it hasn't provided much action at all. There's a shoot-out in the Prologue and, aside from some practice sessions at the police station, I've not fired a shot since! Where Snatcher was a pretty snappy game that whisked you from place to place and had frequent action to keep you on your toes, Policenauts has the pace of a more traditional P-n-C. You can click on more things, talk a lot more, do a lot more. It's got excellent production values and nice art, but it's slow and ponderous. There's also a really sexist tone throughout, though I don't know why I'm surprised. The protagonist is a leery creep, and the game accommodates him with female-specific actions like "ask on a date" or, perversely, "smell". There's even a mini-game where you have to bat a mosquito off a woman's breasts while she's paralyzed with fear, and virtually all of the female characters wear revealing clothes, pose provocatively or have barely two-dimensional submissive personalities. Kojima's obviously inspired by 80s movies, and they're hardly paragons of gender representation, but combined with the typical 'shy nerd' personalities of games designers of this era, and of problematic Japanese culture generally, it's an uncomfortably regressive combination. I'd like to say he's gotten better in recent years, but then I think of "words and deeds" and realise that he hasn't really. Still, I shall play on. There is an intriguing story and mystery that is slowly unravelling and I absolutely love the attention to detail in this world. It's full of technical (if overly wordy) explanations, extrapolations of current science into sci-fi, and a fascinating look at the development of an off-world colony, its effects on people and society. If it can wrap the story up in a satisfying way, it may prove to be a worthwhile endeavour. Snatcher dropped the ball in its final act, so we'll see. There's a puzzle in this chapter that I thought was really badly designed, but turns out it's most likely an anti-piracy feature, requiring a look in the manual to solve. Or a quick Google, this case.
  4. Technically, you're still watching every single frame. It's just they have artificial frames added in between each one. Kinda like watching a DVD upscaled on an HDTV is watching the original lines of resolution with extra lines added in between.
  5. Sprite Machine

    Metroid Prime Trilogy (Switch) *unconfirmed*

    I'm fine with this.
  6. The thing is, some people like it. There's a stronger argument that native 48fps is better than 24fps than there is for frame-doubled 48fps being better than 24fps.
  7. Sprite Machine

    Wreck-It Ralph 2 - Ralph Breaks the Internet

    This was good fun. Lots of funny details everywhere for repeat viewings, reasonably smart depiction of how the internet might work in a world of sentient computer programs, the racing sequences were terrific... and I loved Gord.
  8. Sprite Machine

    Doctor Who

    While we haven't had a standout episode or performance yet, this series has had a comfortable sort of consistency to it, never being amazing but never being terrible either. It reminds me of Classic Who in a lot of ways (not least of which the new opening titles/music), and I greatly appreciate the use of one-off stories, ensemble cast, historicals, and not relying on fan-favourite monsters (yet!). It feels very different, but I'm fine with that. It's simpler storytelling, with all the ups and downs that come with it. Nothing grandiose or overblown. I'm still waiting for a standabout moment for the 13th Doctor. I mean, she's fine, likable, but hasn't yet won me over fully. My biggest surprise is in how much I like Bradley Walsh. I mean, bloody hell, who knew? There's room for improvement but I'm along for the ride.
  9. Sprite Machine

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Dumble-Law, surely?
  10. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    I'll let you know. I keep playing it when I'm tired and falling asleep. There is something inane and waffly about Hideo Kojima's dialogue that struggles to hold attention, and that's especially so in a point-and-click game where inane dialogue is part and parcel of the genre. But when interesting stuff is happening, it's quite gripping.
  11. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    Following on from Snatcher, I've now started playing Policenauts (English patched version, PS1). Was this Kojima's first PS1 game? It's got a real flavour of Metal Gear Solid to it, despite being a totally different genre of game - deliberately 'techy' dialogue, heavy use of cutscenes, the way character/(actor) names pop up when they're introduced, the little story 'recap' when you load a save file, the main theme music that carried over to the Konami logo in MGS, and of course the appearance of Meryl as a character! Strong directorial influence, I guess.
  12. Sprite Machine

    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

    Confusing, boring mess of a film (and I didn't mind the first one), and full of mumbling dialogue and shaky action editing. There's an interest premise with the rise of a populist fascist character and how to deal with that... but the film barely deals with the idea. For a film about Grindelwald, it doesn't feature much Grindelwald. It stuffs a load of other plot threads into it, and red herrings, and pointless characters, and, and, and... blah. I really didn't enjoy it at all.
  13. Sprite Machine

    Currently playing...

    I finished this. It was pretty great, aside from the terrible writing and dialogue, and pervasive perviness. It's surprisingly similar to something like Phoenix Wright's investigation sections, but handled better with more digging required to get the answers. Although sometimes that digging does descend into repeating the same thing over and over, and the interface is a little old-fashioned. The plot is engaging, mysterious and weird in all the ways that tick the right boxes for me. Sadly, it falls apart in the final third, showing how the mystery is more compelling than the explanation. Stylistically, the game is shamelessly borrowing from a wealth of popular sci-fi, very heavily so. And the "action" sequences are badly balanced in terms of difficulty - the early ones are painfully easy, the last few just painful (on the thumbs). Overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it on the basis of its style, atmosphere and somewhat unique gameplay, but it does feel dated, misogynistic and badly written too. Also, I somehow managed to miss (or skip?) the game's frankly awesome opening title sequence when I first started playing, so only saw it at the end. Still, I was apparently able to glean the plot setup without it!
  14. VitaTV has 1GB built-in memory. No chance of emulating the PS2! But there are a fair few native Vita ports of PS2 games, like Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, God of War. First party stuff mostly, I think. It can perfectly emulate PSP as well. You'll have to search around for the best SNES and MD emulators. Retroarch generally does everything but I find it a bit sluggish. Some PSP emulators are better than their Vita counterparts (emulator-in-an-emulator!). There's no slick interface for everything, it's a bit of a mish-mash right now.
  15. Sprite Machine

    Xbox One backwards compatibility - Server Runtime Error

    It wants a card (via Xbox.com). Oh well, never mind. I have the disk at home anyway, I just like convenience.

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