What Are You Playing?

I beat Donkey Kong Land III and Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the latter of which I enjoyed immensely. I thought it was much more well-designed and forgiving than its predecessor, while still remaining fun and challenging. It’s another one of those games I was sad to beat. (By the way, Clancy Brown was great as Dr. Cortex. He was hamming it up in the best way possible.)

I started playing Tomb Raider II today. It’s more of the same, but I’m enjoying it so far. Right now, I’m having fun just cruising around Venice’s canals in a speedboat.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
What surprises me however is how long it took for these side games to come out. Given how many years it took (the Kickstarter was in March 2013 and the original game was released in 2014), I had assumed they were basically whole new games, which isn't really the case. I'm not complaining because I like the game as a whole and it's definitely the best KS campaigned I ever backed, but it makes me wonder what their process is.
This confirms what I presumed the last couple years, that they basically let this get way out of hand and bit off more than they could reasonably deliver at this quality, but they delivered anyway. The long delay was really between Specter of Torment and King of Cards/Showdown, but even then that's a fourth unique campaign and a Smash Bros style fighter, and considering they'd already basically given me three games for my buck I never felt impatient or worried they wouldn't come through. I should also say you can see where the time went with King of Cards and really each campaign.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
This confirms what I presumed the last couple years, that they basically let this get way out of hand and bit off more than they could reasonably deliver at this quality, but they delivered anyway. The long delay was really between Specter of Torment and King of Cards/Showdown, but even then that's a fourth unique campaign and a Smash Bros style fighter, and considering they'd already basically given me three games for my buck I never felt impatient or worried they wouldn't come through. I should also say you can see where the time went with King of Cards and really each campaign.
Making Showdown seems particularly indulgent of them. Was there a great hunger for such a game? I mean, I play Shovel Knight on my 3DS, and I imagine many do. What good is that game to me? (as it turns out, it's not even available on 3DS, hah!)

Don't get me wrong, I really liked Shovel Knight. Just, ya know, not enough that I'd wished Yacht Club to invest all their efforts for 6 years in extending it with DLC. I'd have much preferred to see something new from them by now.

In gaming updates, my son and I have been playing through Mario 64. It's been a treat to see his reaction to the game after experiencing Mario Odyssey and Mario Galaxy. He still recognizes how cool it is, despite the advances made over time. That's the sign of a smart kid :griffnotevil: I also let him play my old copy of New Super Mario Bros Wii, which he immediately disliked. Not because it was 2D, but because of how frustrating it is to play with 2 players.
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Making Showdown seems particularly indulgent of them. Was there a great hunger for such a game? I mean, I play Shovel Knight on my 3DS, and I imagine many do. What good is that game to me? (as it turns out, it's not even available on 3DS, hah!)

Don't get me wrong, I really liked Shovel Knight. Just, ya know, not enough that I'd wished Yacht Club to invest all their efforts for 6 years in extending it with DLC. I'd have much preferred to see something new from them by now.
Yeesh, what's the opposite of extra credit? After reading your and Aaz's appreciative perspectives I have new sympathy for Kickstarters and fan projects that just quit instead of wasting their time doing an awesome job! =)

To the point that they went way too deep and could have been more efficient or economical with their time, it reminds me that in the restaurant biz you always do discounts instead of giving food away free, even if it's basically no cost to you, because "free has no value in the eyes of the consumer." They should have just imported those character's pixels into the vanilla game and been done with it, then charged for all that additional content as "Shovel Knight 2" if they did it at all. Then we'd be debating whether it was better than the original with three different playable characters, campaigns, battle mode, etc. And while we'd probably end up in the same place ambivalently determining it wasn't different enough, they'd also have probably doubled their money.

In gaming updates, my son and I have been playing through Mario 64. It's been a treat to see his reaction to the game after experiencing Mario Odyssey and Mario Galaxy. He still recognizes how cool it is, despite the advances made over time. That's the sign of a smart kid :griffnotevil: I also let him play my old copy of New Super Mario Bros Wii, which he immediately disliked. Not because it was 2D, but because of how frustrating it is to play with 2 players.
He's 2 for 2! New Super Mario Bros Wii and Wii U two player sucks! The single player game is nothing special either, especially in contrast to one of the greatest and most influential games ever made. What's he think of Shovel Knight DLC? "Plague Knight isn't very fun." I'd concede to him. =)
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Yeesh, what's the opposite of extra credit? After reading your and Aaz's appreciative perspectives I have new sympathy for Kickstarters and fan projects that just quit instead of wasting their time doing an awesome job! =)
Come on, I think I was fair!

They should have just imported those character's pixels into the vanilla game and been done with it, then charged for all that additional content as "Shovel Knight 2" if they did it at all. Then we'd be debating whether it was better than the original with three different playable characters, campaigns, battle mode, etc. And while we'd probably end up in the same place ambivalently determining it wasn't different enough, they'd also have probably doubled their money.
Honestly? Yeah that's exactly what they should have done, and what everybody expected them to do. I'm not complaining though, I swear! :griffnotevil:

"Plague Knight isn't very fun." I'd concede to him. =)
But he's so jubilant! :ubik:
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Come on, I think I was fair!
Yeah, nothing you guys are saying is technically inaccurate, it's just an odd point of critical emphasis in what I found to be an overwhelmingly positive experience, "But they could have done so much LESS!":shrug:

Honestly? Yeah that's exactly what they should have done, and what everybody expected them to do. I'm not complaining though, I swear! :griffnotevil:
They did end up in some kind of no man's land. A sequel or new game would have been a more effective way to present the material; having it be ongoing free DLC just allowed people to overlook, move on and forget it. I mean, that's half the stories here, people didn't even know they had it, what it was, or what it was worth.

But he's so jubilant! :ubik:
He and his story are pretty cute, and was especially impressive at the time considering I was just expecting to run around, perhaps remixed, Shovel Knight levels with a different character but essentially got a whole other parallel game, and twice over since. That's why I'm incredulous about the theoretical downside here. Treasure Trove in general couldn't have worked out better for me because I bought one great Mega Man-esque retro platformer and got three more in the deal. Reused enemies and backgrounds aside, those DLC campaigns are pretty much on par with NES Mega Man sequels, so I don't really see them as a compromise in any way, on the contrary the effort after the fact was damn impressive. Just a case of more is more for me.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, nothing you guys are saying is technically inaccurate, it's just an odd point of critical emphasis in what I found to be an overwhelmingly positive experience, "But they could have done so much LESS!"
It's really simple, for me: Shovel Knight was great, but I already had that ride. That was a stellar home-run, first-at-bat delivery for the studio. What's next? That's what's been on my mind all these years. If these character DLC had been released back to back over 2-3 years, well that'd a much different story. But after six years, I'd have much preferred to see them reach for more -- not just more of the same.

The pricing model and their overall benevolent attitude throughout this campaign is admirable, but it's kind of beside the point for me. I don't mind paying for quality work. If anyone is getting ripped off in this deal, it's them. If they're making quality work, the pricing model should allow them to be compensated for it. As it stands, their biggest fanbase, early adopters, don't even have a natural way to do that. That being said, I bought Specter of Torment on Switch, just to give them a little something extra (I already had it on 3DS). But who else bothered?

They demonstrated tremendous potential out of the gate, and I don't want to see it all squandered on what is essentially one (extended) game.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I get wanting them to make their next big thing, but I see it a little differently. To put it simply, what is is more important than what could've been. I don't see potential being squandered here, just realized, and if they never make another game, I'll just be happy they made this one and these four campaigns. I'm not going to be disappointed they did that, or wish they didn't do that to work on some theoretical better(?) game they could have been making instead. I'm actually far too skeptical of the creative process to even think that's likely (not questioning their abilities, just respecting the difficulty of executing any project like this and the likelihood of it being a home run as you say; things have to come together). I hope they do, but I'm not counting on it, and I'm certainly not holding it against the great game they made because there's no guarantee they ever make another one.
 
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