Mega Microvideos 2

While WarioWare is rarely boring, it tends to get better once you’ve seen the credits. Before that point, most challenges are
themed around a certain concept, like using the D-Pad or timing a single button press correctly. These smaller selections of microgames
act as an introduction which makes the gameplay more
predictable. You only need to keep about 20
microgames in mind which means you can prepare for
them mentally before they appear. The best part of WarioWare happens afterwards when you unlock the elevator style challenges, which throw every game into the mix. This is why I think Smooth Moves
is the weakest WarioWare. It’s admirable to experience how many
ways the Wiimote can be stressed, something that Smooth Moves probably
does better than any other Wii game. There’s tons of different poses
and interactions to learn so many that’s just playing this game might
vindicate the Wiimote for you. But it comes at a cost. Since different types of microgames are
reliant on the player being in a certain pose before the curtain is drawn, the Megamix challenges can’t quite surprise you to the same degree they can in other installments. Even if you’re not familiar with which
games use which poses, being forced to shift your body into a
certain position hints about what kind of action you’ll
be asked to perform. If it’s the samurai, you know you’ll
have to draw your arm; If it’s the elephant, you know you’ll
have to move your head around. Of course, the developers can’t really
be blamed for this. It’s only natural that a Wii WarioWare would want to get as much use out
of the controller as they could, and given that technology, there doesn’t seem to be any way of
avoiding this unfortunate reality. They minimize the damage it would do by including some simple easy to understand
Illustrations and names which help you snap to a new pose
as quickly as possible. Even so, I think Smooth Moves demonstrates that the microgame and instruction appearing
on screen at the exact same time is a vital part of the WarioWare experience. It’s why games like Bishi Bashi or Point Blank aren’t quite the same thing because they explain themselves beforehand. Thanks to the Wiimote, Smooth Moves sits somewhere in the middle. Sometimes in spite of everyone’s best efforts a sequel just can’t recapture the
appeal of the original. That doesn’t necessarily mean it
shouldn’t have been made, but it’s always a little disappointing no matter how much we might brace ourselves for it. WarioWare isn’t defined by its microgames, It’s defined by the transition between them. Pacing could be described as how something
progresses from point A to point B, but what exactly that means is up for debate? Just saying that something has good pacing means little by itself, and you could argue It’s not even
applicable to games as a medium since the pace is often
under player control. Technically most games allow players to
loiter around in an area indefinitely before they advance to the next. Even so, some games are clearly
better paced than others. If you’ve played many JRPGs, I think you’ll know what I mean when I say pacing is one of Chrono
Triggers greatest assets. The start might drag on a little too long but even that pays off with the
famous courthouse scene. From there It’s one revelation and
change of scenery after the next. Even on a casual first-time playthrough you can easily find yourself pulled into some new
situation or backdrop every half an hour or so. This keeps up for longer than you think and makes it the rollercoaster ride of JRPGs, short simple updown and then it’s over. I think that’s the main reason
people love it so much considering the battle mechanics are
nothing to write home about and the story while engaging and full of likeable
characters is pretty straightforward. Before playing Chrono Cross, if I had bet on a single thing It would
carry over from the original it would be that same snappy pacing, but that’s not the case. Chrono Cross has a lot of positive qualities. If you said the soundtrack was
the greatest ever made, I might not agree, but I wouldn’t
argue the point either. The coral color scheme is as
refreshing now as it was then. And it’s also one of those games that
mostly gets better as it goes along right away to the end. Still, it seems as though the developers got hung up
on some ancillary aspects of Chrono Trigger rather than the big picture. To its credit, It’s not filled with Trigger
pandering or anything so shallow. You can spend the majority of the story unsure of
how it even relates to its predecessor, but it hasn’t almost fetishistic reverence for
recruiting unlikely party members which was nothing more than a once-off
branching point in the first one. On top of that simple elemental attacks were
expanded into this whole battlefield system which complicates party management
in all the wrong ways while adding little if
any tactical depth. Combat, continually grinds all
progress to a halt which is hardly an uncommon
problem for the genre, but it’s exacerbated by
a lack of EXP, MP and an essentially free heal
after every battle causing them all to feel like
a total waste of time. Rather than addressing some common
problems with the genre, Cross shines a
spotlight on them, dragging down have been a much
more engaging experience. Maybe to the developers pacing wasn’t
what to find Chrono trigger. After all, it was the brainchild of the
so called “dream team”, so it’s hard to imagine
they all got together and decided that this
game would stand tall not thanks to its music, combat,
characters or story but mainly because it flowed well from
one moment to the next. Don’t get me wrong, those individual elements range
from good to great, but the thing Chrono Trigger does
uniquely well among JRPGs is that all the gears
click into place. It ticks like clockwork. That’s a tough act to follow, and maybe by the time Cross
was in production, It was still too early to say what made
Trigger special in the first place. Without knowing that for sure, any attempt at a sequel seems unlikely
to surpass its predecessor. Some things only become clear
in the fullness of time… Up until recently It had been over a decade
since I played Devil May Cry 2. Unfortunately, that timer reset when I got
the bright idea to discuss it. Being the clever little devil I am, I figured it’d be too obvious to
focus on its failings, so instead I talk about
what it did well. After all, no game is irredeemable… Or so you’d think… Even though I get paid to research
these kinds of things, I’m currently struggling to push
myself past the 9th chapter. At one point catching a demonic reflection
of my silhouette on a TV, I began to question my life choices
harder than ever before… How did I get here..? Anyway, in a sense that just makes it
all the more fascinating, how Capcom went straight from
genre-defining classic to an unplayable abomination
remains a mystery? Probably even to those
who worked on it. As far as big-name releases go, we may never see such a
drastic dip in quality between two installments of
anything ever again. That alone makes it noteworthy. Clearly everyone knew something was wrong, which is why Hideaki Itsuno was pulled in
as director for the final months, but apparently it just couldn’t be
salvaged in that timeframe. So, this is the Devil May Cry 2 we got. Given how obviously troubled
development was at that point, one lingering question for me is why Capcom would bother unleashing this
punishment on humanity in the first place? Publishers often seem too wrapped up in short-term
gains compared to the greater good, a 4th circle of Hell, according to Dante. The Devil May Cry brand has
since bounced back, but it could just as easily
have burned forever, thanks to that decision. Anyway, I first knew that something
was amiss with this game, the moment I gained control of Dante. His sluggish movement is a huge red
flag, and it never gets better. He just sort of flops his way through
empty environments, half-heartedly fending off
equally limb futter. Without trying it for yourself, this is a difficult thing to fully convey, but it’s as though every time a new action
is triggered his center of gravity snaps to a new position,
then drifts off target. Goes to show how much skill is involved
to create even possible movement when a supposedly big-name release
falls so far from that standard. There’s a lot more wrong with
the game than that, but if hitting stuff isn’t
even remotely fun then the rest was probably
doomed anyway. Talking about the first game, I once said that “the devil is in the details,” and the doubts you have
about that statement should be put to rest upon
picking up its sequel. Conceptually, it’s actually
not that misguided. Lucia seems superfluous when Trish had
just been established as Dante’s partner and his characterization lacks the
relaxed appeal of the original, but there’s also some
good ideas here. Enough to make a none embarassing sequel
in the hands of a competent team at least. Caged skeletons are a genuinely cool
enemy concept I’d like to see revived and a remote European village is an uninspired
but decent follow-up to Marli’s Island. It’s not as though they set
out to butcher the series. It’s a genuine attempt at a sequel, but ideas are only worth so much. If you could peek behind the curtain then you’d see that every new game goes
through its own Devil May Cry 2 phase because the hardest part of any creative
endeavor is the time spent refining it. The gap between functional and fun
is much larger than it appears. This is probably why game sequels have
historically turned out better than the sequels of other mediums. Once the fun has been found, all those little settings
nuances and constants can be copied over to a new
project with relative ease. For whatever reason DMC2 seems to
have skipped that step, which can be done If the new team knows how to
make a great game independent of the first, but that’s not always the case. I hope not to touch this
travesty again, but if you never have, then
you probably should. Give a younger more impulsive version of
me a chance to delete this game from existence shortly
after its release and I would have left
at the opportunity, but that would have
been a mistake. For better or worse it’s a
slice of gaming history, which is why I’m actually glad that Capcom chose to
preserve it as part of the HD collection. A little time in hell makes heaven all the sweeter… Ripping apart demons as a one-man army is
a premise we can all get behind. Which is why it’s a relief
that Doom 2016 is a nice slice of chaotic
cathartic action. It’s visceral. It’s fun.
It does a lot of things right. If that was all I had to say, I obviously wouldn’t have brought it up. So, here’s the catch: Doom is not DOOM. I suppose it’s up for debate what DOOM
even represents these days, after the 3rd installment leaned way
too hard on the horror aspects, and Doom 2016 is certainly a step in the
right direction compared to that one, but it’s not a return to form either. It’s a new form, a form where you walk into an arena, demons appear in waves, you rip and tear for a while, then search the map for secrets while
you progress to the next skatepark. This makes for a perfectly enjoyable gameplay, but it doesn’t exemplify the original DOOM. In DOOM… …you know, the first one… …exploration and combat were
more deftly woven together. Each new room could be eerily empty or have a few sneaky Hellspawns
lurking around corners. Progress through levels
was still quick, but it often pushed you
to be wary of or utilize the environment well
while fighting enemies. Moments where demons
warped in were rare and usually a low point. Apart from those uncommon occurrences and
some more common scripted ambushes, DOOM was more about methodically
clearing the level of buddies while searching for the exit. Sometimes nonlinear map progression would allow players to approach a room
full of monsters from a different angle which could feel like a different
encounter altogether. One important reason why that’s the case is because enemies are considerably less
mobile than their newer incarnations. If you know where an Imp
was five seconds ago, you can form a pretty good mental
model of where it might be now. That simply doesn’t apply anymore. Despite superficially reusing
many enemy designs, they’re often drastically
increased mobility, gives the new Doom
a different feel. You need to always be on the move less something sneaked up or even spawn in behind you. When you’re always strafing around an arena, every encounter starts to feel similar. DOOM used to be less reactionary, more tactical. That’s probably the most important
distinction between these two games, but there’s a few more key differences. Apart from some asinine
weapon challenges, new Doom’s upgrade
system isn’t egregious, but it can’t match the purity of just
picking up a weapon and firing in. In a age when every game seems to have
some tact on RPG elements faithfully simplistic DOOM would have
made for a refreshing change of pace. Demons drop varying
amounts of health depending on how much
to player needs which may or may not count
as dynamic difficulty, but regardless it eats away at what should
be the satisfaction of a job well done. Fatality animations also
seem misguided partly because they remove
control from the player but mainly because they mess up
regular kills as well. Instead of being blown apart, enemies often stagger instead forcing you to waste additional ammo
if you don’t want to go for glory. Exploiting abilities the moment
they come off cooldown is about a strategic as it gets and hopefully it’s also self-evident
why unskipable story sequences could be seen as an unwelcome
inclusion for a doom of all things. Arriving around the time
of their satanic panic some might say that DOOM
was a product of its time. That might be true of its setting but its gameplay was a natural
extension of Wolfenstein. New Doom is the opposite, It’s hammy premise which deifies
a mute Marine is no novel but it’s gameplay
alterations are trendy. Doom is not DOOM, but maybe it didn’t have to be. After all thanks to ease of modification there’s an endless amount
of WADs to pursue, and while they won’t all be good, they are all essentially DOOM. Even Heretic is mostly DOOM. And if you really want that
extra dimension, there’s plenty of DOOM to be found
in Quake and its derivatives. Obviously, I’m not about to say that
fans can make an official follow up just through modding, but it seems more valid
than with other mediums. After all, it themselves endorsed and released
fanmade level packs as Final Doom. Fan fiction is abundant on the Internet, some of which must be great
If only by sheer chance, but a books identity is inherently tied to
the way a specific author imagines and relates that world to the reader. Games are at least slightly different. Make a doom map, and it is DOOM, it has all the same weapons,
enemies and mechanics, only the layout changes. The fact is anyone can make more
DOOM right now if they so please. With that in mind, it’s no wonder Doom had to make
substantial changes to stay relevant. Like any sequel its refinements can be
assessed with a critical eye, but it’s not all doom and gloom. If you look at a certain way, every improvement makes something
either less bad or more good. Shorter loading times, less bad, extra polish, more good. This distinction is arbitrary and depends on whether you feel a certain
element is good enough already… But let me use it to stake a claim
about Bayonetta and its sequel. Bayonetta 2 is less bad than Bayonetta 1 but it’s also less good. If you play the Bayonetta
games casually, then the second game might
come across a superior. Bayonetta as a character
is more self-assured and has higher personal stakes in
the story than ever before. The plot is more coherent, has a more stylish presentation, and retro actively improves the first by
fleshing out some important details. Gone is the brown and gray color palette, which seemed to plague everything
around a time of the originals release, instead there are refreshing
blues and vibrant reds. The genre shifts are better contextualized, more succinct and generally more enjoyable. Up until the finale It’s even more
grandiose than its predecessor and boasts at least as
much new content. About the only thing it gets
wrong in a surface level is a slightly anticlimactic ending and a mech that arguably
wears out its welcome. Those improvements were
agreeable enough that most people moved on with their
life content in the knowledge Platinum had pumped out the
follow-up we’d all hoped for, but that popular perception
isn’t the reality for some. If you’re familiar with the
intricacies of Bayonetta, the sequel is a step back
in more ways than 1. Most of it stems from Umbran Climax which is far too overpowered resulting in reduced magic gain, inflated enemy health pills, obsolete torture attacks
and pointless trinkets. Witch Time is never removed which makes many encounters of
frustrating and repetitive exercise in short restrictive bursts of offense especially on the highest difficulty. Scoring also got hit by some
pretty baffling changes and these three major aggressions
combined to have knock-on effects which drag it down compare
it to its predecessor. There’s a lot more to say, but I suppose all those details
are a story for another day. It seems that many of these changes were about
doubling down on the spectacle of Bayonetta and attempt to cram in more good which is very much in line
with the series origins. The director of the first Bayonetta was mentored
by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami and apparently one piece of wisdom
passed down from Mikami was to focus more on making the game’s strengths
stronger than worrying about its weaknesses. Bayonetta 2 may have attempted to
follow in those footsteps but the end result is actually
less bad, less good. In spite of that failing Bayonetta 2 is
a great follow-up in many ways even sometimes with its
gameplay decisions. Vigrid, which reappears in the final stretch, digest the new enemy types by bringing
back the old for one chapter. While this tugs on nostalgia its main benefit is how it capitalizes on already existing
assets to expand the amount of variety on offer. Played back-to-back, Bayonetta 1 introduces the
first set of opponents which the sequel drops for
brand new exciting content. Then just when the new stuff runs the risk of wearing
out its welcomed the old resurfaces which ends up playing differently anyway since
Bayonetta herself is working with new weapons. The introduction of demons is another great touch which complements the previous game expanding
the world and allowing for more creative freedom. Enemies across the board suffer
from weaker implementation but conceptually hideous malicious
resentment and sloths are all well deserving of their
place in the bestiary. Overall, it’s that perfectly balanced
mixture of old and new which so many sequels strive for
but never reach. It may not have succeeded in the ways
they hoped when they set out to make it but regardless Bayonetta 2
makes a strong argument that alternating between
more good and less bad might be a sensible way for
a series to progress. It only became a regression because it inadvertently trampled on some of
what made the first game so good. Mikami might be right that more
good is more important, but there’s also diminishing returns. Sometimes the simplest improvements
are the most impactful. That was certainly the case for the popular
perception of the Bayonetta series, and even the most die-hard fan of
the first would have to admit the second got some aspects right. A dogmatic adherence to one side or another is bound
to result in an increasingly lopsided series. The steadiest way to make progress is just to take
turns putting one foot in front of the other. Although, if you happen to be
wearing high heels It might take some practice before
you stop tumbling over. Pride goeth before a fall unless you happened
to be Resident Evil 4 in which case you stick the
landing with a glorious suplex. On a surface level it retained many of the elements
which had to find Resident Evil up to that point. A restrictive inventory which encourages
tactical use of ammo, slow-paced exploration with
resource gathering, and, of course, a horror vibe filled
to the brim with zombies. It’s all there, and yet in spite of
those similarities, the kind of enjoyment derived from
early Resident Evil titles is different from the kind
of Resident Evil 4. At their best the earlier games were all
about good resource management, but while that aspect
carries over to 4 its much more so
a tactical shooter. Ammo usage matters, but positioning and accuracy
are even more vital, its action orientated, primarily enjoyable for those kinds of decisions
and skill checks made during combat. Now in case you couldn’t tell I find it interesting to think about
what the core of a series is because each one occupies a space in
the grander constellation of games. Sometimes a series true value only becomes
clear by looking at that larger picture. If I had to sum up the worth of the
early Resident Evil titles I would say they’re the most traditionally
enjoyable survival horror games. By which I mean Silent Hill had it beat
on a atmosphere and scare factor but Resident Evil was more enjoyable
to play a moment to moment thanks to its combat level design. Ideally, every series in existence would have
its own somewhat unique appeal which it excels at delivering so it’s always a concern to see
drastic changes being made which don’t align with a series
established identity. Even so, Resident Evil 4 is proof that if
you nailed a new thing hard enough It just doesn’t matter. Whether or not Resident Evil 4 is a good
Resident Evil is still worth discussing but it’s a footnote to the game’s actual legacy
as an outstanding 3rd-person shooter with an endlessly replayable campaign. Maybe that’s mainly because most
of us myself included didn’t miss the old Resident Evil
enough to complain. After all, It had a good run including
possibly the greatest remake ever which seemed to leave little room
for further expansion. Still, it is a valid point to say that Resident
Evil 4 didn’t need to be Resident Evil at all. In fact, they had tried to make it once before and
ended up spinning that off into Devil May Cry. Maybe having already played that card
they were hesitant to do so again since it would mean an even larger gap between
numbered installments of such a flagship franchise but it might have been
the right call long term. Despite a catastrophic stumble
on its second outing, Devil May Cry continued to become a successful
series in parallel to Resident Evil. Perhaps the same could have happened here,
giving rise to a new third person shooter IP. Ultimately, the reason some people get
upset when a series changes isn’t because the
new game is new but because the old games
get their future cut off. Sometimes that’s alarmist but sometimes it really does happen. Castlevania lost its identity as
a linear action platformer. We might never see another
isometric Fallout. And there was an era when Warcraft
meant realtime strategy. I don’t hate that Symphony of the Night exists, I hate that Rondo of Blood too doesn’t exist. Maybe those series were never going
to continue along that path due to market trends, developer
burnout, or some other factor but getting a sequel you don’t want closes the door more definitively
than creating a new IP. Nobody wants to see the corpse of
something they love puppeted around when it could just be laid to rest. If you asked me to choose one game
I’d prefer a main sequel less I suppose it would be Ghost Trick. Without getting too deep
into spoiler territory I’ll say its conclusion was about as
perfect as I could Imagine with only a single dangling plot thread which really
wasn’t of much importance in the first place. I think everyone has a game like this, that one off title we’d rather not revisit. Some creators skirt around that preference
by making vaguely similar follow-up says happened with Ico, Shadow of the
Colossus, and The Last Guardian which may or may not take place
in the same world. If you like them all you’re free to
connect them together, but if you can’t stand even the
best of escort missions then you’re free to enjoy Shadow of the
Colossus as a solo affair. It’s a clever way of doing it, but why shouldn’t there be another
Ico or a Ghost Trick? One pitfall of criticism is that it
relies on the counterfactual. In other words, If you want to say
something could be better you need to imagine a way in which
it actually could be improved. When you’re pointing out problems
this is easier to do but task we proposing how a sequel to
one of our favorite game might look our imagination often fails us which is only natural. After all, I didn’t dream up Ghost Trick
in the first place, it took Shu Takumi and his team years
of iterative work to arrive there. It’s understandable, I wouldn’t be able
to envision a better sequel but given enough time, he might. None of us can say for sure
what the future holds, we can only make decisions
based on probabilities, so the question becomes what kind
of bet to place with our time. Takumi is also the creator of
the Ace Attorney series which lends itself well to sequels
and has plenty at this point so another one of those
would be the safe bet. A new Ghost Trick is an
unproven riskier use of time but there’s also a third possibility, something new. After all, if Takumi had contented himself
with Ace Attorney sequels forever we never would have had Ghost Trick
in the first place. Every sequel comes with an unseen
opportunity cost associated with it, the new thing we could have gotten had
the creators worked on that instead. It’s not a one-to-one conversion rate though. A sequel should in theory take fewer resources
to complete than a brand new venture since it has an established base to work from. Not to mention a sequel from
one corner of a company can provide the funding for something
new elsewhere in that same company. It’s all one big interconnected economy, but what’s the ideal? Personally, I feel a sequel shouldn’t be made unless the
creators think they can bring it up to par with the first. Naturally, they won’t always hit that target but it should at least be the goal. New things may be more
difficult to create but at least they don’t have
that legacy to uphold. Originality buys you some lenience
thanks to its innate sincerity or at least I think I heard that
somewhere before. Maybe it’s also the case that
originality is a shield since it hampers our ability
to gauge its true quality. Who’s to say that Ghost Trick is even good at all
If we have nothing to compare it against. It’s kind of a visual novel but it’s admittedly simple gameplay is original
enough to defy direct comparisons. Maybe someday there will be a whole genre dedicated
to interfering with Rube Goldberg machines which will reveal Ghost Trick to be a
lackluster take on the concept. Hard to imagine given how wonderfully convoluted
some of the scenarios are already but it can’t be ruled out. And that I suppose is the merit of sequels. Whether it’s an official follow-up or a spiritual successor dreamed of
by the next generation. We don’t live in an ideal world where people can spend endless resources
perfecting an idea on the first attempt. Sometimes it’s best to rewind start over and try again. Life is simply unfair. With the Zero Escape series on indefinite
cliffhanger after Virtue’s Last Reward, the only fate worse than
never getting the 3rd installment would be getting a
disappointing one instead. Unfortunately, the coin was unkind, Zero escape 3 arrived and landed with a thud. Rather than dwell on its problems a more interested in a sort of meta
consideration that’s worth mulling over before even thinking about anything else. In Zero Time Dilemma the core theme
is the unfairness of it all. No matter what anybody does some people will branch
into happier universes and others won’t be so lucky. The same idea could be
applied to a series itself since a sequel is the moment an IP
goes from being a point to a line. It no longer has just a position but a trajectory, a path, and sometimes we can’t help but feel
like we ended up the wrong one. Anyway, let’s not get bogged
down with details here. All I’ll say is my favorite part
of Virtue’s Last Reward was later dismissed by the writer
as non-canon metafiction. Regardless Zero Time Dilemma failed to offer a
satisfying conclusion to the series overarching plot, but it was Virtue’s Last Reward which
established most of those threats even ending on a cliffhanger. It’s tempting to say that the blame lies entirely on
the Zero Time Dilemma side of the equation but I’m not sure that’s really true. I know that as much as I
enjoyed Virtue’s Last Reward the ending did leave me skeptical that things
could ever be neatly wrapped up. It might be fair to say that the series
had already crossed the line from which there could be
no perfect conclusion while still hinting that such a
thing might come to pass. If that’s the case, then Zero Time Dilemma can hardly be blamed
for not delivering on an empty promise. Not that the ending is the only thing
wrong with Zero Time Dilemma but it does have some genuinely
cool positive qualities enough that if it had
stuck the landing it would have been a worthwhile
closed to the trilogy. I’m probably not gonna talk about
these games any further but it’s still an important
issue in my mind because if I were to
review them the logical way to break it up would
be on a title by title basis. In other words, there’d be a
Virtue’s Last Reward review and a Zero Time Dilemma review. For a narrative-heavy title that
ends on a cliffhanger essentially leaving its most important element
incomplete until the next installment this seems like a problem. It’s natural to talk about and review
games on an individual basis but the intuitive way of doing things
isn’t always the best. What’s even worse about this is that at the
time Virtue’s Last Reward released you’d have no choice but to consider it separately
from its then non-existent sequel. Personally, despite my skepticism
I gave it the benefit of the doubt assuming there was some
surprising plan in place which would tie it together. In a sense all the former Virtue’s Last Reward reviews
are incomplete as the story was at that time. Here comes the plot twist. Even though it looks unlikely there
be any more installments, who’s to say I’m not making the exact
same mistake right now? It’s theoretically possible some new entry will appear
and vindicate Zero Time Dilemma after the fact. Unless you overthink the review process quite as hard
as I do this shouldn’t keep you up at night. But it’s an interesting problem, one which I don’t know if there’s
a right or wrong answer. His Virtues Last Reward worse now
that we know the ending or is it the same as it ever was? See, the difference between a point and
a line is that a lion goes on forever. A series is never truly over, there’s always a chance to course-correct
by adding more points. Maybe which universe we end up in
is just a matter of chance but I’d prefer to think we can steer each line
the right way for the benefit of everyone. That still doesn’t answer my question
of how to review each part, but luckily for me I can just walk
away at this point. I suppose the only definitive
lesson to be learned is that you probably shouldn’t
end things on a cliff-

100 thoughts on “Mega Microvideos 2

  • That was exactly how i felt about DOOM. Can't bring that up though because fanatics don't like it if you like a game but also recognizing it's different. Those goggles be tinted rose

  • This is the only YouTube channel on the planet where I only truly understand what the creator was trying to say after multiple re-watches.

    Great work as always, Matty-boy.

  • This video is a beautiful summation of why Matthewmatosis is so fantastic, with literally every segment reinforcing the core theme AND the existence of this video, along with the core theme itself obviously reinforcing the existence of this video. The transitions flow so incredibly well this time around and the way the entire video is so meta it creates an entirely new discussion once you finish the video. "The best part of [Mega Microvideos 2] happens afterwards when you… throw every game into the mix." I've never been so tempted to break down a review as an equal piece of art to the subject matter of that review. I'll be revisiting this video for a very long time.

  • When you started talking about fanfiction I thought you were going to talk about Hunt Down the Freeman. I even started smiling like a dunce

  • We all hate dmc2 but I will give it some props where it deserves it. It brought in a couple of moves that helped expand the moveset for dm3 and some of the choices in the art department were interesting.
    The biggest thing of all that blew my mind though was when completing the game on hard you can unlock Trish. She plays exactly like Dante in dmc1 and her movement speed and gunplay feel the correct speed compared to dmc2 Dantes sludgy and unresponsive gameplay. Playing as Trish genuinely fixes a lot of problems in terms of how the gameplay flows and functions. Blew my mind

  • I loved the video but I have to disagree about your opinion of Bayonetta 2. While it is true that the amount of overpowered dynamics is high, the game gives you several levels of dificulty and the ability to self-impose youself harder challenges; the game goes lengths just to give you a as many options of gameplay as you like. What I'm trying to say is that your critique ignores this fact, like Bayo 2 only gave you one gameplay option, which also ignores the galores of replay value.

  • The first Xenoblade Chronicles is my favourite game of all time, and one that I felt was so satisfying as a single product that I didn't want a sequel or follow-up. I liked Xenoblade X well enough, since that was more its own thing that took gameplay mechanics from the original. And yet here we are with a sequel that feels like a step in the wrong direction in almost every regard. Xenoblade 2 wasn't the worst game I ever played, nor a particularly bad one, but it was an utter failure as a sequel to a game that didn't need a sequel. It would have been one thing if it existed in its own universe (which it partially does), but they felt the need to tie it in with the first game toward the end in a way that felt demeaning to it. I just wish they could've left well enough alone.

  • And tonight's theme is…

    t h e m e s

    seriously though, bless you for the Zero Escape weigh-in. I love the series to death and while I rely on meta-text to enjoy the end of it, it's nice to hear some analysis on that point

    ….maybe we can hope that Ai: The Somnium Files ends up being that successor we were hoping for

  • The only reason i never tried the new Doom is because i already had lots of fun with older games, games like Serious Sam and old doom.
    but then even after the new Doom went and gone, my attention is still being easily captivated by much older games like Blood, Quake 1-3, Duke 3D and that chinese racist game i can't remember.
    and the new Doom still doesn't look like it will have fun gameplay, or any variety in its setting.

  • The worst thing about the new Doom for me was how pathetic the Glory Kills were. They drive a lot of the combat but the sounds and sometimes the animations are just so unsatisfying.

  • god of war 2018 is a pretty good example of definitively scrapping the appeal of a series. i woukdve preferred that game be a whole new ip so it wouldnt depress me so much seeing a series i cared about turned into such a mess

  • Even though this was a little hefty for a single video, I think multiple watches will make it exceptional. Your points on Bayonetta2 were an exact replica of my own thoughts, I never thought anyone else would articulate them so well 🙂 great video Matthew

  • I don't think anything particularly novel was said about Doom 2016. Quite a few people already remarked that it was more in the vein of Serious Sam and Painkiller than Doom 1 and 2.

  • Personally I wished ZTD didn't exist at all. I'd rather fantasize about a sequel that nevel ends up happening than to receive a sequel that ruins many of the elements that made the series good in the first place. Sequels like DMC2 may be worth preserving just to prove how bad it once got, but when it comes to more plot-heavy games, they are poison. I imagine you didn't mention MGSV because of the upcoming review (… r-right? haha…) but that's a game that retroactively makes MGS3 worse just by virtue of existing. For example, while it's easy to ignore it, knowing that the powers of the Cobra Unit come from MGSV's version of nanomachines highly devalues their mystique.

    Sometimes, the best sequel is just in your head.

  • 26:38 I feel that's what was going through everyone's head after Game of Thrones ended. Are seasons 1-4 worse in context of the ending or are they just as well-written as we though back in 2014? Fittingly enough, fans like me are just hoping GRRM can "course correct" that line by finishing the novels properly, so they can mentally jump ship to the "book" universe and replace all canon they know with the novel version of things (possibly with Ramin Djawadi's music playing in the back of their heads).

  • Matthew, I think you just newgame+'d a Youtube Video

    About halfway through I started noticing the subtext. This means I have to rewatch the video again, to get everything out of it. Now that I'm clued in to the implied double meaning of this video, rewatching it will be more rewarding.

  • I don’t wish for a ghost trick sequel per se as much as I wish for a game with its exact same gameplay mechanics if not an improved one 🙁

  • I sometimes wonder how comprehensible in-depth game criticism like this would be to somebody who knows little to nothing about games.

  • the battle system IS something to write home about and the story is only as straighforward as you want it to be. Once you start thinking about what Lavos is and his impact the timelines and how it intertwines with the gameplay, Chrono Trigger elevates itself to masterpiece status.

    Chrono Trigger is amazing because of how harmonic everything in is. Chrono Cross is despite of it and requires more investement to recognize its beauty outside the unmatchable soundtrack and scenery.

    Also, the "Dream Team" did not work on Chrono Cross.

  • At least AI The Somnium Files is here to blast us back up after ZTD's shortcomings.
    Also the English dub for VLR is unironically better. ZTD's dub is one giant meme just like the game itself

  • Zero Escape as a Trilogy Rant:

    VLR represents what I think of as a 'trilogy sequel'. Basically, instead of using a slight framework largely taken from the 1st to tell 3 interesting stories, a few elements are exaggerated to godly importantance and a million extra world details are introduced so you have a sense of epicness and scale.

    For a mystery room escape series, this seems… very unnecessary. I think VLR works well on its own—its Ideas and Themes are complete, the plot of its initial setting is complete (we know why everyone is there) without needing to see a resolution (I'm happy with the beautifully tied knot left in my stomach from its finale).

    ZTR can't even sit on its own. There are few clear long-term objectives even at the mid-point, and the secret identities of many characters become irrelevant at climaxes (like the heart murderer) as opposed to becoming new constants as each timeline prepares for an endgame.

    ZTR's core themes, as well, are a retread of the absolute most basic premises one must accept to engage with time travel stories, which came across as vapid, where VLR was all over the place in an imagination-fuel way. And then it introduced a grandfather paradox at the 0th hour… It felt like a regression toward the tropier takes on time travel that 999 was a retreat from.

    So few creators actually plan trilogies and series up to the end that I'm exhausted by becoming invested in them. Or when they do, they basically hide the Brand New Thing that newly defines the series until entry 2 or 3, totally divorced from the origin that I fell for.

    In games, a nascent mediun, where you rarely own your IP, where you're always working with huge teams, need massive upfront funding, etc.? Better have looser, sparser settings and fewer rules so you can roll with the punches. And NEVER write loose ends with a sequel in mind. Everrrr. Just make the setting feel larger than depicted, nod to places and perspectives uncovered in the work. Cuz otherwise, uh, you get… snails? Snails.

  • In spite of the lucid premise of the video, the editing (or narrative structure) really pulls this together in a smart way.
    It's strange to see Chrono Cross come up these days; in spite of all of the attention it got and the legacy of its predecessor, it virtually faded into obscurity almost immediately. Somehow, though, Final Fantasy VIII seems to still stir conversation, even though it has the similar problem of being less than the sum of its parts. I've always loved JRPGs, but as time goes on, I'm starting to wonder for what purpose I played many of them, especially after FFVIII seemed to signal the shift toward kitschy combat systems and plotlines even more geared toward navel-gazing hormonal teenagers.

  • This seems to be the minority opinion, but I really don't like these microvideos. They feel like the video essay equivalent of a medley, with about the same level of appeal. There's a lot of surface-level critique from well known beats in gaming, strung together by apparent segues.

    I miss the longform deep dives into individual games or series that afforded the time to get granular with a work and perform a close read. That's much harder to find on youtube, which is generally littered with shallow short essays that can readily be strung together to in effectively create "microvideos," and you were exceptional at doing it in a way few or no other creators are.

    I still enjoy your work and I'm not necessarily up in arms about the new direction or anything, but I wanted to provide some honest feedback. I feel like if I had just browsed onto your channel for the first time today, I'd have watched this video, thought it was alright, and left without subscribing or looking at anything else, and that's a far cry from when I actually discovered your channel and then methodically watched through tens of hours of your prior content.

  • I really appreciated the doom section … not a lot of people talk about the modding scene and I feel like a lot of people don't remember just how fascinating and unique of a game it actually was, even compared to games today.

  • Wtf is this Matt? I swear sometimes your trolling us with videos like this. Out of all the games you could chosen.. u went with this…Seriously?

  • If YouTube video analyses can be art, this would be my pick for it: each mini-segment is well written and insightful on it's own, and not only are the transitions between them incredibly smooth to the point you cant even feel them happening, but together they also form a whole that has it's own consistent theme and through throughline, something greater than the mere sum of its parts

  • The concept of "less bad, less good" can be perfectly applied to The Evil Within 1 and 2. I played the first one on Xbox 360 and i can say that game was technically mostly shit, BUT i will never forget it. It had a lot of imagination, campiness and that safe head monster gave me PTSD.

    But Evil Within 2? Better graphics, gameplay, etc. BUT. I forgot that game was a thing days before being released. It was the blandest game ever.

  • Never even heard of Ghost Trick, but you can be sure I'm tracking down a copy after seing that snazzy Michael Jackson umbrella dance.

  • Awesome video, I really like your work a lot, but I want to make a point, if I can: adding at least a little bit of a musical sting with each transition or adding a changing background theme to each segment would help IMMENSELY at breaking up the pace, creating important minor arcs, and upping engagement that may droop. You speak in a bit of a monotone — no hate, much love; it's your style — but it is a half hour video that you talk through non-stop, and it can be hard to keep up when each piece feels the same as the last. The clever transitions are great, but they kind of add to this problem. I don't think they need to go, but transitions seem like the perfect place to add more bounce or some kind of beat, enumeration, or differentiation that essay videos can really use. Honestly hope that helps, I do really like the video!

    Overall, it took all the strengths of the original (pithy insights from an inquisitive and clever personality) and added to them in the ways you want and expect, without addressing some of the faults that challenged the first one (the scholasticism has great tone but the delivery is not as juicy). 7/10, Wait For Sale, unless fan of original, then Buy Now.

  • For me, the hilarity of the goofy motions you have to do in Warioware Smooth Moves makes up for having to be asked to pose, and I'd LOVE a sequel to Smooth Moves because of my memories playing this with friends and looking like a doofus playing the minigames. Get the point you're arguing though.

  • I think Doom's core gameplay is one of the reasons it keeps getting maps and mods: there's so much you can do with enemy placement and encounters while 2016 suffers a bit from having too many arena lockdowns.
    Someone on a Doom thread on /vr/ said it best when one game treats enemies as "obstacles" and the other feels like it treats them as "points".
    In Doom Eternal's E3 presentation, there was that clip where they show how different levels throw different situations at you and one was an Arachnotron hiding behind a door, meaning there's a chance of more variety in enemy encounters at least.
    Even if new Doom isn't as Doom as it claims to be, i still think later Doom games introduce some good ideas to the franchise, which is why mods like D4T and MetaDoom are great.
    These mods mean that a perfect Doom game would be the best parts of each iteration of Doom without aspects like forced arena lockdowns for example.

  • At least I didn't miss the old Doom enough to complain. Like you touch on, more/better Doom1+2 is available in near infinite supply as source ports and wads, so even John Romero realized he had no business charging money for more of that.

    What makes Doom2016 nail the new thing so hard it doesn't matter is that as difficulty is increased, you win by playing faster and more efficient, not slower and more careful. Just about any and all old school and retro old school shooter will rely heavily on hitscanners to create difficulty, so higher skills becomes more about managing the line of sight tax and play slower and more scared, the 'engagement strategy' largely becomes 'which corner do I hug', and the gameplay speed (which is the lauded signature feature, old school shooters are soooo fast, right?) crawls to a halt.

    16 tightens the loop so much, everything becomes about running the current arena and juggling your resources as fast as you can, and even the weapon challenges feed into this. Will I play suboptimally for such and such challenge so that I get upgrade points for capability X in time for encounter Y? By essentially being more 'how can I best run this arena' rather than 'from where can I safest clean out this room', 16 plays more like quake deathmatch than doom singleplayer, and the excitement of the former exists on a higher order of magnitude than the latter, they are not even comparable. If that makes 16 more of a painkiller successor than a doom successor, well, I don't care, painkiller can only dream of nailing it as hard as 16 did.

  • I feel kind of a disconnect between the topic and the presentation. Who is your audience? Certainly not the majority of people, since the topics are more niche-y and the presentation too, you can't bash to their faces that they liked a game that you don't like, they complain a lot about those things. So if it's a more mid-core/hardcore audience, why don't you go full on that? Go full out on the topics, and also on the presentation. Put out more of you and your tastes, and you might reach a bigger or a more engaged audience. Just my 2 cents.

  • You NAILED what I was feeling about DOOM 2016, it often felt repetitive with its formula, and wasn't a proper return to form. But you get crucified for daring to criticize.

  • For me the game I love and don't want a sequel for is Hellblade. The game set up and paid Senua's story perfectly and any follow up where she'll have to do some new biggererer and even more straining adventure would take away from it. I know there will be a sequel but the only way I can see Ninja Theory approaching it is by making a completely different game while trying to have the same tone. I just hope they have the integrity to not even mention Senua /anywhere/ in it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *