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Every now and then I'll have a kind of thought bouncing around in my brain. It'd generally be some kind of explanation of something or my feelings towards something that'd I'd explain in great detail to myself. After having enough of these thoughts I finally decided to record them somewhere to later smack on my website, and that day is today. Here will be a record of me blabbering on about stuff for the sole purpose of having other people see it, so feel free to read my thoughts, just a warning there's no guarentee that they're well structured at all.

Viva Piñata Trial Thoughts (March 1st, 2023)

So I played the trial version of Viva Piñata last night because I found out it had a demo and was curious to see what it was all about, seeing how people don't really talk much about Rare games past the point they were bought by Microsoft, and buddy let me tell you I had a pretty swell time. It's incredibly charming with how the currency isn't coins but chocolate coins, how when a piñata dies it bursts into confetti and candy, children celebrate, and them going to heaven, the label maker being fun and having just an assortment of random logos was pretty funny, or how when two piñatas romance they instead boogie down so hard the egg guy goes "that is some fine dance moves here have this child" it's very endearing. The main gameplay of raising piñatas and pairing them and making them happy is pretty fun as well but I did have a few gripes with it. For starters it can get very overwhelming pretty quickly when you've got a bunch of piñatas in your garden and alongside keeping seeds watered, piñatas coming over and making sure no one gets ill, aggressive, or just sad can be a bit much to handle. I'm pretty there are tips and tricks to reduce the stress, such as selling the piñatas you're not doing much with, so I won't dog on it. Another I won't dog on too much would be the controls and how controller isn't exactly the most comfortable control scheme for the game. It's not really something I wanna complain about since they had to work with what they were given and honestly they did a pretty neat job on it, only using the left stick instead of also the right stick allows for some comfortable face button action which I honestly appreciate. Though with the clutter the game can be sometimes and the movement of your piñatas can make it really frustrating when you just want your piñatas to do the things you want them to do like anything romance related, which is especially frustrating if it's a flying piñata and they flutter out of view. I know you can select them from the journal but that takes too long and doesn't also target another piñata if you wanna romance them. I think a form of targeting where you can rotate a selection of piñata residents with the bumpers, which were unused at least in the demo, would substantially improve this issue I had and just streamline it a bunch. Maybe there's a feature like that already but I didn't know about it so uh let me know if it exists. One more thing that's not exactly a gripe but moreso something that I'm mixed on are the romance minigames. Basically when two piñatas romance you gotta play a quick minigame to truly seal their love for eachothere where you maneuver one of them around bombs to get coins and to the other piñata. This whole setup is fine y'know games like this need mundane tasks to make that dopamine hit more satisfying, but there's only one layout per piñata. On one hand, it's pretty tedious to have to repeat the same layout over and over when you'll master it in like 2 attempts, but on the other having multiple layouts for each piñata could ruin the flow of the process. The only ones I was able to replay was the fly one and DEFINITELY the worm one so maybe it's not really a big deal? Maybe there's more in the final game but idk it was just really weird to me. Now I know I whined a bunch just now but this game is still really fun, like it's telling when I got to the end of the demo which would be around 2-3 hours in. It's fun to see your garden develop over time as you find new piñatas and seeing the unique romance animations entices you to get new romances with new piñatas. It's also really cool how wild piñatas and npc are just chilling in the background doing their own thing while you're running your garden, it's a cool ass touch that makes the world feel like it's some functioning ecosystem. I really enjoyed the art direction and the goofy little smiley faces that are there. Plus there's an almanac ala PvZ and there's some good stuff there. It just makes me think how well a pc remaster would work. Like make good keyboard and mouse controls and make targetting better and I think you'd have a pretty banging remaster. Obviously you should take this whole thing with a grain of salt, I only played the demo, but damn dude they kinda just needed to polish this game a bit more because there's a really solid base game here, plus a remaster would bring more attention to this game, something largely forgotten due to it not being part of Rare's golden age with Nintendo. So am I gonna get the game? Probably idk

Pizza Tower, Game of the Year (Febuary 2nd, 2023)

It's only Febuary, and yet we alreaady have the game of the year. Pizza Tower is the hot new indie game, inspired by the best GBA game Wario Land 4, it takes it's mechanics and refines it to a tea with such grace and charm it's hard to want a new Wario Land game when we've already got it and more. Now I could talk about how charming and funny and well animated the game is, but you already know that also I wanna talk about the gameplay because hoo-boy is there a lot to unpack.

Let's start with the controls. Peppino's moveset is basically what you get if you designed Wario's moveset from Wario Land 4 but cranked the speed up to 16. Peppino is so fucking fast, if you can build it up you can literally zoom through stages in seconds. While running you can run up walls, roll under gaps, and perform a dive while midair to give as much control as it can so you can glide through levels with enough quick thinking. It's incredibly smartly designed to allow for levels that take advantage of Peppino's traversal mechanics. And it ain't exactly a piece of cake taking advantage of them, and sprinting is kind of committal, so you could be sticking to walls and sliding all over the place if you fail to get a hang of it. A mechanic I absolutely adore is that when you're at near max speed, enemies will just freeze up with a face of absolute terror. Not only is it fun to see every enemies unique frame for that, but also serves the gameplay as now you don't need to worry about enemies poking you when you're dashing through the level, either you deal with them normally or if you're a speedy bitch you can just rush 'em. Peppino's other moves is in service of slower traversal. The uppercut is a great quality of life addition as it brings you high enough to reach heights just a bit too high for a normal jump withough needing to wind up a sprint. Wario's shoulder bash and grab are combined into one with Peppino rushing forward to grab anything that comes their way. Afterwards you can carry them around and absolutely send them flying in whichever direction is needed. The ground pound, while a bit finicky to get out, is fun to do especially with an enemy as it becomes a piledriver. An advanced tech from Wario Land 4 returns and it's been substantially improved. When dashing, you can go into a crouch to slide under obstacles to get through quicker than with a crawl. Now instead of gradually slowing you down, you maintain you momentum and puts you at max speed once you get out of it, streamlining the game and allowing you to keep up the pace if you miss time a roll. Turning while sprinting also maintains your speed and can be used to turn around corners when falling, but you can't act out of it midair so there's still a risk in using it. Overall Peppino's moveset gets a passionate chef's kiss from me out of 10.

The level design is very well done. It pretty much refines the level design in Wario Land 4, with linear levels holding secrets far enough to be satisfying to collect but not so much as to create a scenario where you have to pick and comb throughout the entire level for a sausage. Secrets are generally well telegraphed enough for it not to become problematic finding them. Secret levels are genreally quick romps that go "hey good job for finding me have some points :)" and is more so to reward exploration with fun mini-challenge. The secret treasures take an interesting approach as you must find the janitor in order to open their door and grab the loot. It's basically keyzer from Wario Land 4 and the optional treasure rooms from Wario Land 1 I think it's cool. Now in terms of accounting for movement, the level design does a really good job at it. Having many opportunities to dash through plains, diving through tight gaps, skidding down past corners and the works. The gimmicks are also pretty fun, like the banana peel always getting a chuckle out of me and other scenarios like it providing a quick bout of eye candy similar in vein to classic Sonic games. Every level generally has it's own unique gimmicks and transformations, which temporarily changes Peppino's moveset for variety. I cannot think of a single one of these that we're boring or just bad, they're all fun to work around and a delight to traverse with. Plus with the levels constantly surprising you with wacky new ideas with no consistency, it keeps you interested to see what new fun concepts the game is gonna throw your way. The only time the variety didn't work for me was when the game swapped Peppino out with Gustavo & Brick partway through the level. They aren't bad at all, I just vastly prefer Peppino's moveset and having to switch to them partway through the level is just kinda jarring since now you gotta train your muscle memory on the spot in order to efficiently get around which just makes it kinda gross when the swap happens. Other than that slight misstep the level design is quite sublime and consistently exciting. I give it a very passionate chef's kiss out of 10.

Alright now time to talk about the rank system. Now most ranks generally consider your score. Increase your score by getting combos, collecting toppings and clocks during the escape sequence, finding the secret areas and collecting the secret treasure. In order to secure the illusive P rank, you MUST collect enough points for an S rank, find all secret areas, get the hidden treasure, keep a single combo alive throughout the entire stage, and finish lap 2. You truly have to master the level in order to even get this rank, which is absolutely telling with the last two requirements. In order to start a combo, you gotta kill someone, after that, maintaining it is as easy as killing again or earning points. It's very satisfying to find a path throughout the level in order to maintain such a combo, plus Peppino getting increasingly angrier until they just start walking around with such malicious swagger is incredibly entertaining to see. Lap 2, however, is much more genious. Basically, once you reach the exit during your escape, you can instead hop into a pizza portal to warp back to the start of the escape sequence with the catch that the timer hasn't reset. This turns into what would be a boring, uninspired retread of a level into a fucking lunatic mad dash back to the start requiring you to have to know the escape route in-and-out in order to do it twice in the alloted time given. It's legitimately an amazing addition and even services casual play and the concept of opting in for an extra challenge. Since the timer has to account for lap 2, it allows it to be more generous in regular play which can be very helpful to those who struggle with the escape sequence but still be challenging to lap 2 enthusiasts as now you practically have half the time to escape since you need to cram two of them into one. Plus any blocks or secrets you got stay gotten so you only have to focus on getting the FUCK outta there. Once you get to lap 2 on a P rank attempt and hear that music just fucking banging as you absolutely blast outta there knowing that any small slipup could end your attempt is one of the most exhilirating feelings I have ever felt in my life as a gamer. I give it a passionate French kiss out of 10.

So uh yeah, if you couldn't gleam by now I really love this game, it's probably already up there with my top 5 games of all time and I would HIGHLY recommend you support the devs by purchasing the game. At the time of writing this there's an issue with the pricing outside of the U.S. that won't be fixed until a month has passed because of Steam pricing rules or something. Though even considering that the price may be much higher than $20, I would happily pay $60 for this game. Its got the best graphics of the year the best music of the year the best gameplay of the year the best cameo of the year and the best game of the year. This game is part of the reason why I don't necessarily follow AAA gaming news all that much. Like why would I want Nintendo to make another Wario Land game, worrying whether or not it'll be up to snuff with the best of the franchise, when we already have the Wario Land game we've been asking for and so much more than we could ever expect. Go buy Pizza Tower, as the great Wario once said, "you gonna love it!"

Going back to Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (November 30th, 2022)

So a while back I decided to start another play through of Rayman 3 since people were bringing it up in a server I was in. I was in the mood to give this game another chance and maybe even finish it. Initially I thought the game was kinda lame with the slower general movement and the hoverboard stages being bad, but on replay I felt a bit more mixed overall. Let's start with the negatives. First of all, I don't think the two gameplay styles are exactly great. When jumping you slow down and over the course of the game it just frustrated me more and more because it made jumping feel like a chore, slowing down and feeling forced to use the helicopter hair instead of being able to make jumps competently with your momentum. Combat is also weird, basically you either lock onto enemies and experience the slowdown from jumping on foot and feel like your too glued down to make effective dodges or don't lock to have the speed at the cost of the camera having a fit. It all comes down to me wishing it all played faster. Like let Rayman keep his top speed momentum into his jumps and speed him up while sidestepping (obviously speeding up enemy projectiles to align with those changes because god they're slow) and I'd say you'd have a more enjoyable moveset. Obviously you'd have to redesign the entire game to account for it but idk shut up. Some bosses also really dragged with pretty gargantuan health bars, especially as the game went on. The shoe racing mini game also didn't captivate me, at best I was like "okay" and at worst it was kinda annoying trying to beat it. As I'm writing this I'm realizing these are my only real negatives as when I replayed Rayman 3 I found quite a lot to love. Like I never realized how goofy and whacky this game is. Like the plot for the first half is that Globox swallows the leader of the Black Lums, a new group that is threatening the Glade of Dream that is now dead set on killing Rayman and Globox to free their leader who is stuck in some dumb idiot it's the dumb and stupid stuff I love. Plus this game is very animated with plenty of fluid animations that give the game a lot of personality. In terms of gameplay, I really enjoyed the powerups with how frequently they give them out so you get one do the thing with it and quickly swap out for another one it's fast and I like it. My favorite ended up being the rocket which I didn't like initially. The hoverboard sections also ended up being my favorite parts of the game as the controls were quite tight and hopping from line to line at a quick pace was super fun. Plus the game is pretty short, beat it in two sittings. Now I'm the type of guy to prefer short games over long ones, like Luigi's Mansion 3 is a really good game but about halfway through I was thinking "okay I'm ready for this game to end" and realizing I still had a good few hours to go was a bit gunky, ya know? With shorter games I feel they end at a better time and are generally more replay able since a 5 hour romp is more enticing than a 10 hour one. Also the music was actually pretty dope and it looked nice. So yeah other thoughts was that the snowboarding level was a bit weird to control but I wasn't in much danger of losing so it's just whatever, also the ending is just really confusing and abrupt?? Like the wiki says that apparently the whacky stuff happens in a flashback but there's no indication that we've entered one so idk the Teensie grooving at the end was nice and a fitting way of ending the game honestly. So yeah, went through the game at my own pace not even caring about score or collectibles all that much and I had a swell time with it, while I'd say Rayman 2 was a more consistently good game, Rayman 3 had far higher highs to make up for it's lows. Regarding the ranking earlier, I'd move Rayman 3 up above Rabbids TV Party if I'm feeling it or at the very least above Rayman 2. To close this rambling off, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, I'm sorry for disregarding you all these years, I was too bad at video games to recognize your artistry. Okay rambling over bye bye!

- Outdated kinda see rambling above - Rayman Games I've Played Ranking (November 7th, 2022)

Okay so ground rules #1 it has to be a game with Rayman in the title so no Rabbids Travel in Time and #2 I would have to had played it for a substantial amount of time so no Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 okay? Okay let's start.

Number 6, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc

Hoodlum Havoc. I'm sorry but I just could not get into this game. I didn't really like how you slowed down when jumping, made the helicopter hair feel necessary to make more jumps than I would want. The score system feels completely shoe-horned and added at the last minute and just didn't feel like it fit the game at all. I didn't really enjoy the boarding levels, felt like you needed too much precision. Also I couldn't really enjoy the combat all that much, might have to do in part with the controls. Like it wasn't terrible, I enjoyed the goofy scenarios and writing and it looked and sounded nice, just wasn't for me. Also I don't know how much this will ruin my integrity but I never beat the game. Like I did two playthroughs a decent ways in with the furthest I've gotten being after the shortcut? Though I feel my opinion still stands it's still a very good way into the game I think.

Number 5, Rayman Raving Rabbids

I know what you're thinking, "Fish Eggs, are you actually genuinely legitimately seriously actually ranking Raving Rabbids over Rayman 3, a main series entry?" Yes I am. I'm not joking I don't goof around with these ranking we here at Fish Eggs Headquarters don't mess around so when I say I enjoyed a Rabbids game more than a real Rayman game you know I'm not fucking around. Okay besides that yeah I think the game was fun? Idk I played it when I was young and I can't really remember that much from it? But from what I remember I can say it was more fun than Rayman 3. Like I enjoyed some mini games, especially the on rail shooter ones those were fun. So yeah uh deal with it.

Number 4, Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Now this is a game I have no quarrels with. It's very polished, very charming, and a very good game. Would I consider it as high up as many others would? Ehhhhhh not really. Again it's a great game, just not one I'd consider all that crazy or groundbreaking. It's a perfectly functional platformer and not much else to say. Well maybe not the shell segments were generally really fun, especially the flying one that one had really tight controls.

Number 3, Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party

Now I know what you're thinking, "Really? Is it really better than Rayman 2? Now Rabbids over Rayman 3 I can cope with that I can accept that, but this? I cannot even fathom I am going to require a sufficient explanation from you Mr. Eggs." And okay okay, chill let me talk about it first. I Will stand by this game and say Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party is a very charming mini game collection. All the mini games are based on stuff you'd see when surfing the telly, such as news, advertising, workout programs, reality tv, action, or etc. It's a very fun concept. The mini games are also pretty good too, I think. Okay to be honest it's been a long time since I've played this game but I can tell you that I remember this game very fondly. The motorcycle and dress up mini games were very important parts of my childhood. So yeah I have more fondness with this over Rayman 2 where with that I just thought "yeah that was a pretty good game."

Number 2, Rayman Legends

Knowing that this is number 2 you can probably guess that Rayman Origins is my number 1, and I would like to talk about this game with some comparison to Origins since I believe both are pretty equally quality, it's just my preference that has it take second place in my heart. Legends is a fantastic game, it's just kinda easy and sometimes a bit too easy. Like the lum requirements for 100% is way easier than in Origins. In Origins sometimes you'd barely be able to get enough lums to get that check and it'd be pretty satisfying to reach that total but in Legends, even though the amount needed is doubled, they give lums away like candy so you don't even need to be that vigilant for lums. The running unlockable levels are very novel and a joy on a first run but after that they kinda lose their luster, definitely lacking the challenge of the chest levels in Origins. At least the true final one is pretty interesting just being a total visual nightmare while still being fair since you're already familiar with the default one, which despite being the last one is probably the easiest regular one so yeah. Also don't fucking come at me with "oh all the Origins levels are in Legends so there's no reason to play Origins" because you are dead fucking wrong because 1 it's not even all the Origins levels and 2 the challenge has been toned way down like the chest levels aren't chases anymore because whenever you mess up the chest slows down for you like BUDDY WHAT ARE YOU DOING I AM TRYING TO KILL YOU WHY ARE YOU GIVING ME A CHANCE. I get so pissed whenever someone says that because it's not true at all. Cool feature though.

Number 1, Rayman Origins

And at number 1 we have the one, the only, Rayman Origins, my favorite Rayman game. I love dashing into a jump with the momentum of the dash it's always fun to do. I really love the locations in this game as I feel like I just have a soft spot for unique takes on generic platformer locations. A sand level, but with a bunch of musical instruments littering the dunes that give it a musical feel. A water level, but with a village under attack before diving into a legitimately beautiful underwater section. An ice level? Lame, ice cubes, food, now there's food and also a blazing Mexican kitchen underneath. It's all great. The chest levels are a fun challenging reward and the Land of the Livid Dead is incredible and also has a boss fight which is fine but it's still an amazing world. Also I guess I prefer this artstyle over Legends but only because I grew up with Origins. So yeah that's my ranking feel free to disagree because I don't care you read until the end so who really lost here? Checkmate.

Thoughts on Betty Boop (October 24th, 2022)

So I've been reminded of Betty Boop's existence again and I must ask, what is the long term appeal of Betty Boop? Like, and I'm just gonna fully assume so if I'm wrong please correct me, this doesn't seem like the most interesting character. Any time I've seen this character move is when they're singing, being the damsel in distress, or just being eye candy. What is their personality? Because this just seems like a sexier Peach. I can understand the sex appeal but other than that what is the long term investment one could have with this character because they just seem really flat and boring.