Community Corner |OT| So you wanna talk about Games?

XboxEra began as an idea to give an often maligned gaming fandom, Xbox fans, a place to receive news that wasn’t slanted by the opinion de jour. What began as a podcast, grew to a news and reviews site, and eventually to the multi-faceted, dozen-plus member team that you see today. You made all of this possible; whether you started as a podcast listener/viewer, as someone who stumbled upon one of our articles or videos, or you’ve been a forum-goer since its launch last year, the gratitude we owe you is immeasurable.

What is Community Corner?

As an token of that gratitude, the team thought that the best way to give back was to create XboxEra’s “Community Corner”.

Do you have an analysis that is just living rent free in your brain, and the only way to perform a peaceful eviction would be to get those thoughts out into the world for at least one person to see?

Is there an aching in your heart because you are the only person that liked the Frozen puzzle game, and if you could just tell people why it was a masterpiece world peace would be achieved?

Well that’s the idea behind the new initiative; you put your best thoughts down in this OT and the last Friday of every month, we’ll review and select the best ones to throw onto our new section on the main site.

We say it every chance that we can, but the team truly believes that we have the best community and we could think of no better way to prove it then to shine the spotlight for the rest of the world to see.

Guidelines

As for general guidelines, the same forum rules apply: no dogpiling on journalists/influencers, no demonization and generalization of groups, and obviously please use inoffensive language.

In general, just be a decent human being that wants to represent themselves as best they can in this amazing community.

Lengthwise, I’m not a huge fan of restrictions (my own professional articles are incapable of brevity), however I would suggest a general ballpark of 1000-2000 words; amazing arguments have been made in 500 words and the inverse is also possible in 2500, so think of this “code” as more a guideline :wink:

So, what are you waiting for? What are you passionate about? Let the world know.

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Seems like a useful thread, I appreciate you creating it. So essentially this is for super long posts regarding games? Love to discuss games, so it’d be great to see the community use this thread.

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Kinda. Think more - getting on your soapbox and writing about something you care about - we’ll turn it into a full article and publish it a featured article on XboxEra.com

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What @Sikamikanico said :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Interesting. That sounds like a good idea.

In that case, I’ve got something regarding Scarlet Nexus coming.

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Kinda I have been bugging Sik for months with ideas and mini reviews I have had for the site to try and “give back” but given I am such a coward I couldn’t ever share them or try and make a video like the boys do.

OK, so it terrifies me, to put something of me out there. But when I consider it is not the most scary thing I have done in the last year maybe I should.

Maybe if I work up the courage expect something from me?

I think this is a wonderful Idea BTW, people can talk about their experiences so well it thrills me to read.

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Do it! Believe in yourself! :green_heart:

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I second this and if you do it I’ll do one too

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Come on Cerys, everyone loves your stories! Use that great voice of yours, we all know it will be engaging, unique, and wonderful :slight_smile:

Plus, the great @commanderbuck promised to write something if you did, and you can’t let that man down! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Viva Piñata Trouble in Paradise is quite frankly one of the, if not the best games of the 360 generation.

It is charming, amusing, deep, addicting and a visual treat.

You start the game to see the games’ Antagonist Professor Pester attempting to steal all Piñata data from Piñata Central. In his hubris and lack of foresight, naturally he employs witless goons who instead wipe all the data and give this game the focus its predecessor lacked, you now are tasked with refilling this database of crepe paper creatures by attracting them to your garden.

The game begins with a small area, a random small Piñata, some flowers and decoration. Before long simple Piñata start appearing, all with wonderfully punny names, A whirlm, a Bispotti, a Sparrowmint among the first. These have simple requirements to visit and stay, Bispotti love a flower or two, Whilrms love soil or Grass and Sparrowmints love, you guessed it, Whilrms. Seedos, one of the games’ NPC’s starts to distribute seeds and growing these will in turn attract more Piñata and so on.

Mammals? Hatching from Eggs? Whoever heard of such goings on!

All of these actions fill, with pleasing regularity, your XP “Flower” gaining you access to more tools, more seeds, and a bigger garden. In time you can explore and “trap” Piñata from the Dessert Desert and the Pinarctic, and make sand and snow in your main garden. For adversarial content sour Piñata, leaving a trail of weeds and messing with your inhabitants start to arrive, almost always at inopportune times. These too, can be tamed and turned to more friendly variants complete with a “cuter” facelift.

Later Professor Pester and his sycophants will arrive and naturally apoplectic with your excellent cataloguing, hassle your Piñatas or smash your stuff. Bribery, being smashed with shovels or specific “Papery pals” will help make short work of these nuisances.

A Sour Profitamole decides to come and bother my sleeping babies and drop weed seeds everwhere, the cad! Yet he can be turned to the light side with the right object…

But that’s not all, Piñatas can be bred, when specific romance requirements are met and a house built you can produce breathtakingly cute baby Piñatas, which mature over time. Aside from awkward conversations with children about which whirlm is the Father/Mother/Son/Daughter (since there are no Genders and no limits on in-breeding) this is fun and satisfying, each Piñata species have their own house, romance dance and minigame before an egg is delivered and hatched.

God damn you Xbox Capture system, why is it so hard… Here have a Youtube Romance dance. Happy now?

To make it even more fun one can, breed for rare Piñata Variants, with 2 of the 3 variants being available and the third being from trading with someone who was blessed by RNG with that variant. You can also, with skill breed twin Piñatas, and combine twins with variants. All of these steps will increase the Piñata value as will sending Piñata to more and more Parties. In this games world when a Piñata is sufficiently happy and filled with sweeties you can send them to children’s parties where they are harmlessly smashed with sticks to release their sugary sweetmeat before returning home, empty but unharmed.

You need to master both romancing and the romance minigame to get the option to breed Twin! Wildcards… Awwwwwwww THEY ARE SOOO CUTE!

To give goals of what to do besides the satisfaction of building the perfect garden there are also challenges from amphibian NPC Langford who will ask for specific species of Piñata to go to specific parties all over the world. The steps to complete these quests will often require a garden rethink and rebuild, fortunately the games chocolate coin currency and unlocks carry across your save and you can build further gardens and use the in game post office to move Piñatas back and forth. Similarly you can send Piñata to friends with the post office or (on 360 with the webcam) encode piñata onto barcodes to send to friends or post online.

Please don’t think of what the people at the Baby Gender reveal party would do with a cute baby piñata stuffed with sweets, its best to ignore since they come back empty yet unharmed.

This is all ignoring the further depth of the game; tricks that can be taught, Piñata Costumes, Cosmetic items for your garden, Trees and harvestable food, helpers for gardens, a fun 2 player option for non gamers or children, a “creative” mode free from molestation or the need for coins and finally, minigames to play to further increase Piñata Value.

Viva Piñata is, for me, the greatest game Rare has made, it is a delight to play, Looks wonderful (more so via back compatibility) and represents the Quintessential “E” game. Its accessible, fun for everyone to play and contains enough depth for every skill level to be able to join in and enjoy. It is Rare’s answer to Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Sim city, it is in almost every way, perfect.

Revisiting the wonderful world of Viva Piñata with a new game would be an excellent choice for Xbox, bigger gardens, or perhaps an island with biomes and maybe some light gathering mechanics added would suit it well. As would deeper terraforming abilities, perhaps having an actual character model free to be created and with cosmetics similar to the NPC’s wonderful clothing style, with friends joining you and enjoying time pass a-la AC New Horizons. Trouble in Paradise had so many social hooks we take for granted these days, A photo mode, visiting others’ Gardens, being able to send piñatas to and from friends gardens and the ability to exercise and share your creativity.

Its on gamepass, and it remains, despite its 14 years of age an excellent experience.

Try it out, Cerys wants to trade variants.

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OK I am now running away and never looking in this thread ever again…

Go Go Go Running GIF

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Lol you did awesome! Now I have to write something lol

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I’m so glad to have people who will put themselves out there, it takes courage and it’s awesome and motivating to see! Thanks @Cerysnetics for getting the ball rolling!

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Cerys that is a seriously good effort right there! Really enjoyed reading that

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Alright, my turn. Here are my non-spoiler thoughts on Scarlet Nexus after spending a bit more than 50 hours with the game and getting all the achievements (which I typically don’t, but I have a lot of free time lately):

In short, it’s a damn good game. However, there are some issues prevalent. These aren’t anything too major but they are things that may turn some people away. Most importantly, I believe the game is quite fun to play and I wanted to continue playing the entire time. It’s a very solid foundation and a sequel that can improve on some of the flaws would be awesome to see. I highly hope the game receives the attention it deserves so that a sequel can happen.

I played the game on an Xbox One S rather than my Xbox Series X due to having to travel for a couple months. However, the game still looked pretty good from a visual standpoint. The art-style shines, with the cel-shading looking great, which in turn gives the game a unique look. The different environments looked nice, however there really isn’t anything special about the level design as it is pretty basic. Another problem is that the side quests feel like an afterthought. There is essentially no real reason to actually complete them, aside from the post-game quests.

Next, I’ll be talking about the combat, which is most definitely the highlight of the game. I was initially mixed on the combat after playing the demo and I felt the same way when I was just starting the game. However, as the combat opened up, it finally clicked and now I can safely say that it is quite fun. The best parts of the combat have to be the psychokinesis aspects and the SAS (squad abilities) system. After all, this is what makes the combat system of this game unique. These are integrated into the game smoothly and feel nice to use as a result. I particularly really liked using the special psychokinesis objects. Running over enemies with a bus or slamming them with a chandelier was pretty amusing. Now, to the SAS abilities. These are very helpful and certain combinations can be very deadly. They all feel unique and allow for multiple approaches to taking on enemies. The combat system isn’t perfect, however, and I do have some gripes. The main problem is that the lock-on doesn’t feel good to use. Your attacks often don’t go where you want them to with the lock-on. The dashes can be iffy as there is no animation-canceling. I also felt like the weapon attacks were a bit on the basic side, some more combos would have been appreciated. That’s about all, though. Overall it’s solid, with some room for improvement.

I’ll now talk about the story and characters. The cutscenes are primarily presented through text boxes and mostly-static images, with some lip-syncing. I didn’t mind these “slideshow” cutscenes, but I will say that it can make the story seem boring if you are not a fan of these kind of cutscenes. I won’t talk about the story too much as I would rather not go into spoilers, but it’s… interesting. If you aren’t into “anime stories”, this most likely isn’t going to be too different. Otherwise it’s worth seeing. I feel like it gets a bit convoluted towards the end, but playing both perspectives of the story helped with that. Speaking of the perspectives, each character presents a unique look at the story, so if you are going to be playing the game, I would definitely suggest playing both routes.

From the surface, the different characters may seem to be generic, but I can assure you they are not. The Bond Episodes that take place during stand-by phases (basically intermissions in the story) add a lot of depth to these characters and free them from your typical anime tropes. I also appreciate the hideout. It’s cool giving gifts to your party members and then seeing them put on display. The different hideout animations for the characters are also pretty hilarious.

Without going into spoilers, there is room left for a potential sequel if Bandai Namco chooses to do so. Once again, I hope the game does well enough to warrant a sequel. Like I said, this game serves as a really good foundation and the few problems that I have are things that can easily be fixed. A sequel could be something truly special if done right. Definitely would say I had a good time with the game and I’m glad I picked it up.

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Hope I didn’t do too bad. Always thought my writing skills suck ass and I am pretty bad at expressing my thoughts.

But anyway, I really like the idea of this thread. Now I want to write about Yakuza and Bug Fables (once I’m finished) in the future.

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It’s not about the writing skill as far as I’m concerned, but more about how you share your experience. However you can do that is always welcome and worthwhile in my book!

Also quick edit: I used to be a good writer, but do most of my writing and posting on here through my phone and often early in the AM or late at night when my brain isn’t necessarily 100% functioning. A lot of my other thread reads like hot trash random thoughts because of this, but I like putting it down if that makes sense.

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Thanks so much @commanderbuck @Jordi and @Delroy

I fear I come across as much more confident than I am in real life :slight_smile: I stared at this page for an hour while weeping in the discord about unrelated thing before clicking post and I did genuinely run off.

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I like this thread. Whenever I have something to write about i will give it a try

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