THIS is a statistical meta-analysis of 66 Best Video Games of All Time lists that were published between 1995 and 2020. To qualify for inclusion, each list had to include at least 50 titles, some form of editorial oversight (lists made up solely of reader polls or fan voting were excluded), and no restrictions on release dates or platforms.

Games released after December 31, 2017 were excluded to remove any recency bias.

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Ever wanted to be the enemy? Well... Tropico 4 is the game for you! Here's your chance to live out all of your communist totalitarian fantasies.

Overall, Tropico 4 (T4) is a solid, if simple city builder. It doesn't take long until it no longer provides any challenge. The system is relatively easy to beat and very forgiving. It wasn't long into my playthrough until I had appeased every faction and foreign power. All you have to do is know what to build and when.

At the outset, you can create your own dictator from a selection of traits that will give certain bonuses or penalties to different island factions, foreign powers, production and manufacturing, or other factors. You can create the optimal dictator for your chosen approach to lording over Tropico or you can make a dictator that poses certain unique challenges. Or, you can just choose from among a selection of pre build dictators patterned after notorious dictators from modern history like Stalin and Che Guevara.

You can direct El Presidente to visit various buildings to improve their service quality or give speeches from the palace balcony to improve his standing with his subjects. El Presidente will participate or flee from battles with rebels depending on a variety of factors. Otherwise, if left to his own devices, El Presidente will wander around a small radius and visit buildings himself.

Appeasing your tropicans is a simple enough endeavor. They need to be fed, they need to be housed, they need healthcare, they need religious attention, entertainment, and certain facilities require highschool or college educations.

What needs to be done to meet all of those needs is obvious. Build farms and ranches on fertile land. Build clinics and hospitals. Construct churches and schools. Pretty straight forward.

The game has a relatively simple economic supply chain. Production facilities harvest raw materials and industry facilities turn those raw materials into export products. Any materials left over that don't go towards production are shipped off as exports. Exports are the primary means of making money in T4, and once you've built a few facilities the money just sorta starts flowing in on its own and never stops.

The other way to make money is through tourism. But here's where things get a bit dicey. Developing a tourism industry basically entails building enough hotels and all the available attractions and then wondering why certain ones never get any tourists.

Setting the entry fees for your hotels and attractions is how you min max your profits, but the game offers no feedback or information as to what effect your prices are having on the attraction. It's also very difficult to manage an attraction's service quality as most of it is based on the skill of the workers and you have little to no control over that. Even more than the entry fee, service quality is what determines how likely tourists are to visit that attraction. This makes developing a tourism industry a rather roughshod endeavor that relies primarily on luck and a lot of wasted margins. Given that so much more money comes in from manufacturing even compared to an exceptional tourism industry, this seems to make the tourism approach a pointless strategy.

The other aspect of developing your burgeoning island nation is making sure that all of your hapless subjects are satisfied - or failing that, suffering under so much vile oppression that they don't think twice about demanding satisfaction. Again, the mechanics of this is simple. Got a homeless problem? Build more houses. Got a food shortage? Build more farms. Are your tropicans bored? Build more restaurants and pubs.

Satisfying your tropican's needs contributes to the satisfaction of the various island factions as a matter of course. The religious faction demands more churches. The intellectual faction demands more liberty. The communist faction demands more food and housing (as if that's not important to capitalists either, but whatever). After a short while, everybody will be happy. If for some reason you can't manage to so easily satisfy everyone, you can keep everyone oppressed with low liberty and a huge military and police force to prevent them from joining the rebels.

As dictator of Tropico you also have to contend with other world powers. Keeping the US, China, EU, Middle East and USSR happy will result in better trade and larger development funds from the US and USSR. Making any of the regions angry will cause them to increase rebel activity on your island. Fighting rebels requires a sufficient military, otherwise rebel activity will destroy buildings or even murder El Presidente.

Given Tropico's tone of lampooning and satirizing society and dictators, each of the foreign powers are represented by gross cultural stereotypes that are guaranteed to offend some dumbass twitter jocky somewhere. The Chinese ambassador rambles on about dragons and shit. The sultan has an unhealthy fixation on camels and his many wives. And the American senator is a dipshit blowhard who keeps openly threatening to invade your country even in cordial conversation. My favorite is the slutty representative of the intellectuals faction who hits on you and speaks almost exclusively in sexual inuendo. The loading screens are even peppered with quotes attributed to random historical figures. My favorite being, "If I was two faced, would I be wearing this one?" -Abraham Lincoln

But again, keeping everyone happy is trivial.

In terms of functionality and feedback, Tropico 4 could use some improvement. The game has various overlays for beauty, pollution, crime, and various resources. But It can be difficult to get a read out on the conditions of your island at a glance. It would be nice if there was a corner of the screen that would list any facilities that have stopped producing or that have been damaged or destroyed by rebels or disaster. Clicking on them would snap the camera directly to them. But no. Instead you have to scroll around your entire island looking for any icons that indicate trouble. Eventually periodic pop up indicators or your advisors will tell you that certain problems have occurred somewhere, but this is feedback that you have to wait for the game to give to you and if you miss or click through these alerts, they're gone.

Also, there are no terrain flattening or manipulation tools and the game can often be ridiculously fickle about where buildings can be placed. Placing buildings automatically flattens the surrounding land, sometimes irrevocably, which can make it impossible to place buildings nearby on what was once perfectly level ground. Furthermore, there doesn't appear to be a control for swapping through multiple types of the same building. Or if there is, the game doesn't tell you. This makes it a pain to place gardens and fountains especially, as the only obvious way to make different sized ones to appear is to keep closing and reopening the build interface until the one you want randomly shows up. Certain buildings automatically create paved areas around them, which looks weird next to grass and dirt, creating this ugly patchwork all over the island. You can use garden objects to construct pretty plazas that fill in gaps in pavement and also increase beauty, but you have to repeatedly open and close the build interface to randomly call up ones with footprints big or small enough to fit next to each other.

I'm sure somebody is going to tell me that there's a key to cycle through them, but the game doesn't tell you what it is. Even under options.

Furthermore, whenever you place a building it removes the grass beneath it. Even if you decide to move the building, the ugly brown spot that was underneath it remains.

There doesn't initially appear to be any way to get the green grass back, unless you discover that constructing and demolishing gardens does the reverse and causes grass to stay when they're removed. This is a ridiculously unintuitive way to keep your island from being covered in brown when a simple paintbrush tool would have sufficed.

Another annoyance is that through the years buildings will receive modern upgrades and there is no way to revert to previous versions of that building. This is a major problem when the building's footprint changes. After the mines got automatically upgraded on this one map I was playing, the new building was too large to fit atop an iron deposit.

And it wasn't like I could just clear away adjacent buildings to make room because it was nearby terrain that the building's footprint suddenly outgrew and that space is out of bounds. Suddenly I had an entire iron deposit that could never be tapped because the mine was too big to fit on top of it!

Little annoyances like this are uncommon, but if handled differently would result in much better quality of life.

Also, sometimes production and manufacturing facilities stop working because they're not receiving enough raw materials. This can be due to a shortage of materials in the supply chain or because there aren't enough teamsters to haul materials around the island. But the game doesn't tell you what, exactly, is causing the problem. There's no way to track the status of the supply chain in detail to see what materials originate from what facility and where they're going, how many there are, and how many are being used for production or export. You just kinda have to guess.

In short, Tropico 4 is an easy city builder that suffers from some quality of life issues and lack of feedback. Whether you're playing the sandbox or campaign you'll be doing pretty much all the same things easily every time. Once you understand how the simulation works, you can handle pretty much anything it throws at you. And the mechanics are straightforward enough that they don't take long to understand.

If you're like me, you'll get a good several hours of entertainment out of Tropico but not much beyond that.

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So I picked up ESO. Figured for 20 bucks I could take a gander. I'm liking their payment model well enough. I like that it maintains the Elder Scrolls series' classless, limitless skill set development with no armor and weapons restrictions.

Is the questing any good? Does it get repetitive or boring after a while?

I'm not into PvP, probably won't even reach end game if I even cared to, and I'm not really into crafting.

Are there actual benefits to having other players around or are they mostly in the way? How dependent is ESO on grouping for PvE? Or can it be played mostly solo?

I'm mostly a questing/PvE type, which IMO is Elder Scrolls' strength. I just want to quest and explore. Is ESO good for that? Or is it just another load of MMO bitchwork and fuckery?

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The 2nd DLC actually adds new levels and memories where as the 1st DLC is like a joke where all you get is a.............Guardian! Though honestly still better then a giant Chu Chu to play with.

DLC2 finally has Kakarkio Village. The memories are actually worth it from the first few levels I played. It ties in Terrako and maybe it will explain where the sauce comes from. :)

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Don't be a busta. (media.communities.win)
posted ago by Strongocho ago by Strongocho
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They just released 1.18 yesterday. Seems like the perfect time to jump back in. the new terrain generation seems pretty sweet, lots of cool stuff now. Check it out.

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Anyone with experience that has any advice id like to hear it.

I have no experience whatsoever, can i self teach myself to do it?

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In disclosure, I bought the Gold Edition of FC6 for the PS4 platform and this write up will be from that perspective. I will also be comparing it a lot to FC5 and New Dawn, the previous titles. And there will be spoilers to the story here, because this is definitely a woke game and I will list specific examples.

For starters, this is most definitely Far Cry. If you've played any FC game since 3, you'll already be familiar with the gameplay loop. It doesn't change much in 6. If you enjoyed that loop, you'll enjoy the gameplay in 6. If you don't, you won't. I do like how FC6 does have multiple, fairly detailed, cities now. Compared to the largely non-urban and small scale villages, its a pretty cool change. The PS4 Pro platform is heavily LOD'd, however, and its clear this is a cross gen title. See Digital Foundry's tech analysis for more details there, but if you're on the base 8G consoles, I'd hold off.

Unlike previous FC titles, where you have to unlock most abilities, health, grapple, etc, FC6 opens up virtually all of that from the get go. You've a full health bar right at the start and you get the grapple almost immediately. This health bar will regen from near empty to full, not merely by segment. Medkits are also gone, replaced by a heal cooldown, though the 'Heal' effect still takes the same amount of time as prior games. I like these changes, it keeps the gameplay moving without having to worry about whether or not you've got medkits in your inventory. Strangely, all the drugs seen in previous FC entries have been removed in 6. Never really used them myself in prior FC titles, so their removal isn't a huge deal for me, but they were removed.

FC6 brings along some of the changes first seen in New Dawn, that of the ranking system and the upgradeable 'home base'. New Dawn's ranking system was, at best, rough. Using a rank 1 weapon against a rank 4 enemy and you may as well have been throwing spitwads. The ranking system in FC6 is much more refined and lot more lenient. A headshot is still a headshot, regardless of whether it was done with a rank 1 pistol or a rank 4 50bmg.

But . . . they also introduced different ammo types. When matched against the proper opponent, you'll easily drop them regardless of rank. Soft target rounds for unarmored, armor piercing for armored, and so on. I did not really like this setup. You need to be at a work bench to change ammo types, you can't do it on the fly. Note, you've the same amount of weapon holsters as every other FC game; 1, 2, 3, Sidearm, and these are all open from the getgo. If you've equipped soft target rounds in all your weapons, you'll be back to spraying spit wads when facing armored opponents. As the FND ranks up, you'll see more and more armored opponents. Over time, I found myself putting AP rounds in every weapon. An AP round vs an unarmored opponent still quickly dropped them while a soft target round against an armored opponent was nearly useless. I didn't use any other ammo type during my run because of the need to use the work bench to change them. There's some potential with this system, but its implementation here isn't great.

There's no shortage of weapon customization options, both practical and cosmetic, as well. Weapons have slots, with higher ranked weapons having more. Slot for ammo, slow for an optic, slot for muzzle device, slot for a laser pointer, slot for canted sights. There's also usually several 'mod' slots to allow things like larger magazine capacity, improved suppressor cooldown rates, improved body or headshot damage, etc. There's a lot of options available to suit whatever play style suits you. Of note, these upgrades cost resources found in game or through the Los Bandidos missions. Unlocking every single thing for every single weapon is possible(without hitting up the MTx shop), but I suspect it'd take a good amount of Bandidos operations.

The opener for this game sees Rojas, where you'll chose whether you're going to play as female Dani or male Danny. I chose to play as the female Dani. You're sitting on a rooftop when Anton's forces because a purge of the neighborhood. Your male friend shouts 'F Castillo!' at the soldiers and gets a bullet in the head in response, leading Rojas and the female friend to flee. Rojas wants to leave Yara for Miami through a refugee boat while her friend wants to stay and fight for Yara. Rojas ultimately convinces her to flee Yara with her. When they arrive at the boat, the captain is hassling an old woman and young boy who are trying to buy their way onto the boat with baseball cards. The captain wants none of it, but Rojas intercedes on their behalf and they get on the boat. The boy gives Rojas a baseball card in thanks, saying its all he has. Parts of what come next are show in various launch trailers, but the boy turns out to be Diego Castillo himself and Anton comes to collect him personally. He gives a very good, very menacing speech . . . then leaves with Diego, shooting up the boat after departing. Rojas and friend wash up on shore, with Rojas' friend having just enough life left to say Rojas is the lucky one.

After a brief jaunt, we meet up with Clara Garcia, the leader of Libertad. After an ill fated attack on tutorial island, Clara's force had been cut down to only a half dozen fighters. Clara agrees to help Rojas escape Yara . . . if she helps what remains of her squad return to Libertad island. Through this part, you'll get a refresher of the FarCry gameplay, FC6's unique changes, and get introduced to the best character in the game, Juan Cortez. Clara does uphold her end of the bargain, and provides Rojas with a boat . . . but Rojas decides to stay and fight for Yara. This doesn't seem to be done particularly well, because in the opener, Rojas was dead set on leaving. Juan says its because she likes the fighting, the adrenalin. But there's nothing in the prior events to suggest that, or why she'd change her mind either way. There's several lines of dialog about how the Yanqui dream isn't for people of their skin color, etc. Its off putting.

Mainland Yara is divided into three parts with resistance groups operating in each. You're to recruit each of them to fight with Libertad. The West has the Monterro family, a deep rooted Yaran farming family, the central portion has Maximas Montanzas, and the east has the Legends of 67 and La Moral. Each group has their home base, with 2 upgrade slots. You'll choose which buildings to build, and upgrade them through three stages. You cannot duplicate buildings in each base. If you build the Guerilla Garrison in the Monterro Farm, you cannot built it with Maximas, for example. There's very little visual distinction between building stages, unfortunately.

Each of these groups is filled with woke bullshit, so here's where we're going to get into major spoilers.

The Monterro Family's patriarch is Carlos Monterro, who's pretty cool. When we meet him, he's wresting an alligator and lops off its head with a stroke of a machete. He was formerly a prisoner of the Castillo regime, and while he loathes the regime, he's less willing to fight. His eldest daughter, Espada, is perfectly willing to fight and actively takes the fight to Castillo's FND. She's also responsible for breaking Carlos out of prison. In the finale of this section, there's a betrayal that's telegraphed a mile away, which leads to Carlos having to sacrifice himself to save his estranged son Alejandro. He dies. While the entire family is morning Carlos Monterro, a man respected by virtually everyone in the west, Clara shows up and the very first words out of her mouth are to insult him, saying he never intended to hand the farm over to Espada, and that she's a better person than he ever was. Are you Fing serious? This scene is completely at odds with the very next cutscene; A scene in which one of Anton's generals is bragging about his great victory in taking down Carlos. Anton points out that all he's done is make Carlos a martyr because the Monterro roots run deep. Anton asks Diego what percentage of the generals troops come from the west. Diego answers 80%. So seriously, wtf? We get one view where Carlos Monterro is respected and admired, and Clara insulting the man to his own mourning daughter before his blood is barely cold. This was the first region I did, and I really started to dislike Clara here.

The middle region, and the second I did, was Maximas Matanzas. This is a rap group forced by Talia Benavidas and Paulo, their music acts as the voice of the resistance. Its not really my style of music, and about 95% of its lyrics seem to be 'Maximas Montazas' repeated over and over. This second is even woker than the Monterros. Talia and Paulo are a couple, with Paulo being an FND drop out like Rojas. Paulo, however, is trans. She's female. She's found a doctor to do her 'top surgery', which they actively point out, and apparently has access to hormone drugs in war torn Yara. Go figure. Its slightly ironic that the Castillo villain of this section is a corrupt, amoral doctor who does horrific, brutal, mutilating experiments on innocent Yarans. This actually does lead to a particularly brutal cutscene in which said doctor cuts open Rojas, and inserts a time release poison device which leads to a pretty dramatic sequence. Paulo wants to leave Yara, because she'll never be accepted in Yara. Her being trans in Yara is brought up several times. Near the finale, Rojas and Talia will pose as journalists to get close enough to Maria Marquess to humiliate her on Yaran state TV. While Talia cleans up for this subterfuge, removes her makeup, piercings, etc, Rojas doesn't even appear to have taken a shower. She wears the exact same dirty hair style, dirt streaked arms covered in tats. Nobody apparently notices that this journalist is filthy and covered in arm tats. Its an odd piece of incongruity. When confronted, Maria will refer to Paulo as 'she'. This enrages Talia, who mag dumps into her. The only character in this section I really liked was Bicho, he's the only one that's all in for Yara and freedom from the beginning. He also gets a pretty cool drinking sequence with Rojas, after fixing some radio towers(lol), for his Radio Libertad project. While the Maximas Montazas duo crumbles, its Bicho who goes after Bembe, a smuggler who's betraying them. Bicho is cool, and he admires Rojas for their actions.

Lastly, is the eastern region, El Este. Home of the Legends of 67. Within the lore, these guerrillas lead the 1967 revolution that overthrew Anton's father. They consist of El Tigre, Lorenzo, Lucky Mama, and Karlito. The Legends were disillusioned that after all their efforts in the '67 revolution, that Yara would willingly vote for another Castillo. When Rojas initially attempts to recruit them, I think its Lorenzo who scoffs and says Yara deserves Castillo before stomping off. The Legends are highly respected by Yarans, despite Castillo propaganda, and if unified, they'd be a potent force.

El Tigre, who's awesome, trusts Rojas and wants to help them. He gives points you to some medical supplies of the FND, which, if you capture and bring to Lucky Mama, you may get her on your side. Its during this mission that you'll be introduced to Jonron and La Moral. La Moral is actively fighting the regime, but they're also composed mostly of college students, led by Yelena Morales. Student led revolutions are always so successful historically, ya know. But they scoff at the Legends, hiding up on their mountain away from the rest of Yara. El Tigre, who again, is awesome, willingly joins them because they're at least fighting Castillo. After breaking Karlito out of a museum and seizing control of an FND operation, Castillo will launch a major offensive against you. After pitched battle, they launch a poison gas attack, which kills both El Tigre and Jonron. These deaths shake Lucky Mama and Lorenzo out of their apathy and they join, pointing Rojas to where to destroy the PG240 poison.

Yelena largely takes the lead role for most of the Legends chapter, and I found her to be insufferable, with all the pompous arrogance of a college student that thinks they know better. Her lieutenant, Jonron, was a better character, in my opinion, despite initially coming off as your typical butch lesbian with a mental illness haircut. Jonron and El Tigre had some cool moments. At the victory celebration for this section, Yelena will ask Rojas to make a speech, which Rojas declines. Lorenzo then steps saying 'In light of the occasion, perhaps I could . . .' only for Yelena to cut him off and say 'Your time is done, old man', and ask if Luck Mama would make a speech. It just comes off as rude and really adds to Yelena's insufferability.

Note, while the above are very spoilerific, they are also condensed and I'm leaving out a lot of material.

Part two to follow in comments because I've apparently reached the character limit.

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Today I will be giving my thoughts about They Always Run, a game that interested me ever since I saw the first gameplay videos of it several months ago. I've always enjoyed a good side-scroller, so I thought I'd give this one a try when it was available for nearly half-off during the Steam Autumn Sale.

They Always Run is a linear, non-Metroidvania side-scroller with a space western setting (think of television shows like Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, and the Mandalorian). You take on the role of Aiden, a mutant bounty hunter with three arms and a helmet with a visor that looks somewhat like Judge Dredd or Robocop. He also wears a serape that billows dramatically in the wind even when he's indoors.

The game begins in a saloon where Aiden is attempting to capture a bounty target nicknamed "The Rat." You are confronted by the Rat's bodyguards, and here is where the game gives you a tutorial of how combat works. After defeating the Rat's bodyguards he attempts to flee, and here the game switches gears into a parkour-style chase mode where you have to keep pace with your target until you have them cornered, at which point they will fight you. You can take them either dead or alive; taking the target alive is more difficult than simply killing them, but results in a higher monetary reward.

Combat in the game is short, intense, and fun when it comes to common enemies. A combat encounter is usually over in a matter of seconds with either them dead or you. It's a frantic mix of both gunplay and melee combat, and at times it felt like a 2D version of Doom Eternal's "combat puzzle" style of gameplay where you have to think quickly on the fly, prioritize targets, and keep moving to avoid getting killed. I learned pretty quickly to take out enemy snipers as soon as possible. When it comes to melee enemies, a well-timed parry will result in a counter-attack that will kill them immediately. A punch from Aiden's third arm can be used to stagger enemies who have riot shields, making them vulnerable to attack. You will find yourself swapping quickly between these different tactics when you find yourself surrounded by several enemies.

Another area where the game shines is the chase scenes, although I wish the game had included more of them. Chasing a fleeing bounty target is very fun and satisfying, making you pay attention to the terrain in front of you. A simple button push can be used to quickly vault you over low obstacles or slide through low passages. You will also use equipment like like your grappling hook to quickly reach high places, and Aiden's third arm can be used to punch through damaged walls.

Visually, the game is pretty impressive considering that it came from a little-known Russian game studio. The character sprites (usually) have smooth animations, and the levels feature appealing hand-drawn backgrounds. As you progress through the game's campaign you'll visit places like a space station built inside an asteroid, a ship graveyard overgrown with vegetation, gritty cyberpunk-style slums, towering skyscrapers in futuristic cities, and barren desert landscapes. The game's soundtrack is also pretty good and sounds like something you would expect to hear in a sci-fi spaghetti western.

Those things being said, the game does have a few flaws. Unlike the short, intense battles against regular foes, the boss battles in this game tend to be tedious affairs where you have to learn their patterns to avoid their attacks as you slowly whittle down their health bar. Thankfully, the boss battles are few and far between.

The game also has some bugs, although from what I've heard it's much less buggy now than it was upon release. Still, I did encounter the odd glitch here and there where Aiden would end up standing in mid-air during a cutscene or a sniper's laser sight would fail to appear.

The game also ends quite abruptly. I don't know know if they ran out of money, or if they plan on extending the campaign via DLC or a sequel. But when I got to the end of the game I found myself saying "Wait, that's it?" The game had an interesting setting and I felt like we were just getting to know the characters when suddenly it was over.

Verdict: If you enjoy a good side-scroller, or love the space western genre, They Always Run is a fun way to spend a few hours. It's about the same length as your average Call of Duty single-player campaign, meaning that it can be beaten in probably 7-10 hours. It's normally $20, and if you can get it on sale I definitely recommend it.

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Yeah, the title is a bit pretentious, but I didn't know what else to call this blog post type thing. I mostly just wanted to talk about the topic and encourage others to dig an old handheld out of their drawers if they're looking for something to dive back into, much like how I've seen others do reviews on here for games they've been playing lately.

Alright, so I've been putting off messing with my Vita for a while after digging it back out during the store closure scare months ago. First I resolved that I wanted to at least finish Ratchet & Clank. Then I held off until I'd replayed Danganronpa. Yesterday I finally snapped myself out of making excuses and stopped delaying the inevitable.

It had to be one of the smoothest, most painless processes I've ever been through when tinkering with a device at such a level alongside the Playstation Classic. Yes, I bought one of those when they were getting cleared. No, it wasn't worth it for anything but the novelty of the controllers.

The main guide I used was here, the most common one to my knowledge, and it walked through absolutely everything to get started on every permutation of Vita. By the time that part of the process was done I'd even noticed one of the packages or plugins had improved a feature without it being explicitly stated; the Vita now shows a battery percentage rather than just four rather unhelpful alternating graphics.

To my surprise all of my data was still there and completely accessible once this process was done as well, including all of my previously purchased and downloaded games from PSN. Fantastic. I'd originally feared some sort of wipe or memory overwriting but it didn't do that at all.

Another handy utility to grab after the initial process is something called VitaShell; a file explorer and manager. It's incredibly convenient to be able to just FTP between the Vita and a computer to transfer and back up anything you'd like from the device, such as saved games or old photos. It also put my mind at ease with rumors floating around the Vita community about the Sony proprietary memory cards starting to degrade and corrupt with the passage of time. Now my saves and such are preserved across multiple drives and can be effectively imaged back on demand.

Next, as I had it lying around for months already, I followed this guide to set up the SD2VITA adaptor for use with the device. What that does is allows you to exchange the game card slot, which with the increasing prices of physical games is a less enticing feature by the month anyway, for more memory by allowing you to insert a run-of-the-mill Micro SD card. You'll also place the ux0: data saved from the use of VitaShell onto the Micro SD as per the instructions, so you'll have all of your old PSN games and save files from prior to using it if you had any.

If that wasn't enough already, the Vita Homebrew Browser (which I had to install using a separately modified .vpk because I just kept getting a black screen on the one installed through the VitaDeploy application) lets you install various homebrew games and applications on the device without even needing to interact with a computer (or FTP) again. I'll dig through some of those and list a few of my favorites in a couple of weeks or so.

On the subject of multiplayer, yes, you can still do it on games that're still operational even with the mods. There's no record of bans being handed out for playing on devices running any of the modified software. If a game is offline, such as Freedom Wars and Soul Sacrifice Delta will be on the 24th of December, you could even try giving Xlink a shot.

Of course, the elephant in the room is yar har har related. I won't discuss it here for radioactive glow reasons, but PLAYING BACKUPS is just as intuitive as well and your saves do cross over instantly from your physical game cartridges. You can find the info if you get lost on that cfwaifu site, but just be aware that some information on there appears to be out of date.

Overall, for now, I believe I've got the Vita in a pretty modernised and user friendly place. Is it entirely future proof? Not exactly. The biggest concern for the moment, the battery, is a difficult subject as they're getting old and harder to replace with no true clones available. Tentative work is being done on a "clip/snap in" battery replacement module allowing for more universal (or even higher capacity) replacements without soldering and such, but I think such a concept is a ways off being fully realized. Another issue is the eventual death of the proprietary memory cards as mentioned further up, as the 1000 OLED series of Vita relies on them (even after the SD2VITA is in use I believe) to function properly compared to the 2000 model or PSTV.

If you've got one lying around, or have ever thought about picking one up used to see what you may have missed out on back when it was new, I'd highly suggest giving the process of dragging it closer to 2021 a try. Sony may have failed the Vita, but the community certainly seems to have given the device the life it deserved from its creators. I'll maybe make another post like this after I've had a bit more time with it, and I'll respond to any comments or questions that I can.

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The term "Gone Gold" was used primarily back in the console generations 5, 6 and the start of 7 (as well as all of PC gaming post floppy disk) to describe when a game was finished development and put onto a gold master CD to then be copied and transferred onto the subsequent CDs for sale.

Of course, as time went on, this practice slowly died out thanks to the internet. It started with updates, meaning that a game could still be developed after launch/release, which I would argue was good. Fixing bugs, game crashes and exploits that were unforeseen isn't a bad thing. But it didn't stop there and continued to grow to the point that "Games as a Service" became a thing.

And when games can release like Fallout 76, Cyberpunk 2077, No Man's Sky, or any number of others, what value does a term like "gone gold" really hold, regardless of whether it does or doesn't get fixed down the line?

When Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has essentially become synonymous in the modern era, it seems that "going gold" only holds value for a marketing point, to try and create some hype to better sell those games.

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