Saturday, January 23, 2016

Top Ten Underrated Kart Racers

The kart racer is my preferred type of racing experience. Everything from fantastical racing locales and tracks to item combat is what I like in my racing games. When you have colorful tracks, whimsical characters, and wacky items, you have a game I'll probably enjoy. This top ten list is dedicated to kart racers, but not the ones you'd probably think of first when the words "kart racer" come to mind. No, these games are ones that don't get as much credit, which I think is as great as a flat tire on the final lap. With this list of my ten favorite underrated kart racers, it's my hope that getting the word out on these games might give these games some of the attention that they truly deserve.

10) NASCAR Kart Racing (Wii)

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! This first game on my list of favorite underrated kart racers is a lot like many games on this list, no doubt modeled after Mario Kart. The items in NASCAR Kart Racing have a lot of Mario Kart counterparts. However, NASCAR Kart Racing offers some new twists to the winning formula, such as having a partner just like in a typical NASCAR race to ride near and generate boosts. Unlike NASCAR, however, you won't be tediously making left turns the entire time. The game's twelve tracks are suitably colorful and can be played in normal or reverse form, essentially turning twelve tracks into 24. Whether you prefer the Wii Remote by itself, turning and twisting it to steer (which isn't a problem because precise steering isn't as required in this game as other Wii racers), using the Classic Controller, GameCube controller, or the Wii Remote and nunchuk combination, NASCAR Kart Racing, like your racing partner in-game, has got your back.

9) Mickey's Speedway USA (N64)

After working on Diddy Kong Racing, Rare took their talents and created a game starring some of the most cherished characters in history: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and more! The end result is Mickey's Speedway USA, a standard kart racer with 21 tracks spanning the country of the United States. Can't afford a trip to the U.S., European pals, or want to have a memory of the country that you used to live in after you leave if Donald Trump wins the presidency, fellow Americans? Then, Mickey's Speedway USA is the game for you! With five cups to enjoy of four races each, three difficulties, multiple characters to unlock, a traditional time trial mode, and heavily Mario Kart 64-inspired battle mode, you'll get to enjoy this kart racer for sure. Sure, it's nowhere near the greatness of Rare's past racer, Diddy Kong Racing, but really, what is?

8) Konami Krazy Racers (GBA)

Take characters from various Konami properties like Goemon from The Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Gray Fox from Metal Gear, Dracula from Castlevania, and many more, put them into a kart racer with capable Mode 7 graphics, and you have the kraziness-- ahem-- craziness of Konami Krazy Racers. Whether you like the idea of speeding through Dracula's magma-filled castle, weaving in and out of lines of cardboard boxes from Metal Gear Solid, or racing around a baseball diamond a la MLB Power Pros, there's Konami goodness in each of the sixteen themed tracks in the game. Thankfully, you can enjoy the game's racers and races further with Konami Krazy Racers' tight and responsive controls, working wonders for an enjoyable racing experience. This Game Boy Advance launch title was a pleasant surprise, and it was a great time-killer to help the wait until Mario Kart: Super Circuit.

7) MySims Racing (Wii)

Time for another EA racer on this list (the first was NASCAR Kart Racing, for those keeping score at home). The simple-to-do customization of the MySims franchise remains apparent with MySims Racing, offering the ability to create your own character and kart, inside and out on the latter. You're able to outfit your ride to customize its top speed, acceleration, and much more. There are 15 tracks total, and each feature some really well hidden shortcuts, colorful worlds, and fun kart combat. The item variety is again like Mario Kart, but thankfully there is no obnoxious imbalance of items to be found, like some more recent Mario Kart games have had an issue with. What you get with MySims Racing is a humorous story and enjoyable kart racing that all ages can enjoy.

6) LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3)

ModNation Racers predated LittleBigPlanet Karting, and it gave PlayStation 3 owners the first taste of creating tracks. However, LittleBigPlanet Karting brought the creation of tracks to a wholly new level of customization. Before I get ahead of myself, the actual racing of LittleBigPlanet Karting is immensely enjoyable. Sure, you might get picked off with more weapons and get passed by more AI opponents than you might like, and the game's difficulty isn't very kid friendly, but who cares when you create some insanely detailed tracks and play them with friends and strangers alike! Here's where LittleBigPlanet Karting's brilliance really shines. Although it takes some work to create some truly awesome creations, you can design your track as simply as driving a path with Sackboy or Sackgirl, set props, create typography, set the time of day, create shortcuts, and just do anything your heart desires, like make part-for-part Mario Kart creations like some happy gadders have done!

5) Chocobo Racing (PS1)

Forget what you know about other Final Fantasy games with their Gold Saucer races or obnoxious Final Fantasy X mini-game! The original PlayStation's Chocobo Racing is the best simulation of Chocobos and other Final Fantasy characters speeding through themed circuits! With this game, you get a selection of modes to choose from, whether it be Story, Versus, Grand Prix, Relay Race, or Time Attack. Final Fantasy mainstays like magic use, several locales (there are ten tracks total), characters like Mogs and Behemoths, and other touchstones of the franchise make it a game especially of notability to fans. While Chocobo Racing is indeed modeled after Mario Kart, with some critics calling it a mere "cash-in", those of us who have taken Chocobo and friends around the game's themed tracks a number of times can say that the game has its own presence for fans of Final Fantasy, kart racing enthusiasts, and newcomers alike.

4) Crash Nitro Kart (PS2, GCN, XBX)

Crash Nitro Kart apes Naughty Dog's Crash Team Racing formula of old completely, but that's a very good thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Or in a kart racer's terms, if the bowling bomb hits, why mess with the aim? Crash Nitro Kart has all the goods from Crash Team Racing: a capable story mode where winning races, participating in CNK Challenges (collecting three letters on a race and winning it) and Relic Races (crashing into boxes that pause the timer so you can beat a race's target time) are all required to complete it. Although multiplayer is limited to battle mode and Grand Prix races (no quick race option is available for multiple players), there is still fun to be had with friends. The track design is superb, even beating Mario Kart 8 to anti-gravity sections of track, where you go upside-down, left side up, and any other way you can think of, though this isn't as polished as its fellow kart racing successor. What Crash Nitro Kart is, however, is a fantastic post-Naughty Dog effort that is worthy of attention.

3) Speed Punks (AKA Speed Freaks) (PS1)

Whether you know it as Speed Punks, Speed Freaks, or don't even know it at all, this next kart racer on my list is pure, unfiltered fun! Each five lap race around colorful locations brings all the entertainment of blitzing around tracks as one of six competitors. Special speed boost tokens can be accumulated in races and used to perform high powered boosts to blast past opponents. There is a great amount of skill to be had against AI opponents, and this isn't because of some cheap manner like item imbalance or severe rubber-band AI. No, you have to bring you A-game when you're racing in Speed Punks. Through racing several tracks in a row in a traditional Grand Prix-style Tournament mode, you can tour the game's tracks, and if you win, you can take on a character that will unlock for your usage if you beat him or her. Speed Punks doesn't have an established character like Mario or Crash Bandicoot tied to it, so there's no wonder why the game was overlooked when it originally released in 1999 in PAL territories and 2000 in the U.S. (to not compete with Sony's own Naughty Dog production, Crash Team Racing).

2) ModNation Racers: Road Trip (Vita)

Though you're limited in your customization and creation abilities compared to LittleBigPlanet Karting, you can still create some magnificent works with ModNation Racers: Road Trip, a game that got vastly overlooked because of it: 1) Being on the PlayStation Vita, and 2) Lacking standard online play. However, the story mode is as full-featured as ever, offering great tracks to get ideas from to create your own masterpieces, varied objectives per race, and much more. The creating fun comes from designing your own avatar (and you can create some really detailed stuff, even looking like certain game and cartoon characters), vehicles, and of course, race tracks. Creating stuff is easy and intuitive, using the Vita's touch interface in marvelous ways. After you have put the finishing touches on your created work, you can upload it online, meaning you can also download a near endless array of Mods, vehicles, and tracks. I had a wonderful time with ModNation Racers: Road Trip, and I hope the lackluster response, both sales and critic-wise, don't doom the ModNation Racers series to a permanent hiatus.

1) Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (PS3, 360, Wii)

There are different levels of underrated-ness on this list. While a game starring Sonic as well as multiple recognizable SEGA characters wouldn't be seen as underrated by some, I think Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is underrated due to gamers usually preferring and recommending its much more bug-prone sequel that released several years later. What I like about SEGA's first all-star kart racer is that the tracks, although nowhere near as varied franchise-wise as the sequel, offer easier to see turns, less glitches, and aren't nearly as long (sometimes All-Stars Racing Transformed's tracks felt too long). Also, the items are much more Sonic and SEGA themed, bringing speed shoes, barriers, and more to the fold.

Furthermore, the mission mode brings some very fun objectives, and acing each one felt like a real, fair challenge instead of the occasionally infuriating difficulty of All-Stars Racing Transformed's main mode. I'm looking at you, Traffic Attack and Pursuit! The collection of characters is also something I prefer. There's no weird appearances from Wreck-It-Ralph or worse, NASCAR's Danica Patrick. Instead, you get old and new favorites like Billy Hatcher (of Giant Egg fame), Ryo Hazuki (Shenmue), Jacky Bryant and Akira Yuki (Virtua Fighter), Opa-Opa (Fantasy Zone), the mice from Chu Chu Rocket, and more. It all adds up to why I prefer the original Sonic and SEGA all-star affair over the sequel, which is still one of the better kart racers out there.

Friday, January 22, 2016

All-Star Franchises, Underrated Entries - Part Six

If you've been around SuperPhillip Central for a little while (it's still okay if you haven't, so no harm done), then you know that I like talking about underrated and overlooked games. I've done various series on the subject. However, most of the time, the games mentioned in these articles are from wholly new or overlooked franchises themselves.

There are also a multitude of series that I can think of that have one, two, or a handful of games in it that aren't viewed as highly as the others, whether just or not.

These ideas are where the concept of All-Star Franchises, Underrated Entries comes from, and since part five, I've come up with six more underrated entries to big-time franchises, some bigger than others. If you'd like to see past parts of this now long-running series, check them out here:

Killzone - Killzone: Mercenary (Vita)

Our first game we look at comes from a franchise that just HAD to be named a Halo killer due to it being an FPS and on a competing platform. After all, you have to have interesting narratives to get those clicks as any site will tell you. Despite failing to kill Halo, the Killzone series is enjoyable enough. However, the PlayStation Vita entry, Killzone: Mercenary is not just one that is what I consider the best handheld shooter available, it's also one of my favorite shooters of all time. Offering dual analog controls, some nice, optional gyroscope-based aiming, and nine pulse-pounding missions that have multiple ways of going about them for extra replay value, Killzone: Mercenary delivers in spades. It just stinks that it has a destiny of being overlooked, being on the Vita of all platforms. I can only hope the game gets a second chance to shine like Gravity Rush is and Tearaway has already with a PS4 remaster!

LEGO - LEGO City Undercover (Wii U)

All other big LEGO games in the series of games have an established IP attached to them, whether it's Star Wars, DC, Marvel, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, or what have you. LEGO City Undercover, a Wii U exclusive, has all original characters and a Grand Theft Auto-lite experience. The game follows Chase McCain, a LEGO City Police Department officer in pursuit of the sinister criminal Rex Fury. Along the way he goes undercover into the criminal underbelly of LEGO City to oust his target. LEGO City itself is a sprawling metropolis absolutely filled with content to do, such as finding new character and vehicle tokens, putting out fires, breaking ATMs, putting an end to vehicle robberies, and much more. The city is as dense with things to do as any open world I've ever experienced. It's really the star of the show outside of the hilarious characters and story, as well as the typical LEGO-style level missions. LEGO City Undercover is easily the best the LEGO games have to offer. Don't believe me? Then you have to try the game out if you can tolerate the initial long loading time as the city loads.

Donkey Kong - Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (SNES)

Having the misfortune of releasing after the Nintendo 64 launched, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble was overlooked and underrated due to being one of the Super Nintendo's post-N64 releases. The game itself ranks for me higher than the original Donkey Kong Country, but not nearly as good as Diddy and Dixie's romp together with Diddy's Kong Quest, the second game of the SNES trilogy. Donkey Kong Country 3 may not have the terrific soundtrack of the previous two games, offering more of an ambient and atmospheric soundtrack, but what it does have are levels that constantly throw new and engaging challenges to the player, whether they're new gimmicks or not; enjoyable puzzles in figuring out how to retrieve the game's DK Coins, and has a fun overworld to explore, finding hidden Banana Bird caves and new locales. Yes, some aspects of the game are weak, like some of the animal buddies such as Ellie the Elephant, and some of the boss battles aren't too exciting, but overall, Dixie Kong's Double Trouble is little trouble to enjoy.

Metroid - Metroid Prime Hunters (DS)

The next game here is a Metroid game that doesn't really 100% feel like a Metroid game. This Nintendo DS Metroid, Metroid Prime Hunters, has a single player component to it, having players explore multiple planets while dealing with fellow bounty hunters who want to eliminate our hero Samus Aran and anyone else who wants to get in their way. While the campaign is Metroid-lite, granting Samus new weapons to reach new parts of the world, it's more streamlined than usual. The main attraction to Metroid Prime Hunters is the competitive multiplayer mode, taking several locations from the single player campaign and creating maps out of them. What once had online play, now only allows local play and battles with the game's competent bots. Still, I think Metroid Prime Hunters gets too little credit for not only implementing compelling multiplayer to the series, far better than what Metroid Prime 2: Echoes brought to the fold, but also for being a very engaging Metroid with a twist.

Klonoa - Klonoa (Wii)

Klonoa has seen hard times. The character and series in general don't get a lot of love. This became most pronounced with the release of a remake of the original Klonoa adventure, Door to Phantomile, with the Wii's Klonoa. You would figure on a system that is home to fans of platformers, more so than any other at the time, would have jumped (pun intended) to play one of the best Klonoa games around. With gorgeous new visuals, new challenge areas, and the same enjoyable 2.5D gameplay of the original PlayStation release, Klonoa is a fantastic and well paced platforming paradise that doesn't go for much cost-wise in the used market, making it a worthy purchase if you missed out on it when it initially released (which many did.) While the game bombing on store shelves has effectively killed any chance of a new Klonoa game, at least we have past titles of the series that we can look back on and enjoy.

Dead Rising - Dead Rising 3 (XONE, PC)

Now when I talk underrated in All-Star Franchises, Underrated Entries, I'm not usually talking about sales success. This is the case with Dead Rising 3, an entry that gets more complaints than it deserves. With an open world area bigger than Williamette Mall and the casino of Fortune City combined, a lack of loading screens, and more zombies on screen than you can shake a Servbot mask at, Dead Rising 3 is a packed game that is both big in size as well as scope. Obliterating horde of zombie after horde of zombie is as fun as ever with the ability to combine weapons without trekking to a workbench, saving from anywhere without the need for a restroom stall, and for old school fans, a Nightmare Mode that brings back the time limit from past Dead Rising games and harsher penalties for players. Selling well, Dead Rising 3 has shipped and sold over a million copies. Still, I find this entry is a bit underrated compared to other entries in the franchise. Well, save the Wii's Chop 'Til You Drop, which I'd argue is underrated as well, and much more so.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

FreezeME (Wii U eShop) Release Trailer

FreezeME hearkens back to the days of 3D collect-a-thon platformers, and if most big developers have moved on from that era, indies like Rainy Night Creations are giving fans of that time period wonderful platforming gifts. FreezeME is one of these, a 3D platformer with a twist, the ability to freeze certain objects to use them as platforms. The game has been submitted to and approved by Nintendo, so a release will be forthcoming, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam (3DS) North American TV Spot

I doubt my readers find out about new trailers on SuperPhillip Central first, so there was no real need to post this TV spot for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam when it was originally posted two weeks ago. Instead, I decided to post this commercial a day away from the game's North American release. Our PAL pals have already had the chance to enjoy this game when it released late last year. You can certainly bet that SuperPhillip Central will have a review for this game, potentially before the end of the month. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam releases tomorrow in my proverbial neck of the woods.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U) Adventuring with Amiibo Trailer

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the Zelda games that I have only played once, and that was back at the game's launch on the Wii in 2006. You can bet for sure that I'm quite excited to have a reason to play the game again with this HD remaster.

This trailer shows off the Amiibo functionality of the game, including revitalizing your hearts with the Zelda Amiibo, taking much more damage with the Ganondorf Amiibo, and unlocking a special challenge area with the packaged Wolf Link Amiibo. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD releases on Wii U on March 4th.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games - Part Eight

We've arrived at the eighth edition of the Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games. Now, that's partly due to the immense amount of titles being released both retail and digitally on the 3DS eShop. It's also because software sales of the Nintendo 3DS in general aren't the greatest. Still, whether it's by sales or through another metric, these next five Nintendo 3DS games didn't get their designated due. Many walked right past them, whether figuratively, or literally, as in they shunned them as they rested on store shelves. Regardless, perhaps after perusing the part's selection of games you'll be interested in checking a title or two out.

For past entries of Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games, look no further than these links:

Nintendo 3DS - Part One
Nintendo 3DS - Part Two 
Nintendo 3DS - Part Three
Nintendo 3DS - Part Four
Nintendo 3DS - Part Five
Nintendo 3DS - Part Six
Nintendo 3DS - Part Seven

Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Taking the great things about both the Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon franchises and combining them into one release, our first game, Etrian Mystery Dungeon, features all the crawling through randomly-generated dungeons you could ever want. The challenge is there, the penalty for death is ever-present, and the game just keeps you wanting to come back for more and more. While doing well in Japan, selling nearly all of its initial first week shipment, Etrian Mystery Dungeon has had a slow go of it in the West. Like the other games featured on this week's list, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is for a niche of gamers, so to expect to get much attention. However, the game is too good to pass up for a Nintendo 3DS owner who is interested in the Mystery Dungeon style of games and games similar in style to roguelikes.

The Legend of Legacy

Silly title aside, The Legend of Legacy hearkens back to the age of old school RPGs. The game is a wondrous spiritual successor to the SaGa games of old. The difference here is that while many games it can be compared to are linear, The Legacy of Legend-- er, The Legend of Legacy is much more open for players to get to their destination and goal anyhow they see fit. With a lovely art style that is comparable to the chibi offerings of the Bravely Default series, and a terrific soundtrack by Final Fantasy XIII's Masashi Hamauzu, the presentation of the game is perfect for fans of old school RPGs. Given a fairly limited release, there was no doubt that The Legend of Legacy would become a game many Nintendo 3DS owners would sleep on... and they did. But don't you sleep on The Legend of Legacy, as the game is worthy of being played.

Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden

Coming off the excellent (at least in this writer's opinion) Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, I was more than ready to leap into a 2D Dragon Ball Z fighter, despite not holding a high regard to the anime and manga series the game is based off of. The game in question? Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden. Featuring incredibly done 2D sprites, a robust roster of characters-- though paling greatly in comparison to something like Budokai 3, for instance-- terrific combat, an excellent challenge, and interesting modes, Extreme Butoden satisfied my thirst for some Goku vs. Vegeta, Krillin vs. Raditz, and Frieza vs. Cell action. The lack of online no doubt hurt the game, as did its hush-hush appearance on the market. Still, it seems like the former might be remedied, as Japan recently received a patch for online play. Let's hope that the West gets the same treatment, and soon!

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+

Although named similarly to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, this 3DS game (known as Ace Combat 3D in Japan), actually has very little to do with its big brothers, as the game is more akin to classic games in the Ace Combat series. Now, I've previously featured the original Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy on this Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS Games feature before, so it seemed rather obvious that, barring a miracle, the enhanced edition of the game with Amiibo support and updated controls for the New 3DS, wouldn't sell that well either. Truth be told, the game bombed once again, this time even worse than the original 3DS game. It's not a testament to the game's quality, though, as while Assault Horizon Legacy+ is a short game, it's a really well done dogfighting action game.

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson

Without a doubt one of the most... uh... provocative games ever seen on a Most Overlooked article on any system, this... uh... busty-- NO! I didn't mean for that word to come out! ...I meant to say that this game is a 3D side-scrolling action game where you play as a group of female ninjas. Deep Crimson introduced the ability to have a second character join you in battle. Senran Kagura is as niche as niche gets, and would have probably been better served on the PlayStation Vita, which has a greater otaku audience, if you will. Yeah, that's putting it elegantly enough! Fortunately, the gameplay is of a considerably good nature to be worthy of a play, if you can get over the pandering nature of the title.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Final Fantasy Explorers (3DS) New Trailer

Final Fantasy Explorers releases a week from now in North America with a European release date a few days later. The game has been compared to Monster Hunter, though the similarities seem skin deep at best. Recruit monsters, battle summons, and play as a created character in this first Final Fantasy adventure for the Nintendo 3DS.

Monday, January 18, 2016

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - A Wonderful Way to Begin Your Week Edition

I don't know about you, but SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs is my favorite way to start the week! There's nothing like a good dose of video game music to get one prepped and primed for the week ahead!

This week, we're kicking things off at the starting line with Mario Kart: Super Circuit. We then take on the role of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 2 for the PS1. Moving on from there, we engage in battle with the Z fighters in Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden. Wrapping things up, we continue the trend of battle with a special arranged battle track from Sword of Mana and the battle theme of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

As always, past VGM volumes covered on this weekly segment can be found at the VGM Database, so be sure to give it a look!

v1056. Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA) - Circuit

The first VGM volume of this edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs comes from the first handheld entry in the Mario Kart franchise, the Game Boy Advance's Super Circuit. This theme plays during all three circuit tracks: Peach Circuit, Mario Circuit, and the rainy Luigi Circuit. While the sound quality of the Game Boy Advance hardware wasn't the best, you gotta really dig the bass on this theme.

v1057. Toy Story 2 (PS1) - Andy's House

A bright and bouncy theme for the level that takes place in Andy's House, Toy Story 2's PlayStation One soundtrack is an orchestrated delight, really showing the PS1's sound chip prowess over its competition, the Nintendo 64. The CD-based system allowed for a grander range of sounds, and with Toy Story 2, it really shows.

v1058. Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden (3DS) - Tenkaichi Budokai

The theme heard on the World Tournament stage of the underrated and overlooked Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden for the Nintendo 3DS (maybe it'll appear on an edition of Most Overlooked Nintendo 3DS games... maybe later this week?). The game itself is sprite-based, using really beautifully done and well animated spritework. The music in each stage, particularly this one, gets you prepped, energized, and ready for battle!

v1059. Sword of Mana (GBA) - Battle 2 ~ Touched by Courage and Pride (Arranged)

Let's double dip in Game Boy Advance soundtracks this edition, but this time around, let's listen to an orchestrated version of a Sword of Mana battle theme. Touched by Courage and Pride features a soothing violin leading the charge, backed by piano and percussion. It really sounds like something from an Ys game, and any song that sounds like something from Ys is a winner in my book.

v1060. Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) - Black tar

Hiroyuki Sawano is a polarizing composer. His work on the anime Attack on Titan is loved and disliked by many, and his soundtrack to Xenoblade Chronicles X features music that also has split the fan base. I'm of the opinion that while the lyrics themselves are goofy, they don't hurt the actual songs, and dare I say, a lot of them sound really good. Black tar is the battle theme of Xenoblade Chronicles X, featuring some cheesy rap, but the rhythm and groove are quite nice.