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Everything posted by Flanders

  1. This is exactly my outlook, I simply don’t go in for altering the game’s difficulty by ignoring its mechanics - and there is no doubt the summons are a core mechanic, they’re one of the main rewards you get for completing dungeons and beating bosses. The beauty of From games for me is that they push you by default, without any need to set your own parameters. I didn’t need to ignore any of Sekiro’s mechanics for its boss fights to be epic, or take all my armour off in Demon’s Souls to make the Valley of Defilement a masterclass of agony.
  2. I’m now 50 hours into this. It’s somehow simultaneously one of the greatest games ever made but also one of the weakest From games. It’s too fucking nice to you, to be blunt. The summons, no horrible runs from save point to boss, virtually limitless warping all over the shop. It hit home for me last night when I fought my first Godskin, for which you’re not allowed to summon ashes, and realised that this was the first enemy in the entire game that I hated and called a cunt repeatedly and I loved it. First time in the game that i died several times with just one blow left on the enemy. First time I definitely memorised every attack the fat twat had in his arsenal and reached that wonderful moment with a From boss when you know you can and will beat them, even if takes a few more goes. It’s not like the bosses have been bad up to this point, but there’s been no real suffering, which means no manic high at beating anything. And there are definitely far too many graces. Still a masterpiece, obviously. And makes me look forward to the back end of the game, which I know some people have been cooler on because it sounds like a bit of a deluge of bastard hard bosses, but that would be something I’d relish at this point.
  3. Miles Morales as a nice re-entry. Short, sharp and sweet.
  4. I did that because I didn’t like him. Had him do the deed and then pointedly left him out of every squad through to the end of the game lol. Think I just talked myself into getting excited about the KOTOR remake for the first time.
  5. This is 100pc the main purpose of the new service - the Extra tier is a no-brainer for a) anyone who hasn’t bought a PS5 yet and b) anyone who would subscribe to PS Plus anyway and doesn’t buy games day one. Those audiences alone could bring them close to Game Pass subscriber numbers. I think it’s been foolish to bother with even creating the highest tier as it’s not going to offer value, isn’t going to deliver the full dream PS 1/2/3/4 library people want and isn’t going to be successful. The Extra tier is going to be successful.
  6. All of the big publishers need to go visit Housemarque and find out how they made Returnal, because it seems like it’s going to be the only genuinely next-gen game that’s been made before 2023.
  7. The discussion in this topic and more generally around the new film’s trailer encouraged me to stick on the first Avatar last night - I’ve never watched it since seeing it in the cinema, never seen it in 2D. Just wanted to plonk it on for 20 minutes with my tea to see what it is like in 2022. The answer was, it looks shockingly good. In terms of pure visuals, action and spectacle in a big budget blockbuster I can only really think of Fury Road and the later Mission Impossibles that have come out since that can match it for a sensory rush. And it really, properly flows with a cracking pace, I ended up whizzing through half the film before I had to head out. I found it such a tonic compared to what so many modern blockbusters are like - even some of it’s obvious weaknesses are oddly refreshing in 2022. The plot is really simple, proper one sentence outline - but to be honest, I’ve gotten so tired of how over-plotted modern blockbusters are. Any MCU film I’ve seen in the past few years has felt disjointed and overstuffed, like bits and pieces squashed together into something that usually ends up extremely incoherent when you think about it for more than 10 seconds. The Star Wars sequels were like this as well. And yeah, for sure the characters are really barebones. It’s a limited script that I think the actors do a very underrated job to bring some life to - for all that it’s cool to rag on Sam Worthington I think he brings across a very charming sense of joy when he’s in the Avatar body, which I think is a clearly deliberate contrast to the morose one-note soldier man he is as a human. And Zoe Saldana is just really fucking good at shining in big budget sci-fi films. She is able to fully commit and project sincerity so well, which is why I imagine she was also used for a lot of the emotional heavy lifting in Avengers Infinity War. Overall though, I couldn’t get over how well this film looks and moves. I think response to the sequel could go in two ways - 1) people who are conditioned to the (oddly) more character-centric and plotty MCU style will shit all over it or 2) people will go apeshit crazy for it when they see how good a mega millions blockbuster can actually look if you’re not racing to finish it to fit into a franchise deadline.
  8. Yeah, said something along these lines a while back but someone at Microsoft has to be looking at Obsidian and quietly axing the Outer Worlds 2 to get them working on Fallout. It’s still surprising that they let them crack on with Avowed tbh.
  9. Cross promotion with Fortnite where every time you load up Fortnite you get nuked by Adriano with 99 shot power.
  10. Oh god I even went through Wikipedia to check them all. That’s done, many thanks!
  11. 1. Resident Evil 4 2. Mass Effect 2 3. Dark Souls 4. Metal Gear Solid 5. Halo 3 6. The Last of Us Part 2 7. F Zero X 8. Final Fantasy VII 9. Metroid Prime 10. Bloodborne 11. Hotline Miami 12. Civilisation 2 13. Disco Elysium 14. Death Stranding 15. Fallout 3 16. Red Dead Redemption 2 17. Pro Evolution Soccer 4 18. Horizon: Zero Dawn 19. Rez (video game) 20. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 To make things a bit more interesting I have tried to not select multiple games from the same series - if I had, then Halo CE, MGS 3 and 5, and Last of Us 1 would all have been in there. I’ve cheated a little bit with Bloodborne. I’ve also really tried to make a list of games where the older ones still hold up today - FF7 is one in particular that a few years ago I thought was something that would be just nostalgic affection but I replayed it on Switch a while back and that thing really sings. My stray thoughts: Halo 3 beats out CE because the Covenant is the single best level in any video game ever. The first half of Dark Souls is utterly transcendent videogame design. From have made three masterpieces and one very good game since then and still haven’t gotten near it, it’s that good. Bethesda’s wit and skill at creating weird quests kind of fell off a cliff after Fallout 3. There’s nothing in Skyrim or Fallout 4 like The Republic of Dave or Tranquility Lane. It’s such an endlessly creative adventure. Hotline Miami on the Vita is the most fun I’ve ever had playing a handheld game. It’s a real shame Nintendo don’t play outside their core aesthetic more often. It fundamentally means I admire their output more than love it most of the time, but two of the times they’ve stepped outside it are in my top 10. Metal Gear Solid is still the ultimate game from the future. The Last of Us 2 was ill-served coming out at the start of a global pandemic and will be more widely reappraised as an all-time classic in a few years’ time. Mass Effect 2 is the second most confident game ever made. Oozes with swagger. Resident Evil 4 is the most confident game ever made. The island is the weakest section and that’s the bit with the Krauser knife fights, Mike the helicopter man, the fucking Regenerators, blasting monster Saddler with a rocket launcher and an epic speedboat escape. That’s the weakest part of the game.
  12. In my eyes RE4 is a GameCube exclusive because none of the other eight million versions can be played on a controller with a MASSIVE ‘a’ button, which is how that game is meant to be experienced.
  13. 1 - Defensive move, stops Microsoft from buying them and making all their games exclusive to Game Pass. 2 - GAAS expansion with ownership of FF14. Sony would go from virtually no presence in the space to owning two of the most popular and long-running IPs between this and Destiny. 3 - Restrengthens Japan position. Square would essentially become the new Sony Japan software division, replacing the cuts they’ve made there with a group that makes successful games every now and again. And probably some extra benefits for mobile stuff as well.
  14. Yeah I think what this deal demonstrates is that the valuation of videogame developers is kind of exponential depending on how successful they have been. Quality studios aren’t enormously valuable in and of themselves - it’s all about whether they’ve demonstrated they can make a genuine mega-hit (especially in the GAAS space), or have IP that could be used for such. That’s why Bungie and Gearbox were acquired at such high prices relative to this Square deal.
  15. Avatar isn’t an awful film ffs. It doesn’t have a particularly interesting story or script - it’s easily Cameron’s weakest film - but the action film-making is miles ahead of most modern blockbusters. If you compare the action scenes in Avatar to the two biggest recent comic book films - Spiderman and the Batman - it’s night and day. Both of those films have really poor last act action sequences in particular, whereas Avatar’s is a banger.
  16. Can’t wait for this to make umpteen billion dollars while the internet howls about its lack of cultural impact. Anyone who underestimates Cameron is a moron.
  17. Oh apologies no, I could see it was the other fella who didn’t like it. I just wanted to emphasise that it’s not like you even need to dive into the slightest subtext for ‘politics’, it’s literally the plot of the game! There are fundraisers and rallies that you wander round!
  18. Its a game where your character’s mum is a politician in Harlem, of course it shouldn’t be weird that there’s politics in it. The main plot of the game involves a big corporation gentrifying an ethnic minority neighbourhood with a massive skyscraper ffs! Still, this has been a nice reminder that this is a really, really good game and everyone should play it when it comes on PS Plus.
  19. Started playing this at the weekend - the exploration is clearly amazing because I’ve put five hours into it that felt like 30 minutes. But I have found myself slightly disappointed that combat is a distinct step back from Bloodborne and Sekiro. It’s very much that slower Dark Souls pace. Early days yet though.
  20. Every time I think about this game I think of some new inexplicable design decision. The latest one is how the campaign sort of tries to do the God of War all one shot kind of thing except that doesn’t fundamentally doesn’t work because you’re breaking the immersion every time you leave you leave the first person perspective for a cutscene. And it definitely doesn’t work when you chuck the whole conceit out the window every so often to cut to the villains having power rangers villainous chats with each other. So in the end you just have this concept which is not immersive, not committed to and limits what you can display in cutscenes, for no reason whatsoever.
  21. Pob has made some good suggestions re: the map filter and how to treat side missions but honestly if you’re feeling that kind of open world fatigue I would recommend just blasting through the main quest and treating it as a fun semi-linear action game. Levelling is pretty generous so I don’t think you’ll end up gated at any point.
  22. I made some good progress on the main story on this over the weekend, accelerating towards the end now. There’s one outstanding issue in that there are a bunch of different major antagonists who are all off screen for far too much of the game and are very undeveloped as a result. I think this is partly a result of wanting to give you more freedom in the order you tackle the chunky middle but I feel like there needed to be more villain action sprinkled throughout that section. Despite this the main missions are still all of a very high standard and one in particular: Is brilliantly conceived and outstandingly written. The perfect example of what elevates this series over the Assassins Creeds of this world.
  23. This is exactly my experience of the game so far and it’s such a strange criticism to have - the side quests are far too good! In the first Horizon I powered through the main story a lot more directly because I knew I could ignore most side quests as they were manifestly of lower quality. But the ones here are virtually on par with the main plot, which makes me feel like I’m missing out on quality content. All this means I don’t think I’ve ever gone directly from one main mission to another, which I basically did for the entire back half of Zero Dawn - I still think that’s the most effective plot-driven experience I’ve had in an open world game. It all makes sense when you think of Horizon not as some kind of Zelda challenger but as the successor series to Mass Effect. Your base in Forbidden West basically is the Normandy. And Mass Effect 2 is a game that is virtually completely comprised side quests - I think Guerrilla could have squared the circle if the side missions in Forbidden West tied into the ending outcome the way they do in Mass Effect 2. I’m still a ways off finishing yet but I don’t think that’s on the cards. In fact, if there is a Horizon 3 I’d like to see it become an out and out Mass Effect game with squad mates, branching decisions etc. I like chatting to my buddies in this, let me take them on missions!
  24. I was never able to finish the single player on this. I think it’s a flat out bad game, utterly lacking in vision or ambition. The open world doesn’t work. It’s poorly designed, empty, sparse, ugly and boring but even if it was done by a competent team I just don’t see Halo working as an open world game. I also don’t agree with this notion that the gameplay is really good, let alone the best it’s ever been. The grapple gun is fun and everyone loves it, but it’s so overpowered it breaks half the systems in the game. Makes vehicle traversal largely pointless, makes enemy vehicles a non-threat, turns outdoor combat into a repetitive loop of grapple and snipe. Also means you never use any of the other skills because they’re bafflingly mapped to the same button. And I’m convinced the annoying cheap enemies - the terrible bosses, bullet sponge heavies and far too many snipers - are a hamfisted attempt to offset how much of an extra advantage the grapple gives you within the standard Halo sandbox. Honestly think it’s a shocker and was fortunate to come out in a really weak year for AAA games. If it was releasing this month in the wake of Elden Ring, Horizon and upgraded Cyberpunk I think even the initial decent critical reception it got wouldn’t be there.
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