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MegaTrousers

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    Games, game development, 3d modelling and animation. Martial arts. Bit of reading - mainly educational, but the odd sci-fi/fantasy novel if its highly recommended. Play guitar in a couple of semi active bar bands.

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  1. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    13/05/18 Rez Infinite: Got this back on the PS2. always loved it, but could never get through area 5. Had another go in VR, and between being able to look around freely, touch aiming, finally figuring out its better to one-shot big missiles instead of locking on, and a little perseverance... nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Anyway, I'm still counting it as done. Breezed through the lost area without taking a hit and it was OK. Trance mode's not what I expected at all. Gets closer to that idea of synesthesia they were always harping on about, but can't exactly say I enjoyed the experience. Area X is a thing of beauty and one of those showcase VR trips for sure, though its really more Child of Eden than Rez, and for me, the free movement worked against it. The traversable areas are so small, if you try and fly around it almost immediately starts to feel like your in a little black box rather than an infinite space. VR is transformative for the main game. As basically everyone has said, its like it was always meant to be this way. Overall a cast iron classic and now I really want Child of Eden Infinite. Which is never going to happen 20/05/18 Ruiner: Slick twin stick arena shooter with some cool extra abilities that you can switch in and out at your leisure. I thought this might be like a modern Crusader - No Remorse, but its not very similar. Extra grim with its grim-dark, it attempts to simultaneously paint your character as a callous, torturing, mega murderer and a good-guy saviour all at once. The aesthetic could be described as "I have a head-ache", but its on purpose, and apart from said having and eating of cake, everything works together to draw you into its thoroughly repugnant world. Add infinite points if you're an edgy teenager. There are annoying teleporting enemies toward the end, traversing the levels to get from each arena to the next is dull, and there's a totally pointless hub you visit a few times, but the combat has a solid rhythm - with a little tactical thinking going a long way, and a need to frequently switch between ranged and melee. Well placed checkpoints and instant restarts make the significant challenge compulsive rather than frustrating. Some cracking weapons too. Took a while to get into, but really strong by the end. Previous:
  2. MegaTrousers

    Oculus Rift (VR Headset)

    Subnautica is amazing, but the vr is totally unfinished and performance gets worse the longer you play it. I've got around 75 hours on it, most of which I loved, but the problems have taken the shine off and now I'm charging toward the finish before it becomes unplayable. Would suggest putting it on your to do list for if/when you have serious tolerance for vr jank. I'm on a 1070 with 8 core ryzen so its not really a matter of specs. In the meantime Battlezone and Rez Infinite are both excellent. Dirt Rally and Project CARS 2 are both great. I'm not normally into car games - especially sim stuff, but had so much fun in these I bough a cheap ffb wheel. Redout is pad only and good in VR. The implementation isn't 100% - I think its not actually properly stereoscopic, but its still a huge rush. Chronos is probably not the sort of experience you got a rift for, but if increased immersion in a decent enough dark souls lite sounds good, its worth a look. Lucky's Tale isn't great, but gets a similar boost from being in VR - and free. I know PCARS 2 and Redout have free demos, not sure about the others.
  3. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Not many completions lately since I relocated under the sea. 29/04/18 Thunder Wolves: Cheap and (sort-of) cheerful arcade helicopter combat game. A well executed example of an under-exploited genre. Fun power trip with no subtlety or nuance whatsoever, and much more forgiving difficulty than any real arcade game. Surprising amount of throwaway diversions such as flying guided missiles or aerial refuelling keeping things fresh. The presentation is a bit off-putting though. Its like someone really loves 80's action movies and didn't realise that Team America is a comedy. Sometimes I think it must be a piss-take - especially when the orchestra kicks in and the voice-overs start sounding like a distraught Ron Burgandy, but not sure. Still, if you can tune that out and fancy some airborne blasting with lots of cool explosions this hits the spot. 12/05/18 Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis: Old point and click adventure game. Some clever stuff with alternate paths and different solutions to the puzzles - which are often pleasingly logical. It occasionally hits an authentic Indy feel, but is too goofy, and the tech just can't sell any big moments. The interface is always in the way and all the mini-games are terrible. Doesn't stand the test of time. Previous:
  4. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    15/04/18 Poi: Indie knock-off of the 3d mario games. Almost abandoned this in the first hour. The graphics are never great, but in the early sections they are almost unbearably bland. The first proper level is an homage to mario sunshine's first world, but instead of looking like a modern remake, it looks like a long lost PS1 version. Not sure if the visuals actually get better, or I just got used to them, but glad I stuck it out. You need 60 medallions (stars) to access the finale, and I ended up getting 73 of a possible 100. The basic run and jump feel is really good, with challenges well calibrated to the strengths and limits of your movement. They got a lot of subtle nintendo-esque details spot on. Little things like the NPC dialog and enemy barks. There are mis-steps though. Elastic tightropes appear frequently, but you can't hang or swing from them. Combat and hazard damage are awful. There's a fun option of running into and kicking enemies if they don't see you, but in general its best to run past them whenever possible. The final boss exclusively requires a skill never seen in the rest of the game and goes on too long - decisions like that just baffle me. The medallion tasks are often perfunctory or repetitive, but there are just enough fun or inspired ones to keep it going. The music is excellent, and could easily fit in a big budget game, though there isn't quite enough of it and its not dynamic which is unfortunate. Going by the end credits, the core team for this was about half a dozen people, and its really impressive what they pulled off. I just hope that if they do another, they can get a couple more artists in. Oh aye - I paid about £3 on steam, and consider it a bargain, but currently its £20+ on switch, which as much as I want to see the developer succeed, is just too much for what it is. Previous:
  5. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    06/04/18 Rise of the Tomb Raider: The environments are continually spectacular to look at and generally exciting to traverse. The setting is very reminiscent of the first few levels of the original original tomb raider, but your imagination has to do much less heavy lifting. Special mention too to the animation and the character models. They aren't at all photo real, but are lifelike in a way I've never seen in a game before. The story missions are OK in a rote action blockbuster fashion. The open world is squandered some, with mostly just sweeping up icons from the map to buy upgrades your don't really need. The best parts by far are the optional challenge tombs. I actually like that the tombs themselves are quite small, but you have to first find them and make your way in. The labyrinths from the older games were cool, but always ended up a bit abstract - these feel more like real places that had a purpose and history. Speaking of history, the back-story is rich and interesting, with multiple perspectives and events stretching out over centuries. Too bad its presented as a bunch of audio logs. Lara's story is just tedious. She works far better as a lens into a world than as its focus. It mostly seems to exist as an excuse for the combat, which is polished, fun, and not over-used - but I think I'd have been just as happy spending 99% of the time exploring and puzzle solving, with an odd bit of hunting and a few monsters at the end. The end sequence is absurd, with uber-killer Lara inexplicably becoming hopelessly incompetent just so the villain can have a dramatic advantage. Also, these observations are hardly original, but anyway: They could have done something brilliant by letting you play the events of the back-story, with Lara tying it together - something like Eternal Darkness - ah well. Anyway, great game in spite of some rubbish parts. Previous:
  6. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    28/03/18 The Darkness 2: Tight FPS romp. You're a bad guy possessed by a demon, gruesomely slaughtering even badder guys. There's a skill tree of tentacle powers, and the expertly meted out upgrade points mean you get to tailor the combat to something unique, but aren't overwhelmed with stuff you're not interested in. Nicely stylised visuals, and an OK story told well. Levels are very linear with fairly dull settings. Short in a good way, with minimal flab. Good wholesome mindless violence. (Free at humble bundle until about 5pm 28/03) Previous:
  7. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    24/03/18 I Expect You To Die: Nice seated escape room style puzzler. I found the Lee Evans sounding handler annoying more than funny, and the hinted at plot never amounts to much. Even with the extra dlc mission, it finishes a bit abruptly, but probably better it doesn't outstay its welcome. Controls work very well, though I didn't like the use of a face button for some stuff. Trial and error deaths are aggravating, but the worthy payoff is that once you've played most of a mission a few times, you can tear through it with the speed, precision and precognitive reactions to make you feel like a top tier super-spy. Opening credits are brilliant, and a good example of how cool vr is for stylised visuals. 25/03/18 Double Dragon Neon: Infectiously exuberant stuff. A nostalgia fuelled side scrolling brawler with combat that's deeper and more modern than it initially appears. I'd prefer more room to develop player skill and less reliance on levelling character abilities. Only played single player, but imagine its even better in co-op. Also, its another game with a cracking credits song - this one sang by Skeletor. Previous:
  8. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    A long-ass post for a long-ass game. 23/03/18 The Witcher: Dated, but artful graphics, bad auto-saving, disconnected combat with poor controls, buggy. At first I thought Geralt sounded bored all the time - like typical phoned in game voice acting, but after a while, it started feeling like a pretty spot on performance of a laconic amnesiac with a dry sense of humour. Maybe still a few phoned-in lines, but he has to say a lot of pretty boilerplate stuff. Alchemy, spells, skills, upgrades, buffs and so on are quirky and fun -to the extent any of the combat is fun. In spite of the odd plot hole or non sequitur, the story is exemplary, and it pulls off the especially rare feat of getting better and better, right up to a satisfying conclusion that mixes power trip heroic bad-assery with a tinge of foreshadowed tragedy. Quests are a mixed bag. Mostly woven skilfully into the story and world, so even busywork seems logical, and you get a sense of purpose and variety well beyond what the gameplay actually provides. Often very ambitious in their scope too, with many paths through and different outcomes. Unfortunately they don't always match their ambition. Chapter 2 features 2 main quest lines - a treasure hunt, and an investigation. The investigation has multiple suspects and phases, clues to find or miss, and you can decide for yourself who to deem the culprit. In the early stages I thought it was amazing. It doesn't work though, its not clear enough what Geralt actually knows, its too easy to inadvertently make leads impossible to pursue, some requirements just don't make any sense, and there are too many dependencies that block progress or force you towards what you as the player know are wrong conclusions. Eventually I resorted to a guide. The sexcapades are a bit Benny Hill, but I think the game world is better for their inclusion. Its a refreshing break from the sterility of most games - the irony! The collectable cards are bad though. particularly the collectable part. Its surprising that in a game with so much smart, even grown-up stuff in it, enough people thought that was a good idea for it not only to make release, but survive into the later enhanced editions. Originally I only intended to play witcher 3, but this (and 2) have been in my library for years. Played it for a bit on first purchase, but it didn't really click and I remember stopping when having to choose to kill a whole village, or let them kill a witch. This time, I happily wrecked the villagers since they were all complete arseholes. The entire segment was totally different to how I remembered it - to the extent that I suspect I never actually played that far, and only read or heard about said scenario and gave up. Its great that so many things are painted in shades of grey with no obvious right or wrong answers, but there are times where an obvious and logical option that would best resolve a matter and be better for everyone doesn't exist, simply to force you to make a 'hard choice'. Most games with hard choices(TM) make this mistake. When a no-win situation evolves naturally, the choice can be weighty, distressing - or, such as in the case of the witch conflict, have a satisfyingly personal right answer. When its forced, the whole thing starts to feel hollow, and it would be better to just present it as linear narrative. Well worth the time for me, but while story and characters are compelling, unless you have a studious interest in unusual game design or systems, approach with caution. Dunno if I'll make it to the third game this year, but looking forward to progressing through the series, since by all accounts they only get better. Previous:
  9. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    02/03/18 Doki Doki Literature Club: Didn't really do much for me, but an interesting curio. 03/03/18 Lego Marvel Superheroes: This must be pretty great. I normally only put it on for visiting nephews who insist on playing it, then proceed to whine and argue about everything to do with it until they inevitably start trying to beat the tar out of one another - and computer time comes to an end. In spite of this now rock solid association of misery, after today's pugilism I played on by myself and ended up completing the story. The amount of characters is impressive, even if they're mostly all one of only a few main types, but it would be nice if it didn't require so much effort to get to play with them. Even 'unlocking' them often only grants the opportunity to then buy them, and the prices are no joke. Surprisingly difficult in parts. Solutions are never complex, but sometimes finding switches, or smashing all the needed bricks had a similar vibe to pixel hunting. 43 hours played, so must have something going for it. Previous:
  10. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    25/02/18 Grow Home: Charming, relaxed, inventive little gem. A physics based 3d platformer and climbing game where you grow most of the platforms yourself in a semi controlled manner. Your little robot controls like he's drunk off his face (I guess in the game's world, its more that he's very young and just learning), which in a game with frequent risk of falling thousands of meters, sounds like it would be awful, but somehow it works, Hitting a landing on a far away vine or island with a few taps of the jet pack, a brief glide, and enough speed to almost but not quite explode you into spare parts, is super satisfying. There's a bit too much focus on growing and climbing on vines, with little to do on the land masses you pass on the way, but maybe they sorted that out for the sequel. Totally recommend it anyway. 28/02/18 The Stick of Truth: Solid spin on Mario RPGs wrapped in authentic South Park. Suspect its best played in shortish chunks over a couple of weeks - rather than 2 binges separated by 18 months. I stopped because half way through it makes you pick weather to be on Kyle or Cartman's team. I went away to have a think about it, then forgot about the game. Slight spoiler - your choice has no significant or lasting impact. Its more gross-out shocker South Park than social-political commentary South Park, but still very funny. Canada caught me completely off guard. Will likely play the sequel at some point. Previous:
  11. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    13/02/18 Arkham VR: Very short. I dawdled and messed about and still took less than 90 minutes to reach the end. I'm a fan of tight, short games, but while I enjoyed it, even the £8 I paid felt a touch steep. There's some fun achievements, Easter-eggs and Riddler puzzles for additional play-throughs. Top notch production values. My main gripe is that my utility belt didn't fit. Every time I tried to get one of my gadgets I felt less like batman, and more like a fat hip-hop artist. No matter which one I wanted, unless I looked down, I'd always grab a batarang first - there are batarangs all over the morgue now. After finishing it I found out you can resize and move it a bit, but unfortunately for me, Batman doesn't appear to have scoliosis, so its never quite right. 19/02/18 Transistor: Interesting, inventive battle system that mixes real-time with turn based, and has all your attacks interacting with each other. The visuals are mostly very pretty - just skirting the edge of lurid, but the background never really reads as a place and the enemy designs are unappealing and uninformative. Cool, jazzy, soulful music. Didn't get on with the story, too obscure for me - and I find it hard to believe anyone would want to spend a single second longer than necessary with the late-night dj / beat-poet who never shuts up, but who's rescue is supposedly your character's prime motivation. At roughly 8 hours its too short to let the combat system fully stretch its legs, but feels too long in every other way. I'd like to see the combat explored more in a better game. Maybe check out the soundtrack, but I wouldn't recommend bothering to play Transistor. Previous:
  12. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    10/02 Robo Recall: Biggest adrenaline rush in a game. Looks and sounds great, finely tuned gameplay and a funny story. Just not enough of it - want more environments, weapons, enemies and mission types. Lets you blunder through in a couple of hours if you want, but holds some serious challenge if you aim to meet all objectives, not die, or chase stars. Will definitely be dipping back into this for a while. Hope it gets a sequel. 12/02 Wilson's Heart: This is like a specially made case study on how to spoil ideas. Excellent art direction and audio - including some (but not all) strong performances, and a goofy-scary tone make for an unusual, engaging experience. The action bits should be excellent. Punching, blocking, throwing, stabbing, bottling, etc, all work reliably and have a verisimilitude about them. Unfortunately they're all distributed terribly. Techniques are nearly always used for a single encounter that goes on far too long, then is never seen again. Usually they aren't explained in advance so you get to enjoy a bunch of instant deaths until you figure out what you must do this time. Most of the game is a first person point and click adventure. There are a couple of standout puzzles - particularly the few involving interactive paintings and photos. Most would be pretty dull, but the physical performance of the solutions elevates them significantly. The worst of it is the old adventure game chestnut of only being able to do exactly what the developer wants, when they want you to do it. The lack of general interactivity with non-important items is infuriating in VR and by the end I was glad to be done with it. Its like a stew of delicious treats and also some old shoes. Previous:
  13. MegaTrousers

    Life is Strange - Season 1 & Before the Storm

    The social examples are optional - its entirely up to you if you rewind for the 'best' outcomes, or just let your decisions stand, defining Max's personality as you want it to be. The Mr J appeasement is explained as needing to speed up her exit from the class. Is providing the option to exploit your powers as many of us might. given the chance, really a failing? Slight spoiler:
  14. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Balance is haywire in the first game anyway, and its still plenty of fun, so I suppose loot boxes wouldn't necessarily damage it. Good to know if I ever fancy returning, but for now at least I've had my fill.
  15. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    01/02 Shadow of Mordor: No single element really stood out, but the seamless blending of close quarters, ranged combat, and stealth is excellent. Difficulty curve is completely broken. Punishing in the opening hours, but by the Fingers of the Black Hand boss rush, i think I had time to kill one before the rest were all massacred by my soldiers. The Nemesis thing is a great idea, but didn't amount to much for me. Most enemies just weren't distinct enough to be memorable. I died maybe three times after unlocking the brand ability, so when the game dramatically told me to 'face my nemesis!!!' at the end, it took me a minute to remember who he was - not exactly the joker to my batman. Enjoyed my time with it, but probably wont bother with the dlc, and have no interest in the sequel with its loot box nonsense. Previous:
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