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Everything posted by matt0

  1. There's always BFG ammo before an Archvile so you effectively only have to track it down once if you can time the shot to avoid it's invincibility state. This is my main criticism of the combat, it's all hard counters, most tutorialised or telegraphed but a few you have to figure out yourself. It's design evokes character action games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta but with almost none of the scope for improvisation and personal play styles those games have. I think it does have an extra layer of depth in the combat that pushes it ahead of Doom 2016 for me, but I had a more uneven experience with it full of lots of irritations.
  2. "We have named the visitors Ravagers. Do they come in peace?"
  3. Is anyone else weirded out by the grenade explosions in this? They look like the pre-rendered CGI explosions from a mid 90s shmup. It's not that I don't like them (because I like pre-rendered CGI explosions from mid 90s shmups) but they're such a weird choice. I thought it was because I was playing on the One S, but no, they're the same on PC on high settings.
  4. It definitely is... but it also isn't? You'll see some things, I'll give it that.
  5. My impression from listening to various podcasts is that they're signposting the kinds of tools Dark Souls gave to players to tailor the difficulty level more without fully spelling them out. Which I think is a good fit for the game, letting players manage their own level of challenge. And also lots of little quality of life tweaks, being able to refill your estus flask after low risk encounters. Putting respawn statues near boss encounters. Things like that, which frequently rub Git Gud folks up the wrong way, but are really just good design - and also it's From, they clearly know how to balance around that. I've talked on her about my experiences working on extremely low budget / low profile indie games, and how strange peoples approach to game design can get in that grey area between hobbyist and professional development. I posted an anecdote in some thread or other about how a mobile game I worked on got moth balled despite us having a publisher on board because the developer just kept making it harder and harder to the point where the tutorial was borderline impossible - every mechanic was tuned so the player was at a constant disadvantage. One thing I've got huge admiration for when it's done correctly is weighting interactions in the players favour, and then balancing around that - so you can still make an incredibly difficult game, but one that feels fair to less skilled players. Cave games at one point started putting in mechanics like auto bombs or letting you soak up a hit without losing a life at the cost of your score multiplier. Because if high end play is all about score chasing, and low end play is about survival - you give the low end players a hand without diluting the high end play. It sounds like this is what From are doing with Elden Ring. I'm sure there'll be plenty of despair inducing bits: because From. And also the community will think up increasingly inventive challenges and ways to torture themselves while playing - so all the stuff hardcore fans love will be in there intact.
  6. Split the difference. High res 2D, make it look like Amano's art come to life.
  7. My favourite levels were always the sandboxy towns, castles or temples which the first game leaned in to - I think the second or third level was just you crossing from one side of a village to another at night time?. Open plan areas with guards patrolling. They had a real immersive sim feel to them, especially after you've unlocked a lot of the gear. I remember a night time mission in Wrath of Heaven, crouching on a roof top after I'd alerted the guards, and seeing them climb up on to other roofs in the distance searching for me... very glitchy PS2 era AI, but more complex than a lot of modern games ever attempt.
  8. The first Tenchu was a constant for me throughout uni. Either playing a kill each, handing the pad round in a circle, or playing by myself, or watching other people play themselves. I can't remember if between us we got Grandmaster for all levels and all guard layouts, but we came close. I don't remember the dates of anything or whether we got MGS around release or much later, but we'd been playing Tenchu for about a year and a half by that point and MGS just didn't hold up, at least mechanically. We had Tenchu, some version of ISS (98?), Tiger Woods (also 98?), NHL (probably 98...!) Tekken 3, Gran Tourismo 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom and I would play FF Tactics obsessively whenever the TV was free. PS1 era gaming was incredible.
  9. I played a bit of the second PS2 Tenchu game a few years back, it was finicky and overly exacting in a way I don't remember Wrath Of Heaven or Tenchu 1 being and more linear than those earlier games, but there was still some magic there. Tenchu really spoiled straight stealth games for me (and stealth heavy immersive sims too, at least until Dishonored), every time I tried one I'd just end up wishing I was playing Tenchu instead.
  10. My personal gripe is: A: "Nobody makes [genre that fell out of fashion in the 2000s but is actually back in fashion] anymore" B: "Look, here are dozens of amazing games in that genre." A: *looks the other way and whistles* B: "Did you... did you see all the games?" A: *whistling intensity rises* ... 1 week later A: "Nobody makes [genre that fell out of fashion in the 2000s but is actually back in fashion] anymore, I am so fucking angry about it."
  11. Megadrive sample playback was rough but plenty of games still had sampled speech. There's just zero effort made with the sound on the megadrive version, no samples, limp rendition of the theme song, weak in game effects. I like the graphics though. The palette is from the ST version (same colour bit depth between the systems) but with the extra colours for team two.
  12. It's fascinating to watch this play out because at the moment it's just some line of bullshit that's been fed to shareholders. Whether or not (and how) that gets spun out in to a real thing, and what that real thing looks like, is another question entirely. Another strand in the rich tapestry of the collapse of the AAA games industry.
  13. Does morbidly curious count as excited?
  14. I never liked what I read of his stuff, especially his GamesTM column which I found completely inscruitable. So I just avoided his work over the years. Then for some reason I watched his Dragon Quest 11 review when it came out and really loved the bit about the towns. And then the other day, thanks to this thread, I watched most of the Doom review. Got to admit I skipped around until I found something immediately interesting, the E1M1 bit, and then just watched from there to the end. It's brilliant. It's genuinely very funny, oozes with affection for the game and all his points are put across with a mix of meticulous detail and meandering silliness. It's the longwinded nature that makes it work, elevates his opinions and points about the game from a collection of personal truisms he reels off for you to either agree or disagree with, to something you can get inside of and see from his perspective.
  15. Any high end comics anthology is bought with the sad knowledge that I am basically ruining it by reading it.
  16. I might have had that, there was a puzzle with pistons where it felt like I should've landed on one, but I put it down to me not doing it in the right order or not lining something up. Almost every ship puzzle felt like that for me, it was always ambiguous whether I'd done something wrong or whether I'd just been unlucky with a jump or if something had glitched. I'd recommend just doing a tour of the whole landscape and trying to get masks with as little interaction with the puzzles as possible. I thought they were the weakest part of the game and other than a quick peek to see the interior of the ships I stopped bothering with them about halfway through.
  17. The worst thing about the puzzles is the scale of them - switch puzzles where all the interactive elements you want to experiment with to solve the puzzle are positioned a minutes walk away from each other in giant chambers.
  18. Quake + Quake ’97 Expansions - (Xbox One / PC) Hades - (Xbox One) Signs of the Sojourner - (Xbox One / PC) Sable - (Xbox One / PC) Plants Vs. Zombies - (Xbox 360 via b/c) Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - (Switch) The Ascent - (Xbox / PC) Quake + the original ’97 expansions, played through on normal difficulty. Peerless use of 3D space. Basic but chunky combat. Wonderful enemy design. Hilarious splash damage nonsense. I think I appreciate it even more now than I did at the time. The ’97 expansions are pre Half-Life FPS fun houses of wild ideas, executed unevenly but with great enthusiasm. The new episodes from Machine games? I gave up after a couple of levels. Strange curios packed full of the same bad level design choices that plagued Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, hit scan enemies at the end of long corridors, death by a thousand cuts encounter design… One of the most baffling and dispiriting gaming experiences I’ve had all year coming off the original game and expansions, but it did make me sit and really think through the brilliance of the original Quake’s game play loop. In Quake you always know there’s going to be some health pick ups and armour at some point soon so you can really throw yourself in to encounters with abandon and fling rockets and grenades around. Sometimes there’s a level or two that tones this down, wants you to conserve ammo or play cautiously, but the encounter and arena design is always pushing you to go toe to toe with the enemies. You have this constant rhythm of tension and release that comes from taking damage over the course of a handful of encounters, running low on ammo, the excitement of being close to death, then you’re patched and tooled back up again so you can do it all again – pretty much every FPS does this but Quake condenses that cycle in to a minute or two and repeats it 4 or 5 times a level. It’s the heartbeat the game - a generosity of design that makes it a masterpiece. I have to compare Signs of the Sojourner and Sable because they’re both coming of age stories in apocalyptic wastelands that want you to engage and understand the different cultures and philosophies of their fictional worlds (also both on Game Pass…). But Sojourner conjures so much more out of a handful of character portraits and static backgrounds then Sable manages out of its open world. Sojourner’s card game conversation mechanics and the way the writing flowed around them felt like something I’d not played before. Sable, despite the fantastic visuals ultimately was just another open world game – a visually striking one, but also mechanically deriviative and dull with awkward controls and plagued by technical issues. Sable's writing suffers constantly from the fact that every character wears a mask and the character animation in conversation is limited. So every conversation has awkward narration from Sable herself shoehorned in, talking about what she imagines the other characters expression is behind the mask or describing body language. The game is forced to break the storytelling golden rule of “show don’t tell” for every single character interaction. It doesn’t work. And because everyone wears a mask they all blur together, you’re supposed to be learning about the people of the world, but it gets harder and harder to remember who any of them are. There’s no hooks for your memory, especially when multiple characters are wearing the same masks. Sojourner has an unfair advantage here, because it’s a game entirely about conversation, but you get big cartoon portraits of characters, full of character and emotion. You get conversations that you’re not completely in control of, you see characters in a full range of moods who respond to the events of the story and whose emotions and circumstances are constantly changing. BUT! I did linger in the world of Sable because of those fantastic environments, and I did spend some time mulling over the final choice at the end of the game, imagining what consequences there would be for Sable and how her life might pan out after the ending. It’s very rare I think about a game like that, engaging with it beyond what it’s showing me moment to moment on the screen. Sojourner does get repetitive when you start trying to tease out all the different branching narratives and I couldn’t face the opening chapters again after my second loop of the story, but the 5 or 6 hours I spent with it were one of my favourite gaming experiences of the year. Hades I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said. It’s a superb game – it looks and sounds fantastic, plays likes a dream. Everything about it is so meticulously thought through. I had one complaint which was the 10 escapes needed to get the ending -I thought was dragging things out - but no, it’s perfect, it’s there to get you to engage with the end game mechanics and sets you up perfectly if you want to keep playing after the credits. Which I didn’t because there are so many games… The Ascent I talked a bit about in it’s own thread. Visually spectacular, ultimately a huge mess but the framework of a decent game underneath it all. Plants Vs. Zombies I ended up playing through again because for convoluted reasons involving my kids watching old youtube tower defence game videos. It’s still great. It looks OLD, not on a technical basis – it’s a high definition 2D game - but the aesthetic of it feels very much of a time – the pinnacle of Flash game aesthetics just before they died out. It’s a huge shame that the sequel was a cynical microtransaction vortex. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – Very, very good. Started on normal and bumped it up to hard about a third of the way through for a bit of push back. I think I preferred Fire Emblem Warriors for the slightly deeper strategy layer, even playing it on the 3DS, but you can still direct your allies around the map in this one which I think should be mandatory for all Musou games. I find it jarring now if I play an older or simpler one that doesn’t have this feature. ... 2021 so far:
  19. Dandara is worth a look. The gimmick is that you don't have free movement, you dash between surfaces and there's no gravity so you're zipping between the floor, walls and ceilings. This gives combat and navigation it's own unique feel. It's a surreal game overall, not just in the movement mechanics, with some abstract location and enemy design and playing around with scale. I had a good time with it.
  20. Sanity prevails. It's not just an obvious solution. It's the standard way of doing things in the genre going back to Rogue itself.
  21. matt0


    I think the key to early JoJo is whether you're laughing along with it. It starts off just earnest enough to trick you in to thinking it's taking itself seriously but it's called JoJo's Bizarre Adventure for a reason. Later on it becomes one long string of surreal, endlessly entertaining suspense set ups. The first two story arcs are a bit more slapdash, but they still have some incredible moments and watching them helps sell the epicness of what comes later.
  22. matt0


    Your mileage may vary (significantly...) but the stuff I've enjoyed the most in recent years has been: On Netflix: Dorohedoro, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure On Amazon Prime: Vinland Saga On Crunchy Roll: Mob Psycho 100, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Jujutsu Kaisen
  23. Classic Halo. "Everything's going to be fine"... Drop ship enters atmosphere. Cut to Masterchief crawling out of the dropship and everyone is dead.
  24. Not on Series X but I got a game breaking glitch in the first room I went in on my One S and haven't tried it again yet. I did have a quick bash on PC and it seems decent.
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