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jonny_rat

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Everything posted by jonny_rat

  1. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    Last boss down!
  2. Unfortunately I don't think it's quite that simple; the bolded bit is definitely not a good way of looking at it. Accessibility options are one thing, but accessibility also needs consideration of core gameplay difficulty. Disabilities aren't just about having neat, discrete functional limitations: sometimes they have a general effect on cognitive or motor functions, which can make games without any difficulty settings extremely challenging. This article says it better than anywhere else I've seen: https://junkee.com/sekiro-game-difficulty/200666 It's also covered in the gaming accessibility guidelines: http://gameaccessibilityguidelines.com/allow-gameplay-to-be-fine-tuned-by-exposing-as-many-variables-as-possible/ (Edit: I'm re-reading this and I hope it doesn't sound patronising. Sorry. Just trying to dig into this issue about the relationship between 'options', accessibility and difficulty - certainly don't want to be telling you about your own experiences of disability. Have you read the IGN piece by Cherry Rae about working through Bloodborne with a disability? She sounds way better at it than I was, but experienced severe pain during long sessions)
  3. It's been awesome to see Ian Hamilton get some speaking time in various places about this https://junkee.com/sekiro-game-difficulty/200666 He's ridiculously reasonable on the topic (and still gets a load of shit online from git gudders) and he absolutely nails the problem with/resistance to widening access to From games:
  4. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    DoH down, but christ, that's the first time I've ever felt really frustrated by the camera in a From game.
  5. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    I've heard a few people get excited about Sekiro as a spiritual follow up to Tenchu, who've then been a bit deflated when they found out that it's a game with a souls-ish difficulty curve and combat focus!
  6. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    And therein lies the fuckup with Sekiro (and I say that as someone who absolutely loves the game). All the steps and lip-service to addressing accessibility and widening participation, and they appear to have gone the other way with it: not by design but by accident. That's at least partially why this debate has blown up in the last two weeks: lots of people have looked at the game, at the design philosophy that seems to have guided the expanded range of options (and don't get accessibility options mixed up with difficulty options here) and the better onboarding, and said "this is great, but it's not achieving your desired aims here." I think I've said elsewhere that I agree that Sekiro removes some of the difficulty compensation options (though nothing in Sekiro is as brutal as the opening hours of Bloodborne, where levelling and multiplayer are both blocked off). The 'time and time' again stuff From's games just seems to be the norm for many Japanese studios that work in quite an isolated way: you might think I'm reading into comments too much, but I think you're making a very big assumption in that they're comfortable with their current audience. Some of what they've said in interviews the last few years has sounded like frustration that their games never really break out of their sales brackets.
  7. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    They do want to: there are some really interesting bits that came out from interviews with From staff on working with Activision. They had no idea how to approach play testing (they handed all this over to the US Activision office), and didn't even feel confident about creating the tutorial section in Sekiro: all of that was guided by player data, and it was great. It also includes loads more accessibility/quality of life settings than did DS3. Again, this comes back to the idea that Miyazake and the Souls teams want to make hard games: in every quote about it, he's said that he wants to make games with challenges that players will initially fail, and then pass. Letting players tune the challenge is totally in line with that.
  8. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    All in the presentation. Be clear that there's an 'as intended' game mode. And to repeat what lots of others have said on the topic, 'difficulty modes' are a blunt, ineffective solution. A range of accessibility settings, plus celeste-style assist modes or gameplay modifiers are much better than getting the player to select easy, medium or hard.
  9. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    Because there's loads to love in Sekiro/souls apart from the combat. Because From would presumably like more sales. Because with relatively little effort, and zero impact on you, they could implement these changes.
  10. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    The thing that needs to be said over and over and over is that the core experience, curated by Miyazaki himself (if that's the case) and perfectly calibrated to represent a set challenge, does not need to change. You can hammer this home in the presentation: all the Halo games after ODST labelled Heroic as Heroic "the way Halo was meant to be played." Prevent players from changing the settings mid-game if you like (after a few levels), to discourage players from dialling the difficulty down when the going gets tough. This idea about catering for the masses is just wrong: letting other people tailor their experiences doesn't need to affect yours.
  11. I wrote this (maybe tl;dr) piece on this; the gist is that clarity of vision doesn't need to be sacrificed for either increasing accessibility or removing difficulty barriers. https://link.medium.com/jXHqVBRhNV
  12. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    There's one more tip for castle GSO that I only spotted from a speed run video:
  13. Not sure if this has been posted yet, but it's really good. Hits on a few really great points: one, that Sekiro is both the most accessible game From have ever made as well as maybe being the most punishing. And another, that accessibility is not the easiest thing to define and pin down: on one hand 'accessibility options' are a relatively uncontroversial addition, but if you want to accommodate a range of physical, sensory and mental ability you often need to allow players to tinker with the core game experience. https://uk.ign.com/articles/2019/04/05/sekiro-accessibility-in-games-is-about-far-more-than-difficulty
  14. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    I'm currently stuck there as well, but think I've got a bead on him. It's a bloody hard fight; absolutely no shortcuts with this one.
  15. jonny_rat

    Joker origin film - Joaquin Phoenix Confirmed

    I got a bit confused when reading your two posts together, because The Killing Joke also shows us a version of the character who is the result of a series of bad events; it's not just the acid that turns him into the joker. However, can see the concern, because if you take the acid bath away, you *just* have the life events being the catalyst, rather than this comic-book conceit of going mad because acid. KJ also manages it because it straight up addresses the question you're talking about, with the Joker trying to turn Gordon mad by inflicting life events on him too. And failing, so suggesting that there's something maybe wrong or deficient with him. I've just realised that Heath Ledger's Joker tries a very similar thing in TDK with the ferries. The film can manage this if it takes a similar approach. But a better way (for me) would be to show pre-Joker-Joker as a psychopath who is holding it together. An everyman/nice guy on the surface, but a lingering stench of something scary. I think this tweet is actually supposed to be a dig, but it's basically perfect:
  16. jonny_rat

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    Absolutely this. I got him in the smaller area at the far end of the arena and basically souls'ed him to death without using block or deflection - dodge once or twice towards his back leg, couple of attacks, back to neutral. The upgraded firecracker is a little easier to use in this area too.
  17. The controller connecting directly to the data centre via wifi - not via bluetooth or radio to the device - is really interesting. Might have an impact on perceived latency too..
  18. That's if sticking with the current publisher model, though. This netflix-y model is probably not good for publishers at they currently stand: but the attraction to Google (and everyone else trying to get in on it) may well be to start acting like a publisher in the longer term, providing funding to developers to produce games exclusive to their service.
  19. jonny_rat

    Game streaming - the future, or a red herring?

    A while back, I watched my nephews playing Fortnite on a TV setup with massive latency. I found it absolutely, completely unplayable; they didn't give a shit. And they were doing totally fine in the game too. I've played streaming services - even years back - that delivered smaller latency than that bloody TV setup. Which makes me think that streaming services have a good shot at working out for a lot of players, though there will always be people for who it's a total no-go. (I also fully expect to see stream-players viewed as casuals by local hardware players in the future, who call themselves the master race, etc)
  20. jonny_rat

    Gaming tropes that need to go away

    While I agree that these could often be implemented in a smarter way (e.g. the game knows you're playing regularly at the moment in long sessions, so ideally it would tailor the tooltips to match), tooltips can be really useful in helping lapsed players get back into the basics of the game. Again, there's batter ways to do it, but they're something at least!
  21. jonny_rat

    Nintendo Switch

    T3 do borderline amusing clickbaity bollocks. One day I had two stories from them pop up in my news feed: one along the lines of 'Microsoft revels next gen Xbox to CRUSH PS5?' while the other was 'Incredible PS5 leaks show Sony's plan to DESTROY Microsoft.'
  22. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    The irony is that T:R isn't resolved by the fight at all. On some levels it counts as a subversion of the Big Fight trope (which would be more effective if it wasn't preceded by a Big Fight). Spiderman Homecoming is an interesting one. Technically it's two lads having a scrap, but the narrative thrust is spidey trying to stop a heist. And then trying to save the baddie.
  23. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    Rangnarok is definitely one that didn't need a big old horde battle, and I bloody loved Ragnarok. I guess it gave the wider cast something to do in the finale, but surely the Hulk fighting a giant wolf and everyone else battling Hera (who was a solid, credible threat) would have been fine. Still, at least it was short and involved that Led Zep moment.
  24. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    I think the Shining (film) does an amazing job of distilling the book's message by adapting it. The problem with WM is that it doesn't even try to do this: it replicates the source material. Watchmen - the movie - is the equivalent of the 1997 miniseries version of the shining.. To go back to @kerraig UK's post, I'm not sure the adaptation issue being argued in the article is just add, add, add; surely it's the choices that were made in adapting the comic? WM (the film) is quite flabby anyway, and stuffed with action sequences, and contains a pretty slavish nod to almost every scene in the comic book. That's quite the decision to make - there would certainly be an argument for a much less blockbuster style approach to the source material (especially post-Logan). I completely get why Snyder did what he did in mashing together the narration with Rorsach's investigation, for example; but that doesn't make it any better as a sequence. I feel like he did everything he could to get everything from the comic on screen in some shape or form, and in the process made it all a lot less interesting. I also get that this is total armchair booking - but I find the idea of an on-screen version of watchmen that chose to open with Rorshach's quiet, grunty investigation (in lieu of maybe some of those slo-mo CGI scraps) really interesting.
  25. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    I guess I'm the target audience for CGI superhero smash up stuff, because I will watch all those films and probably have a lovely time with them. As Dudley suggests above though, these final act bits all sort of all meld together into white noise. But not all final-act CGI schmoz's are created equal: the worst I can recall was Justice League, probably because I forgot who everyone was and what was going on and I didn't care (same with Age of Ultron. And Iron Man 2, christ.). They can be done (relatively) effectively if some character drama has been threaded in: I don't mind the end of Black Panther because they're trading words at the same time as their silly claw suit train scrap. IW has this great structure where all the tension is about Thanos turning up and interacting with the lads; the big silly battle before that is all noise/window dressing. Maybe it's a false finish issue. These big battles are always built up to be the climax, but they never are, and they rarely resolve anything. Usually the scale/focus needs to close in on characters; couldn't we just cut out the battle bit altogether?
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