Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by jonny_rat

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


    Two problems: first, his tendency to get himself up against a wall with his perilous charges is no fun when the camera doesn't cope well that, and staying safe in this fight is so dependent on being able to get around him. You end up in some unavoidable disadvantaged situations: parrying and blocking isn't a good option, and neither is staying at range.


    Second: the part of the arena he starts in drives the camera bonkers with all those little hills. Hard to see how this was included as intentional challenge!


    He's doable, but it's a painful old slog getting through those first two health bars. I didn't feel in the least bit bad cheesing him in the last section with the whistle and sugars, though felt a bit sad that I had to look that up online.


  2. 8 minutes ago, kensei said:


    Same. Normally beating a tough boss with all the tension in whether you'll cross the line is euphoric, but with Lady B I was just like 'Thank fuck that's over, so I can go back to stealth killing Samurai' 


    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!

  3. 2 minutes ago, Stanshall said:


    I hadn't read about any of that and it's interesting, cheers, but again, their previous ten years of development would suggest that it's not something important enough for them to address. Not only that, despite all their apparent assistance and support from Activision in terms of QoL and the 'tutorials', they didn't take the opportunity to implement any further difficulty/accessibility settings as you believe they want to. 


    While you can interpret Miyazaki's comments about rewarding games to fit your own preferred outcome, they have shown time and again that they want to set a fixed level of challenge and allow players to dictate the difficulty level through the systems within the game. In effect, they've already 'solved' this on an extremely elegant continuum. If players aren't able to meet the fixed level of challenge of Soulsborne games through overlevelling and different builds and summoning, it seems that From are comfortable with that.


    If, as you suggest, they are very willing but are incapable/ignorant, surely Sekiro would have been the opportunity to address that. But no, they actually went further in the other direction. This is the first time (in the Miyazaki era) that they've simply said 'this is the fixed level of challenge, the key variable is your own ability to learn and execute'.


    I should also reiterate my previous point that the game is probably too hard for me. I've beaten DoH but OF and the last boss will take a long long time for me to crack, if I ever get there. I do think it's generally 'too hard', even completely ignoring accessibility issues, but I don't see any evidence that From have either compromised or shown willingness to significantly compromise their design philosophy for this game. If anything, they've gone a lot less accessible. 


    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.



  4. 4 minutes ago, Stanshall said:


    Why do you think they've not done it, then?


    Somewhat loaded question but your tone makes it sound like it's a win-win. They obviously don't want to (or they would have) and I will be extremely surprised if they do. 


    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.

  5. 4 minutes ago, Hylian said:

    An easy mode doesn't achieve anything positive in my opinion. Ok, give people an easy mode and they choose that and blaze through the game. Then they turn around and say "why is this game so revered?". Because these games are not really about experiencing the story or set pieces or whatever. The whole point of the game is to overcome the challenge and master the systems.


    I found this exact problem with God of War. I chose the default difficulty mode and after a while it was pretty straightforward progress through the game. The combat felt rubbish and I could button mash most of it. I completed it, but overall I thought the game was really underwhelming. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the game is actually pretty good on a harder difficulty setting. But by the time I'd got to that stage it was too late. The whole difficulty setting thing is almost always just poor design. Make people play it the way it's intended. 


    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.

  6. 13 minutes ago, cohen205 said:

    Why do they have to be tailored for everyone though? 


    If you dont like it, or are struggling with its difficulty, play another game. Lifes too short. 


    Just don’t warn people off if it’s not your cup of tea.

    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.

    • Upvote 1
  7. 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.

  8. There's one more tip for castle GSO that I only spotted from a speed run video:


    All his combos are open to counterattack after the second hit if you deflect it (but not if you don't). He will probably try to jump back afterwards, which might either allow you to hit him again as he jumps, or you can chase him down and pressure him into a corner. Giving him a whack from a neutral position will usually goad him into starting another combo, and you can start all over again.


    Edit: also, use the shuriken to stop him recovering posture in phase 2!



  9. 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.



    • Upvote 4
  10. 1 hour ago, Mr Ben said:

    DoH down, but now I'm stuck on GSO in Hirata. Camera issues again due to that room. Will give it another go later, but only got to his second phase once, which isnt filling me with confidence.


    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.


    Thankfully phase 2 only adds in some fairly predictable attacks: when he does the fire owl, jump it and expect a thrust attack (which can be mikiri'ed). The teleport attack when he disappears: just run around a bit and lock the camera back on when possible.


    Still though, his standard moveset is pretty wild. I was badly struggling until I realised that you dodge forward through standard power, and right when he uses it in a combo (which give you space to counterattack).


  11. 7 hours ago, Phelan said:

    I think my main concern with this film is that it is trying to make people feel like the Joker became the Joker through a series of horrible things that happened to him.


    He gets beaten up, attacked by assholes, dying mother, terrible life and he is pushed beyond and becomes the Joker. Many other people go through horrible stuff and don't become homicidal killing machines who make people die laughing. The Joker is a horrendous psychopath. You are never meant to feel sorry for him. 


    In the modern world where people are defending nazis, the President of the US says there are nice people on both sides and basically the world has gone to hell in a hand basket do we need to be told that possibly the most evil character in the DC world had a tough life and that's why he is all bad and nasty.


    The Punisher has bad shit happen to him and became an anti-Hero in a sense. The Joker is Grad A villain.


    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:


    • Upvote 3
  12. 27 minutes ago, deerokus said:


    As for 'Bully', I found him to be not very hard once you realise he's just very startling and unsettling with his speed and ferocity. Focus on the fundamentals, (and try to get into a corner so he can't run about), and you'll have him in no time.




    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.

  13. 1 hour ago, DeciderVT said:

    Echoing my post from the Xbox SAD thread but I'm struggling to see how these "Netflix for games" services are going to be sustainable in the long term when publishers will just be getting a cut of a subscription fee for their multi-million dollar AAA games, especially after Google takes their share. The business model feels like a race to the bottom that'll benefit Google, at the expense of publishers. Surely standalone digital purchases remain the most profitable (and therefore attractive) option?


    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. 

  14. 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)

  15. On 18/02/2019 at 11:46, MarkN said:

    Tooltips on loading screens that state the bleeding obvious. I've put 46 hours into My Time At Portia so far, and it keeps on telling me that the sparkly things on the ground are wood and stones that can be collected. What the actual fuck does it think I've been doing all this time? Walking around them?



    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!

  16. 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.'

  17. 5 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:


    Or just, y'know, try to think of some other way to end a superhero movie than a big fight.


    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.

  18. 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.

    • Upvote 1
  19. 23 minutes ago, ZOK said:

    @kerraig UK


    I didn’t find it embarrassing in the slightest.


    Is there an analogy to be made between The Shining book and film with Watchmen book and film? I’ve not read it, but I’d always understood the film to be very different to the novel, a product of Kubrick’s own vision of the story he wanted to tell based on King’s story - whereas with Watchmen, the film is simply a plodding retread of the book, lifted pretty much beat for best.


    I hope we’re not comparing Kubrick with Snyder, here! That would be pretty funny I guess.


    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.

  20. 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?

  21. Any bloody excuse to post this when watchmen comes up:



    Watchmen the movie is sort of.. like Trump's personal fortune for me. No matter how much it fucks up, and fuck up it does, it's still going to be in credit at the end of the day because of how much it started with. Turning incredible source material into a perfectly cromulent popcorn-muncher can hardly be considered a glorious success though.


    Ender's Game: now that's an example of how to turn great source material into.. nothing. What a waste that was.

    • Upvote 1
  22. 4 hours ago, martingee said:

    I don't know how widespread it is but I know Ubisoft lean heavily on mathematics and algorithms to appeal to certain types of gamers when initially designing a game, thus creating game mechanics and systems their target audience will find "fun".


    I don't know if this adds or relieves pressure on the designers since they're presumably following a blueprint churned out of computer. The creative director on For Honour did a talk a few years back where he explained traits of certain gamers and how you adjust the amount of certain mechanic to appeal to them. I'll try and find the link but I assume they've taken his research and mashed it with a load more of their own.



    I need to watch that video you posted, but I was really impressed by this recent talk about Ghost Recon Wildlands:


    Ubisoft seem to have one of the most comprehensive approaches to UX. They do standard stuff - and I think have a full playtesting lab in the UK - but also do more innovative work like this, where they're bringing metrics together with other types of research. I love the bit about seeing players playing in a way that was unexpected from the data, then exploring who they were and why they were doing it, then creating content especially for those players.

    • Upvote 1
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.