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jonny_rat

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Posts posted by jonny_rat

  1. I purposefully ignored this when it was announced because I knew it was going to be so tricky to get hold of, which was.. counterproductive, in retrospect. However picking up the new/old Super Play has made me really want one: is there anywhere I should keep an eye on for possible stock coming in, or extra pre-orders coming available? Long shot I know..

  2. 11 hours ago, macosx said:

    It's not laziness- it's successful, it works. If you are offended by that picture, I imagine you are apoplectic watching a Jean Paul Gaultier perfume commercial or 80% of today's advertising. People like looking at nice things. 

     

    I feel like someone could do a really interesting series of internet videos exploring normalised sexual imagery for commercial purposes, especially in a relatively young industry such as video games, and the possible effects of that on how games are seen by the wider population and how women in particular are put off by them. Maybe by.. someone like.. Splanita.. Sparpeesian.

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  3. I had a good stab at getting a working setup with my phone (and a tablet; both android) and various bluetooth controllers. The results were roundly shit. Variable experiences on 3D stuff, controllers disconnecting, or games not natively supporting them, lag, batteries for controllers, finding a way to prop the phone/tablet up, ugh. The other thing they don't tell you about mobile gaming: it is the thing that drains the battery on your phone the most, so you end up sharing gaming time and actually, you know, having a phone that works.

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  4. 16 minutes ago, JLM said:

     

    Yup, this is it really. Story and arcade mode are a diversion, but the real missing content was all of that other stuff. The online being a mess in particular was not acceptable. Again, that's something that has done damage to the game's image in the eyes of *all* players, casual and hardcore alike. That's what most casual players who play the game for any longer than a week will be doing anyway: playing online, and a majority of Pro players and Twitch streamers are hugely reliant on online as well. Some of them in ranked, some just wanting the option to play against their friends. The fact that *that* didn't work at launch and has only really reached a passable level around a year after release is shocking, and certainly more harmful than the game not having the option to fight a bunch of AI robots and then a boss.

     

    As you say, it's very difficult to discern what Capcom's "vision" for the game actually is. It's quite telling that, in the series of interviews with top players I've been watching (https://www.youtube.com/user/BornFreeYT , I think they've been excellent, but a number of them do require a good understanding of fighting games and the community) the question about the game's direction has been a two parter:

     

    A) Do you understand/think you know what the current direction of the game is?

     

    and

     

    B) Do you like it?

     

     

     

    Oh my god. Semi-structured interviews! Topic guides! TIMESTAMPS! These are a researcher's dream come true and i am in love with them. Thank you!

  5. The story of it could have been penned by the Coen brothers and it could have had three rounds up the wazoo; it still wouldn't have had a blind bit of impact on the game's fortunes. The crux of it is that capcom spent their time and money on new singleplayer 'content' when stuff supporting the main game badly needed addressing: the baffling main UI, the training mode features, the rough edges on the otherwise lovely graphics, the multiplayer stats not working (they still don't), the RQ penalties (now blessedly in place)..

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  6. The SFV story mode debacle is a wonderful example of things that players are crying out for not necessarily being the right things to spend your dev money on. It's so perfect as a cautionary tale for developers that it's almost unreal. 

     

    The issues highlighted gloriously by JLM above sound a bit like they came from internal hang-wringing behind the scenes. They don't seem to be able to decide which direction that it's going in and always appear caught between trying to appease angry internet people and trying to push out their vision (to the extent that i don't quite know what the latter is supposed to be)

  7. I suspect everyone in this thread has one already, but there aren't really any good bargains on the console itself at the moment are there? Still out of stock most places! I've got a commute starting next week and I have talked myself into buying one. And zelda of course.

  8. 6 minutes ago, K said:

    I seriously disagree with the idea that making Bloodborne or Dark Souls easier would diminish its status as a game. Where do you stop with that kind of logic? Completing the game on SL1 is the fullest expression of its qualities; completing DSII as a member of the covenant of champions is the true way to play it; defeating Ormstein & Smough with a novelty bongo controller means you are the best at liking Dark Souls. Davros off of this here forum completed the game with the in-game hints turned off, and with no summoning - presumably on that basis, he got more out of the game than other people who summoned on most bosses and looked up online how to turn off the windmill on DSII.

     

    Someone above says that reading Ulysses in comic form would diminish your ability to appreciate the original book, which is absolute nonsense. There are hundreds of pieces of critical study dedicated to making the book easier to understand - almost nobody will be able to understand certain bits of the book without help, and using an alternative version of a story told in a different, clearer, form is a totally valid way of approaching it. Ulysses is a story, not a test.

     

    We had a very similar discussion on here a while back, where people were screaming in horror at the prospect of buyers of Black Ops III being permitted to skip levels if they wanted. People - gamers - always seem to want to police how other people enjoy games. It doesn't matter if someone else completed a game on an easier difficulty setting. It's none of your business.

     

    This feels like a weird interpretation of the thread so far: of course it doesn't make it less of a game. But it could (I would argue would) qualitatively change it from the very tightly designed and balanced game as it exists. Of course a musician can't control the environment and setting in which people listen to their music; but they can do their best to make sure that the version that is released to the public is the version possible that is closest to how they want it to sound.

     

    What this thread has said so far is that is that a DS/BB game without the challenge probably wouldn't prove to be as good a game. It's up to the developer to decide whether they think that's true, and whether they want to make that version available. (Instead, the developer has taken the route of allowing players to modify/massage the difficulty in other ways that are internally consistent with the gameworld and the lore, and it's.. really.. weird that we're suddenly having a pop at them for taking this approach rather than the archaic, arbitrary 'choose your difficulty' selection)

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  9. The issue is that when you say such things "aren't an appealing challenge".. well, they are, though, aren't they? To an awful lot of people. One of the key components that you're missing here Shrew - perhaps it's something you never felt - is the tension of failing in one of these games. "Oh no, I've got to make that run all over again. Oh no, those were my last blood vials." It's truly gutting when you lose in those circumstances, and the consequences of losing them have to be real and substantial (in the game) to ensure that you do have that tension ramped up. Because that tension is what leads to elation when you succeed.

     

    Yes, there are skill gates. But the skills gates in these games are not artificial: they are the game. The game provides lots (and lots) of ways to even up the odds, but in the end, it's saying "here's a challenge. You have to solve it."

     

    I remember - before playing these games - thinking that bosses, as a concept, were generally outdated and archaic. The best I can remember from before this were from the MGS series, and that was generally because they had this same feeling: aside from the same feelings of having to figure them out, those bosses went on for long enough that there was a sunk costs feeling (and associated tension) when you actually finished them. That's why hearing from other devs that these games 'fly in the face' of recommended practice in terms of design makes me laugh a bit: some of that recommended practice had been stale for years. (Again, not an accessibility issue: BB and the newer DS games do follow fairly good UI/accessibilty practices.)

     

    I suspect the lessons about the tension/risk/elation loops in these games haven't really been fully picked apart by design/dev types yet, but I think a lot of it bleeds into risk and reward, especially in monetised/free to play stuff.

     

    Quote

    If an easy mode removes something intrinsically important to the game, consider that players might become familiar with the mechanics and progress on to the standard difficulty of their own accord, when they're ready.

     

    I think I've already addressed this, but there's no simple solution to this with these games. Doing it this way would probably ensure the player stays in the easy path forever, because they wouldn't have been prepped with the training they need to return to the standard difficulty, and therefore are stuck with the feeling that they're playing a cut-down version.

     

    The idea that summoning is cheating compared to lowering the difficulty is 100% backwards to me. Lowering the difficulty feels like the cheatiest thing ever to me and I hate doing it.

     

    My life is probably about to change to the extent that my days of being able to put the hours in to learn and love a new Fromsoft game are probably over (for the time being at least). In the future I'd hold from playing it rather than use a cut down or easy mode, because I suspect it wouldn't be the same tense experience.

     

    It sounds, Shrew, that you've spent a wee bit too long with the GAF/redditors talking about these games..

    • Upvote 1
  10. 33 minutes ago, Jonathan_Kerr said:

    As much as I think the difficulty of Bloodborne (I haven't played the DS series yet) is crucial to it's appeal, MGS V has the chicken hat which the player can opt to use to reduce difficulty after dying three times.

    I'm inclined to agree with Sir Shrew that it wouldn't take much effort to implement some kind of a temporary item that performs a similar function.

    But what happens then after the player has been shifted into that easier path: do they lose access to multiplayer (which, ironically, makes it even more difficult for them)? Permanently or temporarily? Do they shift back into the main difficulty pathway after a little while, and therefore experience a difficulty spike all over again?

     

    Surely a better solution is to have in-game tools for reducing the difficulty. Perhaps items which buff the player or bring in help in some way. Which is.. exactly what the souls games have. There are generous numbers of consumables that raise attack and health, or change enemy awareness. Even better: you can spend a bit of in game currency and call someone in and help you!

  11. Aside from from the talk about artistic choice and compromise; as a business decision, in an industry where review scores matter, why would you work for years on finely balancing a game, putting in all this amazing embedded multiplayer, then adding in a mode with all that ripped out? (Because I cant see how the multiplayer could ever work in easy mode, with 'easier' invasions, another tier of balancing, etc) When you've even come up with player options to make it easier already? And when the games are already selling crazy numbers?  I don't even think it would be good for sales: you'd have people on steam reviewing it on the basis of the cut-down version.

     

    16 hours ago, sir shrew said:

     

    I suspect we may be unraveling another truth here, that if you were to add the option of a retry and reduce the challenge and feat of completion, there is a danger the actual games themselves might be exposed as being... not very good? 

     

    Like how Watchmen was the greatest comic book ever until they made a frame-for-frame film out of it, accessible to everyone, and it was just sort of ok.

     

    /stealth-I'm-shit-at-a-game-therefore-the-game-is-bad-post

     

    Leaving aside the watchmen comparison (which is on such dodgy ground I don't know where to start), there's something to the idea of if you take the challenge away there's not much left. These aren't story-heavy games (for all you might have heard about lore, etc), they're not walking simulators (as lovely as the environments are), and they're not bayonetta-style flashy combat combo spectaculars. The core gameplay -is- the challenge; take it out and you're left with a shell of a game. 

     

    (Which is emphatically not to agree with your 'not very good' assessment. Creating whole games that are beautifully tuned as these is what makes them brilliant: flexible enough to finish without ever levelling up, still fun even if you hideously over-level your character, character builds with completely different playstyles, and all that with grand, mad environments and bosses, sometimes scary, sometimes absurd and beautiful. DS2 is the best illustration of this, where that balance and tightness of design is just a little off throughout)

    • Upvote 7
  12. Maybe a more interesting question to ask here, before you start thinking about the exclusivity and high barriers to entry, is what it is about the soulsborne games that have made them go nuclear. Because the next question is: does implementing the changes you've suggested negate those?

     

    @Zael mentioned the universality of the experience: that is a great point. These games have developed a social element: back in the DeS and DaS1 days, it was about the pleasure of talking to someone who had also played them and knowing that you've gone through the exact same experiences and challenges, but with your own path and solutions. The releases of games after that became events, even on places like this where cohorts of players went through the games together. Hell, that's even happening now: the DS3 thread is full of people living other people's first run-throughs vicariously. A difficulty slider would affect that, for one thing.

     

    Another issue is that they're balanced for one difficulty and one difficulty alone. Skyrim is a great example here: mess with the difficulty sliders too much and you risk destroying your own interest in the game, as you're trying to find the biting point for the difficulty to keep you engaged. It would be a simple job to add an easy mode to a SB game; it would not be an easy job to add one that was also properly balanced, including future patches.

     

    It's also interesting that this has turned to bashing accessibility already. Surely we can agree that better accessibility is always something to aim for (in terms of interface design, usability etc) but that there's a difference between accessibility and the design choices of the game. The later SB games especially have some great design: consistent enemy behaviours, the hints from other players, little environmental tells to help you get about, etc.

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  13. Oh, and to add one more thing (to counter all that negativity) - the story probably stands up even better in context of DS3 than it did on release. It's a bit more hokey in parts, a bit more tropey (evil queens and giants and that) but with all the ideas in DS3 about the nature of the dark, the cycle of fire and undead curses, it all starts to fit together nicely. And it makes Vendrick and Nashandra's stories easier to piece together, which is good because they are reet good

  14. I was a huge DS2 apologist (?) back in the day. But another recent playthrough (of SOTFS) after Bloodborne and DS3 was very hard going.

     

    I don't subscribe to any of the real hate: I know it's a cliche but it's still an absolutely fantastic game by any other measure. Some of the additions and improvements have clearly influenced the later games as well. The multiplayer stuff most notably: especially the amazing auto-summon covenants. And as others have said, the atmosphere - and especially sound design -  is so memorable and distinct in some places, like the twinkly Majula melody, the howling wind at the top of the dragon shrine, the discordant hum that plays though Aldia's keep.

     

    I sort of wish I'd not gone back to it really: as @K said before, I have lovely memories of it. I keep trying to figure out what made it so painful to go back to. One thing is the SOTFS remix: it's interesting for a return player, lots of weird dead-end bits are tidied up, and some stuff (like Heide's) works well. But the new placements overall probably do hurt it. It was always quite a you-vs-the-numbers game, and it's even worse now. Iron Keep is the worst example, but I did find myself fighting off the frustration a few times when I just wanted to make a run to a boss. The enemies stopping spawning after 10 kills feels like it was a sticking plaster for this: it should never have been necessary really.

     

    Probably the main issue is the changes to the combat system. I think it might be the rolling in particular. All other games had standard dodge/roll mechanics, that only changed with weight limits in 1 and 3: so players would have one of 3 roll types depending on their load. This is the only game where your roll distance and iframes are intimately tied to your build: I believe it's less weight, longer distance, more ADP, more iframes? Which sounds interesting on paper, but I think gave the designers a nasty challenge in terms of balancing enemy attacks.  They presumably had to ensure that enemies weren't a walkover for player builds with high ADP and low weight, and so added in attacks that track the player, use more challenging delays/timing in combo strings, and have slightly area damage/effects. The smelter demon is again maybe the worst offender (because he does all those things) and it's not as if he's impossible: I just remember feeling uncomfortable not knowing whether I was struggling with my build or my timing.

     

    So I think that could be the issue: the other souls games perhaps benefit from roll/dodge timing and invincibility being fairly set in stone. It makes the combat just seem slightly more fuzzy, and for some reason I rarely had that souls thing of feeling great after mastering and beating a boss. I always felt as though I'd either cheesed it, or struggled through. 

     

    There's other little things: like, stiff enemy animations, weaker sound effects in combat. I don't care much about the lack of interconnectedness of the world (someone on here once said it was dreamlike, and that's lovely and kind of ties into the story themes), but the general design standard is a bit off. So many greeny-brown flat textures, and great wide featureless flat hallways. And so many pointless bits and dead ends! Those 'Pointless?' messages are one of my overriding memories of the whole thing. And I don't want to get into too much moaning but I was also struck at the lack of polish in boss fights: most of them take place in largely featureless round rooms, and with atrocious music to boot.

     

    It's absolutely true that the DLC is a massive step up though. Fume Knight, Sinh and Alonne all seemed to avoid the issues that bugged me through the main game: amazing settings, a real sense of spectacle and a feeling of accomplishment on beating them. Alonne in particular feels like he could have come out of BB/DS3.

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  15. This is an amazing thread @dumpster! Loads of good info in here.

     

    On 11/03/2017 at 10:41, OnionNon said:

    Can this be done via the Wii channel on a WiiU?

     

    Yes, and it works really well. I -think- that the current situation is one of two options. Either you can use an exploitable game to hack the vWii on its own, as described here:

    https://www.lifewire.com/install-the-homebrew-channel-into-the-wii-us-wii-mode-2498643

     

    OR you can go through the full process of hacking the Wii U itself and installing the vWii hacks easily after that. This is a good guide:

    https://wiiu.guide/

     

    There are a few different ways of doing this, but with a bit of work you can actually get the Wii U to boot to a custom firmware running off an SD card. At the moment the Wii U-native emulation situation hasn't caught up with those for the Wii, but it's getting there. Retroarch is being ported, there are working Snes (and I think some arcade and GB/GAB?) emulators 

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  16. I was just wondering if there would be an explanation for why the lead character has her pants on her head, and then I bloody well remembered that the chap in the first game had his pants on his head as well! It's a series motif. If I remember correctly in the first game there was this narrative jump where, beforehand, he didn't have any pants on his head - like, none at all - and then we cut back to him and he had his pants on his head. Did the game ever provide an explanation for why he had his pants on the head?

  17. 3 minutes ago, JohnnyRyall said:

     

    Tachibana was really tough for me as well.

     

    I think levelling and getting better equips probably makes a bigger difference in this game than in Souls. I was using armour from the main mission when I fought him, and at level 12 in weak armour some of his attacks would one shot me every time. I did the twilight mission afterwards, and found enemies dropped armour that weighed less than what I was wearing and yet was about three times as strong. I didn't get a chance to fight him again, but I'm sure having that armour would have made a massive difference, even at the same level.

     

    The equipment and loot is the one thing I really don't like at all about Nioh. I love that in Souls every weapon and piece of armour is viable. I just can't be arsed to open an inventory and have a million variations on the same weapon to sort through.

     

    Oh, interesting. Ta!

     

    The loot element is.. well, something different to Soulsborne, at least. I just worry that the fine-tuning that allows you to make a good stab at any challenge at any level won't be there in Nioh: but willing to give it a shot. There's enough atmosphere in it to get me interested: loved the shrine in the main level, and the setting of the Tachibana fight is mmmm good.

  18. This demo was the first I'd played of it: really enjoyed it. Some of the Souls 'influence' was a bit flagrant (even the weapon buffing animation!) but I think there was enough added to make it stand out.

     

    I guess the lack of handholding was a carryover as well: I didn't click for ages that you could level up at the shrines, and I still have no idea what money does. The controls take a bit of getting used to as well, and I think it'll be a while before I'm confident switching stances in the middle of combat.

     

    I was slightly concerned about some of the balancing of enemy attacks as well. A few had damaging attacks that came out immediately and with little or no warning, and as has been said the boss's jump attack does some very odd tracking and causes camera weirdness. This isn't a massive problem but I found myself relying more on blocking than I wanted to. Or perhaps I was missing something . I did however give up at Muneshige: not sure if I was underlevelled or under equipped or just not good enough, but I was being stunlocked to death from full health from attacks that came out super-fast!

     

    Which I complain about.. but it's also great. He's an incredible boss. Just not sure if I could see myself ever beating him without levelling up! Which was the thing that the Souls games managed to always avoid.

     

    Anyway, I'm almost certainly in for it.

  19. 32 minutes ago, Dimahoo said:

     

    Two things.

    1. Sometimes Midi files have the insturment they roughly emulated within the midi files for each track.

    2. Beware program and bank changes - if you change a synth, the bank or program change embedded in the midi track(s) will often change it so something else so ensure you delete that bit if you can't work out why that happening.

     

     

     

    Cheers! Talk me through number 1: any idea how a modern day DAW would interpret that information? Or would it just ignore it?

    2 is really useful as well: I know Live does a good job of separating out instrument and bank/program change info, but no idea about other bits of software.

     

    I wonder: is there some kind of inspector application for midi files that would tell you metadata, bank changes, etc? Might be handy..

    • Upvote 1
  20. Here's what you need to do: 

    1. Grab a midi file for a gaming tune you love from one of the many sites out there (e.g...)
    2. Drop the file into your favourite DAW or whatever you like to use (Live for example will assign a track to each channel in the file)
    3. Assign instruments to each track
    4. Tweak it until you're happy with it (drum tracks/samples in particular may need a bit of editing)
    5. Profit

     

    I think this is more fun with tracks from 8 or 16 bit systems, but it's up to you. Either keep it in the style of the original or do something weird with it! It's easier with some files than others: I tried a couple that took me ages to work out what each instrument was supposed to be, but with others it's more obvious.

     

    Here is one I did a while back (and just realised I'd like to hear what others might come up with)..

     

     

    • Upvote 5
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