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This is now OUT :) on the Epic Store for the PC   15 quid until 19th Nov Well, its either this or Godfall :lol: 

 

EDIT:    Well what can i say?  its cute and fairly original -  but very much what it might be like on a bad drugs trip.

 

I have just been remote controlling a Strawberry in a Monkeyball - covered in chocolate to catch a Kiwi Fruit with a big nose!

 

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Gamescore  so far:    DRUGS / 10

 

Its like a Nintendo game i guess!

The main aim is to rebuild the town SnaxBurg  - but i feel theres a lot of freaky business hidden within this.

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I quite like this! It's very light, but it's really charming. It's like Pixar made a Fallout game and replaced all the shooting with puzzles. The voice acting is really good, I can't remember the last game that's actually made me laugh like this does. It's just a really nice, gentle game where you help people and catch some bugsnax. Lovely!

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Just started playing this, I’m enjoying. Problem I have with the ps5 version there seems to be some frame rate issues suprisingly and there appears to be no hdr. So when it is enabled by default in the system makes everything look washed out. Other ps5 games look spectacular with it on e.g. Miles Morales, No Man’s Sky and Demon’s Souls.

 

So I turn the hdr off when I play this.

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On 20/11/2020 at 19:32, El Spatula said:

Give it an hour or so and he'll think its amazing. 

Nah, I've already deleted it, the core gameplay of scanning and collecting got old after the very first one.

 

@Uncle Mike we've been over this, I deal with complex problems every day, I don't have time for it in games as well. ;)

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It took me a while to figure that one out. I tried to make it run into a tree. And a log. And a wall. And then I went...aha!

 

Enjoying it to that same point, we'll see if it sticks. My lad is loving it and giggling constantly. Between this and Astrobot, 2020 feels remarkably cheery all of a sudden. Which is nice, because as astounding as Demons Souls is, it feels a bit too much like a trio to Tesco right now.

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This started a little slowly but I stuck with it and I’m really glad I did - it’s ace. Ended up getting the platinum trophy for it and really hope there’s a sequel or some DLC.

 

Story definitely went off down an avenue I wasn’t quite expecting for the last part - it was all a bit bonkers :lol:

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I've been playing this the last few days and finished it tonight with all the side quests complete and bugsnax caught. Although I think there are a bunch of things the game does well, overall I didn't find it very engaging. On the plus side, its got a lot of charm, the music's good, the writing and voice acting are surprisingly well done and there's quite a bit of humour. Bugsnax is a nice original premise and although the very simple art style isn't going to win any awards, its pleasing to look at. But unfortunately, and crucially, the gameplay doesn't really hold up.

 

Bugsnax's pacing is very slow and the gameplay overall is very 'light'. Going above and beyond to catch all the bugsnax wasn't worth it, and the sidequests add plenty of extra things to do - but hardly any of them amount to much beyond getting more bugsnax, using combinations of methods you know already. Its worth noting that sidequests do add a few light boss encounters, plus you can learn more about the characters. But the added tedium they brought just felt more like ticking things off a list than providing anything new.

 

Catching bugsnax requires using gadgets which you unlock as you progress. Bugsnax have different behaviours (some are aggressive, some will hide in bushes, some like to chase stuff you shoot ketchup onto, etc), and you influence bugsnax in combination with your tools to try and trap them. Unfortunately the puzzles aren't very engaging (with a few exceptions), and to catch a lot of the bugsnax just requires different combinations of things that you've already done. Throw into this mix aggressive bugsnax who can bounce things into the air, set things on fire or freeze you or other bugsnax and it can actually get quite frustrating as chaos erupts around you. The tools are quite hit and miss in their mechanics as well, and the controls don't help much either.

 

The world is split into zones, each of which are small and contain nothing of interest except new types of bugsnax and biomes. I got the game on PS4 and really wish I hadn't - mainly because between each zone is a loading screen of 10-30 seconds. That would be ok, except there is *a lot* of backtracking and hopping between zones, even just in the main story. Add in side quests and mopping up all bugsnax and it becomes really irritating, especially as the areas are so tiny and have little interaction outside of bugsnax. Of course on PS5 there will be no loading screens, which will help a lot, but even so you will be going back and forth plenty. The game even does some cardinal sins like teleporting you to zones for missions and then leaving you out there after the mission's complete, forcing you to hike all the way back to base afterwards. There isn't even a fast travel system, which would have really helped the flow of the game.

 

All of this would be a lot less annoying if there was more to Bugsnax. If you just do the main story it won't be too bad - but then you'll finish it less than half the time. Ultimately a lot of the game felt chorelike and way too simplistic. Its a real shame because the things Bugsnax does make it endearing, and it was the tone, characters and collecting aspect that made me want to finish it. The bugsnax themselves are cute and funny and there is a satisfication to trapping them, but for me the overall gameplay and drudgery overshadowed the things I liked. I saw in the credits that its made by a very small team and sadly it shows, though its to their credit they managed to make a fun story and characters. I have to commend the game's originality and the unconventional and mad genius of the ending as well. I don't want to bash a small dev trying something original too much (and actually getting Sony to put in on their new console), and it is priced cheaply (and even free on PSPlus on PS5 I believe).

 

I think Bugsnax will appeal to some people, its a very easygoing and light game for the most part. One to sit down and zombie out to. I would say it would be ideal to play with kids but I'm not sure some of the subject matter, especially the ending, would be suitable. It does get a bit dark in places for what on the surface looks like a kids game. But I wouldn't recommend it to most people on this forum, I think you'll probably find the gameplay too basic and the pacing too slow. Its worth a shot for a few hours to see what you think. If you're still not feeling it after that, I wouldn't spend any more time on it. I'm glad I gave it a shot, but ultimately it wasn't for me. I'd give it a 6/10 or a 7/10.

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Good write up @Alan Stock

 

I fired it up earlier as my son had to come home from school early because he bumped is head at playtime and we wanted to do something chilled out on the sofa. He has been absolutely loving it and telling me how we should catch the Bugsnax, etc...

 

Slightly mindful of your comment on the story direction change towards the end... any chance you could spoiler tag a brief overview so I can decide if we should continue through it please as he’s only 4. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

I've been playing this the last few days and finished it tonight with all the side quests complete and bugsnax caught. Although I think there are a bunch of things the game does well, overall I didn't find it very engaging.

7 hours ago, Alan Stock said:

But I wouldn't recommend it to most people on this forum, I think you'll probably find the gameplay too basic and the pacing too slow. Its worth a shot for a few hours to see what you think. If you're still not feeling it after that, I wouldn't spend any more time on it. I'm glad I gave it a shot, but ultimately it wasn't for me. I'd give it a 6/10 or a 7/10.


Great read Alan, good to see detailed impressions.

 

I appreciate the fact you didn’t find it very engaging and and we’re glad to have given it a shot but did complete it, do all the side quests and caught all the Bugsnax. Dedication to a game you don’t sound like you particularly liked. :lol:

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10 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

Good write up @Alan Stock

 

I fired it up earlier as my son had to come home from school early because he bumped is head at playtime and we wanted to do something chilled out on the sofa. He has been absolutely loving it and telling me how we should catch the Bugsnax, etc...

 

Slightly mindful of your comment on the story direction change towards the end... any chance you could spoiler tag a brief overview so I can decide if we should continue through it please as he’s only 4. 

 

Sure - endgame spoilers follow:


 

Spoiler

 

As your kid is so young, the stuff that some of the characters have been through, like depression or anxiety, will be over his head - its all pretty light stuff though and just adds some character background, nothing very dark in there. Its the ending that I'd be wary of, and I can't really explain without completely spoiling it for you, so you can make a call. So, you end up finding Lizbeth down in a cave system made of snacks, deliberately remeniscent of being inside a body, after the volcano erupts and everyone is about to escape. Lizbeth has been mutated into a giant bugsnax monstrosity, her bugsnax modified body on the end of a snake appendage sticking out of a giant cake with straw spider legs kinda deal. Not too bad but might be a bit of a shock, and Lizabeth's girlfriend deliberately get absorbed and becomes another appendage so they can be together and stay behind to save everyone else (sweeter moment than it sounds). But still a bit disturbing! 

 

Then the really bonkers stuff kicks off. Lizabeth reveals bugsnax are basically evil parasites which take over people's minds and transform them into bugsnax. The whole island is made of bugsnax and made out of people who turned into bugsnax. Then the bugsnax attack the camp en-masse and you have to *kill* waves of bugsnax accompanied by pairs of the other characters. So for example the first wave is cute strawberry bugsnax which you use the trap on, except the trap has been modified to squish them, complete with red splat effects. You bash others with boxing gloves, blow them up (no gore), roll the ball with spikes on it over them, etc. Of course its not super violent but the sudden switcheroo to killing the cute snax you've spent all game capturing is a shock and might be a bit distressing for a young kid.

 

In addition apparently its possible to lose characters to the bugsnax if you let too many through - i.e. they actually die by absorbing too many snax. I didn't get this despite letting quite a lot of snax through, but I read online that doing the sidequests gives the characters some protection at the end. After the wave defense you all escape in a cutscene as monster Lizbeth arrives on the scene to help fight off the bugsnax, leaving her behind as the island erupts, and you wind up on the mainland with the others to say your goodbyes. You get a good ending if noone dies, although supposedly the final scenes aren't much different either way. Its implied that Lizbeth sacrifices herself in the bad end, but in the good end, amongst credits artwork of the characters post-game, you see a picture of her and her girlfriend in the alive and back to normal. 

 

 

4 hours ago, thesnwmn said:


Great read Alan, good to see detailed impressions.

 

I appreciate the fact you didn’t find it very engaging and and we’re glad to have given it a shot but did complete it, do all the side quests and caught all the Bugsnax. Dedication to a game you don’t sound like you particularly liked. :lol:

 

Thank you. I realise the irony! I am a bit of a completionist and I wanted to see all the sidequests through to see the character development, especially after I realised there were stuff like bosses you could miss out on. And of course there is the gotta catch em all mentality. Like I say, the game isn't bad, but for the long haul it was just too slow, repetative and simplistic for me. I knew it wouldn't take too long to do everything in the game, although I probably spent a good 5-8 hours doing optional stuff. 

 

I think if you mainline the campaign like Pele did above, a lot of my complaints will be far less prevelant, you won't have to do half as much backtracking and repeated puzzles and mechanics won't overwear their welcome as much. Its spending extended time with the game that for me the game's flaws become exposed. I still think the core game has issues but sticking to the campaign there should be enough story and new stuff flung at you for the good stuff to win over.

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