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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


Vemsie
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Don't approach the game as something to overcome, approach it as something to experience. It is designed to perfection and leads you in as such. All the talk of difficulty is smoke and mirrors - you will die a lot but ultimately it becomes fairly easy because it has taught you so well without you even realising.

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Just had the best run up to the second boss, almost had him too. Found a parasite which gives you health when you kill enemies, absolutely insane! Was a bit sad when I’d killed everything in both biomes. Bet that one comes around once in a blue moon.

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Na. This ain't for me. Just don't have the patience. Got close to beating the boss in maybe 7 runs and got beat. And frankly Im getting fed up navigating the drab environment. 

 

Can see why people love it though. Much like Dark Souls, which isn't for me either. 

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I had nearly a full day of this the other day continuing my biome 3 adventures. Basically I hardly made any progress (only getting towards the end of biome 3), over the course of many hours. Some of this was due to silly mistakes, some was taking way too many risks, and some runs were ended by particularly savage rooms with mini bosses and loads of enemies, usually entered when I was already on crappy health.

 

However even though it gets a bit frustrating dying, I just hop straight back in. The core gameplay is just so fun and satisfying. As you play more, thanks to the awesome no-loading, high mobility, framerate and your improved skills and map knowledge, you just zip around everywhere running and gunning, hoovering up items and treating the zones as a big playground. I've also seen a bit more lore stuff and unlocked a few more artifacts, weapon upgrades and so on. Even though it gets hard and can feel unfairly punishing at times thanks to RNG, its straight up fun and having to switch up weapons, parasites and artifacts really does add a lot of variety. The more I play, the more a 9/10 game it feels like. There's so much care and attention put into this game and its so videogamey yet still retains a great atmosphere and compelling story. Top stuff. They just need to sort out the saving situation!

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Had a quick blast on this last night after seeing the credits and not playing it for a few weeks. Blew me away all over again! The combat has such a visceral feeling and the fluidity of movement is exceptional. It’s just pure action gameplay injected straight into your veins! It’s a 10/10 stone cold classic for me. Now to get the Platinum!

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Regarding implementing a save feature, wouldn't that have the potential to break the game? It feels like the game needs you to go through a certain amount of cycle before it triggers certain elements? I was many cycles in before the game started throwing those green enemy health towers into the mix, for example. If I could save before the first boss then I'd have had that guys patterns down much quicker and be on to the next Bio without learning the hard lessons of Bio1. What if I picked up the parasite that lets you get health from killing enemies, I'd potentially have that for the rest of the entire game! While the idea of re-rolling the dice until I get a great set up for the rest of the, now only, run - it just seems straight up wrong. On the other hand this game is long and at the moment my gaming time is limited. Maybe if they gave you a random nerf each time you saved, like remove a consumable or parasite or take a hit on health that could work, or just add to players frustration?

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They just need a save that deletes itself on load. So save and quit. If you load it, save is gone. I don't see why you can't have that option all the time, or at least from certain points in each biome. 

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12 minutes ago, SpagMasterSwift said:

Regarding implementing a save feature, wouldn't that have the potential to break the game? It feels like the game needs you to go through a certain amount of cycle before it triggers certain elements? I was many cycles in before the game started throwing those green enemy health towers into the mix, for example. If I could save before the first boss then I'd have had that guys patterns down much quicker and be on to the next Bio without learning the hard lessons of Bio1. What if I picked up the parasite that lets you get health from killing enemies, I'd potentially have that for the rest of the entire game! While the idea of re-rolling the dice until I get a great set up for the rest of the, now only, run - it just seems straight up wrong. On the other hand this game is long and at the moment my gaming time is limited. Maybe if they gave you a random nerf each time you saved, like remove a consumable or parasite or take a hit on health that could work, or just add to players frustration?

 

Nah, people just want to take a break and generate a save state that gets destroyed upon reloading; a 'resume' feature as used in other games. Take a look at Dead Cells as an example.

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What I really want them to work on is a proper arcade mode. Set configurations of elite rooms and bosses, with varying difficulty levels (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran). A fleshed out version of the daily that is permanent, basically. 

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1 hour ago, Hylian said:

They just need a save that deletes itself on load. So save and quit. If you load it, save is gone. I don't see why you can't have that option all the time, or at least from certain points in each biome. 

Definitely this and make sure you can't backup and restore the save in any way.

 

At the moment my PS5 being held hostage by Returnal as I have a decent run going into Biome 3 which I've yet to beat. I've had to hide the controllers so my daughter doesn't switch on the machine and remove my progress by loading up some other game. 🙄

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56 minutes ago, Onze said:

Definitely this and make sure you can't backup and restore the save in any way.

 

I don't think that this is really possible if you're using regular PS save games - the user is always going to be able to back them up to the cloud.

 

They would either need to implement their own separate thing entirely or do some kind of check on top and refuse to load a save game if it's already been used once. I think this would then introduce an online requirement for the game, which probably wasn't desirable and I'm guessing they couldn't now introduce retrospectively either.

 

I can't imagine that they didn't spend a good bit of time thinking about this or that they wouldn't have done something better if it was practical. They must have known that the current approach would be controversial and even potentially limit sales.

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5 hours ago, Hylian said:

What I really want them to work on is a proper arcade mode. Set configurations of elite rooms and bosses, with varying difficulty levels (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran). A fleshed out version of the daily that is permanent, basically. 


That’s a great idea and would be amazing! I’d like to see a mode with Bayonetta/DMC style challenges, to work through too.

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I saw credits today.

Spoiler

Wow. What a game. One of the very best I've ever played, I think. I grasped early on that none of it was real, and she had perhaps gone insane, but that "ending" asks just as many questions as it answers - like what the fuck is an astronaut doing in the middle of the fucking road? Guess I'm not done yet, then.

 

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I Think of this game in the same vein as a late 80s/ early 90s arcade game - every time you start the game you start at the same place with the same weapon, but playing it multiple times you get better at it, and you get power ups along the way.
 There’s not really much RPG to it, so in my mind the Dark Souls comparison is a bit misleading.

 This to me is an evolution of R-Type or Turrican. And I bloody love it.

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On 16/06/2021 at 21:37, SpagMasterSwift said:

Just had the best run up to the second boss, almost had him too. Found a parasite which gives you health when you kill enemies, absolutely insane! Was a bit sad when I’d killed everything in both biomes. Bet that one comes around once in a blue moon.

I've played (and completed) the game and yet have never seen this damn parasite!

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10 hours ago, hmm said:

 

I don't think that this is really possible if you're using regular PS save games - the user is always going to be able to back them up to the cloud.

 

They would either need to implement their own separate thing entirely or do some kind of check on top and refuse to load a save game if it's already been used once. I think this would then introduce an online requirement for the game, which probably wasn't desirable and I'm guessing they couldn't now introduce retrospectively either.

 

I can't imagine that they didn't spend a good bit of time thinking about this or that they wouldn't have done something better if it was practical. They must have known that the current approach would be controversial and even potentially limit sales.


Just offer a save option and let people use it however they want, if they’ve paid towards £70 for your game the least they can expect is to be able to switch the console off or play something else. I’d love to know the real story behind this as I can’t believe use rest mode was by design.

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39 minutes ago, scoobysi said:

Just offer a save option and let people use it however they want, if they’ve paid towards £70 for your game the least they can expect is to be able to switch the console off or play something else. I’d love to know the real story behind this as I can’t believe use rest mode was by design.

 

Well, yes, going this far to stop people 'cheating' does seem fairly unnecessary; I wasn't suggesting otherwise.

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22 hours ago, Onze said:

At the moment my PS5 being held hostage by Returnal as I have a decent run going into Biome 3 which I've yet to beat. I've had to hide the controllers so my daughter doesn't switch on the machine and remove my progress by loading up some other game. 🙄

 

I picked up my decent run into Biome 3 yesterday. I had a large amount of health and a spaceman revive so I was feeling confident. Unfortunately I encountered a horrible room with lots of those tie fighters and a few of those big crawling dudes and things went south quickly. I don't think it helps just jumping straight back into the action on a later Biome after a few days.

 

Demoralised after that loss I didn't start up another run. 

 

Later that night my wife decided to go to bed early so I ventured back into the game at about 10.00pm. 2 hours later I defeated Biome 3. Such a great feeling. Unfortunately I didn't manage to take down the B4 boss but the weekend is coming up so I'm looking forward to jumping back in.

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The good news: my remaining scout log appeared in B3 after installing the patch and the trophy for defeating Nemesis popped-up after, well, defeating Nemesis.

Unfortunately two trophies still seem bugged, namely the 

Spoiler

House ones

 

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This is quite magnificent, isn't it? Glad I didn't read up on it too much about the gameplay or plot before going in - thanks for the advice. There's nothing hugely surprising but it's brilliantly presented and extremely atmospheric and a little mystery certainly adds to it. It's a pretty complicated game but very well designed, as people have said.

 

I'm maybe 5 hours in or so and Phrike has taken a dirt nap so I guess it's going fairly well? I didn't last hugely long in the second area, which was a bit annoying because I was fairly tooled up. It was some silly hour in the morning by then and I should have just taken a break, but I'm not really hugely comfortable with the single method of doing so and I just ploughed on instead.

 

I can see why they've chosen this approach to saves but I do think that some concession to practicality would have been more sensible. Unless you're happy to only play a single game at a time and the console is for your exclusive use, it doesn't seem very realistic. If players did use cloud saves to allow restarting multiple times from a save then they wouldn't be cheating anyone but themselves so I'm really unclear on what the point is. I don't want to have to worry about the safety of my in-progress game versus random updates or my daughter playing on it, etc.

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On 17/06/2021 at 22:32, Yuujiin said:

20 hours 42 mins and 55 seconds it only took me to get past Ixion. 

 

See what everyone is on about in biome 3 . Flying turrets can do one.

I finally got past him yesterday as well. High five!

 

As many have said, it's such a joy to play you just keep at it because you know you're going to crack it eventually. 

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I also managed to do the 3rd boss last night. Now that is how to do a boss fight. It’s slightly overwhelming that I’ve been playing for about 25 hours and have just finished Act 1. 

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