Author Topic: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?  (Read 398317 times)

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Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1025 on: February 21, 2021, 04:06:12 PM »
Untitled Goose Game (Switch)



I snagged this on sale in December then just didn’t even boot it up as I’m wont to do. I haven’t been playing video games lately with a pretty big project at work just taking up a ton of time and brain energy so when I unwind, I’ve been opting for streaming video as opposed to anything I have to actively participate in.

That said, Untitled Goose Game was perfect for where I am mentally. It’s a very short game, only took about an hour and a half to complete everything on the to-do list except the time trial ones which I probably won’t go back and complete. There’s no reward and no game over. Just a nice, mostly stress-free puzzle/stealth game which quite honestly, was good for a change. Video games are supposed to be fun, and when I notice myself getting frustrated with a game, I often turn it off once I start feeling like I’m not getting the joy I wanted or expected.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 05:01:55 PM by Adrock »

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1026 on: March 10, 2021, 08:25:28 PM »
The Outer Wilds (PC):

I first tried this game many moons ago, but dropped it pretty quickly after finding it overwhelming and kind of tactilely nauseating. But it's held in such high regard, I eventually went back to it and forced myself to get used to the physics and absorb the scope.

I have fairly mixed feelings. On paper, it's an extremely cool idea, creating a Groundhog's Day loop within a clockwork solar system. In reality, it kind of sucked to play a lot of the time and lacked a rewarding sense of interaction/progress.

I feel like, given the pretty strict constraints of the game, they tuned it way too hard in favor of dexterity-based challenges with the extremely touchy boosters. This is exacerbated by the varying gravity between different planetoids (or lack thereof), which keeps you from ever really getting a solid intuitive grip on what's going to happen when you have to make risky maneuvers.

There's also the additional bottleneck of stingy oxygen and fuel tanks, which is simply never fun. This is even an area where they could have introduced persistent progress into the game. Like, keep it possible to finish the run from the very beginning, but allow you to expand your tanks to make the game less frustrating as you go and reward non-critical exploration, of which there is a ton. You might say that this wouldn't work with the time-reset structure, but they already fudge that with the ship's computer somehow keeping track of all your notes, so I'm sure they could have just folded that in (alien knowledge allows your system to become more efficient, e.g.)

It was perhaps unavoidable given the nature of the game, but I also felt it did a not-great job of guiding your progress. It felt like things were either rubbed in your face or way too opaque, BUT with a healthy dose of "am I really supposed to do [thing] or am I just not getting it?"

I'll list some spoilered examples of points in the game where I consulted the internet out of annoyance:



-QUESTION: Can I land on the sun station or do I have to use the blocked teleporter somehow? ANSWER: You can land on the sun station but it's really hard, better to use the teleporter.

Great . . .

POINT AWARDED TO: Me. I got close to landing and could have done it. 


-Q: Is there a hidden entrance in the rocks around the sun station teleporter that can only be found as the sand drains at a certain point, or am I supposed to jet pack around the cactuses inside the top of the tower? A: You can jet pack through the cactuses, but it's much easier to walk through as the sand drains at a certain point.

Great . . .

POINT AWARDED TO: Me. I got close to jet packing through the cactuses and could have done it.


-Q: Am I missing something about how to get to the quantum cave, or do I really need to blunder through those catacombs like two minutes after the loop starts before the sand buries them? A: Blunder through those caves.

Great . . .

POINT AWARDED TO: Me. I watched a video of the correct path because I didn't want to waste more time restarting the loop and landing on the twin, but I could have done it.


-Q: Can I use the gravity well to slingshot up into the tower of quantum knowledge or do I have to sit inside of it waiting for it to fall into the blackhole? A: You have to shoot a probe in and then use that signal to find the tower in space after it falls through the black hole.

POINT AWARDED TO: Me. You can just sit inside of it as it falls into the black hole.


-Q: Do I have to navigate through that pack of anglerfish to get to the glowing orange orb inside the bramble meteor to find the missing explorer or am I missing something? A: You're supposed to use the music signal to find the explorer elsewhere in that space.

POINT AWARDED TO: Game. I forgot about the signal tracker. BUT you do have later navigate through those fucking fish, in a really critical context.


-Q: What the **** is going on on the quantum moon surface? I'm in the north pole placement of the shrine, but it's not warping me to the eye of the universe. A: That's not the north pole placement, the geography of the moon changes based on what planetoid it's orbiting.

POINT AWARDED TO: Game. Well goddamnit, I was pretty close to the north pole and I didn't bother going back outside to check the landscape because I had already landed on the moon twice on the same orbit and didn't realize it changed.


-Q: How do I get inside the giant storm on the water planet? Do I have to blitz it from space? A: You can blitz it from space or get up from the under the current layer in the ocean.

POINT AWARDED TO: Draw. I tried both methods and didn't think either was possible.


-Q: How the **** do I get into the Ash Twin project? Is there some secret entrance to a teleporter you can only find at a certain point of sand exchange on either of the two planetoids? A: You have to wait for the "eye of the storm" of the sand funnel to pass over that teleporter building and then run in.

POINT AWARDED TO: Game. Although this is bullshit. There's no reason to think that the sand funnel works by "tornado" rules rather than being a solid column. You can apparently fudge this by running over right as it moves past or by blasting down-thrusters, but I tried both methods and didn't think it was possible. Ultimately this is the only progress-related thing that I'm sure I wouldn't have futzed out on my own, but completely critical and egregiously poorly designed.



So, as you can see, the game fostered an unease in which I was reluctant to waste time "challenging" myself with the puzzle structure, because there was good odds it wasn't even a puzzle. But because I broke and looked these things up, it didn't feel like I had holistically overcome these hurdles, even though I would've figured it out/brute forced my way eventually (aside from the last example).

I spent a lot of time engaging with the game's logic and systems, and ultimately came away with a bit of bitter taste in my mouth, despite my deep inclination toward liking this type of project. Kind of a like a bad relationship! 



« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 08:37:07 PM by MagicCow64 »

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1027 on: March 14, 2021, 12:42:02 PM »
Bummer about Outer Wilds, I've generally only seen positive things about it so this is a useful new perspective. Will still probably get it if the Switch port is okay, to see for myself. Like you say, I'm all-in on the concept, but yeah first person gameplay in a low-G environment does sound like a recipe for nausea.

Offline GK

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1028 on: March 15, 2021, 01:20:14 PM »
Assault Android Cactus(PC)

Finally took out the final boss after a year or so of trial, error, & procrastination. Easily one of my fav twin-shooters. Not sure if I'll commit myself to getting an S+ Rank on every single stage or even bother with the new campaign+, but I may chase a few achievements between making sure I stay on top of my friends leaderboard.

Now if only I can get Steam's Remote Play Together working so I can try co-op...
Mission...complete?

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1029 on: March 15, 2021, 03:44:20 PM »
Assault Android Cactus(PC)

Finally took out the final boss after a year or so of trial, error, & procrastination. Easily one of my fav twin-shooters. Not sure if I'll commit myself to getting an S+ Rank on every single stage or even bother with the new campaign+, but I may chase a few achievements between making sure I stay on top of my friends leaderboard.

Now if only I can get Steam's Remote Play Together working so I can try co-op...

Nice! The last boss is so difficult without the Shotgun character. Really cool game, I was best with Starch (laser + homing missiles) most of the game, but couldn't do the last boss with Starch. Wanna say Coral was the slow Shotgun class right?

Offline GK

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1030 on: March 16, 2021, 12:09:11 AM »
Assault Android Cactus(PC)

Finally took out the final boss after a year or so of trial, error, & procrastination. Easily one of my fav twin-shooters. Not sure if I'll commit myself to getting an S+ Rank on every single stage or even bother with the new campaign+, but I may chase a few achievements between making sure I stay on top of my friends leaderboard.

Now if only I can get Steam's Remote Play Together working so I can try co-op...

Nice! The last boss is so difficult without the Shotgun character. Really cool game, I was best with Starch (laser + homing missiles) most of the game, but couldn't do the last boss with Starch. Wanna say Coral was the slow Shotgun class right?

Yeah, that's her. I used Lemon(spreader gun) for the majority of the game, including the final boss. I actually needed Coral to defeat that security boss, Judge.
Mission...complete?

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1031 on: May 20, 2021, 07:03:59 PM »
Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch):

I am not a Paper Mario originalist who demands that Nintendo reiterate the 1,000-Year Door. In fact, my favorite game in the franchise is Super Paper Mario, and I'm perfectly happy to see what new approaches IS cooks up for each new entry. That said, I skipped Sticker Star based on poor reviews, as well as Color Splash, which didn't seem to deviate enough from that annoying-sounding formula.

But Origami King had a pretty warm response from what I saw, jettisoning the purely disposable combat item system, so I decided to dip back in.

It's . . . okay.

It looks great, it plays smoothly, if a touch on the pokey side. I enjoyed boinking around the environments in a mildly Luigi's Mansion-ish fashion, digging up toads and treasures. There's also a surprising amount of variety in the adventure gameplay department, though nothing too individually mindblowing.

Less successful is the meat-and-potatoes combat. I just don't really care for the brain-teaser format of the ring system, which always felt either completely obvious or impossible for me to figure out in the allotted time. It's telling that the game rewards you for solving the puzzles with one-round fights and punishes you for failing them by making you engage in this system for longer. Nor is there really any meaningful leveling up, equipment, or other standard RPG components that help keep the mook fights interesting. By the end of the game, I was doing my utmost to avoid non-mandatory encounters and would groan out loud when I tripped into one.

But, weirdly enough, the boss fights are generally really good, tense and engaging, always introducing new wrinkles into the formula that you have to learn on the fly (man, **** those scissors). I would have been perfectly happy if the only time the ring system came into play was during those boss fights and maybe the odd hand-crafted mook roadblock with non-randomized layouts.

Really, though, the game overall seems barely interested in its traditional RPG vestiges. Like, there's even a completely real-time category of enemies, including bosses. I wouldn't be surprised if the developers wanted to jettison the menu-based combat altogether, as they did with their best game, SPM. I hope the next title is freed to become a full-on gonzo Nintendo take on the adventure genre, though with the demise of the Mario and Luigi series that seems unlikely.

Finally, regarding story/character/writing junk, which I guess has more salience in an RPG, it's nothing to write home about. The core plot is perfunctory and the weird insistence on mostly generic toad characters definitely holds the game back from developing any particularly interesting scenarios or interactions. The tropishly naive origami gal is pretty dull, and the non-koopa companions are likewise fairly bland (though the game earns points for the end of "Bobby's" involvement). The odd line of random toad dialogue is funny, but otherwise little of the story's presentation or content is memorable. Not a big deal for me, but definitely room for improvement.

I'd say a solid 7.5/10 game, and a marked improvement on the last Mario RPG I played (Dream Team), even if it's barely an RPG.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2021, 07:32:01 PM by MagicCow64 »

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1032 on: July 03, 2021, 09:28:30 PM »
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS):


I finally got curious enough after the Dread announcement to give this a shot, despite my misgivings about the studio and bouncing off Mirror of Fate.

On the front of things, I was impressed by the "game feel", which alleviates some of my concerns coming out of the Castlevania attempt. Samus feels very snappy and fluid and you can really fly through the environments as you accrue upgrades.

I also appreciate that they kept far more of the original Metroid II design bones than I was expecting. For the most part it sticks to the hivey ethos of the progenitor, where you're digging through discrete zones to root out the Metroids within, weird blotchy distribution of upgrades and all. The only significant deviation I noted was the digging machine stuff, which was pretty bad, but the extra stuff in AM2R I think is arguably worse and more bolted-on feeling. (Funny, though, that both approaches felt the need to insert an annoying robot boss.)

Well, also the final Ridley fight, which was actually challenging if a bit too protracted. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I think the final Metroid variant is also different from the original, and more obnoxious, but it was probably the right call to switch it up.

Visually it looks okay-ish; a bit bland as most 2.5d games like this tend to be, but Samus herself looks good. Definitely limited by the hardware, so I'm hopeful the final Dread product will benefit from higher fidelity.

BUT

Goddamn does the counter system suck, worse than I anticipated. It isn't just an optional thing that speeds up combat, it infects nearly every enemy interaction. Almost all the varmints have obnoxious charge moves that you can't ignore. You just have constant organic missiles firing at you at all times, and it sucks. The freeze beam is so weak and short-lived that it's equally annoying to freeze enemies and smash them with the counter as it is to just counter normally. Every beam strength upgrade you get is matched with redder variants of the same enemies that are just as spongy, and commonly even invincible without countering. And they do outrageous damage.

Like, in the context of this particular game, I can see the counter thing being welcome in terms of the Metroid fights and rewarding knowledge and skill to shorten the encounters, but as a blanket mechanic is absolutely blows, and I don't know why Nintendo okayed it.

I also do not at all care for the aether system, or whatever it's called. I did not want another meter to babysit in this context, and it seemed to directly contribute to the sponginess of many of the enemies. The shield ability is okay as a fallback when you're low on health, but the mapping ability in particular is baffling. You get it very early on and it just totally takes the wind out of exploration. You can just find everything automatically and there's no reason not to. Maybe this would have been okay as a late game thing, but as it is it totally neuters one of the core pleasures of this style of game. I really don't know what they were thinking with this, other than feeling like they needed to layer on a bunch of missile upgrades with lame lock-and-key solutions that would not be at all fun to discover organically only to realize that you just had to come back later lay a super bomb.

So overall, very mixed on this remake. I would probably prefer it over AM2R if it wasn't for the tedious combat. I think in the end the original Gameboy game is pound-for-pound better, more impressive and atmospheric. And, I think, absolutely playable.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 09:32:45 PM by MagicCow64 »

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1033 on: July 18, 2021, 02:21:47 AM »
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Switch)

I started with Bowser's Fury. It was really good and definitely helped justify double dipping (I was going to wait for a drop to $40 then settled for $45). I ran into a couple bugs. When I was at 48 Cat Shines, Fury Bowser wouldn't go away no matter what I did. I had to collect two more Cat Shines while Fury Boswer was raining fire then was forced into the "final" boss fight. The camera and controls during the Fury Bowser fights were pretty bad.

I finally beat the final two stages in Super Mario 3D World (Mystery Box Marathon and Champion's Road) and all I had to do was buy the game again after seven years. It's still good even if it feels a little dated. The limited camera mostly worked. When it didn't though...

Also, some of the Green Stars were infuriatingly difficult to obtain. I wanted 100% completion which is absolutely not going to happen because I forgot you need to clear each stage with every character. Will I replay every stage four more times including the aforementioned and obscenely difficult Mystery Box Marathon and Champion's Road?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 01:59:41 PM by Adrock »

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1034 on: July 25, 2021, 12:19:21 AM »
No More Heroes (Switch)

I got the Limited Run Games physical release.

This game did not age gracefully. Much of the humor didn't hold up under a 2021 lens. Maybe I found it funny when I first played the game in my early-mid 20s. At 37, it was mostly intolerable. I remember liking Travis Touchdown as a character except he's kind of a ****. Additionally, models for the red shirts and NPCs walking around Santa Destroy are pretty bad even for a 2008 Wii game. The graphics in general are extremely dated despite the art style and everything seemed darker, particularly the shadows.

The story was nonsense. I don't know how much of it was intentionally nonsense or something Suda51 would claim was intended to be nonsense if anyone called him out on it. Travis' primary motivation was apparently to sleep with Sylvia (as she promised once he became the top assassin) but also revenge he didn't remember he wanted until the very end of the game. Also, he won his beam katana in an online auction yet somehow is a world class assassin who "lives for killing" except the entire United Assassins Association was merely an elaborate con cooked up by Sylvia so Travis could kill his half-sister, Jeane, for killing his parents (statute of limitations on spoilers has expired). Jeane's backstory was also weirdly dark. If it was a con, why would so many people act like the UAA was a thing and subsequently put themselves in a position to get murdered. No More Heroes doesn't commit to anything, and it was difficult to parse out what was even happening within its narrative. Maybe that was the point. I don't know. I guess it's better to simply ignore all of that.

The gameplay mostly holds up, the driving simulator in the overworld and a few minigames notwithstanding. The fighting is a little mindless but I still liked it. I started the game using the Joy Cons. Despite barely using them, the left Joy Con began to drift. *lose horn* That said, I played most of the game using the Pro Controller, and it was... better. I lauded the original release for its motion controls yet I only went back to the Joy Cons for a couple missions that practically required it.

My main issue with this port is that Suda51/Grasshopper Manufacture made very few quality of life improvements besides 60 FPS and a resolution bump to 720p. The frame rate in the open world was absolutely horrendous.

No More Heroes' greatest sin was how little it respected the player's time, and the port, unfortunately, did not fix this. There are still no "Retry" and "Restart Mission" options. If you fail or know you are going to fail, you have to sit through the loading screens to leave the mission and reenter the Mission then click through the intro every time. And you can pass certain Assassination Gigs, but it's kind of not worth it unless you get a Gold rating because some are so difficult. If you do manage to pass, you have to drive all the way back to K-Entertainment, accept the gig again then drive back to the location actually play it. Y'all had 13 years and couldn't be bothered to fix that. Come on, man.

I don't think I'll play this game again though I don't regret revisiting it/double dipping. I'll probably play a palate cleanser game before jumping into the sequel. I would like to finish that as well as Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes before playing No More Heroes III.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1035 on: July 29, 2021, 05:20:30 AM »
No More Heroes (Switch)

This game did not age gracefully. Much of the humor didn't hold up under a 2021 lens. Maybe I found it funny when I first played the game in my early-mid 20s. At 37, it was mostly intolerable. I remember liking Travis Touchdown as a character except he's kind of a ****.

The story was nonsense. I don't know how much of it was intentionally nonsense or something Suda51 would claim was intended to be nonsense if anyone called him out on it.

No More Heroes' greatest sin was how little it respected the player's time, and the port, unfortunately, did not fix this. There are still no "Retry" and "Restart Mission" options. If you fail or know you are going to fail, you have to sit through the loading screens to leave the mission and reenter the Mission then click through the intro every time.

Thanks for this write-up!
Having never played the series myself, I've seen some people say NMH1 "deliberately wastes players' time" with the mindless overworld chores, to make... Some sort of point about how a daily grind may be boring and slow, but is more profitable/useful for progressing than the move-fast-and-break-stuff approach of the assassination lifestyle? Did you get that impression at all, or nah?

Travis did always strike me as an arrogant idiot meant to represent the worst player impulses. The type of person who has been conditioned by anime and games to think the world revolves around them, sees women as targets/objectives to unlock, and sees violence as a natural conduit for conflict resolution. Always assumed that was the central idea behind the No More Heroes title, but maybe I'm wildly off the mark there?

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #1036 on: September 08, 2021, 09:22:22 PM »
12 Minutes (PC):

I'd heard of this game in fits and snatches over the years and was very interested in the concept. I've thought for a long time that the adventure game genre could take a big leap forward with more contained and more interactive experiences. A time loop was a great opportunity to explore a new direction.

Unfortunately, it kind of sucks. This is probably the only game I'd rate a 5/10 and still recommend enthusiasts to check out. It's a kinda fascinating study of what could have been.

Given that this game was in the works for like five years, I have to assume that the gravity of the task, creating a 10-minute Groundhog's Day, was ultimately outside the scope of what they could achieve. That's either a troubling comment on the possibilities of interactive entertainment, or a big failure from the team.

It's easy to come up with possibilities on one hand that the game logically should have explored, but didn't or couldn't. Instead, the game feels very constricted within a constricted space. A few quality-of-life improvements, like a ZTD time map, or even a macro recording ability or a rewind, would have rendered the game absolutely trivial, which is probably why they didn't include them.

But someone should actually address this concept in a more compelling and articulated fashion! It's one of the unexplored possibilities of games!