Author Topic: What are you playing?  (Read 558082 times)

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Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1725 on: June 17, 2019, 08:46:33 PM »
Got my Kickstarter backer copy of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Moon in today.

Guys...yeah, this game's the real deal, especially if you like Aria of Sorrow-style Igavania. All that extra time in development and Wayforward's additional expertise seems to have really paid off. I think you guys are going to like this one.  :D

So disappointed that Wii U is long dead and not going to get a copy. Although not sure if the game would end up playing on that console anyway.  Very jealous.  :)
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Offline Caliban

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1726 on: June 17, 2019, 10:55:29 PM »
I've been playing Guacamelee! 2. Good stuff gameplay wise. Lots of little video-game, and meme references too.

Got my Kickstarter backer copy of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Moon in today.

Guys...yeah, this game's the real deal, especially if you like Aria of Sorrow-style Igavania. All that extra time in development and Wayforward's additional expertise seems to have really paid off. I think you guys are going to like this one.  :D

Oh, good to know it's turned out well.

Offline broodwars

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1727 on: June 18, 2019, 09:50:32 PM »
So apparently there's this delightful little...completely game-breaking bug in Bloodstained. The big "Day 1 patch" came out today, and I noticed that some of the items I'd already collected had reappeared on the map, and there were a bunch of opened chests in areas I hadn't gotten to yet...including a chest after a boss that held a plot-critical item required to access the next area of the game. Well, what can you do? Time to restart. At least I only lost a night's worth of progress.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1728 on: June 22, 2019, 09:40:29 PM »
But are overall impressions still good, despite losing progress with the patch?  (Whispers I've heard all sound positive, but I haven't sought out any reviews yet.)


Just started playing Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS). Lots of fun; feels reminiscent of Puzzle Quest, but with more RPG elements and a slightly more complex puzzle system involved. Not sure why it took me this long to finally give Clash of Heroes a shot, because I knew it would be right up my alley... oh well, a good game design remains enjoyable years later!
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Offline broodwars

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1729 on: June 23, 2019, 10:19:42 AM »
But are overall impressions still good, despite losing progress with the patch?  (Whispers I've heard all sound positive, but I haven't sought out any reviews yet.)

The game is superb, despite me losing all my progress with that patch. I'm near the end of the game now on the True Ending path, and I haven't had any other issues with the game since that one (and only backers who got the physical disc will ever run into it).

I've been meaning to talk about it further, but suffice it to say if you really enjoyed Aria of Sorrow, you'll love Bloodstained.

I suppose one of the new features I can talk about are the sidequest and crafting systems, which Castlevania never had. I almost never use the actual crafting system since I'm finding gear considerably superior to anything I have the recipe to craft, but I'm finding cooking in this game to be utterly addictive. You take ingredients from monster drops, and you use Alchemy to combine them in recipes to produce a variety of food like rice balls, pizza, etc. What makes cooking so great is that creating food not only restores health or MP, but the first time you eat a particular food you also receive a permanent stat buff like an increase to your MP regeneration; luck increases; etc. Over time, that REALLY adds up. And any time you cook a food; food component; or craft an item, it gets added to the shop so you can just buy it going forward. You can also use a special item in the game to break down items into their component pieces, which saves on farming rare item drops if you use it wisely.

Back at your base, there are 3 primary quest givers: one asks for an increasingly complicated series of crafted foods, and another for an frustratingly obscure list of crafted items (seriously, I'm never finding the recipes for her crap). The 3rd tasks you with avenging the deaths of various named NPCs by killing a certain number of specific enemies from around the castle. Because subtlety is this game's name, all the deaths you're "avenging" are major Castlevania characters (Richter, Trevor, Simon, etc.). That's about as close to a middle finger to Konami as Iga will probably dare ever give.

Now that I think about it, there is one other thing about the crafting system I can mention, and that's that you can expend crafting resources to boost the "Rank" of the shards you collect, adding extra effects to them like extended range, etc. One cool thing I ran into last night is that you have a series of yellow shards that provide passive bonuses, but only when equipped. However, I'd found this one that allows you to see all the breakable walls within a certain area around Miriam, and it turned out that the crafting resources to rank it up were really common. So I maxed-out the rank on that shard, and the shard turned into a "Skill Shard", which made it a permanent ability ala my double-jump. That appears to be something only the passive shards can do, but it's very much appreciated.

There are also a fair amount of secret bosses that I definitely don't recommend hunting down because they will mercilessly murder you in seconds. I found one on the train, and it didn't go well, even when I came back with late-game equipment.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 10:36:37 AM by broodwars »
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1730 on: June 24, 2019, 09:07:55 AM »
Got my Kickstarter backer copy of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Moon in today.

Guys...yeah, this game's the real deal, especially if you like Aria of Sorrow-style Igavania. All that extra time in development and Wayforward's additional expertise seems to have really paid off. I think you guys are going to like this one.  :D

I picked up a physical PS4 copy.  I was concerned that the performance hit of being on switch would be enough to bother me.

I'm only through the introductory section, but I agree.  The feel of movement and attack match what you're looking for in a SOTN-like, which was the most important thing to me.  Despite my misgivings about 3D models on a 2D platformer, it does actually look pretty good.  I'm eager to dig into it more fully.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1731 on: June 26, 2019, 01:58:34 PM »
...
Just started playing Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS).
...

So those positive first impressions went downhill fast. What I said earlier about good game design lasting the test of time is still accurate - unfortunately opposite also holds true.

Base gameplay is still very good. But you never know when heading into a battle how strong that opponent will be, and gradations of power are hugely significant. (You can retreat from battle after seeing the level of your opponent - but doing so costs a nice chunk of the limited resources required to hire advanced units.) Winning is virtually impossible when you opponent's units have leveled up to be much stronger; they will trample your defenses and easily turn aside your attacks.

This is really frustrating, as it sets up a situation where you (mostly) have to work through battles in a particular order to build your own strength before moving forward - but without knowing which battles you have any chance of winning. Should you be taking on that rogue in the pub, or will he wipe the floor with you? Should you try to advance the story, or will that be a waste of time unless you've found a way to level up first?

So despite solid gameplay, Clash of Heroes has been outright wasting my time due to this small oversight and that's made it a frustrating experience. The weird part is that if the game was just a bit more linear it wouldn't be a problem... it's mixing in the optional battles puzzle stages that creates problems.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1732 on: July 12, 2019, 08:26:32 AM »
The further I get into Final Fantasy 15, the angrier I get at how amazingly half-assed the end product came out, even with years of patches & DLC. I'm in Chapter 10, and every important event in this story happens off-screen and what DOES happen on-screen is utterly underwhelming. Remember that entire Uncharted-esque action sequence with Leviathan that S-E showed in that E3 stage demo? Yeah, none of that is in this game. The Leviathan fight is a glorified QTE where you mash ONE button.

I think I may genuinely hate this game.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1733 on: July 22, 2019, 04:50:41 PM »
Up next: Mega Man ZX Advent (DS).  Open world action platforming with Mega Man styling... what's not to like?  (Although maybe I'm just a bit sucky, but the "Normal" difficulty feels a lot tougher than expected. Bosses have been making short work of me on the first few tries, and progress usually requires dying/restarting a couple of times to learn their patterns. Then again, maybe that's not so unusual for a Mega Man game?)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 07:41:58 PM by ejamer »
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1734 on: August 05, 2019, 02:00:50 PM »
I'm playing OlliOlli, the first one from 2014 or '15. On Wii U 'cos I'm a scrub, but I bet it's on Switch already. That said, I'm pretty close to giving up on the second-to-last level in Amateur mode.



It's a good game though, just very tricky. Can see this appealing to fans of precision platformers or maybe games like Bit.Trip Runner. This one isn't an automatic runner, you need to maintain your own speed, but it has some similarities in that you can't really go left. Initially you can still make sloppy landings, but you need to be pixel-perfect in the later stages. It's not frustrating luckily. Restarts are quick and it's basically always your own fault when you faceplant Skaterboi into a neon dinosaur.

The game seems deceptively simple, but isn't. All you have to do is reach the end of a stage without falling off your skateboard. Maybe grind rails & pop ollies to get over hazards. Control uses just 2 buttons too: control stick to jump and grind, A to land. Doable right?
Nah, this control setup is super confusing to me - and 5 hours in I'm still not able to get it down reliably. Why can't I use a button to jump? At least let me rebind this stuff, please! Really don't see the utility here to be honest. You can still use the stick to do different moves - Tony Hawk did this right 20 years ago! Adding to the confusion, you only use the land button on floors, not rails.
Maybe I'm just getting old.

But hey, if difficult to learn, even harder to master is your jam, go wild with this one. The artwork is okay, bit drab in the colour palette. I bet it looks better on Switch and 3DS due to the smaller screen (there's Wii U/3DS crossbuy btw). The soundtrack, by Dorian Concept, is a highlight though. While it's very typical early 2010s Ninja Tune/Brainfeeder stuff, it does really help lend the game some personality. 
But yeah, it feels like I've hit a pretty tough brick wall at this point. Can't imagine what the Pro difficulty level is like. The first 3 worlds went smoothly after a while, but at this points levels are regularly taking me 30 minutes each just to clear them. They should've really mapped 'restart' to a single button push, not a 2-step process lol.
Anyway, three stars, good game but it's very reluctant to even let you see all of the levels.


Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1735 on: August 05, 2019, 07:49:09 PM »
I'm playing OlliOlli, the first one from 2014 or '15. ...

Hahaha...   ;D

I've been thinking about trying this again... but my previous impressions were the controls just didn't feel good and it got to be frustrating a bit quicker than I had hoped.  Your report isn't encouraging me to go back and try again!


That said, Mega Man ZX Advent is moving along nicely now. My earlier struggles have mostly disappeared - either because I've got a more flexible arsenal or because I've gotten into the groove of fighting past bosses and then saving before hitting up the next stage.

The gameplay has become much more enjoyable as my play improved, but the story... oh boy, the story! It's the kind of foolish mess that makes you embarrassed to be playing. Seriously: the old original Mega Man games had far better story arcs and character development than this ridiculous piece of nonsense. That's a pretty low bar to be missing. Still enjoying the game a great deal, but it makes me sad they didn't have someone competent write the plot/dialog for an otherwise pretty great game.
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1736 on: August 06, 2019, 09:57:31 AM »
I remember trying Olli Olli and I couldn't get the hang of it at all.

Offline Adrock

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1737 on: August 20, 2019, 10:51:29 PM »
I caved and finally bought Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King. It was on sale and I had some Gold Coins that were probably going to expire soon. After tax, the game was $5.03. That was too good of a deal to continue waiting for a physical release.

So far, not bad. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King doesn’t hide the fact that it’s trying to be Zelda. Similar to how Axiom Verge was worse-Metroid, this is worse-Zelda. It’s perfectly fine, just lacks some polish.

I find the graphics and art to be a mixed bag. The 8-bit style is kind of played out to me. Sometimes a developer nails it and sometimes it looks as if the developer is trying too hard. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is an odd mishmash. Sprites like the characters are very simplistic while some backgrounds look too detailed for the aesthetic Castle Pixel is going for. The start screen with the really smooth logo looks like it’s from a different game. It’s all very weird. And the art is just really generic.

The gameplay is fine so far. I’m having some trouble with the way certain things control. I just got bombs, and they don’t control the way bombs do in A Link to the Past. I get that they’re different games, but Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is channeling Zelda so hard. I just have to get used to it.

Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1738 on: August 21, 2019, 11:32:37 PM »
I've almost finished Carcassonne (DS), but it's starting to be a real slog. I'm a big fan of the original board game, but playing the base version with no expansions and 5 players - which creates a lot of chaos, so that luck of the draw is accentuated - certainly isn't my favorite way to play. Guess what the last handful of levels in the campaign all look like? However, some people specifically love playing the game this way, and I do admit it's a decent enough implementation. (Multiplayer via download play is a particularly nice feature; I do wish there was the option to use at least one of the expansions though!)

In the meantime, I haven't really been able to decide on a "big" game to play next... so somehow Angry Birds Star Wars (Wii) ended up being pulled out as a time waster and is just sucking up a few minutes whenever they are available. It's a pretty good version of Angry Birds with some interesting power-ups available for different characters, but it's still Angry Birds... so, yeah.
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Offline Stratos

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1739 on: August 22, 2019, 12:15:19 PM »
I've been tempted top pick up Angry Birds Star Wars for when I spend time with my nephew, since the price has dropped pretty darn low. What are your thoughts on it as a game to play with younger kids?
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1740 on: August 22, 2019, 08:09:24 PM »
I've been tempted top pick up Angry Birds Star Wars for when I spend time with my nephew, since the price has dropped pretty darn low. What are your thoughts on it as a game to play with younger kids?

How young?  You might be better with the normal Angry Birds Trilogy if they are very young, as I believe that one has fewer gimmicks and special powers thrown into the stages. With Star Wars, you quickly get into zero-gravity stages, and birds with different powers that you have to time and/or aim, and other little novelties.

However, it's still Angry Birds... so we aren't talking rocket science here. My kids got pretty far into the game when they were about 5 or 6 and had a good time with it. If you are talking younger than that, you might do better with the Wii U version since I believe that one supports touch screen instead of dragging back slingshots using the Wii remote pointer?

You are right that prices are very good right now, and the game includes a ton of content that is actually quite well put together. If either the Angry Birds or Star Wars license is a draw, it's hard to go wrong here.

My son (7) says that he remembers enjoying it, but that it's best to play with an adult who can help if you get stuck. If you two were going to play it together, I think it would be a blast.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 10:10:54 PM by ejamer »
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Offline GK

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1741 on: August 25, 2019, 08:37:41 AM »
Been starting this post-work day ritual of firing up a console while waiting for the PC to load up before doing the internet thing. Went WiiU instead of Switch a few times and...

Got stuck playing Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. Already past the "halfway" point.
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Offline Adrock

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1742 on: August 25, 2019, 11:43:36 PM »
Got to the final area of Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King then did some optional item collection. There’s a lot of collecting in this game which involves a lot of grinding. I’ll get further into that in the other thread when I finish the game. I decided to call it a night for now. I was hoping to finish the game this weekend so I can spend my PTO days next week playing through Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (staycation, money is tied up elsewhere). Apparently, Artplay/Wayforward aren’t finished the Switch optimization update which is what I’ve been waiting for before starting over. I know these things can take a while so I’m not upset (the official forums are hilariously filled with salt). Until then, I’ll continue waiting. If no update by the end of the week, maybe I’ll boot up Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes.

Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1743 on: September 11, 2019, 06:22:27 PM »
Currently playing A Link to the Past on the Switch

Offline Adrock

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1744 on: September 13, 2019, 11:20:50 PM »
So, you know, instead of playing literally anything in my backlog, I bought Celeste and played that for a bit today. It isn’t that difficult so far except for some reason I decided, “Yeah, let me just get those strawberries.” I made a terrible choice.

Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1745 on: September 13, 2019, 11:45:29 PM »
I've been playing Celeste recently as well, first just because I wanted to play it again and now this week to try out the new DLC. Chapter 9 is a real bastard, the hardest yet and probably harder than most of the B-sides. It's not just the same bits over again, though, it includes some brand new ideas and mechanics which I'm enjoying a lot.
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1746 on: September 16, 2019, 08:58:36 AM »
Other than dabbling in the Daemon X Machina Demo to see if it's right for me, I've been mostly playing River City Girls. 

This game is about as good as it gets for side-scrolling beat-em-ups, IMO.  The combat feels crisp, moves flow fluidly into multi-hit combos that can get progressively longer and more satisfying as you purchase move upgrades, and so far has helped keep the combat from feeling too repetitive.  You can really chain together some long, slick combos and even juggle enemies in the air, it all feels real good.

And holy cow, the effort put into its presentation absolutely shows.  The characters so far have been fairly varied and interesting in style.  Different sections of the levels feel diverse/distinct.  The music is well produced and fits the tone of the game super well, so even though it's not exactly my preferred style of music, it put a smile on my face whenever it went into full-blown vocal tracks.  The humor is well written, and none of the game so far has felt pervy, which is what I was concerned with going into it. 

If I had any issues, maybe it'd be that I felt a little lost at points because while this isn't an open-world game by any means, you have to find the right NPC to spit out dialogue in order to progress the story further.  So at a few points so far, I didn't know where that right NPC was and ended up wandering aimlessly for a while before figuring out I had to backtrack to the beginning spot of the game.

Also, I imagine the $30 price tag is a heavy lift for someone who isn't super into brawlers like this.  I don't personally regret it since I am, and I can see that a lot of effort was put into this one. 
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1747 on: November 12, 2019, 04:20:24 PM »
Been playing Rodea: The Sky Soldier from 2015. The original one, on Wii.



So this is Yuji Naka's swan song on Wii, and in Japan it's even the final game on that system since Ubisoft doesn't grant them yearly Just Dance instalments. It took forever to come out (I don't think it ever got a stand-alone release here, just as a bonus disc with the Wii U game of the same name), and spoiler alert, it wasn't quite worth the wait.
Note: there's 3 Rodea games in total. This one on Wii which is Yuji Naka's original vision, a 3DS game which is pretty different, and a Wii U game which is basically an up-port of the 3DS one. The Wii U/3DS games aren't as well-regarded.

Rodea on Wii's a rather wonky and uneven game in which you play as a robot, you fly through the air and collect rings gems, occassionally grind rails, punch bosses in their glowing weak spots, and skip through story beats.
Consider what a combination of NiGHTS Into Dreams... and a 3D Sonic game would look like, and you're pretty close here. It's a Wiimote-only game, where you point at where you want to go, press B to zip to it, and maybe press A to use an attack while going there. This results in a game largely revolving around 2 things: keeping up momentum to stay airbourne (see NiGHTS), and locking onto enemies/objects and using a homing attack to knock 'em out (see Sonic).

The Good:
+ The stages are decently laid out for what they want you to do here. You keep pointing into the screen, so it makes sense the levels are narrow on both the X and Y-axis, but they stretch far into your Z-axis.
+ There's a general upbeat vibe, with colourful levels and a somewhat simple, arcadey quality that keeps drawing you in.
+ Levels are around 15 minutes long, meaning shorter play sessions are accomodated for.
+ NIS America provides both a Japanese and English dub. Switched to Japanese immediately after the tutorial, the voices are insufferable.
+ Every cut-scene and instance of dialogue is mercifully skippable.

The Bad:
- The story is laughably generic. Amnesia, robots with a heart, etc. Could be a Saturday morning cartoon.
- Every character is dumb, states the obvious, and the jokes are bad.
- Characters designs have that distinct Beyblade quality about them. (By which I mean a distinct lack of quality.)
- Camera controls are bad. Pointer used both for camera & movement, so it's always behind you. Turning is a real slog.
- Bossfights are severely hampered by the camera issues, because you can't quickly turn/look behind you to switch targets.
- No checkpoints during bossfights. The final one is 15+ minutes.

The only reason I'm posting this in the 'playing' thread rather than the 'beaten' thread is because I can't beat the final boss after 90 minutes of trying (for reference, that accounts for ~20% of my total playtime!!!). The game suddenly wants precision and high-speed turning from you, when neither of these are easily done with its controls.
Maybe I'll magically ace it in one go next time I try, that tends to happen to me sometimes, but it's definitely souring my opinion on the game a little.
Rating: 2½/5 stars, cautiously recommended, provided you're the kind of person who looks at NiGHTS or Billy Hatcher and thinks "huh, could be interesting." For what it's worth, this is at least much better than NiGHTS on Wii, but it's not great either. I wanted to like this more.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1748 on: November 12, 2019, 04:56:18 PM »
I have Rodea also but I never got around to trying it. I've heard about the last boss issues which is one of the reasons I haven't wanted to try it, as I like to complete games and this one sounds like a real pain to do so, or else I'd just have to leave it unfinished which is probably what I would do.

Have you played the Wii U version or plan to play it? Would be interesting to see how you think it compares.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: What are you playing?
« Reply #1749 on: November 12, 2019, 05:26:42 PM »
I have Rodea also but I never got around to trying it. I've heard about the last boss issues which is one of the reasons I haven't wanted to try it, as I like to complete games and this one sounds like a real pain to do so, or else I'd just have to leave it unfinished which is probably what I would do.

It's mostly just irritating that they make you start the whole fight from scratch every time, when there's 3 sections of the fight where it's very easy to die if you get cornered in a strange way while trying to rotate the camera. Checkpoints would've made it much more bearable.
I've watched the fight on YouTube and turns out I've gotten super close to beating the boss, too.

Bit more detail: Rodea can get hit 3 times, then you lose a life. But your powers also scale with your hitpoints; at full health your charge attack is more powerful, at 2 hit points you can still attack, but you're less powerful, at 1 hit point you can't even attack and your flight path is very short.
Thus, you can basically just be hit once without losing offensive capabilities (which double as speedboost). There's plenty of replenishing health pickups in static locations, so you can remember them and stock back up... but losing the attack means you lose speed and flying range, meaning you're less likely to make a successful getaway.
Throughout the game it's not a massive issue, in fact I would say the game is pretty easy overall, but during the final boss it compounds into a bigger problem. (At least, for me.) Will report back if I suddenly breeze through the fight tomorrow, now that I've drunk from the fountain of Youtube knowledge.

Have you played the Wii U version or plan to play it? Would be interesting to see how you think it compares.

Haven't played it (yet), but might give it a shot. From what I can tell, the 3DS/Wii U versions include some loot-esque stuff, semi-permanent item upgrades which are more temporaneous in the Wii version, and the colours seem a bit more washed out too.
That said, if the levels are largely similar, I don't really care enough to go through the same game twice. Getting the impression the Wii version is probably the better one; at least, Yuji Naka appears to think so.