Author Topic: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?  (Read 262167 times)

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Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #950 on: December 04, 2019, 05:58:40 PM »
The Legend of Zelda (NES Classic)

I did it. I finally beat the original Zelda and thus can cross it off my video game shame list. I also finally used the NES Classic for more than a lark.

In 2019, The Legend of Zelda isn't good. I have no nostalgia for it. I imagine if you didn't play this in 1986, you have no idea why anyone ever liked it. I can see how influential the game was and how subsequent games (in the series and gaming in general) used it as a starting point. Unfortunately, The Legend of Zelda is filled with an egregious amount of baffling design decisions including but not limited to:

1. Early game difficulty is clownfuck lunacy.*
2. Advancing through the game without a guide means randomly burning bushes and bombing sides of mountains.
3. Every dungeon requires randomly bombing walls.
4. Wizrobes suck a menagerie of dicks.
5. Poorly translated "hints" are obtuse at best. Seriously, they're like "There's a rock somewhere."
6. Ganon is invisible for most of the final boss fight. You have to stab blindly around the room and manage to hit him five times before having the opportunity to kill him with a silver arrow. (It may even be possible to enter the final boss room without getting the silver arrows).

I blame these on the fact that the game was released in 1986. For its time, The Legend of Zelda was probably amazing. I just can't appreciate it in the same way. Seeing Nintendo overcorrect for the next what, 30 years by holding players hands has a little more context now.

*It is possible to become overpowered for a bit. The Legend of Zelda is poorly gated. Once you have the raft and stepladder, you can pretty much go anywhere.

This is my second attempt at playing The Legend of Zelda. I made it through like five dungeons back in 2003 on The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition Promotional Disc. I gave up because I just didn't know what to do. I have no idea how anyone ever beat this game before the internet. This time, I consulted a guide often and still had to scum save my way through. Nope, not sorry.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #951 on: December 05, 2019, 08:06:59 AM »
So a while ago Broodwars mentioned Beetle Adventure Racing! as a racing game which did things a bit differently than the usual fare. I've since dug up the cart and yeah, it's quite a bit better than you'd expect from a licensed product.
While I don't agree with a lot of statements you made in this post (it looks like you're back on my list again, bummer!), it's at least nice to see someone else appreciating this overlooked game. The Beetle Battle mode was a bit odd and probably wasn't worthwhile adding over one or two more tracks. I've never been very into racers, but I can still have some fun with some of them with the right elements, and the right elements are these sorts of quirky racers. I haven't liked most racers after the N64; as the technology increased, they started getting more and more realistic and boring.

The Legend of Zelda (NES Classic)
I did it. I finally beat the original Zelda and thus can cross it off my video game shame list.
Conglaturation! ! !
I completed both quests of this game without the Internet. Not that it was easy or anything, and it took a while, but it's doable. I understand your bewilderment however, as for me, I have no idea how anyone could complete Castlevania II: Simon's Quest without help. One important thing to note about Zelda 1 is that it originally came with paper materials such as maps and item descriptions which were especially helpful for the beginning, so the game wasn't as obtuse as it now appears on modern releases. I also didn't play the game in 1986 (there's no way I could have!) and I still like it, though I think part of that is there isn't much else out there quite like it. I think the types of aspects people like about games will determine if this one is still worth playing, and honestly for most people I don't think it will be, but some people may still like it like I do.

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #952 on: December 06, 2019, 07:59:11 PM »
I also didn't play the game in 1986 (there's no way I could have!)
Not with that attitude.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #953 on: December 07, 2019, 08:07:04 AM »
3. Every dungeon requires randomly bombing walls.
Oh! I had forgotten to comment on this, but this isn't true. The first four dungeons can be completed without bombing any walls, as can the sixth one.

Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #954 on: December 07, 2019, 11:01:19 AM »
3. Every dungeon requires randomly bombing walls.
Oh! I had forgotten to comment on this, but this isn't true. The first four dungeons can be completed without bombing any walls, as can the sixth one.

I also think the "randomly" qualifier isn't entirely true.

Bomb spots aren't visibly marked in this game like in later Zelda titles, but (at least inside dungeons; the overworld is different) you can usually get a good idea of where to bomb based on what the map looks like. You still need to do some trial and error, but it's not completely randomly.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #955 on: December 07, 2019, 12:18:19 PM »
The maps in the last three dungeons require bombing through some walls to reach them, so there's still a lot of quesswork before they're found. That said, another thing about bombing walls in dungeons is that entrances to rooms are always in the center of a wall, so there's only one spot to try. It isn't as bad as having a whole mountainside outdoors.

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #956 on: December 07, 2019, 01:59:04 PM »
Ehh, I think y’all are being just a little pedantic.

This was the first time I completed The Legend of Zelda. I don’t remember anything about my first real attempt in 2003/2004. That said, yes, the bomb-able section is always the center of a dungeon wall. No one knows that at first. If you haven’t found the dungeon map, you’re just bombing walls to check. At least the blast area is pretty large. Also, Link can only carry a maximum of 16 bombs by the end of the game, and they’re not easy to come by in dungeons especially when bombing walls just in case. If it makes y’all feel better, I’ll amend #3:

3. Ever having to bomb an unmarked section of a wall at any point in any dungeon in order to advance in the game at all is baloney.

Ultimately, the point is that this isn’t good game design. The Legend of Zelda Is just full of stuff like this.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #957 on: December 07, 2019, 02:36:50 PM »
We probably are, and I do think your criticisms are valid even if I disagree with many of them. The reason I chose that specific quote is because it's factually incorrect, so it felt like you were trying to exaggerate the game's issues.

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #958 on: December 07, 2019, 03:19:32 PM »
In my defense, I wrote that original post almost immediately after defeating Ganon so my irritation at the game was fresh. The dungeons are mostly pretty short so perhaps they blended together for me. Some rooms with a secret bomb-able wall create an additional entrance to other rooms, merely have Rupees, or hide an old man (presumably quasi-Cask of Amontillado sealed in a room for reasons unexplained) giving vague advice. Some of them may have seemed required because I found them during my play through. My bad. I think the amended statement stands though.

Playing The Legend of Zelda in 2019 affected so much of the experience for me especially after having played later games in the series which benefit from decades of advancements in game design. I liked seeing where it all started from even if I won’t play it again.

I’m on the fence over playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. If I complete it, I’ll feel compelled to go back to Spirit Tracks as I stopped playing midway through.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #959 on: December 07, 2019, 03:47:56 PM »
No worries, that makes sense, I know how stream-of-consciousness posts can go. And if it weren't clear, I have no beef with your amended statement. Thanks for being understanding.

While Zelda II is mostly linear and doesn't contain as many opaque elements as Zelda 1, there are still a number of esoteric design qualities to it which will likely lead to guide-dang-it moments. Judging from your thoughts on Zelda 1 and some other retro games, I think you've not going to like the game either, albeit possibly to a lesser degree. It's also still one of my fave NES games, so that right there should be enough of a warning sign to steer clear.

I'm curious, do you know what it was about Spirit Tracks which made you stop? I actually enjoyed that game overall, however I do have some issues with it and I could understand certain elements totally driving someone away.

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #960 on: December 07, 2019, 04:42:00 PM »
Completing Zelda II is more for completion’s sake. I just want to say I did it. As far as how much I’ll like it, I may have simply missed the boat on NES. SNES was my first console so I tend to be more forgiving toward games from (or inspired by) that generation. That said, I plan to eventually give the Sega Genesis Mini a fair shake. I’ve had the wireless controller for a while now. Before that, the next game I want to cross off my shame list is Super Mario Bros. I never beat 8-4. I haven’t tried in almost 25 years.

Regarding Spirit Tracks, let me backtrack a bit. I liked Phantom Hourglass but never felt the urge to replay it. I don’t remember my thought process at the time. However, it’s entirely possible I only bought Spirit Tracks because it was a new Zelda game. That said, for the part of the gameplay I enjoyed from Phantom Hourglass (dungeon exploration), I didn’t think Spirit Tracks offered enough new concepts to justify its existence. It may have simply ran its course for me. I got to the midway point then just stopped. I didn’t enjoy the train parts.

Also, the setting and story elements didn’t appeal to me. It felt very out of place for the series. Magical train tracks? All the train-pun names? Granted, I have at least one shame for not catching that Marin is a nautical reference in Link’s Awakening. Still, that seemed far more inconspicuous than Anjean of the Lokomo tribe (unless Marin’s last name is LaSwimfin-Sailsmore). I’m sure that bothered me personally more than most people.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 05:29:52 PM by Adrock »

Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #961 on: December 12, 2019, 04:59:57 PM »
Super Mario Bros. (NES Classic)

Finally beat 8-4.

I never had an NES growing up. I don’t remember how the controller felt. I didn’t take the one out of the NES Classic box because I read that the cord is hilariously short. The 8bitdo wireless controller feels stiff and sometimes caused unnecessary deaths. Not sure if it’s going for authenticity.

Super Mario Bros. holds up. I don’t have too much to say about it. I’m glad I finally beat it just to say I did. Go me. Go team. Team work makes the dream work.

Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #962 on: December 13, 2019, 09:56:42 AM »
Super Mario Bros. (NES Classic)

Finally beat 8-4.
...

Yay!  Congrats on taking down one of the true classics and scratching that game off your list.

... Zelda II ...

Made it pretty far in Zelda 2 once or twice before, but can never manage to keep caring until the end.
It's hard, a bit obtuse, and (for me) not much fun.

Nope, this is one game that will never get off my list of shame.
I'm not going to try again, even with save scumming as an option.
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #963 on: December 13, 2019, 01:16:33 PM »
... Zelda II ...

Made it pretty far in Zelda 2 once or twice before, but can never manage to keep caring until the end.
It's hard, a bit obtuse, and (for me) not much fun.

Nope, this is one game that will never get off my list of shame.
I'm not going to try again, even with save scumming as an option.

The easiest way I found to beat Zelda 2 is after beating the first temple boss, jump over the spot where Link normally puts the jewel that turns the whole thing to stone so it doesn't happen and you'll just exit the temple but are able to replay it.  Then just keep replaying the first temple for the next half hour and you'll be able to gain a few levels, and always level up attack power.  This way when I get to the swamp and 2nd temple, I'm able to kill most enemies in 1-2 hits, and I repeat the same thing in the 2nd temple where I don't turn it to stone so I can replay it a few more times to keep leveling up my attack power.

This way when I finally reach the Death Mountain maze which normally would give me such grief, most of the enemies die really fast now, which as a result is letting me level up even more since I'm not getting Game Overs as often as I once was.  Then when I finally reach a wall where I'm not getting enough exp anymore to level up, I can revisit the early temples to put finally put in the stone and get an instant level up.

So basically anyone that want to beat Zelda 2, if you're willing to do some grinding in the 1st and 2nd dungeon, and be sure to max your Attack power as early as possible, it'll go a long ways for the rest of the game.  Magic doesn't become that important until the 2nd half of the game so don't bother leveling that early on and Life is also pointless since if your attack power is too weak, the tougher enemies will take so long to kill that your extra health will end up being meaningless anyway.  Doing this is what finally allowed me to beat Zelda 2 and makes the later half of the game so much more manageable.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 01:18:25 PM by Luigi Dude »
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #964 on: December 20, 2019, 08:28:33 AM »
Got my first ending after recruiting all three allies and defeating the final boss once on Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (3DS).  ...

... and now I've gotten every ending, and beaten the game in most of the different permutations available.
Curse of the Moon remains a great game, and the deeper I got into it, the more I appreciated the design they put in. Some points can feel tough or cheap, especially if you aren't doing a full character run so have limited options to defend yourself against specific enemies, but in the end everything is fair as you can and will master the various challenges with some effort.


Anyway, even though this is the game I've been picking up on-and-off for the past few weeks, I really wanted to check and see how people have done with completing games in 2019.  According to records in my backlog, it looks like I beat 24 games this year (some were short, some weren't) which seems like a nice total.

My goal is to find time for two more during the holidays - probably short/retro games that only take a couple of hours, or maybe something already in progress. That would mean I acquired the same number of games I beat, making this the first net neutral year for my backlog in a long time!

Did anyone else have gaming-related goals for the year, and did you come close to reaching them?
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Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #965 on: December 21, 2019, 04:29:34 PM »
It's freezing and I've had some PTO to burn at the end of the year, so I've played through some games.

Jedi Fallen Order (PC)

This game seems to have been picked over quite a bit already, so I'll limit my remarks. In one way, it was a relief to have a relatively focused single-player game like this available from a big publisher. They seem to be an endangered species.

On the other hand, it's kind of a lousy game. I'm not yet quite deadened enough to not enjoy moving through a 3D environment like this, but lots of it is just semi-automated window dressing. The whole Dark Souls thing also feel weirdly divorced from that kind of adventure gameplay. The enemy part could have easily been replaced by a beat-em-up system in the vein of Force Unleashed and it probably would have been a better experience. The mook fighting sucks in this game, and the enemy respawning mechanic makes zero sense in context. The Sekiro-style duels against bosses are better, but there's only a handful of them in the game, three of which are the same. And my god, fighting animals blows.

Devil May Cry 5 (PC):

So, I played through the first game on PS2 when it came out at a friend's house, and remember really liking it. It felt kind of like a 3D Zelda game skewed toward combat. I hadn't played anything like it before.

Years later, I played DMC 4 on 360, and mainly remember that it seemed to have little in common with the first game, and was kinda boring.

Year later still, and 5 seems to have little to do with either 4 or the first game. Gothic castle to, like, gothic underworld or something with 4, to modern city and vans and **** in 5? Maybe I'm just forgetting.

Anyhow, it came across to me as Bayonetta for boys, right down to the biblical sin concepts manifesting as creatures, with the same tiresome campyness, but executed more insufferably. The levels feel very bare and repetitive, and switching between characters, in combination with the extensive upgrade lists and convoluted EX mechanics, made it feel chaotic and strangely futile. I suppose you're meant to replay it a bunch for better scores and have everything unlocked, but I like to run through this type of game once as an arcadey beat-em-up evolution. (Not counting Viewtiful Joe, which is the best of this genre, and the only one I perfect-scored.) In that view, I found Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 perfectly enjoyable, with involving spectacle, well implemented gameplay variety, and tight pacing. DMC 5 by contrast had loading screens between menu options, and loading screens in between asinine cutscenes.


Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch):


I was optimistic about this, despite finding that Dark Moon soured pretty badly in the last third, and overall I think it's a pretty great game. It has tons of personality and bespoke interactive elements, which mostly makes up for a fundamental gameplay system that grows somewhat stale by the end. (Oh hey, this thing spins!)

The bosses are quite fun as set-pieces (muah to the dance floor battle), and it was rewarding to go back through the floors to clean up the missing jewels with a comprehensive knowledge of the game's design language.

Certainly the best game in the series, and it's hard to envision where it goes from here. Smash Bros. trailer ghost form?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 05:14:06 PM by MagicCow64 »

Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #966 on: December 28, 2019, 09:36:47 AM »
Beat Plants Vs Zombies (DS) and was mildly disappointed in the base game experience. There are a couple of relatively easy strategies that seem to be hugely overpowered, and the game didn't ever do much to really challenge or switch things up. Some new stuff opened up afterwards, but I'm not super excited to go back for more... maybe if there were a way to speed up the levels (which might exist, but I didn't know)?

Also finished Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (Wii U), but only with the bad ending. Going to spend some more time exploring that game to see if I can squeeze out the better ending, since it's been an enjoyable romp. Really do love the style, and find the controls and level design are pretty tight.

(Update - Got the good ending too. It's much more satisfying.)   :)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 08:48:43 PM by ejamer »
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #967 on: January 02, 2020, 03:22:01 PM »
Dark Souls Remastered (Switch)

Well what better way to end the decade then by playing one of the most talked about games of said decade.  After beating it I can certainly see why it became so popular and inspired many.  It was a very enjoyable game and I really liked the world design and sheer variety of enemies.  But I am left somewhat puzzles by many of the descriptions many use to describe the game.

I mean the game was challenging, but no where near the meme people use to say "this is the Dark Souls of whatever."  The game usually has several different paths the player can choose to go at any time, and if I was having trouble at one part of the game, I'd leave that place and go someplace else and the new place would be easier and some of the items and equipment I'd find at the new place would then help me back at where I was struggling at.  Same thing with managing my equipment and waiting until I hit a tricky section to start upgrading the weapons and armor that would suite me best.

Now dont get me wrong, I still died a lot and had many rage moments throughout the game so it's quite challenging.  But for the last decade I've heard so many people act like videogames had become so easy for the last 20 years and Dark Souls made them challenging again which is just complete BS after finally playing the game.  Yes the game doesn't have a lower difficulty setting which become standard in a lot of games, but many games with difficulty settings have harder difficulty modes that are comparable or even harder then this game.

So yeah, I had a great time with the game itself but feel many have misrepresented what the game actually is.  It's hard, but no where near this legendary level many make it out to be.  The beginning felt overwhelming at times but once I got used to the controls and how the varies aspects of the gameplay worked, I had a blast from there.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #968 on: January 02, 2020, 08:59:03 PM »
Nice job on Dark Souls!


Finished off Trace Memory (DS) (aka: Another Code) and rather enjoyed the game.

Point-and-click puzzle/adventure games are almost always something I enjoy, and this game from Cing didn't disappoint. It's very short, but that's probably good because some of the technical aspects haven't aged particularly well. There is some stuff I could look for in a second run through - I didn't solve all the mysteries and left some key story points hanging - but I'm not sure if I'll go back or just move forward to the Wii sequel...

Maybe 2020 is a good year to finally play through Hotel Dusk and Last Window also!
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Offline azeke

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #969 on: January 05, 2020, 08:06:15 PM »
Devil May Cry 5 (PC):
In that view, I found Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 perfectly enjoyable, with involving spectacle, well implemented gameplay variety, and tight pacing. DMC 5 by contrast had loading screens between menu options, and loading screens in between asinine cutscenes.
You probably forgot that W101 has just as many loading screens in between chapters.

DMC5 is a brilliant game, imo and it's one of only two games of 2019 that i actually enjoyed and the only one i played past several hours (the other being Mario Maker 2).

Playing DMC5 for hundreds of hours across two platforms (Steam and Xbox) offset the disappointment from Astral Chain which i couldn't even finish...

As to my games

Luigi Mansion (3DS):

I've had 2nd game and bought a remake of the first years ago by now. Release of the 3rd game motivated me enough to actually play and finish these games.

First game is a nice adventure type game. Some decent camera tricks here and there, some very cool environments (space room was very cool).

Collectathon element with Boo hunting gets a bit old by the end.

I liked it, though maybe there was an expectation of something more substantial if you go by nostalgia-adled fans.

Luigi Mansion 2: Dark Moon (3DS):
Now this one is a real deal.

Pretty much everything is dramatically improved here: animation, scale, design.

First starting missions are paced kinda bad -- they're way too long and have you going back and forth between very few rooms for no other reason than to show you cutscene that then unlocks a door for you to progress. But after that game kinda gets into the rhythm and improves both on the pacing of each individual missions and designs of actual environments. Some of the game's best level design is in later half which is kinda of a shame. Two of the bosses that end chapters are very bad (ice sled boss and the ladder guessing game), but thankfully they're one and done affair and usually you also get 3 starts on them on first try.

Scoring all over the levels and looking for boos is actually fun this time around -- you have to look out for things that are notably missing in the environment to find boos. I was actually motivated enough to find all Boos on all levels. Didn't really felt the need to 3-star rank all levels but i definitely see how one could get into the groove of 100% everything in that game. Jewel collectibles are very fun too.

I REALLY liked it. I liked it so much -- this is the game that ruined my circle pad -- the rubber thing came off exposing cracked plastic nub behind it. I still played and enjoyed the game with just that nub.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #970 on: January 10, 2020, 06:11:29 PM »
Devil May Cry 5 (PC):
In that view, I found Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 perfectly enjoyable, with involving spectacle, well implemented gameplay variety, and tight pacing. DMC 5 by contrast had loading screens between menu options, and loading screens in between asinine cutscenes.
You probably forgot that W101 has just as many loading screens in between chapters.


Did I forget W101 having long loading scenes between basic menu options, or between cutscenes within its (long) chapters? I recall everything being perfectly fluid inside the actual episodes of the game and its UI, but perhaps I have rose-tinted glasses on.

Another issue I have with DMC5 that I forgot to bring up is that I find Dante himself kinda unpleasant to play as. He felt sluggish. I much preferred Nero and V, and found it nettling that the more enjoyable playable characters got sidelined in the last third.

I hear you on the Dark Moon 3DS ergonomics, though; I made permanent indents in the circle pads with my thumbnails.

Offline ejamer

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #971 on: January 27, 2020, 06:32:59 PM »
The Kore Gang (Wii) was pretty uneven.

At it's best, the offbeat humor hits and everything feels like a love letter to early 3D platformers where you explore large stages, collect little macguffins to unlock bonus artwork, and chase multi-level goals to reach the next stage. In it's worst moments, you'll be cursing the terrible camera, mediocre controls, bolted on story that never quite manages to commit far enough, and bouts of uninspired level design.

When this game released (a long time ago now) some people were pretty excited, because it was a project that was almost a decade coming and seemed likely to be cancelled. A few have called it a hidden gem. Sadly, I think it falls short of that label and is better described as an oddity -- something best suited for people with patience for old-school design foibles and projects that didn't receive quite enough polish before getting released. If that does describe you then dive in; there are redeeming features and some fun to be had along the way.

Glad I played it. Glad it's done. Not getting rid of the game, but don't see myself going back for a second play anytime soon.
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Offline Adrock

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #972 on: February 06, 2020, 10:28:01 PM »
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch)

A worthy successor to Castlevania.

The gameplay is on point, exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. I spent over 60 hours with the game just doing everything such as upgrading rank and grade of shards, preparing food, crafting weapons/armor, mastering techniques etc.

Performance was mostly fine, a few noticeable hiccups where the frame rate dropped. It was still mostly fine. I can only imagine how bad performance was on Switch last year before the updates.

The graphics are a mixed bag. They don’t look horrible per se (mostly weirdly dark to hide some of the visual downgrades), but they’re definitely worse than what Switch is capable of. The game would certainly look better under a more seasoned team developing specifically for the platform instead of scaling. Once I noticed there were no shadows, for example, it was impossible for me to unsee that.

The story is typically forgettable so nothing new for a Koji Igarashi game. I’m okay with it though I think the world was rich enough to do more with. There is one decent twist toward the end of the game. Otherwise, the plot is full of tropes and mostly just there to give Miriam a reason to kill monsters.

Speaking of, I liked Miriam as a character and hope to see her again in a sequel. ArtPlay could stand to tone down her boobs. Not gratuitous, just unnecessary. Miriam’s voice actress, Erica Lindbeck, did well though her accent was woefully inconsistent. David Hayter as Zangetsu was... not great. He used his Solid Snake voice then added a bad Japanese accent. Hayter was part of the original Kickstarter campaign, originally supposed to voice Gebel. I get it. Gebel is barely in the game so if Hayter was supposed to be a major draw, giving him a bigger role makes sense. Still, I would’ve preferred a Japanese actor to voice Zangetsu if everyone just insisted the character must have a Japanese accent.

I was particularly disappointed in the final boss. It neither felt like a final boss nor held a candle to IGA’s other games. For example, Portrait of Ruin was the first game in which Dracula and Death are fought together. Bael was surprisingly tame design-wise.

Ultimately, I had a lot of fun. It has been a long time since I played a good Metroidvania. Who better to bring me back to the genre than the master himself. I’ll definitely play it again some day, preferably without the scaled down graphics and lower frame rate.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 07:06:47 AM by Adrock »

Offline azeke

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #973 on: February 14, 2020, 04:43:40 AM »
Assassin's Creed: Origins (Xbox One X):

I bought Origins with my Xbox One more than a year ago now. Have been playing it in spurs and finally finished it (plus expansions) last month.

One of the new things in this one is a new Skyrim-like compass-line system showing you directions to the icons on the map. Even beside that fact that i usually disable mini-maps and other UI elements like these, i never understood how to make sense of these compass-lines. Especially now that i have OLED tv that is prone to burn-in, it's even more important for me to remove all static icons. At first i tried to remove all UI altogether but you still need enemy silhouettes and health bars on for combat, so i kept only that. There was still an icon-reminder that i have an ability point and for some reason you can't disable it. This is bad because some of the later abilities require more than one point and you eventually run out of abilities that cost only 1 -- so this icon might stay there for quite a while.

Without minimap and all kinds of nagging reminders of what you need to do and where you need to go, game looks less "check-the-box"-y than it really is.

Eagle vision in previous Assassin's Creed games was basically just a Batman-vision ripoff with weird limitations, like in Unity you could only keep it up for 2 seconds tops. But someone in Origins team came up with a fantastic idea about "eagle vision". In Origins, when you press eagle vision button, camera is yanked up high and you get a literal EAGLE vision, so you can scout around from bird's eye view perspective. You don't have to bring up map every time you need to check up your immediate surroundings nor does the world turns into magical blue-hue allowing to see through walls and automatically highlighting things of note. New eagle vision is simultaneously more "realistic", more useful AND gives player more agency.

It even makes more sense lore-wise! Eagle was a symbol of the series since Assassin's Creed 1 and each game had eagle as visual element symbolizing the main character, and only in Origins eagles actually became useful -- as camera-men, like Lakitu is for Mario 64. It's hilarious how simple this idea is.

Eagle feathers also were a part of the mythology of the series, and they were brought them back too and re-connected to the myth of Judgement of Maat. Very smart.

Setting-wise i had doubts at first, because despite that the game celebrating the history of Egypt it is set during the times of Caesar and Cleopatra which is thousands years AFTER peak of Egyptian kingdoms when they actually were building pyramids and Sphinx and stuff. Egypt as a Roman province interested me less because we kinda got too much of Roman stuff in movies and shows. Still when i started playing i actually really much enjoyed a mix of cultures represented in the game: Egyptian and Roman but also Greek. It kinda reminded me of the first AC game where cities had different architecture, religion and languages.

Diversity of nature: from deserts of Egypt to lush mountainous forests of Lybia to flooded riverbanks of Nile. Culture-wise, it would be all kinds of buildings and artifacts from (already by that time) ancient Egyptian Pyramids to Ptolemaic Lighthouse of Alexandria to glimpses of Roman domination over both Egyptian and Greek legacies -- there are a lot of sights to see and climb around.

After i finishing the game, i also fully completed Discovery tour. I especially loved fantastic detailed illustrations and maps made by professional archaeologist Jean Claude Golvin used as reference. Fascinating stuff and i like that several times they specifically note how they go against historical facts to deliver a better game. At first i thought i will only do the parts required for the achievements but ended up doing them all.

Previously, Assassin's Creed game had similar missions like these where you were being shown a normal daily life of people of that historical era, i really enjoyed the one at the end of Assasin's Creed 3 because it was a conclusion to you building this village and bringing these people there at different times during campaign and as a reward you got to see them going about their daily life. Kinda like Tarrey Town quest.

Discovery mode is like an expansion of this idea and seems like a great re-use of historical material they collected for the game. It is a great mode if you don't actually want to play the game and just want to chill out and gawk at the sights and maybe read some historical factoids.

RPG combat and all the pointless loot management is really annoying at first, combat is still pretty bad. Enemy levels are really prohibitive at the start of a game during the first hour of a game where you don't have armour, weapons and abilities. A random soldier one-hitting you is just annoying. Of all things they fixed after Unity fiasco that RPG things was one thing that they unfortunately kept in.

Climbing is pretty good, both in the cities and the nature. The way how you can climb any rocks is kinda similar of BOTW. The mission design also took a few notes Breath of the Wild -- Origins is way more exploratory and trusting of the player. In previous games -- when you get a mission -- game would just plop an icon at the exact location on the map but in Origins mission givers would just say: "go to the west, there is cave there and do this and that". It is so much more immersive to navigate the space yourself and just look around without the game just leading you like a sheep towards an icon on a map.

Modern segment of the plot is becoming smaller and smaller with each new iteration it seems -- it's just one small cave this time around. However i still really enjoyed sci-fi time-travel segments with weird-ass visions inside pyramids and sphinx. I know i am the minority here but genuinely love that element of the series and i'm sad that they listen to their playerbase and keep reducing it. Egyptian pyramids have always been a magnet for all kinds of "ancient aliens", "secret society", "super advanced precursor civilization" conspiracies so it was fun for AC that is so seeped in all these conspiracies to finally go into the pyramids.

Assasin's Creed looks amazing, plays fine, Discovery tour is a nice extra and is fun in by itself. RPG levels-based combat is still annoying at times, but at worst you can lower combat difficulty and enjoy other parts of the game -- exploring and climbing around. A fantastic reinvigoration of the series. Very polished and a great game all around.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 04:47:58 AM by azeke »
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Offline MagicCow64

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Re: What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?
« Reply #974 on: February 14, 2020, 06:12:26 PM »
Strongly disagree with respected Azeke, particularly about the climbing in Origns^

Disco Elysium (PC):

I bit the bullet on this after it reared its head on the end-of-the-year lists.

It makes a strong impression in its opening hours, when its D&D overlay is still intimidating and when you have seemingly urgent benchmarks to hit with hotel fees.

Unfortunately, the actual gameplay obstacle gets neutralized after a few in-game days, and you're left with a "story" experience that incorporates an abstruse 20-category stat system to mildly direct your narrative.

Add that the game desperately needs a waypoint system, and has a needlessly clunky tool interface.

As for the story itself? I guess it's cool to see political consciousness in a video game, but I struggle to recall an actual message.