Review the last game you finished

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Deku Tree
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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by Deku Tree » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:54 am

I beat God of War (2018) a few weeks ago, and it's one of the best video games I've ever played. The world is beautiful, the acting is great, I'm constantly interested in the storytelling. I'm super excited to see what happens next in the story. The combat is well built, and I had a lot of fun fighting stuff that the game suggested was supposed to be for later. Only time I felt frustrated by failure was during the "take no damage" trials.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by ScottyMcGee » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:57 am

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time - I've had this game forever, since 2005 I think. I was a brat back then and when I started the game the graphics really threw me off. The graphics are the worst part of this game. The animation is so stiff. There's a lot of awkward silences between dialogue and it kills the mood. The facial expressions aren't that great either. It's like watching dolls move around opening and closing their mouths and occasionally blinking.

I dropped it for the longest time while occasionally trying to get back into it. I was too much of a noob at RPGs back in the day to understand the combat system. Now, with much more experience (ha), I appreciate it so much more and this game has one of the best combat systems. It has this blend of fighting games thrown into it. Enemy encounters in this game are so much fun. There are so many details and features to the combat system. The only thing I hated about it was how pointless setting "tactics" to your A.I. characters is. They do the stupidest things and the end result is you switching between characters to stop them from doing something really dumb, like a mother picking up her child before they run into the street. I only really had to do this for the toughest, major boss battles though. Even so, that was aggravating. Either they wasted all their efforts senselessly or - I kid you not - they just stood around doing nothing.

The story was intriguing and even though it was spoiled for me years ago I enjoyed it. However, I always thought Star Ocean was a misleading title. The game is 2 discs and about 90% of it takes place on one measly little planet with its own measly little troubles. The story starts out with Fayt and his "friend" Sophia on vacation, before they are separated by a hostile force. I always assumed that the 2 discs implied that one disc would focus on Fayt and where he ended up while the second disc switched to Sophia and where she went, and then they weave back together. No. It's just Fayt like 90% of the time. They also introduce a random character late into the game. Like really late. Like "Wait, I have literally no time to level up this person" late. I mean, you could. But it'd be aggravating.

In short, the story starts off strong and then tapers off, then gets strong again with the plot twist but then the very ending is meh. Apparently you can unlock different endings depending on these "private actions" you engage with the characters throughout the game. I have to be honest - no idea that "private actions" were in here, I've played some of Star Ocean First Departure and thought they started doing that there - since the icon "Private Action" appears. In here, it's just a series of responses to conversations that will sort out the endings later.

This is definitely a game I want to replay much later on when I have the time for second playthroughs. I wasn't able to have the battle trophies on since my memory card didn't have enough room. Battle trophies take up a lot of space on a PS2 mem card. Next time though I'll have it on.


Ys I and II Chronicles: Ys I is a breeze while Ys II takes some more time. They even break the fourth wall in Ys II with this brief escort mission by saying, "Well, the game needs to be longer so. . ."

This is my first foray into the Ys series and I'm intrigued. I haven't played the original Ys I and II but this looks really good. Graphics, sound, music. I love that you can choose which version of the soundtrack to listen to - the original or the remake. Some things weren't apparent in Ys II. Near the end I had to look up where to go because I was just like "Wait what? Where do I go now?"

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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by I am nobody » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:02 pm

Abandoned:
Spoiler.
Tokyo Xanadu: Ex+: Falcom tries to do Persona, but replaces detailed characters with shallow anime tropes and an interesting story with a plot so determined to be predictable that it actively breaks its own rules to avoid doing anything interesting. Which is weird, because Falcom already did fantasy Persona with Trails of Cold Steel and it was great. I may come back to this just because the combat is pretty fun, but that's about the only nice thing I can say.

God of War (2018): I totally get why everyone else loves it. But the attempt to tell a serious, grounded story interspersed with absurdity on the level of the Baldr fight without ever acknowledging the disparity between the two just didn't work for me. It's probably the same reason I've never gotten into superhero stuff.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit: So, yeah, I can't get into superhero stuff. Gameplay seemed to be entirely about superhero roleplay I couldn't relate to and the story didn't seem likely to go anywhere interesting. The controls are also really bad. I can't imagine why they'd have changed them, but I feel like I'd remember it if Life is Strange had done something as stupid as only letting you pick lines with the mousewheel.
#44. Chuchel (7/1) (PC)

A comedy adventure by the Samorost people. Almost every puzzle is a single-screen affair, but the logic behind them is so random that they're probably more accurately described as skits. And as frustrating as the randomness should be, it actually works because it's so aggressively stupid. You play as a fuzzball that wants to eat a cherry, but the world's nonsensical denizens, what I assume to be God, and a mole rat keep getting in your way.

Mileage will vary entirely on how successfully the humor lands for you. It landed more than it didn't for me, and it still felt too long because the failed skits dragged so much.

#45. The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS4) (7/1)

This is almost exactly what I wanted out of the first game. It obviously still has all the worldbuilding issues the main game has, but you can more easily ignore all that since the focus is so squarely on defining Ellie's character rather than the world itself. It's basically fleshing out two sequences - one in the middle of the story and one before it - that were implied or mentioned in passing before, but which were nonetheless critical to the plot. While you don't learn anything you could've have guessed from the base game, the individual scenes (and especially the ending) are really well done.

The gameplay is what really shines, though. TLoU suffered from not being sure whether it was survival horror or a straight action experience, and it's best sequence was far and away when it briefly changed player characters and shifted decisively to the former. Half of this game takes that to its logical conclusion by greatly limiting your ammo and resources, making melee combat pretty much useless, and encouraging a non- or indirect combat approach to many of its encounters. It even mixes human and infected combat for what is somehow the first time, and has enough faith in the player to let you get them to fight eachother on your own. An unfortunate continued reliance on scripted spawn-in aside, it's brilliant stuff.

The other half is completely different. Most of it is peaceful, grounded exploration that exists primarily for exposition, but it's mixed in with some clever minigames that would've been perfect tutorials for the main game. It's all the more effective for the juxtaposition with the brutality of the other half, and it's some of the best writing in the game.

Easily one of the best DLCs I've played.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by Booyakasha » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:00 pm

I played 'Shantae: Curse of the Pirate's Curse' a whole bunch.

Trying to decide whether I want to get the speedrun achievements. That's two more playthroughs. It's a time investment, and I got things to do.
boo----------------xbox forum arm-wrestling champion

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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by I am nobody » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:46 pm

#45. Interplanetary (7/8) (PC)

It's pretty much worms in space but the worms are planets with orbital mechanics and there's a lite city building/strategy element. Turns consist of spending your energy and material to build weapons, more resource collectors, defensive placements, (counter)intelligence outposts, and city projects, and setting research, followed by aiming and firing any available weapons. You get a preview of the first few seconds of your shot, which has to account for the various gravity wells in the system as well as the movement of the planets. You win when no one else has any cities left.

In a two player game, it's brilliant. The complexity of the physics modelling cancels out the usual problem with worms/tanks games where whoever lands a shot first can just park on that shot configuration and land hits for a few turns, and the strategy layer gives you a path to victory through sheer numbers even if you can't out-aim your opponent. Research is speedy and constantly feels like you're making interesting decisions. In a 1v1 match where both players are human, I have almost nothing to criticize.

Adding CPUs is problematic, however, because the easy CPU is an idiot and the others seem to have access to aiming data that you don't. Players only get that short preview arc, their firing angle, and their force percentage, which is not enough to deal with the interacting gravity wells and orbital speeds unless you were to painstakingly derive all of that yourself. The result is that the AI can reliably land ridiculous shots even on normal that feel like mostly luck as a player. You can probably still win by beating it at the strategy layer, but it's significantly less fun.

The biggest problem is going beyond 1v1, however. Players with orbits closer to the sun are inherently disadvantaged by being both near the bottom of the biggest gravity well, and thus prone to getting hit by everyone's missed shots on the way down, and by having the smallest orbital area, meaning that a randomly placed shot that intersects their orbit has a higher chance of hitting them than planets orbiting further out. Even ignoring that disadvantage, however, bigger matches devolve into a meaningless cluster**** within a few turns. There's just nothing you can do about 50 missed shots randomly bouncing around the system hitting unintended targets, and it's not fun to deal with.

So basically it's a fantastic 1v1 game that gives you tons of ways to ruin it by adding more players.

#46. Star Wars: Republic Commando (7/10) (PC)

Man, the prequels may have been awful movies, but they provided the inspiration for some great games. RC follows a squad of, shockingly, Republic Clone Trooper commandos through three sizeable missions. And while the squad mechanics are no longer particularly impressive, the writing is flat, the graphics basic, and the enemy variety somewhat lacking, the game nonetheless succeeds because of how well put together those missions are. Sure, you're usually taking the same handful of command actions against the same handful of enemy types with the same half dozen weapons, but the difficulty curve is almost perfect, and the lack of character progression means you have to meet that difficulty curve by getting creative with your approach. Although bullet-spongey enemies drag some sections down, there are some really cool set pieces and most of the game's seven hours are a blast.

But I do have to call out how crap the one minigun enemy that can kill you in roughly a second is. There's nothing fun about walking around a corner and immediately dying, nor of having to empty your grenade inventory before it turns around if you spot it first. It's the one really bad design decision in what is otherwise still a very strong game.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

Post by I am nobody » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:10 pm

R-6 and R-7. Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's dark Outside and Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't so Frightening (7/12, 7/15)

One thing everyone always talks about when revisiting places from your early childhood is how much bigger everything looked back then. Turns out that applies to games as well - I'd have told you the Pajama Sam games were a few hours long if you'd asked me a week ago, but they're actually at most an hour and consist of around a dozen screens.

They're both more or less "use X on the Y" affairs as the puzzles go, which is really all you could expect from a game aimed at first graders. Still, the humor is usually effective, and there are a handful of jokes (mainly in the first game) clearly intended for the parents. There are loads of what are essentially prop gags to find by clicking on parts of the background, most of which are pretty creative, but are far from as numerous as what some Humongous retrospectives imply. Modern adventure games can and do have this level of interactivity; they just don't do it with the same sense of humor. There are also some really garbage mini games like the worst version of snake I've ever suffered through and Tic Tac Toe, although the latter at least has a charming introduction.

That said, the game is fully voiced and randomizes the placement (and thus puzzles) of key items on each playthrough, which is really impressive for a 90's kids game. Both games also still look great, which is remarkable for a 90's kids game.

I found it really interesting to revisit these games with a new perspective and knowledge of where the industry ended up going. They're probably not worth checking out if you've never played them before and don't care about the historical significance, but they're cheap and quick enough to be worth a look otherwise.

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