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Topic: What PS4 Games Are You Currently Playing?

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Frigate

@KratosMD I thought the dialogue was great (awful)! Definitely caught the teen slasher flick style with aplomb.

Frigate

KratosMD

@Gremio108 @JohnnyShoulder @Frigate Yeah I mean the dialogue does capture the carefree attitudes of the characters as they're about to face terror. But it kinda ruins the immersion for me as the dialogue doesn't feel believable. It doesn't feel realistic, it's more akin to a writer's interpretation of how teens are like nowadays.

Don't worry though, it doesn't ruin the game for me or anything. I'm more engrossed by the (unusual amount of) jump scares that keep popping up, which is great because that's the whole reason why I'm playing a horror game; I want to get scared. And so far it does a very good job of inducing fear into me.

Edited on by KratosMD

KratosMD

Kidfried

My previous post on Horizon Chase was basically a list of things I disliked about the game. With confidence I can say that list has only grown through playing more of the game, but it hasn't stopped me at all from becoming hooked to the game. I have already put a lot of hours into this game, and will probably continuing doing so until I've completed all of it.

Horizon Chase is a very simple arcade racer, that started life as a mobile game, but got ported to PS4 recently. It was added to the Instant Games Collection for the month of July, so I looked it up. I soon found out it was heavily inspired by one of my favorite games Out Run. It's a lot like Super Hang-On too, for the real arcade fans (or avid Yakuza players). After reading some expectations on Push Square and NintendoLife (which gave it a 9/10!), I went into this game with high expectations, only to be very disappointed. disappointed. Aside from the graphics and the fact that it was inspired by Out Run, I couldn't name any positive about it.

Why am I playing this game so much? Why am I having fun doing so, when there's a lot of problems I have with it, that I'm reminded of every race. I find it hard to answer that question, and I feel it's related to the question "What is a good game?", a question I still haven't found an answer too.

Two of my favorite games on the PS4 are The Last Guardian, Metal Gear Solid 5 and Bloodborne. All three of them games of which I can give you a long list of things I dislike about them. Still they also represent some of my most favorite moments in modern gaming.

I don't want to make any direct comparison between those three games and Horizon Chase. Not only would it be impossible to do so because of the scope of these games, and unfair because of the budget differences between them, but most of all because this game isn't even close to being one of my favorites on the system. What I learned from a series like Metal Gear Solid, though, is that 'a good game' isn't like a test at school, on which you get a perfect grade when you do everything right. No, Metal Gear Solid 5 is among the best games ever made, even though it's an unfinished mess.

Something similar (but also totally different) is happening between me and Horizon Chase. I can give you a long list of stuff that is stupid, or even game breaking, but it's still a game I can't stop playing. While I'm writing this, I'm on the train back home. I'm not thinking about the dinner I'll have home, or that feeling when I take my shoes off, or even playing Assassin's Origins. Nope, I'm looking forward to playing Horizon Chase... the most of all. Shiver.

It reminds me of the time when I started playing Bloodborne, and came on here to the forums to complain about the terrible camera, bad hitboxes and a lot more. I stood behind those complaints, but after writing those posts, I would immediately hurry back to my PS4 to return to Yharnam again. At the same time, however, my feelings about games like Bloodborne couldn't be any more different from my feelings about this little arcade racer called Horizon Chase, but I'll get to that in a while.

First I wanna take you back to two nights ago. I spent three hours trying to beat a certain track in Horizon Chase. I wanted to beat it before going to bed, but I just couldn't win. My CPU opponent would finish just a second or time before me every time regardless. I went to bed at 2am, still not having beaten the track.

Of course I already did everything a modern gamer would do. I looked on the internet for tactics about what car to use and look up gameplay videos. However, nothing worked and I went to bed, asking myself if I was really too bad of a gamer to be able to beat a dumb race like this.

The next morning, before heading to work I luckily found out it had nothing to do with my gaming skills, but rather the game was at fault. You wouldn't notice from just playing the game casually for a bit, but the game is set up in such a way that if you perform better at the first two rounds of a three lap race, the CPU racers will perform better too. As a result, any boost you spent on the first two laps are pretty much wasted resources.

In trying to win the race I was stuck at, I desperately tried to be as fast as possible in all laps, to win. My initial record on the track was 2:45, but the CPU had wun in 2:43. I then was able to break my personal record to a staggering 2:35, but to no avail: the CPU finished in 2:33. Only after I discovered this and saved all my boosts for the last lap, finishing in 2:55 (a terrible time!), did I win.

That's typical mobile game territory, this kind of rubber banding. No matter how good you perform, the game gives you the feeling you either a) barely made it, giving you that satisfactory rush to play on or b) just didn't make it, tempting you to try again or buy MTX. Was it put in there on purpose and for that reason? Or maybe because the devs just couldn't figure out how to make the CPU engaging? I don't really know, but I'd say it's bad design regardless.

And that's not the game's only problem. I hardly know where to start; frame rate problems, a turbo boost at the start that gives you no bonus at all, the bad draw distance hurts the game, and the upgrades make this game feel very grindy: you should not expect to win some of these races you're up against, until you have upgraded your car.

Still, I keep playing this game.

  • Is it because of Out Run? Do I want a sequel to that game so much, that I'm willing to put up with anything that resembles it. Like some people buy fake Rolex'.
  • Or is it because I'm addicted to the typical mobile game play loop? Many people are aware FarmVille is not a great game, but still they can't keep themselves from playing it.
  • Or is it really not like that at all, but is it a game that is great, despite of all its imperfections.

To tell you the truth, I find it hard to formulate the answer to that question. And, like I prefaced this story with, it's related to the question 'what makes a good game'. And that's a question that, even for myself personally, I don't have the answer too.

What I do know is what I like about this game. I like the variety in the number of tracks, each with their own theme. And I love the Out Run-y style of the game, because the environments are gorgeous. I also like the sense of speed you'll get with every race, especially as your car gets faster. I also like having to pick up items during the race, like fuel, boost and coins. It adds just a bit of extra challenge. It doesn't compensate enough for the before mentioned flaws enough to be a good game. I wouldn't even recommend this game to anyone but me at this moment.

I guess sometimes it's impossible to put a label or a number on a game. I don't think this game is 'good', 'bad' or deserves any number out of ten. I can say this though: this game has some good stuff and some bad stuff. I know that's not a very satisfying assessment, but it's what feels most true to me.

Edited on by Kidfried

Kidfried

Ralizah

Incredible post, @Kidfried

A couple of things.

1) NL gives everything a 9/10. Unless there's sexualized characters or anime fanservice, in which case the score usually drops to a 4/10.

2) It's not unusual to keep returning to something you know isn't great. Low-investment and shallow experiences are alluring, as they require us to invest less of ourselves into them. For myself, I find a truly great game, TV show, movie, book, etc. to be somewhat psychically exhausting, because the experience demands to be savored, and oftentimes I just want the entertainment version of junk food; in and out, no fuss, no nutrients, probably a waste of time, and I will barely even remember it the next morning.

3) With that said, your post taps into the big reason I refuse to play games designed specifically as mobile experiences. And the reason I almost instinctively avoid "free to play" games. It's that sense that the game is constantly dangling a carrot in front of your face, trying to get you to pay money for stuff. Bake that into the game design, and you have an experience that is inherently predatory and exploitative.

4) I think we both agree on what constitutes the "best" games we've played: the ones that offer experiences so fun or unique that they stand as monuments to what the medium can achieve, and what we inevitably compare other games in the same genre to. Most of my favorite games are probably deeply flawed, but that's natural: any piece of media that tries something new, unique, compelling, visionary, etc. is taking a chance, and taking chances opens you up to failure. I'd rather play something unique and memorable that's also imperfect than some death-by-committee AAA thing that checks a bunch of invisible boxes that I'm supposed to care about.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Th3solution

@Kidfried I have to agree with @Ralizah, what a fantastic post with wonderful insight! Thank you for that. It’s the most interesting dissection of a game that I’ll probably never play. Very insightful. I completely agree with you regarding a game being more than a sum of its parts — spot on with the MGS5 and BB comparisons.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Round of applause for you @Kidfried ! That was a really great read!

I have something similar with the game Star Ocean: Til The End Of Time

I find it rather average of a game and yet i've played it like 4/5 times over the years and even bought it on PS4. Just can't seem to get enough of it and I'm not entirely sure why 😅


And Ah ha! Ninty life just gave the Friday the 13th game an 8/10 @Ralizah soooo... I guess your point is proved near enough

Edited on by Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

You don't need to save the world to find meaning in life. Sometimes all you need is something simple, like someone to take care of - Aigis, Persona 3

"No cost too great. No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering" - Hollow Knight

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

RogerRoger

@Kidfried Fantastic piece, huge thanks for sharing. I particularly adore...

Kidfried wrote:

What I learned from a series like Metal Gear Solid, though, is that 'a good game' isn't like a test at school, on which you get a perfect grade when you do everything right. No, Metal Gear Solid 5 is among the best games ever made, even though it's an unfinished mess.

...because it's so true.

When we had the ability to create those "My PS4 Life" videos, I wasn't surprised when Sony calculated that I'd spent more time playing a buggy, glitchy port of an ancient MMORPG than anything else. We form attachments to games stronger and more personal than any other art, most likely because we're much more directly involved and given much more agency than, say, a book or a movie. Sometimes we can't understand these attachments but they're most definitely a phenomenon unique to gaming... otherwise, as you say, why else would mobile gaming be such big business?

So whilst you're brave to use Horizon Chase Turbo as a case study to try and answer these big questions, I think that there's ultimately only one single, factual truth in all of this.

You had a blast.

And maybe that's enough to make a game "good".

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Kidfried

Thanks for the comments, people. I'm not really comfortable writing pieces like this, so it's pretty encouraging to read these kind words.

@Ralizah Also, some great remark. Although I will add that a lot of gaming comfort food that I crave, often isn't nessecarily shallow at all. So, it's still a strange feeling to want to play a game that isn't very good.

Kidfried

JohnnyShoulder

@Kidfried I saw you playing the game the other day and did have to do a double take.

Epic post bro, we all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to gaming.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

Gremio108

@Kidfried Excellent post.

Horizon Chase Turbo has become one of this year's 'summer holiday' games in my house, with myself and my eldest son determined to 100% the World Tour before school starts again. I'm enjoying these rainy day gaming sessions immensely, not because the game is any good, but because the sessions are straightforward and fun.

What's more, only player one seems to be affected by the rubber banding. It's like I can control the whole field if I slow down a bit and concentrate on getting all the coins on a track. It's a strange experience.

On the subject of summer holiday games, we bought Minecraft Story Mode Season 2. After catching up on the final episodes of Season 1, we played episode 1 of the second season today. I didn't tell the kids this obviously, but after fairly disappointing review scores my expectations for Season 2 were very low. Episode 1 was a blast though, great fun.

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

JohnnyShoulder

I've been continuing playing Batman Arkham Knight and it has definitely clicked with me a bit more. Although I'm still not overly keen on the Batmobile I am not totally against using it, and traversal outside of using the vehicle is really cool.

I've been pleasantly surprised on a couple of occasions, most notably the return of Mark Hamill as The Joker[/spoiler] and the introduction of [spoiler] Man-Bat. The latter made me jump out of my skin!

I'm so so on the Riddler challenges. I like the ones when you team up with Catwoman to get the explosive collar of her. Not so much the ones you have to power up up a generator with the Batmobile.

We are now in a world of people being offended for other people who they think should be offended, who arent offended.

PSN: JohnnyShoulder

RogerRoger

@JohnnyShoulder Glad it's clicked a bit more; hoped it would. Some of the moments you've mentioned are the ones I'd been keen to encourage you to reach, as they're the parts that really sold the game. It's definitely got the slowest start to any Arkham game; the others tend to have an event that pushes you in at the deep end and makes you go "Blimey, right, I'll pay attention then!" but Arkham Knight just kinda shrugs and goes "Here you go, more Batman... this is what you wanted, right?" for a good hour or so before the Joker hook forces you to sit up and take notice.

Although even I've got to admit (and this is coming from somebody who really, really doesn't like her character in the slightest, ever) that the writers treat Catwoman like garbage.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Th3solution

@RogerRoger I’ll once again move my response since it has morphed yet again from PS Plus to now more of “how do I come up with the games I’m currently playing.” 😂 Hopefully this is the right place. It seems too specific to be a “Chit Chat” response.
Haha - Yeah, my list consists of an asterisks by the ‘plan to play next’ and a hyphen by ‘started and haven’t finished’ and believe it or not, I do a little research and put an estimated number of hours to finish in parentheses. 😅 - But yes, otherwise it’s a very similar system. Great minds think alike?

And I have almost started up Rime several times, but haven’t committed yet. I know it’s a short game (and a very obtainable platinum), so it would be good to get it in during a weekend soon. I’m also embarrassed to say that I didn’t list Hitman The First Season in my Plus backlog because I actually own the Complete Edition in physical form of that and have it nestled into that cozy space of games I’ll get to in due time. But hey — I am closing in on completing Lara Croft Go! I’m probably 2/3 of the way through. I think I’ll stick with it long enough to platinum it too. It’s another great ‘drop in, drop out’ game.

In reviewing my list, I have about 10-12 games currently started but not complete. That list would include a few like you that I leave open as possibly going back for a platinum one day (I’m looking at you Oxenfree 😒) or wanting to mop up DLC. Of the 10 there are really only about 5 that I’m currently making legitimate progress on, the aforementioned Lara Croft Go being one of the main ones. And I got a resurrected interest in The Council a couple weeks ago and resuscitated it from the backlog coffin for now. (Every time I play it I like it, but also get mad at it because of squandered potential).

Edited on by Th3solution

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

RogerRoger

@Th3solution It's ever-evolving.

Ooh, actually, your idea of researching an estimated completion time might be one I pinch, thanks. Recently I've found myself checking the website "How Long to Beat?" on a couple games I wanted to start, but knew might run into calendar obstacles (most recently, inFAMOUS). That could be helpful, especially since I have a couple "would like to replay" entries like Horizon which I just keep looking at and thinking that I'd be surrendering the next month or so, when it'd likely only be a couple weeks (although it does have a Photo Mode).

I think I've mentioned this before, but be in a stable brainspace for RiME. You may not be affected by it in the same way I was, but it crept up on me and the last chapter left me in bits.

Games like Lara Croft GO are absolutely things you can pick up and put down, and you'll get the platinum just by finishing it, providing you've been looking for all the hidden jars. Oddly enough, two of my genuinely in-progress games (not just things I wanna go back to for trophies or whatnot) feature Ms. Croft, as I've got half-finished save files for Tomb Raider II (PSone Classic on PS3) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend (PSP).

Ooh, best of luck getting back into The Council. I'll be fascinated to hear your overall thoughts when you've finished it. Which reminds me, I need to change the aforementioned inFAMOUS from yellow to green on my list; I've written a review if you're interested.

Looking forward to seeing what topic this conversation ends up in next. We're jumping around more than a game of "The Floor is Lava" right now!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Th3solution

@RogerRoger Hmmm, well - I think there’s a thread for most emotionally impactful scenes in games, so maybe we need to delve into Rime over there. 😜

That’s awesome that you finished the first Infamous. I will check out your impressions.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Gremio108

I've started Knack. My life can now truly begin.

To be honest it's actually a lot of fun so far, a couple of chapters in. Although I'm playing it in co-op, which probably helps. I could see it being a bit of a slog in single player. The combat is nice and straightforward, and it makes a nice change of pace from Sekiro.

Knack is a very cool hero, something which is heightened by the uncoolness of everyone around him. He is a legend in his own time.

Edited on by Gremio108

Good job, Parappa. You can go on to the next stage now.

PSN: Hallodandy

KALofKRYPTON

Battlefront II - though even after the update yesterday, the mode I really want the game for (Starfighter Onslaught) is broken. And has been for well over a year apparently...

Edited on by KALofKRYPTON

PSN: KALofKRYPTON (so you can see how often I don't play anything!)

Twitter: @KALofKRYPTON (at your own risk, I don't care if you're offended)

"Fate: Protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." - Cmdr William T. Riker

KratosMD

@Gremio108 I honestly think that one's first experience with Knack is enhanced due to the fact that you're going in with low expectations because of the "negative" preconceived notion you have gotten from the community. I remember when I first played Knack after having heard that the game is not that good and I came out really liking the game. I think the opposite would've happened if nobody had told me anything about the game and I went in thinking that it'd be a Crash Bandicoot platformer or something.

So yeah, I'm honestly not that surprised to find another person who likes the game. It's great fun and it offers a lot of content to boot. I still have Knack 2 in my backlog and I can't wait to finally get around to playing it!

Edited on by KratosMD

KratosMD

RogerRoger

@KALofKRYPTON Welcome back, buddy!

What part of Starfighter Assault are you specifically finding broken?

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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