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Topic: Games you've recently beat

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KALofKRYPTON

@Kidfried What's the song called? Always got time for a bit of Karen O.

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

Kidfried

@KALofKRYPTON I have always liked the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so I was pretty excited to suddenly hear Karen's voice in the credits.

I think the song is a perfect fit for the game too. Personally I'd even argue that the tone of this song better fits the game than any of the writing.

(Also, I listened to a lot of Robyn during this game. Listening to other music is something I rarely, if ever, do in single player games, but this game really needed some more uplifting tunes for balance.

I hope 'Shadow' has a bit more light-heartedness throughout, but going by that title I won't expect too much!

Kidfried

KALofKRYPTON

@Kidfried Me too, YYY are properly great. Really enjoy the Where The Wild Things Are (Karen O & the Kids) album too.
Thanks - it's on Spotify so I'll check it out later

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

Kidfried

@KALofKRYPTON Thanks for reminding me that album existed! I'll immediately put it on as soon as I'm home. Great taste.

Kidfried

Ralizah

Completed Zero Tolerance on the Sega Genesis (I'll be playing a lot of Genesis games these next few months, because 8bitdo's M30 controller, fashioned after a Saturn controller, is so brilliant that I don't want to stop using it!). That makes it the eighth game I've completed in 2019. Anyway, the game is a sort of a Wolfenstein clone from 1994 where you select from a few different playable characters to help stop an alien invasion of Earth. It plays about as well as other shooters from that generation: there's no real aiming involved, and you'll hit your mark so long as you're facing the right direction. Given that this was an early console FPS, your character is unwieldy and controls like a tank, with movement being heavily momentum-based and there being a complete lack of diagonal movement or strafing. This focus on momentum kind of breaks down when enemies attack you, because a bite from even the smallest alien will send your character flying backwards across the room you're in, and making it difficult to effectively retaliate.

The game takes places across 40 increasingly sprawling, maze-like levels, starting on an alien-infested spaceship and then transitioning to battles in a building on an alien-invaded Earth. With a variety of gameplay elements, such as fires that block paths and can be extinguished with fire extinguishers, optional night-vision scopes and life form scanners that you can use to hunt down enemies, it seems like there's a lot of space for creativity here, but the game neglects to take advantage of its design elements in novel ways. It would have been cool, for example, to allow the player to use the TNT in this game to demolish specific walls in a given level and create shortcuts, but instead they're relegated to damaging enemies, and they take so long to activate that they're pointless next to even the weakest in-game guns.

The game has a focus on hunting down and killing every enemy in the game: it will tell you how many enemies there are on a given level in the on-screen HUD and, upon completely eradicating all of them, you're given a password in the start screen, presumably from which you can pick the game back up later. It's an unnecessary if you're not going for 100% completion (the game doesn't seem to reward you at all for doing this) or don't care to use a password in a given zone, and, to be honest, in the late game's often labyrinthine map, I simply opted to bypass most of the enemies and gun for the exit.

Death is handled in an interesting way in this game. If your character dies, he stays dead permanently, and you're tasked with selecting another one of the playable characters to continue the quest. If all of the characters are killed, then it's game over.

It's not terrible for an incredibly old console FPS if you keep the technical limitations in mind. Draw distance is so poor that you often can't clearly see enemies until they're right on top of you (thankfully, they'll appear on your bio-scanner when they get close, and you'll often notice them there long before you can visibly distinguish them from the pixelated backgrounds). The framerate is low to begin with (seems well below 30 in-game, from what I can tell) and only gets worse as multiple enemies crowd the screen, often turning the game into a kind of slideshow. There's also no real creativity to the campaign, and enemy variety is largely aesthetic in nature. The chiptune soundtrack is infectious, though, and I felt compelled to keep coming back and shoot more aliens.

4/10

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Th3solution

By way of follow up, I did go through Virginia again today (the game, not the state 😆). I played it through more quickly this time and in just two play sessions with no other games in between. It definitely made more sense this time. And I realized that I was way off in my previous interpretations of the story. I don’t think there is a change of playable character, as I previously thought. The one sequence toward the end where the perspective keeps changing is more of a dream sequence I think. It’s actually really hard to know what is Dreams or visions and what sections are reality. I was totally confused the first time and thought that Maria and Judith Ortega were the same person and that she had changed her name when she was investigated by the FBI. I now realize Judith is the mother. I also thought the dying man at the end was Maria’s father, since we see the hospital bed in her apartment, and I couldn’t figure out why Anne Tarver would have the broken key, which further fueled my theory that you play as different characters and just don’t realize your seeing things from various perspectives. I now realize that is flashback to Anne’s fathers death. The recurring visions of the door and the furnace make more sense, given that his dying wish was to burn a secret box, that we never see what was contained therein.
As a story piece, it’s great to pontificate about. It’s the most complex and symbolic game narrative I’ve played since NieR: Automata. I enjoyed it, but definitely recommend a second playthrough in order to make sense of the storyline and symbolic message.
@RogerRoger 😁

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

RogerRoger

@Th3solution I thought you might change your mind about a few things!

And that's great, not least because it shows how context and personal input can change the game's narrative in totally unexpected ways. I actually really liked your first theory (despite it being, and I mean this with the greatest of respect, utterly bonkers)!

Congratulations on the platinum, and thanks for sharing your additional thoughts!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Th3solution

@RogerRoger Thanks! And for any video game developers out there who want to make a mind blowing narrative experience, I think that would actually make an awesome adventure game — a first person game where you play through a mysterious sequence of events in jumbled up order and as different characters, except you don’t know you’re routinely changing to see things through another person’s eyes because you can’t see your own character in the first person view. And then the game pulls it all together at the end and everything falls into place as the secret is revealed. It’ll be awesome. Now it just needs a story. Mr Kojima, if you’re out there, are you interested? 😉
I won’t ask for much on the royalties either. Just ... maybe 30% of profits and I want to be the one to give the acceptance speech for Game of the Year at the Game Award Show.

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

Rudy_Manchego

I beat Bayonetta 2 on Friday on the Switch and, slight reservations about the sexualization of the character, thought it was great and really glad I gave both games another go after an aborted attempt on the 360. I will probably buy Bayonetta 3 day 1 IF it isn't actually stuck in development hell for ever.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

https://jambags.co.uk

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Ralizah

I finished Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. That'll make it the ninth game completed in 2019. Anyway, I "finished" it in the sense of clearing the story mode after having obtained the true ending, and played through the Classic Mode routes for every base character in the game (plus the free DLC Piranha Plant). I've also played through all of the other modes at least once and cleared 107 of the 125+ trophies in the game. I'm pretty confident I've experienced the bulk of the unique content this game has to offer. For the record, this all took me 80+ hours to accomplish.

Smash Ultimate doesn't re-invent the wheel. What it does instead is to radically expand the scope of the in-game content (a hugely meaty adventure mode, 1000+ spirits to collect, an insane 75 character roster that represents pretty much everyone of any note from the Nintendoverse, a stage selection screen so large that it can actually be difficult to find what you're looking for at times, and apparently more than 24 hours worth of unlockable music), as implied by the word "Ultimate" in the title. While much of the content isn't new, having all of it together in one game produces a positively overwhelming effect. There are a few modes missing in this entry, but they're all, invariably, ones I'd consider to be filler, such as home-run contest, or the target mode from the previous game.

While most of the content in this game is from previous entries in the series, it's very much still a 'new' game, and you'll immediately get a sense of this when you start a match. The combat in this game, quite simply, is far slicker, faster, and more visceral (especially now that the game does these wonderful little split-second close-up shots when you've inflicted an attack on an enemy that's likely to smash them) than it was in Smash 4/Brawl, yet it also has a weightiness to it that Melee on the Gamecube lacked. This is the best "feeling" Smash game I've ever played.

I really, really like the way single-player content is handled in this game. The World of Light adventure mode is sprawling, encompassing huge maps, limited puzzle solving elements, character customization via a skill tree, and various spirits in this game are represented through the use of creative battle conditions that act as a sort of reference to the character that the spirit stands in for. Equipping spirits adds a sort of RPG feel to proceedings, and helps structure the way you progress. It's also quite cool starting with Kirby and gradually unlocking all of the fighters over the course of the adventure, and it's a great introduction to the diverse set of fighters you'll be engaging with over the course of the game. Also, the final battle and true ending to adventure mode are, dare I say, quite spectacular. The Classic Mode runs have also been improved: the enemies and bosses you fight are now themed around the character. So, for example, Link will fight Ganondorf as the final boss in his classic mode routes. The Street Fighter characters face off against other, mostly humanoid, fighters in HP battles, similar to how you would play arcade mode in a Street Fighter game. Finally, the spirit board offers a randomized set of spirits to face off against at any given time and is great for quick matches. It's also fun during events to try and collect all of the themed spirits on the board, which also usually reward you with extra gold for defeating them during the event.

The use of spirits really ties this game together as an experience, as you'll use them to unlock new paths and gain the upper-hand in various Spirit Board and World of Light matches, and rewards from pretty much every major game mode grant you materials to upgrade your spirits, new spirits to add to your collection, etc. The gameplay leads to rewards which feed directly back into future gameplay sessions. It's a beautiful cycle.

There are still quite a number of new additions to the cast in this game, and most of them are pretty great. I love the attention to detail with the Castlevania characters, for example, whose animations and controls are extremely similar to the way they're represented in the games they come from. The best additions are Ridley and King K. Rool: the former because of his remarkably aggressive moveset and playstyle, and the latter because of how wonderfully ridiculous he is. Even with characters I'm not fond of, like the Inklings, I still appreciate the amount of considering and detail put into this movesets and animations: everything the inklings do in this game is ripped straight from your average Splatoon match.

Smash Ultimate is also one of the most well-optimized games on the platform. While a number of first-party Switch games have suffered from resolution or control drawbacks in handheld mode (Xenoblade 2 and Yoshi's Crafted World both sink to absurdly low resolutions when undocked; Mario Odyssey's controls are somewhat gimped in handheld mode as well), this game simply looks, runs, and controls perfect no matter how you're playing it. Granted, it obviously looks better in a higher resolution on an HDTV, but this is also the best-looking portable game on the system. Like with Smash 3DS/Wii U, I've again found myself drawn to its value as a portable game that provides highly entertaining short bursts of gameplay, and probably a good 75 of the 80+ hours I've played this have been in handheld mode. It's such a simple thing to pull it out for a quick bout here and there, and having a beautiful HD version of the game be this convenient to play made me fall back in love with the system all over again.

It's definitely the best single-player fighting game I've ever played, but there are some imperfections here. While the adventure mode is lengthy, creative, and fun, it's also lacking in any sort of driving narrative force or gameplay diversity to make it feel like less of a grind. On one hand, Smash does one thing extremely well, and I commend the developers for sticking to their guns in this regard with the single-player modes, but it feels like more could have been done to make World of Light feel like a proper adventure. It's also disappointing that the variety of spirits on display don't really tell you anything about the games they come from. This would have been a very cool feature, especially as it relates to spirits from obscure Japanese games that most people have never played. Missed opportunity there. Finally, while the netcode isn't horrendous, it's not uncommon to run into lag online, which is... disappointing. Especially when other Nintendo games like Splatoon 2 play like a dream pretty much all of the time

To sum up: it's easily the best Smash game ever made, an amazingly well-optimized Switch game, and is a must-own title for anyone even vaguely interested in the genre. Strong 9/10.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

ellsworth004

Finally got the plat for AC odyssey, took a long time, but it was fun. Guess ill dive into the dlc soon.

ellsworth004

PSN: ellsworth004

Kidfried

I got one of the good endings for Zero Escape: VLR. Much stronger than I anticipated and also much stronger than any of the endings in 999. I wonder what this game still has in store for me?

@Ralizah I remember you're a fan, right?

Kidfried

Kidfried

ellsworth004 wrote:

Finally got the plat for AC odyssey, took a long time, but it was fun. Guess ill dive into the dlc soon.

Congrats @ellsworth004 I haven't yet played Odyssey myself, but from what I hear it's a gigantic task. And there I was, thinking getting the plat for AC: Syndicate was already something to be proud of.

Kidfried

Ralizah

@Kidfried It's one of my favorite games, period. All I'll say is that the experience as a whole is much stronger than the sum of its parts, and that it's a story that could only have been told as a video game. What have you seen so far, if you don't mind me asking?

Also, are you playing on Hard mode? If you beat all the escape rooms on Hard difficulty, you'll unlock a hidden scene at the end after the true ending. (Not really a spoiler, btw, but some people like to be surprised by 'secrets' in games).

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Kidfried

@Ralizah If I remember well I'm playing on hard difficulty. Not sure how I'd check that, though.

I just finished the old man ending, but I've made quite some progress in the other storylines.

Kidfried

Ralizah

@Kidfried I think you can check on the flowchart. But if you're not switching them to easy difficulty manually, I think they default to hard.

Although I think the very first elevator puzzle needs to be replayed on hard difficulty to fully complete all of them, as it defaults to easy, if my memory serves right.

There's a lot more route juggling in this one, huh? While it's easy to settle into apathy later on, I found the prisoner's dilemma choices in VLR to be far more impactful than anything in 999 early on.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

ellsworth004

@Kidfried not hard just takes awhile, 100+ hours for me, but i did alot of side stuff. I didnt care much for syndicate, guess i was tired of the old AC format when it released.

ellsworth004

PSN: ellsworth004

Thrillho

I finally finished off Yakuza Kiwami yesterday (77% trophy completion).

At 45hrs, it felt much more streamlined compared to Zero which took me literally twice as long. Despite that, it didn't feel like it was missing anything. The story was still well written and the sub stories still as ridiculous as before.

I really enjoyed the combat again and though the progression of the dragon style from useless to super powerful worked well. The Majima Everywhere fights to unlock the techniques was good fun and never too intrusive.

I love this series and have Kiwami 2 to play at some point.

Thrillho

Kidfried

I just beat Modern Warfare again, but now the Remastered. So, uh... some missions were just as good playing them now as 10 years ago. Which is quite an achievement for a ten year old game, really.

Not all of them, though. In some missions it does feel a bit like you're alternating between a shooting gallery and a cinematic experience. Much in the same way as I would expect Uncharted 2 would feel.

It's still quite an iconic game, that really set a new bar for the series and cinematics in these kind of games. It's nowhere near the top 10 single player experiences from last generation for me, but I don't think a Call of Duty could ever be that for me anyway.

Kidfried

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