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Topic: Games you've recently beat

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RogerRoger

@Simon_Fitzgerald As somebody who also discovered Detroit thanks to the last-minute PS Plus switcheroo, I couldn't agree more. Such a fantastic game.

@KratosMD Similarly, I never quite know what to say about the original DOOM. We had the free shareware version on our PC when I was younger, which only contained the first ten levels. Much later in life, I got the PS3 release of the whole thing and like you, quickly became a little bored when I realised that those first ten, free levels contained pretty much everything the game had to offer. Having recently also downloaded and played the original Wolfenstein 3D on PS3 at the time, I quickly reached my key-fetching, elevator-locating limit.

You could argue that a lot of older games had rinse-and-repeat formulae because of the limitations at the time but hey, at least Sonic changed his background wallpaper every two or three levels. You could take any screenshot from DOOM and, barring a few unique boss encounters, I doubt I'd be able to tell you where (or when) you are.

But it's also fast, smooth and oddly compelling, so I always want to acknowledge its status as a classic, even if I'm kinda done with it ten minutes after booting it up.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled For PS4

I played the adventure mode on the normal difficulty and got it to 101% (getting gold relics in the relic challenges). I also beat all the Time Trial N.Tropy times. I've also raced on every track in single play like 10 times at least.

So start your engines and get ready for another Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy review!


A Little Background

Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled (CTR:NF from here on out) is a remake of Crash Team Racing from the Playstation 1. I have a lot of fond memories playing this with my son and daughter when they were little (and not so little).

Starring Crash Bandicoot the original release was the last game in the series to be developed by Naughty Dog and actually wasn't going to be based around Crash and co.

But after showing some alpha gameplay to Sony and expressing a desire to make it Crash based Sony and Universal ended up making a deal for Crash Team Racing to be made.

Also Naughty Dog apparently made Nitrous Oxide to be an Alien to "jump the shark" as they left the series thanks to Universal being a pain to work with and because they thought no one would like the series anymore after that as they'd be long gone.

That... didn't happen.

The sequel Crash Nitro Kart featured a whole bunch of alien characters! And the villian N.Trance is an egg based alien in one of the handheld games along with appearing in Nitro Kart and here!

Anyway CTR:NF is a remake of Crash Team Racing and involves Crash and co getting challenged by the alien Nitrous Oxide. If they win, he'll leave Earth alone. Lose and N.Oxide'll turn the planet into a giant parking lot and enslave the entire population!

So Crash, Coco, Cortex and others team up to become the best Kart racer to meet Oxide's Challenge and save the planet!


What I like

The Remaking/Remastering

The game is bloody gorgeous! All the new details to tracks like a giant Tiny statue "holding up" the track Tiny Arena with chains or Tiger Temple referencing the Ruins stages from Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is really neat. Every track gets little nods and references throughout the series to make them pop out and look even more visually impressive.

Being able to play adventure mode in the classic way of 1 character only or "Nitro Fueled" and being able to change characters on the fly is nice too.

Plus the inclusion of the old music via a toggle in the menu is neat too.


The Nitro Kart Content

Whilst the Nitro Kart tracks aren't included in the adventure mode... The fact that they're in the game at all is nice (minus the anti gravity feature from Nitro Kart) adding 13 more tracks to Team Racing's 18 for a total of 31 tracks (+ 2 new tracks from the Grand Prix so far) gives a lot of variety to things.

I don't remember the sequel as fondly as this (like at all in fact)... and yet I've thoroughly enjoyed playing these tracks just as much as the original ones!

Out of Time, Deep Sea Driving, Electron Avenue and Android Alley being my favourites!


The Driving

I think the mechanics hold up. 30fps doesn't hinder the game either from my point of view. It's still fast paced and the boosting mechanics work well! Practically flying around the tracks when you learn how to use the boosts properly is sublime.


What I'm "ehh" about

Customisation

... Yeah it's mainly all tied into the MTX (sadly more on that later) but the different carts and character skins generally do look nice. Want Polar in an adorable Yellow Fisherman Mac or Pura in a hovercraft?

There's a... decent amount you unlock through the Adventure mode (The Nitro Kart cars (and the hovercraft if you 100% it)) but a lot is tied up in the microtransactions or Grand Prix sadly.

Though my Fintstone like dino bones kart in Relic gold is pretty sweet


What I don't like

The Online Only Requirement for Wumpa Coins & Microtransactions

Do I really need to explain why? Our good ol' @ShogunRok said it best in yesterday's article in that adding these to such a bright and vibrant kart racer (that's aimed at children more so then us old fogies) really does taint the whole experience of the game.

Activison, shame on you for pimping out Crash like this! You can't just slap some shiny new graphics on him like make up on a back alley sally and expect it to make ALL the money! In fact you're more likely to make LESS money from people who would've happily paid £10/£20 for an expansion DLC or something! Working out all the cosmetics at the moment you'll need about £200 worth of wumpa coins.

You'll never get ANYTHING from me ever again Activison.


The Grand Prix, Nitro Fuel and Challenges

Not only tied to the online only section but this is designed for you to come back to the game and play it more like Fortnite's battle pass. Besides a character, a new car or two and a character skin... the rest is pointless stickers. Guess where most the good stuff is?

42,000 points is needed to unlock everything in the Grand Prix and most the daily challenges give you 100-150 points.

Also if you fail to unlock a character (Like I did with Isabella of the Trophy girls/Nitro Squad) that's Grand Prix specific... then yeah... looks like ya have to wait til whenever they decide to bring it back to let you unlock it.

Grind ahoy


Activision

... Fudge you Activision.


Additional points

  • You get Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, Komodo Joe, Pinstripe, N. Oxide and Fake Crash through Adventure mode. The Nitro Kart Characters (And additional Grand Prix characters) you have to buy for 1500 coins each.
  • Getting N.Tropy Requires the Time Trials and beating his ghost. Beating the N.Oxide times gets you a special N.Tropy Skin.
  • Penta Penguin needs to be unlocked via a cheat code
  • Twilight Tour and Prehistoric Playground are neat track additions. The Spyro Grand Prix track should be a visual treat too.

Overall CTR:NF gets a 7. (9 would've been the score If the microtransactions weren't scummily put in)

Crash Team Racing was really the best and only Kart Racer Playstation had on the PS1. Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled is really in the same position on PS4.

Least til Garfield Kart comes along...

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

crimsontadpoles

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy There's a setting to play the old PS1 music? In that case I'm tempted to do every track again. Though to be fair, I was probably going to do that anyway since I want to try to unlock N Tropy. Anyway great write up, I agree with pretty much all of your points.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled was my first Crash racing game, so everything in it was new to me. The unique drifting mechanics took me a while to get any good at it, but I like the amount of depth to it. Even now, I'm still improving with each race.

My favourite thing about this game is that there's lots to do. As well as racing through the many tracks (either in a single race or in a four race cup), there's also CTR challenges, time trials and relic races for each track. And there's also an adventure mode to top it all off, complete with a story and boss fights.

The track design is also mostly rather good. There's a lot of detail and things going on in the visuals keeping it all rather interesting. Except for a few annoying places such as in Dragon Mines, the track layouts generally make it quite fun for whizzing around the tracks.

My main dislike is to do with the in-game shop and microtransactions, which taint an otherwise great game. Without going into too much detail, my main issues with the shop is that getting coins is a huge grind in single player, only a small section of available items is available for purchase at any one time, and it requires an internet connection to get coins. And adding in microtransactions after release feels downright dodgy.

As for grand prixes, I'm conflicted on them. On one hand, getting new tracks is wonderful, along with new characters. On the other hand, it adds a lot of tedious busywork in terms of earning nitro points to unlock the rewards and getting coins to buy new characters and cosmetics. I also don't like having things only available for a limited time, after which they're gone until if and when they decide to bring them back. All this mixed together along with the daily challenges, and it feels like there's too much of a push to keep grinding, and too much of a push to play every day instead of whenever you feel like playing.

Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

Being able to play adventure mode in the classic way of 1 character only or "Nitro Fueled" and being able to change characters on the fly is nice too.

Is there any value to restricting yourself to one character, or is it just a toggle included for the sake of people who want to play it in as 'classic' a manner as possible?

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

I think the mechanics hold up. 30fps doesn't hinder the game either from my point of view. It's still fast paced and the boosting mechanics work well! Practically flying around the tracks when you learn how to use the boosts properly is sublime.

Weird. Based on what I've heard in the gaming community, racing games are nigh unplayable if they're not running at 60fps.

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

Do I really need to explain why? Our good ol' ShogunRok said it best in yesterday's article in that adding these to such a bright and vibrant kart racer (that's aimed at children more so then us old fogies) really does taint the whole experience of the game.

I dunno, I feel like a remake of a beloved PS1 title is very specifically targeting old fogies, doncha' think? Children are dabbing on the haters in Fortnite and group chatting with other five year olds in Minecraft. I feel like this is probably selling best to the same cohort that keeps Nintendo in business.

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

like make up on a back alley sally

The real question, though: is Back Alley Sally unlockable with Wumpa Coins?

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

Overall CTR:NF gets a 7. (9 would've been the score If the microtransactions weren't scummily put in)

So, a 9/10 game purely taking into account the launch day single-player content, right?

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

Crash Team Racing was really the best and only Kart Racer Playstation had on the PS1. Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled is really in the same position on PS4.

Least til Garfield Kart comes along...

[Team Sonic Racing has left the chat]

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Ralizah wrote:

Is there any value to restricting yourself to one character, or is it just a toggle included for the sake of people who want to play it in as 'classic' a manner as possible?

The character's themselves have stats not the karts... So some of the more devious tracks like Papu's Pyramid or Hot Air Skyway you might have better luck with a character who can turn better or a pure speed character will give you better results for a mostly straight track like Coco park.

You could consider the classic option a challenge mode to test your skills with a single character class.

Ralizah wrote:

Weird. Based on what I've heard in the gaming community, racing games are nigh unplayable if they're not running at 60fps.

Everything is apparently unplayable at 30fps to the gaming community. PS3 dark souls blight town or PS3 New Vegas/skyrim with those memory problems at 1-5fps are unplayable

Ralizah wrote:

I dunno, I feel like a remake of a beloved PS1 title is very specifically targeting old fogies, doncha' think? Children are dabbing on the haters in Fortnite and group chatting with other five year olds in Minecraft. I feel like this is probably selling best to the same cohort that keeps Nintendo in business.

... Touché. But Crash Team Racing is a 3+ and is much more child friendly compared to Fortnite which is a 12+ and it's still scummy regardless

Ralizah wrote:

The real question, though: is Back Alley Sally unlockable with Wumpa Coins?

20 wumpa coins an hour... Anything more is extra

Ralizah wrote:

So, a 9/10 game purely taking into account the launch day single-player content, right?

That's what I'd give it yes... It's what I'd give the original as well.

As crimsontadpoles said there's Adventure Mode, Single Race, Cup Races, Time Trials, Battle Mode (With 12 or so battle arena's and five game modes like Capture The Flag, Last Kart Standing etc), Relic Races, CTR Challenges & Crystal Challenges.

Adventure being limited to the original 18 tracks but the other modes (barring battle mode) have the 13 tracks from Crash Nitro Kart. There's also local 4 player splitscreen and the online (I don't have PSPlus so I haven't used it though)

So there's plenty to do.

Admittedly that might be due to my personal bias and nostalgia towards it though. Pushsquare's score of an 8 seems more reasonable to a non fan of the series but 7 could be apt as well! Especially to someone whom has access to Mario Kart and this being a remake to not add in any new gameplay features from the past twenty years

Ralizah wrote:

[Team Sonic Racing has left the chat]

I genuinely forgot about that game... So has everyone else apparently


Glad you're enjoying it @crimsontadpoles ! I really do like this game and I did twenty years ago! I have the PS1 classic on my PS3 as well... Just as you and I said the MTX taint an otherwise great game

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Don't you worry, the real MVP of the kart racing genre is set to arrive on consoles later in 2019. Why race with iconic characters like Mario or Crash when you can play as the cartoon version of an inexplicably popular child Youtuber instead?

Anyway, does CTR have the equivalent of a "blue shell" item (an item that targets the first-place racer and that is nearly impossible to avoid) and what defensive options, if any, are there to fend off racers who are gunning for you?

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Whut? 😯 What even is that?!


Ralizah wrote:

Anyway, does CTR have the equivalent of a "blue shell" item (an item that targets the first-place racer and that is nearly impossible to avoid) and what defensive options, if any, are there to fend off racers who are gunning for you?

There's a warp orb. Unlike a blue shell (I've played Super Mario Kart, Mario kart Wii and have Mario Kart DS) it can't be dodged at the last second via a boost. There's a forcefield item that can protect you from it.

Because of the juiced mechanic (collecting ten wumpa fruit which makes you go faster and powers up items) it can hit EVERYONE in front of you.

  • Beakers are like Banana's. Juiced up and they become red beakers that add a rain cloud and slow you down temporarily. It also shuffles your held item. You put them behind you or throw them forwards.
  • Missles are Red Shells. They get better tracking when juiced up. They come singular or ×3.
  • Bowling bombs are Green Shells. Powered up they get a bigger blast radius. They also come singular or ×3. You can throw them backwards or forwards.
  • Aku-Aku/Uka-Uka Mask (Velo mask for the nitro kart characters) are stars. Giving temporary immunity and make you faster. Juiced up makes them last longer.
  • The Clock is the lightning bolt. It makes everyone's kart shake and slows them down. Juiced up it lasts longer.
  • TNT crates are like fake item crates. You're given 3 seconds and you can hop repeatedly to get rid of them. They become Nitro crates when powered up though and instantly explode on impact.
  • And there's the forcefield. It's temporary and fades away when not powered up but when juiced up it makes it permenant unless you get hit, run into someone or fire it like a bomb using the weapon button. That means if you wanna keep the effect you can't use any other items.

I believe warp orbs and clocks can't be used by the cpu's? @Ralizah

Using Beakers, Bombs and TNT/Nitro Crates you can stop missles or bombs coming towards you. If you're being targeted with a missle it shows a lock on icon on your character so you know one has been used

Getting hit by an item, falling off the track, hitting a track obstacle makes you lose wumpa fruit!

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

Ralizah

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Nice. Thanks for the run down. It sounds like a really robust set of items all the way around.

If I ever feel the need to play another kart racer, this'll likely be it, I think. Especially if Spyro is playable.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

No problem @Ralizah !

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy wrote:

Also if you fail to unlock a character (Like I did with Isabella of the Trophy girls/Nitro Squad) that's Grand Prix specific... then yeah... looks like ya have to wait til whenever they decide to bring it back to let you unlock it

The Nitro Kart Characters (And additional Grand Prix characters) you have to buy for 1500 coins each.

Spyro will be in it next month presumably... But cus of how the Grand Prix, the Pit Stop shop and The MTX works if ya don't get Spyro next month we have no idea when he'll coming back to the store thanks to it using the Fear Of Missing Out and Fortnitey mobile game tactics.

As I said in my quote above I'm missing Isabella from the Trophy Girls/Nitro Squad cus I only got the game 4 days before the previous Grand Prix ended.

You'll be able to play the spyro themed track whenever you get the game (IF you even want to) at least when you update it

When the Grand Prix is on it does promote the new characters first.. But again it's Activision and they had to spoil it.

1500 coins for a new character
2500 coins for a character skin
250 - 1000 coins for a vehicle decal
4500 coins or so for a new vehicle
Up to 3000 coins for stickers. Usually sets of 3.
750 coins for a different Colour to colour your kart.

Just to get all the Nitro Kart Characters you need a total of 13,500 coins

I've been getting stuff at my own pace and I'm never gonna spend a penny on the stuff but it really is scummy and pretty predatory. Apparently weekends you get ×2 Wumpa coins for the entirety (if you play online) and there's a ×5 bonus for the first 30 mins you play online each day.

The highest payput for a track is Electron Avenue with 80 coins if you're first. So with the bonuses (they stack) you can get 800 coins from one race (Yeah a bit of a difference)

I don't know a whole lot though as I've only played it with the online on to get coins, not the actual online as no PS+.

You could always get the original on PS3 as a PS1 classic for $6.

It won't have any of the Nitro Kart tracks, Additional characters, kart customisation or online play (and you'll only be able to do the relic races & CTR challenges in the adventure mode rather then them being available in the main menu as well like in the remake) but there's no scummy money grubbing either

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

KratosMD

Just finished Detention on Switch. Brilliant game, the atmosphere was really well done and there wasn't a constant barrage of jump scares. That's one aspect that I think can make a horror game even scarier, when you constantly dread for the next jump scare but it never shows up. If a game does that intentionally, then I think that's good game design in all honesty.

The puzzles were expertly done. Not too difficult and every single one made sense I thought.

All in all, absolutely phenomenal game set in an interesting historical setting as well as delivering a unique psychological horror aspect. Definitely worth playing if you're into these kinds of games.

KratosMD

ellsworth004

@KratosMD im not into mobile gaming at all. Not that there is anything wrong with it, i just dont have the need. I dont have a long commute to work, dont go on many long trips, etc. Do u think switch is worth owning as a home console? Ive thought about getting one but i just dont really know much about them.

Edited on by ellsworth004

ellsworth004

PSN: ellsworth004

Ralizah

@KratosMD Glad you enjoyed it. I also really liked the evocative atmosphere, as well as the intelligent (and heartbreaking) writing. It's a great example of how, when done right, horror can go beyond "eeek, scary!" and focus on themes that are universal to everyone (the desire for belonging and understanding; why freedom is so important to human life; how power can warp people; etc.)

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy They're holding Spyro hostage as one of the racers unlockable via the mobile/mtx side of the game, huh? That really sucks. What a way to squander a lot of good will.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Not only Spyro but Hunter, Gnasty Gnorc, Ripto and the Sorceress (I think that's the villain's name for the 3rd?) if a datamine is to be believed @Ralizah

... I'm usually not the dlc type but i would've probably forked some out for this if it was like £5 for the Spyro track and racers or something... Not like this though with actish#t trying to gouge every last penny from you.

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy Your posts about Activision's hideous approach to monetising are real helpful, thank you, as I was considering getting Crash Team Racing soon (Team Sonic Racing got in the way at launch) and kinda expected to be able to get everything in DLC packs. I'd gladly pay a fiver for the Spyro content but there's no way in heck I'm gonna be nickeled-and-dimed (or subject myself to grinding at specific times of the day / week, when I might not be in the mood for gaming anyway) just to be able to unlock everything. I already do that with Star Wars: Battlefront II and that's more than enough. Bullet dodged; I'll wait a couple years until they inevitably re-release a "legacy" version with it all available from the get-go, or skip it entirely and just play Sonic again.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy

Could always get the PS1 original @RogerRoger on PS3 for £3.99. No horrible tactics there and nearly ten times less then what I paid for the disc version at launch lol

Again it's a shame because otherwise I'd wholeheartedly recommend Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled to everyone. It's a really good racer mired by awful practises

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

PSN: GoddessFoxy-E

My No Commentary PS4 Youtube Channel

RogerRoger

@Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy I already have it, but thanks for the tip all the same!

Got all of the halfway-decent PSone Classics a good couple years back when they were all in a sale. Held off on most; saving them for rainy day curiosity more than anything. I'd obviously prefer to play a refined and gorgeous-looking remake on a more modern console with a better controller, as that's what I've managed to do with the Crash and Spyro trilogies, and what I'll likely be doing with MediEvil.

But it sounds like I'll be settling for the original Crash Team Racing. Probably for the best!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

mookysam

After being away for much of July, I finally finished Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Prior to release I was quite concerned this could turn out to be another Mighty No. 9. Thankfully , it isn't. In completing this I explored 100% of the castle and also defeated all the bosses. To me, hitting that statistic and collecting all upgrades is one of the most satisfying aspects of a game in the genre.

Ignore the Bloodstained part of the title, for all intents and purposes Ritual of the Night is a Castlevania game. It looks like one, the menus and UI are organised like one, the combat is gloriously the same and it even sounds like one. This should come as no surprise given it is helmed by Koji Igariashi, the man responsible for the majority of post-Symphony of the Night Castlevania games. He's a master of the genre and Bloodstained is absolutely expertly crafted. I'd agree with @Ralizah that it sticks to a formula that in some ways seems quaint by the modern standards of the genre (it has been a decade since Order of Ecclesia), but to me this is no criticism. It's comfy, like a well fitted woolly mitten, and I love the gameplay loop. Therefore, it doesn't miss the puzzles or complex platforming of more recent Metroidvania games. For this reason it would also make a good entry point for gamers wishing to get into the genre.

Bloodstained's basic gameplay loop sees you explore a massive sprawling castle, gradually unlocking more abilities which in turn allows you to explore even further. There are also RPG elements; it's stat based, there're various weapons armour and accessories to equip (all with a range of effects), and you level up through defeating enemies and gaining experience.

The game sees you play as Miriam, a plucky "shardbinder" who, as the name would aptly suggest, binds with shards. What are these shards you ask? Why, they're the essence of demonic power, and thus by collecting these Miriam gets more and more powerful with access to a greater range of abilities. There are several different categories of shard depending on what they do, ranging from those that throw weapons at enemies, to ones that augment stats, to summons and so on. In turn, the more of a shard you obtain the more powerful its effect becomes. The augment shards are quite interesting because once fully "ranked up" at the friendly neighbourhood shop (yes, it required all kinds of monster loot), they become permanent skills, whether equipped or not.

The story does what it needs to in order to advance the game. Voice acting is pretty bad, with some interesting English accents. This isn't a negative - it's all part of the charm.

Positives!

  • The game sounds incredible, courtesy of Michiru Yamane's brilliant score. Her work is always impeccable and doesn't disappoint here. Bloodstained also looks rather attractive, with nicely varied locations. Whatever was done during the production delay clearly paid off.
  • Combat is tight and Miriam controls exceedingly well. This is crucial in this type of game, so yay there.
  • Strong level design and (for the most part, see below) progression. Exploring more and more of the sprawling castle is satisfying.
  • I found it great fun to upgrade Miriam through permanent food bonuses and levelling up "Shards". This is the most effective way to increase Miriam's stats. By the end of the game my Miriam was überpowerful and that is awesome.
  • The difficulty is quite nicely pitched with a good upward curve. Early boss battles can be brutal and require the player to take their time, but it's certainly considerably easier than Order of Ecclesia.
  • A perfect length, Ritual of the Night doesn't outstay its welcome.

Negatives!

  • Underwater movement and swimming is horrible. Thankfully swimming is quite quickly done away with, and you later gain access to optional movement shards that offset the sluggishness somewhat.
  • One downside of the game's traditional design is that progression through the castle and even moving past a key boss fight is at times rather opaque. For example, at one point you must equip a piece of armour that allow you to progress through an area, but the armour is located in a chest in a long-since explored portion of the map - with no real hints. It's a pretty old-school "go to spots of the map you haven't before!" design.
  • At times buggy and there are severe frame rate drops in two very specific locations.
  • Pretty dull side-quests. A gluttonous old hag named Susie will try your patience, trust me.

In all, Ritual of the Night has been one of my favourite gaming experiences this year. It's not quite as sublime as last year's 8-bit style Curse of the Moon, but nevertheless it's a well-made and expertly crafted game that anyone with a passing interest in the genre should play. So go play it people!

Edited on by mookysam

mookysam

PSN: mookysam

crimsontadpoles

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc on PC. It's the first game of the series. It's a visual novel involving a bunch of students trapped inside a school, who are told that they will have to kill each other if they want to escape. Overall, it's an excellent game and I really enjoyed my time with it. The characters along with the story is what makes the game so good.

Completion status: Reached the end credits. There's plenty of achievements I've missed, mainly to do with building friendships with everyone. It could be fun to listen to those friendship dialogues, but could also be time-consuming to get, so I'll wait a few days then decide whether or not to bother with them.

Pros:

  • Characters: There's a large number of characters introduced at the start of the game, and they're mostly all rather interesting and well developed. Each of the characters feels distinct and unique, ranging from the goofballs to the more serious people. The only one I didn't like was Hifumi, the irritating guy who was always going on about how 2D girls are better even when more important things were happening.
  • Monokuma, the weird looking bear that keeps the game of life and death running smoothly. Its silly nature helps take the edge off of what would otherwise be very dark moments. The banter with Monokuma helps liven up the situation, and the Momokuma Theatre clips are quite amusing to watch.
  • Story: Without going into too much detail, it's well written and remains interesting all throughout. There's plenty of twists and turns while trying to figure out the mysteries of the game.
  • Class trials: Feels like playing a much chaotic and intense version of Ace Attorney. Trying to figure out the contradictions in the statements is easily the best part of the class trials, but there's also other minigames to help mix things up.

Cons:

  • Lack of story choices: There's not many choices in the game that affects what happens. More decisions that could potentially affect who lives and who dies would have made the game even better. However, I will accept that a focus on one excellent story is better than them doing multiple merely good stories.
  • Class trial hints: After cycling through what people have to say, the playable character's thoughts at the end generally make it far too obvious what the hidden contradiction is (playing on medium difficulty).

As for the ending, I'm not sure what to think of it. I was expecting the reason for the killing game taking place was something inexplicably related to stopping a mysterious tragedy, but instead there was a much simpler explanation involving a despair fetish. Still can't decide whether I love that reasoning or dislike it. That bit at the very end of the last trial involving shooting Hope Truth Bullets was also a lovely moment. I'm also curious about whether or not anything actually did happen to the outside world, but that mystery will wait until whenever I get around to playing Danganronpa 2.

Overall, it was a most enjoyable game, and I'll be sure to eventually get round to playing Danganronpa 2.

Ralizah

@crimsontadpoles The sequels are better. DR2's cast is the best in the series, it does a fantastic job with the world-building that the first game lacked, and the trials are far more clever and intricate than pretty much anything in the original. Ultra Despair Girls is something entirely different, but it's a welcome addition to the series lore-wise, and it does a great job of fleshing out Toko's character (wasn't as big a fan of her in the first game). V3 is controversial, but I definitely feel like it has some of the best trials in the entire series, and the writing is brilliant.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@mookysam Congratulations on getting 100% on Bloodstained, and great write-up! Although I'm curious as to how bad those English accents are now.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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