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Topic: Games you've recently beat

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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

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

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

"Well that was fun. Horrible, but fun!" Fargus The Jester - Pandemonium (After a summoning a monster that destroyed his home town)

"Words don't make changes. Wounds do." Agent Black - Iconoclasts

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?

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

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

"Well that was fun. Horrible, but fun!" Fargus The Jester - Pandemonium (After a summoning a monster that destroyed his home town)

"Words don't make changes. Wounds do." Agent Black - Iconoclasts

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.

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

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

"Well that was fun. Horrible, but fun!" Fargus The Jester - Pandemonium (After a summoning a monster that destroyed his home town)

"Words don't make changes. Wounds do." Agent Black - Iconoclasts

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

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

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.

"Well that was fun. Horrible, but fun!" Fargus The Jester - Pandemonium (After a summoning a monster that destroyed his home town)

"Words don't make changes. Wounds do." Agent Black - Iconoclasts

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

"Well that was fun. Horrible, but fun!" Fargus The Jester - Pandemonium (After a summoning a monster that destroyed his home town)

"Words don't make changes. Wounds do." Agent Black - Iconoclasts

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

#BlackLivesMatter

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

Playing depressing games alone in my cold, dark room <3

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

RogerRoger

You sometimes feel for developers.

They work hard to craft and pitch a pretty awesome, story-driven experience with a unique gameplay hook and then somebody turns to them and says "This will only take six hours, and we're planning on selling it for sixty bucks... make it longer." And lo, the dreaded mandate of including optional Side Quests comes down from on high. Everybody at the meeting looks crushed. Nobody's gonna remember your awesome story now; they're just gonna remember having to fetch things eight times in a row.

Looking at your in-game map and watching yellow markers sprout like weeds across Empire City, you might imagine the above scene playing out in the offices of Sucker Punch Productions at some point before the launch of 2009's PlayStation3 exclusive inFAMOUS... but I'm not so sure it did. There seems to be an intentional two-part solution to the sandbox Side Quest problem in play here and, for my money, it almost works.

First of all, they made the gameplay really compelling. Going back to this earlier title, I can see how Sucker Punch have fostered a reputation for dynamic, fluid traversal in their games. Controlling their reluctant hero, Cole McGrath, taps into a sense of fun usually reserved for cartoonish platformers; you'll slide across power lines, grind train tracks and hover through the air, courtesy of some newfound electricity-based superpowers. Basic climbing can be a little hit-and-miss, but you only ever have to scale one rooftop before you can start bounding over all the others again, and that's before you even stop to appreciate the diverse combat opportunities such power grants you. inFAMOUS is a game I wanted to keep playing, so I didn't mind the myriad of Side Quests that allowed me to do just that (no matter how repetitive they might've become).

But no matter how great such movement felt, I would always find myself dropping back to street level out of choice, and that's thanks to the second part of the developer's winning strategy; the Side Quests are directly connected to the world around you. Completing them will rescue your immediate couple blocks from the tyranny of gang warfare and post-apocalyptic despair. Help enough of each island and the numerous citizens lining the street will stop hurling abuse at you, instead hurling rocks at your enemies whenever you find yourself in a fight. They'll take your picture, cheer for you, give you compliments and show concern for one another. Empire City isn't just a series of obstacles to overcome, it's a living, breathing city packed with character (and a few glaring instances of identical geometry, but hey) and so tying the Side Quests to the overall welfare of your neighbours is a stroke of genius. I wanted them to stop rummaging through bins and start having some hope.

Because I was playing Cole as a hero in the game's binary Good Vs. Evil decision-making mechanic. Caught up in a dire situation he knows little-to-nothing about, Cole must peel back the layers of his electrifying potential alongside those of the conspiracy behind the catastrophic chaos ravaging Empire City. Do good, and your morality meter will swing upwards towards heroic status... but do bad, make selfish decisions and harm civilians, and that meter will swing down towards infamy. Your powers will unlock and upgrade depending on where you stand on the scale and so, despite having more than I could even remember to use, some abilities were forever locked away from me and my overgrown boy scout sensibilities.

This is where I started to have a few issues with the experience. Those helpful civilians who'd pelt rocks at my enemies? They just got in the way, and I'd invariably end up harming or, worse, killing a couple in each encounter (particularly since the scale of my devastating attacks grew to an uncontrollable crescendo just as public opinion reached the "Everybody help Cole!" threshold). There's also a frustrating lack of grey in a game which stakes its claim to a binary morality system. At one point, I was given a choice to either save a large group of doctors, or save my girlfriend; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, so I started to climb towards the doctors... but when I accidentally bumped into one on the way up, I electrocuted them. The game registered this as an attack, thinking I'd killed the doctors to save my girlfriend, and I was promptly awarded the "Evil" trophy for that mission before I could pause to restart and try again. That was it. One or the other, no room for error.

Each of these morality decisions comes with a neat little set-up, whereby time pauses and Cole narrates his options. Later in the game, after I'd been playing as an upstanding citizen for hours on end, it felt bizarre for there to be any question; hearing Cole snarl "...or I could just kill this guy and steal his stuff to make myself more powerful" became a little uncomfortable after the two-thirds marker. Perhaps locking things down (or providing a pivotal point of no return, a'la Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II) would've been prudent to avoid Cole sounding like a bit of a jerk.

But then I was already suffering a bit of disconnect with the storyline anyway. As beautiful as the numerous cutscenes were, presented with dynamic comic book art, the juxtaposition between them and the in-game graphics gave me a disjointed overview of the narrative. I couldn't really grow to like or dislike any of the characters, except in broad sweeps, which is a shame as it's the kinda stuff that probably worked really well on paper. It doesn't help that, as soon as you beat the final boss, you're presented with a heck of a lot of information in an all-too-brief revelatory twist that, by itself, is a brave and fantastic piece of writing... but in context, is simply used as a quick set-up for a sequel. A year before, fellow PS3 exclusive Uncharted: Drake's Fortune told a story with a beginning, middle and end which leaves you with a satisfying fullness upon completion. Conversely, inFAMOUS might have me leaning forward in anticipation of the next course, but I'm smacking my lips at the bitter aftertaste of falling for a cheap trick.

Especially since there were a couple plot threads that went nowhere. There are (very loud) random Anonymous-style broadcasts peppered throughout the runtime, vilifying Cole's heroism and calling for civil unrest... except they amounted to zilch. One character who had some interesting interactions with Cole just stopped being included right before the end. Another had a well-thought-out, fascinating character arc which I was really enjoying, only for them to do a complete 180° during the finale that felt Disney-esque and therefore randomly at odds with the overall tone.

Perhaps I'm overthinking things. inFAMOUS is at its best when you treat it like its pulpy comic book inspirations; an entertaining diversion that's fun to play in short bursts. It's a satisfyingly healthy dose of superpower wish-fulfilment, making you feel like a total badass whilst also making you care about the world around you. For ticking those boxes (and ticking them well) it earns my approval.

And hey, that obvious sequel set-up isn't so bad in hindsight, knowing that Sony built a multi-generation franchise out of it... so I'd best crack on, then.

Even if my overriding memory will be of having to fetch things eight times in a row.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

DerMeister

@RogerRoger Great write up on inFamous. It's always been one of my favorite PS exclusives, moreso than some of the actual best titles in the lineup.

For me, it's one of those games where the gameplay supercedes everything else. I have a huge blast of a time that it's easy to forget about the niggles it has. It's story isn't groundbreaking, but it's a perfect superhero origin. The graphics and animation aren't the best either, and the game itself can get pretty tough at times. But playing with Cole's powers is just too fun to drag it down for me. It certainly helped that at the time of it's release, the only other superhero game of high quality was Batman Arkham Asylum, so it also added more to a genre that needed quality.

Hopefully you enjoy inFAMOUS 2 when you get around to it. It improved quite a bit on the original.

"We don't get to choose how we start in this life. Real 'greatness' is what you do with the hand you're dealt." -Victor Sullivan
"Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing." -Solid Snake

PSN: HeartBreakJake95

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