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Topic: User Impressions/Reviews Thread

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RogerRoger

@Ralizah Well, at least Kirby fans seem to have been well-served of late. Didn't he go real quiet for a while, or am I thinking of somebody else?

Perhaps the intent was to play it somewhat safe this time around in order to generate the sales, revenue and player data necessary to push for something riskier down the line? Given the state of the Switch right now, a well-crafted known quantity has the potential to make Nintendo billions, which would then shore up Kirby's reputation as a protagonist of flagship titles and allow for that creative leap forward on the Switch Up (or whatever the next console's name is).

I'm not gonna Google that particular transformation, as I'm hoping to sleep later tonight!

Hey, that's what the edit function is there for, right? Fair enough, and understandable, particularly given your expanded thoughts on the game's design and series' potential future. Thanks for answering!

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@RogerRoger Nah. There have been some long gaps between home console entries, but that was when the mainline entries shifted toward handhelds. Between that and the spinoffs, occasional remakes, etc. Kirby makes an appearance every couple of years.

Hard to say. It's possible the developers just have no interest in more ambitious sandbox/open world-style titles like Mario and The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon have enjoyed recently and will want to create new adventures in this sort of highly-controlled 3D environment for a while, and explore the possibilities there. I'm not too miffed either way, as Hal Laboratory continues to put out some of the very best traditional platformers on Nintendo systems (with the occasional stinker thrown in for good measure). I do want the series to go beyond its own self-imposed limits, but having to be satisfied with great games that release consistently instead of modern classics that release once a generation isn't the most bitter pill I've ever had to swallow.

The score is meaningless at the end of the day, and I'll obviously never fully erase bias from my perspective or reviews, but I do feel the need to be as honest as possible when I'm writing: both with my readers and, by extension, myself.

@KilloWertz It's probably easier to juggle Sony and Microsoft anyway, considering MS doesn't consistently release a lot of highly desirable exclusive games, so there's a lot of overlap between the two ecosystems to begin with. Nintendo kind of exists in its own bubble, and, as a result, a large chunk of a Nintendo console's library is unique to it. At least in terms of worthwhile releases. It's much less so with Switch than previous consoles, but they still put out a TON of games that can't be played anywhere else.

The Nintendo ecosystem is dense. Probably intimidatingly so for someone who hasn't dabbled in it since the NES.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

KilloWertz

@Ralizah True. Microsoft likely will starting next year finally since they bought so many studios, but still, you are right.

Yeah, I was even tempted to get a Switch last month when people were talking about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 after the release date was announced, but it would be too much of an undertaking to get into their ecosystem now.

PSN ID/Xbox Live Gamertag: KilloWertz

Ralizah

@KilloWertz Eh, we'll see. Bethesda developers will probably be fine, but Microsoft has a long history of mismanaging studios and projects. Which is wild to me, because Microsoft was on fire during the 360 era.

I've had my ups and downs with the series as a whole, but I'm actually super excited for XC3. Game looks like it shouldn't even be running on a Switch, lol. Combine that with the enormous level design and apparent six party members on-screen with enemies during battles, and I have to wonder how hard this is gonna stress the system. XC2 didn't look nearly this good and that game sometimes couldn't even maintain 720p when docked.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

TheIdleCritic

I have been summoned.

How the bloody hell is everyone? And How are you @RogerRoger ?!

I remember Catalyst - I did enjoy it but actually had a bit of trouble with the billboards, some are very confusing! Thinking back on the game... I did find myself longing for faster movement, in general.

I have GhostRunner installed. Haven't loaded it up though. I have a quite a backlog to get through first.

Edited on by TheIdleCritic

RogerRoger

@Ralizah Hmm. Wonder who I was thinking of, then. Oh well.

That's a good point. It's not like they played it safe and churned out something half-heartedly here. That's when a lack of innovation or potential can really sting (because yeah, trust me, as a fan of licenced games back in the day, I'm speaking from experience).

Well, I for one have always appreciated your honesty and lack of obvious bias, which I reckon is one of your major strengths as a writer. Don't ever lose that skill.

***

@TheIdleCritic Hello there! It's funny, when I saw your name pop up in Mirror's Edge Catalyst, I thought about sending you a PSN message, but then figured I'd end up tagging you here eventually, either in the review or subsequent discussion. How've you been?

Yeah, I saw your Runner's Tag on billboards I couldn't even reach, so you must've put the effort in!

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Platinum-Bucket

I don’t mean to interject in anything, but I was reminded of my thoughts on Elden Ring in light of a recent article, primarily as I saw some criticizing the game but not really giving much of a reason. I too have issues with the game, but kinda feared what would happen if I brought any up at launch. Thusly, I’d like to bring up my faults with the game now and attempt to explain myself thoroughly. I wouldn’t call this an actual review, as there’s clearly a focus on the issues that I experienced and haven’t seen anyone else so much as mention, and I just really wanted to put my view out there, just in case anyone feels the same way. Apologies in advance if this has caused issues in the past or I’m retreading long walked ground, so I don’t mind if is gets taken down or something, but here I go. (Also I don’t hate this game! Just wanna make sure that’s clear)

This is gonna be a long one…

I know it’s a bit late and that no one cares, but I’m gonna toss in my gripes now that it’s been a bit since launch and the hype has died down. To preface this all, I want to say that I’m a fairly large fan of the original Dark Souls. I beat it, loved it, and was in the middle of DS 2 when Elden Ring came out. I played Blood Borne a while back and enjoyed it, though I personally found myself to be better using a shield than a gun, and it didn’t help that I chose the Arcane starting stats, since no magic is given at the start. Still haven’t beaten that first big boss on the bridge, but I’ll get there. Just recently I got Sekiro, and have been thoroughly enjoying its linear but explorative and maneuverable gameplay. Now, Elden Ring here is a bit of a different story. Before I get into my many gripes, I’d like to praise it for its aesthetic, combat variety, cool bits and bobs that you can find just about anywhere if you poke around, and it’s lovingly crafted characters, story lines, and absolutely stellar dungeons and bossfights (Radahn made my jaw drop multiple times, it was a real treat). So, if you do love this game, I can 100% see why. By most any metrics, it’s dense with content and has only expanded upon the best bits of the Souls franchise, but for me, the issues arise when it comes to everything else.

Now, the issues. Where to begin. I suppose I’ll start with its main selling point: it’s an open world souls game. Now, on paper, this seems amazing; a giant world, filled to the brim with random bosses and strong enemies that you can face off with on grand open fields and mountains and whatnot. However, I couldn’t help but feel like the translation from linearity to open expanses wasn’t as cut and dry as one might think. There’s still leveling up in ER, just like in DS, but that becomes problematic when stronger foes are presented. For example, in DS 1 (assuming you don’t have the master key that unlocks all normal doors), your first major boss outside of the tutorial is the Taurus Demon. You make your way there, and even if you don’t grind and aren’t at speed runner levels of proficiency, you can take it down after enough tries. No biggie, it’s tough but not too tough, set to a level for you to fight when you reach it. Even if you have troubles with it, you either have to grind or get good, because that’s the only way foreword. That makes it so that each subsequent boss (outside of the big branch near the end) is at a level that should be tough. ER doesn’t have that luxury. Since it’s world is so big and expansive, with so many options and routes and things to do, it lacks the sort of urgency, or rather incentive, to make you overcome great challenges. You’re rarely put in a place where you can’t just give up on whatever fight you’re having trouble with, go off and do a billion other things or grind at one of multiple scarily efficient areas, and come back to stomp whatever was giving you trouble, even if you had forgotten about it. Now sure, it’s still a choice. You can choose to keep banging your under-leveled head against the bosses and overcome them… Or you can choose to go explore that other spot you have marked on your map instead. For example, you know that dragon right near the start of the game in the swamp? Like many others, I travelled there, found the dragon, screamed “That’s so cool!” As I dashed away for safety, knowing that I stood no chance. Fast forward a hundred or so hours, and I pass back through the area and encounter the dragon again, only to absolutely destroy it. Not gonna lie, it felt kinda cool, like I had grown, but it also wasn’t that fun of a fight since it’s health bar dropped faster than a Radahn Meteor. This holds true for many if not all of the optional bosses, outside of super high level ones that you’re unlikely to completely eclipse in strength. The main bosses that hold the shards are a bit different usually, since they can have their own gimmick that makes them tough regardless (Like Radahn’s arrows at the start of his fight, or having to hunt down the singing glowy people in the magic academy). In summary for this point, my biggest issue is that there’s linear styled bosses and enemies in an open styled game. Before I move onto my issues with combat, there’s a different aspect I must address about the open world set up.

The ER world is big… Sort of. For its massive cliffs, mountains, and even underground caverns, there’s still a weird, water-shaped issue around it. In fact, it’s around everything. In DS 1, there were a few areas with water, but not many. If you fell in, you died like it was any other ledge. Fair enough, it’s a linear game with specific paths, so water travel is certainly not needed, especially when you couldn’t even do a standing jump. This was even used in its favour in the Deep Root Basin, where you can fight a hydra, but have to dodge and counter its heads since it’s in the lake, and you can’t enter. Fast foreword to ER, and a huge portion of the map is just WATER. This would be fine if there was any sort of boats or sea-faring methods to allow you to traverse the aquatic expanse; maybe you could even tussle with some sea monsters that attack your ship, how cool would that be?! But, as it is now, it’s just an empty void that takes up a bunch of map space and gives nothing in return for its presence. Sure, there are islands, but you either have to get to them via caves or portals, so they might as well just be different buildings. There’s even an island right across from the beach near the start of the game that would take all of a minute to swim across, but our poor tarnished must be made of solid stone because even without armour, they can’t take a step into the depths. I almost forgot, the water actually does add something, but it isn’t for the better…

Linearity is the moto that the the other DS games live by but love to break. Twice in DS 1, the path of progression splits, giving you options on where to go next; A 50/50 split when you decide which bell to tackle first near the start, and 25/25/25/25 split later on when you choose which of four bosses you want to hunt down and defeat first to fourth. It’s pretty cool, though a bit easy to get lost. However, outside of those two times, the game follows a linear structure as mentioned before, something that ER clearly doesn’t want to do… right? See, another issue with the vast sea is that it turns to map from a potential square into a Ç, giving you options but not complete immediate freedom. Many areas require certain events to happen (like the meteor opening the hole to the underground city) or items to be gathered, like the Dectus lift pieces. Granted, you can bypass the Dectus lift via a cave system if you chose to explore that way, but you still need to be at least yey strong to get through it. Even sprinting past all of the brutal bird dudes, you’re stopped by a boss fight with a fiery Wyrm. So until you’re strong enough to beat that, you might as well give up on reaching the mountains. And by the time you either happen to find the pieces of the lift (good luck) or get strong enough to beat the Wyrm, you might’ve just forgotten about it entirely. Since there’s no other way to get to the mountain tops, this makes part of the exploration process linear, where it’s akin to the DS 50/50, which seems branching, but doesn’t quite constitute as such in an open world game. This Ç type structure is, technically, branching; you can choose to go east, south, or north west right out of the gate. Though if you’re just counting getting all the shards and beating the final boss as beating the game, you might as well make the map a normal C, as the southern area is completely optional. Now, this isn’t a big issue for me. I love optional stuff, and having a complete extra area to the south that’s there just for fun times and exploration sounds great. Buuut, say you don’t know that there’s no mandatory bosses down their despite its large appearance on the map, you might feel like you’ve wasted time and effort. Not me, per say, as I like the idea of exploring everywhere I can find and am actually allowed to reach, but having bosses that provide incentive to explore in each of the major areas EXCEPT THE SOUTH seems a bit odd. Take BOTW again for example, which has its four major dungeons in the four corners of the map, with the final boss smack dab in the centre. That’s enough about Cs and seas for now though, onward to the battle front!

Combat in ER improves a lot upon what was established in former titles: you have a plethora of spells, incantations, and even awesome new additions in the forms of Ashes and Ashes of War, which give much more options to those who use more melee focused combat primarily, but still lots of benefits to go around. So what’s so bad about it? Not much. If this were a normal souls game, I’d considering this one of the best bunches of combat expressiveness that I’ve ever seen, but it’s not. Still on the bit about it being an open world experience, that changes how I look at combat. See, in Zelda, many items have multiple uses; A boomerang can stun enemies, flip switches, and collect items. A Hookshot can do much of same, but can’t hit multiple targets, though it can allow the player to travel to new areas at designated grapple points and terrain like vine walls or wood. I bring up Zelda because I think of DS 1 as being very similar to Zelda in a lot of aspects. I won’t list them all off, but just look at Sen’s Fortress after playing a 3D Zelda game or two, you’ll see what I mean. Anyways, when transitioning into a true, open world in BOTW, much of the items of utility from the past were dropped or altered: Hookshots, instruments, flying drone bugs, iron boots and more, all gone. Things like the boomerang, magic rods, hammers, and bows have all become throwaway items that are not mandatory for completion. However, for all that it takes away, it had a handful of new abilities that have more uses than I can list, but I’ll try: Magnesis allows you to pick up and move metal objects. This allows you to open metal doors, lift grates, make bridges, collect underwater chests, steal items, smack enemies, hold metal objects near enemies in a thunderstorm to get them smited, break open metal crates by tossing them at each other, lift key items out of bogs for puzzles, make stairs, create chains of random items to complete electrical circuits, and more. Notice the mix of both combat and non-combat related uses, or in other words, utility. Now look to ER. Everything in the entire game only revolves around combat, and nothing else. There are some things like invisibility or mimicking items that help you AVOID combat, but that’s still related. Now, I know what everyone’s thinking: “Of course it’s all about combat, that’s always been what Souls games are about!” And yes, but not this time. This time there’s a big, open world to explore and mess around in, and yet it feels noticeably stagnant and unmoving, despite things like meteors literally changing the landscape. You have two modes of transportation, on foot or Torrent, and neither of you have any way to change how you move around the world beyond some random gusts of wind for getting up specific cliffs. There’s no spells that make you run faster, jump higher, teleport, or whatnot, unless it’s fixed to an animation for a combat focused attack. You and these attacks are ONLY used for fighting opponents, nothing more. You’re not going to soar across the fields on dragon or crucible knight wings, you won’t freeze water to make it walkable with an ice blast, and you wont melt snow with a fire ball. You can’t even cut down trees, but the enemies get too?! The closest thing to utility is some spells and such casting light, and there’s already spells that do that, but don’t do anything else. Now, there’s also a crafting system… Where you can make combat items. And spirits that you can summon to assist you in so many ways, like… Combat. You can even get the ring shards that give you special boosts, like maybe making you run faster, or be able to climb walls, or… Boost your combat capabilities. Yeah, the combat is great, that’s obvious, but when it so drastically over shadows everything else that I normally like to see in an open world game, it feels less like an open WORLD and more like an open arena.

My final point for the moment is an issue with a mix of combat and the exploration that whilst kinda cool, is also a bit demoralizing at times, and I’m talking about discoverable weapons, items, and spells. Each of these things have stat requirements, and most usually, a player will commit to a certain build or focus for what they want to increase. But, if they’re completely new to souls games, they probably won’t know the benefits of any thing, or what gets lock because of their choice. Let’s say a new player knows that intelligence makes magic stronger, and they plan to be a mage. They’re playing through, all is well, until they run into a dragon. Awesome! They’ve always wanted to fight a dragon! Thusly, they fight, and through many hard fought attempts, they fell the beast and get its heart. “Woah, I can use this at the dragon church to get stuff? This is awesome!” So they manage to find the dragon church, go to the statue and see all of the awesome dragon spells that they can get with their hard fought dragon heart. Except wait, they’re not spells, they’re incantations, and this guy has absolutely zilch put into his faith stat. Well damn. That was pointless, and now he’s got no reason to fight another dragon again, because he won’t be able to use its stuff even if he does kill it. Tough luck, kid. Better luck next time. It’s this sort of hard work that leads to something that might not even help that can put a bit of a damper on the thrill of exploration. You may get something cool, sure, but who knows if it’s even going to be useable? The enemy you’re struggling with looks like it’s using something completely different from what you do, so it’s probably worthless anyways. This is at its worse when one of the main shard bearers has stuff that you can’t use, so you beat them and end up with less runes than you would have gotten if you had grinded instead for that same amount of time. Now sure, you could just remember for your next play though, but personally, I believe that a single play through should be fun enough to warrant a second, not the other way around. Compare that to BOTW, where eeeeeverying is useable, no stats required.

Now that’s all, unless I remember more later. Thanks for listening to my insane ramblings if you did, and I wish you a good day. Now, in an optimal time line, Fromsoft would be able to iron these issue of mine right out by the next game like it, but maybe I’m just delusional. I still give this around an 8/10 for everything it does right, and I know it can do even better.

Edited on by Platinum-Bucket

Buckets o’ hype

Ralizah

@Platinum-Bucket Fantastic post. A lot of the things you talk about (the flawed design of ER's open world, the inability to use most of the weapons you find without respec'ing, the laser focus on combat and lack of environmental interactivity in general) are a big part of why I don't consider it to be a BotW-tier open world experience, despite the strong combat fundamentals and sprawling dungeon design.

But I still liked it. It's the only FS game I've really enjoyed to date. So even if I don't think it's the masterpiece a lot of FS fans think it is, I'm still glad they opted for a new approach to their action game design.

@RogerRoger I'd say Forgotten Land absolutely plays it safe, but that the developers also put a TON of effort and consideration into it. What it lacks in ambition it makes up in raw charm, polish, and fun.

I used to assume all, or almost all, licensed games were low-effort garbage, but you've definitely helped me to be less automatically dismissive of even some of the older ones. I appreciate the amount of passion with which you talk about them.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

Platinum-Bucket

@Ralizah Thanks! I like it quite a bit too. I wouldn’t have put 100 odd hours into it if I didn’t. Glad someone can understand where I’m coming from!

Buckets o’ hype

RogerRoger

@Ralizah Thank you for your kind comment, and for continuing to read my reviews!

@Platinum-Bucket Excellent post, real glad you decided to share it! Because whilst I have no personal perspective regarding Elden Ring itself (haven't played it, never gonna play it) I know what it's like to have an opinion that feels contrary to the popular consensus, and to be nervous about speaking up. Elden Ring has developed such a bulletproof reputation in such a short space of time, and there's a fine line between "passion" and "toxicity" in some corners of the internet, but I've seen a small handful of others raise legitimate concerns as you've done here (that is to say, eloquently and with irrefutable evidence) so I know you're not alone, at least... and hey, it's not like you're hating on the game or anything, right?! So here's hoping the inevitable sequel can improve upon the areas you've mentioned.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

Untitled

Platform: GameBoy Advance
Release Date: November 2002

***

Following a pair of successful side-scrollers on the GameBoy Colour, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy might've been the titular hero's GBA debut, but it's also notable for being the first Tomb Raider game developed by somebody other than Core Design. Keen to continue to capitalise on Lady Croft's popularity, Eidos handed handheld responsibility to Ubisoft Milan, so as not to distract a troubled Core from their struggles with The Angel of Darkness.

This proved to be a double-edged sword for The Prophecy, a game which I enjoyed in principle, yet nevertheless felt more than a little frustrated by. Despite claiming to have created an original archaeological escapade, Ubisoft Milan did what so many other fans of previously protected properties have done when given half a chance, and so we join Lara Croft halfway up a snow-covered mountain, fending off wolves (no, seriously, stop me if you've heard this one already). What follows is a slapdash story about "real magic" that's about as thin as Indiana Jones would've been if he'd failed to outrun that giant boulder, and the whole thing's in dire need of a good proof-reader, as its periodic paragraphs are packed with bad grammar and smelling pistakes. It's underwhelming at best.

Untitled

And yet, in an age before portable PlayStations allowed us to play Lara's back-catalogue on public transport, I admire the desire to provide some fond memories on the go. Even stuck with its sorry excuse for a plot, The Prophecy does nail the vibe of adventures past, with a decent soundtrack of haunting ambience to accompany its expansive puzzle-based environments. It's also clear that Ubisoft Milan weren't just a random outsourcing choice on Eidos' part, as they ably demonstrate how to harness the GBA's strengths and make the most of its potential power. The Prophecy looks great from start to finish; the character sprites might seem a touch on the small side, but they help sell the grandeur of the various temples and tombs, and Lara herself moves with a fluid grace appropriate for her legendary status.

Untitled

Clunky combat is outweighed by exploration, key-fetching, and a bunch of doors with timed switches, but there's still some welcome diversity to deadly encounters, as late-game enemies do require different tactics to defeat. The new top-down perspective can become an annoyance whenever the rich graphical detail causes confusion between what's a climbable ledge and what's a yawning chasm, but most of the levels are brief enough so that your inevitable trial-and-error won't become a progression problem, and a password save system means you can always skip ahead if you're feeling particularly peeved. Whilst the GBA's limited inputs can't entirely replicate Lara's established skillset, she works well with what's available, and some might even appreciate the absence of any block-pushing.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Prophecy is ultimately a curious little curio. When I'm wearing my generous fanboy hat, I call it an admirable attempt to put a well-crafted hit of nostalgia into players' pockets, and a faithful experience that lives up to its platform's "advanced" moniker... but then, when I'm being objective, I reckon it's a badly-written waste of an opportunity, one that's hampered by Ubisoft Milan's short-sighted decision to retread old ground.

In conclusion, therefore, I'd say that sounds like a six.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@RogerRoger Hey, cool, another GBA review!

The system was one of the first portables to offer enough hardware grunt that it could explore genres that had been underserved on previous Game Boy consoles, IMO. The primitive tech and displays of previous models didn't do much for action-adventure type games, but suddenly you could make much larger environments, more detailed sprites, etc.

Pity to hear the narrative elements and aspects of the gameplay are undercooked, though.

Appreciate the detail on its development, with this being the first TR game to be developed by another developer.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Ralizah Yep, an' I got a couple more to knock out soon, as well. I actually started to write this review a while back, as I played The Prophecy last year, but I got several long-winded paragraphs in and kinda tied myself up in knots. I figured I'd make my second shot shorter (the game itself is only a couple hours long, if that) and so starting over with that approach helped. Brief reviews for brief games, methinks.

I've never played the GameBoy Colour games I mentioned, but looking at YouTube footage and comparing it to The Prophecy is like night and day. The GBA is such a cracking little machine. It's a shame a lot of third-party developers were stuck in an outdated mindset when it came to wielding its power, but you occasionally find a real gem. That's not to go back on my review and say that The Prophecy is perfect, but it definitely shows potential in parts. It's disappointing that The Angel of Darkness did such widespread damage to the Tomb Raider brand, because I think I'd have liked to have seen a follow-up refine Ubisoft Milan's approach. Instead, when Legend came to all platforms several years later, GBA Lara went back to starring in a simplistic 2D side-scroller, albeit a polished and playable one.

Anyway, before this gets longer than the actual review, I'll say thanks for reading and replying!

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

mookysam

@Ralizah Really nice Kirby review; it's certainly got me looking forward to playing it. Nightmare-inducing light bulge transformations aside, it looks (and sounds, thanks for those music videos) utterly delightful. Did your nephew enjoy it? I've only recently started playing Kirby games again, namely Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, both of which I had a great time with. But overall it's the biggest Nintendo franchise I'm least familiar with. I haven't actually seen or read too much about the game, so am surprised to learn about how level based it is, not that I was expecting or particularly wanted some Breath of the Wild moment or anything. As you note it's interesting that for all the spin-offs that experiment with various genres and hardware gimmicks, the core entries have been rather conservative.

Re: Banjo - The notes being saved is a big help in the Xbox version. As for the controls, from what I remember they're still a little sluggish on an actual N64 (certainly compared to Mario) but there is a little more precision. I tended to use talon trot to move around as it's not only faster, but has quicker reflexes.


@Platinum-Bucket Cheers for your thoughts on Elden Ring, it's always interesting to read a new perspective, particularly for something so widely praised. I haven't ever played a proper Souls game, and have always felt a bit apprehensive about doing so because of their reputation for high difficulty, but Elden Ring is the first one I've thought seriously about trying, ironically for some of the things you mention. It's interesting how you contrast it with Breath of the Wild's open world. It's only when I've played other games (recently Assassin's Creed Odyssey and the Horizon Frozen Wilds expansion) that I've been able to truly appreciate just how well Breath of the Wild utilises its gameplay environment. It's perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity that Elden Ring's lacks any real interactivity and is generally window dressing. Over the years I've tended to prefer tighter, more linear gameplay experiences, so the contrast with open world games is always fascinating.


@RogerRoger Yay, another Game Boy Advance game review! It's always nice to see some lesser known consoles and games explored. It's a great little system, and I love the various ways in which the hardware was pushed. On that front this looks particularly nice! It's admirable that Ubisoft Milan were able to retain and adapt the Tomb raider vibe so well. Shame that Lara's portable adventure is badly written and wasn't properly edited. That always irritates me! I'm playing through Ace Attorney: Justice For All, and there was a grammatical error that haunted me for days. 😱 What other GBA games do you have lined up?

Back to Mirror's Edge and the discussion you were having with Sol, it's surprising how external influences, and our own mental state and mindset impact how much we enjoy a game. It never used to particularly happen to me, but it's increasingly been the case in recent years. Pokémon never seems to have much luck! I'm trying to relax more and go with the flow, rather than force things. I stopped playing Persona 5 Strikers last year because I wasn't enjoying it (or much of anything), but I'm back playing it and am actually having a good time! As for the zeitgeist, it's sometimes best to play something completely detached from the hype. It allows us to more easily view something with a fresh perspective. And yep, when I get round to Mirror's Edge I'll be sure to post my thoughts.

Black Lives Matter
Trans rights are human rights

Ralizah

@mookysam Thanks!

Yeah, we both enjoyed Kirby quite a bit. He usually ends up losing interest in games pretty quickly, but we actually got through the Ultimate Cup Z Arena challenge together. I played on my own to find collectibles and whatnot, since he has little patience for me poking around in random corners of the level.

The 3DS Kirbys are fantastic. Probably the peak of the series for me, personally, and for a lot of funs who consider Planet Robobot to be something close to a platforming masterpiece. With that said, this modern 3D entry is really nice, and I definitely don't want to go backwards at this point.

Yeah, an open world approach probably wouldn't work well, but early footage heavily suggested something a little more sandbox-y, like Mario Odyssey. Instead, we got a very traditional Kirby platformer.

Although, like I said, when the results are this good, it's hard to be disappointed.

And yeah, I talon trotted all over the levels, since normal movement is a little slow for my liking, and you slide off surfaces easily. Unfortunately, that means long stretches of time listening to Kazooie's horrible bird grunting.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@mookysam Thank you! I'm definitely in the right headspace for GBA games at the moment. Sometimes I find that I get a little frustrated with retro stuff (goodness, it feels so wrong to be calling games from the 21st Century retro, but there we are) but it's often my GBA library that breaks through that hesitance. Even when the games aren't perfect, they're charming enough to be memorable and enjoyable overall, although yes, noticeable grammatical errors can and will threaten that feeling!

I've got Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2 and Star Wars: The New Droid Army on my list, and I also want to try and return to Sonic Battle, which has the dubious honour of being one of the small handful of games I've had to abandon halfway through. Wish me luck!

Whilst I'm sorry to hear that you've recently noticed your mood impacting your gaming enjoyment, I'm glad that you've been able to go back to Persona 5: Strikers and finally find the fun. I've definitely felt more positive about gaming since I just decided to stop playing what I think I should be, and instead just play what I want to. The types of games we like aren't exactly going anywhere (if we were all fans of live-service games then yeah, perhaps this'd be a problem). Perhaps when the next Pokémon game gets released, you'll feel better about waiting a while, and playing it when you're ready?

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Th3solution

@RogerRoger As a Tomb Raider fan, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the lesser known The Prophecy. Never having owned a GameBoy, it’s a game which was completely foreign to me. Nevertheless, I just love the franchise, so seeing a mediocre Tomb Raider game is better than none at all! Actually you and Ness replaying some older classic TR games has piqued my interest in them. Perhaps if PS+ premium has some of these older titles included then it will sway me to subscribe. (Especially if they have trophies.). Alas, it looks like The Prophecy is likely stranded on GBA, which apparently isn’t a huge loss.

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

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Forum Megapoll 2020 - Best Video Game Box Art: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Special Edition

RogerRoger

@Th3solution Thanks for reading, buddy! I'll be honest, The Prophecy passed me by for a while, too. It was only when I got my DS Lite and started checking its back-catalogues of available software that I stumbled across Lara's handheld exploits (and even then, the game sat untouched on my shelf for a few years, for reasons I can't recall). It's not a huge loss leaving it on GBA, but I still reckon it'd make a neat little unlockable extra in some form of "classic collection" someday. Kinda like how some versions of Metal Gear Solid 3 include the original MSX2 games. That'd be pretty sweet.

And yeah, speaking of which, I think it's worth waiting and seeing what this PS Plus service offers. There have been rumours of Tomb Raider remasters for years. If the first game hadn't been adapted in Anniversary already, I think we'd have seen something by now. Depends what this new Embracer Group wants to do with the I.P. going forward, I guess. They might keep 'em away from Sony if they're planning some kind of compilation or re-release of their own.

"We want different things, Crosshair. That doesn't mean that we have to be enemies."

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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