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Topic: User Impressions/Reviews Thread

Posts 2,741 to 2,759 of 2,759

RR529

@Ralizah, yeah, then I'm not really sure why it was dipping (to be fair, I never tried to run it at an even higher frame rate).

Same thing for LEGO Star Wars: the Skywalker Saga. It was able to hit 60 fps most of the times (usually in the open world/space environments), however it could go as low as the mid 40's in some of the bespoke levels.

I think Tales of Arise was usually in the 40's - 50's for me to, depending on what I was doing.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RogerRoger

@RR529 Thanks for replying with your time stats the other day, that's useful to know. Not that a game should ever be forced to live or die by its length, of course.

And thanks for those additional horror details, as well. Sounds okay enough, but definitely a surprise!

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

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

HallowMoonshadow

Hey @Ralizah I was just looking at the initial post/the directory and I think it's exceeded the limit of words/characters of the post as it's randomly cut off from the looks of things?

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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Currently playing: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition on PS4
Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair on PS4

RogerRoger

@Ralizah @HallowMoonshadow I think (or hope, at least) that I've mentioned this before but, as the owner of the topic's second post, I'd be more than happy to share directory duties and maintain any entry from N onwards (or wherever the actual halfway point lands; some letters seem more popular than others).

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

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Ralizah

@HallowMoonshadow @RogerRoger Damn. I wonder how long that's been happening...

I didn't think it'd just start cutting off characters at the end of the post when it hit whatever the character limit is.

Guess that means I'll be have to run through the thread again to see what posts it wiped out. X, Y, and Z, by the look of it.

Rog, I'm going to soon shift hosting duties for N - Z over to you, if it's not too much trouble. It should be simple enough to just copy them over to the second post. @ me when you do so that I can erase them from my current post.

After I find out which reviews were erased, I'll temporarily re-add them to the end of my post so that you can copy them over.

Appreciate the help.

Edited on by Ralizah

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Ralizah No problemo. I've got writer's block at the moment, so I'm looking for things to do (plus I owe you one, since I still feel guilty about hijacking this topic last month). I'm about to eat, and then I'll stick on some music and sort through the list. I'll dig up the missing X, Y and Z reviews whilst I'm at it.

Looks like we lost a member recently, too, which means some of the links aren't pointing to where they're supposed to, so I'll double-check everything as I go.

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

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

HallowMoonshadow

RogerRoger wrote:

Looks like we lost a member recently, too, which means some of the links aren't pointing to where they're supposed to, so I'll double-check everything as I go.

I found out who it is.

... It's @velio84.

I only looked at three reviews and noted that they were only a post or two off from there they should've linked to so they weren't a regular in that thread (and some earlier posts are fine so I assumed they were a newer member) and then just looked back about 7/8 pages in the chat thread to notice his responses were gone.

Edited on by HallowMoonshadow

Previously known as Foxy-Goddess-Scotchy
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Currently playing: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition on PS4
Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair on PS4

RogerRoger

@HallowMoonshadow Oh no! If I recall correctly, they'd recently been asking for advice about certain games, so I hope a lack of response didn't make them feel unwelcome or ignored. Well, whatever the reason for their departure, I hope it was the right call, and that they're okay.

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

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

@Ralizah All done! Methinks I've got everything (including the missing letters) but if you notice anything amiss, or want me to make any changes, please do let me know. Hope this helps!

"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 Yeesh, that must have been a lot of work. I appreciate the help!

I'll adjust the formatting for the early reviews on my end as well, since we lost another member.

Edited on by Ralizah

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@Ralizah No worries! It was nothing compared to everything you've done thusfar, creating and maintaining the database and this topic to begin with. Besides, it's kinda my fault that the second half of the alphabet is so overloaded, thanks to my obsessions with Sonic, Star Trek, Star Wars and Tomb Raider, so taking responsibility for keeping my own mess tidy is the least I can do.

I tried to match your formatting as best as possible, but I tend to type on autopilot, so I apologise if I've created any extra work for you in that regard. Please do let me know if I need to change anything!

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

PSN: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Buizel

@RR529 A little late to the party, but I'm a little concerned that you weren't able to get Stray running at a stable 60 fps on a (albeit mobile) RTX3070.

Presumably this at 1080p?

Did you experiment at all with the settings, or with a lower resolution?

I also use a gaming laptop, but with an RTX2080 Max-Q. Having accepted that it's nowhere near as powerful as my PS5, I regardless expect it to give me a solid 60 fps 1080p for the next couple of years of games, and it is my preferred platform over the PS5 despite the power difference. However if I can't achieve 60fps I suppose I'll go with the PS5 version.

Maybe the game is just poorly optimised for PC?

Edited on by Buizel

At least 2'8".

Ralizah

@Buizel You can run this at 1080p/60 with a GTX 970 if your CPU and mobo are decent, so i wouldn't worry too much.

An RTX 2080 will be absolutely fine for gaming for years to come if you're not going for 4K and/or raytracing.

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

PSN: Ralizah

Buizel

@Ralizah Hmm okay, perhaps I'll just pick it up one day and see how it runs. Luckily the Steam return policy is fairly reasonable.

At least 2'8".

Ralizah

@Buizel That's probably your best move.

A lot of people complained about not being able to hit 60fps on Elden Ring as well on their fancy 3060s, but my ancient 970 maintained 50+ fps through the majority of the game at 1080p on high settings.

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

PSN: Ralizah

DominusPlatypus

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (Impressions after 4 hours)

It’s about time I talked about Crash Bandicoot 4. I have wanted to play this game since its release in September 2020. So, when it launched as a part of PS Plus Essential’s monthly games for July 2022, I jumped at the opportunity to try it out.

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“Only if this f*cking camera!”

This was my first time playing a Crash Bandicoot game and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I knew the games were renowned for their difficulty — less to do with figuring out the way forward and more to do with landing precise jumps — but not much else. I figured that since I had played and beat Celeste, maybe Crash 4 wouldn’t be so much of a challenge. Boy was I wrong.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is not an easy game. At first glance, the jumps look simple enough to make. Enemies and hazardous objects are clearly visible, leaving it up to the player’s skill to decide whether they can move forward or not. Simple enough right?

Well for veterans of the series it might be, but for someone like me who has never played a Crash Bandicoot game — or any hardcore 3D platformer for that matter — there was one obnoxious obstacle to overcome. The camera.

3D platforming just doesn’t come so easily. Depth is a big issue here, and on many occasions, I was unable to tell how far into the environment I was jumping. Another stumbling block of the behind-the-back is the player’s ability to judge speed. Since Crash is moving “into the screen”, it is hard to tell how fast he is moving. This can lead to the player overshooting or undershooting their target, without being able to do anything about it.

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At first, I revelled in this newfound challenge. It was annoying for sure, especially given that I had to restart from the previous checkpoint — and not from the beginning of the room like in Celeste (a game that you will see me referencing many times despite their vast differences). But I found myself persevering, again and again, to clear the single jump that was holding me back.

Unfortunately, for me at least, as I progressed further into the game, my gripes with the camera and my inability to adjust to its unique characteristics meant with each death I was becoming more frustrated with the game. While previously I followed each death by slamming the side of my first into my desk, I now found myself simply saving the game, and playing something instead.

Crash 4’s camera just went from a mildly infuriating nuisance to a serious put-off.

When it works, it works.

I know I just rambled about the annoying camera, but let me go ahead and contradict some of that. When Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time works, then oh boy does it work. Some levels can be played swiftly and fluidly. Spinning into a clump of crates transitions fluidly into a jump over a pool of water. It’s in these moments that Crash 4 shines. The game manages to keep hold of its difficulty and challenge without the camera inhibiting the player from fairly attempting these jumps.

Crash 4’s camera is also not a hindrance during the game’s side-scrolling sections. While these usually consist of simple enough jumps, they are spiced up with level-specific features like vines to swing on and fires to slide under. They may not be as challenging as the normal sections, but they provide a nice change of pace from Crash 4’s more frustrating moments.

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I enjoyed the boat driving sections in this game. Crash moves much faster here, and while both interactivity and challenge take a nose dive in these parts, just like the side-scrolling sections, they serve as an oddly serene and slow moment that at times is much appreciated in a game like this.

My first exposure to Crash Bandicoot in the form of actually playing it and not watching a video was in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, where Nate challenges Elena saying he can beat her high score. You got to play a level of the original Crash Bandicoot game from 1996, and it was one where you were running towards the camera and seemingly out of the screen — a chase sequence if you will.

And while I don’t have any strong memories about that experience, it was forgetful if you will, that is certainly not the case with Crash 4’s very own chase sequences. These sequences require quick reactions and split-second decision-making, much like some of Celeste’s later levels where you don’t know what jump or obstacle is coming up next.

Crash 4 throws almost everything in the book at you here, all the while ensuring Crash moves at a rapid pace. These sequences were one of the most enjoyable and memorable parts of the game, and I wish they took place more often.

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Visually stunning environments.

The environments that play host to Crash Bandicoot 4’s levels are simply beautiful. I reached the game’s 4th main level, Tranquility Falls, and I have to say every single level before and this one included has some of the most jaw-dropping environments of any game I have had the honour to play.

Each island is visually distinct and has a charm of its own, from the tropical forests and sandy beaches of N.Sanity Island to the loud mechanical mines of The Hazardous Wastes. But my personal favourite was the pirate-themed Salty Wharf.

Just take a gander yourself:

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Isn’t it a sight to behold? The use of colour makes everything POP! out of the background, with the precise path laid out between wonky shapes and crazy designs bringing order to the seeming chaos. Everything just seems so random but works so well in practice.

The Salty Wharf introduces you to this village area by bringing you out of the starting cave on a grind rail that dips and flows through the crests and troughs between rock and house. With nothing but water underneath you, Crash 4 forces you to pay attention and keep your fingers on the buttons, making every glimpse you get of this awe-inspiring sight more worth it than the last. And, if you kept on dying like me, you get to do it all over again.

A twist on boss battles.

Just like every game in existence, Crash 4 features boss battles. Celeste was a game where I did not want there to be boss battles, and the ones that were there certainly weren’t my favourite parts of the game. I felt adding boss battles to a platformer took away from the game’s real appeal — the platforming.

But, in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, I goddamn loved the boss battles. At least the two which I played — Dr N. Gin at the end of The Hazardous Wastes island and Louise at the end of the Salty Wharf island. Both were fun because they were more about the platforming aspects of the game than about actually fighting the boss.

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My favourite of the two? The Dr N. Gin fight.

This boss battle sees you having to jump, slide, and spin your way through three different waves of enemies, running forward and spinning into the boss after each wave was outlasted. This was fun because you were partaking in fast and fluid platforming, not boring combat in the move-hit-move-hit form.

And just like all other levels in the game, the stage for this elaborate dance was exquisitely crafted and stunning to look at. I seriously cannot understate the creativity and passion the designers at Toys For Bob put into the creation of this game's tens of levels and enemies. They are some of the most visually diverse and interesting I have ever seen.

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Odd choice of progression.

Before we wrap up, let me quickly talk about the game’s progression system. Or should I say its lack of one? Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Crash Bandicoot 4 has a progression system. It’s just that it’s insanely difficult to move through it.

Crash 4’s progression system comes in the form of new skins for Crash and Coco. These can be unlocked by, wait for it, collecting all 6 gems in each level. But it’s not so straightforward because to earn each gem you have to complete each of these challenges. Gameranx has them listed out for us:

  • 20% Wumpa Fruit Collected
  • 40% Wumpa Fruit Collected
  • 80% Wumpa Fruit Collected
  • 100% Crates Smashed
  • Die No More Than 3 Times
  • Find Hidden Gem

That means to unlock a new skin for Crash or Coco, you have to play through the level as them and basically 100% every aspect of it while finding the hidden gem and not dying more than 3 times. For someone playing the game for the first time, this is a steep hill to climb, and one that most players won’t be willing to do.

This meant that 4 levels or 4 hours into the game, I was still playing as Crash and Coco with their default skins. To some extent, I understand why Toys For Bob did this. It rewards the most skilled and dedicated players for thoroughly beating each level. But the vast majority of people who either don’t want to or are unable to pull this off, are left with no form of progression regardless of how far into the game they are.

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. . .

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time seems like great fun. The platforming is fluid, the environments are gorgeous, and the levels engaging. But the iconic marsupial’s latest outing is not without its flaws. A frustrating camera, some steep difficulty curves, and an almost non-existent progression system prevented it from really clicking with me.

I have my gripes with Crash Bandicoot 4, and while I enjoyed most of my arguably limited time with it, it wasn’t enough to stop me from putting down my controller and not returning to it for weeks.

For now, the game is behind me. But I look forward to a point in future when I realise it’s about time I returned to Crash Bandicoot 4.

DominusPlatypus

nomither6

@DominusPlatypus good review . i wouldn’t recommend the old crash games either to anyone who’s easily frustrated . i beat the n sane trilogy and never wanted to play it again

crash may be having a sonic situation where his games just fit better in the past but i could be wrong

nomither6

Ralizah

@DominusPlatypus Nice write-up! The camera angle adopted in these games has always seemed like the worst possible one for a 3D platformer, so it's nice to see that frustration echoed in your experience with the game. There are so many aspects of the series I know I'd have to rip apart if I ever actually seriously sat down a completed one of these games.

The progression system does sound extremely weird. I have heard that this game has nightmarish platinum trophy requirements, but I'm surprised to hear that even just the act of playing through the game normally is tedious.

It IS very pretty, though! Games like this and the new Ratchet and Clank titles make me wish Sony and Microsoft would double down on using the grunt of the next-gen hardware to create more truly stunning 3D platformers, as, IMO, stylized art-styles benefit dramatically from the jump in tech when effort is put in to make them look nice.

Nintendo Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

PSN: Ralizah

RogerRoger

@DominusPlatypus Really enjoyed your Crash 4 piece up there! Thanks for sharing!

"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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