Last game you finished

  • @axel I'm still in the middle of X3 right now, but I'll definitely have to post updates as I go through all of them on the thread here. I personally remember really enjoying X4-X6 a lot growing up, but haven't really touched X7 or X8 at all. It will be really interesting going into all of those ones in order of release with a fresh perspective! While I would agree that each of the games do add a lot of bloat as far as I remember, and that timing thing in X5 being stressful and dumb, it could be argued that each of the games in the original trilogy still have their own level of gimmicks as well.

    I think that the first X game is still as close to perfect as you could get. It's so breezy going through that game. Upgrading your gear and beating bosses has a rhythm to it that is just a masterclass. X2 added the optional bosses which can be cool even if it creates a little extra backtracking, but X3 has a little too much additional stuff for me to be excited to find it all. You've got ride-armor stuff, armor upgrades, chips to upgrade your armor upgrades, and optional bosses on top of that. It all feels like a little too much personally and slows down that pace the first one nailed so well. Not that I'm not enjoying myself, I still am. It's just starting to lose some of that pacing that made the first one feel so good. Review to come soon!

    Also, this is a fan made thing, but it's still pretty cool. We can always dream.
    Youtube Video

  • I played 20 minutes of Persona 4 Golden on my PC today.

    I'm just glad I can finally say that, it has been discouraging to see one of the games I love the most being trapped in the Vita and not easy to play.

    This is without a doubt a first step they are taking to making these games that have a higher potential reach a wider audience, P5 Royal on PC must be on the works already, I'm positive that is the case.

    And while this is in parts just hopium, this makes me think they are at least deciding on a ideal version of Persona 3 to put into the PC, and hopefully reworking it too include both the content from Portable and FES, making it a definitive edition, or to put it simply ... P3 Remake pleassssseeeee

  • @happygaming I don't want to derail the topic, but you should check this one too:

    Youtube Video

    Mega Man X Corrupted has been in the works for years and it looks absolutely perfect! There's tons of other videos on ths guy's channel.

  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes 8.5/10

    I really liked this game, and I find the reception it got to be pretty distant from my impressions of the game, it does lag on for just a bit at some points, but overall it kept things varied and paced well enough that so playing the game was generally fun, and the concept and what Suda does with it is simply great.

    Music design is where I was least impressed, with most music being throw away techno that I can barely stand, but visually the design of this is fantastic.

    Loved it and it got me hyped for NMH3, I played the Wii games only when they came out so I had lost that passion for the series, but man has this got me excited for more NMH.

  • Megaman X3

    Continuing my journey through the Megaman X series, I just finished X3 today. Overall, I'd say it's probably my least favorite of the original X trilogy, but I still had a great time playing it.

    X3 continued the series' tradition up to this point of adding additional collectibles and tasks to take on. In this one, you don't just have health, tanks and armor upgrades, you also have mechs that you can collect, and upgrades to your armor upgrades with chip-sets (in this case you can upgrade one piece of your choosing, or if you hold off, you get a special gold armor that upgrades everything in the final level). I felt these were better in concept than practice. I didn't really find a practical use for using any of the mech armors in levels other than finding other optional upgrades, and would have loved to use the different mechs in specified parts of levels designed specifically around their use. The locations of all of these upgrades in general were a lot better placed compared to the previous game though, which created more a good puzzle of how to access the upgrades instead of the frustration of guessing which wall it could be behind.

    The bosses of X3 were also sort of a letdown for me. With the exception of a handful of the bosses, I found the best strategy typically was to do the figure-8 wall jump. Most bosses in X3 just rush towards you on the ground, and stop before they attack, which meant this movement strategy worked for the majority of all of them, but not all. The final boss is brutal because he has such a small hit box and really requires you to move. This sort of thing was just something I found to be the exception, not the norm. The weaknesses of bosses had a lot less logic to it in my brain as well this time around. Even though I know the weaknesses now, there wasn't ever a point where I had an 'a-ha!' moment where I obtained a weapon and knew which opponent it should work against.

    Music is an interesting case here. Compared to past X games, X3 feels like a lot of the sound doesn't have that punch or drive you'd get from the X1 or X2 soundtracks. I think this is because a lot of theme portions of the tracks aren't as pronounced as they have been in the past, but it also sounds like the sound is a lot less layered than previous games as well, incorporating less variety of instruments. The lead is typically hidden in the low rhythm instruments instead of being more pronounced and standing on top. That being said, there are some really stand-out tracks that have been stuck in my head for days and are killer (Gravity Beetle is so good). They're just sitting beside others that I found particularly grating because of this sound difference. The soundtrack was eventually rearranged in CD quality when the game was re-released on the Saturn, PC and Playstation, and in my opinion many of these tracks just sound more full and pleasing (I would go back and forth and listen to the versions side by side, and generally just preferred the CD sound, but I recognize this won't be the case for everyone).

    All issues aside though, there still is something cathartic and very fun about blasting robots to metal tracks and trying to figure out the rock-paper-scissors strategy of weapons to bosses. I think X3 sits at the bottom of the original trilogy for me. While the first one had a near perfect flow and amount of collectibles, X2 and X3 continued to add things that just felt a little unnecessary in my opinion because they don't add much to the experience. It's also very worth noting, not everyone is a completionist like me who wants to get and do everything. I couldn't personally stand getting to the final boss and not getting completely powered up to the max. If you pick up and play X3 today, you're still going to have a blast with fighting some robot baddies and getting powered up. You'd probably just have more fun with X or X2 before this one.

    Final Score: 8/10

    Now on to X4, I may do a palette cleanser game in the meantime though.

  • Dead Space 2

    I did play and loved the first game but never followed up on the series because - honestly - when I saw reviews for 2 with the swarms of humanoid baby monsters I decided I was not in the mood for that anxiety.

    Then played it for a bit when it became BC with the X1, mostly to check to see if it was 4k. It clearly isn't, it's still under 1080p.

    Now I was in the mood for some horror and finally decided to beat it.

    First of all, the use of colour and lighting in this game is amazing. So is the sound design. Be it the crunchy and textured synths or the organic gore and distorted vocalisations. Superb stuff!

    Good variety of locations, plenty of well thought combat situations. Some entertaining environmental puzzles to break the pace. Really enjoyed the tension throughout the whole game.

    The story is kind of whatever, but pretty effective in contextualising setting and fuelling characters arch.

    Then in the last 60 minutes things kind of collapse. Locations get boring, combat cenarios feel more random, even the art direction takes a hit. Final boss is a super short fight, feels clumsy.

    Overall I enjoyed it a lot. Weird that not that long ago EA was putting out some really high quality single player games.

  • @phbz I played the first one but also never got around to the second. Despite some of my favorite movies being Alien and The Thing, I couldn't really get into it as much.

    If you're interested and haven't seen it though, there's a really fascinating 3-Part Game Maker's Toolkit series on the evolution of the Dead Space trilogy I'd recommend. Really gets into why EA changed a lot of elements for each consecutive game.

  • @happygaming I'll check it out. Thanks! I remember when 3 released that there was some talk about shady practices from EA but don't recall what exactly.

  • Time for

    Mega Man X4

    X4 came out in two years after the third entry in the series, and in that time, Capcom built a whole new engine the game would run on. Now running entirely on CD technology, the game has sounds and looks much different than the three that came before. I'm a very big fan of the PS1 sprite look! I love the animations and how so much happens on screen now, in the background or foreground. Explosions really pop and even in the first level you see them throwing as much as they can at you with giant bosses and tons of robots to blow up.

    I can't say they hold up, but I'm also a big fan of the anime cutscenes. The 90's anime aesthetic really comes through in a charming way. However as much as I would like to say that it adds a new layer to the story, the majority of the time it just feels like extra dressing on what would otherwise be text in front of sprites like was previously done to establish plot events.

    Speaking of plot though, I did feel like there's a good balance to how the game adds a little bit more context to whats going on. It's not enough to get in the way or make you care about the boss enemies, but having a couple lines of dialogue before you fight a boss is a nice addition. On top of that, like in X1, there's more of an emphasis on what the enemy characters are actually doing in the world. It makes them feel more like they have a purpose and less like they're just bad guys waiting to fight you.

    Boss fights in this game as well I had a very good time with! There really are a ton of different environments and ways you need to tackle each fight. Unlike in X3 where bosses largely stay stationary on the ground and you can just wall jump around them, each enemy has a different style you'll need to master and get used to. Jet Stingray stays close to the wall so you'll need to stay on the ground, and Magma Dragoon has lava on both sides of the arena, making climbing the wall a risky option altogether. There's really a good encouragement in the boss layout to figure out new ways to maneuver and fight.

    In terms of level layouts, there's generally a very good emphasis on variety. Every area has a unique feel, color and setting that makes them feel visually distinct. The snow level is nice and chilly, and the fire level is hot and treacherous. However it's not just the visuals that set these areas apart; each level has a little quirk or differentiation that makes it feel and play different from the others. One level has a lot of elevator bits where you dodge spikes. One is on a jetski. One has you timing and dodging lasers beams. One has you on a timer to see how fast you can get to the end of set areas. Sometimes it isn't a ton, but the differences really help with making each area more fun to go through than some other stages have been in the past, where things can kind of bleed together.

    I think there were a good amount of upgrades in this one. Two health tanks, a weapon tank, armor upgrades, and a blue capsule that lets you start with more lives. Most of these are choreographed in a nice way to peak your curiosity, although one is a little out of eyesight, so may be frustrating if you're not checking every wall corner in the level. I also liked that there are two options for the X-Buster upgrade: You can get one that lets you shoot three charged blasts in reserve, or one that has a super powerful shot one time that leaves chip damage behind. It doesn't really change up how you play the game regardless of the one you choose, but the option is nice.

    I also wanted to touch on the music, as Mega Man music is some of my favorite in the industry when it's done well. This soundtrack is... just alright. The tracks are never bad or grating, but they almost never stand out as anything more than atmospheric. There are some nice rhythm and drums going on, but not really any stand out lead parts save for a track or two. This is disappointing considering when I think of Mega Man music, I generally think of fast hard guitar.

    Lastly, I wanted to touch on Zero. I played through the game in its entirety with both Mega Man and Zero and what I noticed was that this is definitely a game that was designed for Mega Man first, and Zero as an afterthought. A lot of the bosses are a lot more difficult as Zero just because they're not designed to be attacked at close range. Zero also doesn't get as many upgrades from bosses the same way X does. When he gets an upgrade, generally it feels like something that you should have already had instead of a cool weapon that will make you feel super powerful. You'll unlock things like a double jump, or an air dash, a more powerful Z-Saber. Save for a few weapons, it doesn't feel like they're additional powers to take on bosses in that addicting "rock-paper-scissors" style that makes you feel super powerful when you get it right against a boss, and makes Mega Man games so fun. A lot of the bosses just aren't as fun to tackle as Zero because you never get that sort of overpowered puzzle solving feeling. It would have been nice to have more upgrades in the sense that it actually compliments beating bosses, but also have more unique bosses for Zero in general. Each character gets one unique boss fight in their campaign, and it would have been awesome to have more of these that compliment each character's movements and play styles. As is though, especially some of the final bosses really show off why you can't just use the same boss with two different characters when one relies entirely on close range combat and the other uses only ranged. Bosses like Storm Owl are almost entirely out of range for close-quarters the entire fight, and makes it a trial in frustration to get through.

    Zero aside, this is the most fun I've had with a game in the X series since the first, and I'd say it just barely beats out the second for me. The new engine is beautiful and puts lots of noise and action on the screen. Every stage is a blast to go through, and every boss feels different and unique. It would have been nice to have a bit better music tracks, and it would have been excellent to have utilized Zero more for the game in general, but as it stands, Mega Man X4 is a very fun time!

    Final Score: 8.9/10

    if you only play as Zero: I don't know, 7/10?

  • Minit

    Something of a sleeper hit a couple years ago, and I have to admit I don't get it at all. I like short games that know what they are a lot, but this game isn't about anything. It's just a clumsy Zelda clone with a conceit---one that it does very little with. I guess it's dressed up ok? Like for its pixel art and monochrome I always knew what things were. I don't know what I was hoping for here. If it was the product of a game jam or something I might have appreciated it more.

  • @ringedwithtile I can understand. I loved the aesthetic of the game, but I would have liked to have a little more Zelda style adventure moments. The time limit feels to me like it would be more appealing if I were into speed-running games or watching speed runs, but that's not my thing. I'd definitely have enjoyed Minut more if I got to take a knee, take my time, and just generally appreciate the world and characters a little more, even though that's not really how the game is designed.

    Still, it was charming and kept me busy for a couple afternoons when I picked it up on sale.

  • GTA V for the second time-this time on PS4.

  • The Last of Us 2

    I didn't like the 1st one so recapped it before playing this. I still hate encountering enemies in these. As much as I agree that there are too many resources, the game forcefully limits your inventory which I hate even more considering there is possibility to have so many fights and end up fighting a boss without really anything. Gameplay has improved quite a bit but I felt I played this like an MGS game instead of like a ND game.

    The game is long but it had evenly good moments I liked and has lots of Uncharted 4 in it. ND is amazing giving you beautiful game with animations and subtle things. It is technically an impressive game and wanted to give them another chance but I just don't like this type of game that annoys more than pleases.
    I didn't mind too much on a story but I didn't hate it nor love it. It is what it is. And I did tear up couple of times.

    Final Score: 7.5
    -American Football Roller Coaster-

  • I don't really want to go into any detail since it's so short that even the most basic stuff is kinda spoiler-y but DEATH COME TRUE was pretty cool. I don't know much of anything about Danganronpa but it's made by the same guy so if you're a fan of those maybe check this out. And if you're not, hey check it out anyway it's only fifteen bucks.

  • Last of Us 2.
    (no spoilers)

    I feel like this game could have a few hours less. There's a whole chunk that could be better developed and made DLC but instead is squeezed in.

    There's a certain dullness to this game, starts to feel too familiar, until it isn't. Meaning that while at times it's way too predictable to the point of starting to feel boring it also throws you curve balls often enough. And then even at that becomes predictable too. "Oh no another setback, that like what the 50th?"

    But at the same time the moment to moment in this game is mostly superb. Combat is violent af but it is great fun to experiment with. Level design helps too. Locations feel real, offering good variety. Then when you're not fighting you'll be exploring the most detailed environments I've ever seen. Fantastic world building and environmental storytelling, well... except for the super lazy usage of letters and notes. And when you're not fighting or exploring you'll be watching quality passive storytelling. Which sucks, because me personally would like to see Naugty Dog pushing for more agency to the player's narrative.

    It is a really great game. Fantastic artistic direction and sound design. Very well written. Great combat from stealth to melee, all weapons feel great. Animation work miles away from the competition. Also stellar performances from the whole cast.

    Btw, impossible to play this game on my Pro without headphones. A literal jet engine.

  • @phbz said in Last game you finished:

    Btw, impossible to play this game on my Pro without headphones. A literal jet engine.

    Heard about this from a lot of people on the internet. It makes me so happy that I bought the Slim, lol. It's so silent.

  • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
    Finished the main levels (collected 25 crystals), didn't do most of the extra stuff. The first few levels were pretty jolly and easy going, but my god, those last few levels are hard. Plus, the game still has some bullshit/annoying moments like in the first game, albeit way less often, which is a great thing. It amazes me that I still had quite a lot of fun, despite all of it.

    Compared to the first game, I really don't like the structure of this game. I prefer going through a linear world map like in the first game, it makes it way less videogamey and more like an adventure, despite being linear. I also think that the structure of this game makes the levels less memorable.

    Also, why is the subtitle Cortex Strikes Back? He hasn't struck anyone, he just kinda tricked Crash to doing his bidding. If anything, it should be Cortex's Deception. Bad subtitle!

    Overall, this feels like a step forward and also a step back from the first game. 6/10.

  • Mega Man X5

    I'm conflicted about Mega Man X5. It does some things that are definitely a step forward, but at the same time, it does take a step back in other areas as well. All in all, I don't think it holds up as well as X4, but I still had a great time with it.

    Starting from the very first level, it controls a lot better. X5 adds a crouch button that helps you get those pesky guys that are too short to hit with a normal shot, and generally feels a lot more polished in how it moves than the previous game. Depending on the character you choose to start the game with, you'll also either get a powered up X or Zero. At the beginning of each stage after the intro, you get the option to be either character now, so you're not stuck with either for the entirety of the experience. X now also accumulates armors, so if you power up X at the beginning by having him be your primary, you'll unlock his "Fourth Armor" from X4, alongside the standard Mega Man armor. Zero unfortunately never gets any new armor sets per tradition, but this means that when you unlock the other two armor sets for X, you can choose to use them in any level after that, or a different one of your choosing if it plays more to your style. The stages and bosses are all more balanced in a way that makes Zero more fun to play as well, which is a great step up from X4.

    The game leans a lot more heavily on narrative this time around. X4 dabbled in it a little bit, but sometimes X5 can feel like its forcing a lot down on you. Because of a Sigma virus you have 15 hours to get materials from bosses. This basically means that you get 15 chances to go through four stages, where if you don't, the game will just unlock the final boss stage for the bad ending. I feel like this was more of a way they were trying to funnel players to play certain stages first, but it really doesn't feel as effective in practice. I played the stages they wanted because I wanted the good ending, and never had any moment where I was short on time (you get even more time after beating the first four bosses, and you only 'lose' an hour if you leave a stage after running out of lives). I feel like beyond assisting the plot, it was better implemented in something like X2 where you have the extra bosses that roam around randomly.

    The stages themselves though are all pretty varied and fun to go through, though I wasn't a huge fan of all of them. The water level has a pet peeve of mine where you can only move as fast as the screen chasing you. Besides this one though, they're generally better paced than some in X4 that all had 2 parts to them. I felt like I went through stages much more quickly in this game. That is, I would, if it wasn't for Alia.

    Alia is the computer operator. Her role is supposed to give you intel from home base, but she constantly is stopping you to tell you very obvious things. Like "There are spikes up ahead. Be sure to avoid those", or "This area has bombs! We need to make sure to blow those up before they reach zero". Previous X games have all relied on you recognizing the situation and adapting and learning as you play, and Alia makes every stage feel so sluggish because she can't go two or three screens without stopping you to open a text box and open her mouth. She's useful a handful of times when she will hint at where an armor piece could be, or what a boss weakness may be, but generally the things she tells you are things you would already know just by walking two steps ahead. She even continues this in the post level screen where she tells you that you got a new power and you should try it on new bosses because every boss has a weakness. Even if this is your first X game, you need that information once, not after every single level. Besides this character though, I really enjoyed the other interactions, especially the banter between you and the boss before every fight (even though all the characters are pretty much new and we've never heard of them before).

    Music has taken a big step up. There's definitely a lot more energy coming out of each area, and each level is pretty easily identified by the theme. The water theme is actually a direct pull from the water level in X2 (which incidentally shares a lot of level design quirks as well), but the theme is remixed with more modern sound recordings. I really don't have a lot to complain about with this section. The tracks generally aren't as catchy or memorable as Mega Man at its best, but also definitely not where it is at its worst. They're awesome tracks and are really effective for pumping you up in that way you want.

    Some new game quirks, just like the time limit, aren't as successfully implemented. There's a new system where you accumulate buffs to attach to characters, like a super jump, or one that makes health pickups more effective. Each armor has a set number of slots you can set to these. The main problem with these is that they're never communicated in how they're given out. They'll randomly show up after each level like you got it from a boss. It's still unclear to me how you receive them. There are stray Maverick Hunters in each stage to help out who will give you an extra life if you save them, and its possible you get this from saving them. Alia also occasionally asks if you want to upgrade your health or energy, and its possible they come from this process. I'm not sure. With all the explaining Alia does, you'd think she'd tell you, but she doesn't. Besides it being a confusing mechanic, it definitely is cool to experiment with these new parts to help tailor the armors to your liking. If not though, it doesn't harm your experience if you never touch it at all.

    The mechanic of changing armors also has its downsides. It's super cool to go through a different stage with a new set of abilities, and to be able to do it when you choose to, but the armors have very specific purposes that you use maybe one time. It would have been super fun to discover alternate level routes designed around these specific armors if you've acquired them. There is usually just a small branch in some areas that utilize the armor's abilities a single time that hold an upgrade before sending you on your way back to the normal path.

    All of these things are minor annoyances, like Alia's talking, but they do add up to make the game a little less fun than it could be. With a little more polish, I would say this could have been even better than X4. As It stands though, it’s just a small rung below.

    Final Score: 8.7/10

  • @happygaming The Maverick Hunters you can rescue in each level are definitely the ones that give you those buffs, but you don't know who gives what until after the fact. If I remember correctly, they also disappear forever if you miss them the first time around, which is a baffling design decision.

    I found the post I wrote about X5 when I finished it, and I quote:

    And even weirder than that, with each hour that passes, the level of the bosses increases (giving them more HP). When you defeat a boss at level 8 or higher, it gives you a "Part", an equippable item which grants bonuses (jump higher, charge faster...). So if you defeat a boss on your first try, it'll be level 1 and you won't get a Part. So the optimal way to play the game if you want all Parts is to purposely lose and waste around 8 hours so that the bosses level up, and then beat them all. It's completely absurd and impossible to figure out without reading a guide, none of this is explained in-game.

    It's clearly a mechanic you're only supposed to try on subsequent playthroughs, for a perfect run, if you're into that sort of thing. It just left me with a sour taste, I hate when there's good and bad ways to play a game, especially a Mega Man game.

  • @axel I had absolutely no idea! I thought their level was honestly a thing for if you play on the Xtreme difficulty, so I just sort of brushed it off.