Last game you finished
@capnbobamous I wanted to write a podcast episode about Mega Man and franchise's history, impact and current perception and standing and thought it would be good for the firsthand context.
Don't worry, my girlfriend started something I'm very excited to write a review on next!
Axel last edited by
@happygaming I was looking for my own impressions of X8 to share them with you but looks like I didn't write any. That sums up my feelings about this one: entirely forgettable and pointless.
If I could direct any game of my choosing, it would be X9. There's so much potential in this series and it's baffling to see how mediocre it became with each new entry. Let's hope that Mega Man 11 was successful enough to convince Capcom to give the series a proper shot again.
As I crept through the dark creaking halls of the abandoned Taiwanese school as student Fang Ray-Shin, I was reminded that good horror doesn’t come from what you see. True, there are a share of specters and creatures that I’d encountered. What continued to get under my skin wasn’t the fear of death though, but the haunting dread that purveyed from what could have been Ray’s reality. The notes I found, and the hints and prods to the protagonists’ life continued to creep through my mind like a spider, unraveling and revealing the reality of events that transpired as a reminder that some of the best horror is gleamed from reality and everyday life.
Red Candle Games is a very small studio in Taiwan who have developed only two games. While Devotion has been delisted and made unavailable to the market outside their home country due to a political situation (at least for the time being), their first game, Detention, is widely available and shouldn’t be missed. Set in 1960’s Taiwan in a Martial Law period called White Terror, you’ll play as protagonist and Senior student Fang Ray-Shin, who gets trapped inside her school due to a typhoon. Progressively, reality and the world begin to unravel, revealing a haunting past for the students of the school, and the horrible events happening around the period due to the Martial Law.
While there is dialogue in Detention, most of the plot and backstory is unraveled through visual metaphors, or what one can gleam from notes found written by other students. Making your way through the hollowed halls of the school that slowly becomes more and more decrepit and bizarre, alluding increasingly to the personal life of Ray, you’ll venture through dark corridors, solve puzzles and avoid Taiwanese spirits as they try to do you harm. For the most part, you’ll spend the majority of your time focusing on the puzzles and directing yourself to where they’ll apply to your forward progression, making a mental map of locked doors and rooms that require your personal input before progress can be made. In these puzzles, you’ll find notes written by students and staff, exploring the sides of people who are trying to read forbidden books, or what forbidden relationships the staff at the school may have, but also showing the dark side of what can happen to those people when the country is under Martial Law. And those political horrors seep deeper than the fear we gleam from the monsters that roam the halls.
Personally, I wish that these creatures that you avoid were more plentiful. They can be found more in the game’s first two acts, and hardly at all in the third, making it feel like new ones aren’t introduced as plentifully as they could be. While they’re presented meaningfully in the beginning, and you’re taught to avoid them in interesting ways through children’s storybook cutouts with great illustrations, they don’t really evolve from there, making them feel more like an afterthought by the end. Avoiding them (because Ray never acquires any sort of weapon) is still a tense experience, and is always engaging, as they’ll often block your path when you least want them around. You’re taught to hold your breath, present offerings, or to avoid looking directly at them so as to not disturb them. Their sound design is top notch as well, with creaking breaths and deep pulsating drums filling the environment with their haunting presence. Still, their utilization, or more so their lack thereof by the conclusion brings further attention to the events you’re immediately privy to; the abstract psychological horror of the puzzles and of the creeping dread as the story unfurls.
Detention isn’t a long game. It doesn’t have a large budget written all over it. Characters feel like comic book cutouts, and while art is often beautifully abstract and harrowing, there is a sense that Red Candle is definitely not the largest studio around. Assets have a bit of a cheapness to them, and on PS4, moving left and right (because the game is a side-scrolling adventure) constantly caused screen tearing, and sometimes a rare amount of frame rate buckles. With the tribulations of financial difficulties though comes a unique triumph of heart. Detention feels personal, and it’s incredibly rare to feel as connected to a time and place that you’ve never experienced. I don’t just wish that more games explored periods of history and culture in ways such as this, I wish that horror prevailed in other games of today as much as Detention does. Detention is the best Silent Hill game that’s come out in over a decade, and if we’re lucky, we’ll someday be able to play the team’s other work. Gripes aside, if you’re a fan of horror and have become ambivalent to the genre as much as I have over the last few years because of its overreliance on jump scares, you owe it to yourself to play the creeping, slow-moving, and surprisingly unnerving experience that is Detention.
Phbz last edited by Phbz
Dark Souls Remastered
It took me a bit to get used to the 60fps. It's nice for the low input lag and solid performance but it never felt quite right. And when it comes to remasters is a money grab pure and simple, it's worth because From Soft sucks so much technically that they need a current gen system to make it perform well, while making absolutely nothing to the game aside from bumping the resolution up.
Still the same game with the same wonderful level and sound design. Second time playing it and still discovering new stuff. It is a great game but this remaster is shameful.
So, I've finally got to the end of Ghost of Tsushima. I like the game, I don't love it.
Obviously the presentation is nice, even with the low quality textures the game hides it well with the lighting and particle effects. I imagine that's part of what makes loading times so damn fast, so I'm not complaining that it can look a bit rough if that's the trade off. Still wish HDR was better implemented. But it is a beautiful world to look at, at times obnoxiously colourful and busy but Kurosawa mode was great as a palate cleanser.
Quest structure, It borrows a lot from the Witcher 3 as secondary quests feed into the main narrative, with betrayal and intrigue in the mix too. At first I wasn't a fan of having them broken in small chapters but overall it works well, specially because they exist throughout the whole game. Can't say that I find the writing that engrossing, or even the payoff of most quest lines that rewarding, but it's fine. It definitely has it's bright moments and its effective in building a solid cast of characters.
But oh boy, this game pisses me off constantly.
By the end of chapter 1 my motivation to continue was close to none. I was fed up with the repetitiveness of the combat above all else. It didn't felt great seeing a big new huge territory popping up because of the combat but also because exploration in this world isn't really as rewarding as I was hoping. But as chapter 2 came so a new update to the game with a new difficulty level.
Things got better, slightly.
The Lethal difficulty makes the game feel less like Assassins Creed and more like it's own thing. Reaction times become shorter and every strike you deliver or receive matter. It punishes you for making mistakes and, more importantly, Ghost tactics become more of a necessity than just a way to escape the tedious combat. But in the long run it makes little to improve how shallow and repetitive the combat can feel, or how your ability progression turns you into as underwhelming cheese deliverer that you can bring to both common enemies and bosses. Stealth, on the other hand, makes the bad AI even more apparent. Having said all this, the combat is not horrible, just average but very well animated and stylish.
Style over substance
This brings me to my biggest peeve with GoT. The world... I know it looks great, and its awesome to go on a free ride and see people working the fields, listen to their conversations. It can feel like you're time travelling. But as hours passed two things were slowly creeping to the forefront of my mind:
1- (Lack of) Familiarity.
Skyrim, BotW or RDR2, are familiar worlds, worlds where locations became landmarks and I can navigate them without a map. GoT world design doesn't quite work for me. Having an absurdly tight field of view doesn't help, as you don't have several landmarks simultaneously on your FOV for your(my) brain to naturally map it as you play. Maybe a compass could help. The wind, while a welcomed and innovative navigational tool, can also be disorienting on a grander scale.
2-(Lack of) Sense of place
Now allow me to tell you a short story. I was casually ridding my horse, saw an house and decided to check it. It appeared to be empty. As I enter the house and start to loot it I hear a noise . A father and a son were in the house. The father tries to calm the son but the son reacts and pulls for a weapon. On instinct I pull my shotgun and kill first the son, then the father. I stop playing, lay my controller on the sofa and think to myself what the hell just happened?. I walk away from the game for 5 minutes.
This obviously wasn't GoT, it was RDR2. First because the game doesn't have shotguns second because the world of GoT holds no surprises, no mystery. It feels ancient. Birds animate like robots, dears run blindly against you, struggle with geometry, occasionally stay idle for a second or two. Predators don't surprise and hunt you. Enemy encounters are repetitive to exhaustion, there're no high speed horse chases, no enemies archers waiting for you on top of a cliff, no bandits storming you from a nearby forest. (In fact I had one classic ambush situation where I saw a box abandoned in the middle of a path and I though to my self ah finally the game is going to “surprise” me”. Spoilers I wasn't surprised) There's no emergent situations to remind you that this world happens along with you, not around you.
It's great that the game looks so good as it does. Great that it has a great photo mode. But the cynical in me would rather have them investing in stuff that's not marketable through screenshots but that could elevate the user experience rather then making of us paying marketing tools.
Is it a bad game? Do I hate it? No. It's a fine 7/10 game. But I expected more. Coming from TLOU2 didn't help either, the difference in quality is staggering.
Shoulderguy last edited by
Coming from TLOU2 didn't help either, the difference in quality is staggering.
This happened to me with FF7 Remake, it was the first game I played after TLOU2. The quality of TLOU2 makes most good games seem mediocre by comparison.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Reviewed on PS4 in the HD Collection
The cards seem to have been stacked against me. Time and time again, the witnesses’ testimony seems to put my client into a deeper and deeper hole, proving seemingly without any doubt that they’re guilty beyond any reparable state. In my hands I hold several pieces of evidence, collected from my own personal investigations trying to help my client. But those all hinge on one thing; the testimony of the prosecution and the called witnesses. So, I press harder with each statement they give throughout their carefully constructed recount, making them clarify each and every detail that they seemed to have skimped on or intentionally skipped. All their statements causing further complications for the client, whom I’d throw my career down the drain to protect in honor. But then it happens. Their statement doesn’t match up. There’s a contradiction in what they so confidently said, a detail out of place, and I can prove it. I have them clarify once more before jumping to my feet, slamming the table shouting as I watch their once confident façade squirm into what is now a perturbed scowl; a stuttering attempt to keep their cool. I’ve rearranged the deck, and now it’s stacked against them. I have the evidence to prove it.
These are the cycles of simple joys of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, a game where you’re an up and coming defense lawyer always out to protect his client. Originally developed in 2001 for the GameBoy Advance by seven people, Phoenix Wright is a small game with big ambitions, combining a detective simulator with a visual novel, with light adventure game elements on the side. It all seems like a tall order, but for the most part, the first game in this series pulls it all off with grace.
Broken into five distinct chapters, Ace Attorney has you defending several different clients who have been charged with murder. It’s guilty until proven innocent, and it may seem straightforward in the first chapter to find an error in the testimonies brought forth from a witness with evidence already provided. This gets a lot trickier though when you’re tasked with listening to accounts from several witnesses, potential suspects, and investigating scenes for evidence, along with interviewing all potentially involved. There are a lot of moving parts, and more often than not, the truth of the case doesn’t show its face until the last half, when the hidden cards are dealt. But you’re not trying to prove anyone guilty, as it can be easy to forget sometimes. On the contrary, your focus is on finding the contradictions in the testimonies in an attempt to defend your client. Only in doing so, can you hope to find the real culprit.
The game is split between three distinct sections throughout each chapter. You’ll interview your client and hear their side of the story. Then you’ll go to the scene of the crime and see what evidence you can find to bring to court, interviewing all even vaguely involved who have a thing or two to say. Finally, you’ll take all of your knowledge and evidence to court and go to battle against a prosecuting attorney, who are trying their absolute hardest to prove your evidence insignificant to the case or outright false. There’s a real sense of playing detective here, and if you want to stay on top of things, you need to pay attention.
For the most part, Phoenix Wright does a good job of keeping on track with your own mental hurdles, and so it will make sense when to present a piece of evidence to contradict a statement, or knowing where to investigate a crime scene. This can be immensely satisfying, when your own brain is in perfect sync with the flow of the case, and Phoenix says exactly what you were thinking when presenting evidence. The last couple chapters can be rather obtuse in where they expect you make connections however, especially the final one which was released several years after the original game. The leaps in logic here can make those parts a frustrating challenge to get through without a walkthrough. However, they don’t take away from the joys of discovering the story and the characters.
Each chapter is filled with charming, lovable and comical characters that you’ll get to know, all with silly cartoonish names that will stick in your brain like their caricature antics. Dick Gumshoe is a detective who can never catch a break, but always wants to do what’s right. Miles Edgeworth is a lifelong friend and rival, who is cool, levelheaded and little cold and detached, but is also always sided with the prosecution. And Maya Fey is the younger sister to your mentor, who will always be by your side with a snarky quip, encouraging hints or sincere support throughout, even when it seems like there is no way to win the case at hand. These are just a handful of a large cast that slowly gets introduced to you, and their hearts are as big as their senses of justice. A huge amount of praise has to go to those who went through the work of translating the game as well, as the characters all use puns, jokes, and wordplay that often comes out in crucial court scenes. Many of these lines needed to be changed through localization, and while it is noticeable in certain areas, like the change to put the setting to Los Angeles even though it is clear that it is not in actuality, I feel that the work done here should be commended much more than condemned.
Even through the minor gripes of gaps in logic, even with the sometimes head-scratching translation choices, and even without the colorful cast of supporting characters, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is still a game that is almost like nothing else I’ve ever played. Playing detective has a certain amount of satisfaction that is deeply and satisfyingly palpable, and bringing those elements to the court room is something not often done in games. But added to that, the lively cast, the out of control stories that can be as zany as they can be serious, and Phoenix Wright becomes something completely unique, a game that is unforgettably full of moments that will have you laughing or shouting like the best law dramas. There are few things as satisfying as watching a character who is clearly and frustratingly hiding the truth, only to bring the perfect piece of counter-evidence to break their cool and watch them squirm as the truth comes pouring out. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is an astounding accomplishment in visual novel games, full of the kind of heart that you can’t fabricate, and shouldn’t be missed.
I was kinda hyped for this game, then Huber's review left me a little concerned. Glad I went for it!
The game has some issues but nothing too serious. First kudos for the monster's animation, feels great to control, very responsive and with good animation details. Honestly this alone makes it worth playing it. And as you power up it becomes more and more satisfying to wreak havoc. On the other hand when you take control of Humans we go to the polar opposite of quality, badly animated, like really bad. Furtunately these moments are short, and when they become part of the combat puzzle you can actually have some fun without the poor animation ruining it.
Level design is good, intuitive. I can't even say if the game has a map, never felt the need to look for it. Never gets disorienting, you just follow the path of least resistance and you'll get where you need to. It works particularly well with your character being a formless beast.
The atmosphere is good too, music does a lot of the heavy lifting. Quality atmospheric and cinematic music. My only complain is the lack of low end in the mix. Sound design is all over the place, sometimes brilliant, like when you reach near the surface and you hear rain falling outside, others silly bad, like with the humans screaming.
Art direction is ok. Does it's job but just that and nothing more. It's a shame. Kinda generic, dull.
Loved that's just 4h, feels right being that short. The ending is simple and elegant.
bard91 last edited by bard91
AI The Somnium Files 9/10
This game ends with a completely out of context dance number, and my god it just became something I want more games to do.
That's the most important thing I wanted to say but really I liked this one, but there's a lot I liked about the game, it is the type of thing many wouldn't find appealing due to the lack of 'gameplay', but it didn't dissapoint at all and feels like a great evolution in some ways of the Zero Escape style of games.
Tearju Engi last edited by
Ghost of Tsushima
I'm not really into open world games and ones that lack in variations in their mission structure.
The game evens out by having a lot of tools and skills you learn that it's enough to make encounters more enjoyable. Combat is great (though sometimes unresponsive) and some fights were really challenging and evolves the more you progress. The side stuff to earn more stuff are nice not to mention tales that are highlight of the game alongside the view and atmosphere. If you look closely it doesn't have the details that TLoU2 has or is technically impressive, A.I. is pretty bad most of the time and there have been lots of bugs during my time with it.
But my goodness is it beautiful. The scenery, the variation of the map of the areas and what time or weather you have are almost all photo opportunities.
It has the vibe that makes it stand out from generic looking areas seen in other games that are either boring ass desert or forest that you can't tell what game those are from.
It's amazing how fast you load back in after dying. Sometimes too fast that you aren't ready in some cases. Also this game has amazing cinematic moments that just makes my jaw drop. This game made me feel good most of the time that I just got lost in the moment. Just relaxing and enjoying the moment where ever I went.
Like it has its issues but none excluding forcing you to change to effective stance was bothering me enough to enjoy it. Not even mediocre stealth that I didn't use much unless necessary.
Final Score: 9/10
I rest on hot springs,
pet foxes too."
NeoCweeny last edited by
Doom: Eternal (PS4)
I really loved Doom 2016 but Eternal is really not as good. I just hate most the enemies here and the levels are way too long. It has its moment but overall I think it's a disappointing sequel.
E_Zed_Eh_Intern last edited by
Far Cry 5
Mid-August and I finally have a game completed for 2020. I liked this game. I think Far Cry is for me. I can go where I want and find all the extra fire power when I want and then do missions as I please. The boss fights were all meh but I considered the story just a minor roadblock required to unlock items and skills.
bam541 last edited by bam541
Just finished Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and I'm very happy to say that it's as good as I remembered. This is a good example of a game that confidently knows what it wants to be: it's focused on being this living personification of an unreliable narrator and it has quite a bit of fun with that idea. The gunplay is so solid and satisfying, with mechanics like the last second dodge adding a bit of style to an already stylish looking game. Not to mention a wonderful and intense dueling system that got me worrying about three things at the same time. The only big flaw for me is that the bosses are not as fun as the rest of the game since they're bullet (or dynamite) sponges. I think it's got a pretty decent length, it ended right as I started to feel the fatigue. (8/10)
There's something here, some untapped potential. I've enjoyed the level of challenge and diversity of gameplay. The humour, maybe because the 90s were my teen years, is generally speaking actually well written for what it is. But there's a jarring disparity in quality between the animated interludes and in game. Voice capture, delivery and writing are much worse in game. Maybe something Covid related which affected production?
To be honest I woul like to have them release an episodic Battletoads where this adventure could breathe. Because everything feels too rushed and there's enough characters and locations to deliver an interesting adventure. Plus gameplay across the different genres is solid enough to support a longer experience.
bard91 last edited by
Metro Exodus 6.5/10
They dropped the ball with this, no way around it for me, the game has the elements it needs but it doesn't come together well, the presentation has BIG issues with delivering dialogue and it falls flat in comparisson to the previous Metro games when it comes to exciting set pieces, even though it does have some good ones, and a silent protagonist has never annoyed me as much as Artyom did in this one.
Cut it down with the "open" design and I don't know how to fix the characters and their interactions in these games, but take that back to the drawing board.
Axel last edited by
I did it. I understand the appeal of these games now, however I don't think I'll want to play another one, it's just too stressful for me. Feel like I've lost 2 years of life expectancy going through this nightmare.
Although I appreciate the non-intrusive storytelling, it's also way too obscure to be satisfying in my opinion. I feel like the game could use the same methods in a more effective way.
Anyway, I'm really happy I can finally scratch that one off my backlog.
Shoulderguy last edited by
@axel I never finished Bloodborne, I played about 10 hours. I'm waiting to see if those PS5 or PC version rumors are true. If so, I would give it another shot.
Didn't technically just finish it, but I finally got my capture and recording setup done to do more podcasts and reviews regularly, and finished up the review I did for Detention (using the script I published earlier) for those interested in checking it out.
Phbz last edited by Phbz
"Finished" MSFS2020, all landing challenges done, two bush trips and a total of 50h of flight. I think I'm about done with the "game" although it's potentially infinite.
Sure it's a fairly niche piece of software that demands a lot of hours for what many would call nothing, but the feeling of traveling and knowing new places, or known places from a different perspective, feels very real and liberating. And although a simulator, the gamified elements like landing challenges and bush trips, offer a welcomed bit of structure. But just flying upwards your local river and observing its geological features can be rewarding enough without the need of objectives outside the ones you set for yourself.
Honestly I would keep playing it but between Control dlc and Gamepass relentlessly dropping great games during the last few days it's time to say goodbye, for now at least.
bard91 last edited by
@axel same feeling as me then, I loved Bloodborne, but man certainly don't feel a rush to play more Souls, and the storytelling wasn't for me either.
I'm interested in at least keeping an eye out for Elding Ring though, so BB at the bery least opened that door.