gdf

Recently completed video games

4796 posts in this topic

I finished The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap on the Wii U, after many months of playing it in dribs and drabs in between other games. Encountered today it seems like the epitome of stolid, conventional Zelda games - you do some dungeons, you get some toys, you do some stuff with the toys, you rescue the princess. It's rather cute. The dungeons are fine. If you've played A Link Between Worlds and A Link to the Past and you want Another One of Those, it's a good time.

 

I will say that the art style and animation is lovely, especially on a handheld-size screen. (I played this on the gamepad almost exclusively - it's kind of ridiculous that this isn't available on the 3DS, especially as GBA emulators are on pretty much everything now.) The music is also quite charming, as is some of the dialogue. And I love the whole idea of a secret race of tiny people living alongside the regular-sized people, and the notion of shrinking to their size to solve puzzles and such - some of the environmental details they put into the 'little worlds' are really nice. But the gameplay never quite does anything very interesting with that mechanic, outside of some very strictly-designed puzzles - like a big robot boss where you have to shrink yourself in the middle of the fight to go inside his body and mess him up. It's nothing like so complex as the 'merge into walls' thing in A Link Between Worlds, for example. 

 

The one area in which it does innovate relative to the usual Zelda format is in the Kinstone system. It's...not great. Basically, you have to pick up these stones in the world (coloured according to rarity) and then trade them in with NPCs in order to make something happen in the world. It's effectively a way of abstracting out a sidequest system, and I never found it especially difficult to manage, but it does make everything feel opaque and unpredictable to a bizarre degree. You can give some guy a special stone and it makes an unrelated door appear halfway across the map - and there might be something fantastic behind that door or it could just be some more rupees. It's all very strange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@TychoCelchuuu I also really enjoyed Gunslinger! It was a real surprise, in that I finished it and enjoyed the collectibles and endings. For those who don't know, the framing device is that a drunk cowboy in a bar is telling this story to several listeners, so sometimes you have arguments with the narrator that result in the game state changing. Ie, a moonlit sneaking mission never gives you any enemies because the story teller dozes off before getting to it. Or the horde of 100 enemies dissolves as someone questions whether he actually fought that many. It's interesting, and as the story goes on you realize that the narrator is not as drunk as he seems and is in fact playing a kind of cat-and-mouse with one of the listeners, goading him with intentional lies and bits of truth about one of their pasts. Really surprisingly fun and funny game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After all the hullabaloo about Andromeda, I got the itch to replay Mass Effect (and hopefully play through the rest of the trilogy this time).

 

For being nearly a decade old, I was impressed at how well it holds up, particularly the PC version which smooths over a lot of the technical problems (I remember the framerate being pretty bad on the Xbox 360 version). The voice acting is generally great, and the character animation is solid (especially in light of some of Andromeda's problems).

 

Its combat is often disparaged, but I think it's more weird than bad -- it doesn't control like other third-person shooters, but once I got over that, it was fine. My bigger gripe is with the checkpointing, which can be pretty terrible and sometimes forces you to redo lengthy conversations if you fail an encounter. The other weak spot is the sidequests, which can be pretty repetitive, although I kind of appreciate the way the Mako sections make the galaxy feel big and unexplored.

 

The real winner is the story -- it does a great job of setting up its universe, and the story even surprised me in places with twists that I had forgotten since playing it in 2007. Despite the game doing the "ancient precursor race" trope which has gotten pretty cliche at this point, I really enjoy stuff like the Citadel and the mass relays and how they've shaped the way these different alien races interact. I liked most all the crewmates, both as characters and as vectors for learning more about how these races relate to each other. It's maybe a bit too convenient how many times Shepard stumbles onto the answer to an unsolved galactic mystery, but I guess a little of that is expected in this kind of story.

 

All in all, a good time. I think a remaster with slightly updated combat mechanics would be an easy hit for Bioware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally beat "Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate" and it was such a great and fun challenge!

 

It's a rogue-like where as far as I can tell, you aren't the protagonist? You play as Shiren, but this is the story of Jirochi and Oyu, a young couple in love, but Oyu is very sick and will soon die, only the Dice of Fate can cure her.

 

The biggest thing to set it apart from other is the night/day cycle, the moment it's night you can't see unless you have a torch and night enemies replace the day ones and they can only be killed with the powers in your bead necklace, which are limited and only recharge once per floor. The night is rather terrifying since the monsters attack each other and level up drastically and become very strong, as in, kill you in one hit strong.

 

One run I ran like crazy to the stairs only to realize, Jirochi died and I couldn't continue the story without him.

 

I could fill this post with several stories where things got ugly and I barely survived, but getting those experience is the best part of the game?

 

The game throws nasty monsters and trap, but you can prepare for most of them. :tup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally, *finally*, after half a decade(!) finished Tomb Raider

 

The trick to getting through this game, I discovered, is to ignore the vast majority of collectibles and skip every single story cutscene, because they're all TERRIBLE and it's a shame that Rhianna Pratchett never inherited her father's gift for writing. Oh, and force DX9 mode, 'cos it's a boring looking game anyway and at least you can get it going at 60fps that way.

 

There are I think one or maybe two unskippable cutscenes, which almost had me quitting, but I just looked away with my fingers in my ears and just about got through them.

 

The kindest thing I think I can say about this game is that it's not 100% bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Trip Hazard Tomb Raider was one of those games where I felt oddly compelled to play through the whole thing quite quickly (see earlier post here), without ever feeling very fond of it - the writing was dull, the gritty aesthetic was not to my taste at all, and half of the gameplay mechanics were pointless padding. Somehow it held my attention, perhaps because I did quite enjoy the combat (and there's a lot of it, now that Crystal Dynamics have decided Tomb Raider is predominantly a shooter), and also I expected it to eventually have more expansive, interesting tombs to explore. Turns out those two elements are mutually exclusive - on reflection I probably won't bother with the sequel(s).

 

Conversely, some games that get everything right for me take me ages to complete - e.g. Alien: Isolation. I adore almost every aspect of that game but I still haven't got around to finishing it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the tombs. I did them all, none of them took me longer than about 5 minutes (I know, that's not exactly speedrunning, but I'm not the brightest bulb in the hallway), and the rewards were utterly pointless.

 

I feel differently than you about the sequel. One day, when I've got a beefier computer and it's 75% off, I'll get it and while away a few afternoons shooting thousands of generic bads. From the few reviews I read/watched, it improves on the weakest aspects of TR.

 

I wanted so badly to like Alien: Isolation, but it never clicked for me. I think the one thing which bugged me more than anything was that on an enormous space station with loads of other warm, vulnerable humans present, the lone alien always seemed to be never more than a corridor or two away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Black Mesa - 11 hours - normal/easy

 

Managed to grab this from a forum I use for £2 (it was in a recent humble bundle). I only played probably 20 minutes of the original Half Life on PS2 when it first came out, I have played Half Life 2 however on PC.

 

I liked it, definitely got my moneys worth! I did experience a few hiccups and weird physics stuff in a few places but overall it wasn't bad. Game looked and run well. I just discovered the final part "Xen" is supposedly out this summer so I guess i'll play that to truly finish the game later.

 

Headlander - 7 hours

 

Got this in a recent steam sale with soundtrack for £5. I would've got it last year but had enough games at the time, plus I am not really into Metroidvania style games, however I like Double Fine and the game looked so stylish. I had tons of fun, I initially didn't like the combat much but grew to like it. The back tracking didn't bother me too much, although I got lost a few times. The visuals and soundtrack are top notch. Shame it seems alot of people slept on this game!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Life is Strange and I only cried a little a lot. One question I had: during the art gallery segment, you can go back through Max's phone and read a totally different set of texts for each character reflecting the altered timeline. Is this a thing throughout the entire game, and I just never noticed, or is it just for that part of the game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25.04.2017 at 8:00 PM, Mike Danger said:

I finished Life is Strange and I only cried a little a lot. One question I had: during the art gallery segment, you can go back through Max's phone and read a totally different set of texts for each character reflecting the altered timeline. Is this a thing throughout the entire game, and I just never noticed, or is it just for that part of the game?

 

I didn't catch them all but there are some really interesting parts where a certain someone's intentions become much more obvious if you spend a little time rewinding an idle conversation.

 

I didn't know about the one you mentioned but there are bound to be more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/25/2017 at 1:00 PM, Mike Danger said:

I finished Life is Strange and I only cried a little a lot. One question I had: during the art gallery segment, you can go back through Max's phone and read a totally different set of texts for each character reflecting the altered timeline. Is this a thing throughout the entire game, and I just never noticed, or is it just for that part of the game?

The texts are generally different when you make different choices, but I don't think alternate texts start happening until the last episode. They also change during the (incredibly long) dream sequences as well in ep. 5.

 

neHlvDK.jpg?1

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished two very different games in the last week. 

 

The first: Actual Sunlight on the PS Vita. This is probably one of the most challenging titles ever to receive the implicit corporate endorsement of Sony's monthly PS Plus giveaways. The first time I booted it up, I found the tone of the writing so unpleasant that I shut it down within the first five minutes. It's written from the point of view of an Angry Man on the Internet, and god knows the internet has enough of this kind of thing: angry, lacerating, myopic, and self-serious to a merciless degree. I knew where the game was going, and I knew that the acerbic nature of the protagonist's writing was part of the point; but still the thought of immersing myself so completely in this kind of mindset made me feel a bit sick. Not because I am unfamiliar with depression but because so much of it seemed so painfully obvious. 

 

I guess I prefer my 'fundamental pessimism regarding the purpose of existence under late capitalism' to sound something a bit less like a Bill Hicks routine. I don't know that the game entirely escapes the posture of the smart-alecky internet commenter, even in its most heartfelt moments; it doesn't ever quite find an alternate register of language. But it is hard to criticise something so earnest. And I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a remarkable piece of work, and probably an important game, even if I don't think it is 'good' by the standards I'd usually apply to a game like this. 

 

I also finished Doom (the new one). It's very good, isn't it? That said, the good stuff is front loaded: the best missions are in the early parts of the game, with the Foundry probably being the absolute highlight. Later on it becomes apparent that they either had to rush to finish it, or they ran out of ideas for new missions and mechanics. Towards the end in particular the game gives up on those wonderfully sprawling maps and moves towards a more linear, conventional FPS map design. It's still fun to rush about splitting noggins, but after a while even that starts to feel a bit like those moments in an Uncharted game where you see a room full of waist-high obstacles and think 'oh, balls'.

 

But mein gott, when Doom turns it on, it turns it on like nothing else. Even right up to the end of the game I still couldn't help myself saying oh fuckfuckfuck out loud when seeing a Hell Knight pound towards me. It's a game which pursues its big gameplay idea with that same determination. And it might only have one big idea - but nobody else making FPS games has executed on a single idea so well in years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just completed Lost Dimension, a game in the style of Danganrompa, in the sense it's a bunch of kids and a lot of them will die, except it's an SRPG.

 

You're a bunch of psychics trying to stop The End from destroying the world by entering his tower and climbing it, but The End forces you to play a sick game each floor where you must find the traitor in your group and "erase" them... And the traitors change each game.

 

What I really liked about the game is that the characters were good, but didn't go overboard except for George... I hate George. You have to play the game at least twice to uncover the plot and "True Ending", which isn't too hard since it's not a long game.

 

The gameplay and the traitor mechanic work well with each other. At the end of a mission, you hear voices, but you don't know from who, so when you hear a suspicious voice you don't know who the suspect is, so by playing the other missions and through the process of elimination you will find all the suspects and use your powers to find the traitor.

 

The other will vote for the person with the worst battle rating, so getting the traitor out of your active group is a must, not to mention the best warriors get more votes. It all works well in the end.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-4-25 at 7:00 PM, Mike Danger said:

I finished Life is Strange and I only cried a little a lot. One question I had: during the art gallery segment, you can go back through Max's phone and read a totally different set of texts for each character reflecting the altered timeline. Is this a thing throughout the entire game, and I just never noticed, or is it just for that part of the game?

 

You also get alternate history texts in the beginning of episode 4. I don't think you get them anywhere else, but those were the only two places I checked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, all. Someday I'd like to replay it just to get all the alternate photo locations, I'll have to keep an eye out for the other altered texts. (And yes, I did find the ones in the dream sequence at the end - it took me a minute to remember who the hell Pompidou was.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completed Poochy and Yoshi's Woolly World for the 3DS. I didn't like it very much!

 

The game is cute and recreates Yoshi's Island gameplay well enough, but it is too slow with too many collectibles that are agonizing to pick up.  Every corner of the map must be physically explored—you're basically pixel hunting with Yoshi instead of a mouse.  The typical pick-up process takes three steps.

  1. Throw an egg at an invisible question mark cloud or jump into it to make it visible.
  2. Throw another egg to hit it.
  3. Jump into it again to collect it.

There are four different sets of collectibles (Stars, Special Gems, Flowers, and Yarn) and I assume I have to get all of them in every stage per level in order to unlock the bonus stage.  I don't want to!

 

But my game came with a yarn Poochy amiibo so I like that part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just beat Disgaea Infinite a few days ago which gave the resolve to give Disgaea 2 another go, which I just beat!

 

Disgaea Infinite is the story of a Prinny with a watch that let's him travel back in time, possess people and sometimes even take control of them, which he does to stop his boss Laharl from getting mad and cutting his salary. The game is absolutely hilarious and it was worth trying to get every single ending.

 

Disgaea 2 has you playing as Adell the only human left in village of people slowly turning into monsters, his family try to summon the demon responsible for this curse but end up summoning his daughter. Together they try to find Lord Zenon and well, that's just the start of it. It's not as hilarious as Infinite, but it does have it's moments and I loved the ending.

 

I thought I was stuck, but thanks to the Item Worlding system you can always dive into an item and make the item stronger while you get rare items and gain a few levels.

 

The game also has a Dark Assembly, where you can plead to make the enemies stronger or weaker or just get better items.

 

The game has so much to it, and the grind is actually very pleasant, I really loved this game! :tup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William Somerset Maugham once described his own work as belonging to the first rank of the second rate; much the same could be said about Binary Domain (2012), which I finished recently on the PS3. This is one of those games that is sometimes now cited as an under-appreciated classic from the last generation. Played now, it feels like the equivalent of a really dumb straight-to-DVD action movie which despite all its flaws sometimes stumbles upon moments of greatness. 

 

The plot: it's the near-future and you're part of a special forces team sneaking into Tokyo to shut down a Japanese robotics corporation that has been making androids which look indistinguishable from real people. In practice this involves blasting your way through a small army of robots (which is pretty good fun) punctuated by the occasional on-rails set piece on a turret/jet ski/moving truck (which is less fun). 

 

It's mechanically very shallow, and sometimes feels a bit dated - the 'cinematic' third-person shooter genre suddenly feels like a relic of the Xbox 360 era - but the 'bots shatter and crumple in a way that's always satisfying. The modelling and animation is fantastically detailed: you can shoot off limbs and heads, and even strip off outer layers of armour to reveal the T800-esque skulls beneath. And while there isn't much variation in the encounters with regular enemies, the game is full of some wildly OTT boss fights. 

 

It does have one or two notable gameplay innovations. There is a voice command system whereby the player is supposed to actually shout squad commands into their mic during the course of the game (needless to say I did not do this). What's a little more interesting is that the interface in which you issue those commands in combat - advance, hold, fall back, etc - is the same interface for talking to your squadmates in between skirmishes. The idea, I suppose, is that you'd actually be 'talking' to them with your actual voice in both cases - but just having to use the same UI for both feels quite novel. In a strange way it reminded me of Firewatch, though for the most part Binary Domain just plays this system for laughs. There may be some differences in late-game stuff depending on how your teammates feel about you, but none of it is very consequential.

 

The characters aren't especially developed, but they are immensely likeable. The writing is not 'good', but it's amusing enough - the semi-dynamic banter during excursions is really nice. And the cutscenes are very well directed, perhaps because this is a product from the same team who brought us the Yakuza games. They're frequently absurd - think They Live, with a twist of Kojima - but there's something captivating about them regardless.

 

My only real complaint is the range of dubious international stereotypes on show (including Troy Baker's British accent, which rightly deserves a Guy Ritchie movie all of its own). This sometimes strays into outright racism: your best buddy, 'Big Bo', is every African-American generalisation rolled into one large package; and when the protagonist kept referring to the only Chinese woman on the team as 'farm girl', and when he suggested she'd be better off in a rice paddy (!) I began to feel a desperate urge to walk him into the nearest stream of minigun fire.

 

That there's so much about it that's generic and really dumb means it's hard to give this an unqualified recommendation. But it is worth a look, for all its problems. It is a great example of a big, strange, under-appreciated failure in the video game world. I think it's better than a lot of its contemporaries from that year: I think it is a more interesting and entertaining game than Max Payne 3, for example. I would even say it's more fun, and almost more interesting, than Spec Ops: The Line. 

 

I say 'almost' because in the end, it never entirely fulfils the intrigue of its premise. The idea, cribbed as it may be from Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, that robots walk among us unaware of their difference from humanity, has a lot of potential for a shooter - but the game does almost nothing with it. And then it introduces another level to the conspiracy near the end, but it does nothing with that either. The only robots you fight here are faceless, generic security droids; even when you find yourself in a sewer, wading through the rusting remains of defective androids, the game doesn't seem to have considered the implications of what it is doing. It's almost enough to make me wonder if they considered introducing some kind of cyber-twist but abandoned it in pursuit of appealing to a broader audience; in the end, I guess they got neither the twist nor the audience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:18 AM, Tanukitsune said:

I just beat Disgaea Infinite a few days ago which gave the resolve to give Disgaea 2 another go, which I just beat!

 

Disgaea Infinite is the story of a Prinny with a watch that let's him travel back in time, possess people and sometimes even take control of them, which he does to stop his boss Laharl from getting mad and cutting his salary. The game is absolutely hilarious and it was worth trying to get every single ending.

 

Disgaea 2 has you playing as Adell the only human left in village of people slowly turning into monsters, his family try to summon the demon responsible for this curse but end up summoning his daughter. Together they try to find Lord Zenon and well, that's just the start of it. It's not as hilarious as Infinite, but it does have it's moments and I loved the ending.

 

I thought I was stuck, but thanks to the Item Worlding system you can always dive into an item and make the item stronger while you get rare items and gain a few levels.

 

The game also has a Dark Assembly, where you can plead to make the enemies stronger or weaker or just get better items.

 

The game has so much to it, and the grind is actually very pleasant, I really loved this game! :tup:

 

I  bought a PS3 at least partially for Disgaea 3, but the story there is even more absurd and I just couldn't maintain interest. So mechanically strong, but so few interesting characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Nier. It's a dang good game about robots and humanity. Weirdly I think some of the best stuff is in the diversions from the main path, leading to me being more interested in side quests here than any other game. Still processing the whole thing but it's going to be one of the high highs for me this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 19/05/2017 at 4:25 PM, marginalgloss said:

William Somerset Maugham once described his own work as belonging to the first rank of the second rate; much the same could be said about Binary Domain (2012), which I finished recently on the PS3. This is one of those games that is sometimes now cited as an under-appreciated classic from the last generation. Played now, it feels like the equivalent of a really dumb straight-to-DVD action movie which despite all its flaws sometimes stumbles upon moments of greatness. 

 

 

 

Just on your inconsequential comment, people live and die depending on what you do and there are multiple endings depending on this.

 

I love Binary Domain and reviewed it when it came out.

http://www.arcadianrhythms.com/2012/04/binary-domain-review/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now