Author Topic: Finished playing...  (Read 162718 times)

**andius

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #480 on: June 27, 2015, 11:00:01 AM »
It's a little strange to be posting this on the day after the game was released, but I think I'm going to return Batman: Arkham Knight.

No, it's not because I got the PC version; I played it on the PS4. The problem is the Batmobile. Previous games in the series were a mixture of stealth, puzzle-solving, and combat (which wasn't too hard on Easy difficulty). B:AK is a mix of timed obstacle challenges and frustrating platformers, all courtesy of the Batmobile. The problem for me is that I suck at timed obstacle challenges and platformers.

I spent a solid hour trying to make a jump using the Batmobile on one of the first missions in the game, continually slamming in a wall when I failed to make the jump. If I made that jump, I failed the next one and was forced to start the challenge at the beginning. I became angry, frustrated, and disappointed. The previous games "felt" like a Batman adventure. This felt like a badly-designed Assassin's Creed scenario.

I may give this one more try after I've calmed down a bit. If I'm frustrated again, I'll return the game.

Unfortunately, it looks like Rocksteady has Schumachered  the Batman. They fell so in love with a new game mechanic that they didn't consider how players might react to it.

They pulled the sale of the PC version of the game,offering a refund if you want.

http://community.wbgames.com/t5/Official-Announcements/PC-Edition-Update-June-24th/m-p/575334#U575334
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Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #481 on: July 13, 2015, 12:38:32 PM »
Now I've definitely finished playing Batman: Arkham Knight! Here's the review I posted to Amazon:

Batman: Arkham Knight left me feeling frustrated, angry, and bitter. Right now the game is sitting in a UPS-labeled envelope, waiting for me to trade it in via Amazon.

I greatly enjoyed Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. I liked the storylines; the former game's more than the latter's, but both were good. I like the different challenges the games offered: thoughtful stealth tactics, puzzle solving, the occasional fights that were complex enough that I had to think about strategy. If an aspect of the game was too difficult, there were good hints in the Bradygames guides or on the web.

Batman: Arkham Knight has the stealth tactics and puzzles. But it also has the Batmobile. With that contraption a good chunk of the game becomes an intense precision racing challenge or a tricky platformer. I suck at both racing games and platformers. That why I liked the first two Batman games so much: they offered me a gaming experience that I could enjoy. Batman: Arkham Knight stopped me dead in my tracks.

Near the start of the game, you have to jump the Batmobile over a wide gap. I tried over and over to get across. I crashed over and over again, tumbling to the ground. Finally, through chance, I managed to make the jump... only to learn that I had to make another one immediately afterward. If you didn't make the second one, you went back to the beginning. I consulted the Bradygames guide, but it was useless; I consulted the web and found nothing that helped.

I almost gave up. In retrospect, I should have.

Finally, after an hour or so, I made both jumps and continued with the game. The stealth tactics and puzzle solving of the first two games was still there. The melee combats were reasonably challenging (though I never got past the Dollatrons). There were tank battles with the Batmobile that I didn't find too difficult, but they seemed out-of-place in a Batman game; they felt more like Space Invaders.

After a few more hours of play, it became clear that much of the content was locked away behind the racing and platform mechanics of the Batmobile: chases through Gotham City and the Riddler storyline. Finally, I got to the part with the Excavator and could not progress any further. That encounter is part of the main storyline, and once you're in it you can't escape to do anything else until you complete it. It's a precision racing challenge.

I entered into an interminable cycle: 20 seconds of start-up screen after the last failure; two minutes to set up the challenge; the challenge starts -- and BOOM two seconds later, as I miss some racing stunt and the Batmobile explodes. I did this over and over again for two hours.

I played Batman: Arkham Knight on Easy difficulty, but there was no ease in the Batmobile races. I consulted the Bradygames guide, but it stubbornly remained useless. I looked it up on the web, watched the Youtube videos of the encounter, and they didn't help.

This time, I finally gave up. There was no more pleasure I could have by playing the game. There was only one way I could complete it: I watched the rest of the game on Youtube.

I wish I could have played the rest of the game. The storyline came to a great conclusion. I would have liked to play through that conclusion myself instead of watching some professional gamer do it.

I'm frustrated because a game I thought I could play was such a disappointment. I'm angry at the game's designer, Rocksteady Studios, for not making it clear that Batman: Arkham Knight was a racing game and a platformer; I guess naming it "Batman: The Racing Game" would have impacted sales. I'm bitter because the primary reason I purchased a PS4 in 2015 was to play Batman: Arkham Knight when it came out. I waited two years for this game, only to be disappointed.

I'm rating the game two stars instead of one because the storyline was well-written (even on YouTube), the familiar and entertaining challenges from the previous game are there, and the PS4 graphics engine is excellent. The other stars were sucked down into a gaping chasm by the Batmobile.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 01:58:09 PM by Winston »
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Edalia

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #482 on: July 14, 2015, 06:47:03 AM »
I like that you wrote a scathing review of a game you're trading in and still had the guts to give it 2 stars. Too many people become frustrated with one aspect of a game and give it a 1-star review, even if other aspects are well-done.
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Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #483 on: August 21, 2015, 08:03:21 PM »
FarCry 4

While this is mostly more of the same gameplay as FarCry 3, with more verticality (cf Himalayas), I found the story less satisfying. While FC3 had an absolutely gonzo, adventure-movie premise with no basis in reality, FC4 is set in a Himalayan insurgency (with some parallels to the Maoist insurgency Nepal suffered from for many years). It definitely has gonzo elements, but these seem at odds with the attempts at a more realistic setting (cf FC2). Sometimes it doesn't seem like it's sure what it wants to be. Which leads me to a number of questions:

Why do I have to choose between a hard-right Patriarchal faux-Hindu Monarchy and a heroin-driven Narco-state as the two solutions to the current political situation?

Why are the arena guards topless women with Kalashnikovs?

Why does FarCry have drug-trip boss fights as a recurring element? (They're really unsatisfying to me.)

Why are all the good guys (all people of color, for once) all voiced by Hindi-accented speakers but all the bad foot-soldiers voiced by Chinese-accented speakers and the Bosses voiced by unaccented, poorly-coached white people (BigBad aside)?

Why did I finish this game when the story elements clearly filled my mouth with a sour taste? (That one's easy, obsession with completionism, and the gameplay carried me through.)
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Marco

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #484 on: September 10, 2015, 03:21:10 PM »
The Legend of Korra.  This is a little action game with a throwaway plot which sits between seasons 2 and 3 of the show.  It's not long, but it's pretty fun.  On normal difficulty, many of the fights were challenging but could be overcome with a bit of practice and strategy.  The voice acting and visuals are good, as you'd expect from the franchise.  I used an XBox controller; it doesn't seem like a game you'd want to play with a keyboard and mouse.

Marco

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #485 on: September 26, 2015, 09:07:06 AM »
Stealth Inc 2.  This was free on Humble Bundle a few weeks ago so I picked it up.  It's a nicely polished 2D puzzle platformer, with kind of a Portal feeling to it.  I think it more or less requires a controller.  Some of the testing rooms are pretty tough, although the most challenging ones aren't required for the ending credits.  The soundtrack music is excellent.  A possible annoyance is that every run through the testing rooms is graded and leaderboarded according to time taken, deaths, and the number of times you were spotted by enemies.  This provides replay value for the most dedicated players, but could be an irritation to players who are only motivated by figuring out puzzles and moving on to the next ones.

ETA: Oh, right, the game's packaging is sloppy and it may not start up out of the box.  The directions here got me past that.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 09:08:54 AM by Marco »

Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #486 on: October 06, 2015, 07:17:59 AM »
Dragon Age: Inquisition (120 hrs normal mode)

This is a very big game. I think I got most of it (missed some collectibles). Overall, not very difficult on normal mode; the big fights were dragons which were hit point sponges more than super-dangerous foes (giants were harder).

I played it almost exclusively in tactical mode (like DA1) instead of action mode (like DA2) for combat. Out of combat, I ran around like in WoW (WASD + mouse aim). Either way you play, it's pausible, and offers hotbar combat, although it seems to have a few more position-changing abilities.

For 120 hours, I only got to level 24. While the story missions give you suggested levels, the open world zones do not, which cause me to do many things out of order, and not get much crunch value from the zones I overleveled (which was about half of them).

The characters were mostly hit or miss with me; I liked about half of them. Some of the story elements were strong, and it's obvious they put a lot of work into this, but much of it was standard fare, so unless you're invested in the universe it's a little harder to care.

Overall, I found it very entertaining, but I've been a fan of Bioware for 18 years now and even liked the ending of Mass Effect 3, so YMMV. However, a couple of important elements are taken from DA2 DLC--behavior which seems to have become standard for BioWare and which I am finding increasingly annoying.
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Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #487 on: October 06, 2015, 02:10:26 PM »
I've been a little surprised with the lack of discussion of DA:I on these forums. There are two separate multi-page topics devoted to DA:O and DA2.

For my part, I enjoyed the game. I played in Easy mode, and so had no problems in combat except for the dragons (and maybe a giant when I was too complacent). Like Gwyd, I overleveled a couple of zones, but went through them anyway because I'm a content glutton.

I think I liked the characters better than Gwyd did. In particular, Bioware really flipped the bird at anyone who complained about same-sex relationships in previous DA games: two of the characters would only accept same-sex romantic relationships with your character, and for one character their sexuality was a key part of their personal mission. There was even a minor character who was (convincingly) cross-dressing.

My problems with the game were all minor, but I'll mention them because they're different from Gwyd's observations:

- In DA2, you had fine control over a character's behavior when you weren't controlling them. It made it possible for the AI to automatically cast combos for you. In DA:I, the automatic behaviors are coarse; the only way to make damage combos is to micromanage each character's skills.

- There is a sequence about one-third of the way into the game that's meant to be emotionally stirring, as all the characters sing a song to build up morale. Unfortunately, this fails visually as the character's facial animations were simply not up to the task. I played the game on a PS4, so I don't think this was a hardware limitation. The sequence only lasts a couple of minutes, but for those minutes I thrown to the other side of the uncanny valley.

- Your character is made the head of the "Inquisition" within the first hour of playing the game. I have a problem with that name. You have a choice whether to make it an organization of hope or one of terror. But even as I always picked the "fair and just" choices, I had a hard time believing that an "Inquisition" would be such a nice organization.

As I said, these are nitpicks. Overall, I was pleased with this first game I bought for the PS4. (You can read my scathing review of my second PS4 game upthread.)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2015, 02:14:02 PM by Winston »
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Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #488 on: October 06, 2015, 03:46:32 PM »
Valiant Hearts: The Great War (7 hours)

This is an adventure game (puzzles, some action vignettes) set in France in World War I. Despite the euro-comic art, it is true to the subject. While it starts out relatively tame and even conservative, it becomes increasingly grim as the game goes on until at the end where soldiers are dying in droves to no purpose and the atmosphere is oppressive, and then it ends with you wanting to cry.

I was touched by the simple but (subjectively) poetic story and the gameplay is pretty forgiving except in a couple of spots. Hints are built in, on a timer. You can get this for iPad instead of Steam, if you like.
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Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #489 on: October 10, 2015, 07:32:35 AM »
Transistor (7 hours)

By the makers of Bastion, most of this ostensible 'action' RPG's abilities have an appreciable windup time, so usually you end up pausing the game (somewhat similar to Vagrant Story or Parasite Eve) and planning a bunch of actions for near light-speed execution, and then running around waiting for the power bar to refill so you can do it again. This works in practice better than I am describing it.

The story is very esoteric cyberpunk (which can be described as 'nearly impenetrable' or 'open to interpretation' depending on your perspective) and all the ability names are given ()s at the end to indicate their digital nature.

Similar to Bastion, the art has a lush, hand-painted look, washed in cyberpunk neon, which almost doesn't work but mostly does. The music is quite good as well, being a mix of electronic and crunchy post-rock washed with a static filter. I found the vocal tracks to be highlights.

The difficulty of fights differ based on the abilities you have equipped, but a number of the optional 'trials' demand mastery. Often one ability can make or break a fight. I was frustrated with a few of them but satisfied that I eventually beat them. It has a New Game + which I have not as yet explored.
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Honorata

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #490 on: October 11, 2015, 05:38:04 PM »
UNDERTALE

* On my playthrough, I spent about 8 hours getting a full Neutral+ (Pre-pacifist) clear, and then another hour and a half clearing the rest of the pacifist storyline content. Overall, probably takes about 6-10 hours to finish a game normally.

* A game in the style of early SNES RPGs. You play a child who has fallen underground into the world of monsters. You must battle your way to the Monster King's castle to leave the underground and go back home.

Combat is turn-based (mostly). You can choose to end all battles peacefully by using a variety of actions and sparing the monster, or you can choose to fight and kill the monster. Using your weapon to fight involves timing your swings/punches/kicks to strike for the most damage. Solving an encounter peacefully involves figuring out what combinations of actions you can take will make the monster not want to fight anymore so you can spare them. During a the enemy's turn, they will throw attacks at your soul (indicated by a heart) and you must move around to dodge the attacks, reminiscent of bullet hell style games. Boss battles will involve different status effects emulating other styles of games (Side-scrolling platformer, Rhythm game, vertical shooter, etc.) I found it a lot easier to do the dodging once I started using a controller (using the pad) but you can also use the arrow keys, or the joystick on a controller to navigate.

You will only gain experience, and therefore levels, and therefore hit points by killing monsters, so by choosing a pacifist route, you will necessarily have to complete the whole game at level 1. The game is largely balanced around this. A few endgame bosses were a little tough for me because I only had 20 hit points, but overall, it was not too bad. (If you really want a challenge, there is a story path that involves level-grinding in every area until monsters stop spawning before killing its boss, but this will net you the worst ending and probably make you feel like a bad person. I personally do not care for this story path, but if you're into it for the challenge, the end boss of this playthrough is considered extremely difficult.)

The game also involves a variety of puzzles you must solve to navigate zones. In my opinion, these were mostly pretty easy, and messing puzzles up wasn't very punishing (You mostly just get sent back to the start with a reset puzzle and have to try again).

* The storyline is a bit cheesy, but I thought the pacifist storyline was pretty sweet and I liked all the characters once I got to know them. The music is very good. This game is frequently very silly, but some of the jokes go on a bit too long if you don't think driving jokes into the ground is hilarious.

* This game leans on the fourth wall a lot -- if you go back to a previous save and repeat an interaction, characters sometimes remember you from a previous interaction. Certain characters will mention that you've changed an outcome by reloading a previous save. One boss battle involves crashing the glitching out your game. There are certain endings you can get to the game that the game will remember even if you do a true reset -- if you get the golden True Pacifist ending, a character will show up and beg you not to reset the game. Another ending will forever affect your ability to get better endings.

In general, this is pretty good game for the $10 it cost on Steam and I had a good time playing it.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 05:46:42 PM by Honorata »
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Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #491 on: October 12, 2015, 05:06:44 PM »
Child of Light (14 hours)

With its watercolor art, melancholic piano score, and rhyming characters, this game is as close as I've ever gotten to playing an actual, classically-told fairy tale. It charmed the hell out of me.

Exploration proceeds like a platformer, although you are soon given flight, so it's never particularly challenging. There are a number of light-based puzzles using the cursor, who is a firefly.

When encountering monsters (which are all visible on the exploration screen and can be surprised) you enter a JRPG-style fight with an active turn gauge on the bottom that you can manipulate with the firefly cursor (he can also heal, collect motes, and slow enemies).

The game ended a little abruptly with a pair of boss fights (likely a victim of budget constraints) but the story is complete and I found it satisfying. I would love to play a sequel but I don't know if it did well enough to justify it.
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Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #492 on: October 26, 2015, 06:37:33 AM »
Might & Magic X: Legacy (not to be confused with Heroes of Might & Magic)

The latest scion of a CRPG series long fallen into disrepair, by nearly any objective criteria this game is terrible. The graphics look like they are from 2005 (or earlier), the voice acting is unnecessary, grating and oft-repetitious, and the music merely adequate. The writing is workmanlike and universally dull. The lore calls back to Might & Magic I, a game nearly thirty years old. The gameplay is a near carbon copy of M&M 4/5 Xeen, a game over twenty years old. The difficulty is wildly uneven; I wiped on the first boss at level 1. The game has a dozen classes each with 20ish skills, and a hundred broken character builds and only a few viable ones. And yet. And yet.

There was something oddly compelling about the gameplay loop. Amply warned by Dogwood that the game required planned and researched builds or it would prove unmanageable, I followed an FAQ to build an optimized party (and still suffered the aforementioned wipe). All of the game's monsters are statically spawned and there are no respawns, so it is not possible to 'go somewhere else and grind levels for a while'. You beat what's in front of you, or you don't, and stop playing. There were wildly unbalanced swings in difficulty; I would struggle through a half-dozen monsters, swilling mana potions like a country music star swills whiskey after his wife leaves him, and then just beyond them I'd murder-hobo my way through two dozen guys with nary a spell. Most of the game seems balanced for about level 15 or 20, so you struggle to get there and then breeze your way through until you get to the denouement.

There are a number of old-style CRPG puzzles that are only solvable through trial and error (ie frustration) and so I patronized FAQs liberally to get past them.

I can't in good conscience recommend this game to anyone who didn't enjoy the old, old M&M games (ie Xeen or older) and yet somehow enjoyed and completed this mess. It makes me wonder if I can say that I know how to put my gaming time to good use. Or maybe that statement an oxymoron in and of itself.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 06:39:39 AM by Gwyddyon »
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HeidiB

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #493 on: October 26, 2015, 07:54:12 AM »
I still plan to go back to this game sometime!  Maybe I just hit a rough spot?

I love it for the nostalgia value.

Edalia

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #494 on: October 29, 2015, 01:19:26 PM »
I had a great time with the Xeen games. Do I have the patience or wherewithal to play them again? Signs point to no. Thanks for the review!
o/\o