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Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:00 am
Later Alligator sounds cool. If it gets a sequel then it practically names itself.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:31 am
by Booyakasha
I replayed 'Borderlands'. Knocked out the vanilla game, and the zombie expansion. Underdome is almost impossible in single-player, but I'm gonna do Secret Armory and Robo-lution.

I still like it lots.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:19 am
by Apollo the Just
DarkZero wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:02 am
sorry aj but this thread is only for games that you finish

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:17 pm
by I am nobody
57. AI: The Somnium Files (9/29) (PC)

This was always going to be a weird one to review because it's directed by Kotaru Uchikoshi, who also made the Zero Escape series. VLR is my favorite game ever and ZTD isn't far behind, so even though AI has nothing to do with those games, I inevitably expect a lot from it. So, does it live up to his previous work?

Yes and no.

Start with the "no." A huge part of what made the ZE games so incredible is that they're very contained mysteries. You know the whole cast from the get-go and you usually have most of the information for any given event soon after it happens. They're games you can spend longer thinking about than actually playing, because the tools you need to solve the mysteries are already there. AI, by contrast, presents its story in a more typical police drama fashion. The cast is slowly revealed over time and know almost nothing when each new twist comes up. It's still effective, but there's nothing to pick over when you're not playing like in ZE.

The other downside is that the escape room puzzles are basically gone. You still get dream sequences that are a little like them, but while these are generally interesting, it's a stretch to call them puzzles and I don't think they integrate gameplay and story as well as ZE did. Having said that, I don't think either of those are a huge downside if, unlike me, you weren't expecting something like ZE. And the rest of the game is brilliant regardless.

AI is basically a near-future detective story about police with a fancy machine that lets them enter suspect's dreams and a serial killer who takes people's left eyes. That sounds like it'd be an extremely dark game, and at times it is, but it manages wild swings in tone extremely well. It's disturbing when it needs to be, but it's also one of the funniest games I've ever played and explores loss and family relationships in an exceptionally touching and authentic way. It covers the full range of emotions in a way that absolutely should not work, and yet somehow almost always does. And it's hard to overstate how important that is. Having a cast you genuinely care about in a game that's as unpredictable as this makes every scene far more impactful. It would've been easy to write a sad, stressful game with this plot, and they did, but it also had me cheering, laughing, and feeling for these characters in a way I absolutely did not expect. That's its biggest triumph.

I can't pretend I'm not a little disappointed that it doesn't have my favorite parts of ZE, but it's nonetheless an obviously phenomenal game in its own right. As long as you can stomach and/or look away from some occasionally graphic content, this comes with highest recommendations.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:32 pm
by Deku Tree
I finally wrapped up Divinity II: Original Sin. I would recommend the game, but there are annoying things about it. The inventory management gets pretty tedious and the crafting system is really underdeveloped. My favorite things about the game are the combat mechanics and the amount of freedom the game gives you to make choices. Choices both in the narrative and in the degrees of freedom in the combat that lets you get pretty clever with some stuff. The combat is a turn-based system that reminds me of the few times I played tabletop figurine games, though with many more skill and item options. I liked the main storyline and each stock party member has their own pretty well developed side story.

I played on PS4 and have seen that it's available on Switch, but it's pretty clear this is a game best played on PC.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:13 pm
by Hotel Security
Beat Salt & Santuary at 100%. This is absolutely a "side-scrolling Dark souls." It's remarkable how many things were lifted from the Souls games but this is a good thing as I liked that aspect.

Despite the borrowing, the game still plays like a Metroid clone with the melee combat and maze-like levels but the worlds feel a little more nature at times. It was easier to create an OP build in this game than the Souls games but I still enjoyed the gameplay and the bosses could still kick your butt if you weren't careful. Has a good amount of option areas, items and bosses and some decent lore though, much like Souls games, the lore only barely applies to the overall plot. Pretty good effort for a 2-person husband and wife team.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:32 pm
The art absolutely killed Salt and Sanctuary for me. It is just poor. Too bad because I read good things about it, but I'm picky about art (not so much graphics).

Anyway, I beat Shantae: Half Genie Hero. I didn't screw around collecting stuff or going for a good ending, or different modes really. Since I beat it within just several hours I'm glad it was short but tgere wasn't much to it in terms of story or challenge. It was just okay.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:15 pm
by Marilink
Goose Game is delightful. Don't have the energy to write a full review.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:13 pm
by X-3
8.) Final Fantasy V

This was for the Job Fiesta a few months ago. Really fun game. Plotwise though you don't really accomplish very much at all, which to be fair seems to be a problem with FF plots in general but kind of exacerbated here due to how much the party gets cutscene'd, especially by Exdeath. I also think standard turn-based is better than ATB.

9.) Mario Maker 2

Mario Maker 2 is basically an upgrade over the original in every relevant way. Unfortunately, like the original I don't think it's for me. I played it for a week or two, made a stage or two and then kind of lost interest. Alas.

10.) Astral Chain

While I do not think Astral Chain is a bad game, I do think it is one of Platinum's weakest games and a bit of a disappointment overall. The combat system is still decent, though it has a bit of a higher learning curve due to the nature of it. Early-on can be a bit hellish, as the game doesn't really give you the real combat system (why) until Chapter Two and enemy tells can initially be hard to figure out due to how red and disorienting the Astral Plane is. The ranking system is a bit strange compared to other Platinum games: rather than get judged in three categories, you more-or-less accumulate bonuses by doing stuff in combat. While this means you avoid the trial-and-error hell of getting a good score like in Platinum games (oops I got scratched, restart from checkpoint!) it does result in a strange system where you can literally die like 3 times and still get a S+ because, hey, nice Perfect Calls. Still, once you get the hang of it it's a thrill to wail on enemies with your Legions.

Where Astral Chain falters is its pacing and level design. With Astral Chain I see Platinum trying really hard to make a game that's not just pure action, and I respect that. I don't think they really succeeded though: a lot of the other stuff you do is either pretty bland or pretty annoying. The platforming sections in the Astral Plane that pop up time and time again are a cute idea but they don't translate into being actually engaging. The detective sections boil down to listening to witnesses and then getting quizzed on what they said. There's other stuff too, like shootin' and stealth missions that are pretty meh too, made worse by the fact that they can be ranked which I imagine is absolute hell if you want to shoot for those S+s.

I think it's worth bringing up the story too. It's surprisingly bland for how cool the concept is and how much you can tell they tried. The supporting cast doesn't really leave a mark, and the antagonists are pretty-= dare I say it again-- bland. The direction of the story is so predictable and telegraphed that you can guess it correctly from the game's announcement trailer, and there's an early cutscene that all-but spells it out for you. Despite this, the game strings you along for hours, and even has an ultimately pointless Chapter where your officer goes sleuthing for the truth. (spoiler: you don't find out ****) So basically:
"Hey, is this one of those games where the guy you're working for has a keikaku and is the real villain? He's talking ominously with not-SEELE in the shadows about godhood and stuff."
*20 hours later*
"hahaha you dumbass he was the bad guy all along!"
I will say that they actually did kind of a good job with your twin sibling. Kind of a Diet 9S in several respects sure but better than I expected. They have the stereotypical "dang I hate being weaker than my super-special twin" thing but when push comes to shove they've got your back.

11.) Link's Awakening Remake

This is probably the most "it's as average as I expected" game I've played in recent years. I don't think the 'new content' they added is particularly good. Fishing has a bit more meat to it than a Heart Piece, which is okay once you learn how it works I guess. (only tap A when they pull away) The Trendy Game has more prizes, which I'm pretty sure is something I'm sure no one asked for. There's a new Chamber Dungeons that's feels pretty half-baked. You put together rooms you've been in and then go through them. Without the over-arching dungeon design it's pretty boring and basically ensures that you'll only 100% the game once because a Seashell, a Bottle and a Heart Container are behind it. Speaking of Seashells, they've almost doubled the amount in the game, a move I'm a bit mixed on. Is it padding that makes getting the lvl 2 sword more inconvenient, or appropriate for a $60 title in 2019? Are the new Seashells too hard to find or am I biased because a lot of the Seashells in the original are I'M A SEASHELL HEY OVER HERE SEASHELL HERE DIG HERE IDIOT?

Mundanely enough, what I enjoyed the most about the remake were the QoL changes. One of the big limitations of the original was having only two buttons and having to swap items constantly. Now the Sword, Shield, Power Bracelet and Pegasus Boots are permanently mapped and you have two free buttons to use, solving that problem about 95%. You'll probably have one button reserved for Dwayne's Feather so there's just some tolerable switching late-game between the Hookshot and Boomerang. This also means the Boomerang is probably even stronger than it is in the original. The Shield, even more-so. The Hookshot and Wand got nerfed though, which is simply tragic. Quick-travel is overhauled to be more like other Zeldas, which is eh. More convenient but by the half-way point it does feel like you can just teleport everywhere a bit too easily. Textboxes are probably faster than any other Zelda game and because of the aforementioned button changes the game doesn't stop you whenever you brush up against something without the right item equipped.

Art style is alright, but in general I'm not really a graphics-appreciating guy. One thing I will say though is that I don't really like the...bounce enemies have. I don't really know how to describe it but it was something I noticed about LBW as well Music is definitely good but the originals are probably more of my jam. The frame-drops are frequent, noticeable and painful which is a shame because the game looks quite nice when it's at 60 fps. Hero Mode is Hero Mode, tough early-game but pretty fair due to how the game handles Bottles and Fairies. Try fighting Genie without sweating, btw. In general I'd say it's Link's Awakening so it's good but if you took the original and magic'd it to have these QoL changes it'd be just as good or better. Which...I'm not too beat up about honestly. I expected remaking LA to be kind of an instance of being between a rock and a hard place, and lo behold it is.

Going through LA's swift pacing and fun dungeons makes me profoundly sad that they don't make more 2D Zeldas though. Imagine a 2D Zelda with a small, simple hub but like 16 dungeons or something. 3D Zelda is reexamining the exploration aspect and Nintendo seems adverse to making a 2D overworld from scratch. It's not like Zelda should be one or the other, but seeing-as 2D Zelda will probably always be the 'smaller release' going forward it'd be a neat experiment.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:09 pm
by Marilink
^They we’re willing to experiment with the 2D Zelda formula a bit with Link Between Worlds, which is the most recent non-remake 2D Zelda. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see further new directions in subsequent games. If LA Remake’s sales numbers are any indication, 2D Zelda is still here to stay.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:11 pm
by I am nobody
58. Spyro the Dragon (PC) (10/20)

While I have to give Toys for Bob credit for the incredible job they did remastering this to *look* like a modern game, it absolutely still feels like a 20 year old platformer. It's a collection of vaguely themed levels clearly designed to hide the PS1's incredibly limited draw distance, the world is minimally interactive, and the plot is so threadbare that I don't even know why they bothered with one. The boss fights are seemingly optional and receive so little fanfare that I didn't even realize I'd found the boss in the first two battles.

It's a good enough time for the three hours it lasts, but everything it does has been done much better by a dozen games in the years since.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:28 pm
by I am nobody
59. The Outer Worlds (11/3) (PC)

It feels reductionist to describe TOW in terms of other games, but it's so obviously inspired by BioWare and Obsidian's last-gen and earlier work that there's not really a more accurate way to talk about it. TOW is basically KotoR smashed into New Vegas. It takes its small, self-contained maps where nearly every named NPC has some kind of equally small and self-contained quest to give you, along with its part size of two AI companions and a ship where said companions very, very occasionally have something to say. NV brings the open world structure of each of the small maps, the tongue-in-cheek but not actively funny writing, and light faction relationship elements, while other Fallouts very obviously provide the combat and a strong influence on the leveling, perks, and initial character creation.

That description is both the best and worst part of the game. It does all of its influences reasonably well - which isn't surprising given that Obsidian have obviously made KotoR and Fallout for real before - and it's great to have a new game in a style that's been left for dead arguably since 2011's Skyrim. But it's also painfully by the book. There are quests that are virtually identical to memorable ones from its inspirations, and it only ever makes small variations on even the mechanical ideas that made those games such landmarks. I've heard some people refer to it as a Greatest Hits of Western RPGs, but my less generous take is that it's basically a tribute band. It's a really good tribute band, mind, but by definition it's missing anything to give it its own identity.

The one exception to that is their commitment to making all but one NPC killable. And yet even that reinforces the lack of identity, because it means no one is actually essential to anything. A lot of the NPCs in this game are, bluntly, a******s, and while being able to shoot them in the face is novel at first, you quickly realize that every major quest being designed around the possibility that a psycopath murders everyone on sight means that every single one of them boils down to going across the map and interacting with 1-3 objects. There's nothing like KotoR's trial scene, Mass Effect's Virmire, etc, because how could there be? There aren't even named villains for basically the entire game, because if you actually met anyone you could just shoot them and end the story. Everything has to just be a checkbox on the way to the credits.

And the other big problem is that combat, at least on normal, is completely broken by the assault rifles to the point that there's neither any reason to use another weapon nor to even put points into combat skills. Science, lockpicking, and hack are similarly overpowered on the noncombat side (Science allows you to boost weapon damage), and dialogue skills aren't far behind. Most skills also don't have terribly interesting bonuses, so there aren't even neat rewards to justify putting skill points in obviously unhelpful places. Perks, similarly, are mostly passive stat bonuses or modifications to the VATS-ripoff that's completely worthless because guns are so strong.

All of which no doubt makes it sound like I hate this game, but I actually had a great time for the first 75% and still enjoyed the last quarter. It's not a bad game, it's just one that consistently underdelivers on the obvious potential of all of its ideas and influences. The higher budget sequel they've been promising could definitely be something special, but failing that, TOW isn't something I'm likely to remember a few years from now.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:19 pm
by I am nobody
60. Override: Mech City Brawl (11/10) (PC)

The title says pretty much everything here. It's a game about big robots punching things. A bunch of aliens in the arcade mode, which runs about 90 minutes, and each other in the multiplayer modes. There are a dozen to pick from in the base game, which are all incredibly visually distinctive and have some great skins, but all of which also seem to play pretty similarly.

I had a decent time with one run of the arcade and I'll probably boot it up for local multiplayer eventually, but I got it in a bundle. The $30 standalone price would be a really hard sell.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:12 pm
I finally beat Donkey Kong Country 3, easily my least favorite of the original DKC trilogy. It's still one of the best 2D Platformers ever made, no doubt, but it has the misfortune of sitting by the first two. At least the new games don't have the balls to call themselves "DKC 4" or "DKC 5."

The music is probably the most noticeable problem. It's not bad but isn't atmospheric or catchy. The music is fine on its own but rarely fits the stages or events, if it was transplanted onto a different game I'm sure it'd be a highlight feature, but it doesn't feel like DKC music too much. I heard the GBA port fixes it, so I'll eventually run through that version.

Gameplay is a bit more explorative and puzzle based--not by a ton, but it's noticeable, and not really something I appreciate. Many stages have some kind of gimmick, too, the game rarely wants you to do pure traditional platforming, they need you climbing burning ropes or using rockets as often as possible.

Graphics are as good as ever, maybe the best. I don't think there's much atmosphere though, not really much of a tone. It's unmemorable, each area is indistinct, minus the snow one. That certainly wasn't a problem with either of its predecessors.

Controls are perfect but a few stages ask too much of them. For example, there's a lightning stage for which you'd really need a dodge roll maneuver or some DKC2 invincibility barrels to make it through fairly, and one with reversed controls right afterward--in a water level. I feel like some stages were very obviously intended for Dixie, but none for Kiddy, so there's times when you feel ill equipped without her. It's not as bad as playing as just Donkey Kong in Retro's games, but a similar gimped feeling.

I don't even really know what the story is, I had no idea until the end, where I apparently saved DK & Diddy. I guess it was a Dr. Robotnik animal capture type plan by K. Rool--er, K. Roolenstein? Idk. Didn't care for it much, nor Kiddy as a matter of fact. He's boring and unappealing.

Bosses are hard as hell. I know DKC1 gets **** for unoriginal designs and being fairly easy, but this is the opposite. The worst is the snowman, if they're going to make a non-platforming boss then don't make him so damn difficult. I think that's around where I got stuck as a kid. I proudly used save states to bypass that crap. It could've been interesting if it wasn't so tough.

The coolest new feature is the enhanced overworld map, it is fun to traverse it. Too bad we never got proper DKC4 to expand on that, make it bigger and better, more secrets and stuff. The game certainly isn't perfect but it did meaningfully evolve the formula, if only a little. I complained about the game a lot, but I was still enjoying it quite a bit. DKC3 is really good.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:02 pm
by smol Kat
ok now that I have had my ACTUAL I-WANT-THIS-TO-BE-CANON WEDDING, I can review Three Houses. So, I've talked a bit in the Discord about it so here's a brief summary:

-Note that the only route I've completed is Blue Lions
-I actually kinda like the plot up until just before the time skip. Then it starts to have some problems.
In particular, I'm annoyed that apparently you're locked out of learning about yourself unless you marry Seteth, and I don't even know that you gain that knowledge if you do because after the meme Ashe wedding I married my real husband Dimitri <3
-I love almost all the characters I used. I loved making fun of Ashe. <3 HOWEVER, my OTP (Ingrid x Dorothea) was ROBBED!!
-I'm upset that I didn't get to do Dubstep Cave! What have I done to deserve this??
-Dimitri's redemption arc is really, really good. I'm fairly certain I cried more than once.
-Exploring was REALLY REALLY overwhelming so I definitely did not recruit as many people as I should have (I recruited literally just Dorothea lmao and only because I ship her with Ingrid)
-Exploring got REALLY REALLY boring by the end because there was just nothing to do, really... even the specialized training felt unnecessary by the very end.
-I also love Felix
-I really wish the VA team would just settle on a pronunciation of Arianrhod already!!!
-Golden Deer spoilers for this route:
I think it's kinda cool that Claude just sorta hecks off somewhere but also I love him and miss him and wish he were in my royal court
-Spoilers for the very end (I've also worked a Game of Thrones spoiler in here so click with caution):
The final chapter was pretty anticlimactic for this route. I was really surprised we don't see Rhea again considering how much of the plot was "we need to rescue the Archbishop!!!eleventyone." Also kind of amusing but also somewhat predictable was the whole Jon-Snow-stabs-Dany cutscene at the end. Meh. Although to this route's credit, we do get the sense that Edelgard has some humanity and believe that she thinks her intentions are noble...we just...don't agree. Also she's a literal monster and it's weird and she can't hit your units for s***
tl;dr I really love this game in spite of a few problems with the plot. I do really hope that my situation improves and I'm able to play the other routes one day. :)

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:16 pm
by Marilink
Luigi's Mansion 3

This game was a lot of fun! I think the best way to describe what I liked about LM3 is to talk about what I didn't like about Dark Moon on 3DS. I started Dark Moon when it came out, but never finished it. Last year around Halloween I decided to play it to completion, and I had a lot of fun. However, a few things stood out. First of all, there was absolutely no variety in the ghosts you caught--even the boss ghosts. The first game had plenty of generic ghosts, but the bosses and all portrait ghosts were all a bunch of fun and had wacky, unique designs. Dark Moon just had the same thing over and over again. Every boss was just...a white ghost. Also, the bosses weren't very fun in general. The second thing that bothered me about Dark Moon was how broken-apart the game was. Whereas LM1 was a large, contiguous space, almost like a plodding Metroidvania, Dark Moon was broken up into several different mansions, which themselves were broken up into individual missions. On the plus side, this led to a variety in aesthetics that the first game didn't entirely get. On the negative side, the game was in fits and starts the whole time. It never truly got going because any time you gained momentum, you ended the mission, went back to the lab, and started a new one. It was needlessly tedious.

OK, I'm done complaining about Dark Moon (a game I liked!), but that's going to help me explain why I loved LM3. The generic ghosts return from Dark Moon, but also returning are the exciting, unique, and individually fun boss designs from LM1! Each of the 15 Floors had a special boss ghost that had a great design. This was so nice to see again. They had personality! And wouldn't you know it, but making unique and personable boss designs led to boss encounters that were a lot more fun and enjoyable than Dark Moon's across the board. There was only one boss fight I disliked (The Boiler Room), but even that got "points for effort."

Speaking of combat, that was also a step up from either of the other 2 games. Slamming the ghosts around led to strategies that you couldn't do before--like slamming a ghost into other ghosts to stun them, making it possible to chain ghost captures together, and even KO ghosts without even sucking them into the Poltergust at all. The slamming mechanic extended beyond combat, too, as you got the plunger dart that allowed for another layer of environmental destructi--I mean, exploration. Even by the end of the game, I was still having fun latching on to broad objects and slamming them into the ground to nab their contents.

Finally, the structure of the game was a step in the right direction from Dark Moon. The 15 floors of the hotel allowed for the same environmental and aesthetic variety that Dark Moon was able to accomplish. However, the entire game remained one single building, and the floors didn't have needlessly chopped-up missions. It's still not quite the full Metroidvania-style structure of the original Mansion, since the only point of contact between floors is the single elevator; but something about going from floor to floor was still a lot more satisfying than the multi-mansion structure.

Somehow, I went this whole time without mentioning Gooigi. I love this disgusting little schlorpy monster. The addition of Gooigi allowed for interesting, creative puzzle design, as you could seamlessly swap back and forth between Goo and Lu at a moment's notice. Besides that, he also makes for a great co-op experience that's especially good when shared between people of uneven skill. The better player can play as Luigi, who has a set health bar and the game-over condition; the inexperienced player (child, significant other, friend) can take the invincible, low-stakes Gooigi and have just as much fun, as well as an equal impact on the game. Gooigi is horrendous. Gooigi is wonderful. I'd highly recommend reading through Gooigi's lore page on the official website. Fun facts: Gooigi was accidentally created by a combination of coffee and ectoplasm, and was made to replicate Luigi based on E. Gadd's footage from the previous Luigi's Mansion games.

All in all, LM3 takes the Diorama-style of LM1 and takes it to new heights with new mechanics and clever design. If you at all liked the first Luigi's Mansion, pick this up. If you like cute ghost dogs, like my daughter (who is convinced she herself owns Polterpup), pick this up. Heck, if you have a Switch, there's little reason to skip this. It's a blast and all in all took me about 12 hours to complete.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:55 pm
by I am nobody
61. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PC) (11/17)

It's a flight game, and it's very difficult to make one of those I don't like. This particular flight game is very pretty and has a really impressive variety of missions, ranging from pure dogfights to ground support to a particularly ill-conceived instant-failure stealth mission with spotlights in a canyon. I can't think of much else to say - at least to the extent that I care about them, flight games have all played pretty similarly for longer than I've been alive, so "it's a flight game" feels like it covers everything.

It has a story, but it's one of the worst I've ever seen in a game and there's so much more of it than anyone should be made to suffer through. You're Batman and must single-handedly win the war by being *really good* at flying planes, but you can't talk, so everything is relayed through a supporting cast that mostly focuses on how awesome you are. Nearly all of them were taken from the Pokemon school of writing, in that they have one identifiable thing they say ("I'm going to tell my son about this!", "Solitary!", etc) that they say over and over and over and over again with small variations instead of real dialogue. The others are just boring and probably came from bootleg Metal Gear.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:14 am
by I am nobody
62. Aeon's End (11/25) (PC)

The board game itself is pretty good, although I'd definitely have liked to see more and more varied options for the deck building. There's not much in there that jumps out compared to other card video games like Slay the Spire. Hopefully they'll add expansions to help with that later on.

It's a really great port job, though. It's easy to find almost everything you need to play, and the tutorial gets you into a game with minimal downtime.

63. Pokemon Sword (11/27) (Switch)

I honestly don't mind dexit, and I'm not particularly bothered by low quality of some of the animations and textures. Long overdue quality of life improvements like accessing your boxes from anywhere and getting fly almost immediately were enough to distract me from T-posing Wingulls, and the pace with which you get new Pokemon makes me doubt there would've been room to have twice as many obtainable in-game regardless. Gym challenges were mostly enjoyable, and the soundtrack is one of the series' best. I'm also a big fan of most of the new Pokemon designs, even including the cursed abominations that are the Galar fossils.

And yet for all that, the game is riddled with things that just aren't what they could've been. Only the Champion uses a full party in the entire main story, so battles are almost always pointless pushovers, including the woefully underlevelled version of the Elite 4. The story is somehow even more inane than previous games, to the point that there's no conflict for the majority of its runtime and most of the characters barely have a personality. Max Raids, while a cool idea, are somehow impossible to find random partners for and the AI trainers that fill empty slots are often so inept that you can only complete raids way below your level. GTS has been removed for no obvious reason, making trading for specific Pokemon much harder, and the endgame just kind of plops you back home with no goals. On top of all that, character customization still hasn't advanced from what XY set out, and that really shows when you have a dozen barely distinguishable avatars running around on screen at once.

It's still a good game, but one that obviously needed more time in the oven.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:57 pm
by I am nobody
64. Cute Knight Kingdoms (11/30) (PC)

The original Cute Knight was one of, if not the, first indie games I played. It's a stat raising RPG by the team that would later make Long Live the Queen, and it's no less obviously inspired by Princess Maker. In that game, you play as a late-teens girl in a medieval city for a few years, building skills through all sorts of jobs, classes, and dungeon crawling, and then get an ending based on your stats and choices. I haven't played it in years, but the variety was great at the time, and it did a better job of storytelling than any of the other stat raising games I've played.

I've known about CTK for years, but never played more than a few minutes of the demo because it is a stunningly ugly game. CT wasn't beautiful, but it looked perfectly fine. CTK is only a few steps above asking me to do the art. Now, art isn't everything - Chinese Parents is my new favorite one of these games, and it looks like crap sometimes - but the effort that didn't go to art has to go somewhere, and I'm really not sure where it was in this case. There are way fewer jobs with almost no progression whatsoever than in CT, fewer stats and skills, less of a story, and while it *technically* has an open world, it's one of the smallest and saddest open worlds I've ever seen. It's so much worse than the original in every way that I've had to repeatedly check that it is actually a sequel, because I've honestly never seen a series do something like this.

65. Mutazione (12/1) (PC)

Mutazione bills itself as a mutant soap opera, which is a really weird way to try to sell a game when I don't think the demographics of those overlap much. I can't tell you how it compares to Days of Our Lives, but I can tell you that it's a lot like Night in the Woods. You play as Kai, a teenage girl who has to go to an island where everyone mutated from a magic asteroid impact in order to help her dying grandfather. It takes place over a week, most of which is spent getting to know the villagers and planting musical gardens. The cast is small, but almost everyone is very well-realized, and it's their stories that carry the game for most of its runtime. Like NitW, there are significant stretches that aren't obviously about anything, and you're making mostly minor choices for a partially defined character. That said, Kai is not NitW's Mae. The game is about Mutazione's residents, not her.

This is one of those games that you can almost certainly tell whether you'll like or not from the trailer. It's exactly what it looks like, but it's really good at it.

66. When the Darkness Comes (12/3) (PC)

This is another free game about depression, and I don't want to criticize it too much because, again, it's free, and also because these kinds of games could be incredibly important to someone. It has a couple sequences that were surprising and well done, but a lot of it fails to land because it's either so predictable or poorly designed. The Slenderman and first person platforming sequences in particular were so bad that it was impossible to have the kind of immersion you'd need for its message to work. I am admittedly in the minority on this one, and I do hope the dev gives it another shot, but this is unfortunately not something I can say much of anything positive about.

That said, if you are looking for something in this vein, Missed Messages remains one of the year's best games.

Abandoned makes its return because there's a few of them I'm particularly disappointed by:
Jenny LeClue - Detectivu: I was watching this one for several years and had extremely high hopes for it, but I ended up refunding after 20 minutes. It has a neat narrative conceit in that you're playing a book as its being written, but pointing out how the author's books have historically been really boring and then launching into an even more boring introduction was maybe not the best call. Much as I obviously didn't give this a fair shot, life is too short to solve the mysteries of where mom left her student's essays and what the dean ate for breakfast. I don't care.

Katana Zero: I was actually really enjoying this until a god-awful stealth sequence in chapter 4 that didn't seem to follow any consistent rules. After giving up on stealth to see if it got better again after, it jumped immediately to the kind of grotesque violence for violence's sake that's always kept me away from Hotline Miami and GTA. There is probably a great game here, but it is fundamentally not for me.

Trails of Cold Steel III: Ranted about this one in the Discord already. I loved the first two games enough that I've bought them multiple times, but I'm not going to be finishing this. That's parlty because the story is a mess as a result of skipping what was clearly planned to be CS 2.5 and relegating the great original cast to cameos in favor of a smaller, less interesting set of new people who were mostly conveniently not mentioned until just now, but I probably could've gotten over that. Alas, the series' inconsistent treatment of its female characters has finally been resolved in favor of Falcom's resident perverts, and no character is spared no matter how nonsensical the scenario or how questionable their age.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:42 pm
by X-3
12.) Luigi's Mansion 3

I had a lot to say but I forgot most of it. I'd say the worst part is the early-middle section, roughly 6F-7F, mostly because those two areas are really linear with two obnoxious bosses. Some of the puzzles and bosses took me a lot of time to figure out. I don't know if that's because they're particularly obscure or because my brain is smooth. It's a good game overall, but not amazing or anything, which is fine by me.

13. World of Warcraft: Classic

I think there's a lot to like. I like how open-ended leveling is, and how it requires you to travel a lot. There's a great feeling of power progression, partially due to how variable mob levels in a zone can be; today's red mob is tomorrow's grey mob.

I didn't finish the quest to 60 though. (I made it to 50) I find that WoW is one of those games that can sink its claws into you to dangerous levels, but then lose its grip altogether if you don't play it for a day. Once you lose just a bit of interest (whether it be to playing other games or just not feeling up to it) it just kind of snowballs. I don't think I'm the type of person that can play one game for a long time, so ~two months of dominating my attention is good enough by my book.

All-in all, I'd say Classic WoW kind of helped me rediscover/remember what it was that I liked about the game to begin with: the adventure. Sure, optimizing a character with phat endgame loot was fun at first, but eventually it became the sole focus to the detriment of everything else and I think that's why I finally fell out of the game around the start of MoP. I still hold out for a true successor (XIV never scratched the same itch), but considering the nature of the genre and the state of the industry I don't think it'll happen.

14.) Pokemon Platinum

I spent a lot of time playing Diamond back in the day so I decided to revisit Gen 4 for fun. It's still good. I think a lot of the stuff I find obnoxious about recent Pokemon games (words words words) is a lot more tolerable here for some reason. My best guess is that the 2D format means there's no camera work to drag things out, but who knows. Sinnoh is a pretty cool region, I like the mountainy theme and, to me, it feels like it disguises it linearity pretty well aside from maybe the Sunnyshore blackout. The Distortion World was also a cool and interesting change of pace, in more ways than one.

There were also a few hard fights, and ultimately I had to cheese the Cynthia fight by giving Gliscor X-Sp. Def (I guess this isn't that cheesy) so he could boost in front of Spiritomb and then sweep. I still needed to get a bit lucky between Shadow Ball's chance to drop Special Defense and Garchomp's Dragon Rush though.

I realized one thing while revisiting Gen 4 however and it's that Pokemon does random battles really poorly. It takes a long time for battles to start up and they're not rewarding outside of EXP. I think the series could do a lot better about battle speed in general.

Oh, and there's basically no reason not to choose Infernape, because it murdered almost every other Fire type in the region. Platinum is a bit better about this than DP which had only Rapidash, but it's still very slim pickings, especially if you're going only for Gen 4 Pokemon. Anyway, I guess I'll go beat up Heatran and then move onto the final games of 2019.