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  1. There's kind of been 3 types of Ys games over the years. The first couple you just bashed in to enemies, then they became hyper, isometric, all about attacking. Then we got to the 3D versions and it was still a game about going on the attack, but now what type of attack was important. You'd eventually gather 3 characters, a sword character (red), a blunt attack character (blue), and a piercing character (green), different enemy types are weak to different attack types, and you can switch on the fly to suit And that's how it's been for a few games now. Ys IX follows the same formula, but brings in a more traditional RPG structure. Previously side quests would task you with just getting certain drops, you'd get them from your home base, which was a tiny area, and that would be it. 99.9% of the time you were out killing things Ys IX is a little different, structured like a traditional JRPG, it starts slow, with the plot set up, then some short easy combat to ease you in, then a chunk more story. The world is no longer 1 small safe area then a world of combat, instead you're in a city, with combat, shopping, side quests, and exploration taking place throughout, I've not seen this in an Ys game before, even if it's fairly typical for the genre. You're eased in to the world with quests to visit shops and buy gear, it's a little slow going. There's still "dungeons", sections where there's nothing but combat and exploration, but now there's also little dimension pockets where you can enter combat and fight a handful of enemies, then just carry on with whatever you were supposed to be doing The tower defence style sections are still here, now you're whisked away at certain points to fight as a team, protecting a crystal, against waves of enemies. Not especially interesting, and the camera annoyed me a little with this, it maybe could do with being pulled back a bit so you see more of the field, but then they've not been too demanding so far, so maybe it doesn't matter also it's all anime goth now
  2. Sambob

    Life is Strange

    Well, ive installed it, and my poor little surface is sort of struggling to play it. Unless the main character saying every line is part of the story.... Looks good though, going to have a play around with the setting and see what we can do, more details when I get a chance to play it properly. Music in this game is absolutely lovely so far, im really liking the game from the brief 20 minutes. EDIT: Changed Resolution, and everybody is happy now. Was trying to run it at 2160 x 1440, looks lovely now.
  3. mmmark

    Balan Wonderworld

    I was just two and a half hours playing the Balan Wonderworld demo. It’s not half as bad as I’d heard on podcasts that had also clearly only played the first two levels of world one before turning it off and deciding to tell everyone it’s the worst game ever. The opening levels are a bit crap but the later sheep and the cog worlds are much better. I’m not talking Mario levels of quality but certainly gets better than the opening world. Plus the later costumes you find you can use when you go back to previous worlds to get to further trophies which in turn opens up more worlds. The music is also better later on. Not completely awful but an alright time waster and with so few games of its kind on xbox and PlayStation beggars can’t be choosers.
  4. Hendo


    Streaming my first look at it now if anyone's interested.
  5. Nag

    Days Gone

    So the next PlayStation 4 exclusive has released and I booted it up earlier, only played for around an hour and a half so I'm still very early in the game... Still doing tutorial stuff if I'm being honest. (This guy has such a shit name...) So not to spoil anything I'll be vague about the opening, after a brief cutscene showing things going to hell your thrown forward a couple of years in to the outbreak and in pursuit of someone on bikes. First thing that hit me with the bike is the weight of the thing, it was quite easy to steer only to think you need to compensate and then just start zigzagging down the road... Obviously that'll change given more time on the thing. Second thing is this game is going to be brutal to it's characters that's obvious from the off and it's something I like. (Like me, Deacon likes to loiter in bushes...) Other things introduced are stealth, melee combat and shooting all of which are similar (if not identical) to a number of games you'll have already played. All these things seem to work fine in this game though, so far, and feel quite natural. The only thing I'm not too sure with at the minute is how the save system works, it routinely makes auto saves and I also made a manual save where I thought I was safe to do so but after booting up the game to check (something I'll do with a new game) I was set back in the story by about 15 minutes, which is a bit shit. Anyhow, it's very early day like I said but I'm quietly confident that I'm going to have a decent time with this.
  6. About 3-4 hours into this so far so thought I'd make a thread (my first in quite awhile!). To start off its made by the same Dev Team that made 2017's Stories Untold and some of the same developers that made 2014's Alien Isolation so I knew going in it's from a studio with some pedigree. You play as SAM. Essentially the 'Mother' computer AI of the Ship you're on - the Observation. You control numerous cameras situated around the ship and can also take control of remote sphere's that enable you to navigate around - in first person - the ships claustrophobic, dimly lit hallways. You interact with the game in a kind of point and click style, navigating from camera to camera around the station to try to find a passcode, a bit of evidence or open a hatch to advance the story. From time to you'll also interface with certain computers and have to complete little mini-games in order to progress. As for the story, I don't want to give too much away but as SAM you'll assist Astronaut Emma Fisher around the station, helping her in whatever way you can. As you progress, more and more things come to light about the crew, their plight, their mission and why the ship is in the state it's in. Things are quite tense around the station with a pervading sense of dread and foreboding, you never quite feel comfortable exploring but at the same time aren't exactly terrified either, I wouldn't really say it's a scary game at all so far - which is perhaps a little disappointing but it is definitely tense. It's definitely a weird one so far, there's a lot to take in and a lot of confusing aspects to the story that I'm still trying to piece together as I go along. It's consistently engaging, mysterious and compelling though and I find myself thinking about what discovery I'll find during my next session which is definitely a good sign. The way it plays isn't particularly revolutionary or anything but the quirky little computer mini-games are really well designed with that 80s Alien-esque aesthetic that gives them a character of their own and searching for items using the cameras is akin to old school adventure games. We'll see how it pans out but at the moment this is definitely up there as one of my most memorable games of this year, there's not really too much else like it. Some pics:

    Yakuza 0

    I think this might also be on the PS3 but I don't think we're getting that version over here. Also, I'm under embargo until tomorrow so I can't really say too much If you've not played a Yakuza game before, people initially compared them to Shenmue before other people got a bit annoyed about that and argued they were the Japanese GTA. They're more like Shenmue, there's more to do and there's way more combat, but it's a dense town and as you walk the streets you'll be attacked, then the game turns in to arena combat. The fighting is fairly brutal, it's mostly punching and kicking, which fills your heat meter, this makes you more powerful, but also allows you to access Heat moves (kind of finishing moves), triggered with triangle when the scenario is right. These can vary from simple stamping on people's heads, smashing their faces against a wall, or powerbombing them, stabbing them repeatedly in the guts. They're great There's different fighting styles now, 2 characters, and essentially each has a standard combat mode, a quick combat mode, and a power combat mode. There's skill trees for all, and rather than experience points you now spend money to improve yourself, which you beat out of opponents. This is kind of a mixed blessing as early on it means you can level up pretty quickly, but soon you'll be needing 30million for each move and that's when you'll have to start engaging with some side quests you might have otherwise not bothered with The side quests are plentiful. They vary from entertaining substories you don't get a huge amount from (they do have some rewards down the line) other than it's something entertaining to do. Some of them are very funny, one or two I wish I hadn't started, but all in all my the only thing that's made me regret playing through so many of them is that I'm supposed to be rushing to finish the game. As well as these side stories there's a few old Sega games, Out Run, Space Harrier. There's baseball, bowling, karaoke, some of this you'll be forced to engage with at least once, but of the 3 I've mentioned I've only done the karaoke, and it's great The story is actually very good. You play as Kazuma Kiryu initially, he's the main character through the series, but they have tried sidelining him a little in the past. The game opens with Kazuma beating a guy half to death on behalf of a loan shark, the guy later turns up dead which puts Kazuma in the firing line with his Yakuza bosses. It's a rabbit hole that goes fairly deep, it's got a lot of yakuza morality in there, and there's some cool shitty yakuza to face off against, but it's a story about real estate and power grabs, You'll then switch to Majima Goro, who was one of the antagonists in the first game, but people liked him so they keep bringing him back. They've toned him down a bit, I suspect we'll see something that makes him snap towards the end of the game, because he's not his old future self at the minute. He's been kicked out of the yakuza and is running a club, he has to make enough money to buy himself back in to the yakuza, but that involves doing some stuff he might not want to. It's not as good a story as Kazuma's, but it has started to tie in One final thing, this is a prequel, and apart from one part of Majima's story, I've not seen anything that requires prior knowledge of the serie. In fact, the way the game is structured, holding back content and doling it out slowly, it's probably as good an introduction as you could hope for
  8. Sambob

    Final Fantasy XV

    This arrived yesterday and I've played 11 hours so far...it's really good, it's a bold statement but I think it's the happiest I've been with a game in terms of expectations and how it's been to play it. It's very skyrim in the exploration. It really isn't linear at all, I'm on chapter three now and it's unbelievably open world. This might be the one in the series that brings people in, it's hardly a final fantasy at all.
  9. regemond

    Tekken 7

    Great! A game in a series I've enjoyed on and off since the third installment on PS1 has gone 'free' on Game Pass - let's try it out. Hmmm... It's taken me 5 minutes of scrolling and about 15 button presses just to get to the main menu. This isn't the greatest start. No matter, let's see what's about... Wait, what? It's automatically taken me to the options screen now? Ok, ok, I'll just back out of there, then I'll see what's going on. Mishima Saga? WTF is that? Fuck it, let's go. Oh yay. More menus to click through. JUST LET ME PUNCH SOMEONE DAMMIT! Ok - difficulty on Normal. Finally into it. Punching time. Wait. No. No it isn't - I'm dropping young Kazuya off a cliff. Nice throwback, but I just want to fight. Yay, fighting time! The above was a description of my first 10 minutes with Tekken 7. When I finally got into it, the story mode was AWFUL. I played on normal, because fuck it, it's Tekken, how hard can it be? Turns out it gets very difficult, and extremely cheap. To the point I had to play cheap myself to even it out. One fight pits you as Heihachi against Akuma from Street Fighter (because remember when SFxT was a thing? What happened to TxSF? I wanted that so much more). That was tough, but I got through it. Then a little later it switched the roles, and I almost threw my controller at the screen. Then, putting you back in control of Heihaci, it had you fighting against Kazumi. Who can fire lasers, fly, has a fucking tiger that can attack you, can disappear and has unblockable attacks. But the sidestep isn't responsive enough, so you just end up repeatedly getting wailed on. Oh and she has regenerating health. And the final boss is demon Kazuya. Who can do all of the above (except for the tiger bullshit) but stronger. On each of the 13 chapters you have to beat most characters twice - the only exception to this is where you have to defeat 5 army grunts or 5 of Jack-4/6 in a row. But you can't lose a round either. You have to win two rounds without taking a loss on every single chapter. There's also a final chapter that I didn't see last night where you have to defeat Devil Akuma. Really not looking forward to that bullshit. All I wanted was an old-school Arcade mode. Ten fights, best of 3, stupid character movie at the end. What I got was this fuckery. I'm gonna go back in the next few days and look for some traditional modes, but last night I had to take my Kindle up to bed with me to try and dispel some of the irritation. That shouldn't happen with a game.
  10. OK, so I finished the first episode today and I don't really want to give too much about it away because it is so very special. As a result I don't want to give anything away and will put the everything in spoiler tags for those who want to read about them. Lots of pics incl. my choices:

    NieR: Automata

    Nier Automata isn't quite what I was expecting. The demo, which is the prologue of the game, makes it seem like a fairly standard Platinum Games game. A tight linear action game with Witch Time when you dodge. Instead its that combat dumped in to an rpg And I don't just mean it's got a levelling up system, I mean it feels like a modern Final Fantasy game (or what I imagine they feel like because I I've only ever watched them being played). It's got big desolate spaces, using real world locations, all destroyed beyond recognition, in place of standard jrpg locations. Levelling up is a bit odd. Generally it just means a touch more health and damage, you don't get new skills. The way to do that is to increase the amount of 'chips' you can power. Chips are either dropped or bought and can do minor had things like show how close you are to levelling up, or increase your health, let you fire projectiles from your attacks, and auto heal, these have various levels themselves, meaning if you get a good one it might have a bonus health boost when triggered etc I really like the desolate look, I really like the robots, some bits can look a little simplistic but it's a cool aesthetic The only thing I'm not keen on is the amount of trudging around the map you have to do for side quests. The world isn't massive but it's big enough that returning to the desert is a bit tedious. Aside from that I'm liking its oddness
  12. So I got this for the PS4, but pop the disc in your ps5 and it downloads the extra bits to make it a ps5 game for free, there was a £10 difference in price when I got my copy so bonus! Typical plot bad guy takes all the little sacklings to build a big menacing machine and you as Sackboy run off to save them. There’s 5 worlds im currently on the third. Each world is split into levels where you can earn blue orbs used to unlock other levels, some you can gain 5 orbs others 3 orbs. The levels are fun with some good inventive bits which make the platformer different, there’s standard on the rails train levels, jumpy levels, hold on and grab levels all good stuff. The big thing for me is the soundtrack it’s awesome! Humming away even the most frustrating levels it’s still fun. I guess you guys being more hardcore gamers than me would smash the way through, I’m enjoying replaying a level if I didn’t get all the orbs going back in as they can be hidden away. It’s cute it’s fun it’s annoying at times but the soundtrack takes it away. Possibly the longest I’ve put into a game in a while, plus the oh likes it too!
  13. Started this last week and put about 12ish hours into so far. I've been looking forward to this a long time as a fan of the series, with the semi-recent remake of the first game (Abe's Oddysee) New N' Tasty reinvigorating my love for it. It started off as a one-to-one remake of the second game (Abe's Exoddus) but over time - believe it has been in development around 6 to 7 years - it grew into something more than that, a complete reimaging of the second game and a rejuvenation for the series too with added abilities, new action segments, a huge expanded story based on AE and tons of new levels that weren't in the first game. After the excellent New N Tasty I didn't expect this to get such middling reviews, which made me a little hesitant to start it. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about and have found the review scores a tad baffling based on what I've played so far. It is fair to say it is a departure from the classic Oddworld games of old, they have added a double jump, you can no longer use the D-Pad to control Abe, there's modern elements like a crafting system, the ability to tie up Sligs instead of killing them, medals that get awarded for carrying out a certain number of actions or collecting a certain amount of collectibles in a level. On top of this some levels have an action focus to them now where you'll have to run to escape being killed by Sligs and Glukkons in air ships whilst the platforms around you are crumbling into flames, later on there is also a section on a train which ends in a boss fight. So this is a quite a different beast compared to the original titles and even New N Tasty it's fair to say, some folks won't like that, others - like myself - will embrace the changes more. Thankfully though, despite all the changes mentioned above the way the game plays remains largely in tact. You still possess Sligs and can make them explode, you still recruit Mudokens and lead them to safety through butterfly gates, there's still tricky sections where you can't use possession and have to use stealth to avoid enemies, just scraping through to the other side. Thanks to the new additions coupled with those core Oddworld systems there is much greater variety to the game, you'll go through an action-based level where you're getting chased by a Glukkon Blimp, then encounter a level where you're possessing sligs to clear a path through, levels where you can't use possession and have to rely on stealth and timing to make it through, others where more metroidvania elements come into play and you'll be heading into dark caves to find a power source to move on. The levels themselves are obviously much more impressive than the original games but perhaps more surprising is how they're much more impressive than even New N Tasty. You are still on that 2D plain controlling Abe, but the camera does pan around certain paths through the environment and there is much more going on in the background with Blimps, Snipers, mine trains wizzing past, as well as a greater number of Mudokens to save at times (sometimes in the 100s). One level - that is technically the most impressive - is on a train that is whizzing at high speed through the desert, culminating in a boss fight against a Slig in a giant mech. I will say though that one level so far frustrated the fuck out of me. It was the longest chapter so far and its key mechanic is using smoke to hide yourself from enemies, the issue is that in some parts of the level there aren't any smoke valves to hide in, you have to create your own smoke grenades to hide yourself and any Mudokens that are following you. The aiming is really finicky to perfect and on top of this the game is a little janky when it comes to detecting you and your squad in the smoke, a lot of the time I was fully covered but one or two Mudokens could be seen at the end and a Slig would just fly on by, another time they'd get shot up and I'd have to restart from the checkpoint and try again. At the start the difficulty was considerably more forgiving that the older games thanks largely to the double jump and an abundance of checkpoints but since then the difficulty has thankfully ramped up considerably to something akin to the games of old. The checkpoints are still a bit of a crutch and the double jump still helps you out of a few tight spots but some sections like the boss fight mentioned above have been pretty brutal to get through. Graphically, the game is very much a mixed bag. There's something about the art style that just feels a little bit washed out compared to the older games and New N Tasty, on top of this the game uses a very subdued colour palette, lots of browns, greys and muted greens throughout which doesn't help. On top of this the texture quality of rocks and other natural elements all look pretty shoddy with only the industrial areas looking ok. The game does shine with the background details though and the train level mentioned above did impress me quite a lot, but for a PS5 game it is still not really up to scratch. It is obviously an indie title so allowances for that have to be made. As for flaws, the game can be a little buggy at times. I think on about 5-10 occasions I've had an issue where Abe will get stuck mid-jump and no controller input from me will get him moving again, resulting in a checkpoint restart being needed. The controls are also a little finicky and imprecise, a lot of times I've had it where I'll try to climb down or jump up a platform in a hurry and somehow it won't work out. The most glaring issue though is the projectile system, you have to throw crafted/found items quite a bit in order to coat Sligs in a flammable liquid and set them on fire, use smoke to block a security camera/enemies view, rocks to kill bats etc. and it's just very fiddly. The game asks you to be precise at times with your aiming of these projectiles but the system they give you just isn't up to scratch, you're aiming with the right stick then pressing R2 to fire off projectiles whilst controlling abe with the left stick and having to switch items holding in triangle. It would've been much better if you could aim with L2, adjust your throwing arc with the right stick and then let fly or if time temporarily froze whilst you're throwing projectiles to allow you to be more precise in your aim. Overall though, I'm really enjoying it so far and couldn't put it down for the first 5-6 hours. It's included with PS+ this month so if you're a fan of the series or action/puzzle-platformers then I think you might get on with this so give it a go. Definitely not one to sleep on that's for sure, I almost slept on it myself (due to its proximity to Nier) but it gets a recommendation from me. Pics to follow:
  14. Sambob


    Played about an hour of it so far, and its pretty much the PS2s version of Zelda. Its weird because there is something stopping me from getting into it, its taking me a good 20 minutes each play to be used to it and then once ive done a major thing I dont feel inclined to get on to the next one... The graphical style is nice, but just nice, its so blurry that I think thats one of the things that requires you to spend a few minutes getting used to before you are happy with it...I think it could have quite easily be done on the Gamecube. There are one or two standout minutes in the graphical style that make you appreciate the difference, but on the whole I kind of feel like im playing an Xbox game without my glasses on. The story and setting are pretty good, like I said theres a bit of Zelda in there and also it reminds me of Goemon with its quirkyness and ecsentuated characters.
  15. Started playing this today, put in about 3 hours. Not really sure what to make of it at the moment, the game looks bloody gorgeous (You can see where Coldwood spent that EA money!), the soundtrack is great, but at its heart it just feels like an average platformer really. If I had to compare it I'd say it feels most like LittleBigPlanet, that kind of floatiness to the controls (if that makes sense) happens in Unravel too, it definitely isn't a tight platformer like Ori and the Blind Forest or Donkey Kong Country, and I don't think it was ever trying to be like those games in its design, but the controls could've been tighter and snappier in my view, from what I've played anyway. What I didn't realise going in was how incredibly infuriating and frustrating a game it is, it just gets me so fucking riled up it's unreal, I've got stuck twice already and had to look up what I need to do online, was just pottering about for 15 minutes trying to get past a certain section and of course I find what I need to do, feel like an idiot and I'm on my way. Some of the problems can be put down to the timing-based platforming sections I've encountered I guess (where the controls don't help), coupled with the harsh check-pointing employed. You can figure out what you need to do in order to progress, almost complete an entire section, accidently drop into some water and suddenly have to start all the way back at the previous checkpoint, just seems needless really. Despite the issues the game has and its mediocrity (in platforming terms) I am still vaguely enjoying it, it's pleasant enough, the environs are amazing and Yarny is charming enough to keep me playing, but I can already tell its going to be a bit of a slog if it goes on for any longer than the 5-6 hours I'm assuming it lasts.
  16. Yakuza is undoubtedly one of my favourite gaming franchises. It’s been consistently excellent for many years now. Yakuza Zero is one of my favourite games of all time. So,I’m always up for more. This entry has shifted from the usual over the top action, to an RPG style. Quite the difference. The reviews have said that it’s paid off, for the most part. Though there are some massive difficulty spikes near the end, that require some hefty grinding. Anyway, I’m a couple of hours in. There hasn’t been much gameplay yet, it’s almost entirely cutscenes thus far. Yakuza games always start slowly, this entry apparently takes about 10 hours to get properly started. Another new addition is a brand new character, Ichiban. He seems decent enough, though it’s too early to say how he compares to Kiryu. We will see how it plays out.
  17. I started this one today. Beat the first world and onto the second. Early impressions is combat has a nice "swimming" movement to it albeit it is very floaty like the spinoff games. Worlds are massive and some of it almost feels like an anime/Disney take on (old) God of War games. Music is great, as usual. Hoping to hear some old tunes return (hopefully Hollow Bastion). I started it on Proud mode cause I figure if I've played three of these games back to back and can't handle its hard mode at this stage well then I'm really just hopeless. So far it's not very difficult but it is a reasonable challenge. It makes it so it isn't just a mash X fest. It is very heavy on cutscene interruptions in the early hours however and it gets sort of annoying, it's a bit Metal Gear at times. WRT spoilers I'm going to defer to riksp or someone else as to the best approach. I'm thinking anything that was in a trailer is fair game for an open screenshot because this is a very pretty game with lots of shiny stuff that's fun to show off. Or maybe all screenshots could be put in spoiler text it's all the same. No HDR in this game, interestingly.
  18. Played the first 2 hours earlier. Really enjoyed it I must say, the visuals are fantastic, frame-rate very smooth, everything feels incredibly polished, love the humour and the way the story is being told from a slightly abstract angle too. The gameplay isn't anything mind-blowing, but it's just so bloody fun. It's great to be playing a colourful platformer again, and the way Insomniac meld the Platforming in with the TPS elements are great too, it just feels such a natural fit and the guns already feel unique to use, its surprisingly cinematic at times too and there's a set-piece on a Train that reminded me of Uncharted! The combat strangely reminded me of an old-school FPS at times due to all the strafing, crazy guns and the number of enemies that are involved in the action. So, yeah, an impressive start, I couldn't help but smile and giggle at some of the one-liners and in-jokes along the way, Ratchet and Clank is a pleasant place to be.
  19. Seems like this is totally awesome to the max. it plays a bit like samba de amigo without the maracas (which sounds like it might be bad but it's not) - notes come out from the centre to 6 points, 3 left (hit by up, left, down) and 3 right (triangle, O, X), there's standard stuff like 2 at a time, and holding notes. but to keep it interesting - a big circle means flick one of the analogue sticks, this is like the clap in donkey konga and the kick pedal in rock band drums - as in it messes with your head at first - i'm still at this stage - but also this is optional, i guess it gives you more score, but missing them doesn't count towards pass/failing the song (i think i read that somewhere), which is nice. i've worked through all the songs on normal, and they're good fun, occasionally difficult with the added stick flick (which i was sort of getting used to on normal) - but moving onto hard i'm having to ignore it to try and just pass the songs - which seems pretty tricky, you can't miss that much stuff. i've had to replay songs quite a bit on hard to pass a few - still early days. but i don't mind replaying them as the gameplay is really good fun, and the music is great (if you like persona 4 music anyway). and the presentation is out of this world, not that that really matters but it's really slick and looks ace. now the bad - i should have waited for an english version as there's a story mode like the fighting game, but i haven't a clue what's going on (beyond dancing to defeat monsters), hold triangle to skip text at super speed anyway. and i sacked that off for the free play mode. there's about 25 songs i've unlocked so far. so yeah if you like rhythm action games and persona music it's a big thumbs up imo.
  20. Rikzilla

    Overcooked 2

    Anyone else picked this up or are planning to give it a go? My girlfriend and I have cleared the first world with three stars on each and haven't broken up yet so I think we're good for marriage. So far it's a massive improvement over the first. Everything feels tighter, there are loads more recipes to make and more interesting level variations, and you can now throw stuff across the kitchen. It has online co-op and vs too this time around!
  21. OCH

    MediEvil Remake

    I wasn't going to do this. Largely because (a) I've nearly finished the game, without really trying. (b) aside from a fresh coat of paint, it is exactly the same game, warts and all. The original, much like this one, oozes charm with a Tim Burton-ish aesthetic and dialogue peppered with humour. As much as I loved the original, it was a 7/10 game at best. There is a lot of.. jank, that remains in the remake. Hitboxes that needed a little more testing and early 3D platforming issues are still present. Enemy AI is also a strange thing. Bosses have clearly defined set phases and attacks. The rank and file enemies tend to be ..unpredictable and a lot faster than expected. The monks in the Asylum Grounds for example, will hit you regardless of how well you think you're doing. So there we are. I'm currently on 11/20 Chalices. Roughly halfway through the game. In spite of the negatives, still really enjoying it.
  22. regemond

    Sea of Solitude

    Just to let you know what you're in for, Sea of Solitude starts with this screen: It's a beautiful game in places, similar in visual style to Rime. The introduction sees you in a boat in the titular Sea of Solitude. Playing as a young girl who's quite literally overtaken by darkness (seriously, she just has facial features, the rest of her form is just black and a little undefined), you're given a guiding light in this sea of darkness, and that provides the only source of light around you. It's a platformer in nature, so from time to time you have to leave the safety of your boat and walk around the flooded city its set in. When you do climb out of the boat the world around you becomes dark and stormy, and there's a creature that stalks you in the depths of the water. Basically, everything feels like a very heavy-handed discussion on depression. As you work through your problems and face your difficulties, you eventually bring light to the world around you. This is where the visual beauty kicks in, because it becomes bold, vibrant and just stunning to look at in a very stylised way. One touch I adore - you have to remove corruption from the world (this is what makes the world brighter again), but your character's backpack gets more and more full as the game progresses. Again, a very obvious metaphor, but one that's done in a subtle way. It was only near the end of my session last night I actually noticed it. This isn't a game that's ever going to set the world on fire - the controls sometimes feel a little loose, the story has less than zero subtlety, and the graphic design is an acquired taste (but exactly the kind of thing I love). But given that it's a very stark look at the different aspects of depression, it also feels quite brave in a way. I also don't want to give spoilers away, which is why I haven't discussed any of the main story beats, just given a little overview. It feels relatively short, I reckon I'm about half way through it - but I'm really enjoying it at the moment. As much as you can 'enjoy' a story about a young girl's crippling depression.
  23. Don't think this ever migrated into the Games thread, but I started playing it today. It's pretty clunky, but already has a few interesting ideas in terms of making you work things out whilst investigating/researching and linking events together when using the psychic flashbacks. The Lovecraft vibe is quite obvious, and combat best avoided at times rather than head on. Promising few hours, so I'll be seeing this through.
  24. Played the first 90 minutes last night. I'll get the boring part out the way first, played in 1440p on mostly Ultra settings, with some high settings (auto detect) too and it runs superbly, not sure of the frame rate as Origin doesn't have an FPS counter but I'm pretty confident it was a constant 60 throughout with no drops at all, impressive throughout performance wise. First thing I did in the game itself was create a character, straight away you can't help but notice how awful the character models are, they look distinctly last-gen to me, the eyes are incredibly weird too. Spent a whole lot of time configuring my Female Ryder in this (Red head with green eyes as always), designed her twin with ginger hair too and a bit of a beard going on. Combat next up, pleased to report its pretty good. Definitely not as tight as ME2, it feels looser and more akin to ME1's gunplay that any of the other games in the original trilogy, I didn't like the decision to change the cover from pressing a button to stick to auto stick, doesn't feel as good and I got killed a few times when I thought I was in cover but wasn't. Overall though I'm happy with it, its satisfying enough getting headshots and popping out from cover but definitely doesn't feel as refined as ME2. Even though this was a story mission you could still wander off the beaten track, found some caves with loot, alien structures and new bits and pieces to scan, my favourite part though was finding an abandoned alien ship all in darkness which I found very Nostromo from Alien and mysterious, didn't go on long enough but it was a memorable moment. The game also employs Skyrim/Fallout's top compass to alert you to nearby points of interest which I find a definite improvement on Dragon Age 3's mini map. So yeah, so far so good really, it hasn't blown me away and is a little more rough around the edges than I expected, it's also a little more Dragon Age 3 in some of the exploration aspects than I wanted but I'm happy with it so far. Will post further thoughts once I've played more tonight.
  25. spatular

    Project Cars 3

    This is a bit of an odd one, it really should have been called something else - it gets a lot of hate from project cars 1/2 fans (understandable really) as it's a departure - it's not a sim any more, and drops stuff like pitstops. this isn't really a problem for me, while there was some good stuff in 1/2 i was never a big fan, and i think there's a gap in the market for what 3 is trying to be. the handling is more inbetween sim and arcade now - like pgr/driveclub. so it's a similar game to grid and shift now i guess - but while both of those were decent imo there was something not quite right about the handling, this seems better in that regard, although probably not as good as pgr/driveclub. it's much better on a pad too than pcars1/2, i didn't play those with a pad but apparently there were problems - this one i've only played with a pad so far, and it's been good. one thing it still has from previous games is a great selection of tracks - saying great maybe understating how good the selection of tracks is, it's pretty amazing really i think there's ~40 real tracks (lots of these have multiple layouts too), and 10 made up ones. it has some from old toca games that aren't in games often like knockhill and oulton park, etc. so it's sort of close to a pgr style handling game with lots of real life tracks - which to me sounds like it could be the best thing ever - it's not the best thing ever. although i am enjoying it. then we have the problems - there are many problems with the games structure imo - the timetrials - just let me keep going - don't like having to restart every lap. - the 3 lap average time events need to be more lenient on voiding laps imo. - generally it's really harsh on voiding lap times - which i think is fine for online leaderboards but should be relaxed for the career mode stuff. - getting money to buy new cars is really slow going - which compounds into other problems - can't buy cars needed to do events to get more stars to unlock more events. games like forza and GT throw loads of cars at you - this should be the same. - lots of xp points wasted (you need these to get money) restarting instead of finishing events - although i now think i've solved this one - always finish an event and see your xp go up then restart at the last opportunity to avoid more loading but still get the xp. - oddly long loading times from an ssd - although ~30 to 40 seconds is still faster than some games from hdd. - the difficulty is all over the place, and unlocking stuff is tied into the difficulty - for me there should be difficult events with gold/silver/bronze medals etc, but getting bronze should be easy and fine for unlocking everything - here you need the 3 stars/gold etc as much as possible to help unlock stuff. i might have been making things harder for myself by buying the deal of the day cars sometimes from the store thinking they will come in handy, but they are for much later in the game. i've played ~12 hours and think i have 5 cars. also oddly you can pay money (in game money) to unlock events instead of properly unlocking them with stars - this is odd but a very good feature because of how hard it is to unlock stuff normally - but seems like they realised the unlocking system was crap and this was a quick fix for it or something. the graphics are not supposed to be any good, but i think it looks alright, and it runs really smooth, at 4k, with like 32 cars on track sometimes, this is on pc anyway. oh except when it rains, that's less smooth - i should mess with the settings to sort that out. despite the problems though i keep coming back to it, i am enjoying it. the handling is good, the selection of cars seems good if i could buy them, and the selection of tracks is really impressive. i hope they get chance to make a new one of these, with a different name, and with the career/structure stuff improved, i think it could be brilliant, and i'd like to say i think it could be a big hit but i'm not sure this kind of thing sells very well these days so who knows.
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