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  1. A bit surprised this doesn't have a topic yet as I think the other games did have a few fans here. But then again I bought this on release and only now felt in the right mood to play it, so maybe it just came out at the wrong time. This immediately feels a lot more like 1 than 2, which is most likely a byproduct of it being made by Deck Nine (Before the Storm) who feel probably more comfortable reproducing what worked in the first place and a desire to, well, get back to what worked in the first place. Alex, the protagonist, is extremely approachable in an almost ironic way as she's a bit of introvert with a loaded background, so not unlike Max from the original. Setting the game in a small, rural area in some fictional part of an American mountain range gives it a very idyllic and soothing feel where standing around and rotating the camera is a joy in itself. A byproduct of this is that it also goes back to a fixed cast of NPCs with their own jobs, motivations, backgrounds and personalities. It is not without its faults – Alex' superpower is 'just there' and I find it baffling how the promo material spoiled this game's Aerith moment – but I felt right at home from the first minute. It's just a wonderfully cleansing experience, though it'll probably throw some existential angst in my direction soon (I'm only on chapter 2). One other thing I want to point out is that it looks phenomenal. The lighting, use of colours, the significantly improved facial animations all result in this not being the best-looking LiS title but a genuinely beautiful game even by other standards. It's also the first game in which I actually noticed Raytracing (which can be activated in Performance mode, too) when looking at the extremely realistic reflections on Alex' glasses. They look so good in fact that they almost clash with the slightly dreamy and soft art style. Playing this amidst the recent Square Enix news feels a bit bittersweet as well because I'm unfortunately not expecting them to finance another one of these anytime soon. So I'm definitely taking my time with it and enjoying the ride. Edit: Glasses
  2. I wanted to play this from when it first came out, but refused to pay full price for a SpongeBob game in... 2023. Huh, I thought this was more than a year old. Anyway. It's a typical mascot platformer that seemed to breed and multiply in the PS2/Xbox/GameCube days, but brought to life with a glorious new-gen shine. I sound highly cynical, and to be honest, I am on this one. It's linear to a tee (definite positive), but you get a few little side quests that require a touch of exploration - collect a number of golden coins, find a specific character, discover golden spatulas. However, a lot of these extra bits and bobs are locked behind power-based gates. Things like a karate kick, or swinging on a fish hook, or a mega smash. What this means is that if I want to collect everything, it's not a one and done situation, but I essentially need to play the game twice. It's false padding. Anyway, how does it play, I (don't) hear you ask? Meh. It's serviceable. Jumps can be very awkward. Combat can be awkward. Skills can be unresponsive. However, despite all this meh-ness, there's still enough to keep me playing. I think this might be one of the first games I finish this year. Won't be getting 100%, though. Fuck that noise.
  3. regemond

    Wanted: Dead

    I'd never heard of this before, but it looked awful so I downloaded it for a laugh. Honestly, I haven't even gotten into the gameplay yet, but it's the most PS2-ass game I've ever seen in my life. It has boob jiggle, a la Dead or Alive (also apparently from some of that series' devs), and this is introduced in the first cutscene. The animation, even in the cinematics is janky, stunted, and exactly like you'd expect from an early 2000s title. If you'd told me this is a Remake or remaster from that gen, I wouldn't have been surprised. I hope this creeps into so bad its good territory.
  4. I was pretty close to just bumping the old thread because man, is this Persona 3. I'm sure there are plenty that want a remake as faithful as this but I was more on the side of using the opportunity to take a second run at it and tighten it up a bit and improve some of the story of the game. There are quite a few changes to the dungeon crawling element, a lot of additions in presentation and mechanics such as the ability to pass a turn to another party member after hitting a weak spot which makes the game easier. But I was a bit disappointed with the AI party members since there are less tactics than the original and they don't use the new mechanics. Just for nostalgia's sake I tried to play it the old way but it's so not optimal. It just seems to be thoughtlessly added and it's clear they're really expecting people to play it with direct control of the party. I just always thought it was cool to be the leader of an autonomous group and it's just faster too. But oh well! Bosses haven't really been touched very much either, mechanically, despite those getting quite a bit better in later games is a big missed opportunity too. Other difference is it obviously looks better... actually, I dunno, it doesn't have the creepiness of the original to me, something to do with some of the colour grading maybe. Looking too clean isn't hitting quite right. More of the game is voice acted, I think it might be a little rewritten but I'd have to look at side by sides to be sure but it's mostly the same stuff happening and even acted out the same way. I'm not new to this game but I think to someone that is or is coming from Persona 5 it's still gonna feel like an older iteration despite the new coat of paint. It's still one of my favourite games, and I've barely stopped playing it but it's my fault, I did at one point dream of a game that felt like a sequel to P5 but with P3's story and it isn't that. It's P3 with some modern concessions.
  5. Maryokutai

    Elex II

    Played roughly five hours of this over the weekend. It's very similar to the first game to the point where I was thinking of just hijacking that other topic, but I'll play by the rules. When I say similar, I mean that you play as the same character, in the same world, meeting up with the same NPCs. It's been too long for me to remember if the world is actually 1:1 or rather some sort of "remake", but I think it's the latter. The story is a bit weird (alien invasion, protagonist gets infected, mumbo jumbo) and there's absolutely zero explanation as to why he has to start from scratch again in terms of skills and abilities, which I actually found very charming in an unapologetic 'I'm sequel to videogame!' kind of way. The biggest difference to 1 so far is that you don't start off as a walking paper cutout. Sure, most of the enemies can and will kill you, but against mutated rats and insects you actually stand a chance. I see this as neither a good nor a bad thing. It's obviously designed in a way to be more approachable and short-term rewarding, but I actually enjoyed the feeling of being at the absolute bottom of the food chain in Elex 1 and having to rely on Quest XP to level up or companions to do the dirty work for you. But I realise just as many if not more people will prefer being able to swing a pipe and do actual damage from the first hour onward. There's a couple of cool little details I noticed about NPCs. For one, they use that Uncharted system where, if someone in your party gets interrupted during dialogue because a combat encounter happens, they actually finish their lines later when everything has settled. There was also one cool moment where I saw two NPCs talking to each other and I pressed the button to talk to one of them. She then said I shouldn't interrupt her, finished her discussion, and then went back to me to scold me before the actual dialogue branch started. I've actually never seen that in an RPG, or any game for that matter. It also negatively influenced my standing with her, as there's some invisible relationship thing with major NPCs going on, too. Of course this being a certified eurojankTM game, you have to accept that it's not a looker, that combat is still very wonky, and the unusual unpolished aspects that come with it. But I'm really enjoying it so far, particularly as I've always liked PB's dual progression system with skill points and trainer perks. Makes the whole thing a bit more tangible as it bypasses the illogical construct of the classic RPG fundamentals. Not that this is an issue in other games, but it's a design idea I find very clever. Sidenote, this is also their first game that runs almost flawlessly on console. Performance mode on Series X only ever drops a few frames in very busy village settings, otherwise it's rock solid. Definitely not a game for everyone, but I think shiny and dwarf and some others might enjoy this. I'm not sure if I'd recommend playing both Elex games and I'm not far enough into this to say which one is better. So far this seems a bit more streamlined, but I've also read that the mid- to endgame is inferior to the original -- guess I'll see, but so far, so good.
  6. Ok, so I’m 2 hours into this. I’m an absolutely massive Yakuza/LAD fan. In over 40 years of gaming, this is by far my favourite franchise. The reviews for this have been universally high. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first: charging separately for the New Game+ mode, sucks. There’s an entire dungeon, and trophies/achievements locked away behind that. That’s pissed some people off, and I think understandably so. There’s also multiple Micro transactions, ranging in price from £5 for instant level up boosts, to £12/£15 for other stuff. I won’t be bothering with any of that, and so far, the game hasn’t been obnoxiously highlighting them. Right. I’m 2 hours in, and it’s pretty much just been cut scenes. Which is pretty typical for a LAD game. That being said, I’ve already noticed two improvements that have been made to the combat system. You can manually control the movement of each character before making a move, making it much easier to pick up items to hit enemies with. One of the more annoying elements of the previous game, was that if you bumped into another enemy in the middle of your attack, their was a good chance they’d hit you, and cancel your move. That’s been scrapped entirely, thank god. There’s no difficulty options. When I watched the IGN video review, they specifically mentioned how annoying the difficulty spikes became about halfway through LAD. That was what made me eventually give up on my PS4 playthrough, and I found challenging to get through when I eventually finished it on PS5 last December. The reviewer said that there’s none of that difficultly spike nonsense in IW. Hopefully, he’s right… In terms of story, there’s no “Previously on LAD” to catch up newcomers to the story. Most games in the series have optional “movies” to watch, which explain what’s happened before. There’s none of that here. So if IW is your first time to the series, I’d suggest watching a video of at least what happened in the last LAD game. I won’t spoil what’s happened so far. But, I will say, it’s been an absolute joy seeing Ichiban and his friends again. Kiryu is my favourite character in all of gaming, but Ichiban is quickly becoming a firm favourite too. He’s likeable, charismatic, and amusing. Whereas in LAD: Gaiden, you had to wait a few weeks for the English dub to become available, here it’s available right from the start. I played LAD in English, and had no issue with doing so. So, I’ve chosen the English dub for this. There’s been a lot of hate thrown at Jong Jea, the YouTuber chosen to portray Kiryu. I’ll reserve judgement for his full performance. The footage of Kiryu doing karaoke that leaked a few weeks ago was legitimately awful, autotuned to buggery. But, I’ll give him a fair chance. What I can say though, is I’m very dubious about his ability to pull it off. Kiryu is a legend approaching the end of his “career”. From the lines leaked previously, he sounds far too young. Still, I won’t write him off just yet. Im away on holiday for a week after today, so won’t get to play much more. But once I’m back, this will be getting my full attention.
  7. Its a game where you drive a train. Got this recently on switch, was previously sort of interested in trying the ps4 version, which supports VR so thats cool, but didnt get round to it. And sort of though i might find playing it really boring. Not really sure where my interest in this came from, saw some youtube videos on it and wanted to try it. have been enjoying it, its not the most amazingly exciting thing ever, struggle to explain why im enjoying it but think it helps that its something a bit different and new, to me anyway - thats what i was thinking after the first few missions. Later i got to the 3rd set of missions which are much more involved, with more speed check areas where they try and catch you out like by putting a high speed limit check just before a stop or reduced speed limit, its much more action packed, been really enjoying this set of missions. the main thing to do in the game is stop at the right position at the next station, this is worth the most points etc, and im rubbish at it. But im quite good at doing the extra stuff like arriving on time, dimming lights for other trains, and beeping and pointing at all sorts of stuff. Theres a point button. As in finger pointing. Apparently train drivers are supposed to point at things (and say a catchphrase) to keep them more engaged and stop them from falling asleep or something. i think it helps that this is more arcady than a full on train sim, and the line choice of the tokyo ring road (yamanote line) so has loads of stops and scenery and stuff to do. There never seems to be more than 2 mins between stops. anyone else played one of these? i could find a useful video explaining it better or something but heres this instead
  8. OCH

    Soul Calibur VI

    First "new" game of 2024! (Technically, I've had the twin-pack of this and T7 sitting on my shelf for ..a while) NOTE: I did look to see if this had a Thread already. But aside from a News Thread. Only saw pages for the older SC's titles. Anyway, I've started this up with Libra of Soul. Haven't even touched Story/Arcade modes yet. Immediately, I'm hit by how much lower budget this than previous titles. The previously bombastic opening cinematic that this series has been known for since Soul Blade? Not present?? Now regardless of otherwise decent gameplay, SCV was a clusterfuck that nixed the series. But purely from this secondary mode, I'm unsure why we are immediately back at SC1 in terms of the narrative. Hopefully this will be explained in the story mode? Although basically the traditional Edgemaster Mode by another name. It starts with character creation. Which I haven't liked since this series got it in SC3. But modern gamers loves this shite so whatever. A brief look, turned into an hour play session. My character (Zark VI, naturally) adopted the Siegfried weapon style. There was no rust this time. Muscle memory kicked in with the first battle. Admittedly for the specific challenge missions (Critical Edge only etc) I did have to look up the buttons. But the general move set was with me from the offset. When thinking about it, the last SC game I played (SCV) would be 12 years old at the end of this month. So I was surprised by the moves and combo strings I could pull off. It's definitely ticking the familiar boxes for me so far. Eager to get back to the next session.
  9. A Space for the Unbound is an adventure game set in Indonesia in the 1980s. It’s about a couple of high school students but there are magical elements to it too, which gives it the atmosphere of something like a Studio Ghibli or Makoto Shinkai film. I’m impressed with it so far. If nothing else, l would love to see a Final Fantasy game made in this style.
  10. Nag

    Lies of P

    Started this earlier (didn't try the demo earlier in the year) played for around 2.5/3 hours. Not sure what to think of it yet, it OK to play I guess... definitely not as tight as Elden Ring, there's been a few times where it's seemed like the buttons were a tad unresponsive... and I've also been stun locked which is very annoying. Looks wise it could quite easily be a sequel to Bloodborne... it's very similar. Looks pretty decent though, nice and sharp... I'm playing in quality mode but I have no idea what that does to resolution and framerate in this though. Like most Soulsborne games I'm feeling a little lost at the moment tbh... what with the amount of random items I'm picking up and the amount combat notes being thrown my way... we'll see how far I make it in this as I've read it's fairly difficult and unlike Elden Ring I can't ride on the coat tails of better players so don't be too surprised if my next post on the game is in the "Sacked that off mate" thread.😂
  11. FromSoft isn't messing around! Giant Mech✔️ Missile launcher✔️ Big gun✔️ Laser sword✔️ Jet propelled agility✔️ ..And go! This isn't Metroid however, this is your standard tool kit. Master it quickly. You get about the first couple minutes to introduce you to the controls. Then, you're on your own. Free to roam and battle as you wish. Your first objective has four markers, to be approached in any order. Naturally there is a lot of distance between each and From is quick to demonstrate that the enemies have the advantage. This is their base, you are the intruder. Be prepared to fight waves around any given corner. Some nice little Codec-like voices are your only warning the enemy has spotted you. The controls have come a long way since early AC's. After only an hour or so, I get what they were saying about taking what they've learned from Souls (more from Sekiro, really) and applying it to AC. Combat is fluid, reactionary and fast-paced. It all feels really intuitive, however. I imagine the first boss will be a rude awakening to any new to AC. I died a handful of times. But, this isn't Souls. This ain't no Vanguard either. I didn't defeat the boss by learning it's patterns, tells and counteracting them. No, I beat the boss by making the most of my own abilities. Your handler gives you one hint to dodge a specific attack. But it's more important than it seems. I mentioned Sekiro before, because you have the same meter system to the boss fights. Get the bar into the red with sustained damage and not only does this put the boss in a stunned state. But they take more damage too. Be careful that it does work both ways. Not to mention the cooldown to all your weapons and dodge/agility capabilities. This is all demonstrated in the first boss fight. When I "got it", I smashed the boss quite easily. I didn't get long to play today and likely even less time tomorrow. But just from the opening mission, I'm very impressed.
  12. HandsomeDead

    Exoprimal

    I've played a few hours of this and I think I get it enough for some early impressions. It looks kinda out there but it also sticks to a lineage of Hero Shooters for the most part. There are 10 classes to choose from: 4 damage dealers, 3 tanks and 3 support. But one of each are unlocked as you rank up (or available from the start if you pay more (yes, there's a bunch of this malarkey, battle pass etc. 😐 )). So how a general game plays out is you pick a class, anyone can be any, it doesn't force anyone into a certain one but I can't see a lot of success in not having someone be one of each. There's 5 people on a team but you are also pitted against another team who is racing you to different parts of the map to dispose of these dinosaurs that are falling out of portals (I'll get to that). You don't interact with the other team, they're ghosts you're competing with in the first round. The second round it changes to something a little different. There's different modes it might change to but most of my games it became a payload pushing mode. Standing next to it will move it and you have to protect it from the dinos. But your opponents are on the map with you, pushing their own payload and it's here there is some decision making. You can go and attack them but your payload is less protected. Though they do meet in the middle so conflict will happen. Another little trick you have is once a match you'll have the ability to summon and control a dinosaur used to go and make the opposing teams life a problem. It's very clunky to use and quite easy to waste if you're not careful but it can be a tide turner. I'm not gonna say too much about the classes because it's one of those cases where if you've played Overwatch you know the deal. They're mixed up a bit but it's generally a familiar feeling game in this regard. What's interesting, in a way, is despite this ridiculous premise of fighting hoards of dinosaurs in a futuristic city is it does try and contextualise all this with an ongoing plot. You and your team crash land on an island where a chaotic AI is sending people back in time at the point when dinos appeared out of portals and destroyed the city (though at first they think it's a simulation). The AI is then analysing combat data and for what reason? I dunno yet. It trickles this out as you play since your team are analysing as well, to figure out what the hell is going on. I appreciate the commitment to the bit but it does lead to a problem of the game feeling too same-y since you're always in a similar urban area and there isn't much using the environment since it's a very grounded game and pretty close quarters. Add some spongy dinos to that and you end up in situations that feel really limiting. I guess it does feel like a game from a few generations ago. Its been making me think of Monday Night Combat, which is a game I've not thought about since then. That time early in the 360 gen where you had all these shooters with hoard modes. So I've been getting a nostalgic feeling I didn't expect but I don't think it's the kinda game I want to play to the extent it clearly wants me to. It's charming, and I generally enjoy it but... some multiplayer games don't get a playerbase when I can't help but think they should have. I don't think this is that. But this is just after a few hours. Maybe something will click and I'll see something special but it's not obvious from the jump, which you really need in a multiplayer game.
  13. Nag

    Aliens Dark Descent

    After falling off Final Fantasy XVI last weekend I've been putting a fair amount of time in to this over the last week or so... for the most part I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm not entirely sure what you'd class this as, real time strategy?... the only game I've played that's remotely close to it is Gears Tactics which was turn based this occurs in real time and only slows (or pauses if like me you prefer it that way and change it in the options) when you use skills. Other than that the marines will engage when spotted entirely on their own. I'm playing on normal and the game certainly isn't a push over... so much so that engaging the aliens should pretty much be avoided if possible and trying to be as stealthy as possible is the preferred method of advancing through levels. There's a lot of spinning plates to juggle in regards to the marines themselves ammo count, tools (for welding doors shut and unlocking encrypted doors), first aid kits and stress levels which can give you negative traits if they get too high. Marines can be wounded and require medical treatment which results in lost days, same with the negative traits these can be removed in the medical center but also cost days. This wasn't a problem in the early game but come mission 6 there's a kill clock introduced and a 25 day countdown to nuclear containment protocol... so that sucks. It looks fairly nice and the sound is great with all of the noise you'd expect... pulse rifles and smart guns sound spot on. Some of the marine sound bites play a little too often for their own good though. Unfortunately the games a little buggy at the moment too, to the point where the X button sometimes stops working altogether in-between missions (thankfully hasn't happened mid-mission yet) and sometimes the elevator prompts straight up don't work... quitting out and reloading generally fixes these though. Not my usual gaming fare but I'm glad I've given it a try... just hope I don't get sterilised via nuclear explosion...😂
  14. Maryokutai

    Lake

    Bought this a while ago and finally found myself in the right mood to play it this last week. The synopsis for this is rather short: you play as Meredith, who travels to a fictional area in Oakland to simultaneously get away from her job for two weeks and step in for her father who's the local postman. In gameplay terms this means that you drive around and deliver letters and parcels, occasionally getting dragged into a discussion by the townsfolk who you can open up to and build relationships, of either the pragmatic, platonic or romantic nature. The way you handle these interactions does have consequences, but we're not talking Mass Effect here. There are no twists and turns and everything you do either results in people being friendly to you or not. It's a snapshot into a common, unremarkable life, not a blockbuster life-saving adventure. It's hard to talk about this without making it sound boring, but there is something in its monotonous parcel delivery gameplay that helped me unwind and refocus. I'm not going into too much detail about this in a topic about a game, but it did nudge me a little in a certain direction I've been thinking about recently in terms of where I am and what I'm doing with my life. It very subtly deals with issues like midlife crisis and burnout without ever mentioning either of these words. And some themes can hit close to home, depending on your circumstances – Meredith's boss calling her almost every other evening despite her being on vacation really rubbed me the wrong way, but for all the right (read: authenticity, believability) reasons. There are multiple themes like this spread across all those little interactions, from leaving old friends behind in search of personal fulfilment or even making new ones by discovering the next chapter in your life. I might be overselling the game a bit here, but playing it is less about the things happening on screen but more about those that it might kickstart outside of it. That's not to say it's a chore to play. The mail delivery part is roughly a third of what you do per day, with dialogue et al taking more space. It's here the game is at its best, even though it's hardly Shakespearean or anything. In fact, a lot of characters are somewhat stereotypical, but they are grounded enough to be believable and imperfect enough to be likeable. As mentioned earlier, your choices influence relationships and there are multiple endings to the game as well. It also doesn't overstay its welcome with its roughly 9 hour playtime – I played two "ingame days" per day for a week which felt like a good mixture. I don't think this is a game you should (or would) run through in one setting. Being an indie title, there's of course some compromises to be made here. Animations are very limited (the screen fades to black when entering/leaving a vehicle). Facial animations are barely non-existent. The visuals can look sublime in one instance, for instance when you see the sun shine through the leaves, but absolutely horrendous in other moments. But none of this really detracts from the experience. The voice acting, for example, is surprisingly strong, and easily bypasses the slight problems in terms of facial animations. There was one bigger point of critique that started taking shape in my head as I went on and that is the almost romantic portrayal of mail delivery services, which I know, both from discussions in my life and from reports of our local postman @OCH, is far from the truth. Thankfully, the developers do acknowledge this with a note in the credits, which I find really heartwarming and sensible. It's a difficult game to recommend. For me it was one of the most impactful titles I've played this year, someone else might just find it slow and boring. The surprising amount of positive reviews on the Xbox Store seems to indicate that it resonated with a lot of people though. I think it's still on offer at the moment, at least on Xbox. If not, it's on Gamepass IIRC (not anymore) and if just one line of this text block didn't strike you as boring I'd say give it a shot.
  15. AndyKurosaki

    Diablo 4

    Put about 30 hours into this so far. For the most part, it’s pretty good. I’m no expert in this series, I finished (and really enjoyed) Diablo 3 on PS4. I tried the Remaster of 2, but it played like arse so I soon gave up. I’ve gone with Barbarian, as I always enjoy being the “tank”, dealing out massive damage while taking a fair bit myself. The skill tree for each class is quite large, but also forgiving. If you don’t like a particular ability, it costs a minimal amount of cash to refund an ability, so you can try something else. One thing i will say, is the game isn’t great at explaining what things are, or what they do. Some skills/abilities use/give ‘Thorns’. I had to turn to google/YouTube to figure out what the fuck they are. Some treasure chests require a specific kind of key. Google/YouTube to the rescue again. There’s a fair bit the game just simply doesn’t tell you, and there’s no tutorial list/lore book that makes that kind of thing easier to find. Performance wise, it’s relatively stable. During the beta, the queue times to get into a game could be astronomical. I’ve not had an issue getting into a game, it usually takes less than a minute. What has been an issue, is constant crashing. Every now and then, I can be about to check the map, spend an ability point, trade in some gear. And the game just freezes completely. Resulting in having to shut the game down entirely, and reload it. On PS5, that takes less than a couple of minutes. And it frequently auto saves, so it’s not like I’ve lost tons of progress. But still, it can be annoying. Some sessions it doesn’t happen at all. Other times, it can crash 3/4 times in a couple of hours. Not sure if it’s just a PS5 issue specifically. But hopefully it gets fixed. Now, onto micro transactions, everyone’s favourite. The mobile version was plagued with absolutely shitloads of them. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. There’s the option of paying real money to unlock character specific gear. But you get plenty of stuff chucked at you without having to resort to that. The seasonal Battlepass hasn’t started yet, that’s apparently in July. For which you have to make a new character if you want to unlock all the stuff in it. Doubt I’ll bother doing that constantly, but I’ll probably run a Necromancer/Sorcerer for my next character. Haven’t finished the campaign yet, but think I’m not far off, I’m on Act 4. Oh, and you don’t unlock a horse until the start of Act 4, which takes quite a while.
  16. The very king of fighting games is back, and I'm head over heels with the little beauty. It looks and plays incredible. So much detail and so fluid in motion. I know I'll be posting in this thread in five years time, although tbf, probably as the avid spectator to online tournaments that I've been for 10 years by now. Truth is I've never been able to play the thing to any degree of competence, I just like watching other people do it. Having said that I've decided to do something I've never done when (trying) to play it. I'm going to go with grapplers. Maybe slowing things down a bit for myself might be more appropriate for my age - (advanced)!
  17. So after, what? 9 or 10 years Dead Island 2 is finally here and you know what?... I'm having a pretty decent time with it. The first thing I'll say is it feels like an Xbox 360 game... and it's a matter of opinion if that's a good or a bad thing. For me after Dying Light 2 tried to do far too much (in my opinion) having a game that just wants me to hit things until they fall over in a bloody mess is more than OK. The other thing I wanted to say is the opening hour or so is pretty bad... shit weapons that break way too easy and spongy enemies that hit way too hard... or maybe that's my own fault for picking the poor, frail girl character... who knows... anyway things liven up when you get your first real mission and access to a workbench. Anyone who's played the original games (or the Dying Light games) will feel right at home with the modding of weapons and such, electric swords and and flaming golf clubs... all that good stuff. The flesh system is really cool, thwacking a zombie in the face and seeing its jaw dislocate and detach is pretty mind-blowing and adds a lot to the melee combat (not found any guns yet) The other cool thing us being able to use liquids... I was doing a side mission and reached a part where ther was about 10 zombies banging on glass doors trying to get in... noticed a fuel can and explosive canister, picked up the can and poured fuel the entire length of the doors, hit the canister which ignited the fuel and blew out a window which allowed the zombies to walk straight in to my pre-made Inferno... no more zombies.😂 I've also just picked a perk for a pipe bomb... which is hilarious. Anyway, I like this game, admittedly I've only put around 5 or 6 hours in so far so we'll have to see if it can hold my attention but it's off to a good start.
  18. AndyKurosaki

    Sifu

    I’m a bit late to the party on this one, just got my rental copy. But I notice it’s only recently come out on Xbox, so better late than never I guess. I’ve done the first two missions so far, and it’s quite fun. You play as either a male or female kung-fu student, seeking revenge on an enemy gang. The twist is that every time you die, you get immediately resurrected, but age one year. You start off at age 20. Supposedly as you get older, you get stronger, but age too much and you get weaker. The combat seems straightforward enough so far. I’ve enjoyed smashing bottles on people’s heads, slamming them into walls. It also turns out you can attack people in mid conversation. So while enemies have been giving me exposition, I’ve dashed in and punched them in the face. Good times.
  19. Originally a PS3 game with a PS4 version, Ishin has now been remade as a PS4 and PS5 (and Xbox) game, and you do get the sense it's probably the final game we'll get that feels like 'old' Yakuza. It's hard to place what exactly makes it feel like an older take on the game, possibly the movement, it's a bit haphazard, I can't see a lock-on, it's not as refined and flowing as it could be. It's the difference between playing Kiwami 1 and Yakuza 6. It also feels less mental with its missions, but I don't know how many of them are just lifted from the original game. In terms of the story, it's not quite a retelling of the first Yakuza game, but it's pretty close. Not-Kiryu (the cast is made up of renamed characters from past games) comes back to town after time away, ends up having to avenge a paternal figure, after being blamed for a crime he didn't commit. From there it does become its own tale, with enough to it that it doesn't feel like a 2nd-rate spin off Again, I don't know if this was in the original, but it has its own take on 0's switchable different fighting styles. There's the standard Yakuza brawling, plus the swordplay you'd expect playing as a samurai. Less expected is that you are also carrying a gun and can just blast away at people (I suppose this will have followed Dead Souls originally), and a style that combines sword combat with your firearm, which leaves you defensively vulnerable, but it's the most fun to control and the most flowing style (Sword has been my do to). I've been using fewer Heat actions, they seem to have been downplayed this time, and access to them is more part of the skill tree As you use a style you'll level up, unlocking specific and general orbs that unlock the next skill in the various combat styles. There's gear with stat boosts, and some with perks attached. I've got a sword that recovers a very small amount of help every time it causes damage, which is great, but the headband I've got with the most defence points blocks me from earning heat, which means it can go in the bin as far as I'm concerned I'm enjoying it more than I expected, I thought I was a bit Yakuza's out, I never finished Kiwami 2, I never finished Judgement, and haven't touched the games that came after. But this feeling a bit archaic has helped it I think
  20. Ok. So this is bloody glorious. I love a good music/rhythm game. From Guitar Hero, to Beat Mania, from Osu Tatake Ouendan, to that Namco one with the blue/red drums that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of. It’s a brilliant genre. I’ve never heard of this series before. Apparently it was on the DS? It passed me by somehow. Anyway, this is the series’s grand finale. And the team has basically gone “Let’s use pretty much all the classic Final Fantasy music we can, and a ton of other stuff for good measure. I’m no FF expert, 10 was the last game in the series I completed. But the music of 6, 7, 8, 9 and Tactics, has been stuck in my mind, for decades. Some of the best music in gaming. My girlfriend Sarah listened to some of their soundtracks, and absolutely loves them, despite never playing any of the games. So, the demo for this came up last month. I played one level, and then preordered the full game. Fair to say a good impression was made. Each game in the series has a selection of tracks (typically at least 10+). In typical rhythm game style, you press buttons to the beat, sometimes multiple buttons at once, sometimes using the directional sticks. Sounds simple enough. But there’s a nice bit of depth going on. Each song has “Quests” to complete, from not failing a beat, to using certain characters. With rewards unlocked for completing them. As you unlock each game, you gain characters specifically to that game to use in your party. You play as 4 characters, and as they level up, you gain new abilities that you can use to boost your score, and attack strength. During the song, your characters react to your performance, and you can also unlock summons, to dish out additional damage. There’s a TON of stuff to unlock, and I’m still getting my head around how it all works. But as far as the song selections go, there’s a good couple of hundred songs here. From every FF, to Crisis Core. FF7 Remake gets its own selection. FF Tactics is included. As is pretty much every FF spin off you can think of, to some extent. And there’s planned additional DLC content, from Secret Of Mana, to Xenogears, Nier, pretty much every RPG Square have ever done, by the looks of it. Give the demo a go. Personally, I’m loving this.
  21. Hi guys. I wanted to draw your attention to a little indie game I discovered due to the good old Youtube rabbit hole. I was watching an old Caddicarus video, and he included this game in it. And it's a blast. You play a goose. That's it! Behind the very pretty hand drawn looking graphics is a stealth game, I suppose. You get a check list of things to do, but it's up to you how they get done. Here's an example of the start of the game. You come out of a bush beside a pond. The game shows you the controls. You honk. You flap. You peck. Then you swim across the pond and see a picnic on a park bench. What you do with it is entirely up to you. A little further along you find a farmer minding his own business, tending his crop of carrots. That's when you get your "things to do" list. Things like get the farmer wet, steal his keys, turn on his radio. As you progress through the game, you realise that the main point of being this goose is to annoy the hell out of the villagers as much as possible, while trying to complete you current things to do list. And if you're like me, usually you'll be giggling maniacally while playing. The art style is really nice, the horrible goose struck a chord in me, and the pranks are puzzles to figure out and moves to time and execute. Like stealing the farmers keys is more difficult than it sounds, especially if you've already pranked him, and he's aware of this bloody goose walking around his fields. Though the things to do are not exactly challenging, it certainly brings a sense of satisfaction to complete list after list. In all, it's a sedate laid back game with a horrid sense of humour. If you fancy leaving the things to do list alone for a bit, just have fun pissing off as many people as you can.
  22. OCH

    Shining Force 2

    The Good old days when (western) box art was largely unconnected to the game itself. But Japan was more on the money... Anyway, at time of writing I'm an hour at most away from the ending. So I should probably give some indication I've been playing anything at all for the past few weeks. Fun fact: I played this upon it's original release (1994) but never played the original game until the 2004 GBA remake. As you can imagine, I have a natural bias to the sequel. I still adore this game. Mostly I find the "jank" is associated to the control scheme. You have to pull up a menu to do just about everything. Every character can only hold four items (one of those is typically a weapon) and it just generally slows the whole process down. Funnily enough I've found the game wide secret largely on my own. Mithril. You find pieces of Mithril on the world map and in hidden treasure chests. There are fifteen in all. But there is an early point of no return in the game that means you can miss three of them. Those ones I always miss. Jump through a few hoops later and you reach the Mithril Blacksmith. Get ready to save scum if you want the best aka Ultimate weapons, though. The RNG is abysmal. The cast is quite expansive in this game. Which is quite standard for an SRPG. By the same token, a fair few aren't worth even using in your team at any point (points to Skreech, Birdman number two). You'll note from above some have alternate portraits. Due to the class promotion system in this game. There are also secret added items that grant some characters a new class promotion. For example, Kazim (sixth portrait on the top row). He can be promoted from Mage to Wizard at level 20. However, if you hold off on that for a town or two. You find a Secret Book which can make him a Sorcerer instead (this games Summoner). This applies to several classes of character. But you don't need to fret over it if you miss these items. The ultimate class promotion of the Centaurs is Pegasus. If you miss the item in the Centaur town. The Pegasus Jaro (the blond, seventh from the end on the bottom row) joins you by default later. Naturally, these characters won't be as strong as your initial characters would be in these classes. As an aside, much like the first game. I really don't get the fixation these games have with the Centaur class. There are five of them in this. Six or seven in the first game. There is very little between any of them. So yeah, on to my last two bosses of the game - Odd Eye and, King of the Devils, Zeon. I remember the latter being a chore. I've set the game to Hard mode. The 'Super' and 'Ouch' Modes beyond that seem really unnecessary to me. Since it isn't like you get anything extra for the added struggle.
  23. With my interest in PokéMon Violet at an end. As I'm in the mood to keep playing it, I decided to turn my attention on the third game on my Switch (following Violet and Metroid Dread). Considering, I have completely forgotten when I bought this. It's a little regrettable it has been sitting unplayed on here for so long. I adored the first game on the PS3. If they had released them on a console, it's likely I would have felt similar to 2 & 3. Now the main reason this game has essentially been in storage is due to it being a download. As this is the Switch, the size of this game forced me to archive all of my other Switch games. I recall being very annoyed by that and I left the console off until Metroid Dread. Fast forward to the present, I'm a little rusty but getting there. The importance of strategy in this series can't be understated. So far I'm roughly two chapters in. Basically the bit that was covered in the 2018 demo (I know this since my save data was retained) With two unlocked skirmishes, both 'A' rank. Although the story missions haven't been as successful (two B ranks), since the first (which was an 'A'). I'm getting as much enjoyment from it at the moment, as I did with the original. Waiting to see which one the cast will be the titular Super-Soldier. Not as clear cut as the first game yet.
  24. So, this is the new game from the Civ and XCOM developers, Firaxis. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it is a turn-based game. It's safe to say it's more closely aligned to XCOM than Civ though, but this has an ace (or many aces to be exact) up its sleeve that differentiates it from just being a Marvel XCOM game, and that's the largely divisive (from Previews) inclusion of Cards into the combat. As a result of the cards coming into play, the game isn't as rigid or locked into a grid like it is in XCOM, you're free to move somewhere within the little combat arena you're placed in once per turn, with certain placements being preferable, scoring knockbacks or environmental attacks. You can draw three cards per turn, but certain cards do get refunded as they're used up, giving you an additional card or two per turn, you can also redraw any card you're not happy with twice per turn. A lot of the cards so far are quite basic, in that they are 'standard' kind of slash/punch kind of moves, but they do come with additional benefits like knockbacks, chain attacks, inflicting bleed damage and the ilk, on top of these you've got ability cards which gives you and your team buffs as you fight and hero cards which are much more powerful and usually allow you to take out multiple enemies at a time, the kicker being that you need 'heroism' to use them, which is gained by taking out enemies. The enemies themselves have been fairly standard grunts for the most part, if you imagine the basic super soldiers from XCOM, then it's pretty much the same here, just they're now Hydra Soldiers. The bosses have been more interesting as they're now various Marvel villains instead of snake-creatures or something like they were in the XCOM titles. As established in the paragraphs above, the game shares a lot of DNA with XCOM, and that's no bad thing, the animations, certain effects you can pull of like the knockbacks mentioned earlier and the environmental attacks all look and feel very similar to XCOM but they've now got a more grandiose superhero sheen on them. You'll head out on missions from the 'war room' with yourself ('The Hunter') and two other heroes chosen at random to assist you. You'll about your task, fight a boss or retrieve an item at the end of it and then return back to your base. It's in this base segment of the game where you can see where Firaxis has been far more ambitious than their previous title. In XCOM, the base was an important part of the game where you'd build new sections, invest research points into them to help bolster certain specialisations, new weapons and all that good stuff. All of this DNA is contained within the 'Abbey' in this game, which is a huge Cathedral with sprawling grounds for you to explore to your hearts content, you explore this in 3D in your role as the Hunter, gone are the days of a 2D plain, seeing all your little soldiers move into their newly built wing. It's super impressive and such a great feeling 'base' right away that really makes you feel at home, all the segments you'd expect to be there are in their place but there's also tons of secrets to explore and a sprawling grounds containing blocked passageways which will likely reveal themselves to me later on. The Abbey has the feel of the School in Fire Emblem Three Houses or the Normandy in Mass Effect to it. This also takes inspiration from those titles in the new social links system, where you can sit down and hang out around the Abbey with your new team mates as you assimilate and get used to your new surroundings, doing so gets you friendship points which levels up your bond with your squad mates as the game goes on. I'm not too far into the game but I assume the more it goes on the more activities around the Abbey get unlocked and some of the more mysterious bits and pieces I've seen so far unveil themselves. The Abbey is the most ambitious element of the game and is almost a game unto itself, it makes me realise why it got delayed a few times. So yeah, I've loved my time with it so far (probably about 4-5 hours) and can't wait to play more, it's a real breath of fresh air compared to some of the other stuff I've played lately. To be continued and pics added.
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