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  1. Started this on Friday night and have put around 9 hours into it so far. For those not familiar with the first game, to play it feels like a mix between Dead Island, Mirror’s Edge and Far Cry. The zombies, looting and emphasis on crafting from DI, the first person parkour of Mirror’s Edge and a similar mission/open-world structure to Far Cry. There is a distinct day/night cycle too where stronger zombies come out at night but you earn more XP and in the day there will be more zombies inside buildings so it’s more difficult to get to loot and crafting resources. As well as this there’s a drop-in drop-out co-op mode so people can join your game at will if you so choose and you can join theirs. So it’s much the same case here although they’ve changed the day/night cycle balance a little bit (as many in the first game weren’t incentivised enough to go out at night, so many players used to skip it completely) so that it’s really difficult to access loot caches in the day (as a lot of strong zombies are there) and the rewards for venturing out in the night are far greater. On top of this, if you try to venture inside anywhere during the day (anywhere without sunlight) there is a 5 minute timer that counts down, when it reaches 0 you ‘turn’ and die. This can be topped up by taking inhibitors which allow you to explore longer in the dark depths of Villedor. This timer and the inhibitors also come into play at night when you’re not under UV light. The other big difference with this is that unlike the first game, there’s no guns. So far I like it but not quite as much as the first game. The first 5 hours or so is quite a lengthy tutorial section where you’re held by the hand, shown some new mechanics and gradually led into the city of Villedor. Once there you then have to do a few missions before you’re finally set loose in this gorgeous sprawling city. Graphically, it is absolutely superb overall but the textures can look a little muddy at times. For the first couple of hours I played on resolution mode before switching to Quality Mode to see what the Ray Tracing was like in the game. I’m glad I did as well as the RT in this is by far and away the best implementation I’ve seen so far in a current gen title, it goes far beyond the reflections seen in the likes of Miles Morales and is a full on game changer, it completely changes the look of the game and makes everything look better and more natural. Despite only running at 1080p the game looks noticeably better than the resolution mode and it’s artificial rays. Since getting let loose in the city properly I’ve been enjoying it but feel like I need to unlock a few more Parkour moves on the skill tree and some of the cooler combat abilities like the drop kick before I can really start leaping from building to building, dropkicking zombies off ledges and all that good stuff. The combat is as good as it was and feels a bit deeper than the previous game and the city this time around feels massive compared to the Istanbul-esque Harran. Villedor feels more Eastern European with some Parisian influences to me so far. I haven’t toyed with the online side of things much with it so far either, in the previous game people just used to drop into your game from time to time but with this it seems like you need to call for help before anyone will actively come in, likewise you can respond to other players’ requests for help and it’ll transport you to their game. So yeah, so far so good really. It’s a big game so I’ve barely scraped the surface to far, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played. Pics:
  2. So I've spent a few hours playing this and it's still introducing me to mechanics but without hesitation the two year break has definitely done this series good. Where the last few instalments felt a bit like they were just slapping a new setting onto a familiar engine , this one feels like they've put work in to freshen it up. The climbing mechanics have been refined (so no more diving onto the nearest wall when you're running through a street), the fighting has been given a complete overhaul (no more hammering Square/X until everything is lying down), and it just all feels a lot more cohesive. I've finished the first sequence... Before doing that though, I'd been wandering around, revealing locations, enemy 'bases' and treasure chests, killing animals and generally making a nuisance of myself. The area you start the game in is a fantastic little starting area, it has a little bit of everything, including a few Synchronisation points - climbing them was fun. The stealth bits are a lot tougher too - you still whistle to get people's attention, but you have to close the last little bit of distance to takedown someone. And when you do they don't seem to die, just roll around clutching their gut most of the time. I'm not sure if this is timed or if it's a permanent thing though. I haven't stuck around long enough to see! And when stealth inevitable goes tits up, the fighting is pretty fun too - R1/R2 for light/heavy attacks, L1 to block and L2 for the bow and arrow. If an enemy has a skull above his head, run, he's too strong for you, otherwise good luck! It's a gorgeous looking game though. The colours are beautiful, the lighting effects are great, and it finally feels like they've put effort into the presentation. Definitely looking forward to spending the 40-odd hours it supposedly takes to finish it in this world. Let's get Sphinxing! OOOO! And I climbed the pyramids in Sequence 2 too! Not sure I should have yet, seeing as all the enemies were annihilating me in that area, but still!
  3. Team based Metroidvania! This is great! The game begins with the three lead protagonists. Arias the knight, Kyuli the archer and Algus the wizard. All journey to the Tower of Serpents to save their village, wherein it's waters have been poisoned by something in the tower itself. As this is a Metroidvania I can't really quantify it by the in-game clock. But rather map completion. I'm currently around 30% and it doesn't feel like I'm even close to halfway yet. The team based nature of the game comes from the unique abilities of each lead. Kyuli, is both your ranged attacker yet also she has a walk kick to reach higher platforms. Arias is your typical knight protagonist with certain obstructions only he can cut through. There there is Algus - literally the best character in the game (so far). As the magic user, that makes him your pew-pew man. Middle ground in terms of range but, his base strength makes him a better choice in combat than Kyuli. The fact that you can't immediately switch between your characters on the fly, does add to the puzzle element of many rooms. Combat is just as you'd expect from a Metroidvania IE you can die very quickly if you aren't paying attention. Which is wherein this games gimmick comes in. You can level up in this game. The level up system however, only boots up upon death. Your first death is predetermined to introduce you to this idea. After that, you get the gist. Graphics are a lovely retro 8-Bit stylised aesthetic. The sprites, while not entirely devoid of detail. Are colour coded to make up for any deficit. There is something surreal in playing this game on my big modern TV. If you're interested in anything I've mentioned so far, I really recommend giving it a go.
  4. Pretty good, this. It's impressive what Guerilla have pulled off on a stock PS4. I've put around 4hrs in, level 8 and defeated a boss in a settlement that was attacked. Left it just after there as I had to go to work. I'm not certain when I'll be back because Zelda.
  5. This came out last year sometime and I've only just come across it and I'm a little mad it took me this long to find it because this is a very tasty version of my jam, The title is wild so I've been having a little look at where the game came from and Record Lodoss of War looks to be a series of books that are dramatised versions of real table top RPG games in Japan. Deedlit is a prominent character, a rogue-ish elf lady and Wonder Labyrinth is I suppose a quest in the RPG. They took this stuff and made a Castlevania game, pretty much. But it's a really fun one. The exploring does take more of a backseat and is pretty linear comparatively but the attention is more on the combat and there are so many weird systems in here I find it glorious. Standard melee attacks are very familiar with quite a lot of weapons to find with varying degrees of attack speed, range and power. You have a separate bow where you can adjust angles and shoot in different directions. You have spells that have many different forms of area of effect damage as well as been element based with enemies having strengths and weaknesses. But the really weird one is having two elemental spirits that you switch between to do either fire or wind damage as well as giving you extra mobility abilities; the wind one giving you extra air mobility, essentially letting you levitate, and the fire spirit that gives your slide more distance and invincibility frames. Lots to play with. Also in that spirit switching is some Ikaruga, or more fitting to this, Mousmarque's Outlander. And maybe it's here that things don't quite work as well as it could. It's mostly just because it's hard to read visually. Those games have art to compliment and really draw your eye to that mechanic but here it can be hard to quickly recognise the situation you're in so you do have to be cognisant of the spirit you're rocking. And the game is pretty fast and during the bosses the attack patterns can get intense but when you're in the zone it feels so good. Another aspect, yes there's more, you level up the other spirit to the one you currently have equipped and lose a level to the one you're holding when you take a hit and you max out at level three, and when you're at level three you do more damage and also slowly regain health, which is good because enemies hurt really bad. It's a fascinating set of mechanics which gives the game a pretty intense pace. Maybe it's more stuff than needed but it's a fun puzzle to solve. The rest of the stuff is serviceable at best and feels like it could have been level based and the open map not adding a whole lot but not taking anything away either. The frequent fast travel points stop backtracking from being too much of a problem. And it has some gorgeous pixel art and the music is also a good rendition of that Castlevania style. It's one of those games that wears it's inspiration on its sleeve a lot but it's such an interesting take I've been low key blown away by it. It takes a lot of complex mechanics but still feels so slick to play. I'm playing it on Gamepass and if you have any interest in these kinds of games its definitely worth a look.
  6. I've put a few hours into this now and thought i'd post my initial impressions. First up, can't comment on the PS4 version but on PS5 this game is absolutely gorgeous. It starts you off in a dark cave and the moment you step outside it's a real 'wow' moment. The vistas in this game are gorgeous, and the in-game cut scenes could be straight out of a Pixar film. Gameplay wise, i'd echo what some of the reviews say in that it doesn't bring anything new to the table. It almost feels like a PS2 game, but I mean that in a complimentary way. The in-game tutorial is incredibly brief and they seem to have taken a 'figure it our for yourself' approach. The puzzles so far have been pretty basic and involve the use of the 'Rot' - the cute little black blob things that you collect which then follow you around and allow you to interact with certain elements of the level a la Pikmin. Combat is standard Zelda 'lock on' fare, with a basic ability system that lets you unlock new moves and attacks by spending one of the in-game currencies. You can also buy and equip hats for your Rot to wear, which just adds to the games charm. One of my favourite things about it so far has been the music. It could have been lifted from a Ghibli film. So for a first game from a new studio it's not doing too badly. I can't imagine it being a game that lodges itself in my memory for long after beating it, but it's a lovely game that's packed full of charm which is a nice change of pace from the hyper-intense shooters i've been playing a lot of recently.
  7. Yessir! I like what I've played alot, probably done the first hour. Its extremely similar to the first one but that's no bad thing. Poor fucking bitch, she's already taken a hell of a beating. Agree with Nag on the looks, its stunning. That snow... Controls are lovely: fluid and intuitive. Lots of stuff to do and already had tons of action. Looking forward to spending all Saturday with it.
  8. Started this over the weekend with the fiancée. I think we're about 4 hours in and just hit Chapter 3. It's a colourful co-op platformer, you play as either Cody or May, a divorcing couple who aren't happy with their lot in life. They have a kid called Rose, who is unsurprisingly sad about their nuptial break, from her sadness her parents' personas get morphed into tiny clay and wooden mini-caricatures (which you play as). You then meet a strange love book called Dr. Hakim who throughout the course of the game tries to mend your broken relationship. All the environments are very homey, you start off in a shed, then explore the exterior and interior of a tree before making it into the house and experiencing some kind of strange pillow fort (which is where we are at the moment). These environments are punctuated by strange and eccentric characters like the aforementioned Dr. Hakim along with militarised Squirrels, Wasps, Beetles and Bumblebees which aren't too dissimilar to Conker's Bad Fur Day. The homey environments are reminiscent to Toy Story too (there's even a reference at one point). I like it so far but it hasn't blown my socks off it's fair to say, I wouldn't say it has started off as strongly as A Way Out did either. It is good though, and can be a lot of fun, I was just expecting to be more impressed at this point than I am. During the first chapter, it was a fairly rudimentary platformer with some cliched co-op elements (pull a level to open a door then your partner crawls through etc.), after that things have gotten a little better luckily with different weapons and tools introduced. Each chapter seems to give you some kind of unique tools or weapons which work in combination with your partners, during the first chapter I (Cody) was given a Nail Gun and the missus (May) was given a Hammer. You use the nail gun to shoot into yellow coloured bits of board so May can then swing off them to get to otherwise unreachable areas. The second chapter gave me a nectar gun, you shoot the nectar onto surfaces and your partner can then shoot it with her rifle to make it explode, reaching previously unreachable areas. These mechanics are all used in puzzles and during the second chapter there is quite a lot of combat as well, with me shooting the enemy Wasps with nectar and Char then exploding them into little Wasp pieces with her rifle. The second chapter is far better than the first and features quite a few set pieces, one where I had to control a plane and Char was in charge of the gun, having to shoot approaching enemies from the front and rear, along with clearing obstacles in our path. There was another set piece where I had to control a rudimentary boat and Char had to clear the way again with her rifle as I navigated down the river. The coolest one by far though is when I was flying the plane and Char had to fight an enemy on the top of it fighting game style, replete with fighting game style health bars and attacks, a really great moment. I wasn't too hot on it in the beginning and a little bored but the second chapter has turned me around on the game already and if it keeps on going like this it will only get better, can't wait to see what's in store for us next time. Pics:
  9. Started this earlier, wasn't quite sure what to expect as its been quite some time since I've played a peripheral based rhythm action game but everything I saw from this gave me Donky Konga GCN vibes rather than Guitar Hero/Rock Band vibes so I decided it was different enough and been enough time since my foray into those band-based titles that I'd give this a shot. At £90 it isn't cheap for the drum & game bundle, and then there's lots of DLC to buy on the eShop if you so choose. For your money you get 74 songs which are a mix of Anime soundtracks, storied Bandi-Namco franchises like Ridge Racer, Pac-Man etc. and then there's a few Anime theme tracks along with some K-Pop, some classical music and some Nintendo medleys (my personal favourite being Jump Up Super Star which is just a delight every single time), there's even the theme from Moana on there too - but sung in Japanese. There's two main modes in the game - Taiko Mode and Party mode. Taiko mode just has you playing through the songs on offer in the soundtrack with up to 4 players, you can choose 4 different difficulties in Easy, Normal, Hard and Master and play through the song using the Drum controller. The two main notes are 'Don' and 'Ka' the former uses the face of the drum whereas the latter uses the edge, sometimes you're required to hit both sticks onto the drum at the same time in these big notes (can't remember the name of them now) and when a mallet icon, balloon icon or long yellow bar appears on screen you drum roll as hard as you can for the number of beats required or as long as the yellow bar lasts. Party mode is much stranger. It features a variety of party games like Fireworks, Baseball, Tower Climb, Jump Rope etc. That all have you and 3 others (CPU controlled if you don't have many real life friends interested in playing something like this like myself) competing and racking up some kind of score. I have been pleasantly surprised by how zany some of the mini-games are already but a little disappointed at the same time that you can basically game the system by just drumming repeatedly and pretty much get through most mini-games with a decent score. Still quite a bit of fun and a good workout at times though and it'll be an absolute blast after a few drinks with a bunch of mates I'm sure. The Drum itself is very good quality wise. It's made by HORI and although it's all plastic it feels well put together, my only real complaint with it is that despite the rubber feet it does tend to slip around a bit when you're deep in the middle of a song - the instruction booklet recommends you remedy this with two small water bottles placed in a convenient holder underneath, I've also had a few hits not register early on but that doesn't seem to be so much of an issue now I've broke it in so to speak. The drumsticks as well are made from plastic but have a nice weighty feel and heft to them that makes them feel like they're sturdy and not going to snap or break on you when you're drumming away hard. As this only has a local multiplayer mode and no online this may put some folks off (I believe the PS4 version has an online Ghost Mode) but with all the various difficulty modes in Taiko mode to experiment with, an extensive track list and some bonkers - albeit flawed - minigames to have fun with its a decent package overall. If you're into rhythm games (particularly peripheral based ones) and are looking for one with a lot of charm and depth to its play then I can definitely recommend this wholeheartedly, I do think the drum is essential though as the motion controls are less than ideal from what I've heard.
  10. Noticed this on the recent PSN digital discount sale. I do quite enjoy a rogue like, so thought I’d give it a go. Hades is definitely going to be one of my favourite games of the year. Is this as good as that? Well, it’s enjoyable enough. But I’d say no. The combat is simple enough, with a melee weapon and ranged weapon. You find various different ones during your run, with different buffs. As with any rogue like, death means you lose all your load out. But as you play, you can collect various currencies that can be used to permanently improve your character. There’s also a light/ dark mechanic. You carry a torch, which can be used to light braziers in each area. If you don’t, you take increased damage if you’re hit while in a dark area. As for the Curse in the title, you have a curse bar, that increases with each door of the arena you open. There are healing areas, but cause significant curse if you use them. You can buy new gear during your run with gold, or get cursed instead. Fill your curse bar up to the max, and you get inflicted with a nasty permanent affliction, I’ve had ones that either increase damage taken, or make it so I can’t see what any curses actually do. You can have a maximum of 5 curses, with the game warning that if you hit curse 5, your run is going to be extremely fucked over. There’s a dodge mechanic, which takes up stamina to use. You have 5 stamina, each dodge drains 1 point. If you’re empty, you can’t dodge, and have to wait for it to replenish, Dark Souls style. You can also parry attacks, but I’ve never been any good at that kind of thing. Story wise, there’s pretty much fuck all. In comparison to the cast of Hades, here there’s literally nothing. Unlike Hades, you don’t go through the entire dungeon at once. You start with 3 to choose from, with a boss at the end. I’ve reached boss 1 three times, killed him on my 3rd attempt, and that was the end of my run. It looks like you have to gradually unlock the option to run through to the final boss. It’s decent enough, and I’ll certainly play a fair bit of it. But it’s definitely not in the same league as Hades.
  11. I managed to play a couple of cracking little games on GamePass over the weekend. First up is Superliminal - a cracking little puzzler that I managed to play through in a couple of hours and what a treat this was. It borrows heavily from games such as Portal but by the time you see the achievement for beating the game, it's earned it's place up there with the best of them. The concept is you're someone that's involved in a lucid dreaming experiment and you have 'wake up' in a location that presents you with a series of puzzles based on perspective and your surroundings. It twists these challenges in a way that each never out stays its welcome and the final two levels were sublime. I can't say much more than that to avoid spoiling it (i'd even suggest not watching the trailer) but if you liked Portal/The Witness - that kind of thing, i'd strongly suggest giving it a go. One of the best endings to a game i've seen in a while as well!
  12. Played 2 hours of it earlier, after it finished unpacking on Steam just after 11. Initial impressions are very positive I have to say, despite my protestations earlier in the year about this coming only a year after Bloodborne and 2 years after DS2 - and thinking I was a little tired of the format and style - it turns out that I was wrong, and I'm definitely not tired of the format or style of these games and had an absolute whale of a time with it I have to say. Surprisingly I actually felt happy to be back in this world, it felt like returning home after a brief sojourn out the Country to find somebodies slightly moved all your furniture around and re-decorated the house. The introduction to the game is definitely the easiest and most genteel of all the SoulsBorne games, there is an actual dedicated Tutorial area right at the beginning, with enemies set up in exact positions for you to practice your moves on (just don't ignore the 'turn back' note on the floor ) with no real danger of being obliterated from behind by some ridiculously overpowered enemy. This carries on into the next area and the first boss, which feels like a 'Souls tutorial boss' rather than something daunting or difficult, it teaches you how to defeat a boss, how to block/roll out the way of a bosses moves, strategise Estus Flasks, when to use an opening etc. It's a far cry from the soul-crushing first-boss in the original Dark Souls that's for sure, and easier than the Cleric Beast in BB, it's by far and away the easiest Souls game to get into. The hardest thing for me to get used to though, was the XB1 controller, I'm just so used to playing the SoulsBorne series with a DS3/DS4 Controller that I was completely bewildered by the stick placements, button placements and how annoying the Bumpers are considering you use them A LOT, I may have to switch over to my DS4 tomorrow, but I'm not sure if the game will have the correct PS buttons on display or not. I was also incredibly rusty as well, having not played Bloodborne since this time last year which didn't help, I must've died about 5 times on the first boss by doing incredible stupid shit like parrying my shield instead of blocking, using an Estus Flask instead of rolling, shit like that slightly embarassing really, but as time goes on I'll eventually re-learn everything and it'll be second nature like it was on BB and DS2 before. It really is fantastic to play it at 60FPS as well, I know people don't like talking frame-rates etc. but it makes such a huge difference, if I went back to play BB on PS4 right now it would feel like walking through sludge, it's crazy how much snappier it makes everything, and the combat is just incredible in 60 frames. The game looks pretty good, it hasn't floored me as such, but it has its moments (God Rays, Dragons etc.) where it's a pretty amazing sight to behold, that melancholy and haunting beauty the SoulsBorne series is known for really comes through in the art design, bits of scenery don't look as polished as perhaps they should be however. The enemy designs are all pretty familiar though really, I've just been facing the usual Zombie-like creatures you face at the start of most SoulsBorne games really, but the 'Venom' transforming creatures definitely give you something to think about and keep you on your toes. A mention must go to the music as well, even when I just turned the game on and heard it bellowing out through my headphones I got slightly overcome by it, it is just an absolutely fantastic orchestral choir score that really helps the games ambience and made the one Boss Fight I've had so far feel incredible unique and powerful. So yeah, it's a SoulsBorne game pretty much, but it's more accessible than ever, the combat feels great and the Boss Fights get your blood-pumping like only a SoulsBorne boss-fight can. And a few pics:
  13. Ok, so it’s pretty clear this is by the team that brought us Until Dawn. As it’s pretty much more of the same. From the stereotypical characters (Jock, nerd, wanker), to the narrator between scenes who questions your story choices. It’s certainly shorter than Until Dawn was. And I didn’t find it particularly difficult to make it to the end with nobody getting killed. Still, it was an enjoyable experience. Graphically it looks great, though at times some of the characters had a bit of a fit when walking for some reason. And the story ended with several parts not really making any sense. Apparently if you play it in multiplayer you get some more explanation. But I haven’t, and won’t be doing. So there we go. It still has the “taking ages to look at an item” mechanic that UD did. Which can be annoying when you take ages to pick something up, only for it to serve no purpose whatsoever. Walking around takes ages unless you constantly hold down the run button. And there were quite a few instances where I wasn’t really sure where I was meant to be going. That being said, it was alright. Worth a rental at least.
  14. Put 16 hours into this over the weekend. I will preface these impressions with the fact that I'm nowhere near a Battlefield expert and won't be able to go into the nitty gritty detail about what has been improved, balanced, implemented differently etc. over BF1 and other past titles (I've only properly played a tiny bit of BF3, BF4 and quite a decent amount of time into BF1). So let's dive in shall we? To play, it very much feels like a sequel to BF1 rather than anything else, with some Battlefront 2 elements sprinkled in there. The maps are all pretty good but personally I haven't been as impressed with them as the BF1 launch maps, I guess part of it is when you get a WWII game you expect to have all the infamous locales like Berlin under siege from the Red Army, the D-Day landings and so on but none of that is in here. They've focused on the 'untold' battlefields of WWII like Norway, Northern Africa along with including some Western European locales like Rotterdam, Appas and Twisted Steel in France but everything just kind of feels incredibly familiar if you've played BF1, I actually think the variety isn't as good too, there's one that I jokingly refer to as 'Hoth' as it feels so much like a Battlefront map as well. The only real things I've noticed that's different from BF1 is the customisation options and the ability to repair fortifications at command points around the map and build/destroy bridges. The customisation is roughly what you'd expect of most multiplayer shooters nowadays really but there seems to be less variety of weaponry (for the Medic class anyway - the only one I've played as) than BF1. In the previous game I had the choice of rifles or SMGs etc. but here if you're a Medic you've only got one choice which is the SMG, if you want other weapons you need to be another one of the classes, so as you progress with your particular class you unlock more weapons, outfits for your character and skins for your guns. There are also specialisations (which work a bit like perks) for your gun but I haven't really figured out how to get this to work without resetting the points already assigned to it so I've left it for now. Being able to repair fortifications at the command posts is a bit more of a bigger deal though. As the scenery gets more and more deformed as a match goes on having a decent set of sand bags and other fortifications around a command post when you're defending it can be make or break for some matches, you seem to be able to peform these repairs as any class as well which is cool. Similarly with the destruction of bridges or building makeshift bridges, they can make a huge difference in not allowing vehicles to easily access a certain area of a map and be a huge help to a defence or thorn in your side to an attack of a certain area or command point. I've only played the Grand Operations and Conquest game modes, both are fun enough but incredibly familiar to BF1 players. Not got round to any of the single player 'War Stories' aside from the astoundingly good - but brief - introduction. I want to briefly touch on the technical side of things. I believe this is a pre-launch build of the game that doesn't have the Day 1 patch but I have had a number of bugs, all of them are of the silly variety that break the immersion a little at times but nothing else. There's currently a bug when you're reviving someone that you lean through scenery when reviving them, I've had a few issues where a hand is seen at all times when operating a turret of an APV/Tank, I also struggle on occasion to activate the supply/vehicle drops using LB + RB and the left analog stick and also once it wouldn't let me deploy into the game from the map screen and I had to quit the match. Networking issues and graphical/framerate issues seem to be nonexistant as far as I can tell, I've had a very solid 60fps at all times and the networking has been fast and smooth, there's no micro-transactions in here at all either as far as I can tell. So yeah I quite like it, it is addicting and compelling as ever and I've not really been able to stop playing it all weekend. It does feel like a direct sequel to BF1 with more of that games personality than any from WWII or the previous BF games but yeah it does everything it sets out to do really and at this point if you're a BF fan you know what to expect and this will deliver in spades. Some pics:
  15. Maf

    Hob

    So I bought this (Guessing by RF’s posts 2 years ago?) and have just started playing it and this is awesome. It’s a bit rough on the technical side, but it makes up for it in real playability. I just had to really put an effort in to pulling my self away from it to get ready for Nintendo. Clearly heavily inspired by A Link to the Past then dunked in that indie game, calming soundscape driven atmosphere it’s very easy to pick up and even more difficult to put back down. The big difference between this and a regular Zelda game is the map seems to be more Dark Souls inspired then Zelda. Meaning that instead of having an overworld to zig zag across to make progress it’s more linear with each area feeling unto itself and sort of like a big puzzle box/dungeon, and then once completed it spits you out at the Firelink Shrine equivalent and then you go to a different area. At at least that seems to be the case so far. Game play is very reliant on push this, pull that and less gimmick focused than a typical Zelda game, but it feels surprisingly good and is a game that really moves which I like a lot. I think this this is a prime example of a little gem. It’s not blowing my mind in terms of newness but it has taken me by surprise because of how fun it is.
  16. mmmark

    F1 2021

    I’ve managed to pick this up for £25 (£30 minus £5 slave discount) which is good timing now that the season is over and the better man won. I’ve only played very little so far of the story mode and when you’re racing it’s as good as ever but I’m not convinced by the story yet or your influence over it. In the second race my team mate forced me off the track in a pre recorded story scene. I then made it back past them and everyone in the top ten to win my first race. The win wasn’t referenced tho and all the focus was on that one moment of been pushed off. It’s a small complaint really. The game itself is likely to be better than ever. It certainly looks and handles better than 2019 (I skipped 2020).
  17. DisturbedSwan

    Cuphead

    My stream from earlier: Started this earlier, put in 2.5ish hours or so and reached World 2. Wow. This has really surprised me, I mean I expected it to be good don't get wrong but it genuinely fucking brilliant. The 30s animation and the music are just absolutely spectacular, this'll sound like a cliche but it really is a feast for the eyes and ears. It feels like you're playing through a slightly more sinister Tom and Jerry cartoon or something, nothing feels out of place at all and everything fits with the animation and music. The way the enemies move and the boss fights flow in time with the music, every boss fight almost feels like a story really that you gradually get further and further into before reaching the end. The run-n-gun levels feel surprisingly good too, seeing them before launch I thought they looked a bit simplistic and thrown in there just to pad out the length of the game and give players a break from all the bosses. The latter is true but they feel so different to the boss fights and provide just as much fun and attention to detail, they're a little easier and a little more fun and relaxing but still provide a decent challenge I'd say and give a welcome break to the more intense boss fights. I guess it plays quite similarly to a lot of run-n-gun side-scrollers really. There's no double jump but a dash, you can fire a variety of projectiles (providing you purchase them at the shop) in 8 different directions at all times using either the left or right analog stick whilst pressing X, you can parry pink enemies/enemy projectiles by tapping the jump button (A) again whilst in the air, there's also a crouched shot to avoid enemy/boss punches too, you put all these together to defeat bosses. Some require more dashing (blue blob for example) whereas others require more precise jumping and crouching to defeat. The boss fights are the star of the show though really, they're just absolutely spectacular. Each one is pretty challenging in their own right with a variety of different phases to learn if you want to defeat it, the way the phases play out feels so organic as well, as mentioned previously it almost feels like a story at times. You fight a blue blob and it'll start out as this relatively innocent annoying-but-not-threatening cheerful creature and then morph into this bigger angrier looking blob and once you've defeated that phase he turns into a tombstone and attempts to flatten you. They're just a joy to fight, you just have to make sure you stay patient as some of them are quite a challenge. I didn't expect the level of depth on offer in terms of weapons, load-out and skills. I thought you'd just have your bog-standard Cuphead with the clicky finger projectiles and away you go but there's a TON of upgrades you can buy at the shop, supers you can get from completing ghost parrying mini-games dotted around the world. I imagine the further you get into the game the more strategy will come into play, I've done well so far with my standard super, +1HP and greater spread projectiles but I know there'll be some bosses later on which'll almost require you to have a certain load-out in order to finish. I guess I'm a little surprised with myself I haven't had a harder time of things though. I wouldn't say I'm good at platformers, I certainly like them on the verge of frustration (DKCR3D is one of my favourites for example) but this hasn't caused me to tear my hair out at all. Every boss seems very fair and easy to learn as long as you're patient and I really like that about it, I'm just a little surprised how quickly I managed to adapt and defeat some of them, the dual frog bosses for example I managed to defeat on what felt like only my 2nd or 3rd attempt whereas others like the Sunflower and Blue Blob gave me more problems. But still, I managed to put them down relatively quickly and before frustration set in, which I think is a good thing, I was worried before I played this that I'd get fucked off with it like Sonic Mania and not go back to it, but it seems much better than that so far, much fairer and less cheap so I reckon I should be able to finish it as long as the difficulty curve doesn't go vertical in this next World.
  18. DANGERMAN

    Scarlet Nexus

    First things first, I'm really enjoying this. It's very Japanese, the story has just gone full anime, and it reminds me a lot of Astral Chain, only more engaging. The combat is probably the star of the show without it being as complicated as it appears. You have some very basic attacks with your weapon, this will charge a meter that lets you use your psychokinetic abilities, so you can fling items at enemies. Do that too often and the meter drains so you can't any more, but get in close to an enemy and land some weapon attacks and you'll be fine. Once enemies have taken enough damage, assuming you haven't already killed them, you'll be able to perform a kind of finisher/super move, against weaker enemies this is a one hit kill, against bosses it can be a difference maker. Both while you're exploring the world (although this hasn't been an option yet in the way it was in the demo), and in combat, if you have teammates you can borrow their powers, ranging from your attacks doing fire damage, you becoming invulnerable, or even invisible for stealth attacks, amongst others. These work on a cool down, and are more or less required at points, but they aren't unavailable for long. There's also a meter that fills where you'll become super powered for a bit, I get the feeling once you've levelled up a bit this will be a huge deal, at the minute it's more annoying that you can't trigger it yourself and save it for when you need it There's an rpg element. You level up, although it's not presented what that really means (presumably stats and HP), you can equip items, buy better weapons, healing is done on a slight cooldown which can be a bit of a pain. There's also a skill tree, it takes BP points to buy new perks, but these come pretty quickly, to the point that I feel like I might well max it out before the end of the game unless there's hidden branches to it. You can also increase your bonds with your teammates, this is done in your down time with gifts and bonding missions, and it gets you new layers to their abilities. It seems to be pretty similar to how Persona handles it tbh The only real criticism I have is that it's all presented in a bit of a confusing way. Lots of different, but pretty similar people bouncing around, odd terms, lots of menus. It can feel like it's slow doling things out too, not that it's paced badly or feels like a slog, and maybe this is a consequence of having played the demo, but knowing that at some point I'll have 4 teammates at once, be able to explore certain areas, the way it gates this feels like it's holding you back, even 10+ hours in to the game
  19. Hey, maybe don't buy this Vice City squad, I come to you with gameplay clips littered with copyright claims. Not that there's a shortage of videos out there about this but it helps to see how little the gameplay has changed as well. I'm a couple hours into the opening sections. Actually, I could be a bit beyond the opening sections. Was this game short? I'm already at the bit where you are doing missions for Diaz. Visually I think it looks ok, I think they could have done a lot more work here tho and it's a bit perplexing that this is more demanding for my machine than The Witcher 3 maxed out. No ray tracing or anything like that is in it. It could be a rough one to play on PC for this reason but maybe the settings are more scalable on lower settings. I think the volumetric lighting is what is killing it. Also the game comes close to dying every time I pause, I found out I'm not the only one with this issue so it's a problem with the PC version. Vice City now is a game that is hard carried by its soundtrack I think. I don't think I could stick with this type of thing without these tunes. It's also weird to think Vice City is now more retro than the year 1986 was when Vice City itself came out. It's like a russian doll of nostalgia or something. I will say for VC first thing you should do is turn HDR off and set contrast to 0. The default contrast level is hideously oversaturated and destroys the tone of the game. At zero it is not a million miles away from the original's visual style Going back now also it really feels like Ray Liotta phoned in his performance as Tommy Vercetti, but the people around him do a good enough job to make up for that fact. Especially the lawyer guy. It's weird to think how they got all these really big movie stars in a game like this (Burt Reynolds is in this game, if you forgot). Nowadays you can see that these movie people don't exactly translate their talents to the digital screen, some of them are pretty bad at adapting to it. Or are just used to sell the game. But back then this was a really big deal for Vice City. There's one visual thing which has really annoyed me early on, the rain effect. It is a constant streak of white lines that make it impossible to see anything and actually made me feel a kind of motion sickness I've never felt with a game. I haven't heard anyone else talk about it, it could be a subjective thing. But man, it is rough to look at. On the other hand they add a cool effect where you get puddles and the grass gets wet. You slide in the rain also, I think that's new. Might not be but it seems new. Gameplay clips, spoilered for post length not spoilers cause this game is 20 years old now
  20. My god this game is adorable It's a bit sickly to begin with. I really liked the english voices in DQ8, while it was hardly the Witcher it had the slightest of rough edges to the characters, so far everyone has been far too nice. It's the wrong side of cliched too, you the born-again saviour, abandoned in a small village and have just discovered your origins and this is so far the worst thing about the game. Dragon Quest 5 has one of the great JRPG stories imo, 4 is unique, 7 is fairly decent, but the last couple have a really plain protagonist and a nothing story It's too easy to begin with too. I'm still very early, and I've been running around the area outside the first town, getting in to fights against things I'd actually quite like plushies of, and for the most part I'm one-hitting, or only taking 2hp damage. It will get more interesting later on though, especially once there's a few more party members It's very familiar, which is nice, I like the Dragon Quest games, and it's simple. They've brought back a couple of developments from past games. There's the 'pep' system I'm sure I used in something, I can't remember what though, but essentially, if you get hit a few times you become 'pepped up' (not enraged because, like I said, this game has no edge), and become more powerful. There's also skill points when you level up (once you're a bit in to the game). You'll still unlock spells naturally, as you gain levels, but there's other attributes and skills you can spend points to buy, opening up a hexagonal skilltree with each skill you pick. This might mean picking a special sword attack, a boost to your attack, or extra spells I'm not sure you'd otherwise learn The pc version is very much a console port. I was playing it in 4k before and it looks ridiculously nice, but the graphics options are all on a scale of 1-3 (or 1-5), with stuff like shadows and AA being as far as you can drill down. There's also a console quirk where by, you can shut the game down from the menu in the game, but if you go to a church to save (there's sporadic autosaving, it really could do with something better on pc given you can't suspend), save, then when asked if you want to continue select no, you'll go back to the title screen, but there's no option to shut the game down from there. Not the end of the world, you can just alt F4, and the port itself runs perfectly well so far, just an odd thing I noticed anyway, the main thing is it's adorable
  21. The long awaited sequel is here! And it's generally a decent follow-up. It takes place right after the original and it's like it's never been gone. It just confidently does being Psychonauts. It feels a bit tighter than the original but it's basic fighting and platforming for the most part but it's appeal has always been the imagination of the world and how it takes mental well being and makes these charming worlds out them and from what I've played so far it continues to do a good job of that. And with these new fangled graphics it makes it look really nice too. They really lean all of it into the art style they made in the original and I think it comes out well, it's a nice game to look at in a weird way. All Double Fine have done is make a Psychonauts game for 2021 and that's all I wanted, and that's all we got. Neat!
  22. Sly Reflex

    Rocket League

    Tonight I'm going to try this now that the server kerfuffle has seemingly passed. Can we get enough to fill a 3v3 game? Nothing serious, rotate teams after every game unless it becomes one sided. It'd be nice to get a bunch of us on and talking to one another, it seems to be ages since that happened last. I'm looking at around 7 or 8 for kick off until whenever people get fed up and leave. Who's interested?
  23. spatular

    Ghostrunner

    I've seen this described as a cross between mirrors edge and super meat boy. i think that's a good description, i also really like both of those games, it's a first person platformer with instant restarts, quite a lot of checkpoints, and one hit kill for you and the enemies. but it seems more random than 2D stuff like this as you can't see everthing that's shooting at you. it's sort of amazing. but also really hard and frustrating. in the first 5 levels or so i'd already thought i might have to give up on two different sections. the enemies are very good at shooting guns, maybe a bit too good, you can jump over them and they'll still shoot you instantly, you just have to keep moving and hope you don't get hit. i tried playing cloudbuilt twice (two different versions) and had to give up quite far in both times, i have a feeling this might be similar. really not sure i'll be able to finish it, so an easier mode would be a good addition, but no regrets buying it (although only paid a tenner), it's been mostly great so far. i've just done the first boss, which comes quite late, think i'm on about level 7 or 8 or something, when i saw it it my thoughts were that it's awesome but i might not be able to do it. it took me about 30 mins and 200 deaths, there's a video of someone making it look easy in the spoiler below, this also shows why the game is so good: dunno if anyone else is interested in this? oh and although there are loads of checkpoints these don't save, you have to get to the end of the level for it to save. oh oh and there's powerups and stuff, i can deflect bullets back, but the timing is strict (you can upgrade it) so i just keep swiping and sometimes it saves me a death.
  24. wholehole

    Tomb Raider

    Played a few hours and it's been very, very good. It's very much another game that's taken more than a few pages from Uncharted's playbook, except it switches a wise-cracking protagonist for someone much more vulnerable and insecure. Well, at least to start with anyway. I've always loved the Tomb Raider series, the original TR was the first ever game I bought for the PS1 and I played it to death, but the series was massively in need of a complete reboot. They've done a fantastic job with this game and the character. Lara is almost unrecognisable from her hotpants wearing, confident predecessor. I say almost as they decided to stick with her two most distinguishing features for some reason. Cans . The sections where you squeeze through a gap or are only able to progress forwards are probably the most elegant way of disguising a load screen I can think of. It's totally seamless and in some case even adds to the experience by allowing Lara time to express how she's feeling.The same goes for the logs she records at some of the base camps, only a few lines of dialogue, but it adds so much. Each area seems to have a discreet sub-objective like smash 10 lanterns or burn 5 banners, and they only activate once you hit the first thing, you're not notified about it otherwise. I can see myself spending a chunk of time completing these as well as picking up all the collectables dotted around. I tried turning on the new TressFX hair technology but it looks a bit weird tbh. It also hits the framerate pretty hard in certain situations. It's a cool idea as game hair usually looks pretty rubbish, but it definitely needs tweaking a bit before making it standard.
  25. Second up in my GamePass games that can be completed in a couple of hours; The Procession to Calvary. A point and click adventure based on Renaissance art that's heavily inspired by Terry Gillingham. Not for the easily offended/religious types - this is the follow up game to Joe Richardson's Four Last Things. It follows a woman who is back from a murder spree in a Holy war and wants to do one final murder as it's now frowned upon. Whilst the humour won't be to everyone's taste, I was laughing out loud from the offset. The game is bonkers. As with my last post, I won't go into it too much as I don't want to spoil it, but a couple of highlights were helping a street magician off a crucifix as he was turning water into wine that killed people, and giving snuff to a midget so he played music faster.
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