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Blakey

Hollow Knight

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So since Majora's Mask annoyed me I decided to put this back on.

 

I didn't know why I stopped until I started it up and fought the boss I was stuck on.  But I did it, after swearing and calling the boss a cheat and stuff I progressed a bit further.  I do feel like I'm wandering around quite aimlessly, checking the bits of the map that have doorways that I haven't explored.

I do feel a bit underpowered, though.  It isn't just because I suck, I do feel some enemies are taking a ridiculous amount of punishment before going down.  The most common obstacle I have is these streams of black smoke I can't pass, so I guess I gotta wander some more.

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Yeah, first time. I’m absolutely lost right now. Got battered in a fight and don’t remember where it was 😅 No map for the area yet either so I’m trying to retrace my steps but keep getting distracted. 

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A friend has been wanging on about this for ages so ive just downloaded it from G2A for £6 sterling, its downloading now dontcha know.

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On 28/01/2019 at 01:25, radiofloyd said:

First time playing? This game is a masterpiece man.

Probably, although I don't really know how far I am into the game (there seems a lot of map still to uncover) one of the best games I've ever played. 

 

Fresh off completing Mario Odyssey and trading in the disappointing BoTW, I felt the urge for a bit of a nostalgia kick when I first got my Switch. I picked up Shovel Knight, Super Meat Boy and this. Really didn't take to Shovel Knight as much as I thought I would. SMB is a casual reflex game, for when I have a spare minute. There is something about Hollow Knight that I like more than Metroid, perhaps more than Symphony of the Night. Can't put my finger on it though. I am taking my time with the game and noting every little secret I need to return to later with some such upgrade.

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Just beginning to enjoy it and make my piece with all the stupid platforming flaws and i came across this boss with no warning that was stupidly hard to kill and the last place id just so happened to save was in a totally different world and I am not fucking going all the way back there, had 1200 money as well. The sooner dark souls mechanics fuck the fuck off the better

 

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Money stops being a problem at a point, and almost every boss has a bench near it you can save at - they're just sometimes hidden away a little or require coming in from a different direction.

 

If you don't want to go all the way back to collect your money, you can try

Spoiler

Opening the door to the far right of Dirtmouth

 

If you're worried about losing a lot of money when you die you should also

Spoiler

Explore the bottom of Fog Canyon

 

As for the platforming I thought it handled well, if not the focus of the game, but I know a fair number of people have a problem with the weapon knockback. If that's the case

Spoiler

There is a charm for that!

 

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Ugh... Do I like this game again now or something? 

 

Decided to give it one last shot before giving up, went and got my souls or whatever they are called in this game and after one or two tries beat the boss and the ability I got from it started a little chain reaction of upgrading and at least some glimmer of hope on the horizon of character progression and not feeling so fucking weak. So, I begin the less stressful task of just exploring around, not trying worry about every secret and saving huge sums of souls and it goes well for a bit and I get some nice upgrades, longer sword, extra notch, some health and I'm revisiting areas with my slight increase in mobility. I'm having an okay time but then that begins to dry up and just when I'm comfortable I find that the new areas I can expand into are full of stupid jumps and irritating as fuck cheap ass enemies. When you decide you are going to borrow all the unfun mechanics of dark souls whereby you can and will lose lots of hard earned money and therefore time spent, you have to be really careful that your players aren't dying from shitty platform designs and cheesy as fuck enemy combinations. It's compounded by lack of any direction whatsoever and a strange saving mechanic where you have to manual save but you often just can't do that and the fine line between challenging and frustrating is too often broken for me.

 

I can see what is making people love the game, that hard fought feeling of having earned every bit of progression, of persevering through the game when it's basically telling you to fuck off but this new Dark Souls inspired notion that games SHOULD NOT be fun and should continuously punish you just isn't my kink, and I think a platforming souls-like brings the worst or several worlds to the fore. 

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I completely disagree with you. The “Dark Souls ispired notion that games shouldn’t be fun”? Dark Souls is one of the most fun and engaging games you can play. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be a phenomenon. And I think Hollow Knight is equally fun and extremely well designed.

 

When I hear the changes that people would like to make to this game, I feel that the game would be significantly diminished if those changes were made. It’s a game about exploration and discovery, and Hollow Knight takes that further and does it better than just about any game I can think of.

 

To say that this game “brings the worst of several worlds to the fore”, when it is one of the best, and deepest and most rewarding examples of its type ever made, is just ridiculous. “Basically telling you to fuck off?” God damn it Sam, go to confession. Ten Hail Marys.

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The game punishes exploration, rather than rewards it. No maps until you find the hidden map man, therefore early on in an area you are faced with :

Harder, newer enemies

More difficult platforming elements

No idea where a save is

No idea where yo ass is

Occasional surprise big bosses that you are locked into without warning. 

Likelihood of spawning back so far away its the 1950s.

 

These all combine to create a very high chance that you will lose any money you might have collected up until that point. If you need something like the lantern which is 1800 then you are going to be carrying a fair bit of dollar around, and so unless you grind for it (unfun) then you are going to HAVE to enter an unexplored area at some point whilst carrying a large sum of money. As a result exploring new areas is an essential part or progressing the game but is likely to end up punishing the player rather than rewarding them. 

 

Even after you've got the lantern out of the way you basically have to get on the money saving hamster wheel because you need to constantly buy badges to be able to get the chance to buy notches to then buy yourself a good collection of powerful badges to face the new areas you have to explore. 

 

Whilst there is fun in the game its often in spite of the combination of mechanics that conspire to hinder rather than empower the player, which is where its telling you to fuck off. 

 

Its all very simple when you think about it dear. 😘 

 

PS. People that like dark souls are sadists and probably play video games on pc with half of the required keys removed from the keyboard because its engaging. 

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The reward is far greater than the punishment.

 

The mystery and difficulty are important design elements of the game.

 

The crowning achievement of the game is the beautiful, labyrinthe world that grows far beyond the scope of what you could have imagined, and the journey you take to see it all. A journey that would mean a lot less if you hadn’t discovered everything for yourself one step at a time, and overcome obstacles along the way.

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Personally I love the feeling of stepping into the unknown it gives you when accidentally wandering into a new area. I don’t find strong enemies cheap or unfair, I just haven’t figured out their patterns yet. Walking into a boss area unknowingly can be annoying, but if I pay attention to where I’m exploring I can usually get back there within a minute of two so it stops being a problem.

 

The only ‘souls like’ element this game has is losing your Geo when you die so I don’t get much of the comparison to be honest, it just feels lazy. Everything else is pure Metroid and I love it. 

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I'm with @Sambob

 

The Dark Souls design is a huge detriment to Hollow Knight, one that is massively exasperated by the lack of map. If you had a map it would at least take some of the pain away from redoing your hard work. Given how often money is of no consequence its not even like you get anything from the Souls design. Then when you do find a shop keeper with an item you want the map and traversal system just adds a layer of chore to the threat of muttering and sighing. 

 

Whatever I think of them I can see why people like the challenge of the Souls series, but I can't see how Hollow Knight wouldn't be a better game as a traditional Metroidvania, the exploration and combat (I actually found the combat a bit laggy) is what it does well 

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45 minutes ago, RikSP said:

I don’t get much of the comparison to be honest, it just feels lazy. 

 

Just because you said it was a lazy comparison I will go through it.

 

Losing money on death but getting one chance to reclaim it

benches are bonfires

big high health pool bosses that can kill you in a few hits

no direction throughout the game

minimal story, dotted around

lots of backtracking

some eventual shortcuts you open up

 

Now those are just bullet points, perhaps its a bit lazy still so to dig deeper. The general setting of the world is similar, its a world that is in ruins, the area you play in is referenced to as a ruin, its long dead and past its former glory. There is some sort of Curse on the land, the people you infrequently meet in the bowels of the land have generally given up on living or any hope of the future, the creatures in the journal are said to seek out death and are referred to as pitiful spirits. You meet a warrior knight who seeks out glorious death. You are a hollow....knight.

 

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Yeah, I'd say comparing it to Dark Souls is as apt as comparing it to to Metroid or Castlevania, it's clearly lifting from all those games 

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There are absolutely Dark Souls comparisons to be made... which is funny because I've never been able to get into Dark Souls but I absolutely adore Hollow Knight. I think that's because a lot of the similarities are thematic and specific design elements, whereas in core gameplay Hollow Knight is obviously still a 2D metroidvania (and imo the best one I've ever played).

 

The lack of direction is one of my favourite things about the game, I really appreciate how much it respects the player's autonomy and own ability to find their path. With the lack of direction, at the very beginning you are only given the task of "explore" but relatively quickly you gain an overarching goal that gives high-level direction to your wanderings. Once I hit that point I felt it was the perfect amount of direction I needed, as the game left me alone to work out the specifics.

 

I don't think any of the enemies are cheap, and I found the platforming perfectly good (the only time it goes overboard with that is at one specific point when getting the true ending). The charm system is really good at offering the player various ways of countering any specific weaknesses they have in the gameplay, like eliminating knock-back or giving you a quicker or longer slash (something I found very useful for downslash jumping off enemies and spikes). On exploring new areas I always made it my priority to find the map of the area, and as such I never found myself wandering blind for too long. Boss rooms are usually signposted so can be avoided and the paper/page trails direct the player towards the map location from a screen or two away. I also always had equipped the charm for showing my location on the map screen, so even without a map I knew roughly where I was.

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