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 Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts

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masofdas
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySun 2 May 2021 - 13:12

Subnautica's one that The Lady's just finished and speaks highly of.  Survival isn't my bag so, although I'm intrigued by the exploration, I'll probably steer clear. As for good water levels: the ones in Rayman Legends were oddly good considering.


Tales of Vesperia (Definitive Edition)

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.gearnuke.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F12%2Ftales-of-vesperia-definitive-edition-review-6-1024x576

Tales of Vesperia is a very good JRPG.  It nails the most important aspects of the genre: good writing and characters, good combat, and imaginative dungeons.  As a result it gets a free pass on doing basically everything else less well.

The writing is the thing that really sticks out.  The main character, Yuri, is snarky and almost antiheroic: he's a breath of fresh air when set against Generic Justice-Loving Pretty-Boy No. 22 from your favourite JRPG.  Not too far in he meets Rita, an abrasive mage who's one of my faves in the genre.  So it goes on: not every character's such a hit (the fanservice elf starts strong but trickles off) but they're entertainingly written, and the Japanese voice acting stops American accents from spoiling it all.  The fighting system, a hybrid of fighting games and RPG combat, is pretty ace too once you get to grips with it, and although there's definitely a learning curve most of you chumps are still playing Monster Hunter so that shouldn't phase you.  Finally, the dungeons: as well as all being visually distinct, quite a few of them have their own mechanics and so feel different.  That's a godsend coming off Bravely Default 2.  They're not all winners, but they at least try to do new things.

It's a good thing Vesperia has such a solid core, because almost everything else about it is average-to-duff.  The visuals have aged, and while still nice enough they're hindered by an inconsistent frame rate.  The music, usually a strong point in this genre, is forgettable.  The overworld is nondescript and bland.  The towns feel a bit too empty to be interesting.  The plot itself is fairly standard, at times convoluted, and the definitive edition-exclusive character Patty's story doesn't exactly fit smoothly into the rest.  The side-quests are easily missed and frequently time-locked.

None of this really matters that much.  The strong fundamentals make up for bits of it (a mediocre plot redeemed by top writing, especially Patty), and make other bits less relevant (when you spend 70% of your time in dungeons, you can tolerate issues in the overworld and towns).  It's a real contrast to Bravely Default 2, where most of these extraneous areas were good but the writing and dungeons were lousy.  As such, Vesperia's better and more fun.  Highly recommended.

p.s. Estellise/Rita OTP.

8/10 (must-consider for genre fans)
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyTue 4 May 2021 - 11:49

In this Year of the Switch, I have bought a few games for the Switch likely the most I have since launch but haven't really played much of them (part from MHR which at 20hrs isn't much). This weekend that changed with a Nintendo game which has that Nintendo charm and polish.

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 H2x1_NSwitch_NewPokemonSnap_image1600w

I thought I finished NPS yesterday afternoon before work, then I had more to do, that I was playing till 1am this morning as NPS story mode was so fun as you know I like my games to have a goal in most cases.

That's where NPS does fall a tad flat as the story is a tad weak, yet it kept me going and now after the story is done the goal is just get high scores which is fine especially with the online sharing which just isn't for me.

Overall I had a fun weekend, going hey that's a ????, oh this looks nice, wonder what the big Mon will be next etc
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyWed 5 May 2021 - 9:04

Mas is NPS good for someone with no experience of Pokemon or is it pure fan-service?
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyWed 5 May 2021 - 9:55

I feel it's tad fan service but would think kids with no knowledge of it as they'll be there's the cute yellow Pokemon etc
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyWed 5 May 2021 - 17:24

Agreed, New Pokemon Snap leans on it's fan service a fair bit. Still a quality game, but if you're unconvinced then I'd instead encourage you to go play the N64 original, they're not worlds apart.

~

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 H2x1_NSwitchDS_SuperPunchPatrol_image1600w

I spent some of my Bank Holiday Monday playing through Super Punch Patrol, Bertil Horberg’s latest eShop game. He’s the guy who made the much-loved Gunman Clive games and the much-less-loved Mechstermination Force. He’s back now - in pog form. 

Super Punch Patrol is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up that puts style before substance. Be under no illusions: Super Punch Patrol brings nothing new to the genre from a gameplay perspective. It never amounts to much more than fighting through swarms of enemies while picking up weapons, health refills and score-boosting items along the way. Ideologically, 2020’s Super Punch Patrol is virtually indistinguishable from 1986’s Renegade. Even the story is as well; it’s just your typical ‘clean up the streets’ stuff. Personally, neither of these things bother me. I’ve always enjoyed these types of games and that’s never been because of a riveting plotline. 

The visuals are the standout aspect of Super Punch Patrol. With the Gunman Clive games in particular, Bertil Horberg has proven himself to be an immensely talented artist and animator, and he’s sensibly adopted those game’s sketchbook aesthetic once again here. Ergo, Super Punch Patrol looks great, even better than Gunman Clive. Likewise, the game’s control and sound effects are all the real credit to Horberg’s aptitude at games programming. The difficulty rips the pish though. Super Punch Patrol is too hard and the AI is too unforgiving, even on the Practice difficulty setting. It’s beatable, but this should have been better balanced.

Super Punch Patrol is definitely one of the better modern day side-scrolling beat ‘em ups that I’ve played. Granted, on Switch alone you’ve got access to Streets of Rage 4 and the revamped Ninja Saviours, as well as Capcom Beat ‘em Up Bundle. They’re all better than this. Yet they’re all much more expensive. I got Super Punch Patrol for £2.24 in a sale, literally a tenth of Streets of Rage 4’s RRP. Despite its lack of originality and frustrating AI, Super Punch Patrol is a bargain at that price. Plus: these types of games always make better sense when you’re playing with another person. If you’re in a position to play this in co-op, I’m sure this’ll be a great time. 7/10.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyThu 6 May 2021 - 20:44

Ah, how the mighty have fallen. Not that 7/10 is even falling that far, it's just that the GCs were two absolute gems. Had plenty of substance underneath the style too. Incidentally a difficulty that rips the pish was my main problem with Mechstermination Force.

@gjones wrote:
Mas is NPS good for someone with no experience of Pokemon or is it pure fan-service?

The answer is clearly that you should play some Pokémon. Tongue
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyThu 6 May 2021 - 21:37

@Balladeer wrote:
Ah, how the mighty have fallen.  Not that 7/10 is even falling that far, it's just that the GCs were two absolute gems.  Had plenty of substance underneath the style too.  Incidentally a difficulty that rips the pish was my main problem with Mechstermination Force.

@gjones wrote:
Mas is NPS good for someone with no experience of Pokemon or is it pure fan-service?

The answer is clearly that you should play some Pokémon. Tongue

I was asking as my daughter hasn't played any of them, but taking photos of cutesy monsters sounds like potential Christmas present material Laughing  Ironically, I've played a bunch of Pokemon and have no interest in this.

Balladeer on Tales of Vespiria wrote:
The overworld is nondescript and bland.  The towns feel a bit too empty to be interesting.  The plot itself is fairly standard, at times convoluted

This is my initial impression of Tales of Berseria too. It all feels a bit light - like a game from a couple generations ago that is just very pretty. I'll give it another go at some point though - the fighting style turn-based combat is certainly interesting.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyThu 6 May 2021 - 22:24

Ah.  Your daughter should play some Pokémon then!  (I think the N64 game might have got my younger sister into Pokémon if that helps.)

That's literally the worst bit of that verdict. Drama queen I hope the rest of Berseria is likewise as good as Vesperia!  Also: separate instalments in a series shouldn't have titles that nearly rhyme.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyFri 7 May 2021 - 22:33

I go from what is the best 2021 game I've finished this year so far in New Pokémon Snap to one that's even better

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 MGrN23Alq1OHswWHRS2jaCj65tOAxOpYy4zOogClWpk

You may have seen BYE being talked about in gaming media as you play it with your eyes, so yes this a PC game as it uses a webcam and when you blink the story will progress in what is a very Mas indie game.

The nearest thing I can think its like, I may be wrong as I've not played it is
NAME hints at stuff in BYE:
 
set around playing the piano (actual Bach is played) and being an artist in a heavily narrative driven game.

Sad /10
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySun 9 May 2021 - 15:12

I'm not playing a game that Pippin the Cat will speed-run for me by standing in front of the monitor.

I did finish a load of stuff though
Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 Capsule_616x353
Astroneer was a game I "completed" over the course of a few Saturdays with a mate. Technically it's an open-world(s) survival game, but, as long as you've put down tethers to your base, you've got oxygen and are basically surviving. It's kind of a basic game-loop of mining materials, building new things, accessing new materials, building more new things, reaching new places, and eventually unlocking some alien thing... for some reason.

Honestly it's kind of basic; the only dangers other than falling to your death are stationary plants, like most of these games you automatically have the reality-breaking PickEverythingUp2000 gun, and the game is never really explained and is busywork for the most part. However, the graphics and sound are immensely charming, and actually the more casual gameplay suited us in that we had more time to chat. So... er... 4 out of 6 or something.

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 Capsule_616x353
Factorio was also a multiplayer staple over the last couple of months with my sister/bro-in-law. I guess there's a similar concept - you're stuck on a funny planet and you need to build shit until you can leave. Slightly different from Astroneer with a more retro 2D appearance, Factorio requires you to do more with resources - exponentially more. This is a game about being as efficient as possible - luckily I'm 1/4 German, and therefore am also allowed to make that joke.

I had a slightly different experience as my co-op team had played before, and I was like "the boy" learning how to do the basic stuff while other things were going on. However, I did enjoy the micro-managing that also makes e.g. managing traffic in Cities Skylines so appealing. A bit grim that half of it revolves around protecting yourself from Starship Troopers-esque alien bugs - I might work on a game like this but set in a confectionery factory; the only thing you'd have to worry about invader-wise is a really happy Gregg Wallace. So... er... 55 out of 60 or something.

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 Header
This was the week of finishing stuff. Fable Anniversary - the biggest issue was that I've already played the sequel, which was much more open-ended and delivered a lot more of the stuff Crazy Pete promised. So initially I was really really down on this. Once I'd accepted that it was a more linear experience, and just played through the "story" like we used to do in the GameCube/XBox days, I enjoyed it a lot more. It also benefits from a very British sense of humour - I know this is a dangerous thing to cling to, but there's a dead-pan attitude to a lot of the NPCs which makes upcombing cutscenes more bearable.

That control scheme's fucking wack though. The amount of time I tried to stop talking to someone and electrocuted them by mistake...
So. er... 3862 out of 4572 or something.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyMon 10 May 2021 - 16:43

Laughing at the Pippin comment.  Then I went and calculated Jim's scores like the nerd I am: 6.7/10, 9.2/10, and 8.4/10.  High praise for Factorio!  (Which to me sounds like it's about putting exclamation marks after numbers because I am, again, a nerd.)  


There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension

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People have been comparing this to The Stanley Parable based on its meta-commentary about games.  I've never played The Stanley Parable and probably never will, but I think that's a recommendation, and I do want to recommend TING because it's very good.

TING is a point and click adventure about games, screwing around with interfaces, and thinking outside boxes.  To say much else risks spoilers, and TING is a game (ironically) that should be experienced as fresh as possible.  I'd love to talk with you about lots of bits of it, but to do so would be unfair.  All I can say is that it's a very funny experience.  To say that something is about meta-anything risks being dismissed as smug, but TING isn't smug.  It's riotously amusing and packed with variety.  It also avoids the traditional point-and-click problem of being obtuse by keeping the, er, 'areas to explore' small and having an in-built hint system.

It isn't perfect.  TING is largely voiced and while most of that work is very good, one character is noticeably weaker on that front (and your mileage may vary about the others I guess - I liked them).  The pacing is off in one section, arguably two sections; and it feels like it would have been fun to explore some more, er, areas.  This is compounded by the game not being very long (4-5h).  That has to be weighed up against the development background of a failed Kickstarter campaign: given that, it's impressive that they got out as much game as they did.

Given the length, I'd understand people holding off on this for a sale; but do wishlist it.  In a 'joke' I'm sure every single review has made, there is a game here and it's a bloody good one.

8/10 (must-consider for genre fans)


BONUS: Alwa's Legacy, The Stretchers:
 
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyMon 10 May 2021 - 17:45

Plenty of interesting games in this thread. Super Punch Patrol is probably up my street, but Streets of Rage 4 is a game I'm still having a rollicking good time with (and sounds like DLC is imminent). I'll probably skip it. Some very pretty titles there Jimbob. And Fable. I liked the first Fable back in the day but can see how it's aged. Was the anniversary just a lick of paint? I'd like to revisit that series one day, particularly the second title as it seems to be well-loved.

That There Is No Game looks a lot like The Incredible Machine series, something I used to really enjoy toying around with in the 90s. At least that's the aesthetic it has gone for. Good to hear it's not smug either, as that's where I deviated from Stanley Parable. It was a bit up its own arse. After my time with Hollow Knight, another Metroidvania needs to be special for my consideration, but The Stretchers always fascinated me. Are there comedy injuries and ragdoll physics in it?
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyMon 10 May 2021 - 17:53

There are indeed ragdoll physics. Also: the odd piece of slightly shonky ragdoll physics where your patient gets stuck in your stretcher. Not sure about comedy injuries: your patients have 'the Dizzies', that's as far as it goes.

If you're looking for special Metroidvanias I would recommend Yoku's Island Adventure (content warning: pinball), Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, and the flawed but very special Iconoclasts.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyMon 10 May 2021 - 19:00

I still think the first Fable is the best in series, especially Lost Chapters which Anniversary based on with its HD lick of paint.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyTue 11 May 2021 - 12:22

Dark Souls


I finished off that save file I had on my Switch copy.
I'd gotten to the post Anor Londo stuff and the slight dip in excitement must have combined with some new game release and it meant I kind of dropped it.
I went back and in one day did the whole of the Duke's Archive, killed Nito and the Four Kings, and then took care of Gwyn.
It also allowed me to finish off my re-listen of Bonfireside Chat and Dark Calls.

Still an all-timer game. Top three, for sure, and on the right day in a moment of weakness I might call it my favourite game.



Anyway, now I can move on.
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gjones
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyWed 12 May 2021 - 22:30

Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 Dirt-4-01

I've beaten Dirt 4 with some unlockable championships remaining. It's a lot better than I thought it would be, given driving games these days tend to be full-on simulations. You can make this game as realistic as you want, but I opted to play it with all the assists on and with automatic transmission. It's bloody challenging so God knows what maniacs play these games without them! The issue I had was that this completely breaks the game - or more accurately - the game doesn't know how to handle this and you'll find yourself smashing every competitor, finishing 30 seconds ahead of them in both races and "events".

Could I up the difficulty a bit and alleviate this issue? Probably. But the game is vast and I don't have time for that. I named my driver Knob Head, created my SEGA Rally team and off I went. The handling and feeling of the tracks is something that Codemasters have completely nailed. You feel like you're wrestling with the terrain, the weather and at points, the car. Once you get to grips with the language and the timings of your co-driver's warnings, there is a zen-like trance I found myself in as I glided around a corner at 100 mph as if it was a perfectly normal thing to do in a Ford Escort Mk.1. Mistime it and you'll find yourself rolling into the crowd, or landing upside down and losing vital seconds.

Most of the time you're bolting down a stretch of road for 3-7 minutes in a race against the clock, with tarmac, gravel and snow the main things separating the environments. It can start to get repetitive, so there are races thrown in too, including buggies, trucks and some cool "classic" rally modes that are nods to hardcore fans. Want to take a Mini out in the snow? A Sierra Cosworth? A Scooby? It's all here.

It's easy to see why this series is so popular and has split two ways: Dirt being the more accessible, dare I say it, arcade offering; Dirt Rally being the hardcore one that's designed for those with steering wheel setups. I doubt I'll venture down that road, but Dirt 4 is a brilliant entry point to serious driving sims and Codemasters have captured the perfect blend of satisfying gameplay, plenty to do, and not being too hardcore with its presentation. Best rally game I've played - easily. Look forward to playing Dirt 5 soon!

8/10
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyFri 14 May 2021 - 18:02

That's given me food for thought. I've never really looked at the Dirt games, but everything you've typed suggests I'd probably quite them. I'll maybe need to look more into that.

~

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Longtime forumites might know that Crazy Taxi is my favourite game of all time. I’d said in Top Ten GameCube Games thread that it “represents everything that’s so right about gaming” because it’s very “bright, loud, happy, upbeat, infectious, energetic and fun”. Yet apart from some freemium mobile phone games, SEGA have done nothing new with the series since Crazy Taxi 3 on the original XBox. A few months back, hearing that there was a third-party spiritual successor to Crazy Taxi in development was intriguing news to me. Later, once I’d learned that Taxi Chaos allegedly had SEGA’s blessings too, it immediately became one of my most anticipated games. A couple of months after it’s full-priced eShop release, I picked up the retail version on discount.

Without needing to explain what Crazy Taxi is, instead I should tell you what Taxi Chaos isn’t. Unfortunately, Taxi Chaos takes more away from the original Crazy Taxi than it adds onto it. Probably like you, when I think about Crazy Taxi I think about things like the two massive maps, the distinctive and stylish cabbies and customers, and the all-time classic Bad Religion and Offspring soundtrack. Taxi Chaos greatly lacks any of that. Disappointingly, Taxi Chaos features just one flawed and unmemorable map that doesn't suit the game's flow, only two cabbies, unappealing customers with repetitive chatter, and an utterly listless rock song playlist that never stayed in my head. Taxi Chaos also strips back Crazy Taxi’s modes and controls. There’s nothing like the Crazy Box minigames here, and while there’s still something similar to the Crazy Boost and Crazy Taxi 2’s Crazy Jump, you don’t have a Crazy Drift to help you glide round corners. It’s limited, and limiting.

That said, Taxi Chaos is thoroughly competent in how it carries out it’s version of the familiar Crazy Taxi experience. The visuals are nice and bright, the handling is good, and the map itself is decently varied while welcoming your exploration. Above all else, the loop of picking up punters, weaving through crowded streets and delivering them to their destination on time is still entertaining to a degree. Yet Taxi Chao’s gameplay itself doesn’t ever shine. Simply put, that’s because it’s distinctly lacking in the Chaos it’s named after.

Overall, Taxi Chaos’s fundamentals are okay, but they just never add up to being much exciting. It’s too small and lightweight to fully recommend, although it’s not a terrible game or anything. Looking back, I think I liked it more than I didn’t. 5/10.
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySun 16 May 2021 - 17:35

Aw, man. Do you worry at this stage that nothing's ever going to re-create the good feel of Crazy Taxi? It's starting to seem like it was such a cultural phenomenon that you can't really add anything to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyTue 25 May 2021 - 23:03

Apologies for the whopping great post.  I've finished three games recently, and I really think they're all worth this forum's consideration rather than being shoved into spoiler tags.  Deep breath...


Famicom Detective Club double-pack

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Is Famicom Detective Club worth £50?  That's the question on everybody's lips (or it should be).  My answer is: yeeeeaaaammmmnnnnnn- Confused  Confused  Confused

See, perhaps unsurprisingly, Famicom Detective Club feels old in the way it plays.  It's a visual novel where you solve crimes by selecting from a bunch of verbs.  The ways to make progress, however, are sometimes as obtuse as the very best games of the late 1980s.  It's hard to get truly stuck, since you don't normally have very many options at any one time; but success through trying every single combination of possibilities, then trying some of them again, isn't exactly satisfying.  That's true even when the stories are presented as impeccably as they are here, and given the effort put into the presentation, you'd think Nintendo could have made some spruce-ups to the actual mechanics of the games.

There are, of course, two tales.  The Missing Heir was the first game I played, and the poorer.  I got stuck more often, had to resort to a walkthrough, hated most of the characters (a bunch of selfish rich people who resent you trying to figure out the truth behind their aunt's death, and a bunch of clueless irritating villagers), guessed the killer, and laughed a grand total of once.  It wasn't like I was scared either.  The presentation really has to do a lot of heavy lifting on this one, and lift it did - it's a beautiful atmospheric piece set in a small Japanese village, and that made up for a lot of the adventure's shortcomings.  Some of the twists were pretty good too.  Nonetheless, if I'm scoring it, for £25 it doesn't do much to deserve more than 5/10.  Then I played the prequel, released later, The Girl Who Stands Behind - and found it much better.  There are laughs, for one thing!  And a lot of eerie moments!  And the characters aren't hateful!  I didn't guess the murderer at all either, and there's a richer selection of music.  Also, crucially, I found myself getting stuck less often.  Whether that's because it's a less obtuse game, or because I got into FDC's head after my time with TMH, I don't know.  Regardless, I'd give this a 7-8/10.

Where does that leave us?  Is Famicom Detective Club worth £50?  If I'm being cruel, that's probably a good £20 too high, especially for The Missing Heir.  If I'm being kind, it's definitely worth it - Nintendo don't make these sort of games any more.  They should.  A modern FDC game would be excellent, and there's only one way to convince Nintendo to make that!

Head: 6/10 (not quite a firm recommendation...)
Heart: 7/10 (...but go on, give it a go?  Please?)




Darkside Detective

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Now here's a detective adventure I can recommend more easily.  For a much lower price you get nine cases of genuinely amusing point-and-click paranormal shenanigans, between eye-rolling Detective McQueen and Officer Dooley (who makes Gumshoe look in line for a whopping pay rise), as they traverse Twin Lakes (yep...) and its Darkside version, sorting out paranormal crimes through the art of using x on y.  The Nintendo Life review would have you believe that you'll have to get the pop culture references to have a giggle: don't believe a word of it.  If muggins here and his lack of general knowledge can get the big laughs, out of what I believe is an English team aping American police procedurals, you can too.

Despite being really enjoyable, DD falls short of greatness.  It feels a bit lightweight, the pixel art isn't exactly inspiring, and there's the odd bit of point-and-click obscurity that I needed a walkthrough for - crucially, much less than the other detective game in this post.  Still, if you want a fun romp that'll keep you occupied for a few hours, you could do much worse than DD.  And there's a sequel out too!  Will wonders never cease?

7/10 (but a higher 7 than FDC)




Ikenfell

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And now for something completely different.  

Ikenfell is a great indie RPG that may have some interest beyond the 20% of this forum that play many RPGs.  This is despite the fact that... well, beauty's in the eye of the beholder, but I think Ikenfell's is not good.  I don't think this pixel style looks nice: functional not fun.  That's backed up by a variable soundtrack, with some nice tracks and some excruciating songs.  ('Sometimes I see red, as red as pants of Santas' is a lyric doesn't belong in any song anywhere, ever.)  Scratch the surface, though, and it's gold underneath.

I've said before (at the top of this page in fact) that a good RPG needs three things: good writing and characters, good combat, and good dungeons.  Ikenfell may very well have one of the best turn-based battle systems I've played.  It's a combination of Mario RPG commands to enhance attacks and defend, and strategic positioning.  If you liked the Mario RPG battle systems you should love Ikenfell's.  The dungeons are pretty good too, or rather, short and snappy enough that the simple puzzles are a nice change of pace rather than anything more oppressive.  The enemy designs evoke the whimsy of games like the Mothers, as do things like stroking cats (that purr) to save - and parts of the game get as horrific as the Mothers as well.  

The writing... admittedly there I'm more mixed.  You're a kid going to a wizard school to find your wizard sister.  I did really like the world of Ikenfell, and the first four party members at least, to the point that I'm missing it/them now.  The pacing of the overall plot, however, is a bit off.  Ikenfell has big interesting ideas, but spends too long directing you from one dungeon to the next to develop them fully; so several feel like they've come out of nowhere.  It feels like with another 30% budget/time they could have really delivered on those ideas.  On the whole, though, I like the story, and the misfit kids, and the coming-of-age narrative that isn't all hot teens perving over each other.

And the inclusivity.  Ikenfell has a really strong LGBT+ game that's great to see, not to mention two black characters in your party - hardly a strong point for JRPGs.  Given that most of us here are white straight men, there's likely to come a point where we think it's almost too inclusive.  (Mine was when your party's token male-presenting he/him-using character protests that he's non-binary. 🤷 )  That said, I maintain a game going a bit too far in that direction is vastly better than the majority of games that don't go anywhere near far enough.

Simply put, Ikenfell's cracking battle system and interesting world make for a game I think many of us would enjoy.  If you have to play one game out of these three, and you don't hate the Mario RPGs and/or Mother games, pick Ikenfell.  The art style's still better than Darkside Detective's.

8/10 (strongly recommended for genre fans, some appeal outside the genre)
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySat 29 May 2021 - 17:03

I have downloaded Ikenfall as it is on Game Pass

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It was a bit of a slog as I wanted to do all 5 Endings, especially as the 5th was new content, now all the game was new to me but buying a remaster then not playing the new bit would have been a tad odd.

Anyway banger sort of, as it has aged being a PS3 game, if you can look past that and appreciated the story, VO, OST, combat etc then it is glorious. It has made me want to play Automata even more, I will take a bit of break from Yoko Taro games though for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyTue 1 Jun 2021 - 19:51

Get amongst it Mas, it's good stuff and not a slog at all.  And speaking of non-traditional RPGs that people who don't like RPGs might like...

West of Loathing

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Something of a triumph for me, in that West of Loathing is very much a game where Your Choices Matter, and I usually hate games like that.  WoL, though, won me over with its charm and writing, not to mention finding out that the class I picked grew ridiculously powerful ridiculously quickly.  God bless you Beanslinger, you and setting everything on fire.

WoL reminds me of what I assume the South Park RPGs are like.  I haven't played the South Park RPGs, but WoL's irreverent treatment of RPG staples such as classes, currency, stats, and stat boosts (your Grit, Gumption, and Glamour determine how much food, potions, and booze you can consume each day.  Stats boosts through alcohol - if only...) would surely make Matt and Trey proud, even if it's not rude enough for them.  In fact it would be quite a wholesome game, were it not for all the alcohol, and the hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the death, and the plunging your hand into some really foul spittoons, described in detail.  I didn't find the writing laugh-out-loud funny, but I found it charming and enjoyable.

There's a main plot too, I guess, but it's all about the side-quests.  From cows gone wrong to... I don't want to spoil too much, I hope some others on here will play it too (it's cheap) and the enjoyment is in discovering WoL's kookiness for yourself.  Anyway, it lasted me 5-10h according to my Switch (you're meant to replay it I think but ha ha ha no), and I'd say some 80% of that was heading off to do side-quests.  The main plot's a bit forgettable, and the final boss in particular is really anticlimactic, but it's not about that.  It's about riding off into the Wild West to explore!  And be jumped by goblins!

That's really the main flaw of the game.  There are I guess a few others, some inherent to the Your Choices Matter sub-genre.  I was pretty miffed when the game locked me out of the circus permanently because I wore the wrong hat (and then, to be fair, doubled down on my wrongness when questioned), and there are other aspects that I know I won't experience unless I replay.  It's a bit short I guess.  The game has an egregious section where it makes the mistake of 'ha ha isn't this bit tedious, well now you have to sit through it'.  (Jim, Rum: Ghostwood, am I right? Duh! )  You could say that the weak graphics are a flaw, but then you're kind of missing the point of the entire game and should probably go play something with big men flexing their guns at their guns.  

I know Jim liked this, so I think this will have some appeal to non-RPG fans.  I suppose die-hard RPG fans may find it a bit lightweight.  For the rest of us, this is a really nice RPG, and with its different style it makes a good counterpart to Ikenfell once you've all played that.

7/10 (recommended)
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyWed 2 Jun 2021 - 20:11

I was alright with Ghostwood - I do hate when games ironically have shit sections, but I will forgive the writing in WoL an awful lot.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptyFri 4 Jun 2021 - 20:58

I didn't even think the writing was that good for that bit!

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Also, after literally years of it sitting on my shelves, I finished the campaign mode of Super Mario Maker 2.  Fun levels that feel disparate and structureless.  I had a good time but it's nowhere near as impactful as a proper Mario campaign, and that's why Mario Maker will never replace proper 2D Mario games for me.  Still better than the NSMBs though.  6/10
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySat 5 Jun 2021 - 0:43

I don't remember Ghostwood specifically but I remember overall it thought the game did have a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. So that was enough for me and you have a terrible sense of humour.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts   Last Game You Finished And Your Four-ghts - Page 32 EmptySun 6 Jun 2021 - 11:44

Re: West of Loathing: I think it's great still, and already have nostalgia seeing that screenshot in your review, with Doc Alice there
Re: Super Mario Maker 2: I agree - the levels are interesting, but are obviously demos, and laying it out as if it's a campaign doesn't really work as a tutorial.

Oh - edit, because
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I can at least appreciate that there was love put into this game. At the same time as reading an interview about Sonic Forces from Sega's PR guy, who spent most of the responses talking about "awesome character-based action the fans are going to love" as if they're a separate set of people from the ones who would be reading, I also read an interview with the director of Bubble Bobble 4 Friends, who spent a lot of time playing the original with her dad, is really happy that she gets to be in charge of Bubble Bobble, and "also it's easier to do the bubble riding now than the arcade version" - what I'm saying is that the team here tried very hard to at least make this game feel like the original Bubble Bobble (and there have certainly been some failed attempts in the past - I remember the DS version getting an absolute shoeing.
It's certainly cute like the original, although I'm not sure the update to 2.5D has helped - yes it makes sense to make cute 3D models and Bub and Bob (and Peb and Pab? Oh apparently they're not new), and the Bubble Bobble universe is now a child's bedroom, implying the dragons, hooded arsehole Bonner, and all the bad guys, are kids toys - a lot of the level scenery is made up of Lego bricks and wooden blocks, which ties in with that. However, the level's geometry is superimposed a random floaty place in the bedroom, which doesn't make any sense, and ruins the aesthetic (I know that seems petty, but it makes all the rest of the design choices irrelevant).
This version includes the (free) DLC, creating 100 levels in total, as per the original arcade version - which is also present (and honestly the original reason I decided to get this!). But, possibly because of the re-used scenery, it does still feel a little bare-bones. But nice enough, and thankfully for the franchise, not a bloody disaster.

7.5/10
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