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 La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5

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Rum
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyMon 10 Jan 2022 - 18:43

That makes more sense - the idea of 'essentials for the system' - but then again I'm not likely to recommend games that I haven't played or wouldn't enjoy playing. So no matter how much you claim Ori and the Blind Forest is objectively good, I would never recommend it over another Metroidvania. Nah nah! I might recommend Will of the Wisps though.

ANYWAY, here's a game I finished a few weeks ago that I forgot to do a write-up of:

Bayonetta

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I won't go into massive amounts of detail because most of us know what Bayonetta is all about, but basically: massive booby dark witch, batshit plot with prophecies and time travel, lots of shooty punchy kicky action, but also with some Nintendo-themed outfits. Playing Bayonetta again 10 years after I played it on the 360, it's aged a little bit - for example, it came out in the height of quick-time events, which are super lame - but I still adore it because it unapologetically makes absolutely no fucking sense, it's overly dramatic while simultaneously attempting to be silly and serious, and most importantly, it's fun to boot sexy angels in their chiseled bums and pert bosoms. It's chaotic camp of the highest order, AND you can dress as a sexy Link in a short skirt. Oh baby.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyMon 10 Jan 2022 - 21:27

If you're picking an essential Metroidvania to represent the system, there's really no reason not to be picking Dread IMO.  And those three letters are the point!

I'm sorry to follow up Rum's review of a game that I didn't get on with (for many of the reasons he seems to like it) with another so soon.  Maybe he'll forgive me when he sees which game it is:


Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

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The thing with the Ys games I've played is, I always start out thinking they're going to be better than they are, and they can never quite keep it up (ooh matron).  However, whereas VIII started off as damn good and dropped to moderately good, IX started off as damn great and dropped to moderately great.

It's another action RPG, and like in VIII the battle system's really good! Ironically closer to Bayonetta than Tales or Xenoblade in a way, with its parries and dodges.  Except here, there's a big focus on using your movement skills to get around, especially vertically.  Exploring the city of Balduq, with its spires and high fences, by running up walls and zipping around grapple points was a really good feeling, almost proto-BotW-esque in places.  The trouble is that you're given all the battle system immediately, and get the best manoeuvring skills early.  Once the shine's worn off them, the game can't quite maintain the hype.  You move from Balduq to wide open plains, which become more painful than joyful to negotiate; and the writing isn't good enough to keep the joy going.  

The writing isn't bad, to be fair, and I like most of the characters in your party well enough.  There's nothing as dull as Dana and her people in VIII, and the female designs aren't as egregious either (with the sizeable exception of the 'doctor').  It just never held my attention that well, not past 'why are there two Adols?' anyway.  That was a good mystery though, and the writing doesn't feel like the point of the Ys games.  They don't have to compensate for formulaic gameplay in the same way as some in the genre. That said, the overall story has one big flaw that's worth highlighting. Most JRPGs, because of the choice-free fixed-plot nature of the genre perhaps, give you a pretty straightforward good vs. evil narrative, yet I disagreed with a lot of the 'good side' in Ys IX. Very minor spoilers I suppose: Balduq was invaded by the Romun (yes) Empire some time ago, and the desirable state of affairs is presented as that continuing. While a previous revolutionary leader is treated with some respect, for the most part the remaining revolutionaries are presented as bitter angry and above all wrong young men. The desire for self-determination is squashed under the boot of 'well things are better now (for some)'. I ended up disliking this a fair deal.

Anyway, that's the politics over: let's talk graphics!!!!!!! And I've accepted that Falcom is never going to make a particularly beautiful game.  If VIII had a colourful tropical island hamstrung by that lack of expertise, IX doesn't even try.  Balduq is grey and brown and that's something I learned to live with.  The much-touted frame rate wobbles weren't as bad as in VIII I thought - maybe they've been patched?  And IX never crashed on me, which is another thing it has in its favour over its predecessor.

The game clocks in at 35-40h, which is shorter than many RPGs.  That's good: while the game may not quite keep up the joy of its initial stages, it doesn't outstay its welcome either.  Overall it's a damn good/moderately great RPG that I'd heartily recommend, just so long as you can put gameplay above story and aren't looking for every game you play to be a 4k solid-60fps graphical marvel.

8/10 (highly recommended for genre fans)
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyTue 11 Jan 2022 - 10:25

I'd take Ori over Dread every day baby. I'd take Guac 2 over both though.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyTue 11 Jan 2022 - 10:50

Never liked Guac 2 as much as the first one so I'd take Dread over that.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyTue 11 Jan 2022 - 17:40

Regarding the Ys series - whilst your write-up of Ys IX made it sound far less fan-service laden and a lot more interesting as a result, I still can't help myself from thinking that the series looks like quite generic JRPG fare from the outside looking in. Is that an unfair assessment or is there some truth to that?
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyWed 12 Jan 2022 - 10:00

I'd say it's super generic from a visual/story perspective, the big thing it has going for it is a good fun combat and exploration system. Not easy to convey just by looking.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyWed 12 Jan 2022 - 18:44

@Balladeer wrote:
Rum's review of a game that I didn't get on with

Quelle surprise!

I'm glad to see you liked Yx IX, albeit a little surprised how positive you were about it when you were a bit (a lot) more critical of Ys VIII. In my mind neither was really significantly better than the other - I enjoyed the battling and exploration mechanics in both of them. Monstrum Nox also crashed on me a couple of times and in the raid battles the framerate slowed down to a snail's pace more than once when too much was going on, which wasn't the case with Lacrimosa of Dana. Luck of the draw I guess?

@Crumpy Andy wrote:
I'd say it's super generic from a visual/story perspective, the big thing it has going for it is a good fun combat and exploration system. Not easy to convey just by looking.

Yeah, I would agree with this. They're structured in such a way that you get a little dopamine hit from exploring just one more bit of the map and finding just one more thing to complete just one more percentile, etc etc; and the combat is varied and addictive.

Otherwise, Andy continues to be one of The Controversial Opinion Boys along with mas.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyWed 12 Jan 2022 - 21:46

Right chaps, it's time for the official ranking of Switch Metroidvanias from yer man Balla (that he's played).

From best to worst:
 

@JayMoyles wrote:
Regarding the Ys series - whilst your write-up of Ys IX made it sound far less fan-service laden and a lot more interesting as a result, I still can't help myself from thinking that the series looks like quite generic JRPG fare from the outside looking in. Is that an unfair assessment or is there some truth to that?

Andy and Rum have covered this at a high level, and they're both right.  To go into a bit more detail: the battle system in both VIII and IX is like some unholy hybrid of Tales, Xenoblade, and an action game.  You're in a team of three and you have to slash foes, but there's no 'battle arenas' and you can roam freely, but also there's a lot of emphasis around dodging and parrying attacks to win.  It's ace.  As for the exploration, you get items for completing the map which motivates you, and your characters also run at quite a pace.  Ys IX adds more interesting architecture and specific exploration moves to it that are also good fun.

@Rum wrote:
I'm glad to see you liked Yx IX, albeit a little surprised how positive you were about it when you were a bit (a lot) more critical of Ys VIII. In my mind neither was really significantly better than the other - I enjoyed the battling and exploration mechanics in both of them. Monstrum Nox also crashed on me a couple of times and in the raid battles the framerate slowed down to a snail's pace more than once when too much was going on, which wasn't the case with Lacrimosa of Dana. Luck of the draw I guess?

I don't think it's that surprising!  In my mind, IX has three major areas of improvement over VIII, all of which matter to me quite a bit:
  • The additional movement options, and how they contribute to world and dungeon design;
  • The fact that it's not a Vita port, so the open world's less carved up, and I don't feel so short-changed when the Switch chugs a bit;
  • The lack of Dana, thank God.

Meanwhile VIII's benefits seem to be fewer technical struggles (not a problem for me as mentioned above!), a more colourful environment (ruined for me by being a Vita port), and not having a terrible homosexual stereotype (okay that one's valid).  All in all, I don't think it's too surprising that I prefer IX a lot!


Last edited by Balladeer on Wed 12 Jan 2022 - 22:50; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyWed 12 Jan 2022 - 22:25

Not played SteamWorld Dig 2? Your list is also backwards, just kidding as Dread is great.

VITA! VITA! VITA! Anyone got spare £150, so I can play Ys VIII on it?
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyWed 12 Jan 2022 - 22:45

I didn't play enough of it to form an opinion! I did forget that I'd played SWD1 though (along with several others I've probably forgotten), added to the Official And Correct List.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 6:27

That list definitely backwards now.

I think you and Rum are the Controversial Opinion Boys, not being a fan of the 88 rated award winning game, who would do such things.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 9:46

Right lads, what did I miss with Dread? It's the only game on the list Balla just posted that I don't really care for. Did everyone love it before they went and did a 100% collectible clean up? It's the only one on the list I've not 100%'d (apart from Alwa's Legacy as I've never heard of it), but that's because I just found the main playthrough kind of boring/not fun to navigate.

I liked the proper bosses (fuck the EMMIs) in Dread but almost every moment outside of that felt like a slog.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 11:39

See how good it is in the votes Wink
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 13:49

It's a game about exploring and you're Andrew Rice . . .
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 14:32

I wouldn't rate it as highly as some on the forum, but I do think you're missing a big chunk of the fun of the game by not going for all the collectables. Some of the shinespark and speed booster puzzles were dead fun to work out and there really is something moreish about combing an area for collectables in a Metroidvania. Plus, Dread doesn't have the problem that past Metroids had of having to meticulously shoot missiles at every block in a room as it's got that big white rectangle on the map highlighting pickups alongside the block scanner powerup.

It's strange as despite being a Metroid title, one of the progenitors of the genre, I didn't feel that the main story path leaned heavily into the Metroidvania trappings in Dread. There was more railroading than I'd liked, but I did enjoy the action well enough to go through the story to the part of the game where it gave you freedom to explore the map fully.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 15:09

To be fair the Shinespark is one of the reasons I wouldn't go back. I just could not get the execution of that down.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 15:22

Ah, so at the end of the day, it boils down to another "Andy is not good at games" moment. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 15:38

I'd say that was a shite cherry on a bland cake rather than affecting my actual thoughts of the game Razz
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 15:49

Even though it was my GOTY (you can listen to Pod of War to findout more), not sure it will make my Top 10 Switch games though or if it come out 2020 if I'd rank so highly.

But see in March when do the Switch vote.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 18:06

@Balladeer wrote:
I don't think it's that surprising!  In my mind, IX has three major areas of improvement over VIII, all of which matter to me quite a bit:

  • The additional movement options, and how they contribute to world and dungeon design;
  • The fact that it's not a Vita port, so the open world's less carved up, and I don't feel so short-changed when the Switch chugs a bit;
  • The lack of Dana, thank God.

Meanwhile VIII's benefits seem to be fewer technical struggles (not a problem for me as mentioned above!), a more colourful environment (ruined for me by being a Vita port), and not having a terrible homosexual stereotype (okay that one's valid).  All in all, I don't think it's too surprising that I prefer IX a lot!

I just never had it constantly (if ever, to be honest) going through my head that it was a Vita port, and while Dana was boring, I didn't think she was particularly worse than a whole host of other tedious JRPG characters. I also didn't really mind Chante either, though. Anyway - I am genuinely glad you liked it, just surprised you liked it as much as you did when you have been known to be quite critical of lesser things. Razz

@masofdas wrote:
I think you and Rum are the Controversial Opinion Boys, not being a fan of the 88 rated award winning game, who would do such things.

Haha, by that I just meant that Andy is known to have contrary opinions on some games, and we all know there are 'mas games' like Journey and GRIS that a lot of us don't really care for. I don't agree with Balla's earlier Metroidvania list, but I do agree with him that Ori 1 isn't top banana. It's not necessarily bottom banana but it's not the banana I'd go for.

Also, Metroid Dread wasn't my top Metroid but I enjoyed it a lot.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 19:21

Surely that does make ya the Controversial Opinion Boys with those two "mas" games, as think more so not liking such a highly regarded game then not liking it Controversial.

Part from the one me, Andy and Sterling don't like, we're clearly correct.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyThu 13 Jan 2022 - 22:45

??? It's well known around these parts that you LOVE games like GRIS but most of the rest of us are very non-plussed. I don't think I'm saying anything new there!
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyFri 14 Jan 2022 - 3:46

I actively think GRIS was a borderline offensive pile of shit.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyFri 14 Jan 2022 - 6:37

I let you off though Buska, you're not like that Andy though hates everything be it Dread, Journey or BotW, so crump.

Bet he has parties in his garden.
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PostSubject: Re: La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5   La5t Game You Fini5hed And Your Thought5 - Page 7 EmptyFri 14 Jan 2022 - 9:30

I don't hate BOTW mate, I just don't think it's the best Zelda Laughing
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