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PostPosted: Wed May 13, '15, 5:42 pm 
I beat Shadow of Mordor this past weekend. And hoo boy, was that game FUN. It never got too easy despite getting plenty of upgrades and even at the end, I was dying if I just got too many orcs on me at once. And of course, graugs and caragors killed me plenty. The nemesis system just got even more fun once you could brand orcs and mind control them, and command captains and warchiefs to kill each other. I had a great time turning a warchief's branded bodyguards against him. I actually went for 100% completion and got it, though there are still plenty of achievements and DLC left for another day. If I had one bad thing to say about this game, it's that the bosses are a huge disappointment. Way too easy, especially the final boss.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, '15, 7:37 pm 
Since I found out about the pile of fan translations for the original trilogy, I just finished the first of the Galaxy Angel PC games. I had some idea of how to handle the visual novel sections, and the space combat sections were generally pretty easy, aside from those times once a while where the game decides to put the boot in someplace uncomfortable. Wasn't really any kind of super-emotional experience like some VNs are or try to be, but I don't think it was really aiming for that.

Full review forthcoming.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, '15, 3:29 am 
Credits rolling for Beyond Good & Evil right now. Here's the (mostly) good and (few few) bad.

Bad

Controls - While not bad-bad, the controls definitely felt rough around the edges. I just never felt as in control as I think I should have. It does not help that there is only a universal camera setting, no separate control for the X and Y axis. And unfortunately, you can either have both normal or both inverted. Well, for third person games, I like my Y axis inverted and X axis normal, so yeah. I ended up going with my X-axis set opposite how I like. Fortunately, the game doesn't have much fast-paced action, so it's totally workable. But when things DID get chaotic in combat, the camera and controls were just as much my enemy as my actual opponents.

Combat - the other thing in the game that could stand improvement. In combat, you basically have 3 things to do...mash attack, hold attack, or order you AI ally to do their special move. Yeah. Not very deep. Again, though, workable and didn't hurt the game too much as it's not based around combat and is far more an adventure-puzzle game than anything else.

Glitches - again, nothing game breaking, but I did encounter a fair few glitches. The most frequent was falling off a ledge into blackness, left with no choice but reloading my last save. The second was a known bug called the lost partner glitch - apparently, you AI allies (and you basically always have one) can randomly disappear and you need them to proceed. I got this only once...at the very end right before the final boss. Thankfully, loading my last save fixed it and I didn't have to redo all that much.

Good

Story - this is the first part where the game really shines. It draws you into its story. Not giving spoilers, but the game is quite good at making you want to play just to see where it's all going.

Characters - the other major shining point. The main three characters were all interesting, compelling and entertaining, though one of the three did start to grate my nerves and I sometimes wish he would just STOP TALKING. But the main character Jade is the game's star. It is always, ALWAYS refreshing to see a game featuring a realistic not-sexualized female lead. The villains were also interesting, in the way of feeling always present but just out of reach until the end.

Gameplay - generally good, if slow-paced. If you want fast action, look elsewhere. This game is about the story, exploration and puzzle solving. But it does those three well and if that's you want in a game with a good story and characters to boot, this is well worth it.

World - the game's world was actually bit similar to a PSX or N64 platformer, with a large overworld hub area and the levels braching off, progressively unlocking. I liked that. It helped it feel cohesive but kept reminding you of the thing you were actually trying to save. It worked. And it's a perfectly interesting, compelling world with things to see and some side missions to do.

Graphics - Overall good. As the game is somewhat cartoonishly stylized, the graphics generally hold up well despite the game being 12 years old. I did play the HD remaster on PSN, so maybe that's why, but as a rule I find stylized graphics from the earlier days of 3D age a lot better than realistic graphics.

I can definitely see both why this game often pops up on people's underrated games lists and why fans hope to see a sequel. The end, especially a scene after the credits, leaves it quite open to a sequel, with things hinted at and who/what Jade is actually supposed to BE left largely unanswered. Not to say the ending was unsatisfying, but a sequel would probably be a net benefit. And having completed it, I wouldn't mind seeing one myself, just as long as the bad things I listed get polished up a bit.

Overall, I'd strongly recommend BG&E. If you can find a physical disc for PS2, Gamecube or Xbox, go for it. Otherwise, the HD remaster on PSN and XBLA are good options.

Edit: it is also on Steam and at the time of this writing, on sale for $6 (normally $10).


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Sun Jun 21, '15, 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 4, '15, 6:52 am 
Tonight I beat Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures on Steam. Even though it is a fan game designed for fans of AVGN, make no mistake, this game is a legit, well-designed retro-style 2-D side scrolling platformer. From a gameplay standpoint, this game is pretty awesome. Controls are smooth and perfectly responsive. The levels are great - challenging in many of the same ways that a classic NES game like Mega Man or Castlevania would be. However, the levels are in many ways designed to be intentionally cheap and annoying, usually to reference an AVGN video or something he frequently complains about in his videos. The last level in particular is designed to be aggravating as possible, but its hard to really get frustrated at the game as it's self-aware of its difficulty. It has plenty of secrets packed away, including hidden characters related to the Cinemassacre site and cameos of other gaming personalities like Angry Joe, Jim Sterling, The Completionist, Pat the NES Punk and Egoraptor. On that note, though, I was surprised to see a few big ones left out, primarily JonTron and Yahtzee.

The game, being an AVGN game, has a sense of humor. Most obvious is that every time you die, the game generates a random AVGN-style quote that basically goes "I'd rather....than play this...game any longer!" I can't recreate any of these quotes here, though, as anyone who watches AVGN knows how explicit his videos often are. This is where the game could fall flat for some people - if you are not a fan of AVGN, most of the intended humor will be unappreciated, and possibly annoying or even offensive if you don't like vulgarity. But if you are a fan, it's pretty perfect to see those quotes, as well as direct references to AVGN videos. And with the humor in mind, the game was clearly created for fans of the series. Highlights of references include the arcing rock power-up, a made-up death trap from his Super Pitfall video created in-game, and a level called "Boo! Haunted House," which is a running joke of the AVGN videos. And of course, the final level and boss.

If you are looking for a challenging side-scroller, and are either an AVGN fan or don't mind vulgar humor, it is worth a look if you have Steam. It was also recently released as a download on Nintendo 3DS, which is something I'm still trying to wrap my head around.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, '15, 12:02 am 
While I have never been one to waste my time with vloggers, I always have liked the Angry Nintendo/Video Game Nerd. Maybe 'cause he says things that are actually relevant to me, and not just "everyday" things. So I guess that game would surely be fun.

My latest game "beat" I suppose could be the first Persona 4 Arena. I finally finished all the characters' story modes (still at 99% of the story, because of some decision/branches in a few of them, though). It took me quite a while because my BF still has the PS3 at his home (and there it shall stay, he loves Disney Infinity and the LEGO videogames). Ah, we also beat the Spider-Man playset in Disney Infinity 2.0 together, so that counts, as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, '15, 12:07 am 
Icecypher wrote:While I have never been one to waste my time with vloggers, I always have liked the Angry Nintendo/Video Game Nerd. Maybe 'cause he says things that are actually relevant to me, and not just "everyday" things. So I guess that game would surely be fun.


I found it fun and quite challenging even on the easiest difficulty. If you're a fan of AVGN, I'd say it's worth it for that alone. I think it's $10 on Steam...not sure how much it is on Nintendo 3DS.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, '15, 4:22 am 
As I've alluded to the shoutbox, the game I've been playing lately is Spec Ops: The Line. Well, tonight I finished it.

There was one event in the game where, after it occurred, I had to put my controller down for a few minutes and go do other things in order to internalize what had just happened, and the choice I, as the player, had made, even if out of total necessity/is there really a choice?. It was then that the game's story started to spiral totally out of control. And that's what makes it brilliant...yes, you have choices, but ultimately, it's not really in your control. Your choices are largely meaningless, as the end result is likely the same. Yager (the developer) is definitely trying to tell you something, and it's this...war is chaotic, and while it looks like people are in control, no one's in control. It's horror, it's hell, and there is just simply not much glory nor heroism, and it is when you go for these things that the most horrible events and worst aspects of human beings can come out. The character you play as essentially suffers a total mental breakdown, and it's something that the player will likely share with him. When I posted earlier that I felt slightly physically ill and emotionally dead after finishing it, I am not kidding nor exaggerating, because I do. Spec Ops: The Line is one of the things video game narratives should aspire to be.

I won't bother to mention much else about the game, as most other points, as well as what I wrote above, I put in my Steam review of the game. In short, play it. Even if you're skeptical of or don't care for military shooters - something I would claim for myself, as I generally stay aware from Call of Duty, Battlefield and its ilk. But play this - and if/when you do, give it time for something to happen. If you play this and reach that something, you will know exactly what it is. And in saying that, if some people cannot press on after hitting that something or any of the horrifying things you see afterwards, I would understand.

For quite a while it was looking Shadow of Mordor was going to easily be my favorite (new to me) game I've played this year. It's found competition in Spec Ops: The Line.


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Sat Aug 22, '15, 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, '15, 9:43 pm 
Just finished Dark Souls 2, I took my time with it trying to do everything and killing off every last enemy (if you kill the enemies so many times on this game they stop respawning) it was some of the best 200 hours of my life.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, '15, 5:52 pm 
I completed Sound Shapes and got its platinum trophy on my Vita last night. A decent platformer with an interesting premise, and some extra side content. Some of the challenge levels were very frustrating, admittedly.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, '15, 10:10 pm 
So, thanks to devoting every remotely feasible gaming hour on one game and one game only, I finished up Trails in the Sky SC, meaning I've spent 100+ hours on Trails in the Sky from start to finish. And I'd do it again, possibly in the foreseeable future.

It's the first RPG of that sort and length that I've felt has actually earned being that long, like how it spends basically the first 15-20 hours actually establishing and building the setting while Estelle and Joshua are going on their cross-country trip before beginning to put the thing in any sort of major danger, so we get a game that really is about getting to know the characters before throwing them into some kind of crisis. It's a pretty unusual setting- not so much steampunk or modern fantasy, but a kind of "industrial fantasy", where the inherent principles of the setting's esoteric energies are understood (EP, the game's equivalent of MP, is an in-setting unit of scientific measure) and funneled into powering the widespread technology. The second thing is that Falcom just doesn't do world-spanning fantasy games, so all of the action is just confined to one country.

It's probably the strongest JRPG out there right now.


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