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Offline honk

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1000 on: February 24, 2022, 04:55:17 AM »
God of War

More like Dad of War. But this is actually really good. I think the key to this game's quality is just how well they integrate Atreus, the kid hanging out with you, into the gameplay. This stands out especially when you compare it to how most other games would handle the player always being accompanied by an allied NPC. Put simply, Atreus is never a problem. You don't need to worry about waiting for him to catch up if you're leaving the area, because he always appears right next to you, just offscreen so it isn't too jarring. You don't need to worry about babysitting or protecting him during combat, as he can usually dodge attacks just fine by himself, and while he can be incapacitated, it just takes a quick tap of a button to get him back on his feet. And most importantly of all, he's incredibly helpful in battle, especially once you level him up a bit and unlock the special arrows he can use. It really feels as though Santa Monica Studio went above and beyond in systematically removing every element of escort gameplay that tends to drag the experience down while retaining the parts that keep everything fast and fun, like video games are supposed to be.

The other gameplay elements are largely serviceable, if not spectacular. There's some fairly decent exploration and platforming, along with the occasional environmental puzzle. In stark contrast to the button-mashing combo-scoring of previous titles, combat is now a slower, more methodical hack-and-slash affair - nothing about it is particularly groundbreaking, but there's a nice and crunchy feel to it. Being able to switch between your weapons and your fists is a nice touch. I will say that the enemy variety isn't great, as about 90% of the enemies you fight are the same four or five basic monster types, and the minibosses in particular all feel like the same generic troll/ogre you fight right at the beginning of the game. The full bosses are great, but there are only a few of them. Don't let the padded bestiary fool you, either - enemies having slightly different names or categorization doesn't stop them from being pretty much the same old enemies. The puzzles are kind of lame, too, and particularly when it comes to the collectibles. You're almost always just hunting for hidden runes to smash to open a lock, or hitting a few chimes within a short timespan to open a lock.

Despite all the good things God of War has going for it, it would simply be an above-average hack-and-slash game if not for the story. The hokey B-movie dialogue and juvenile sex scenes of the previous games are replaced with a fairly simple story of Kratos and Atreus climbing a mountain to scatter the ashes of Atreus's late mother, while Kratos does his best all the while to teach his son wisdom and maturity, despite the fact that he barely knows him at all and is only too aware of the fact that his own violent nature and dark history make him a less than ideal role model. There are some things going on behind the scenes and some powerful enemies they eventually have to face, but for the most part, they remain focused on their task. This simplicity allows the game to put the focus on character rather than plot, and it's a genuine pleasure to watch Kratos and Atreus slowly grow to appreciate one another and help each other grow as people. There is one little detail at the end of the game I didn't like - the reveal of whom Atreus "really" is in the mythology. There are a couple of real-life mythological details that back it up, to be fair, but I still don't think it's a particularly good fit for him, and I suspect it was decided on more for audience recognition of the name than anything else. But that's a tiny quibble.

This game is great, basically. Can't wait to spend another few years waiting for its sequel to get a PC port.

HITMAN III

A tiny, tiny game in comparison to the two previous titles in this series. The levels are all significantly smaller, the number of unique challenges you can complete in each level have been dramatically reduced, only a small handful of scripted "mission stories" to help you infiltrate a location or get close to a target are available, when the previous games would usually offer seven or eight per level, and so on. It's just smaller in every possible way, and the fact that this game comes bundled with the previous two - something that I really appreciate, to be clear - only makes the comparative lack of content all the more noticeable. Almost all of my time spent with this game has just been playing the content from the two previous games. What a shame.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2022, 03:53:00 AM by honk »
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Offline junker

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1001 on: February 24, 2022, 04:22:49 PM »
The full bosses are great, but there are only  Don't let the padded bestiary fool you, either

Nice copy editing.

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Offline honk

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1002 on: February 24, 2022, 06:45:48 PM »
I am a dad of war. I have no patience for things like copy editing.
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1003 on: February 25, 2022, 05:13:42 PM »
Elden Ring is kicking my arse. I wondered if it was because the game is hard or because I'm a naked dude with a club. So I started another playthrough as a dude with armour and a sword, and I still got my arse kicked. The bosses in this game are serious. So far I have only beaten the Beastman of Farum Azula, an optional miniboss. Anyway, I'm really enjoying it so far. It's a very successful expansion of the Souls formula, with a bit of Sekiro thrown in for good measure. The horseback combat is oddly reminiscent of Dynasty Warriors and I can imagine Miyazaki getting a kick out of colleague reactions to the idea when he described how he wanted to implement it.

Of course, it's not all good. As is typical with From games, the technical side is lagging behind the incredible design. There are definitely some performance issues on PC, I've been getting stutters and frame drops despite my rig meeting the recommended specs. Hopefully it's fixed soon.

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Offline junker

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1004 on: February 26, 2022, 03:52:13 AM »
Elden Ring is kicking my arse.

i am also getting my shit kicked in, it is great

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Offline Clyde Frog

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1005 on: February 27, 2022, 06:57:33 PM »
Loving the Elden Ring ass whooping as well

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Offline honk

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1006 on: February 28, 2022, 05:49:07 AM »
ELDEN RING WHUPPED MY ASS

From have achieved what I wasn't sure was even possible and successfully transplanted the Souls formula into an open world. My biggest worry when I started playing was that exploration would be technically possible, while 99.9% of players would be promptly killed by overpowered enemies the moment they strayed from the path the story prescribed, but no. You really are free to wander even in the early stages of the game, and that's really the smart option so you can both toughen yourself up and hunt for useful equipment and items for when you tackle the main story. A lot of games struggle with horseback riding and go overboard in trying to limit how useful it is the player, but this game notably does not. You're certainly not invincible on horseback, but your horse is fast, can jump high, has plenty of health and stamina to work with, and in general just feels really good to ride. I'll probably have a few criticisms once I've completed more of the game, but so far pretty much everything is terrific.
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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1007 on: March 03, 2022, 05:25:05 PM »
Well, I just discovered a new bug. If you quit out after respawning at the Stake of Marika before Royal Knight Loretta, when you load the save you will appear in a void and instantly die. Not sure if this is just for this Stake or a problem in general but I found it pretty funny so I don't mind so much, even though the run back from the bonfire is kind of annoying.

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Offline junker

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1008 on: March 03, 2022, 08:57:27 PM »
Well, I just discovered a new bug. If you quit out after respawning at the Stake of Marika before Royal Knight Loretta, when you load the save you will appear in a void and instantly die. Not sure if this is just for this Stake or a problem in general but I found it pretty funny so I don't mind so much, even though the run back from the bonfire is kind of annoying.

it doesn't happen on ps5 at least

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Offline Clyde Frog

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1009 on: March 21, 2022, 01:14:03 PM »
It's taken me a while, I haven't been able to play it quite as much as I really want to, but I finally made it through Stormveil Castle. That place is no joke. I have a really major portion of Limgrave and Weeping Peninsula explored at this point - I'm sure there are things that remain to be found, and I know I still need to go back to the Minor Erdtree in Weeping Peninsula to kill the Erdtree avatar. I definitely need to do more wandering around Caelid too, but Liurnia is really fun to explore and just looks more inviting that Caelid.

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Offline junker

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1010 on: March 25, 2022, 09:37:16 PM »
I have become Elden Lord.

Excellent game, would play again.

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Offline Clyde Frog

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Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« Reply #1011 on: May 10, 2022, 12:59:32 PM »
I have ascended to Elden Lord finally. The final run of bosses at the end is not for the faint of heart. And there's a bad bitch that I have yet to slay and continues to have never known defeat. Which is to say, I'm not nearly done with this game yet.