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SuperEuroNEET
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13 Mar 2019, 5:51 pm

^^^ to be honest, I really hated the time I spent playing Hollow Knight, and I'm a big fan of Dark Souls and not averse to a good exploration platformer. But the game and its art style are really ugly to me, to the point where it's difficult to look at the game for more than like ten minutes, and the areas are sparse with any kind of unique details or landmarks outside of certain special rooms. Actually, that's true of most games of this type, but the levels often seemed too large and too open for a game where each room looks basically the same and the colour scheme is so drab. There aren't any interesting movement-based abilities in the first few hours I played, and nothing special about the enemies, the encounter design, the bosses or your character's moveset.

I've heard that (as you also say) it gets better but I can't think that it could possibly be worth it to play a game that gives me no joy for that long.

Anyway, I've been playing more DMC5 and I finally got to play as Dante for like five minutes earlier, so I'm looking forward to playing more of that. V is sort of growing on me, but in the sense that I'm getting used to his really awful gimmick, not so much that I actually think it's good. Fighting easy enemies as him is fun but difficult encounters make you feel like you're fighting against the game to get your familiars to actually do what you want, while also being expected to pay attention to the positions of three characters at once and how much risk they're in.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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13 Mar 2019, 6:52 pm

The lack of interesting movement based abilities is why it took me two years of sporadic playing to get through the first first several hours. It's also why early game encounters are so dull, with most common enemies just running towards you, and most bosses not requiring more than hit and dash away tactics.

You eventually get special attacks, walljumps, double jumps, and dashes with invincibility frames, and when the encounters balance themselves around you having these abilities, the game is really good. The Dreamer fights, the final bosses and the Grimm final encounter feel well tuned to you having and having mastered these abilities. But it takes way too long to get those abilities.

The combination of aforementioned elements such as the lack of direction, and the lack of a good mapping system can lead you to play for many hours, defeating many bosses and uncovering much of the map without even finding any of these abilities, making the problem worse unless you just happen to head in the right direction early. Usually these sorts of games lock you from going places early unless you have a reason to go there, either by a complete block on access or with enemies that scale well beyond your power (think Sen's Fortress gate vs the skeletons in the Catacombs in Dark Souls), but Hollow Knight often just lets you roam entire maps despite them effectively being a multi hour dead end until you have something you don't currently have.

I've picked up a new game, Mary Skelter: Nightmares and played a few hours. It's a first person dungeon crawler that has some interesting mechanics, lifted from various games. You're hunted in the labyrinth by the boss of the dungeons you're exploring in realtime, who're invincible until you can find and defeat the dungeon's core. There's a system that feels like FFIX/DQXI's Trance/Pep system that rewards exploiting enemy elemental weaknesses and crit vulnerabilities ala SMT's Press Turn system. It's made by Compile Heart, which to me seems like a studio best known for churning out bland JRPG fare like the Neptunia series, but I've heard good things about the game, comparing it favorably to the Etrian Odyssey series. I'm hoping it's good, because I chose to get it over Nippon Ichi's Labyrinth of Refrain, a studio whose games I'm generally more interested in.

So far it's fun. It feels a lot like Persona with its bright and colorful art, modern setting, and battle system. The way the boss hunts you feels a lot like how the Reaper would hunt you in Persona 3, and I really like how stressful the experience of getting away from them is - the labyrinth gets darker as they approach, with it getting pitch dark as they chase you, and you lose the ability to see your map, which means you have to rely on your memory or risk being chased deeper into the labyrinth.

I don't like how much dialogue there is; the story in these games is largely irrelevant to me unless it's really good, which so far it isn't. And I do miss Etrian Odyssey's large amount of customisation you get from the start - I could spend ages at the start of an Etrian Odyssey game building my characters. Here you get the ability to change classes for your premade characters, but it seems to require resources that feel like they'll be gated at times through the game. Annoyingly, there's no feature to mark things yourself on the map, and filling out the map means traversing every tile.

I'd be really happy if Etrian Odyssey came to PC, it really feels like it would be at home there with its excellent map features that beg for a stylus or mouse. But this game will do for now to scratch that itch.



SuperEuroNEET
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13 Mar 2019, 11:13 pm

I always heard good things about Etrian Odyssey, but it sounded too hardcore for me, I'm not that eager to draw a map or w/e.

Also I have some doubt that Compile Heart could ever make a good game. I am literally alt-tabbing from playing Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 to say this. There's no way in hell these people could invent a good battle system, or anything else beyond that. I refuse to believe it.

My problem with Hollow Knight is that I can't actually imagine it being fun even if I had those movement abilities. Maybe some bosses would be good, but exploring these bland levels isn't going to suddenly become fun. The thing that defines Hollow Knight, personally, is when you get to that town and it's clearly supposed to be an incredible moment of discovery, except it's all just more of the same. It doesn't feel like a place, it feels like a level. Which would be okay if these were good levels, but they're a slapdash collection of rooms you move through,



Enigmatic_Oddity
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14 Mar 2019, 6:17 am

Etrian Odyssey I wouldn't really call hardcore, it's a nice mix of really old fashioned game design with features to streamline the experience that don't undermine that design. I like that you can make your own characters in it and are free to experiment with whatever combination of classes and builds you like. The games themselves are not really that different from JRPGs in general, because the JRPG genre was basically lifted from that sort of game, being heavily influenced by the Wizardry series.

To me a really hardcore version of this sort of game would demand you to draw your own maps, and leave you to figure out for yourself basic mechanics (like does a door take up map space, or where do you end up when you fall through trapdoors; Etrian Odyssey is always considerate to at least show your relative position if you fall down a level or teleport around the map)... that's something like what these games were decades ago, but don't really have the time or patience for now.

So far I'm liking Mary Skelter and I like its battle system. I just wish it allowed me a lot more experimentation; I can see each character has several classes and I just want to go wild making weird and broken class combinations. The battles themselves though are pretty standard, a mashup of mechanics seen in FF/DQ/SMT. I'm just having fun with it because I'm playing what's basically Dungeons and Dragons with a party of fairy tale heroines including Alice, Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the like, who are styled as flamboyant magical girls, prone to transformation sequences when they get too much of the blood of their enemies on them. It's all a bit silly but therein lies much of its appeal.



Michael Hart
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15 Mar 2019, 3:22 pm

Skyrim(ps3) GTA online (ps4)



Enigmatic_Oddity
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16 Mar 2019, 7:10 am

Played a bit of Harmonix's new game that's in early access, Audica. It's a very polished experience but like unmodded Beat Saber, there's only so much content and what's there is mostly generic electronica. But it feels great to play, and is engaging. There's been a lot of cheap clones of Osu! for VR but this is probably the best realised and stylish version of that so far. It's also much easier to play for longer sessions without getting physically exhausted, since it's much less physically demanding to point and fire a trigger than it is to swing your arms around at high velocity.

If the modding community gathers around it like they have with Beat Saber, it could be really successful, but I'm not sure how that'll go with a developer that traditionally has made its money with DLC in the form of additional tracks.



Still love Beat Saber though, the community has really taken to it, even moreso than games like Osu!, which saw most of its support from the Japanese community. With Osu! it was generally hard to find good levels that weren't Japanese tracks, but with Beat Saber it's hard to think of many things that aren't available, be they English or other language tracks.



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17 Mar 2019, 12:44 am

Odyssey for Doom 2.

This is a five-level wad, not to be confused with an earlier 7-level one with the same name or the megawad 2001, A Doom Odyssey.

Anyway, it's an excellent game. Just finished it in a little over 2 hours playing time (as recorded on the in-game clock), a very decent challenge but nowhere near too difficult.

https://www.doomworld.com/files/file/5387-odysseywad/


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NVLDAspie
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17 Mar 2019, 8:05 am

Nine Dragons Awaken on RedFox :)



Kuraudo7777
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17 Mar 2019, 7:27 pm

Pokemon Platinum, The World Ends With You, and Trio of Towns. I'm not too sure if I like Trio of Towns yet.


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Enigmatic_Oddity
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21 Mar 2019, 6:54 am

I am almost finished Mary Skelter: Nightmares. I loved the early to mid game, but the difficulty of the game seems to have stopped scaling to my level, even on the game's hardest difficulty setting. Battles have gotten to the point where all my characters can kill everything before the enemy gets a turn. It's a pity because there is a lot to like about the game. The art, music and presentation are all excellent. It has a lot of interesting mechanics, like the super powerful Nightmares which hunt you in each dungeon. It's creative at times, with a boss fight that reminded me of Demon's Souls Dragon God. I haven't gone out of my way to level my characters, this is just how powerful they get from filling out the maps and fighting what comes. I'm hoping the game picks up as I near the game's final chapter.

And whilst I've been coming up to the end of that game, I started playing Etrian Odyssey: Nexus, which is the latest in the series, my favourite series of dungeon crawler. It just came out, an incredible thing - a new Nintendo 3DS game in 2019. It looks incredibly promising, with a lot of the features of previous games and really ups the production quality. It was fun just spending the first hour or so just making characters, then spending the first several attempts going into the dungeon only to have to return after a single battle. Looking at the ability trees for the different classes it's evident how much depth there will be to this game. It really reminds me of playing these games back in the 90s, except I don't need pencil and paper to create maps or to jot down how many hitpoints enemies have. Just wish these games were more prevalent on PC rather than being mostly home to the portables like the 3DS and Vita.



SuperEuroNEET
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22 Mar 2019, 9:37 pm

I've started playing Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 and it's easily the best one, if only because the main cast is 1000000000x better and there are actual jokes (!) in this game.

Also I started playing Sekiro but I'm iffy on it right now. Bloodborne is probably my favourite game ever, and I feel like Sekiro was specifically not made for me... there's too much time spent on stealth-lite, the levels are too large so there's not so much of a tense encounter-to-encounter feeling where every moment is spent either in action or contemplating it... combat seems basic to an extreme, most of the difficulty seems to come from either bosses who have fast actions and the unblockable danger kanji moves, or from ambushes where you're killed before you realise what's happening. Also, playing Nioh for 100 hours really made me sick of the whole sengoku thing. Actually, I loathe to say this because Nioh was very much a game I played compulsively despite not really enjoying, but I think Nioh had better combat than this.

Another thing that really bothers me is how UGLY this game is. Bloodborne is still such a beautiful game, even in 1080p with weird frame pacing issues. I'm playing this in 4K with a good frame-rate and pacing (the performance on PC is better than Dark Souls 3), but it's just a brown mess and the (I think) TAA solution is way too blurry. Textures are inconsistent. Characters look especially poor. It's kind of cute and very From Software, but in this case it isn't a compliment, it's jarring especially when they're apparently trying to tell a story with cutscenes and a set, voiced main character.

Maybe I'll change my mind on this one but if I do I still doubt that it'll be a game that I replay a lot like previous From games. The stealth-lite means that a large amount of gameplay amounts to a simple procedural gameplay with brief moments of intensity.

It doesn't help that Capcom released two of the best games ever in the last few months (RE2 is top 3 games ever IMO) so my standards are unusually high.



EndlessStorm
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01 Apr 2019, 11:06 pm

I've been playing:
The Last of Us
SOMA
Detroit: Become Human
The Sims 4
The first Bioshock because it's one of my favorite games ever.


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02 Apr 2019, 3:42 pm

For some reason I just keep playing Paladins even though I'm trying to actually get through the campaigns of various single-player games I've started (recently, Breath of the Wild and Nier: Automata).



SuperEuroNEET
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02 Apr 2019, 7:09 pm

Okay I really liked Neptunia Re;Birth 3 (aka Neptunia Victory). It felt like a good sitcom, I don't know how else to describe it. There was a lot of comedy and fun situations, the villains were inept right until the end. The ending was bad but I didn't get the true ending because they conditions for it were completely arbitrary and unexpected, but from what I read it literally doesn't matter so long as you get the good ending. Plutia and Nep are my favourite team!

VIIR (aka Victory 2, R) is pretty great thus far. It doesn't have as much humour as the previous game, but the story is CRAZY. This game isn't afraid to mess with your expectations. I'm just up to the second third of the game (as delineated by the game itself) so I can't give a full opinion but I'm enjoying this! Even the battle system is improved.



EndlessStorm
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03 Apr 2019, 2:23 am

Outlast


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