Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular

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Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:23 pm

New year, new thread.

So I finished replayed Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep - Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. BBS is about the same as I thought before. DDD is a little better on the PS4 than on the 3DS if only because I can do the goofy Flowmotion acrobatics without hurting my hand, but the game still quickly dissolves into spamming Balloonra magic.

Image
^This meme is right. Dude fuckin' uses time travel as an attack and still falls to the unbeatable might of balloons.

Playing some other games now-

Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage - Jesus KH titles sure are a thing. I'm trying to mop up the Trophies in this before KH3 comes out...it kind of serves as a demo of sorts for KH3 and its...good! Physical combos are worth doing. (Some) bosses have actual fun patterns to learn. There's a little more though in using magic than BBS or DDD. I don't think it rises to the level of KH2FM but its easily better than any of the other games made after KH2FM, so it has me cautiously optimistic for KH3's gameplay, since its had two years of extra development time and feedback compared to 0.2.

The Witcher 1 - Trying this again too. I tried the mode where you primarily use the mouse to control Geralt with a kind of isometric camera and it seems to actually work a little better than the third person mode. We'll see how it goes.

Super Robot Wars EX - The sequel to Super Robot Wars 3. The fan translation for this finished a little over a week ago. It seems much easier than SRW3 is, though I'm still pretty early on in it. There are three playable characters, and the order you play them in and the choices you make with them affect how the story goes- its a lot like the Leon and Claire A/B stuff in the original Resident Evil 2 of all things, despite coming out several years earlier. Pretty neat.
Last edited by Raxivace on Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Thread Video Game Specatular Spectacular   Reply #1

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:28 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Also started Final Fantasy XV, but didn't get a lot of time with it yesterday. I like how it starts on this grand note with you as a prince setting off on an epic adventure with your friends to find your bride-to-be, and the next thing you know you're pushing your car down the road to the tune of Stand By Me! Pretty funny stuff! Though I didn't get much play time, I can already see what Raxi means by the chill, hang-out vibe of it. Will probably take a little time to get the hang of the combat mechanics, and I'm really not sure yet what I should be focusing on as far as Ability Points go... any advice here would be appreciated.
I think I just started getting the cheapest abilities I could, and just picked whatever sounded useful at the time afterwards. It's not a very hard game, so its not like you'll get screwed if you don't develop yourself optimally or whatever.

BTW you might want to watch the Kingsglaive movie and the Brotherhood OVA. The Kingsglaive movie gives a little bit of political backstory to the world, while the Brotherhood OVA gives some backstory to the party.

Brotherhood at the very least should be free and all five episodes are pretty short. Both came out before FFXV itself did.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Thread Video Game Specatular Spectacular   Reply #2

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:54 pm

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:Also started Final Fantasy XV, but didn't get a lot of time with it yesterday. I like how it starts on this grand note with you as a prince setting off on an epic adventure with your friends to find your bride-to-be, and the next thing you know you're pushing your car down the road to the tune of Stand By Me! Pretty funny stuff! Though I didn't get much play time, I can already see what Raxi means by the chill, hang-out vibe of it. Will probably take a little time to get the hang of the combat mechanics, and I'm really not sure yet what I should be focusing on as far as Ability Points go... any advice here would be appreciated.
I think I just started getting the cheapest abilities I could, and just picked whatever sounded useful at the time afterwards. It's not a very hard game, so its not like you'll get screwed if you don't develop yourself optimally or whatever.

BTW you might want to watch the Kingsglaive movie and the Brotherhood OVA. The Kingsglaive movie gives a little bit of political backstory to the world, while the Brotherhood OVA gives some backstory to the party.

Brotherhood at the very least should be free and all five episodes are pretty short. Both came out before FFXV itself did.
Yeah, I'm finding it's pretty easy so far, and since I spent (wasted?) a lot of time fishing so I got that "AP from fishing" thing and just started reeling in the points.

I'm just at the point where they were going to leave by the port, but everything went to hell and the king died and the Empire(?) took over. It does seem like there's a lot of backstory I'm missing here--I'm guessing those movies/OVAs would help with that--as there hasn't been hardly any exposition, but I've also been piddling around with random encounters and side quests and stuff to just get used to the battle system. So far, I'm finding these long car rides everywhere and the fact that you have to find a camp to draw energy once your magic's out a bit annoying. Haven't quite decided on everything else, but like I said I haven't really gotten into it much yet.

Do you know what the "episodes" are that came with the Royal Edition? It seems they have one dedicated to each main party member besides Noctis.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #3

Postby Raxivace » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:44 pm

The Episodes are DLC's focusing on the other party members that take place at different points of the story. Gladio' and Prompto's take place at a portion when they leave the party for a bit. Ignis' does as well, but his is probably best played after the main game because it can lead to an alternate ending for the story.

I liked the long car rides. I thought they were very relaxing, really reminded me of going on vacations with my family when I was young.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #4

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:41 am

I finished "Chapter I" of Witcher 1.

I really can't get over how clunky this feels- just moving Geralt around doesn't ever feel right (A problem Witcher 3 also would also go on to have in a different way). The damage seems inconsistent too. Like I'll be using the "Strong" style and hits will do like 11 damage sometimes, and other times against the same types of enemy they will consistently do 39-40 damage. Other times the hits will just complete whiff, its bizarre.

It seems like there's a decent story buried underneath the bad gameplay and the bad voice acting (Interestingly, this game's very beginning already has characters talking about the White Frost and such), but sheesh even for 2007 this is pretty rough around the edges and then some.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #5

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 am

Also I REALLY hated the area design in Chapter I.

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Maybe I missed something but from what I could tell there was no way to cut through the forest in the center of the map here, so you're CONSTANTLY running around the "circle" in the center of the map just to get to an NPC on the other side (Occasionally going to the spikes that branch off in the south or east, which can really suck if you're starting in an inconvenient spot).

The bigass river in the northwest is kind of obnoxious too, but again wouldn't be as much of a pain if not for that damn forest.

EDIT: Also one last interesting point about Witcher 1 I forgot to mention is that while you level up from gaining EXP pretty similarly to most other RPG's, you can only spend ability points (Or whatever they're called in Witcher 1, I forget the specific term) by meditating, which you primarily do at one of the many bonfires spread throughout the level (Though I think you can also rest at an Inn to do this, or be given the option by certain NPC's under conditions I don't really understand).

The whole system feels eerily prescient of Dark Souls 1 to me, where you can only level up at bonfires (But not Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 2, or Bloodborne where you rather obnoxiously have to return to the hub area and talk to each game's resident waifu to level up. One of the many improvements from Demon's Souls that Dark Souls made that subsequent games ignored for absolutely no reason. It made sense in Demon's Souls since that game didn't really have anything equivalent to the bonfire system in place, but that doesn't explain DS2 or Bloodborne).

FFXV is interestingly kind of the opposite, where you can spend ability points whenever, but can't actually level up unless you're at an inn or campsite. Xenoblade 2 is also similar to this.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #6

Postby Raxivace » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:29 pm

RE2 Remake "1-Shot" Demo is available now, though be warned- its on a 30 minute timer.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #7

Postby Raxivace » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:33 pm

I cleared the demo in 20 minutes and HOLY SHIT THIS GAME IS REALLY FUCKING GOOD!!!!!

The trailer you unlock ends on FUCKING TOFU MODE YESSSSSSSSSSS
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #8

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:02 am

I finished the main game of FFXV. Lots of mixed feelings on this one. The story is a real mess, probably reflective of the fact that the production itself was a mess--according to Wiki: started in '06 originally meant for the PS3 as a spinoff, changed in '12 along with the director, which also caused several rewrites. It's extremely rushed and shockingly short for an RPG. I haven't seen any of the multimedia stuff yet or played the side episodes, and I'm sure it can elaborate on what exactly is going on, but as a standalone game it... doesn't really work. To me, the only highlight here is the four main characters. Their personalities are appealing and the bond they form provides the only real emotional substance in the game. Despite the messiness, it's hard not to get the feels when Stand By Me starts playing at the end over all the photos you've taken during the game. I also appreciated the "epic" moments, with probably the most outstanding one being the battle with Leviathan. It's also really weird how after chapter 8-or-so the game just switches to being almost entirely linear as you follow the main story and you get disconnected from the open world. Like, none of the places you visit after that chapter have much of anything to explore or do except Altissia.

The open world side-stuff was more appealing for several reasons. Most of them involved battles--especially all the bounty hunts--and I generally enjoyed the combat system despite some problems. The main "bad" with the combat is that it can be extremely easy--it's possible to just hold the attack button and win most fights if you're over-leveled or food-buffed--and you can often be fighting the camera as much as enemies. The latter didn't always happen, but could be a major problem with large enemies or in dark areas. EG, fighting a Zu the damn bird would cover the entire camera and I couldn't even see where my characters were, or if you used a Blizzard spell in a dark dungeon everything would go black until the effects wore off, or if you were targeting an Iron/Red Giant up close you couldn't see what the hell it was doing while you were attacking. That said, I still found the combat lots of fun. Going for link-strikes with block/parry or blindsides was a nice challenge, the Wait Mode, Techniques and Armiger added an interesting wrinkle so you had to be conscious about their best usage, and I liked the interesting magic system with its crafting/catalysts that offered all different sorts of combinations and possibilities. The side stuff that involved finding things was less interesting--especially the final frog quest, which seemed impossible without a guide--but most of these were proceeded by a battle and weren't as common. Another reason I liked combat was that the enemy design is some of the best and most creative I've ever seen. It was always exciting encountering new monsters and never knowing what you were going to find.

Now for some quickfire points: World design wasn't as interesting as the enemy design. Compared to, say, Witcher 3, I wasn't nearly as enraptured just being in and exploring the world. Soundtrack was pretty awesome, especially during all the "epic" moments that involved choral music, but everything music-related was generally excellent (though sometimes towards the end the music was so loud it'd drown out the dialogue; who the hell did the mixing in these sections?). I enjoyed the fishing minigame (though it would be a real challenge catching every type of fish without some guide as to what fish are at what spots at what times), and it was really satisfying finally landing the really big ones. Also enjoyed the Justice Monsters V pinball game, though I'm glad I didn't even discover this until Altissia as I just played the one that cost 10K Gil to get all the top-tier goodies including the Onion Bangle, Dark Matter Bracelet, and Lord Vexxos doll. Dungeon design was rather disappointing. Besides Costlemark, they weren't very original, and were either too linear or like extremely confusing mazes (I got so lost in the sewers I finally looked online for a map/guide). Their design was also rather blah, with the only interesting one being the Malmalamadingdongstein forest. General tone/aesthetics were OK. I did dig the "chill" vibe that Raxi mentioned, but it still wore rather thin over time. Still not a big fan of the long road-trips thing, but it got better once I could ride Chocobos around and just auto-zip to various map-points.

I think that covers about everything. Overall a pretty mixed bag. I feel like there's a good game/story here that just got lost in the mess of a production. I am going to explore the post-game stuff as I know there are several hunts left to do, and I think there are some post-game dungeons given that several of the main-game dungeons had locked doors. Need to see if I can find a good post-game checklist so I don't miss anything I really want to do. BTW, I didn't even bother with Chocobo racing or Regalia racing. That first Regalia race was so godawfully designed it killed any interest I had in doing it again, and the one Chocobo race was rather boring.

Unrelated here: I've decided to change my rating system in this way: doing away with half-points, all my highest and lowest rated things get rounded up or down, and all those in the middle are spread out. So 1-4 becomes 1-2; 8.5-10 becomes 9-10; 5 is 3, 6 is 4, 6.5 is 5, 7 is 6, 7.5 is 7, and 8 is 8. Main reason I'm doing this is because it feels more logical to grade on a curve since I generally avoid bad stuff, which really makes 6.5 or 7 about the "average" game I play or movie I watch, so 6.5 being a 5 feels more right. This will probably lower my average score, but that's OK.

So, rating for FFXV on my new scale would probably be a 5/10.

To update the other games I've played on my new scale:

Spider-Man - 9/10
Bioshock - 8/10
Witcher 3 - 10/10
Final Fantasy IV - 8/10
Last of Us - 8/10 (had a bit of a change of heart on this; I think the story/character elements are so good it overwhelms whatever complaints I had about gameplay)
Final Fantasy XV - 5/10
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #9

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:14 pm

OK, I think I'm done with FFXV. I'm sure there's still more stuff to do, but after clearing all the level 99 quests/side-quests/hunts, and all of those "Menace" quests, I think I've had my fill. I was rather over-leveled by the end because I just breezed through all of these. The only semi-difficult fights was the Naglfar and Melusine fights.

Started Ratchet & Clank PS4 today and it's as fun as I remember the original game being. Put in hard just 'cause and I'm glad I did because it's just enough of a challenge on this level. Controls are smooth as silk and combat is still really fun, as is all the really unique weapons. Sometimes I choose weapons just based on what I want to play with at that moment rather than what I think works best strategically! I did get stuck on the sewer escape bit, but other than that it's smooth sailing so far.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #10

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:11 am

Finished Ratchet & Clank... a few times, actually, as it had a neat New Game+ mode called "challenge mode" where enemies were much tougher but, on the upside, you got to further upgrade your weapons. I don't have a ton to say about the game other than that it's lots of fun. It's not perfect: the story was meh, made ever meh-er by the awkward mixture of R&C: The Movie clips along with in-game cutscenes. Nothing flowed, and it wasn't even that funny or charming by R&C standards. Most anything not involving Ratchet--the puzzle-solving Clank sections, fighter jet bits, turret gun stuff--is also meh. The highlights remain the levels, combat, and fun-as-hell weapon variety. I mean, when a game has a gun that turns villains into sheep--and, when it's upgraded, turns them into goats that emit explosive farts at other villains--you know you're in for something fun! Bosses were challenging and fun but too few and far between--there's only three of them--and there are definitely sections where things get crazy and you're swamped with enemies on all sides so strategy (at least on hard) is a must. Still, it's hard to top the strategy of "throw Groovitron into middle of battlefield, get enemies dancing, pummel them with Warmonger and/or RYNO and/or Pixelizer."

Anyway, it's a solid semi-remake of the original. Nothing amazing, but good fun. Easy 7/10
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #11

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:41 pm

Sorry for falling behind on updates again but RE2make is continuing to look like humanity's greatest accomplishment as a species.

Image

One of the new bonus modes in the game lets you use the original PSX models as character skins. [biggrin]
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #12

Postby Raxivace » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:46 pm

I beat some games recently.

Silent Hill 3 - Finally got around to beating this. Good fun, final boss was tougher than expected. Don't have much else to say that I haven't said before, other than I think its interesting how it evolved the knight/princess theme that 1 and 2 had.

Yoshi's Story - The actual gameplay fun, though the level progression is bizarre. Imagine playing Super Mario Bros., except instead of having to clear 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 and 1-4 you just picked one of the levels and only had to finish that one and then moved on to picking one from the next set until you've only cleared a whopping six levels and then the credits start rolling. Yoshi's Story does exactly that- I guess I could go back and play the game using different routes I guess, it just feels like a weird design choice.

Resident Evil 2 Remake - Holy shit this game. So far I've only cleared "Leon A", "Claire B", and "The 4th Survivor" (Isn't Hunk actually the fifth survivor of RE2 though? I guess that's just vestigial of the original game where it was ambiguous whether Ada survived or not until sequels started coming out. This is to say nothing of other games set during the same narrow time period like RE3 and I think one of the Outbreak games that I haven't played.), but hot damn is it fun.

The changes are interesting. Gone are the days of tank controls and fixed camera angles, and while part of me will always miss the cinematic visuals, Leon and Claire control super well here. To compensate for their much better control though zombies are way beefier, and their general actions are much harder to predict (Somewhat similar to the Molded in RE7 in that latter aspect). This just means you can't always shoot from a distance if you want to for sure kill an enemy though, sometimes you'll have to just get up close (Which was true of the original RE2 as well).

The level design is clearly inspired from the original RE2 as well, though I miss some of what's lost like the weird fire puzzle room and and the original cable car area (In RE2make the cable car stuff is moved into the sewer section). While some classic puzzles are gone, there are similar puzzles that introduced too, even if they're in entirely different areas. Same with iconic moments in general- even if they don't pop up in their original contexts, there's an equivalent moment elsewhere in the game.

Some of the goofier notes are gone though, which is a shame. The "zapping" system between scenarios is gone too, though while I would have been interested in seeing it expanded it felt undercooked in original RE2 and I'm not sure its that big of a loss.

In general RE2make has a much more obviously realistic and "serious" surface vibe to it than other RE games, though the more you get into it the more the sillier video gamey stuff starts appearing and the contrast it creates with the higher fidelity visuals makes the game keep a somewhat surreal tone. Like you're still hunting down themed keys and animal medallions and chess pieces and such to unlock doors. One overly elaborate sidequest involves hunting down a USB stick (Did those even exist in 1998?). There's still a giant alligator roaming the sewer.

Also the sound design is really something to behold in this game. The way that Mr. X works here is that because the game is a much more persistent world Until you get to the point of no return and go to NEST, you often hear him stomping around, whether a few rooms away or on the floor above you, which is pretty nerve racking. He's got a badass theme too that starts blaring if he finds you. The biggest troll of this game too is that Mr. X will pop up in the A scenarios in addition to the B ones, which caught me off-guard.

Anyways the game is excellent as hell and easily the best RE game of the last five or so years. It's just really fun to run through.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #13

Postby maz89 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:59 am

Dammit Rax, stop tempting me... RE7 was fun but it was also stressful, lol.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #14

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:49 pm

Yeah RE2make is great but its probably a little harder than RE7 is (At least on the default Normal mode).

As much as I'm looking forward to going back to the game to do crazy challenge runs, KH3 comes out today and I will be playing that as soon as it comes in the mail.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #15

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:32 pm

The last thing I'll add about RE2make is that while the story is still ultimately a goofy Resident Evil story, they do a nice job of putting Leon and Claire in a place between their original RE2 characterizations and where later games in the overall story will take them.

Leon is stilly a dopey idiot as in the original RE2, but he's more of a go getter with a sense of justice (Ultimately he comes to Raccoon City on his own now after not hearing from the police after about a week, just to investigate what the hell is going on. In the original game his first day on the force just happens to coincide with when the zombie outbreak happens) that sets up where he ends up in RE4 as a more confident but still pretty goofy guy better.

Claire is still kind of a nicer version of Ripley from Aliens, but she swears like a lot now. Half the time during normal gameplay she'll cuss like a sailor, yelling something like "OH YOU FUCKER!!!" if you miss a headshot on a zombie because it turns at the last second. It plants the seeds for Revelations 2 Claire better I think, who by that point is just tired of dealing with all of this bioweapon shit but still does so anyways because she still actually cares about helping people.

Even without original RE2 for comparison, or even "later" games featuring the characters in mind, it also still feels like stronger characterization than like, Ethan in RE7 got. I still don't completely understand what Ethan's character is supposed to be, exactly. So yeah maybe not award winning writing, but its better.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #16

Postby Raxivace » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:26 pm

I'm having some fun with KH3, but apparently their big take away from BBS and DDD was that the games were, somehow, too hard, to the point they just flaout took away the hardest difficulty option from those games and make it you so you start already overpowered with a lot of high reward, low-to-zero risk attacks, which is just [gonemad].

The maps seem tediously big again too like in DDD which is a shame.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #17

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:04 pm

I got around to finishing KH3. I liked it more the further it went on but man it is waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy too easy of a game. Easily the easiest KH game. I know Jimbo harped on FFXV for being too easy but I never found it as easy as KH3 is, and I played on the hardest difficulty.

Also the secret ending to KH3 baffled the hell out of me despite following the franchise for like 15 years, which is basically how I like KH games best.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #18

Postby Raxivace » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:36 am

I'm trying a Level 1 challenge run of KH3. I'm still pretty early on but it does seem to be more fun/harder than a regular runthrough with normal leveling, which is nice.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #19

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:03 pm

OK, I played and finished God of War several weeks ago. Was planning on reviewing it/starting the next game, but my dad got really sick (some really nasty version of the flu) so I then spent the next week helping out and spending my precious little free time just chilling to music. Then, since I was working so much anyway, I decided to go ahead and start my spring cleaning early and I'm still not quite done with it. This is a hella mess every year but it was an extra hassle this year with all the other stuff I was doing.

Anyway, my belated review of God of War.

First, this is hands-down the most beautiful game I've played thus far. It's not just the quality of the graphics, it's the visuals and the world that those graphics are put towards rendering. It's rare that you go from one cutscene to the next without something catching your eye and taking your breath away. So it's an easy recommendation on that level alone.

Everything else I'm a more mixed on but mostly positive. I liked the story overall but I think there are some awkward/clunky moments that don't really click. I also don't think the game ever really betters its opening cinematics, and despite some really good moments afterwards it never really delivers on the promise of that opening scene (that's not a terrible critique but that opening sets the bar ridiculously high!). At times, it did seem like it was going for a kind of Last of Us vibe, except with father/son bonding rather than father/adoptive daughter, but it certainly pales in comparison to The Last of Us (but most everything does... at least from what I've played). The ending also seemed to really leave things open for sequels and possibly some DLC, so it'll be interesting to see where they go next.

Gameplay was similarly mixed but mostly positive. Though I haven't played Dark Souls I'm guessing this game was influenced by it given what I've seen of Dark Souls' gameplay. I started the game on Challenge mode, but I frankly just got bored with the combat because enemies became damage sponges and it was just a chore (more than a challenge) to beat them, so I eventually switched it to normal. This seem pretty well-balanced to me. There were still challenges later on--mainly the Valkyries--but at least normal encounters didn't seem like boss encounters because of how much damage they could take. Note to designers that will never read this: increasing difficulty should mostly affect the speed & skills of enemies and how much damage YOU can take, and only marginally increase the damage enemies can take. There were also some strange challenge spikes that happen if you choose to explore the various areas too early, especially after the water drops. I remember a particularly rough encounter with a Level 7 pair of Wulvers when I was only Level 4 that made me want to launch the controller at my TV, but eventually with a bit of luck I got through them.

The leveling system was pretty unique in that EXP is just used to purchase skills (which you'll quickly maximize) and you actually level up through getting better armor and accessories. This was basically the impetus for grinding through some late-stage optional areas that I did just because I get obsessive about this stuff, but man did that become a tiresome slog for stuff that really wasn't necessary (basically, getting to level 8/9 makes the game a cakewalk and kills the momentum of the story). I think I was kinda just worn out with it by the time I got to the end, but I blame as much of that on my obsessive self spending a few days on those unnecessary levels just to upgrade my fucking armor. [sigh]

Anyway, it's a solid game overall, but I think beyond the outstanding visuals I wouldn't say anything else was truly great. Final score would prolly be a 6/10

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a side note, the best YouTube gaming channel I've found is Girlfriend Reviews. Now, don't watch anything here for informative, insightful, criticism; watch them because it's entertaining as hell. Like, even when I completely disagree with what she's saying, these reviews are so fun and funny that I seriously wish she was releasing one a day rather than one a week (but they're so well done I understand why they take a week). I'm guessing Raxi would appreciate her KH3 one (no spoilers for this one; can't guarantee the others):
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #20

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:07 pm

Raxivace wrote:Yoshi's Story - The actual gameplay fun, though the level progression is bizarre. Imagine playing Super Mario Bros., except instead of having to clear 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 and 1-4 you just picked one of the levels and only had to finish that one and then moved on to picking one from the next set until you've only cleared a whopping six levels and then the credits start rolling. Yoshi's Story does exactly that- I guess I could go back and play the game using different routes I guess, it just feels like a weird design choice.
I remember loving this, but I have such a strong case of nostalgia for all things Mario up to and including the stuff on N64. Seemed a bit strange being so different from Yoshi's Island, but it wasn't exactly the first Mario sequel to be completely different from the first!

I have RE2 on my list. Since you've been at this for a while, how long in general do you have to wait until the prices come down on new games? There's a few new releases I have my eyes on, but ain't gonna be spending $70 on new games.

Was also really debating what to play next. Was thinking of maybe trying one of those Assassin's Creed games if only to see what the fuss is about.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #21

Postby Raxivace » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:31 pm

Kingdom Hearts stories are so fucking bizarre that I feel like if I even tried to spoil them that you guys wouldn't believe me about the contents of these games.

For example, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy straight up fucking die in KH3. At one point the main character, voiced by Haley Joel Osment, also dies and escapes from heaven to battle the Grim Reaper and reclaim the souls of Mickey and co. After winning, they send a message back in fucking time to an animated suit of armor to save themselves. Some people are even theorizing this has lead to a split timeline where on one branch the heroes won and on the other the Disney characters remain dead and defeated.

Is this a thing that actually happened? Did I just make it up? What about that time Buzz Lightyear got possessed by a time traveling demon? Have I made THAT up?

The world may never know...
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #22

Postby Raxivace » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:34 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:I have RE2 on my list. Since you've been at this for a while, how long in general do you have to wait until the prices come down on new games? There's a few new releases I have my eyes on, but ain't gonna be spending $70 on new games.

Was also really debating what to play next. Was thinking of maybe trying one of those Assassin's Creed games if only to see what the fuss is about.
I think new games usually go down in price after a few months. I usually buy things new though, since I get a discount by pre-ordering with Amazon. Or did anyways, until they changed their policy about that.

I only ever finished the first Assassin's Creed back in the day. Wasn't a huge fan but that game itself is like 12 years old at this point.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #23

Postby Raxivace » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:54 pm

LOL that girlfriend video is right, Kingdom Hearts is basically Lost but more complicated (And also more sensible IMO).
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #24

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Raxivace wrote: I know Jimbo harped on FFXV for being too easy but I never found it as easy as KH3 is, and I played on the hardest difficulty.
I wouldn't say I "harped" exactly. Thing about FFXV's difficulty is that it was mostly really easy (but fun) with some optional insanely hard uber-bosses mixed in. Though even with them because it was so easy to stay max-stocked on items it mostly became a question of how many you were going to waste on any given battle. I think the most Potions/Ethers/Downs I ever went through was like 30-or-so fighting Naglfar, though my vote for best superboss goes to Melusine, mostly for the design. But damn to fucking hell those swamp trees that keep blocking the camera! Seriously, game designers need to figure out a way to fix this.

Raxivace wrote:LOL that girlfriend video is right, Kingdom Hearts is basically Lost but more complicated (And also more sensible IMO).
I love how she said that: "You now how Disney stories have universal appeal so that even a 2-year old can understand them? Well, Kingdom Hearts was like "that's cool, but have you seen LOST!?"" *cue scary sound effect* [biggrin] Also, her Randy Newman impression was spot-on! She also did a really good review of Bioshock, which is the only game she actually played herself.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #25

Postby Raxivace » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:09 pm

At least in KH2 you save Christmas in one level. I bet kids can relate to that.

Or may you don't save Christmas. Maybe Christmas gets ruined forever. Actually this one I'm just joking about, you totally save Christmas and its rad. You even get one of the best weapons in the game for doing so.

And then you proceed to commit ethnic cleansing after saving Christmas because a wizard told you to. [sad]
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #26

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:08 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:At times, it did seem like it was going for a kind of Last of Us vibe, except with father/son bonding rather than father/adoptive daughter, but it certainly pales in comparison to The Last of Us (but most everything does... at least from what I've played).
Going back to this for a moment, while I haven't played God of War I was wondering if you had any more thoughts on the trend of fatherhood in games since you've played several of them in the last few months (BioShock 1/Witcher 3/Last of Us/God of War).

It seems like its been a pretty big topic in games over the last decade or so, presumably because of game developers aging and having kids of their own (Though I guess BioShock 1 predates this trend slightly).
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #27

Postby maz89 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:43 am

OMG! A 6 for God of War? It was, at worst, a 7.5. [razz] I loved the father-son narrative, the slow reveal of his mother's identity, that calm, soothing ending at the top of the cliff. I also loved the combat system! I think I played on the Hard difficulty, except when I turned it down to Easy when I had to fight the Valkyries. But, anyway, this is even worse than the time you gave a 7 to Last of Us. Seems like we can't agree on the rating of any game... except for Witcher 3... which is fine. That's the only game that counts.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend Assassin's Creed, but if you want to give it a shot, definitely play Odyssey (the latest one). The story is meh, but the gameplay is addictive and the visuals/world is gorgeous. Overall, around a 7-7.5/10.

I've started playing RDR2. Well, started is the wrong word, I'm 70 hours in, lol. If I wasn't obsessed with getting all the trophies (and getting the trophies is a pain because you have to get a 'gold' level performance in most of the missions, and "study" 180 animals and get a gazillion other collectibles), I would have finished the game by now. [giveup] It's a fun game with a very rich world (moreso than GTA V, in a sense), but in terms of mission creativity & variety, acting, characters, humor, story, etc, I think the gold standard for Rockstar Games is still San Andreas. Anyway, I'll come back to my evaluation of RDR2 after I finish it.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #28

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:02 am

maz89 wrote:OMG! A 6 for God of War? It was, at worst, a 7.5. [razz] I loved the father-son narrative, the slow reveal of his mother's identity, that calm, soothing ending at the top of the cliff. I also loved the combat system! I think I played on the Hard difficulty, except when I turned it down to Easy when I had to fight the Valkyries. But, anyway, this is even worse than the time you gave a 7 to Last of Us. Seems like we can't agree on the rating of any game... except for Witcher 3... which is fine. That's the only game that counts.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend Assassin's Creed, but if you want to give it a shot, definitely play Odyssey (the latest one). The story is meh, but the gameplay is addictive and the visuals/world is gorgeous. Overall, around a 7-7.5/10.

I've started playing RDR2. Well, started is the wrong word, I'm 70 hours in, lol. If I wasn't obsessed with getting all the trophies (and getting the trophies is a pain because you have to get a 'gold' level performance in most of the missions, and "study" 180 animals and get a gazillion other collectibles), I would have finished the game by now. [giveup] It's a fun game with a very rich world (moreso than GTA V, in a sense), but in terms of mission creativity & variety, acting, characters, humor, story, etc, I think the gold standard for Rockstar Games is still San Andreas. Anyway, I'll come back to my evaluation of RDR2 after I finish it.
Actually, if you back up a bit you'll notice I said I changed my rating system: no more half-points, so my old 7 is a 6 (7.5 would be a 7), so we're not that far off actually. I do think I just burnt myself out on the game by the time I got to the end--too much grinding in Muspelheim/Nifelheim--so the mother's reveal and all that stuff just didn't land as much for me. Combat I liked but didn't love, at least not nearly as much as, say, Spider-Man. I played probably the first 1/4-or-so on Hard but, like I said, got tired of the lengthy battles. Anyway, I did bump Last of Us to an 8, and as good as it's been in my mind since the gameplay frustrations have faded I could even see bumping it to a 9 eventually.

Thanks for the Assassin's Creed rec. I just know it's a huge series so it'd seem weird not giving it a try. I've also heard that the last two are very different from the earlier entries; any thoughts?

RDR2 is another I'll tackle eventually (probably after RDR1, since I'm sure I can find the latter much cheaper).
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #29

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:07 am

Raxivace wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:At times, it did seem like it was going for a kind of Last of Us vibe, except with father/son bonding rather than father/adoptive daughter, but it certainly pales in comparison to The Last of Us (but most everything does... at least from what I've played).
Going back to this for a moment, while I haven't played God of War I was wondering if you had any more thoughts on the trend of fatherhood in games since you've played several of them in the last few months (BioShock 1/Witcher 3/Last of Us/God of War).

It seems like its been a pretty big topic in games over the last decade or so, presumably because of game developers aging and having kids of their own (Though I guess BioShock 1 predates this trend slightly).
Yes, I've noticed that trend as well and I'm guessing it started with Silent Hill (at least, that's the first game I can think of with the theme). I'm not sure if I can think of a compelling reason for why it's become popular except that Silent Hill was perhaps the first game (again, that I know of) that used that theme to have some real emotional substance and impetus behind the narrative, and it seems a pretty safe/easy way to add such substance. That said, I don't feel any of these games used it too cheaply. BioShock's take was the most original; Witcher 3 had a lot of other shit going on; Last of Us really develops the hell out of it. God of War was probably the worst, but that game would be a completely empty beat-em-up without that plot element there. I just don't think they handled it terribly well once you get past the beginning.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #30

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:46 am

If not Silent Hill 1 then maybe the original Resident Evil 2 with the stuff about William Birkin (Though even if we accept that it only came out a year or so before Silent Hill 1 did).

FWIW Nier 1 is still probably my favorite take on the "dad game", since it doesn't paint the "I'm a dad in a broken world who will save my daughter no matter the cost" thing in an automatically positive light.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #31

Postby maz89 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:17 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Actually, if you back up a bit you'll notice I said I changed my rating system: no more half-points, so my old 7 is a 6 (7.5 would be a 7), so we're not that far off actually. I do think I just burnt myself out on the game by the time I got to the end--too much grinding in Muspelheim/Nifelheim--so the mother's reveal and all that stuff just didn't land as much for me. Combat I liked but didn't love, at least not nearly as much as, say, Spider-Man. I played probably the first 1/4-or-so on Hard but, like I said, got tired of the lengthy battles. Anyway, I did bump Last of Us to an 8, and as good as it's been in my mind since the gameplay frustrations have faded I could even see bumping it to a 9 eventually.

Thanks for the Assassin's Creed rec. I just know it's a huge series so it'd seem weird not giving it a try. I've also heard that the last two are very different from the earlier entries; any thoughts?

RDR2 is another I'll tackle eventually (probably after RDR1, since I'm sure I can find the latter much cheaper).

I agree about those optional places getting quite annoying, but you could have skipped them! If I was to rate God of War based on my decision to participate in some heavy grinding for the sake of the Platinum trophy, I'd have rated it lower too. [wink] So my rating excludes this little annoyance I faced, lol.

You mentioned that you didn't think GoW handled the father-son dynamic well. Really?! I thought it was beautifully handled, the ups and downs of their relationship. Kratos' cold, tough love approach, Atreus' resentment and longing, the mistakes made, the apologies given, the lessons that are learned and not learned, the fights and the reconciliations. I thought it was quite compelling!

Re:Assassin's Creed, I played around 4 to 5 of their early games until Black Flag, before I got bored and needed a much needed break. Didn't play one until their 11th one, Odyssey. Compared to the earlier 4-5, there is no doubt the game has significantly improved the things that weren't working, and built on the things that were. For example, the ship sailing stuff introduced in Black Flag has been brought back in Odyssey and it's much less cumbersome to use and upgrade. Missions have more variety; they were quite dull, boring and repetitive in the early games (there are still basic fetch requests here but the reasons given for the fetching are dramatized way better). The stealth is vastly improved and so much fun due to the special skills you can buy as well (Rush Assassinate ability is a gem). And this might be what you were referring to on the last two entries being different from those that came before, the new ones feature proper RPG elements in that you build experience, buy skill upgrades, collect resources and traverse through a large, open-world map. I don't recall having the ability to amass experience and upgrade in the earlier games, nor were there resources to collect or cool armor upgrades to strive for in those games. In Odyssey, they also took inspiration from other RPG games by giving some key decisions to the player, allowing for multiple endings to the main storyline and even for the secondary quests. If you decide to play Odyssey, one word of advice: do not try to clear the "?"s. It isn't worth it, nor is it required to earn the 100% Trophy (thanks to the developers). You can do as many of them as you want for the experience, but I'd suggest to do a few and then move on to a primary or secondary quest rather than get bogged down (like I did, early in the game).

RDR1 was great. I have only a vague recollection of it, but I do remember enjoying it quite a lot. Did you play GTA V, or did you say you'd burned out on those games?
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #32

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:47 pm

Raxivace wrote:If not Silent Hill 1 then maybe the original Resident Evil 2 with the stuff about William Birkin (Though even if we accept that it only came out a year or so before Silent Hill 1 did).

FWIW Nier 1 is still probably my favorite take on the "dad game", since it doesn't paint the "I'm a dad in a broken world who will save my daughter no matter the cost" thing in an automatically positive light.
I'd forgotten about RE2. Would have to replay the game to contemplate that one. Will have to check out Nier 1 too.

Your last quote/criticism really reminded me of TLOU. I mean, like, really. I won't give anything away, but that ending is a gut-punch of tonal/moral ambiguity.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #33

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:55 pm

maz89 wrote:I agree about those optional places getting quite annoying, but you could have skipped them! If I was to rate God of War based on my decision to participate in some heavy grinding for the sake of the Platinum trophy, I'd have rated it lower too. [wink] So my rating excludes this little annoyance I faced, lol.

You mentioned that you didn't think GoW handled the father-son dynamic well. Really?! I thought it was beautifully handled, the ups and downs of their relationship. Kratos' cold, tough love approach, Atreus' resentment and longing, the mistakes made, the apologies given, the lessons that are learned and not learned, the fights and the reconciliations. I thought it was quite compelling!

Re:Assassin's Creed, I played around 4 to 5 of their early games until Black Flag, before I got bored and needed a much needed break. Didn't play one until their 11th one, Odyssey. Compared to the earlier 4-5, there is no doubt the game has significantly improved the things that weren't working, and built on the things that were. For example, the ship sailing stuff introduced in Black Flag has been brought back in Odyssey and it's much less cumbersome to use and upgrade. Missions have more variety; they were quite dull, boring and repetitive in the early games (there are still basic fetch requests here but the reasons given for the fetching are dramatized way better). The stealth is vastly improved and so much fun due to the special skills you can buy as well (Rush Assassinate ability is a gem). And this might be what you were referring to on the last two entries being different from those that came before, the new ones feature proper RPG elements in that you build experience, buy skill upgrades, collect resources and traverse through a large, open-world map. I don't recall having the ability to amass experience and upgrade in the earlier games, nor were there resources to collect or cool armor upgrades to strive for in those games. In Odyssey, they also took inspiration from other RPG games by giving some key decisions to the player, allowing for multiple endings to the main storyline and even for the secondary quests. If you decide to play Odyssey, one word of advice: do not try to clear the "?"s. It isn't worth it, nor is it required to earn the 100% Trophy (thanks to the developers). You can do as many of them as you want for the experience, but I'd suggest to do a few and then move on to a primary or secondary quest rather than get bogged down (like I did, early in the game).

RDR1 was great. I have only a vague recollection of it, but I do remember enjoying it quite a lot. Did you play GTA V, or did you say you'd burned out on those games?
The thing is the optional places were just badly handled. One should've been early in the game, the other later, and they shouldn't have made it so grindy in order to upgrade your gear. So, yeah, part of it was my fault for being obsessive about it, but part of it was just bad design too (and I don't care about trophies; I just wanted the armor! LOL).

The thing with the relationship is that I think the parts are there but I just didn't care really for how it developed. For one, Atreus's turn towards being an asshole was just silly/stupid. Plus, the old "cold-hearted/jaded father/guy eventually softens up and shows emotion towards his son/family/friend" thing is an old cliche, and unlike with TLOU I just didn't think it developed naturally because of the narrative. Rather, there seemed to just be these big, clunky plot points where the changes happened, compared to TLOU's subtle accumulation of details and small moments and more naturally integrated big moments. It's one of those, "all the pieces are there, but not well put together" things.

Thanks for the AC rundown. That was quite helpful. I will start with Odyssey and then maybe check out an earlier one later on.

I never played GTA V but not because of burnout. I said I'd gotten a bit burnt out by the time San Andreas came out after playing III and Vice City so close together, but I've been wanting to play V because, now, it's been ages since I've played a GTA.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #34

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:17 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:Your last quote/criticism really reminded me of TLOU. I mean, like, really. I won't give anything away, but that ending is a gut-punch of tonal/moral ambiguity.
I'll have to play TLOU at some point I guess. So many games, so little time...
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #35

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:23 pm

^ It's a short one though, unless you play it on a higher difficulty. On Normal probably around 15 hours. When I played it on Easy for my dad I did it in around 11-12 IIRC.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #36

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:24 pm

I'm nearly done with my Level 1 Proud Mode run of KH3. It hasn't been too bad so far, though a couple of bosses (Namely the final ones of the Monster's Inc. world and the Frozen world) were a little tanky.

My whole run feels kind of moot now though because apparently DLC is already planned, including a new, harder difficulty mode (Thank god), and there are rumors of new bosses and story content.

I am excited though I kind of wish I had waited for this new stuff before replaying. I think I'll end up finishing this run anyways though.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #37

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:26 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:^ It's a short one though, unless you play it on a higher difficulty. On Normal probably around 15 hours. When I played it on Easy for my dad I did it in around 11-12 IIRC.
Hmm maybe I'll play it sooner rather than later then.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #38

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:33 pm

^ If you hurry I'll probably remember enough to actually discuss it!
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #39

Postby Raxivace » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:39 pm

Well apparently if its so short you could just play it again as a reminder. :P
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #40

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:49 pm

I'd love to get my mom to watch it but she's pretty stubborn about not wanting to do things like that. I don't know why. Only game I ever got her to watch was Metal Gear Solid way back when and she really enjoyed it... or at least said she did. Thing is, she loves emotional dramas and horror films so it's really right up her alley.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #41

Postby Raxivace » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:07 am

Alright so I'm at the endgame of KH3. Should probably only take me a day or two to finish it, though might be a little longer if getting the best weapons takes more time than I expect. After that I'll play Last of Us.

Dead or Alive 6 comes out in about in hour too though...that might delay things.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #42

Postby maz89 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:32 pm

No Rax. We need your thoughts on TLOU. It's time.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #43

Postby maz89 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:45 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:The thing is the optional places were just badly handled. One should've been early in the game, the other later, and they shouldn't have made it so grindy in order to upgrade your gear. So, yeah, part of it was my fault for being obsessive about it, but part of it was just bad design too (and I don't care about trophies; I just wanted the armor! LOL).

The thing with the relationship is that I think the parts are there but I just didn't care really for how it developed. For one, Atreus's turn towards being an asshole was just silly/stupid. Plus, the old "cold-hearted/jaded father/guy eventually softens up and shows emotion towards his son/family/friend" thing is an old cliche, and unlike with TLOU I just didn't think it developed naturally because of the narrative. Rather, there seemed to just be these big, clunky plot points where the changes happened, compared to TLOU's subtle accumulation of details and small moments and more naturally integrated big moments. It's one of those, "all the pieces are there, but not well put together" things.

Thanks for the AC rundown. That was quite helpful. I will start with Odyssey and then maybe check out an earlier one later on.

I never played GTA V but not because of burnout. I said I'd gotten a bit burnt out by the time San Andreas came out after playing III and Vice City so close together, but I've been wanting to play V because, now, it's been ages since I've played a GTA.

I agree. Badly handled, and also just way too long and tiresome. I know they wanted to showcase the amazing combat system they'd developed, but it just became really tiring.

Surprising, I thought that the whole father-son dynamic was just done really well. You're right, not original, but I thought execution was close to perfect. For me, it was easy to empathize with Atreus and his mood swings because he had lost one parent and the other one was being distant and moody himself. The conversions felt real and genuine to me. I also love how he learns of the world in 'subtle' way. Their journey into a dark, scary world reminds them that the world is not black and white. For example, I loved the literal reminder of this when they defeat the boss of the "black" fairies in another realm, who warns them that they made a mistake by thwarting the revolution. There is no resolution of this thought, but I love how the writers put it out there, adding to the mysteriousness of the duo's actions. I guess, another one in the 'agree-to-disagree' box. [wink]

I have a feeling that you'll be fine with just Odyssey. From what I know, the previous one would just be a lesser iteration of it, but if you like Odyssey a lot (even after spending 80+ hours on it), it may just be worth it.

Goddamit, I wish you could play San Andreas too somehow. GTA V is fun too, though. Shame Rockstar is not making any more of them after their GTA 5 Online has been such a roaring success.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #44

Postby Raxivace » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:13 pm

maz89 wrote:No Rax. We need your thoughts on TLOU. It's time.
IDK man DOA6 is very distracting.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #45

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:17 pm

maz89 wrote:Surprising, I thought that the whole father-son dynamic was just done really well. You're right, not original, but I thought execution was close to perfect. For me, it was easy to empathize with Atreus and his mood swings because he had lost one parent and the other one was being distant and moody himself. The conversions felt real and genuine to me. I also love how he learns of the world in 'subtle' way. Their journey into a dark, scary world reminds them that the world is not black and white. For example, I loved the literal reminder of this when they defeat the boss of the "black" fairies in another realm, who warns them that they made a mistake by thwarting the revolution. There is no resolution of this thought, but I love how the writers put it out there, adding to the mysteriousness of the duo's actions. I guess, another one in the 'agree-to-disagree' box. [wink]

I have a feeling that you'll be fine with just Odyssey. From what I know, the previous one would just be a lesser iteration of it, but if you like Odyssey a lot (even after spending 80+ hours on it), it may just be worth it.

Goddamit, I wish you could play San Andreas too somehow. GTA V is fun too, though. Shame Rockstar is not making any more of them after their GTA 5 Online has been such a roaring success.
FWIW, I didn't dislike the father/son dynamic in itself, it just wasn't terribly original or captivating. It just seem to pound on a couple of tonal points over and over and then have a few abrupt changes. I actually can't think of any films or games or series, maybe outside NGE (but there's it's really brief and well set-up), where a character goes from being a vulnerable introvert to being a badass. I did enjoy the conversations, though, as well as everything on the boat. I actually thought it got much more interesting when Mimir joined. Black Fairies bit may've been my favorite part of the game. I thought it was the most beautifully designed world, and the combat was extra interesting because those bastards wouldn't sit still! I also love the ambiguous nature of it that you pointed out. What did you think of the villains? I thought the Modi/Magni/Baldur stuff lacked a little meat, but in a way, the Baldur/Freya dynamic seemed more interesting than the Kratos/Atreus stuff! But they don't go too heavily into until the end.

Guess I'll do Odyssey, then. I've been putting off finishing spring cleaning so I can check out some new albums that were recently released (new Dream Theater and Queensryche especially--new DT is soooo good).

I actually picked up the GTA Trilogy (III, VC, SA) last time it was on sale, so I could play SA. I guess I could play it before V.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #46

Postby maz89 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:32 pm

Eva Yojimbo wrote:FWIW, I didn't dislike the father/son dynamic in itself, it just wasn't terribly original or captivating. It just seem to pound on a couple of tonal points over and over and then have a few abrupt changes. I actually can't think of any films or games or series, maybe outside NGE (but there's it's really brief and well set-up), where a character goes from being a vulnerable introvert to being a badass. I did enjoy the conversations, though, as well as everything on the boat. I actually thought it got much more interesting when Mimir joined. Black Fairies bit may've been my favorite part of the game. I thought it was the most beautifully designed world, and the combat was extra interesting because those bastards wouldn't sit still! I also love the ambiguous nature of it that you pointed out. What did you think of the villains? I thought the Modi/Magni/Baldur stuff lacked a little meat, but in a way, the Baldur/Freya dynamic seemed more interesting than the Kratos/Atreus stuff! But they don't go too heavily into until the end.

I was just watching the Girlfriend Review of God of War, laughing my butt off. So many jokes and fun visual gags (the "Milf" in Milfgard!). Anyway, the Modi/Magni/Baldur trio made for truly menacing villains (thanks to that early fight in which the stakes were nicely defined), and so I was just terrified whenever they were around Atreus. I guess, in a way, it did lack "meat" but I assume that was by design - the meat was, like you said, kept for the long Baldur/Freya showdown in the end. Like you, I was kinda exhausted by this point because of the relentless grinding I had done in the optional realms, so I guess we can chalk that up to our obsessive tendencies and - fine - some bad level design, lol.

Jimbo wrote:Guess I'll do Odyssey, then. I've been putting off finishing spring cleaning so I can check out some new albums that were recently released (new Dream Theater and Queensryche especially--new DT is soooo good).

Btw, my rating of Odyssey was a 7-7.5. The trend I'm noticing between our ratings of games is that yours are at least 1-2 points lower... so that would put Odyssey at a 5. [wink] I don't know if it is wise on my part to ask you to postpone those DT listening sessions for a 5/10 game. Haha. I hope you like it better than that though.

Jimbo wrote:I actually picked up the GTA Trilogy (III, VC, SA) last time it was on sale, so I could play SA. I guess I could play it before V.

Ooh, this sounds exciting! SA on the PS2? It would definitely be interesting to hear how you compare GTA SA and GTA V. It will be a long game though.

The Girlfriend Review of Spider-Man was similarly hilarious! The comments about the backpacks was spot on, and the visual connection between the "tacked on side games" and the board game for children was hilarious! Looking forward to the one on Horizon Zero Dawn. And I'll watch the RDR2 one once I'm finished with the storyline, because I hear there are twists and stuff.
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #47

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:38 pm

maz89 wrote:
Eva Yojimbo wrote:FWIW, I didn't dislike the father/son dynamic in itself, it just wasn't terribly original or captivating. It just seem to pound on a couple of tonal points over and over and then have a few abrupt changes. I actually can't think of any films or games or series, maybe outside NGE (but there's it's really brief and well set-up), where a character goes from being a vulnerable introvert to being a badass. I did enjoy the conversations, though, as well as everything on the boat. I actually thought it got much more interesting when Mimir joined. Black Fairies bit may've been my favorite part of the game. I thought it was the most beautifully designed world, and the combat was extra interesting because those bastards wouldn't sit still! I also love the ambiguous nature of it that you pointed out. What did you think of the villains? I thought the Modi/Magni/Baldur stuff lacked a little meat, but in a way, the Baldur/Freya dynamic seemed more interesting than the Kratos/Atreus stuff! But they don't go too heavily into until the end.

I was just watching the Girlfriend Review of God of War, laughing my butt off. So many jokes and fun visual gags (the "Milf" in Milfgard!). Anyway, the Modi/Magni/Baldur trio made for truly menacing villains (thanks to that early fight in which the stakes were nicely defined), and so I was just terrified whenever they were around Atreus. I guess, in a way, it did lack "meat" but I assume that was by design - the meat was, like you said, kept for the long Baldur/Freya showdown in the end. Like you, I was kinda exhausted by this point because of the relentless grinding I had done in the optional realms, so I guess we can chalk that up to our obsessive tendencies and - fine - some bad level design, lol.
Glad you're enjoying her reviews! I always laugh at them too and really appreciate all the jokes and visual touches (and the singing!).

See, Modi and Magni just didn't do much for me. For one thing, those boss fights seemed really easy, though maybe part of that is because by that point I had it on normal. Baldur was a bit better developed but, as I said, only towards the end.

maz89 wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Guess I'll do Odyssey, then. I've been putting off finishing spring cleaning so I can check out some new albums that were recently released (new Dream Theater and Queensryche especially--new DT is soooo good).

Btw, my rating of Odyssey was a 7-7.5. The trend I'm noticing between our ratings of games is that yours are at least 1-2 points lower... so that would put Odyssey at a 5. [wink] I don't know if it is wise on my part to ask you to postpone those DT listening sessions for a 5/10 game. Haha. I hope you like it better than that though.
Ha! Well, part of that is because I've changed my rating system, so they'll be lower from now on (and same will be true for film when I get back to watching them) so I wouldn't put too much stock in them. I mean, I enjoyed FFXV for the most part and I rated it a 5 too!

maz89 wrote:
Jimbo wrote:I actually picked up the GTA Trilogy (III, VC, SA) last time it was on sale, so I could play SA. I guess I could play it before V.

Ooh, this sounds exciting! SA on the PS2? It would definitely be interesting to hear how you compare GTA SA and GTA V. It will be a long game though.
It was on PS3, the trilogy downloaded from the PS store. I also need to get back to Metal Gear Solid some time too. So many games...
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #48

Postby Raxivace » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:39 pm

Good news: I've cleared the main story of KH3 again, and now all I have left is the postgame superboss to defeat. After that I will definitely play TLOU.

Bad news:

Hmm, he seems actually to be actually tough at Level 1? It's going to take a little longer than anticipated...
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Re: Rax/Maz/Jimbo 2019 Video Game Thread Specatular Spectacular   Reply #49

Postby Raxivace » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:48 am



"And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."

It only took me two entire days of beating my head against a wall to finish this guy off, but I finally did it. Now there's nothing really left for me to do in KH3 of any real meaning. I guess I could try and better my fight against this guy, because while I have the first two phases pretty much down, I couldn't really figure out the final phase where he glows red so I had to BS my way through it by abusing the Ariel summon BUT I DON'T CARE A VICTORY IS A VICTORY!!!!!! For real though I need a break from this game now.

Speaking more generally, the Level 1 Proud Mode run of KH3 drastically improved my opinion of KH3's gameplay. It's not quite the revelation that the Level 1 Critical Mode run of KH2FM is, but for the base game its still a huge improvement where during normal leveling runs you can tank literally the entire game until the very end.

That KH3 still has its own Critical Mode coming (Which means its own Level 1 run), alongside whatever DLC they come up with has me extremely excited for the future of this game.

Anyways with that all out of the way I guess The Last of Us starts tomorrow.
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