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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:22 am 


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Rob wrote:
with Legend as the nadir, a total abomination

Heh, if it's restraint and solitude you're looking for, yeah, Legend ain't where you're gonna find 'em. Coming at it with no frame of reference or notion of how it might fit into the series, though, I enjoyed it for the cheesy romp it was; assuming they kept the atmosphere you mention intact, I'd imagine Anniversary would have a very different feel to it whenever I feel like having a go at that.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:51 pm 


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I can see the atmosphere complaint with Legend when compared to the originals, but at least a large chunk of it is grappling and puzzles. I couldn't even finish the first recent reboot with all the infinite shooting, hunting, and QTEs, occasionally passing by some ruins without actually doing anything. Those newer ones definitely look pretty, but I never feel like I'm actually doing anything of substance when it comes to adventuring and hardly feel in control of anything short of something pseudo-cinematic. May eventually give Rise a shot, but dunno, doesn't seem much different from '13 what I've watched.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:41 am 


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After two weeks of playing nothing but Left Alive with the occasional shmup break, I've learned all the mechanics in detail and I'm really enjoying the game. It's unpolished, unfinished, graphics are mediocre, hit reaction is weird, the AI is stupid, the stealth barely works, the cover system barely works; the game is objectively terrible. But there is something underneath it all, something that clicks once you know how to approach the game. Somehow all the jank comes together in the perfect storm to make it a really fun kusoge.

Or maybe this is just Stockholm syndrome?

Anyhow for anyone willing to blow $5 on it, just know it's not really a stealth game, it's more of a strategic cover shooter. Also it is possible to do stealth takedowns by exploiting the slide mechanic. The slide knocks down enemies, which leave them open for a lead pipe to the face. Probably not what the devs intended, but it's fun to hunt down groups of enemies across the map. It's strangely satisfying discovering effective strategies within all the jank.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:50 am 


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Seeing as I recently upgraded my NGPC with a backlit screen and picked up a NeoFlashMasta, I'm currently enjoying the English translation of SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters 2 Expand Edition. I played both the SNK and Capcom versions of the original back in the day and this is making me want to revisit that game since I recall the interface being a little more streamlined. That said, this is easily one of the most fun and addictive games on the system (and I'd say digital collectible card games in general, tho my experience with those is limited). Lovely graphics and a surprisingly comprehensive array of quality-of-life features for a 2001 game. I do wish it allowed suspension in the middle of a match (Neo Turf Masters has this, why not this game?), but overall it's a great way to kill some time. Looking to stretch it out a little bit because if it's anything the original, there's not a ton to do after you've reached the endgame (although looking at a FAQ, this one seems to have some additional challenge mode options).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:57 am 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
assuming they kept the atmosphere you mention intact, I'd imagine Anniversary would have a very different feel to it whenever I feel like having a go at that.

It is definitely more appealing, but it's like a streamlined version of the original with immersion breaking tutorials and QTEs, Sands of Time lite platforming (where the emphasis shifted from exploring to platforming) and with all of the lights turned on. I missed that curtain of darkness. It's like taking PS1 Silent Hill and replacing the fog with good day sunshine.

drauch wrote:
Those newer ones definitely look pretty, but I never feel like I'm actually doing anything of substance when it comes to adventuring and hardly feel in control of anything short of something pseudo-cinematic. May eventually give Rise a shot, but dunno, doesn't seem much different from '13 what I've watched.

Now I'm thinking of revisiting TR '13 to see if it's better or worse than I remember. I recall it being far more linear than Rise of the Tomb Raider, with more formulaic action sequences - every building Lara enters will either burn down or explode. The floor will always collapse, and Lara will be sent sliding through spikes.

Saw this in my Youtube subs today, for the old timer Tomb Raider fans: Tomb Raider Suite. Orchestral remakes of the old soundtracks.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:44 pm 


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Finally got done with Astral Chain.

I'm not a fan of the flashy character-action combat genre, though I did like Nier Automata up to a point. One early review of Astral Chain claimed that it was unlike something like Bayonetta, so I figured I should give it a go. I managed to grab the limited edition too, so hey, why not. I finished the game with 26 hours on the clock but I kept hoping after hour 10 or so that it would end. The game just has way too much modern elements that I absolutely don't care for, to the point that they detract from the fun of playing it.

The main thing is, of course, the combat. Because I'm not a fan of the genre I'm not exactly in the target audience, but I found it to be a mix of mild annoyance, frustration and boredom. First, the camera is pretty bad. There were many instances where I just couldn't see what I was fighting because the camera goes haywire. This was especially annoying when the Legion, the player's combat partner, decides to swoop off-screen to attack an enemy when I'm trying to focus both of our attacks on a closer enemy right in front of me. When I did manage to position myself so that I could see all combatants nicely, I was often bombarded with so much flashiness that I lost track of what was happening. Blue flashes, red flashes, purple flashes, yellow flashes - it was a visual overload at times.

Being a game focused on combat, there's also a gazillion options for it. There's you, the player, with three weapons and their combos, charge attacks, command attacks (down-up attack etc), items to use...then there's the Legion, of which there are five types, with their own combos, their special attacks (parry, aimed shot, ORAORAORAORAORAORA, etc), attacks unlocked from the skill tree, combination attacks with the player, counters to enemy attacks, Super Special God Mode that you unlock very near the end of the game...probably tons of things I'm forgetting.

I think I used maybe 10% of it all. As soon as I unlocked the big sword, I used that pretty much exclusively along with the first Legion the game gives you, only changing to other weapon/Legion if the game practically forces you to. My main combat tactic was "Get into the enemy's face, spam the attack button, dodge when the enemy gives you a mean look, use these two special attacks every now and then". Despite such a haphazard tactic, despite ignoring most of the combat options (there are items I have no idea what they do, I only ever used healing items), despite the problems with the camera...I still scored S+ ranks in about half of the combat events. I got S+ in all of the "Last Boss" fights, of which there were four or five.

This was on the normal difficulty. There's a harder one too which I guess would actually force the player into learning the systems, but you first have to play the missions through once to unlock the harder difficulty for that mission. I didn't care enough to try it.

So the combat just wasn't very fun for me, it felt like a chore. And for some reason, in a game where you have an interdimensional monstergod chained to your wrist, the devs decided to put in stealth sections. Just...why? At least there were only two of them.

And then there's the busywork. So much busywork. Admittedly most of this was optional, but I still did them because it gives you items and some points to upgrade your equipment with and spend on the Legions' skill trees. There's utterly mundane tasks like cleaning up your Legions after missions, fetching items to NPCs, finding cats and toilets in each mission, playtesting a game one of the NPCs developed, putting on a furry costume and listening to NPCs whine about their problems, and also tasks that are a bit more police-like, like helping a lost kid find their mom, breaking up thugs fighting, defusing a bomb, and so on. There's even a mission that's basically nothing but busywork tasks one after the other (carrying boxes, arranging cars in a small puzzled game, etc), until the end where you have to fight something again. If the player were to ignore all that fluff completely and do only the tasks that further the plot, the overall length of the game would probably be halved, at least.

There's databases to fill by taking pictures of people, places and enemies; achievements to achieve that also give in-game rewards, ridiculous amount of customization possibilities (clothes, colors for everything, Legion colors, none of which affect stats at all)...all completely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things but just there to pad out the game. After finishing the plot there's an additional bit available that's just combat challenges in the areas you've seen during the course of the game. I did one of them (S+ rank again), noticed that there's apparently 71 of these things, Nope'd out and took the cart out of my Switch. I'm done.

If there's something I did like, the graphics and the world-building were great. The setting was really good. The plot was okay, very anime-like and totally Evangelion. Whether that's a good thing is another matter. In a weird twist, out of the two available siblings you can choose to play as, the one you don't choose gets to talk the rest of the game (and gets some character development) while the player character goes totally mute the whole time.

I'm going to take a break, try to sell off my copy of the game which shouldn't be a problem, and hope Daemon X Machina hits me better.

EDIT: Just went through the artbook that came with the limited edition. Probably the best game artbook I've seen, lots of very cool stuff, they show how some characters' design evolved, tons of images of little things you don't notice while playing the game, all the in-world advertisements that are sprinkled throughout the game, cute little doodles of characters cooking, going for a run, etc. things they don't actually do in the game...there's even a story chronology that covers events before, during and after the game. This explained some things I don't remember being mentioned in the game at all. It even has the phrase "A meteor impact in Antarctica opens the first gate, starting the Third Extinction" in there, which really shows just how much the plot takes from Evangelion. And the more I think about it, the more parallels I find between Evangelion and Astral Chain's plots.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:59 pm 


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Xenogears is heating up. The plot makes me giggle.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:53 pm 


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getting deep into daemon x machina and feeling heartbroken :[

this is so close to being the modern armored core, but the hoops you have to jump through to collect and maintain parts & upgrades becomes completely silly. you need to collect parts as random drops from enemies, get higher quality drops to get upgrade slots, manage upgrade slots by removing them from other pieces and putting them on new ones, replay missions to fill out data charts on bosses like this is fucking peace walker or something, etc. etc. imagine an armored core game where instead of just buying the parts to tune your machine and getting a few new ones available here and there as either mission bonuses or sitting around in hidden spots that you had to research online which stages the parts drop from and then farm them until you get the good ones. also imagine that every time you switch parts, you need to go into a separate menu and remove - one by one and and through several prompts - all the upgrades and then move them onto the new part.

i'm fine with other things like the deluge of dialogue and world-building because it still fits into the way that armored core built up its worlds (albeit it's now considerably more anime), the arena basically being woven into the story by having constant mech fights, the less weighty but still intense movement, the new way that energy weapons are balanced, the way-too-many filler missions, etc. but i just seriously cannot stand how much fucking shit there is to collect and how much of a goddamn mess it becomes. the shop sells almost nothing and scrounging quickly begins to inundate you with dozens upon dozens of nearly identical parts that it's often a mistake to clear out and sell because they could be used as a component to make a better part, later.

i tried to ignore all this shit in the game for as long as i could, but it just gets totally overwhelming as you proceed.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:54 am 


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Ghegs wrote:
Being a game focused on combat, there's also a gazillion options for it...I think I used maybe 10% of it all.


Have you played Devil May Cry 3, by any chance? Because while I have many criticisms of Platinum's game design, I feel this one is generally not valid and comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the sub(?)genre, and DMC3 does the best job of teaching you why.

See, these games are built around the singular conceit of "make it look cool". DMC3 had a simple, ingenious scoring system for backing this up: never repeat moves. You had a huge moveset and the challenge was to constantly vary it in interesting ways while keeping up with the combat. The higher your rank went, the longer you had to go without repeating a move, and so the more you had to creatively take advantage of every single move and constantly think about how to combine them and what attack patterns to use.

So with that scoring system and play goal in mind, it didn't matter at all if there was one move that was the most effective against bosses from a pure survival standpoint: taking the most powerful move and spamming it over and over would in this genre be the equivalent of a cheesy bomb spamming 1-all at best, or credit feeding at worst.

Now, the problem with Platinum in this regard is that like Cave they become a victim of their own iteration, bloat, and complexity. In Bayonetta for instance, you have so many fucking moves that varying them becomes an absolute no brainer. So to compensate the scoring system becomes increasingly complex and meta with a wacky and unintuitive "chain 5 punches/kicks to raise multiplier than reset with special/wicked weave", which I had to look up on the fucking wiki to fully understand.

Still though, I think that the genre in general takes on a new life when you understand that just killing things or even ranking is always the lower of your two goals, the higher one being "make it look awesome". To some extent you are making your own fun beyond a certain point.
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Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:01 am 


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Bit out of left field this one, but I was in the mood to play some games with my girlfriend this afternoon. We sat down looking for something whimsical and the first thing that popped up was Untitled Goose Game, which ended up being quite a delight. Just a nice little environment-based puzzler that has you getting up to all kinds of hijinks as an 'awful goose.' If you're looking for a good game to relax and screw around with, you could for sure do worse.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:31 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Have you played Devil May Cry 3, by any chance? Because while I have many criticisms of Platinum's game design, I feel this one is generally not valid and comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the sub(?)genre, and DMC3 does the best job of teaching you why.


But clearly if I'm getting the highest ranks in combat the game thinks I'm playing it the proper way. I played DMC3 for maybe 15 minutes before getting bored. Like I said, it's not my genre. I understand the "make it cool" -thing, I just don't care about it, I don't think it's fun. Much like how I don't care about the scoring in Cave games so I simply don't do it, and as a result, don't really play those games.

One thing I didn't touch on in my previous post, is how I also kept my combat tactics simple because you might use over 10 different buttons (plus left analog stick for moving) in a single combat event.

ZL: Summon Legion
L: Legions' special attack
ZR: Attack
R: Unsummon Legion
X: Use item, hold down to bring up a selection pop-up
Y: Change Legion to the next one, hold down to bring up a selection pop-up
B: Dodge
D-pad up/down: Change weapon
Right analog stick: Adjust camera, activate lock-on and switch lock-on target
+: Activate a thing which you have to do if you want to see the boss' lifebar

And then there are combinations of buttons (ZL+X or Y; up ,down, attack; 360 on analog stick and attack, etc...), and special cases, like for Sword Legion's special attack that can parry you need to first hit L, optionally click right analog stick to activate slow-down, then use the left analog stick to adjust the slash's angle, right analog stick to adjust placement, and finally hit ZR to execute. That's four (or five) inputs for a single attack. Not exactly comfortable to pull off in frantic mid-combat, so I just never parried. It was all just too much for my aging brain to come to comfortable grips with even after 20 hours, as even in the endgame I would still occasionally hit the wrong button, so I'd dodge when I meant to unsummon my Legion (because B cancels out of menus, so my brain translated it must also "cancel" the Legion).

This is all my fault though, I knew going in that these types of games don't appeal to me but I still wanted to give it a shot because the visuals and the setting looked cool. My post wasn't meant to be a "These games are shit" -type of deal, more of a "If you didn't like Platinum's games before, you won't after this either" -type of warning.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:42 am 


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Ghegs wrote:
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Have you played Devil May Cry 3, by any chance? Because while I have many criticisms of Platinum's game design, I feel this one is generally not valid and comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the sub(?)genre, and DMC3 does the best job of teaching you why.


But clearly if I'm getting the highest ranks in combat the game thinks I'm playing it the proper way.


Indeed. Maybe it has tighter restrictions on higher difficulties? Not sure, otherwise the scoring/ranking is just borked (as I said, Platinum's attempts to iterate the basic idea of the genre leads to a lot of wonkiness). Though either way, like I said, since rankings only go to a certain point at some point your making your own fun and style with such systems.

If it's not your thing, that's fine. Though like I said I do hear the "one move is inevitably the most effective for getting through the game" complaint from time to time and I don't think it's valid as a "real" flaw or anything, though I get you're saying that you didn't mean it that way. Just something I wanted to point out for anyone who might be reading, I suppose.

I'm thinking I'll give Astral Chain a try, even though I do have a lot of beef with Platinum and think a lot of their game design is daft. I'm surprised to hear anyone could dislike Devil May Cry 3 though, honestly.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:45 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I'm thinking I'll give Astral Chain a try, even though I do have a lot of beef with Platinum and think a lot of their game design is daft.


I hope you do, I'd be interested to hear what someone who actually enjoys and plays these types of games properly thinks about it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:15 pm 


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it290 wrote:
Bit out of left field this one, but I was in the mood to play some games with my girlfriend this afternoon. We sat down looking for something whimsical and the first thing that popped up was Untitled Goose Game, which ended up being quite a delight. Just a nice little environment-based puzzler that has you getting up to all kinds of hijinks as an 'awful goose.' If you're looking for a good game to relax and screw around with, you could for sure do worse.


Heard this game is awesome from a trusted source and it's near the top of my list for when I get a switch again.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:36 am 


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have been playing more daemon x machina and liking it more. it still has a ridiculous amount of micromanagement that feels awful but i just dig that there's another single-player-focused armored core so much. i think i ultimately like it, but some of the HP values toward the end here on bosses and arsenals are getting silly.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:15 pm 


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kitten wrote:
have been playing more daemon x machina and liking it more. it still has a ridiculous amount of micromanagement that feels awful but i just dig that there's another single-player-focused armored core so much. i think i ultimately like it, but some of the HP values toward the end here on bosses and arsenals are getting silly.


How is the framerate on the full game? The choppiness on the demo killed any desire to play it for me.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:20 pm 


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it didn't bother me, but it didn't bother me in the demo, either. i remember a friend complaining greatly about it when playing the demo and being utterly baffled because the game felt pretty smooth, to me (i can't remember if she was playing undocked). i remember a review saying the framerate was fine. it chugs at a few points when there's a whole lot going on, but i don't think it's that frequent and frankly for a spiritually fromsoft game maybe i'm just conditioned to expect some.

- - - - - - - - - -

anyway, bunch to say about the game -

i finished daemon x machina and warmed up to it quite a bit over the course of getting to the end. i think i should emphasize right now that if you're an armored core fan that has been aching for a new game, this is for all intents and purposes a new AC. if that's you're only qualification for getting the game, i'd recommend getting it as immediately as you would a new game that actually sported the proper title.

while there are too many missions, too much to collect, and too much to keep track of, there is a limit to the number of parts and some pretty early parts can still outclass stuff later in the game if you're looking to totally optimize your performance, just like a *real* armored core game! i was within a single digit number difference of my memory limit on my most multipurpose endgame build but lightning fast and damned powerful - and i was using arms, legs, and a chest i got only about halfway through the game. this isn't just farming for the best stuff and constantly getting a newer, better thing.

the story is completely rife with over-the-top melodrama, but it has a certain charm to it of a previous era - feels almost like a ps2 game, though the character interactions get so involved that it feels reminiscent of an SRPG. it's mostly told in line with how previous AC games were with mission briefings, coms chatter, and some in-mission exchanges, but there's just a lot... more of it. like most AC games, you belong to a nest of mercenaries who take missions for corporate superpowers vying for control in a world ravaged by some mysterious catastrophe.

i like the movement and handling a lot, and i think the tuning adds a lot to the game (as it should). reading over people's builds and what they talked about, i definitely felt significantly more clever than many in creating builds that optimally handled what i needed. a lot of people complained about certain fights that were almost no problem for me with my all-purpose build (and especially not after tuning), but the game never felt braindead easy. there's no arena mode but the beef of the game is fighting everyone else's arsenal (aka their AC/core), so it ends up playing like they integrated the arena into the story, which is frankly just fine.

the feel of your mech is closer to AC4 than it is the original trilogy/expansions, which comes with its ups and downs. on the downside, you sometimes feel a tad weightless and lack the tanky awkwardness adding to the feel of really piloting a mech and not just playing a third-person shooter, on the upside, your extreme agility is a total fucking blast. controls most suffer with elegance when it comes to ascent/descent, but i think it otherwise flows superbly. very little clunkiness, but a pretty high skill ceiling to getting your movement down, especially when you build an agile frame.

one of my biggest problems with AC4 was that you could strafe boost *too* quickly compared to how you could rotate and it made fights awkward and sometimes outright unpleasant. movement feels way more balanced, here. you can still totally juke the hell out of chumps, but you can also rotate to actually shoot them.

- - - - - - - - -

some notes/tips if you're diving in but don't want to figure some of the more obtuse stuff out-

1. when bosses are bullet sponges, consider your weaponry a lot. some of the late-game bosses have completely silly HP and some of the most efficient weapons when you consider total damage dealt over its entire ammo capacity are shotguns. the big bosses have some serious chonk and shotguns require pretty little memory so you can build a fast frame with significant weapon support on its variety of parts to maximize their effectiveness. i don't recommend shotguns for fights against other arsenals, just the big bosses, but man are they effective on the big bosses.

2. when the story gets weirdly, spontaneously melodramatic about crimson lord & diablo, keep in mind their japanese voices are char and amuro's voice actors, respectively. there's some obvious mecha fanboy shit in what happens with their story.

3. try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff. pretend that parts can't have upgrade slots and try playing without them for the most part, then when you feel comfortable, start slotting stuff in. paying attention to parts having upgrade slots before you're far along is a huge recipe for getting super overwhelmed.

4. replaying side missions where you get partners that also have the potential for random arsenal invaders at the end can also have neat little bonus dialogue interactions to help add some little surprise to a grind. at one point, the secretly-an-AI lesbian flirted with her partner over who would cook food if one or the other one won the fight. i don't know, this is cute, i probably missed a lot of these because triggering them requires replaying a mission quite a few times and having both the right random free assist and the proper invasion out of a small pool.

5. farm enough to have some money in reserve constantly and then always build any highlighted new parts in the factory immediately. this stops you from forgetting what you have/haven't done and keeps a steady supply of getting shit done - many parts you build then later build into new parts. almost anything you make in the forge minus a few things can be found in the field on free missions, but going through upgrade paths provides some key stuff. get started on this ASAP lest it become something so weird & complicated late game you put playing off.

6. always keep one of everything or your system will think a lot of things are new. do not sell things unless you have a serious surplus and make sure you pay attention to what you're selling - there are minor variants of some weapons you might find favorable despite having less upgrade slots, etc.

7. if you're a big core fanatic, one of the biggest changes is that armor parts now affect weapons handling in sometimes serious ways. what you equip can dramatically effect your fire rate, reload speed, and accuracy on top of old things like your lock-on speed, range, and reticule size. this is not minor tuning information, this is a BIG deal. while effects might seem marginal taken by themselves, when stacked with character upgrades and a proper processor you can basically eliminate reload time entirely and have such a powerful fire rate you'll be killing story arsenals before they finish their dialogue.

8. if you build melee, do not spec your character upgrades into extra chain hits, chaining only works on one-hit kills on cannon fodder.

9. do not take the "blink" upgrade, or if you do, save before you do so you can test it. it's super fucking finicky and will make you want to reset your character build. a suitably fast frame can already boost quickly enough to have just as useful an effect, imho.

10. there's no competitive, just co-op, which i've yet to dive into.

edit 11. whoa shit forgot about this, going to append it here for anyone somehow reading this in the future - you have 3 different modes you can shift to with a cooldown timer using up/down on the d-pad. use the assault one frequently! it SUPER BUFFS your damage while heavily lowering your defense, and it is extremely good and useful.

- - - - - - - - - -

i would genuinely consider the game outright great if they had shaped up a few things and just made new parts available with story progression instead of adding dumbass grindy bullshit to obfuscate the nitty-gritty of how fun tuning your mech is. enemy AI has always been erratic and kind of bad in AC games and there's not a big change, here, but they really could have trimmed some fat off the mission list and maybe added a few more threatening fodder enemies than just ramping into an arsenal fight almost every single mission past the beginning.

as it is, it's flawed, but still a great pick-up for the enthusiast that has gone too long without one of these. i like it better than AC3, which felt regressive, and AC4, which felt just a bit off from nailing what it wanted to do. AC5 is dead to me because it was almost entirely built around territorial competitive multiplayer & rock-paper-scissors weapon/armor balancing, and i still think AC1 is fantastic and AC2 is a great follow-up.
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Last edited by kitten on Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:37 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Though like I said I do hear the "one move is inevitably the most effective for getting through the game" complaint from time to time and I don't think it's valid as a "real" flaw or anything, though I get you're saying that you didn't mean it that way.


That's definitely a real flaw. It might not be a fatal flaw, and the scoring system might go a long way towards covering it up, but these would still be better games if your moveset was properly balanced for both survival and style.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:03 am 


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it290 wrote:
The game didn't impress me much at first, what with its melange of modernist/brutalist architecture,
...
Yet it becomes more appealing the more it opens up, and as you progress you start feeling like a veritable telekinetic badass,

Have been playing this on and off for weeks and this basically sums it up for me as well, and by "at first" I'd go with the first half of the game. Navigating the large office complex is initially confusing and rarely enjoyable to look at or play around in, but there are ventures into more Alan Wake-like surreal arenas on the periphery. Started enjoying the action more when the levitation ability was introduced, though not best utilized in the cramped quarters of the main office hubs. I much prefer a game that starts a little weak but finishes strong to the opposite, and I think this is that, so I don't regret the $50.

Steamflogger Boss wrote:
I've seen the term unplayable used for base PS4.

I'm not a tech obsessed dude, but the only annoyance I had with it on the PS4 Poor :shock: is the few seconds of extreme chugging after resuming a paused game.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:06 am 


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The Pro has the chugging when resuming/loading sometimes too. I've also had a few instances where the map just fails to load which is really weird. Not the best optimization in this game.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:08 pm 


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it290 wrote:
I've also had a few instances where the map just fails to load which is really weird.

Same here, so I suppose this can be added as another slight nuisance. I don't think the mapping system is very well done as it is. Would've preferred something more detailed, for keeping track of places within visited locations that haven't been explored. Locked doors, at the very least.

Taking a stroll around the building post-game, and the random battles seem to be causing a lot more slowdown than I experienced during the main story quests. Still, the levitating, dashing, item chucking, etc. collection of skills is very fun and a shame to abandon. Wish there was an MGS:VR Missions type of thing.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:57 am 


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I tried out Ken's Rage on the PS3 the other day. Played the first chapter on Hard and couldn't get pass the boss encounter with Zeed. Guess I'm not worthy of the Hokuto Shinken succession. :| I'm not sure whether to keep trying on Hard or reduce the setting to Normal, since I'm not all that crazy about the game. I'm fan of Hokuto no Ken, but I never liked the Musou franchise that much. The one level I tried is basically a series of glorified corridors and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of enemy variety. I'm not sure if the game gets better after the Zeed chapter. It feels like a far cry from the PS1 Hokuto no Ken game (Seikimatsu Kyūseishu Densetsu), which wasn't exactly a spectacular game, but at the very least it didn't had much in the way of fat.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:16 am 


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Musous usually get boring. The yakuza style game is way better.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:23 am 


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I own that one too, but I wanted to try out Ken's Rage before moving on to Lost Paradise. I heard Ken's Rage 2 is a lot different, being a bit more Musou-like than the first game (technically, it's not even a sequel, but a complete do-over since it covers the first game's story arcs too). I didn't bother getting it, since I only own a PS3 and its digital-only in the US (and they had never put it on sale either).


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:32 am 


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I don't think I have bothered to finish one since some actual Dynasty Warriors game on PS2. Which one I couldn't even tell you but I beat a handful of them with a buddy.
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 Post subject: you don't deserve to live
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:56 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
I heard Ken's Rage 2 is a lot different, being a bit more Musou-like than the first game (technically, it's not even a sequel, but a complete do-over since it covers the first game's story arcs too).


Right. A notable change are the bosses. The first Rage has qte for finishing them of Hokuto-style. Rage 2 skips that for some simple input. As a whole 2 is way more lenient. Electing hard gives you enough to do from the start, while there is one final difficulty named 'Chaos'. I think 2 is more fun but a pal of mine saw it defiled because boss battles are interupted with :evil: cutscenes.

Playing it again I dig it for the rad '80s-style metal ost and chara designs. The games hit the spots for me on that end. The machismo and pathos do nothing for me. Toki and Kumo no Juza are my faves.


Jonny2x4 wrote:
I didn't bother getting it, since I only own a PS3 and its digital-only in the US (and they had never put it on sale either).


In Old World there was a retail release on both. And the digital 360 Rage 2 is delisted now.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:04 pm 


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So I replayed Ken's Rage last night and barely got pass Zeed this time. When his health is reduced below the halfway point, he will start gradually regenerating his health. The game encourage you to use your special moves to deal massive damage on the bosses and starts throwing you a bunch of zako characters to help you refill it. The problem is that your special move gauge refills at a very slow pace unless your taking damage and there's only one health recovery item in the boss arena. On top of that, the camera is automatically centered on the boss, which makes it difficult to run around the area and pick up the hidden spirit-regenerating items without losing focus. Unlike the last time I played the Zeed chapter, I decided to explore the map before proceeding to the boss fight. It seems more areas of the map are unlocked as you proceed through the chapter and you're giving certain stats bonuses if you clear sub-missions within the map, which also helped a bit in taking out Zeed in the end. I ended up completing the level with a B-rank though.

I get the impression Hard mode was designed around players who previously completed the game once on Normal and already has a fairly-developed character. You can actually change the difficulty setting at any point, but I'm going to soldier-on. I'm still not feeling it though. It feels like they cut too many corners to adapt the game's story in order to fit the Musou formula. I'm starting Chapter 2, which I think is supposed to cover the King arc or at least part of it, but they already cheaped out on the beginning of the arc by replacing Misumi with a bunch of NPC villagers from the game's first chapter that you must protect for their rice seeds.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:43 pm 


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In an attempt to focus on one thing at a time, I first finished the free-version VN 恋音せピアーチェ. Kind of hard to get into a story when the program is crashing all the time. I don't know what it's problem was, but it literally crashed over a hundred times. Didn't seem to matter what computer I ran it on either. I did notice an ominously named TWITTER.DLL file, maybe it was trying to phone home or something.

Then I went back to 幻想少女対戦. Pretty good as far as SRW games go, but it would be better with voice acting. I also think SRW games in general could benefit from a more comprehensive system of calculating the outcome of an attack to reduce the role of the RNG. Maybe something like the deflection stat in Pillars of Eternity where an attack can miss, graze, hit, or critical. Having to restart 幻想少女対戦 when I have a run of bad luck takes ages because of slow loading times, in that respect it accurately reproduces the experience of rebooting SRWFF on Saturn. Also notable in this game is the sound test mode with 90 or so tracks to play and an info blurb with each one. During the game there are parodies of Gunbuster and Gurren Lagann (and maybe some others that I didn't notice). But the stage with the 9-tailed fox character was kicking my ass so I took a break from this game.

Started playing アスクギア. This game is not bad but it's very linear and the amount of text to wade through is tiresome. Has an unusual system where you can temporarily freeze the enemies and avoid encounters, but depending on how long you use it the enemies will become stronger when you eventually do get into a battle. Has another weird system where you unlock equipment slots and upgrade your item carrying capacity, and then all the items can be restocked for a flat fee.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:28 pm 


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Having a go at the first Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii; currently in the third world someplace and things aren't too hard yet, at least when you're just trying to clear the stages as opposed to finding all the shinies, and there are plenty of ways to easily stockpile lives. The non-optional Wiimote shaking is, surprise surprise, incredibly stupid and has cost me a life or two, but that's honestly not my biggest complaint about the controls; that dishonor goes to how having Diddy with you makes performing a high jump off of enemies more difficult, since just holding the button down (which works when you're solo DK) activates the jetpack and throws everything off the rails. It's not impossible to time the press properly, but it is annoying to have to change gears whenever he's on board. I honestly had a bit of initial awkwardness with the movement and hit detection in general, but have mostly got the hang of it by now, I think. Wondering if I'll last once the game starts living up to its reputation as a toughie later on...
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:49 am 


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Fight'n'Rage is hella fun. I'm loving the supremely visceral overkills and the satisfying feeling of pulling off a long combo. So far I'm having the most fun with the grappler character (although I wish his range were just a wee bit longer) and the ninja—haven't really delved into the female character as much yet. The game is a mite on the easy side but provides enough fun mixups and branching paths to keep things interesting. I also love the fact that you can fall cancel after being hit, which isn't something I've seen in a ton of brawlers.

My complaints are minor—namely that player damage is pretty unbalanced in spots (the raft level comes to mind—it's super easy to die here if you misjudge a button press, although I'm sure with more thoughtful spacing and grappling it's largely surmountable) and that the backgrounds are pretty uninspired and lack much of a sense of place, unlike the games that this one is paying tribute to where every arena feels like its own distinct place. Overall a superbly playable game, though.
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