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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:38 am 


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Sengoku Strider wrote:
I'm struck by them seemingly being a step back in this department

I'm definitely in the camp of OG Shinobi being the best in the series.
It was better off being a clear cut Rolling Thunder clone.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:28 pm 


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Starwars: Squadron's at the moment - much as I've disliked the EA / Disney SW's games thus far (JFO was okay) I have to say it's pretty amazing, I'm practically living on it at the moment, it really does take me back to the old DOS Tie Fighter game, though obviously it has the graphics we all dreamed the game could be back then. My only gripe is that they've squeezed the timeline in immediately after the destruction of the 2nd Death Star i.e. the end of anything interesting. I'd have much rather they'd just stuck it in during the events of the original trilogy so we got to fight in some of the big landmark battles (such as defending / attacking a death star) I can see why they did it though.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:36 pm 


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Now that my Genesis and Saturn are hooked up to some candy cabs I've been enjoying some of my childhood favorites including:

Guardian Heroes - Way too much text to wait through, but I still enjoy the gameplay and branching paths.

Streets of Rage - First in the series has a special place for me, took a handful of tries before clearing it with the default continues. I'll move onto SoR2 sortly, only played SoR3 once or twice, but the US port had the difficulty ramped up so maybe I'll hunt down the JP version (or a $7 chinese cart).

Ristar - This I got kinda recently along with a bunch of other loose carts I was after. I like the aesthetic, but can't really get into the gameplay. I'm not big on platformers in general, and it doesn't help that stage 2 is a kinda annoying water level.

Up next, I'm going to try to relearn which weapons to use in Gunstar Heroes. Maybe give Rocket Knight Adventure an honest attempt finally.

Any recommendations for other arcade style Megadrive/Genesis or Saturn games would be welcome. I was thinking about Comix Zone, Punisher, Dahna, El Viento, Golden Axe 2...
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:32 pm 


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chempop wrote:
Streets of Rage - First in the series has a special place for me, took a handful of tries before clearing it with the default continues. I'll move onto SoR2 sortly, only played SoR3 once or twice, but the US port had the difficulty ramped up so maybe I'll hunt down the JP version (or a $7 chinese cart).


Last year I put some work into SOR1 and got the 1CC, the main roadblock was the 2 Mona and Lisa fights (particularly the one before Mr X) but once I learned the back-kick trick with Adam (who is my character for the game) this saved quite a few lives. The rest of the game is basically just learning enemy patterns / placements and a few other boss exploits, to hopefully have max lives by the time I reach Mr X - that fight I can offer no advice other than punch, kick and tank he always takes at least 5 lives off me before he goes down.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:03 am 


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Just finished Serious Sam 4 on normal. Positive!

There are 3 things to know if you're considering buying the game:

1) It's clearly a rush job. Some people have terrible performance, I wasn't one of them. You'll need to dig through a russian doll of an options menu to get at the incredibly granular options to squeeze the best performance out of it (kill depth of field for a big boost). Also quality is all over the map, enemies like the processed are incredibly detailed and well-animated while your human teammates are stiffly animated googly-eyed puppets. Note that they're patching furiously and the steam ratings have in one week migrated from "Mostly Positive" to "Very Positive."

2) None of the new stuff lives up to the hype, with one exception. It's all either mediocre (driving your bike through the French countryside, expanded storyline) or over too quickly (mech piloting, legion system). Fortunately nothing is actually unfun, like the bouncy rooms from second encounter, just underwhelming compared to the hype. The one exception is dual-wielding any type of weapon, which massively boosts your tactical options. That leads me to:

3) The core Serious Sam gameplay is the best in the entire series. Weapons are lovingly detailed, pack a terrific punch, and all fill key niches the original games sorely needed, like the penetrating shells of the devastator rifle. Likewise enemy design greatly expands the tactical puzzle and several enemy types actively punish cheese tactics from the previous game. Plus the AI companions, when they are around, are invincible and don't do friendly fire so they never prove a hindrance. If you like Serious Sam games, all the gameplay you loved in previous games is where all the love and attention went for this game.

I'll be writing a full review in a couple days.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:55 pm 


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Any recommendations for other arcade style Megadrive/Genesis or Saturn games would be welcome. I was thinking about Comix Zone, Punisher

Kinda/sorta along the same lines as Punisher (which is awesome btw), you may want to check out the MD version of Dick Tracy (not the crappy NES version). It's standard action-platformer fare with the gimmick of enemies springing up in the background allowing you to blow the shit out of them and pretty much everything else (windows, streetlights, cars, etc.). It's simple, but clever and a ton of fun. Helped by it being all done in the fitting and attractive '40s funny-book graphical style.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:15 pm 



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I've been playing the Residen Evil 3 remake. I'll probably wrap it up tonight. I played through the original RE3 way back when in the early 00's. The original is a solid, but not spectacular game and I think the same thing applies to the Remake as well. Everything works well, visually the game is stunning, and its fun to play. I like the responsiveness of the controls and the immediacy of it all compared to many modern games. Too many games these days have long boring treks through a big map, side quests, padding, and prioritize animation over responsiveness and its nice to play something that puts the gameplay front and center.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:24 pm 


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To Far Away Times wrote:
I played through the original RE3 way back when in the early 00's.


The only RE game I didn't finish (I haven't ever played 6 or 7). I got the very end and then life got busy, etc. I remember there being a lot of very frustrating moments.
Glad to hear the remake is on par with it at least.

I downloaded and played the demo of remake2 and I thought the mechanics were interesting. The zombies were a lot harder to kill than in the original, and the hallways and camera perspective made it difficult (at least it felt difficult) to squeeze by them like you can generally do in the originals.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:42 pm 



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One interesting wrinkle in the RE2 remake that might not be apparent from the demo is that zombies can continue to spawn in rooms that have broken windows unless you board them up. Coupled with RE2's limited and non respawning ammo, you can get yourself in to pretty nasty situations where you won't be able to kill zombies but will have to evade them instead.

Later on, as you become more comfortable weaving between zombies some new mechanics are introduced that make the left over zombies much more threatening. It's incredibly brilliant game design and super stressful (but in a fun way).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:41 am 


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vol.2 wrote:
To Far Away Times wrote:
I played through the original RE3 way back when in the early 00's.


The only RE game I didn't finish (I haven't ever played 6 or 7). I got the very end and then life got busy, etc. I remember there being a lot of very frustrating moments.
Glad to hear the remake is on par with it at least.

I downloaded and played the demo of remake2 and I thought the mechanics were interesting. The zombies were a lot harder to kill than in the original, and the hallways and camera perspective made it difficult (at least it felt difficult) to squeeze by them like you can generally do in the originals.


I found this the most irritating aspect of it - in a remake that styled itself as a more third-person action-led affair, it made no sense for a dead of centre headshot not to be an instant kill, or at least instant drop.

Enemies just seemed to soak up random numbers of bullets and fall over when they felt like it.

Annoyed me enough that I shelved it after my Leon playthrough, I did mean to go back and play Claire's scenario but... nah.

Oh, I picked up Ben Bero Beh on Switch last night. I'd never heard of it, and the screens made it look like some early version of Taito's single-screen platformers. SPOILER: it isn't and it sucks. Possibly the worst controlling arcade game I've even attempted to play.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:37 am 


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I loved the RE 2 remake, some of the voice acting was great (I especially liked the creepiness of Chief Irons) I spent a couple of months playing nothing else and getting the platinum. Have to say I didn't get the same enjoyment from the RE 3 remake, it felt a bit short and sweet, more DLC than a new game. That said RE 3 on PS1 is my least favourite of the original games, the gunpowder mixing system annoyed me and wasn't a big fan of the story, so I suspect that didn't help.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:48 pm 


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RE3 is more combat oriented; Jill is extremely mobile, it's the first game with an official quickturn, a reaction dodge, a bite avoidance zombie shove, and is the first game where the knife is legitimately strong and useful on zombies if used correctly. The story doesn't get too much deeper than JILL MUST ESCAPE and UMBRELLA MERCS ARE BAD either. It doesn't have the interesting files to find and read RE1 and RE2 had either, since there's not much in the way of plot you're uncovering, and it's more about the persistent overall tension in escaping. That being said, it plays the best out of the first three games and is an absolutely solid game, with the Mercenaries mode being incredibly fun to play as well.

I confess I am completely baffled by your complaint about the gunpowder system. The gunpowder system really isn't that bad; you can just instantly mix them as you find them for bullets and shotgun shells and you'll manage just fine. There's actually plenty of ammo in the game to go around so unless you're trying to kill absolutely everything, you really don't have to worry about being efficient with what ammo you're making. If you stockpile them up you can then experiment with them and figure out how they mix. And all this is assuming you've somehow failed to read the "Game Instructions B" file you start the game with which explicitly spells out how to mix gunpowder, including telling you you can mix gunpowder + grenade rounds to make special grenades as well as telling you how to mix advanced ammo: https://www.evilresource.com/resident-e ... ructions-b

Spoiler: show
<Ammunition Creation System>
To create various ammunition, you need to use the "Reloading Tool" and "Gun Powder."


<Reloading Tool>
This is a necessary item if you want to create different types of ammunition.
By combining the Gun Powder and Reloading Tool, various type of ammunition will be created.


<Gun Powder>
Mix materials to create various types of ammunition. There are three types of basic Gun Powders : A, B and C. Please note that Gun Powder C is created by mixing A and B types.


<How To Mix Gun Powders>
You can create various kinds of bullets by mixing the different Gun Powders. There are 13 different kinds of Gun Powders in all.


<Example Of Gun Powders>
A: Handgun Bullets
B: Shotgun Shells
C: Grenade Rounds
A + C: Grenade Flame Rounds
B + C: Grenade Acid Rounds
C + C: Grenade Freeze Rounds
C + C + C: Magnum Bullets


<Mixing Gun Powder With Grenade Rounds>
If you combine a certain type of Gun Powder with Grenade Rounds, special types of Grenade Rounds will be created.


<Mixing Level Improvement>
If you repeatedly create the same kind of ammunition, your skill will be improved, and you will be able to create more powerful ammunition.


Gunpowder exists mostly to give the player the freedom to use a weapon they particularly like more often if they decide to stockpile the ammo for it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:40 pm 


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Marc wrote:
I found this the most irritating aspect of it - in a remake that styled itself as a more third-person action-led affair, it made no sense for a dead of centre headshot not to be an instant kill, or at least instant drop.

Enemies just seemed to soak up random numbers of bullets and fall over when they felt like it.


I only played through the one time yet, but I was a little miffed when I took a bunch of perfect head shots and they didn't go down. I think it took a few point blank shots to the exposed brain after they collapsed to stop them from moving. Then there was like 4 of them around me (apparently because I didn't board up the windows) and it was all over. I suppose it has something to do with difficultly balancing as the combat mechanics are much better. The first RE2 was hard by way of wonky camera perspective.

I'll still definitely pick it up at some point, but that was a rude awakening.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
Gunpowder exists mostly to give the player the freedom to use a weapon they particularly like more often if they decide to stockpile the ammo for it.


I didn't hate the gunpowder system from RE3, but it is kind of a clunky way to accomplish this. For me, it's part of the charm of the series, but I'm a die-hard fan and I can see how to others it may come across as a unwelcome break in the action. Why bother to have thoughtful RPG-like elements in a game with so little story? RE3 is fun as hell, but it also has a clear identity crisis.

IAC, I was routing around for pictures of gunpowder online and this came up. I don't remember it and it made me laugh:

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:51 pm 


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It's not meant to be an RPG-progression style element. It's more of a precursor to something like Resident Evil 4 where the focus is on the action and you're given more ammo and thus freedom as far as what weapons you can use whenever you want. Do you want to use the shotgun? Mix B rounds. You want to make acid rounds? You can do that instead. Prefer handgun bullets? There's mixes that use B rounds to do it. You're just being given ammo that offers more freedom of choice in what weapon you use it with, and rewards a bit of experimentation if you put the time into it.

If there's a legitimate complaint to be made about the game it's that there's a reduced horror element because of how much more readily available ammo is compared to the first two games (RE2 does have enough ammo to kill everything but only if you're finding the hidden ammo that's invisible). But they also wanted to ensure you had enough ammo to kill Nemesis at every encounter without having to knife him to death every time, so they had to balance the game around that, and I think it's mostly a success. The scary enemies are sufficiently tough that it's satisfying to play.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:44 pm 


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IMO, the less story in RE the better. I love RE3 for that. There's only so much "Umbrella did x, y, and z" and it just got sillier as it went, cliched even from the start. A simple survival story is just enough for me without all the eye-rolling Matrix Wesker stuff later on. That's why I really wish they'd just ditch Chris and all these characters for newer titles and just make it simple.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 2:59 pm 


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IMO, the less story in RE the better. I love RE3 for that.

I always referred to RE3 as 'lean and mean' for precisely that reason. The 'story' is you're being chased around by a giant mutant creature that's trying to kill you. And personally, that's enough for me.

A long time ago I learned that 'drama' is a protagonist attempting to accomplish something. Perhaps not being killed by a giant mutant creature that's chasing them. While two people talking about a third is the opposite of drama. Somewhere along the line, the folks that make RE games seem to have forgotten that.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:51 pm 


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Quote:
IMO, the less story in RE the better. I love RE3 for that.


I would've preferred more meaningful plot, but I understand RE3 told the story they wanted to tell. By plot, I don't necessarily mean cutscenes, but mainly the files you can pick up and examine. There's a lot of really interesting and terrifying ones in the first two RE games detailing what's going on and that give insight into the events happening to various people. The player is able to interact with these as much or as little as they like on subsequent playthroughs.

Very few of the documents Jill encounters talk about current events. They're mostly limited to the end of the game, with one of the more interesting files, Jill's Diary, being hidden behind an unusually obtuse unlock method (find and read every single File in the game in the exact order they appear on the menu, which means learning the order and memorizing which file is which, not just finding every file).

However, I appreciate the survival scenario focus RE3 used. It's already explored the "stuck inside a giant mansion" thing twice before, with the RPD layout in RE2 meant to obviously feel similarly laid out to the mansion in RE1. RE3's map structure is vastly different and fresh, while remaining fun to explore. The terror of being stalked and attacked at any moment by a relentless enemy that can chase you between rooms was a new kind of horror the series introduced, and one that worked well even if it wasn't the same as the slower, deliberately paced horror of the previous games.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:03 pm 


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Yeah, I can hear ya there. I definitely dig the logs and always prefer that in horror-themed games in general.


Last edited by drauch on Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:14 pm 


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Horror in general is mortally susceptible to not knowing when to STFU. Now more than ever, with the internet providing a steady stream of terror, like a big spider chasing down a man and devouring his balls and taint like a veritable chinese buffet :O

Spoiler: show
Image


^^^ He thinks hes safe, not knowing his stairs to freedom have become the spiders' trap!!! :[ :[ :[

I blame SEGA for not porting Alien 3: The Gun to 32X, leaving the door open for Chris Rockbuns and Hard Gay Wesker. AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN pisses on them both! Then sets them on fire. Image

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:47 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
It's not meant to be an RPG-progression style element.


That's actually not what I meant, although I can see how it would come off that way as I used the word "thoughtful." What I meant by RPG mechanics was not about the story, but the addition of item sub-management. Being that it has less of a story (and I'm not complaining about it having less of a story here, I'm just stating a fact) I would rather it be more focused on the action and the run-and-gun. In RE3, I don't care for thinking about the inventory management so much because my head is not in that space when I'm playing the game.

To put it another way, the "gestalt" of the game is interrupted by the seemingly random inclusion of a complicated item management mechanic that is typically reserved for games that have more going on story-wise.

Again, this is total knit-picking and I am still a fan of RE3 for sure. However, I don't particularly enjoy thinking about the gunpowder; given the choice, I'd rather the ammo just be in the game.

I agree with what Bil is saying, but I also don't mind the files. Reading a file is quite different from unskippable cut scenes.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:37 am 


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^^^ Oh no, files and general ambient narrative are good, for reasons stated by Roo and drauch.

The tale of my boy GEORGE TREVOR (as seen in BIOHAZARD REMAKE) is some chilling stuff without so much as a fousand dollaroo CG cutscene :shock: what an ungrateful way to PWN the guy who built your custom Inescapable But Not Really deathlabyrinth. :o

See also the enigmas of popular slam poetry/insane person hangout BAR NEELY'S from Silent Hill 2! Image I have a theory that its final, rather unfriendly missive's "James" is placed very deliberately, a further menacing twist on the "got a letter" motif!

But more importantly, there isn't a six hour cutscene about that, or even AGAMENON "NEELY" NEILFORDSON, the barman with a tragic jenkem addiction, who accidentally burnt down SILENT HILL COMMUNITY COOLEGE while getting high in the basement, and is now forever leaving unfriendly graffiti in his bar. :O

CG cutscene diarrhoea is as much a failure of cinema - stagecraft! - as narrative imo. Great big flapping cunts who couldn't assemble a compelling yet streamlined narrative if their fousand dollaroo salaries depended on it. Image

Spoiler: show
Image


^ holy fuck, its a fuckin ghost! :shock: Zero dollaroos! (The Sopranos, S4E9 "Whoever Did This")

Spoiler: show
Image


^ I like him, a whole lot actually! but lately, he can be a real GBFC! (that's "great big flapping cunt") :O
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:24 am 


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vol.2 wrote:
What I meant by RPG mechanics was not about the story, but the addition of item sub-management.


I am aware, hence my initial response. As I stated before, gunpowder really doesn't require that much management that it's an RPG mechanic. It's just there as a way for you to to freely choose what guns you'd like to focus on using.

Instead of having a finite amount of each ammo type such as 10 of Ammo 1, 20 of Ammo 2, and 5 of Ammo 3, with no variation at all, instead you're given a smaller quantity of each ammo like 5 of Ammo 1, 5 of Ammo 2, and 2 of Ammo 3. Along with that you now have a pool of Ammo X that can be transformed into whatever ammo type you want and can be used to freely allocate ammo to whatever guns you enjoy using most. Considering you're given an instruction manual from the start of the game that spells out how it works in great detail, and how plentiful ammo is in general in RE3 unless going for every Nemesis kill, I'd hardly call it "complicated".

I made the comparison to RE4 because it uses a dynamic ammo system that allows you to use whatever weapon you like to a certain extent; if you run low on an ammo type it will replenish it, so TMP/Mine Thrower only runs are a possibility if you want to avoid using a handgun for instance.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:30 pm 


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BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I made the comparison to RE4 because it uses a dynamic ammo system that allows you to use whatever weapon you like to a certain extent


Not to get too deep into it, I would argue that comparing it to RE4 actually demonstrates that the designers recognized the "clunkiness" of the gunpowder system in RE3 and sought to improve upon it.

Again, I don't hate the gunpowder system, I would just rather it not be there if I had the choice. In fact, if I had to choose between the gunpowder from RE3 and the merchant in RE4, I would pick the gunpowder any day of the week. I really dislike random inexplicable merchants and stores appearing in games, especially when we are expected to suspend our disbelief on behalf of the game setting.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:37 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:40 pm 


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Just finished Grave Danger, a puzzle-platformer pretty much nobody played and whose developers seem to have vanished off the face of the planet. It follows the path set by Lost Vikings; you have three characters that can do different things, you can switch between them at any time, get all three alive to the exit to move on to the next level.

It was pretty fun, though not as good as Lost Vikings or Trine. For one, the characters are a bit too similar to each other. In Lost Vikings they were very different, with only one able to jump and another to attack, for example. Here, each character can not only jump, but one can wall jump, second can double jump and the third can hover to cover longer distances. And they can each attack as well, and two of them even have a second attack (which are never actually needed to complete a stage). But this is offset by the fact that there's quite a lot of enemies and they can respawn fast if none of the characters are near their spawn points.

There are a couple of things I'd say are better than in Lost Vikings, though. There are some item-based puzzles, but the inventory is shared so you don't have transfer the items between characters, which was kind of clunky in Vikings. And each stage has multiple checkpoints where the characters can respawn. I appreciate that, I like to play puzzle games for the thinking, not for the combat. The game awards letter ranks for cleared levels, based on time taken and deaths, so there's a bit of replayability there.

The levels, of which there are 30 in total, are a mixed bag. Some I struggled with and it took me ~25 minutes to beat them, while others I finished in under 10 minutes. The difficulty curve was all over the place, I had easier time with the latter stages than the early ones. Sadly, some of the level design isn't all that good. Sometimes it feels like levels are in the wrong order, like in the second "world" you start off with a level where at one point you have to activate three candles to proceed, each with a different character. But it wasn't made clear that the candles are the key, and they need to be activated in quick succession for it to work, so just doing one doing nothing. The in the NEXT level, in the very first room, there is nothing but a locked door and three candles. This is the level that teaches how the candles work, yet it was after a level where they were already used in a more complicated way.

There are also one or two levels where dying is almost guaranteed at least on your first go, because you have to make blind jumps and can't be certain where to land. Also, one of the characters is slightly shorter than the others which allows him to go through narrower passages, but it's not obvious from the graphics that this is so, and this is used exactly twice in the game. First time I stumbled upon it completely by accident when I was trying to figure out what to do.

All that said, I still enjoyed the game, I had more fun than gripes with it. It's available on Steam for $10 and I'd say it's worth that much. I played it on Switch since being the shmuck I am, I had bought a physical copy because it has the ugliest cover I've seen in a while:

Spoiler: show
Image


Not only is the art style completely different to anything in-game, the wizard looks nothing like that. He doesn't even shoot lightning. The reaper looks more like a small friendly skeleton in-game than this emo kid wearing a hoodie and a Halloween mask. And he doesn't have legs, either. And the cowboy...well, that's close enough, there's only so many ways you can portray a cowboy. The two flying enemies are the most accurate, funnily enough.

Boggles my mind that not only did this game get a regular physical release (also on PS4) but that they used that cover.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:00 pm 


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Games like these must be the equivalent of the random harem anime that mysteriously gain full runs and even second seasons.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:18 am 


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Recently I played through Seiken Densetu 3 and then Trials of Mana (the remake). I've been playing a lot of action rpg's lately for inspiration and analysis for a future project, and I wrote a ton of notes and analysis, but I really did enjoy both.

I really like the pace and charm of Seiken 3. It really has a lot of fun vaulting you from cutesie scenario to the next, bridged with fun little combat gauntlets. I like the "stages" or "dungeons" or whatever you wanna call them are interconnected and have a minor exploration element with a few wrong turns to take and such, but don't encourage you to map out everything but just to rush through as quickly as possible.

Only problem is I hated the combat, but the remake fixes that a lot. Trials of Mana is a bit easy, but it encourages you to run around and make use of your fullmoveset for extra flashy fun and exp bonuses on top. It's a nice little gameplay loop that makes an already fast paced game feel ludicrously so. I recommend playing with Reisz in Trials though since she has the best gameplay design IMO.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:59 am 


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Too bad the developer imploded, I seem to recall they were originally planning to add more stuff to the game...guess that ain't happening now.

...so yeah.

Anyways, still going at Indivisible, and at least so far I'd say there are three main things you need to be willing to get past to enjoy it:

1) The game doesn't explain itself terribly well. While I do enjoy it when games don't tell you how absolutely everything works top to bottom, so you have some opportunities to say "I wonder if that would work..." and figure out little tricks on your own, Indivisible has an irritating tendency to gloss over or outright ignore fairly vital stuff: more than once I've found myself well and duly trapped in an area with no obvious way out, and had to tool around with my existing techniques until stumbling upon some exploit I never knew existed to move on. Aside from the camera sometimes spazzing out so badly I've needed to reload my save I'd say this is the game's most grating "technical" flaw; once my playthrough is finished I'm tempted to check an FAQ just to see which stuff I managed to beat the game without understanding in the least.

2) The game's overall tone is probably not what you'd expect. It's been a bit since the campaign, but I can honestly say I was thrown for a loop within minutes of starting this thing up for the first time: to put it bluntly, if you were expecting something "epic" or otherwise affecting, forget it, as Indivisible (so far, at least) fancies itself more of a breezy slapstick comedy. The protagonist, Ajna, is, simply put, a total meathead; rush in, break things, no thought, no lessons learned, straight-man one-liners from the rest of the cast about how ridiculous she is. Definitely not what I had been led to anticipate, especially from a female lead (though I suppose that's a uniqueness of sorts), and pretty much everything else follows in her footsteps; if that sort of thing irritates you, you'll have a hard time coming back here.

3) The predominant "mentality" is that of a fighting game. Sort of an expansion of the previous item, while the game is most technically a mishmash of a platformer and a JRPG, the latter of those in particular is very much supplanted by the "spirit" of a tourney fighting game: there are experience points and levels, but no items (well, technically there's one, I guess), equipment, money, classes, and so forth. There is a big cast, but they'd honestly be more at home on the selection screen of a fighter; most of them have little to no presence in the story (which is itself largely a "done beating this guy, time to go there and beat that guy!" medley), and their personalities are displayed almost entirely via their visual design and various attack moves, a number of which are reminiscent of a simplified Guilty Gear design approach (stances, ammo, traps, etc.). Simply put, your favorites here are going to be the ones who look coolest and deal the highest damage, full stop.

That'd be my overall take, at any rate; heaven knows the game might prove me a liar later on, but for now I'd say those are the main items which will determine how much you enjoy this one.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:11 am 


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I'm trying the COD Black Ops Cold War beta, it's not bad. The stages are a little too open though and too large which was a problem with later BO4 ones. Lots of stage debris makes it harder to see enemies than it should be. Nice graphics though, Miami is really well designed and I appreciate the care and attention someoe put into modelling the old IBM XT PC.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:30 am 


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Indivisible I think is the rpg equivalent of a euroshmup: a game made by people who either hate or fundamentally don't understand the genre they're working with and think that they're genius innovators for adding things that break the concept of the genre. Just listening to some pre-release things Mike Z was saying I think shows that he had no fucking clue what he was talking about when it came to rpg's, was like reading a shitty Cracked.com article from the 2000's ("MONEY? RESOURCES? ALL THAT SHIT'S JUST FILLER AND SOOOOOOO YESTERDAY, CMON CMON GET TO THE GOOD STUFF").

The writing isn't just comedy oriented: it's seems absolutely bafflingly awful from what I've heard.

Game makes me mad fuckin' salty with all its wasted potential.
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Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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