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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:02 pm 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Frankly, I'm more interested in the open world (or, rather, 'open city blocks') of Mankind Divided, but I feel I gotta do HR first before I jump in the next one. 8)


HR has those.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:41 pm 


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I'm playing "Echo" right now. Picked it up cheap off the GOG summer sale.

It's kinda like "Warning Forever" meets "Metal Gear." It takes place in the far-flung future and you're a young woman exploring an ancient palace in hopes of finding the technology to bring her friend back to life. Unfortunately the palace uses its life-restoring powers to populate itself with hostile clones of her. They start out mindless zombies, but as you perform actions more complicated than moving at a light jog the palace learns and eventually reboots itself, resurrecting all the clones, but this time with knowledge of all the things you did before and the inclination to use those moves whether it's eating grapes for stamina, sliding over low barriers, or using your gun.

It's not a total stealth game, sometimes you can sneak but sometimes you just need to make a run for it. Fortunately the game forgets any moves you don't use in the previous cycle so you can change up your tactics and get out of the situation of teaching the clones too much.

It's also absolutely gorgeous, and its setting and lore are this weird mixture of Solaris, 2001, and Rendezvous with Rama.

I brushed this aside thinking it was another art-game walking simulator at release and I regret the decision. Especially since the developer's since gone out of business (but not before getting optioned for a film). This is an experimental game and I think the experiment is mostly successful.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:42 am 


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I was going to skip it because of their shitty working practises at Rockstar, but I started taking a very early look at Red Dead Redemption 2 - it came free with my PS4 Pro. Not sure how long I'm going to stick with it, the controls are very annoying and sluggish.

I think I was spoiled by Horizon which is an absolutely stunning game.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:23 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
Frankly, I'm more interested in the open world (or, rather, 'open city blocks') of Mankind Divided, but I feel I gotta do HR first before I jump in the next one. 8)


HR had two smaller hubs leading to your various missions. MD was a little unfocussed, and some of the missions taking place in that map rather than separate levels made it all a bit samey. Don't get me wrong, I played it and enjoyed it, but I've never gone back for another go. I just remember playing MD and being absolutely astonished that it had managed to capture so much of what made the original brilliant, but despite MD improving on it in many ways it all just felt a bit hollow. Maybe I'll start it again and have another nosy.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:01 am 


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Marc wrote:
HR had two smaller hubs leading to your various missions.


Hengsha was so detailed and felt so alive to me that I consider it way more than just a 'smaller hub'
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:50 am 


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Blinge wrote:
Marc wrote:
HR had two smaller hubs leading to your various missions.


Hengsha was so detailed and felt so alive to me that I consider it way more than just a 'smaller hub'


In comparison to MD, I mean. Actually, I've just realised that I picked up the Director's Cut of HR for peanuts which is still unplayed. I couldn't get into the DLC first time around because it felt weird to play after the event, so with that on disc, and the re-jugged boss battles, I think I'll prolly start HR again.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:28 am 


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Moody First person dungeon crawler / Ultima Underworld people!

Has anyone played The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for NDS? - Fighting Fantasy
I've resumed my play after a break of two years.. I'm very lost, & the map kinda sucks.
Also i think the game might scale levels with me because magic user enemies are now populating old rooms and destroying me in seconds from afar.

I feel like sprites with 5 frames of animation are a problem given the speed of the game. If they slowed it down to something approaching King's Field the combat would actually be manageable.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:52 pm 


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Ancient Aliens for Doom. It's amazing.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:10 pm 


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Finally finished Tokyo Mirage Sessions - turns out a fourth difficulty unlocks after completion, but having spent 90-plus hours on the bugger that can wait for another day. As for the game itself, I'm not sure it (or anything, really) alone is worth keeping a Wii U around for, but if you do have one and enjoy the latter-day Personas or the like it's a no-brainer IMO.

If the thing does end up getting a port to the Switch at some point that'd be great, as it deserves a bigger audience than it got, but I'm inclined to doubt it'll happen; even putting aside the inherent licensing issues, I can't imagine it was much of a hit, since folks are always begging for everything to be ported to the Switch, and I'm not sure I've ever seen its name pop up. Even if they went for it anyway, there's the question of whether they dare to put extra resources into de-censoring it for the West and likely make the potential profit margin even slimmer, or else just rerelease it as is and risk being lambasted for censorship all over again. Chances are it'll wind up as a "lost gem" on a failed system, which is a bit of a shame, but either way I had a pretty darn good time with it.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:57 pm 


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Mischief Maker wrote:
I'm playing "Echo" right now. Picked it up cheap off the GOG summer sale.


Picked this up on your recommendation. It's good.

Perhaps the lack of sales was due to poor advertising? I never heard of it and had no clue it existed until you posted about it, and doubt I ever would have had you not.

BulletMagnet wrote:
Finally finished Tokyo Mirage Sessions - turns out a fourth difficulty unlocks after completion, but having spent 90-plus hours on the bugger that can wait for another day. As for the game itself, I'm not sure it (or anything, really) alone is worth keeping a Wii U around for, but if you do have one and enjoy the latter-day Personas or the like it's a no-brainer IMO.

If the thing does end up getting a port to the Switch at some point that'd be great, as it deserves a bigger audience than it got, but I'm inclined to doubt it'll happen; even putting aside the inherent licensing issues, I can't imagine it was much of a hit, since folks are always begging for everything to be ported to the Switch, and I'm not sure I've ever seen its name pop up. Even if they went for it anyway, there's the question of whether they dare to put extra resources into de-censoring it for the West and likely make the potential profit margin even slimmer, or else just rerelease it as is and risk being lambasted for censorship all over again. Chances are it'll wind up as a "lost gem" on a failed system, which is a bit of a shame, but either way I had a pretty darn good time with it.


I was around when Tokyo Mirage Session was announced. And the game was dead on arrival with most fans of FE and SMT due to its theme and gameplay choices.

I think I can explain why:

When a "Fire Emblem x SMT" was announced, shit was hype. People immediately started picturing a game that combined Fire Emblem's fast paced, arcadey grid based warfare and tactical maneuvering with Shin Megami Tensei's awesome demon summoning and fusion mechanics.

A fuckin' wet dream for starved SRPG fans and dark fantasy aficionados alike.

So when it came out that the game was instead a very standard issue turn based jrpg ("NOT EVEN AN SRPG" the innocent and hopeful wailed in despair, as they noticed the absence of a movement grid) - with an idol theme of all things - a lot of people were soured and disappointed (myself included*) to the point that they weren't willing to give it a chance at all.
Spoiler: show
Image

It also came at a really, really bad time for fans of both franchises.

The Persona/SMT fanbase is split, with many wishing for a return to the more emotionally mature writing of earlier games (particularly Persona 2) instead of the increasingly shallow overtones of later SMT titles...while Fire Emblem is currently experiencing the same exact thing, with a lot of people put off by the theme and aesthetic of the most recent titles compared to the classic 90's-00 era installments.

So the release of a "Fire Emblem X SMT" that utterly personified all the things both fanbases had grown to hate (and contained none of the things people liked about them) came off as a low blow to the niche audience that the game was trying to appeal to.

For that reason it'll probably remain a lost gem or a cult title at best. It is a game that nobody really wanted at release. I still don't want it.


*
Spoiler: show
to the point that I began quietly prototyping a demon summoning srpg behind the scenes. Expect it after the shmup.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:01 am 


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I watched some of a playthrough..
It looked like Persona stripped of its character.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:26 am 


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Sumez wrote:
Loving Hollow Knight after playing it for only two nights.

One one hand it's not quite the original epiphany I'd expected, based on what I've heard. Both in design and gameplay, it is extremely reminiscent of 100 other indie metroidvanias so far, to the point where it almost feels like I've explored the very same areas many times before.


Update now that I've finished the game with the good ending.
My impression didn't really change after the above. The presentation is still amazing, but the actual "game" experience in the second half definitely lost a bit of the punch the early game had. With enough upgrades and badges you get so overpowered that everything after Deepnest is so easy that it feels more like pointless obstacles than a challenge. Though the game is never really hard (aside from some of the DLC bosses I think), the first half was still challenging enough to make me think about every single move, which was very enjoyable. That was completely gone from the second half of the game, and the same is the mystery of exploring the unknown, replaced by a ton of methodic backtracking, as well a lot of content which doesn't really serve any purpose outside of worldbuilding.

While Palace (the last area you play when going for the true ending) shook things up a bit, though its core gamplay differs so much from the rest of the game that it feels very gimmicky.
Also the final boss is god damn amazing. Finally finishing off his last form was incredibly exhilarating - his patterns, the context, and the way everything was set up, it was just an incredible rush to deliver the final blow, which is something I haven't experienced in any game for quite a while.

That boss also made me realize how much the lag from our TV was affecting my games. His light rays give you a very short warning allowing you to get out of the way, and it his the exact right timing to demonstrate the difference for me - Playing docked on the TV, it felt completely random whether I'd be able to dodge that attack or not, while when playing in handheld mode it was no problem at all.
I wonder how many other games have suffered unwillingly from this lag. Sekiro definitely comes to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:14 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
I wonder how many other games have suffered unwillingly from this lag. Sekiro definitely comes to mind.


oh definitely!
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:18 am 


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Made s start on the backlog last night and spent an hour or so with Salt & Sanctuary. Went well enough at first, managed to take two bosses down in quick succession, and now struggling my nuts off. I'm in a forest area and just getting my ass handed. Got blob things poisoning me, archers sniping me from off-screen, and big giant dudes that can take me out in two hits. Found one boss in there and can't even get close enough to get a hit in with all the shit he's throwing at me. I'm level 10 with the sword and mace upgraded a level each, don't know how much damage I'm supposed to be doing at this point, but I have the feeling I'm not doing enough. Give another hours and see hoe it goes.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:48 pm 


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In regards to Fire Emblem...the new entry is really testing my limits with the HS nonsense. I might just play some SRW instead.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:25 pm 


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HS.. high school?

Man I'm still playing 6 / Binding Blade sometimes. This one is actually brutal.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:41 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
HS.. high school?

Man I'm still playing 6 / Binding Blade sometimes. This one is actually brutal.


Yes...

I guess there's always the entire back catalog, that I've already played at least once each. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:43 pm 


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Shining Force, Ogre Battle, FFT?
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:08 pm 


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Funny thing is that an Atlus game that's closer to the idea "SMT X Fire Emblem" evoked already exists and it's named Devil Survivor Overclocked.
It has the classic S-RPG grid-based movement mixed with some short, fun and tactical JRPG-esque battles, the usual demon summoning and management, the heavy atmosphere you would expect from a SMT game, and difficult bosses that put the focus on SRPG's "Strategy". I haven't played tons of SMT games but this is easily my favorite.

There's also a Devil Survivor 2, which is still as great if not greater when it comes to mechanics, but the atmosphere and storyline are a huge downgrade that make you wonder why "Survivor" is even in the title. The additional scenario in the 3DS port might be better in that regard but I haven't played it.
In any case, both games are independent from one another.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:07 pm 


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Blinge wrote:
Shining Force, Ogre Battle, FFT?


Enjoyed the originals, ehhh, great game.

I'm already skipping tf out of most text in SRW games, so I guess this won't actually be that different. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:47 am 


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Played a bit more Salt & Sanctuary, debating whether to continue. It's a good attempt to transpose the Souls format into a 2D space, but it does actually make me understand that (deep breath)..... some things are better in 3D. There, I said it.

Whispering Woods wasn't at all fun - platform hopping, combined with bottomless pits and enemies that can snipe and knock-back even off-screen = rage. That goddamn boss (Mad Conjurer) took me about 20 attempts. Even with heavy poison resist gear, it seemed to take very little time to affect me, which then drained health at an alarming rate. Ended up finding some 2-handed sword, levelling that up as far as I could, then forgetting defence full stop and stabbing him to death before he could start pulling out the multiple purple axe attack. In the Sunken Keep and again, Cyclops Boss simply seems to be all about timing a roll through his attacks, getting a few in, and repeating. Seems to go for most encounters really, combat takes a huge hit from being in 2D. I'm not one for complexity for the sake of it but this feels very limiting.

I'm sort of enjoying it, there's enough Souls DNA to keep me interested and some of the artwork is lovely (actually, make that some of the backdrops - the character art is hideous, just like the two Dishwasher games), but I'm not 100% that I've got the time to 'sort of' enjoy something anymore.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:47 pm 


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^- I liked Salt & Sanctuary quite a lot, I finished it (and New Game+) on Switch. But you are correct, most boss encounters are roll -> hit a few times -> roll -> don't attack in order to renew stamina -> repeat. There are some bosses a bit later on with more variety, but not that many. I never bothered trying to parry boss attacks, I only used it for a few enemies, but I guess that's viable too?

One thing I really enjoyed was that the Switch physical version comes with a map. It's not big, and it doesn't have any details, only the rough outlines of the areas and the rooms within. But it was just enough that when you've explored a new area for a little while, you can open it up, figure out where you are ("Okay, I just strolled down this long, descending corridor, so I'm probably here...and if I go that way, there's an area that's looks like it could be a sanctuary? Or a boss battle. Either way, let's go there.") like it's something the character might've found in the world. At times when you've got dozens of options on where to explore next, it was nice to have.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:57 pm 


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It doesn't help that the game is possible even more obtuse than any of the Souls. I'll give it another hour later, it's either that, or the maddening SH Downpour.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:09 pm 


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Really? What makes you think that? I'm curious, because I didn't get that feeling from S&S, while I was hit by it pretty quickly in the first Souls, which annoyed me to the point of not progressing terribly far in it.

I've enjoyed (and sometimes finished) a number of Souls-like games, except its namesake...
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:11 pm 


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Holidays here and I've been playing Bloodstained RoTN non-stop. This game is better than all the Igavanias, yes, all of them, except Circle of the Moon but that one wasn't a Igavania.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:22 am 


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I've had it sitting around in digital form since a PSN sale ages, ago and never played it in real time, so I'm now having an overdue go at Mega Man Legends.

A few hours in, honestly, if this was any other game, I'd absolutely have ditched it: the thing runs really janky and the controls/camera are pretty awful. However, it's just so bright and cheery, and the visuals are some of the best-executed on the PS1, and the Bonnes are a hoot, and the voice acting has that 90's charm, and...argh, I always feel icky admitting that I like a game in spite of how it plays, but there's no getting around that it's precisely the reason I'm still bothering with this.

Who knows, maybe I'll get to a part so god-awful I can't be persuaded to keep going (one of the boss fights came rather close), but if I do manage to finish I also have Legends 2 and the Tron Bonne spinoff collecting virtual dust...the question then will be, am I lacking enough in self-respect to subject myself to those too? And I think we all know the answer to that. :P
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:25 am 



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I had a lot of fun with Legends, but you should probably quit if you don't like it, since I definitely think it's better than its prequel or sequel.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:15 pm 


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Currently playing Castlevania Collection on PS4 - aside from the Gameboy stuff have access to all the games on original hardware, I’m a sucker for earning trophies (and the requirements for Vania 3 are a ball ache :() which is my excuse for “double dipping”!


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:38 am 


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The recent Steam release of Samurai Shodown 5 Special is incredible. The netcode has zero hiccups and everything runs perfectly. SNK fighting games are the shit.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:37 am 


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So yeah, Mega Man Legends.

Sick puppy that I am, I was just getting used to the notion of being stun-locked by multiple baddies whose attacks I couldn't even see. I was almost okay with special weapons refusing to fire because my back was too close to a wall. Starting to accept that I could miss pretty major stuff if I didn't constantly stop to look into cracked walls and trash cans. Working with the needlessly limited map. Not getting upset as enemy drops constantly fall into places I can't get them, nor resenting that I can't easily collect them anyway without sacrificing my secondary weapon. Getting past the joyless, occasionally-unwinnable slogs that the game passes off as boss fights. More or less managing the stationary, inert bullet-sponge enemies that to all appearances only exist to screw up your lock-on and make it refuse to target other baddies that are actually attacking you.

But no, the game couldn't just leave it be.

So I reach a spot in the latest dungeon where Roll radios me and says there's probably a false wall or hidden room to be found. As it happens, I'd recently found a special weapon whose description says it can destroy walls; mind you, I'd tried it on some conspicuously cracked walls elsewhere and it didn't do anything, but eh, maybe this is what it was meant to be used for. So I traipse back to base, switch out my otherwise-superior special weapon for the new one, traipse back to the room, re-blast the respawned pests inside, hit the "special weapon" button, and...

...a black screen with numbers and letters. The fucker froze on me and I was forced to restart.

So I try again. This time I'm able to get past that point...and am immediately confronted with two of the most utterly miserable boss fights yet. After dying twice on the latter while wresting with the camera, I was just done. Sorry, I really want to like this plucky little blue bastard, but he's just plain too poorly made. On top of that...

Quote:
I definitely think it's better than its prequel or sequel.


...not exactly the reassurance I was hoping for! But, I mean, that must be an exaggeration; they can't, especially with such an embarrassingly low bar to start from, have so utterly failed to improve the playability of the sequels in some fashion...

...could they?
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