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Drathnoxis

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Finally finished the last boss of Super Meat Boy, after like a 5 year hiatus, and got the credits so I'm marking that game down as COMPLETE. I don't care if I haven't done half the dark world levels, it's done! It took me so long to finish that last boss fight because it just SUCKS. It's so slow. You have to wait like 5 seconds right off the bat before you can even start moving. It wasn't even that hard, just badly designed.

I might do Cotton Alley though. I did half the levels already, so I'll probably do the rest. Not dark world, though. I tried one in the middle of Cotton Alley and I tried for like 10 minutes and couldn't get past the first obstacle. I beat I Wanna Be The Guy, I don't really feel any more desire to smash my face against impossible platforming challenges anymore.

Edit: Frick the last light world level of Cotton Alley is hard! It's taken me longer to beat than every other level in the world combined. I'm gonna have to give up on the A rank for it too because 45 seconds is just not enough. The level is just too long that it's not fun. I can do the first half in like 30 seconds min, but I have comparatively little practice on the last half and need to slow down.
There are about 200 games in my list of unfinished/unplayed games, yet I am firmly in the mindset of "I have nothing that I want to play"

Bleugh
Man, I feel like that all the time!
 
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XsjadoBlayde

Intersectional Multidimensional Pansexual Alliance
Apr 29, 2020
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Genesis Noir.
Only managed a couple of hours of this before passing out, so is just a first impression. But it is a rather pleasing first impression. A playful point-and-click with a visual semi-abstract noir style reminiscent of Disney's Soul when they travel to The Great Before, combined with a complimentary jazz soundtrack and sharp audio direction overall, it's a kind of impressionist take on the creation of this universe, with seemingly no spoken words yet, only noises and gestures: a style I personally can't help but admire and respect if pulled off effectively. Which this does, in my opinion.

Progress is achieved by poking, prodding, pulling, pushing, stroking, licking, basting or bashing stuff in the environment to figure out what causes change or merely tingly fun audio-visual feedback. Might be some bugs though, as I got stuck on a rock for seemingly no reason and had to restart, but so far is the only criticism I got.

It's a tenner on PC and Switch (and gamepass), so not a bad entry fee at all for the quality. Will definitely return with a bag of weed, it's got a style and thoughtfulness that's really heightened under the influence, but still a big recommend without THC tendencies.

Trailer to compensate for my failed wordage;
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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Finished Celeste in a little under 15 hours. 155 strawberries, about 1900 deaths, assist mode off. B-side levels suck - I've done the first three and I think I'm just gonna stop there. Too much Wanna Be The Guy bullshit.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
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Genesis Noir.
Only managed a couple of hours of this before passing out, so is just a first impression. But it is a rather pleasing first impression. A playful point-and-click with a visual semi-abstract noir style reminiscent of Disney's Soul when they travel to The Great Before, combined with a complimentary jazz soundtrack and sharp audio direction overall, it's a kind of impressionist take on the creation of this universe, with seemingly no spoken words yet, only noises and gestures: a style I personally can't help but admire and respect if pulled off effectively. Which this does, in my opinion.

Progress is achieved by poking, prodding, pulling, pushing, stroking, licking, basting or bashing stuff in the environment to figure out what causes change or merely tingly fun audio-visual feedback. Might be some bugs though, as I got stuck on a rock for seemingly no reason and had to restart, but so far is the only criticism I got.

It's a tenner on PC and Switch (and gamepass), so not a bad entry fee at all for the quality. Will definitely return with a bag of weed, it's got a style and thoughtfulness that's really heightened under the influence, but still a big recommend without THC tendencies.

Trailer to compensate for my failed wordage;
I saw the trailer for that on the escapist indie showcase a while back and it's been on my wishlist ever since. It looks like the kind of indie wierdness I get off on.
 
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happyninja42

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Beat the base game for Nioh 2, haven't started on the DLC, as it forces you to beat the game first. My thoughts on the base game as a whole:

It's alright. I seriously don't understand the appeal of Souls combat. It's not terribly fun or engaging, it's just frustrating for frustration's sake. But, you can at least level up and use a huge bag of tricks in Nioh 2 to offset the annoying combat. 2/10 for combat being actually fun. It has a few moments here and there, but the maps are specifically designed, most of the time, to force you to go down one way to accomplish them. Stealth is almost a joke as a tactic, because very often the map just funnels you down a single lane, where you can't sneak by. And I tried. I maximized my stealth, and even used the stealth magic scrolls, and there were some enemies that can STILL see you, and they positioned them in a spot where you are forced to walk past them. So if you've built yourself up for being, you know...a fucking NINJA...well screw you buddy, because this is an open battle. It's especially frustrating, because on the map that was the most guilty of this, the rest of it was clearly built up to allow you to choose how you wanted to proceed. You could go through the open fields and fight humans, or you could risk going into the mines, and fight yokai, but if you make it out the other side, it sets you up for some good backstab damage/kills. Up until it doesn't do that anymore. Also, seriously you can't fucking jump. At least not to traverse the map. You can leap like a Jedi with combat moves, but to hop over a 2 foot gap between rooftops, to continue along an elevated path? Hahah!

Narrative:

....I have no fucking clue. Seriously, the amount of important details that are completely left out of the narrative cutscenes, is amazing. The game has YEARS pass between the different chapters of the game (total time between start/finish of base game is like 50 years or so?), and massive things will happen off screen, and I'm somehow supposed to know about it. Seriously, major characters would die, or switch sides and betray either the MC, or other various major players, and it would happen off-screen. If you were lucky, it would be mentioned in the loading screen paragraph, and the rest is just....not there. I lost count of the number of times I asked my wife "Wait...that guy died? When the fuck did that happen?! Wait, that guy is now my enemy, and these guys are my allies?! When the fuck did THAT happen?!" I guess they are expecting you to know about the "historical" events being dramatized here, but if so, it's not very outsider friendly. I recognize a few of the NAMES of the major players, at best. The rest is completely unknown historical information to me, and they just assume I know it. So I just gave up on understanding the plot, because the game couldn't be arsed to bother with it, why should I? 1/10

Dramatic Tone:
Despite my above statement, there were a few bits that were quite enjoyable. They are pretty major spoilery, including the end of the game and how it plays out, so warning in advance.

So, I fell in love with Tokichiro early on. They establish him in the first mission, as this guy who rescues your character from a demon frenzy, by quelling the demon side of your soul. You are caught in a bloodlust (for no explained reason), but then you open your eyes, and he's smiling at you, with his monkey spirit ally hovering over his shoulder, looking at you. He's established as being a bit greedy, but otherwise, a good guy, who is more than happy to help people out, but hey if he can make a profit, all the better! He fully endeared himself to me, in a later mission, where you are sent to try and recruit some good yokai to your cause. Tokichiro has a plan to try and build a castle in a day, using magic and spirits and such, the problem is that the spirit who is strong enough to do it, is corrupted. So you guys show up, and he tries to talk to it. He realizes it's mad with corruption, and runs, telling you to handle it. You win the fight, but before you can kill the spirit, he stops you, rushes forward, and purges the corruption from the spirit, just like he did to you. When asked by the other main character, a female demon hunter, what he's doing, he proudly declares "Victory! The Tokichiro way! Nobody has to die!" He then proceeds to negotiate a deal with the yokai and the humans you two work for, to build the castle as needed, job done! And I loved that. He was just so happy that nobody had to die, that the forest spirit didn't have to be destroyed.

Then, apparently, he goes bad at some point off screen. He becomes overwhelmed with greed, made worse by the spirit stones that he gathers, as they are the "wealth" he seeks. Ultimately he becomes the Big Bad you have to fight. This pissed me off, because I liked him. He is literally the only main character with speaking roles from the start of the game, as you are a silent protagonist. So suddenly making him the badguy irked me. I was especially angry because you kill him in the first encounter with him. Then, time passes, and he's not dead. He's instead, possessed by the evil spirit that has been behind the scenes in everything, from the opening cinematic. So he now becomes a true demon lord, ruling over all of Japan, and you fight him again in his Final Form. As you beat him, and the cinematic cuts in, I was seriously saying out loud "oooh, please tell me that I don't have to kill him again!" ....and you don't! You instead, shatter the demon horns that are the source of his corruption, and force the evil spirit out of him, something that has happened with every major boss fight. When his vessel dies, he GTFO's. Once freed, Tokichiro collapses to the ground, himself once again. He jokingly comments about how you ended things "The Tokichiro way." Which made me so happy. He still dies, because he's Done Bad Things, and the spirit was animating him. But it's a peaceful death. Then, MORE time passes, and you finally fight, the actual FINAL BOSS. Due to crazy random happenstance, a foreign magic user shows up, and tries to reanimate Tokichiro, as a suitable vessel for her plans, summoning the Evil Spirit back. Her magic is linking Toki's body, the Evil Spirit, and then you. Because you get in the way, and take him into yourself, and thus the final fight is in your own head, with the spirit trying to possess you. As you fight him however, you hear a booming voice from around you, and see the monkey spirit (Toki's spirit animal), show up and help you fight. Toki is shouting big booming voice in the sky encouragement to you, occasionally tossing free attacks via his spirit animal in for you, and dropping the spirit energy you need to fuel your spirit attacks as well. And it's done really well. The Japanese voice actor really nails the triumphant tone of Tokichiro, trying to break through the spirit magic, isolating you in your own head, determined to help his old friend in their time of need, especially after they risked their own spirit to redeem him. And it was really awesome to see the little monkey spirit leap into action, bitc* slap the Big Bad, and then peace out, leaving behind energy for you. It was also funny because Tokichiro was apparently having some problems breaking through the barrier, and he even kind of mutters it to himself, but you know, it's still a booming god voice, so it's a bit of levity, that is totally in character for Tokichiro. Ultimately it's just a bit of help, that was very welcome, but it's still you winning, but I just loved that bit of "saving the savior" narrative, and it redeemed my favorite character in the game.

So that bit was great, and very enjoyable. It was heavily marred by the fact that I had zero real grasp of what was going on, and why, and how, and why the Big Big Bad was doing what he was doing. But it was a fun narrative thread that was fun to follow, in an ultimately baffling story.

So, I'll probably do the DLC soon, as I paid for it, but I'm not terribly motivated at this point. I certainly don't feel compelled to replay the game but on harder difficulty, just for the sake of it. I've done it a little bit, just to get some of the divine level gear, but I'll likely just go back to normal difficulty as that's where the DLC is unlocked, plow through it, and try and make sense of the story.

Overall: 5/10 game. Not my cup of tea, at all. Mechanics are based around a gaming premise I despise, and the narrative isn't all that coherent if you don't already know the material.
 
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BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
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Playing Thumper. This great, but difficult. puzzle rhythm game. I love these games where the music is just as important to the gameplay. I finished the first 2 levels and 7 more to go.

Rez Infinite. There is not much to say other than this game is fine aged wine. 21 years and Rez is still an awesome rhythm-rail-shooter. I never owned it on the PS2, but a friend did bring it over a couple times. I played this game a lot on the X360, and have the physical version of said game that comes with Lumines Live and Every Extend Extra. Play this if you have nor already.

Both games are available for free on PSN until April 22nd, if I remember correctly.
 

Dreiko

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Wrapping up the playthrough in souls, just beat the 4 kings. Really fun fight that one, the darkness messes with your depth perception really bad so I ended up running into them to ensure I was not gonna miss lol. Also finally got my endurance up high enough to wear the full Havel armor set without being too slow (got it at exactly 50% equipment load) so I'm just poising through half the things with my zweihander. It's really satisfying to stagger those giant minotaur demons and whatnot.
 

NerfedFalcon

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Despite my plans to play something I haven't finished before, I've ended up back in Hollow Knight for the past few days. I've gotten up to 101% completion, with plenty of time to spare for the 100% in 20 hours achievement. After scratching that off I intend to go all the way to 112, and pick up any other achievements I can like the Hunter's Journal.

After that it's just the 5-hour speedrun, which is a little outside my usual experience. Probably going to have to look at a guide for that, though it's probably still easier than the boss rush achievement.

Edit: Just realized I also have to do Steel Soul and 100% Steel Soul to get all the achievements. That... will probably take a little while as well.
 
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Xprimentyl

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Wrapping up the playthrough in souls, just beat the 4 kings. Really fun fight that one, the darkness messes with your depth perception really bad so I ended up running into them to ensure I was not gonna miss lol. Also finally got my endurance up high enough to wear the full Havel armor set without being too slow (got it at exactly 50% equipment load) so I'm just poising through half the things with my zweihander. It's really satisfying to stagger those giant minotaur demons and whatnot.
"Full... Havel's?" Man, that's no accomplishment! If you're not neked, you're not Soulsing!
 

happyninja42

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Dusted off Lords of the Fallen after playing Nioh 2. I vaguely recall picking that game up many moons ago, but losing interest. It's....it's a game. I'm playing it. I'm about as emotionally invested as all of the bland, stoic, uninterested characters seem to be with what's going on around them. The combat is slow and clunky, though that's partly due to weight apparently, the magic is...incredibly limited, only 4 spells per class. It's keeping me mildly engaged as I run around smashing things.

I do like the XP system they have, where the longer you go without using a checkpoint, the higher your XP multiplier is, giving a nice risk/reward incentive. It only caps at x2, and it's easy to farm the multiplier by spanking easy, one hit mobs, and then going through a tougher zone for more xp, but given how slow you move, and how convoluted and twisty some of the routes are, it can be tedious. We'll see if I keep playing it, or if I drop it like last time. I'm at roughly the same place I got to last time, before just being annoyed and bored with how little information is given to you, about what you are doing, or any of these other things.
 

meiam

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Dusted off Lords of the Fallen after playing Nioh 2. I vaguely recall picking that game up many moons ago, but losing interest. It's....it's a game. I'm playing it. I'm about as emotionally invested as all of the bland, stoic, uninterested characters seem to be with what's going on around them. The combat is slow and clunky, though that's partly due to weight apparently, the magic is...incredibly limited, only 4 spells per class. It's keeping me mildly engaged as I run around smashing things.

I do like the XP system they have, where the longer you go without using a checkpoint, the higher your XP multiplier is, giving a nice risk/reward incentive. It only caps at x2, and it's easy to farm the multiplier by spanking easy, one hit mobs, and then going through a tougher zone for more xp, but given how slow you move, and how convoluted and twisty some of the routes are, it can be tedious. We'll see if I keep playing it, or if I drop it like last time. I'm at roughly the same place I got to last time, before just being annoyed and bored with how little information is given to you, about what you are doing, or any of these other things.
I actually finished the game and remember liking it (although it was nothing special) I cannot for the life of me remember anything of the end of the game (final level? Final boss? End of story?), so maybe I didn't finish it?

There's a sequel that's supposed to come out soon-ish, although I think its a different developer.
 

happyninja42

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I actually finished the game and remember liking it (although it was nothing special) I cannot for the life of me remember anything of the end of the game (final level? Final boss? End of story?), so maybe I didn't finish it?

There's a sequel that's supposed to come out soon-ish, although I think its a different developer.
From the incredibly vague opening sequence, I'm killing their version of god? I honestly don't know for sure, but the lore so far, that's been drip fed, implies their god is an evil one, and the judges, 3 humans, kicked his ass and sent him packing. Since they imply he's back, and that's why the demons are returning, I'm guessing that's what the ultimate baddy is.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Got the Deterrence and Disarmament trophies in MGSV this past weekend, along with the Architect last night for expanding all mother base platforms. Wish there were more to do on the actual base besides send staff out to various missions, but oh well. Also at the point where Quiet leaves, but will do the trick to get her back as she’s a huge asset for infiltration. Plus she has a thing for Snake (no pun).
 

Dreiko

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"Full... Havel's?" Man, that's no accomplishment! If you're not neked, you're not Soulsing!
Lol it's more about not being super slow in it than just wearing it.

Also this char I'm playing is mainly a strength and endurance build so I just like poising through stuff. I'll do the naked playthrough on a ng+ XD.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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Despite my plans to play something I haven't finished before, I've ended up back in Hollow Knight for the past few days. I've gotten up to 101% completion, with plenty of time to spare for the 100% in 20 hours achievement. After scratching that off I intend to go all the way to 112, and pick up any other achievements I can like the Hunter's Journal.

After that it's just the 5-hour speedrun, which is a little outside my usual experience. Probably going to have to look at a guide for that, though it's probably still easier than the boss rush achievement.

Edit: Just realized I also have to do Steel Soul and 100% Steel Soul to get all the achievements. That... will probably take a little while as well.
I was going for Platinum a few months ago but I got sick of the pantheon boss rushes. Just don't have it in me to master EVERY boss in the game in one go.
 

Xprimentyl

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Lol it's more about not being super slow in it than just wearing it.

Also this char I'm playing is mainly a strength and endurance build so I just like poising through stuff. I'll do the naked playthrough on a ng+ XD.
In my dozens of playthroughs of DS1, I've never been able to pull off a STR build. Slow weapons and mid-fat rolling feel far to disadvantageous in the big moments. I want to try though; it's basically an entire version of the game I've not experienced.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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In my dozens of playthroughs of DS1, I've never been able to pull off a STR build. Slow weapons and mid-fat rolling feel far to disadvantageous in the big moments. I want to try though; it's basically an entire version of the game I've not experienced.
That’s a good way of putting it. I’ve always had more or less the same build type in all my play through’s across the games because it worked well for me, but man would that be a trip just being a human tank or maybe even a glass cannon.
 
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Xprimentyl

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That’s a good way of putting it. I’ve always had more or less the same build type in all my play through’s across the games because it worked well for me, but man would that be a trip just being a human tank or maybe even a glass cannon.
Yeah, I always end up going middle of the road, DEX and minimal armor to maintain the fast roll, but dumping everything into STR and END and tanking sounds fun if the grind to get there wouldn't be too frustrating. And a glass cannon build is the dream; I love seeing massive chunks of damage come off those health bars, but I've not near the balls to run around exploiting the RTSR and Power Within that really makes the most of those builds. I kinda got that experience during my INT runs with the high-damage spells, but wasn't quite as satisfying as landing a hit with a heavy weapon. One day, one day...
 
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Dreiko

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In my dozens of playthroughs of DS1, I've never been able to pull off a STR build. Slow weapons and mid-fat rolling feel far to disadvantageous in the big moments. I want to try though; it's basically an entire version of the game I've not experienced.
It's a mix of pre-empting your foes and staggering them and just plowing through with reckless abandon. You hit so hard that just getting a single hit in and rolling away is sufficient in a lot of bosses. Lighter enemies are especially trivial since your attacks knock em down and most things die in 2 hard hits anyways even when 1handing the sword, if not one 2handed hit. It was around the lizardmen fort that I had enough stats to start wielding the zweihander full time and not switch to a 1h sword for some things and I never looked back. I was still doing a lighter armor build with fast rolls up until I got the black knight armor but greatswords really need you to have poise to make them shine so I just decided to be mid speed for the rest of it.


Like you know those shield/halberd golems in anor londo, those go down in a single 2handed jump attack and the stronger ones that cast magic go down in 2 heavy 2handed hits. And the silver knights just need 2 1handed hits but they fall down after the first hit so it's more about just hitting them first. The idea is that even if you get hit you have high enough poise and your hits do so much stagger and damage that you end up ahead. Also I have put the minimal points in the healing miracles because you do take bits of damage here and there with this build but half the time stuff just dies instantly so it's more like a backup in case something weird happens lol.

That’s a good way of putting it. I’ve always had more or less the same build type in all my play through’s across the games because it worked well for me, but man would that be a trip just being a human tank or maybe even a glass cannon.
I really am making a Berserk style char since Souls has a world feel that gives me a lot of kinship with that series and yeah human tank is a good way of putting it. In my fight with the 4 kings I legit just ran into them and did 2handed fast attacks through whatever they were doing outside of their magic spells. If I wanted to heal I'd chug estus and poise through their hits and keep chugging until their attacks finished, as opposed to trying to roll, since drinking estus actually has less recovery. With an electrified raw zweihander +5 they each went down in like 7 hits too. First time I saw something take over 1000 damage XD.
 
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Dalisclock

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Tomb Raider Anniversary.

So back in the late 1990's, I played the first tomb raider game(The Gold version with the bonus levels included) and until 2013(when the reboot came out) that was the only tomb raider game I'd played. That being said, I wasn't very good at it. I beat it but I didn't technically beat it, because the game was very difficult and I used the level skip cheat at least a few times in the midgame(I think I beat like one of the Greece levels legit, because St. Francis's folly was a pain in the butt). As such, playing this remake of that game has been an interesting experience because it's both different then the original game but close enough (to what I remember) that it feels like actually beating it for the first time.

The remake is generally a pretty faithful adaptation of the original, adding some gameplay improvements(Lara handles a hell of a lot smoother then I remember), while at the same time retaining some elements of the original despite them making very little sense. Notably, the fact you find modern ammo and healthpacks just lying all over the place in ruins have presumably laid undisturbed for hundreds if not thousands of years(The egyption ones are probably 3-4 thousand years old), but even more bizarrely, you routinely find animals, dinosaurs(Yes, fucking dinosaurs) and monsters either appear out of thin air(in already cleared areas) or in rooms with no entry or exit other then the one you just opened. In one case, you open a room the size of a walk in closet and two panthers jump out at you....so apparently they've been there for 3000 years, give or take a few centuries?

Otherwise, the game is fun, and the rooms are like giant puzzle boxes where you have to think 3 dimensionally and have a good grasp of spatial relationships. The remake apparently stripped down the levels to the critical path and cut out some of the side rooms and transitional areas(One area in Greece was condensed between the Cistern and the tomb at the end, though the area removed was basically a sewer), which honestly doesn't bother me. I understand some people could find it annoying but the game has more than enough substance and challenge even with some of the bits from the original removed. More controversially the game takes cues from Legend where there's a number of Cinematic sequences with QTES, notably all the of fights with Humans(which consists of the villians gang of henchmen) instead of being straight out fights from the first game and the boss fights are puzzle bosses where you need to do things in a particular sequence to win.

There's a couple of things I could gripe about, such as the whole lack of historical research in the tomb locations(The Coliseum in Greece is a big offender) or the fact pretty much all of them have parts open to the sky, so them remaining undiscovered by anyone until now seems a bit hard to swallow but I realize this is supposed to be pulpy so I'll let it go.

The game, despite the changes in gameplay engine, controls and level design, is still fucking hard at times. Sometimes it's a problem of not knowing what to do next(because that ledge looks too far to jump to but it's JUST within reach of a running jump) but even if you have perfect knowledge of each room, it's easy enough to mistime a jump somewhere or just be unlucky and fall to your death/get crushed/whatever(especially in sections where you have to make precise jumps under in very tight time limits). A No Death run of this game would be quite a feat. Some of the Escapist staff were musing on the recent TR(original) stream that Lara being so prone to painful injury in the 2013 game was a direct homage to how easy it was for her to die in the older games and I can't help but agree with that.

There's also Lara Journal, which aside from being used once in an opening cutscene, is in your inventory and is supposed to act as a hint button of sorts. I say SUPPOSED to because it contains wonderful gems such as "Parts of this room look unstable" and "An advanced civilization made this". I'm not even joking, the hints are that fucking useless I don't know why they even bothered implementing this.

More concerning is the fact that while the levels work great from gameplay perspective, they just don't work at all from the perspective of being actual buildings. Like, massive scale of the ruins aside, there's like no possible way anyone could be expected to traverse any of these ruins and there's precious little hint there were ever ladders, bridges or staircases to link floors and cross gaps and it's unclear how the hell Lara was supposed to get out at times. The game adds a grappling hook and thus puzzles so Lara can grapple rings in certain rooms to swing or wall run between handholds/platforms, but the rings seem to serve no other purpose then to allow someone with a grappling hook to solve the puzzle room so ....why? I mean, maybe they were there for construction purposes but they're in places that feel like they wouldn't actually work for that.

It's particular egregious in the late game Natla's mines where Lara watches the villains enter a location and can't be more then 15 min behind them but somehow there's no remotely traversable path for a normal human being(Lara has to do some fancy footwork to get across) and it's just fucking bizarre. So it's generally a case of something being video-gamey because it falls apart the moment logic is applied.
 
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