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Casual Shinji

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More Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and it must be said, those Underground hide-outs are stupid hard on the hardest difficulty. Which sounds rather obvious I guess, but it's a huge jump in difficulty all of a sudden. I was getting wrecked by those dudes with the shields and hammers, and then casually spawning in snipers with every wave is fucking torment. I've never bitched out of so many fights in a Spider-Man game before. They really push you to effeciently use every power at your disposal.
 
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Dalisclock

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Completed Castlevania III.

So while it's fucking hard, it is an overall improvement and refinement on the previous 2 games for the most part(with the Exception of the STAIRS). Roughly 2/3 of the game is spent getting to the castle via 1 of 2 routes(Apparently I took the easier of the two by going for Sypha) and then once you reach the castle the paths converge. From there on its more or less revisiting large chunks of the original CV(in some cases looking almost exactly the same) though there are a couple areas that I don't remember seeing in CV(notably an area with lots of flowing water), which I think is where the Castle being a creature of Chaos comes from(or would eventually be justified as). I do like the modified version of the original CV map used once you enter the castle, which replaces the "Route to the castle map" used until that point.

One thing that did irritate me is that despite the fact you are racing a ticking clock for the entire game, which means you can't stop to smell the roses, a couple sections decide to use the old video game staple of having a scrolling screen of death where you die if the border catches up with you I counted no less than 3, going either up or down and it wouldn't bother me except there's no justification in game. Suddenly you're just forced to stay ahead(below or above) the screen moving on it's own because reasons. To be fair, this trope has more or less always been bullshit but I'd forgotten about it because modern games don't really use it anymore. Instead there will be an object of death which will chase you instead(A large vehicle, a crushing ceiling, a rising pool of lava, etc) which at least has some clearly signaled reason why I must hurray, not just "The screen hates me now".

But yeah, definitely the best of the games so far. Going to start CV IV next, so back to Simon one more time before pressing on to elsewhere in the timeline.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Completed Castlevania III.

So while it's fucking hard, it is an overall improvement and refinement on the previous 2 games for the most part(with the Exception of the STAIRS). Roughly 2/3 of the game is spent getting to the castle via 1 of 2 routes(Apparently I took the easier of the two by going for Sypha) and then once you reach the castle the paths converge. From there on its more or less revisiting large chunks of the original CV(in some cases looking almost exactly the same) though there are a couple areas that I don't remember seeing in CV(notably an area with lots of flowing water), which I think is where the Castle being a creature of Chaos comes from(or would eventually be justified as). I do like the modified version of the original CV map used once you enter the castle, which replaces the "Route to the castle map" used until that point.

One thing that did irritate me is that despite the fact you are racing a ticking clock for the entire game, which means you can't stop to smell the roses, a couple sections decide to use the old video game staple of having a scrolling screen of death where you die if the border catches up with you I counted no less than 3, going either up or down and it wouldn't bother me except there's no justification in game. Suddenly you're just forced to stay ahead(below or above) the screen moving on it's own because reasons. To be fair, this trope has more or less always been bullshit but I'd forgotten about it because modern games don't really use it anymore. Instead there will be an object of death which will chase you instead(A large vehicle, a crushing ceiling, a rising pool of lava, etc) which at least has some clearly signaled reason why I must hurray, not just "The screen hates me now".

But yeah, definitely the best of the games so far. Going to start CV IV next, so back to Simon one more time before pressing on to elsewhere in the timeline.

Keen on reading your thoughts as an adult on the gameplay refinements and the enhanced audio-visuals in IV. I know for me it had a few of those “Mom! Dad! Come look at THIS!!” moments as a young-un.
 
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BrawlMan

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I started playing some Arkham City a couple nights ago. The combat is already a usual improvement over asylum. What I don't like already is how character switching works. You're forced to do Catwoman every so often when Batman is somewhere else or out of commission when doing his main missions. Catwoman should have got a separate story mode altogether. The thing is, you're already switched to her after doing Batman's first two main story missions. I did not play anything last night unfortunately, because I was tired and I fell asleep early.
 

Dalisclock

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Keen on reading your thoughts as an adult on the gameplay refinements and the enhanced audio-visuals in IV. I know for me it had a few of those “Mom! Dad! Come look at THIS!!” moments as a young-un.
Well, at this point I'm playing games I've never touched before, because I never played any of the CV past 2 as a kid(I know, SHAME!). Going through them all in one go as an adult is definitely an interesting experience. I'm probably gonna stop after finishing SoTN because that's apparently where the series Peaked and a lot of the games are apparently their own side thing(though the ones that take place in the 21st century sound interesting).

I started CV IV and already seeing how they took advantage of the increased processing power of the SNES to refine the gameplay further. I'll have more to say once I've gotten further into it.
 

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Well, at this point I'm playing games I've never touched before, because I never played any of the CV past 2 as a kid(I know, SHAME!). Going through them all in one go as an adult is definitely an interesting experience. I'm probably gonna stop after finishing SoTN because that's apparently where the series Peaked and a lot of the games are apparently their own side thing(though the ones that take place in the 21st century sound interesting).
My first Castlevania game was Circle Of the Moon. Up until that point, I vaguely knew of the series existence. I didn't play the NES games on emulator until I was in high school around 2004 or 2005. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Not many people in my circle knew about Castlevania either back in the 90s or early 2000s.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Well, at this point I'm playing games I've never touched before, because I never played any of the CV past 2 as a kid(I know, SHAME!). Going through them all in one go as an adult is definitely an interesting experience. I'm probably gonna stop after finishing SoTN because that's apparently where the series Peaked and a lot of the games are apparently their own side thing(though the ones that take place in the 21st century sound interesting).

I started CV IV and already seeing how they took advantage of the increased processing power of the SNES to refine the gameplay further. I'll have more to say once I've gotten further into it.
That’s a good stopping point. The Lords of Shadow games for example are almost spiritual successors; good/great in their own right, but ultimately nothing like the classics. I also personally didn’t mind Mirror of Fate, as it felt like a callback to the classic games and had some interesting new ideas, but still felt a bit lacking for a modern side scroller.

The Bloodstained games however are proper 2D entries that pick back up the metroidvania mantle well and good.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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Some random third playthrough thoughts on Blasphemous.

We get a lot of very pretty 16-bit cutscenes early on. They're all brief, silent and used sparsely whenever we're introduced to a character or a concept, but I think the game could've used more of these. Almost all of them show up in the trailer and they're a large part of the sell, I think, yet 90% of them happen within maybe the first hour of the game. If the same ones recurred throughout the game (like when you upgrade your life or kneel before a mea culpa shrine) I'd be happy with that. For that matter, why doesn't upgrading your fervour get a cutscene?

Wish there was more lore or characterization to the bosses. In the Souls games bosses are an intrinsic part of each level and usually have a shared history that becomes part of the lore. With the exception of Our Lady of the Charred Visage, Esdras and I guess the final boss, nobody ever gets teased or forshadowed by the levels themselves. Anybody could show up anywhere, difficulty aside, and it wouldn't make a difference because they all feel removed from the enviroment and the story.

And there isn't much story. Again, 90% of these games is usually deep lore item description, wikia dives and environmental storytelling. That's fine. But at least you have a vague idea of what you're trying to accomplish.

Parry isn't entirely useless but I usually forget about it long before I even fight the first boss. You never really need to parry like you do in Bloodborne, especially with the Chalice Dungeon bosses.

Jondo and Grievance Ascends look like placeholders they forgot to color in and decorate. Jondo is just a plain black background with nothing but metal grating for scenery. Grievance is a cheap, ugly looking sewer level in a game that already has a dedicated sewer area (Desecrated Cistern). Every other level looks gorgeous and super polished by comparison.
 

Dalisclock

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My first Castlevania game was Circle Of the Moon. Up until that point, I vaguely knew of the series existence. I didn't play the NES games on emulator until I was in high school around 2004 or 2005. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Not many people in my circle knew about Castlevania either back in the 90s or early 2000s.
I knew of them growing up but the difficulty turned me off when I was younger. I forgot the series even existed for a while until SotN became the hit it was. Now with the collections available I've found a reason to run through them partially for ease of access(the series didn't hurt either).

That’s a good stopping point. The Lords of Shadow games for example are almost spiritual successors; good/great in their own right, but ultimately nothing like the classics. I also personally didn’t mind Mirror of Fate, as it felt like a callback to the classic games and had some interesting new ideas, but still felt a bit lacking for a modern side scroller.

The Bloodstained games however are proper 2D entries that pick back up the metroidvania mantle well and good.
Probably end up picking up Bloodstained....wait it is on sale? Oh, it's half off on GOG right now($20). That looks quite reasonable.

Yeah, I heard Lords of Shadow cribbed a lot from God of War and Shadow of the Colussus, but a lot of the fans of the series felt disappointed by the whole thing. Too bad because the big reveal in Lords of Shadow sounded pretty cool.
 

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Yeah, I heard Lords of Shadow cribbed a lot from God of War and Shadow of the Colussus, but a lot of the fans of the series felt disappointed by the whole thing. Too bad because the big reveal in Lords of Shadow sounded pretty cool.
Those games in particular are love it or hate it. There are many a Lord of shadows fans. Now most fans prefer the first game over the second game. That is true. And this is nothing new for castlevania. Both of the PS2 games were cribbing from Devil May Cry. Ironic, because I told you before, DMC took a lot from the old school Castlevania. They are flawed games, but they have their fans. If you wish, I do least recommend the first Lords of Shadow game and the side scrolling mid prequel, Mirror of Fate, to the second game. If you got a decent laptop and have steam, you can usually get all three on a sale.



 
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Bob_McMillan

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Started playing Battlefield 4 again after some friends invited me, man I missed this game. Perfect blend of skill based gunplay that's still enjoyable and objective based gameplay that still allows for fuck about-y fun.

What is not perfect, and frankly quite embarrassing for DICE, is the fucked to hell progression system. Want new guns? Spend 2 hours running around the map, not contributing to your team, trying to kill someone with a defibrillator. Oh, want to know your progress unlocking these guns? Log in to Battlelog you fucking imbecile. Also, we'll stop supporting it years later so good luck with that shit.

It such a relic, such a 2010s kind of thing it almost makes me nostalgic.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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The Sexy Brutale. Groundhog Day in a casino mansion where the staff is murdering the guests and you're stuck in a time loop figuring out the who, the where and the how in order to stop them. It's a great premise, sort of reverse Hitman, but disappointingly simple and linear in execution. Once you get the lay of the land (it's not that difficult - the 'missions' are compartmentalized within the hotel and don't affect each other) you interact with the only thing you're allowed to and that's it. There're no multiple outcomes, no elaborate chain reactions, nothing to really try out. As complicated as it looks sometimes - like saving two people from dying for different reasons in two different spots at the same time - all you ever really need to do is one thing.

It's got a very fetching presentation, style and overall presentation, and pulls off a unique blend of funny and macabre. To the degree that it's doing its own thing and not trying to fill out a quota I like it. There's very little to actually dislike about it, other than the glacial walking pace. But I do wish it developed its starring gameplay mechanic more thoroughly.
 
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NerfedFalcon

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Decided to dig out Metal Gear Solid for another playthrough. Generally I don't play stealth games since I'm really bad at them, but Metal Gear Solid's one that I'm able to handle better than most with the help of the radar. Obviously the graphics look extremely dated, and the cutscenes can get a little long-winded, but the writing isn't bad and the voice acting more than fills the gaps left by the lack of facial expressions. The game itself works well too; with the radar's limited range, it's still useful to use the corner peek and first-person views to get a look at things outside its range, and it's possible to escape without being killed even if you get spotted by the guards.

Well, I'm only playing on Normal because I'm not such a masochist as to pick Hard for a genre I can't play well, but still. So far I've gone through the first building and reached the entrance of the second.
 

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I decided to play more Arkham City last night. I'm starting to notice where the latest PS4 Spider-Man games got some of their ideas from, along with Spider-Man 2. For example, Batman's grappling hook is R1, and the web sling off of rooftops is also R1 in the Spider-Man games. With that said, the Arkham games have the better stealth overall, and the Spider-Man games have the better combat. Not that Arkham city's combat is bad, but the PS4 Spider-Man games have better bosses. I know Origins has the better boss battles out of all the Batman games, but I haven't played those. It sucks they couldn't import those modern consoles. Does not make much sense not to do so. If I ever felt the need to get Origins, I will have to buy it used. I still have my 360.
 
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happyninja42

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Well, I'm only playing on Normal because I'm not such a masochist as to pick Hard for a genre I can't play well, but still.
I feel obligated, given your Souls love to say "Git gud you scrub" But hey, at least MGS gives you the option, you know, so you can enjoy a story you might like, despite not being good at a genre. Funny that, options. Hmmm :p
 
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BrawlMan

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I feel obligated, given your Souls love to say "Git gud you scrub" But hey, at least MGS gives you the option, you know, so you can enjoy a story you might like, despite not being good at a genre. Funny that, options. Hmmm :p
Same here. I love accessibility regardless if I'm great at a genre or not. Besides, Souls got nothing on Comix Zone's absurd difficulty. I was never a fan of just there being one difficulty that kills the player and tortures him or her to death with it.
 

NerfedFalcon

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I feel obligated, given your Souls love to say "Git gud you scrub" But hey, at least MGS gives you the option, you know, so you can enjoy a story you might like, despite not being good at a genre. Funny that, options. Hmmm :p
I took on the Souls games as a long-term project, knowing that I'd have to push hard to get through them. And I'm not that bad at action games generally, so taking on a hard action-RPG didn't sound impossible. Taking on a hard stealth game isn't my idea of fun.

If I ever want to git gud I'll try Chaos Theory or something. Or do the rest of Phantom Pain; I played through about half of it when it came out, but dropped it once the online stuff got introduced and just didn't interest me. Which sucked, because I was really enjoying TPP until then.
 

happyninja42

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I took on the Souls games as a long-term project, knowing that I'd have to push hard to get through them. And I'm not that bad at action games generally, so taking on a hard action-RPG didn't sound impossible. Taking on a hard stealth game isn't my idea of fun.
That's exactly the stance of people who aren't good at souls games/action games. And why they would like a difficulty scale. Because, you just need to replace the words "stealth games" with "Souls game" in your entire opinion, and you have the other side's entire point. Taking on action games, for people who aren't good at them, isn't their idea of fun.


OT: Still knocking away at Farcry 4. I noticed one detail that I actually find pretty neat. It's got your typical ubisoft tower climbing stuff, to reveal the map. These are radio towers, and they are being used by Pagan Min to broadcast his propaganda across the map. Now, the neat thing I noticed, that I can't recall any other game doing with their radio system, is that when you are in the area of influence of a radio tower, which radio station that comes through, is determined by who owns it. So if you are in an area with an enemy radio tower, you hear Pagan Min's propaganda broadcast. If you are in the area of a tower you've liberated, you get Radio Free Kyrat. I literally heard the stations static out, and transition to the other one as I was driving around. So that was pretty neat. It's a nice little touch. I find the RFK itself a bit annoying, mostly because the sound quality for the radio isn't great. The DJ talks WHILE a song is playing, and the song is at a volume that makes it hard to hear what he's saying, but he's also so loud that it's disruptive of the song as well. So it's this really clashing thing. Also just the sound balances seem way off. Lots of bass, and distortion, to replicate it being a pirate radio with shitty equipment. I get it, but, I mean please make it at least clear enough that I don't have to stop the fucking car to remove the engine noise, in order to hear what's being said?

Not much else to report. It's a typical FC setup. Sneaking, stabbing, shooting, etc. The wildlife is incredibly aggressive though, and it makes trying to stealth outposts really difficult, as you will suddenly find a siberian tiger chewing on your ass, which freaks the guys out, alerting them to you, as I assume Ajay starts screaming like a girl being eaten by a tiger...which fair enough, but it does ruin my stealth assault.
 

NerfedFalcon

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That's exactly the stance of people who aren't good at souls games/action games. And why they would like a difficulty scale. Because, you just need to replace the words "stealth games" with "Souls game" in your entire opinion, and you have the other side's entire point. Taking on action games, for people who aren't good at them, isn't their idea of fun.
Dark Souls does have an easy mode, though. It's called co-op. Find someone online to help you beat the boss, or three someones if you're playing DSR or DS3, and you can overcome just about anything even if you're struggling to reach the next bonfire on your own. I'm not even saying this is necessarily a bad thing - I needed help to beat the Abyss Watchers myself, I'm just saying that there's options available to make the game a lot easier, that aren't choosing a different word on the main menu.