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  2. bad stuff thread.

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  8. Westworld (TV series)

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    • First post in this thread in a bit over 12 years? Well, guess this calls for a slam more than it does a bump!  I've outlined this elsewhere, but one of my gaming goals for the year is to play through all of the God of War series (well, the stuff that matters, so no, not the text-based Facebook Messenger game which was apparently a thing) in preparation for Ragnarök's arrival in November. With us getting the solid release date for that game early last month and me picking up everything I needed to play through the series last month, earlier today I booted up the first God of War.  I played 15 minutes or so of this a few months ago testing out how PlayStation Now was on PS5 (which was fine, but I'd rather just play the game from the console or disc rather than stream it), which definitely set my expectations somewhat for the game, and today I've put in a few hours, and have just arrived at the Temple of the Oracle in Athens. As always, before jumping in: I'll probably have more middling and negative stuff to list off in this first post. I almost always do. It's very hard to not notice these things playing through some games for the first time!  Let's start with the positives: this game feels fantastic. I love how fluid the combat is (even if, a lot of the time, I think it boils down to ye olde classic Square, Square, Triangle – at least it has so far), I'm a big fan of the variety of animations Kratos uses in combat, and I'm really enjoying stringing together long combos (I've not really played too many character action or combo-based games like this for a long time, maybe since I had a PS2? So it's definitely hitting that nostalgia spot for me). I have no real idea what's going on story wise, but hey, that's fine by me, because I'm just here to have fun and see what still holds up about this game. I wasn't expecting a skills-based "magic" system in this game, so I've had a lot of fun using those in general combat as I've picked them up, especially on the few occasions where it's been called for in puzzles so far. I also just really like the architecture and design ethos of the game, there have been a few times already where I feel like I've had a few options on which way to go, but I'm not really going out of my way to do and see as much as I can in this game (trying to take a break from that mindset...for now), and I think every single time I've come to some fork in the road, my gut instinct - clearly informed by some subtle design decisions - has pointed me in the right direction without fail. I also really enjoyed the first boss fight (even if it did take me a moment to clock onto what it wanted me to do because I don't think the framing of the battle does a great job of really setting you odd in the right direction), though similar to most enemies in the game so far, it definitely felt like more of a sponge than it needed to be.  Now, there are some negatives, but I don't think they're necessarily bad things about the game itself, but just ways it's showing its age. Like it's camera. Man, I hate some cameras in games, especially fixed perspective cameras like the ones you got in MGS2, but at least those were consistent; this game jumps pretty freely from behind-the-back to fixed angle to another fixed angle to swinging around to another fixed angle to a wide shot and...man, it's super disorienting, not in the sense that I'm getting lost, but in the sense that it's making me physically feel uneasy at times (in fairness, it's super hot - I wonder what Kratos would do if the Greek Gods were pushing humanity off the brink through global warming? - which is definitely compounding that feeling, but I think it would still be there regardless). Aside from the general uneasiness of jumping between angles at this game's every whim, the camera just creates inconsistencies in how you approach things, for instance the age-old "you're tiptoeing across a ledge/beam/whatever, so let's change the angle while you're doing that and have you need to actually adjust your character's movement based on the angle we go to, and no you can't continue with the input you were using before", one of my absolute biggest pet peeves in gaming. I'll adjust, I'm sure, but it's stuff like this which I thinks makes some 3D games so much harder to go back to (I actually thought this game was older than it was before booting it up, so it's funny that this approach was taken in a game released towards the end of the generation where I feel it was mostly figured out?).  And then there are just some general curiosities to the game, decisions which aren't really negatives to the game, but are certainly decisions made at the time which I'm not sure they'd stand by today. Such as the sex mini-game – that sure was a choice, and that sure was a thing, and I'm not really sure what to make of it, though I did find it hilarious that the top halves of these women in the cutscene prior to the mini-game being made accessible made them look like they were a generation ahead of Kratos on a purely technical perspective, you can see where the priorities were for that short moment in the game  more curiously: R2 to interact with and open things, but even weirder than that, mashing R2 to lift heavy doors/gates – this has to be one of the weirdest feeling QTE-style inputs ever, especially with just how much the DualShock 3's triggers can travel when compared with the triggers of the DualShock 2. And also, right stick to dodge/roll? Man, again, just feels super weird, and definitely took some getting used to! Anyways, looking forward to putting some more time into the game tomorrow, hopefully I'll get to take on some more bosses and adjust to the camera a bit more! Maybe? Possibly? Who am I kidding, probably not 
    • It's the fact that he blatantly waited until the last moment! That's just spiteful! The worse thing is that at the corner going into the car obstacles, I caught a glimpse of that red shell behind him, and there was not a damn thing I could do to block it!
    • There's a mini game island style mode, but that's about it for single player stuff.
    • https://www.trueachievements.com/n50726/xbox-achievements-not-unlocking   Ah - this could be why my achievements didn't pop. 
    • Yeah it leaked just before the show. If the leak info is correct, this is written by the guy who wrote the story for Soma, which is one of my all-time favourite game stories. Alone in the Dark also always looked like my cup of tea, but it was before my PC gaming time. If I had the PC for it now I'd be all over this.
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