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Axiom Verge

I can just borrow it off my brother without having to buy anythiing I don't actually want :red:

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On 3/23/2020 at 9:06 PM, londragon said:

So, to give a finalised post for voting, here we go.

Modern Metroidvania

  1. Axiom Verge (4)
  2. Ori & the Blind Forest (6)
  3. SteamWorld Dig (2)

Voting to end on April the 4th, we'll announce the winner here and on the N-E Cafe podcast (episode 21) recorded on Sunday, April 5th.

Gaming to commence for the full month of April, and I'll collect everyone's viewpoints on the winning game, and we'll record the PodPals podcast on Sunday, May 3rd (episode 25).

Quoting as it's now on a new page, and added all the votes up to this post.  Is Axiom Verge making a late comeback?

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Last shout out for anyone interested in voting for April’s Modern Metroidvanias. The 3 games are Axiom Verge, Ori and the Blind Forest or SteamWorld Dig.

Voting closes on April 4th.

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On 3/23/2020 at 9:06 PM, londragon said:

Modern Metroidvania

  1. Axiom Verge (4)
  2. Ori & the Blind Forest (6)
  3. SteamWorld Dig (2)

We'll announce the winner here and on the N-E Cafe podcast (episode 21) recorded on Sunday, April 5th.

Voting is over, and here's how it all played out.

Ori & the Blind Forest taking the win. 

We will be recording the 21st episode of N-E Cafe in the next 30 minutes, so will give the winner a shout out there,too.

So, get gaming.  You have the full month of April, and I'll collect everyone's viewpoints on Ori, and we'll record the PodPals podcast on Sunday, May 3rd (episode 25).

Please share your thoughts on all things Ori, even how it stacks up to the sequel, for those that have played both.

Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Edited by londragon
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2 hours ago, londragon said:

Ori & the Blind Forest taking the win.

It's on sale for the next 29 hours on Steam: €4.99

 

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Dayumn son! Steam is a PodPals fan?

On a more serious note, I'm happy to see a relatively high voting turnout for the N-E VG Club

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3 hours ago, Vileplume2000 said:

It's on sale for the next 29 hours on Steam: €4.99

 

Does the game use the triggers / bumpers? I assume it does.

What's the price on Switch?

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46 minutes ago, Sméagol said:

Does the game use the triggers / bumpers? I assume it does.

What's the price on Switch?

Don't know, haven't bought or played it yet.

On the Switch it's €19,99

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Got it on Steam and played it for an hour or so. Decided to set the language in Portuguese (while fine, it does translate terms like "skill points", and I'm not sure if it irks me or not) and start on Hard Mode from the get-go (figured I'd have myself a challenge).

This game's artistic direction is gorgeous, with beautiful background artwork, fluid animations, even better music... and the entire opening sequence is great. I'm into it the moment I hear the first notes.

The game itself has been decent, gameplay-wise. The save point system is a tad clunky (more complicated than it needs to be), but so far, things have been progressing well. The double damage from Hard Mode is forcing me to play carefully, which is good. Looking forward to see how Ori develops.

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Found an Easter Egg of sorts during today's play session, in the background.

OYsmkbF.jpg

(As you can tell, I decided to put the game in English again)

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Found an Easter Egg of sorts during today's play session, in the background.

 

Took me a while to see what you were on about, but links with the text, too. Pun intended.

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I finally decided that I’ve waited for a Switch sale on Ori that’s not coming, so I dropped my £14.99 today, and I’ll start it tomorrow.

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I've put my first 77 minutes in today. They were a good 77 minutes. The soundtrack is amazing. It's a bit easier than Hollow Knight, and it's also a bit more obvious where you need to go. 

Ori is a bit more floaty in jumping compared to Hollow Knight, so that takes some getting used to. Anyway, off to a good start!

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Haven't played Hollow Knight, but the way Ori plays reminds me of Super Meat Boy (at least after the first couple of power-ups). Might be just me, though.

I'd just like to bring up something that's been annoying me greatly though: the game looks too pretty for its own good at times. It's hard to distinguish what serves a gameplay purpose and what doesn't. Projectiles will occasionally be so bright, it's hard to make out their hitbox, spikes/thorns blend in with the environments when they should pop (and also share the same confusing hitboxes, more noticeable in trickier platforming segments), to the point that more regular background elements (like branches or thin flowers) look a lot like spikes/thorns when I'm actively looking for some, and there are foreground elements that, due to blocking your sight, make certain enemies hard to fight (in places where that seemingly wasn't the intent).

Other than that, yeah, great music, looks, smooth gameplay, and a well designed map. It's just these above elements that are pissing me off.

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I actually found Ori to be pretty linear, sure there were lots of passages and upgrades to get to in various places but the actual critical path was a lot clearer than something like Hollow Knight or the usual Metroid games. Whether that's good or bad depends on your tastes I guess.

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rd8wQJf.jpg

Just finished it. Got 100% of the items on the map, but didn't unlock all of the skills (I think Hard Mode makes them more expensive, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I was 5 skills away from completing it, which is 15 skill points, and I'm not grinding for those). For the record, some of the skills highlight any collectibles you might have missed in your map, so finding them wasn't hard at all.

Gotta say, as a story, this game was a delight. Animations, scenery, and music stayed absolutely amazing up until the end. Difficulty-wise, it kept ramping it up as well, with a lot of tricky segments and/or gauntlets. I'm keeping my general complaints about barely-noticeable thorns though, adding that some of the longer gauntlets really like to just throw surprise 1-hit kills at you, making for a lot of frustrating, cheap deaths (and also, obstacles that require foresight to overcome, which isn't too appealing).

Ori controlled really well, especially the Bash technique, which is so versatile, I think it could carry a game all by itself. Not a fan of the combat, though, I wish there was more to it than just mashing an attack button (I do hear they improved this a lot in the sequel)

Regarding map design and linearity, they straight up give you the general direction of your next goal, which is not how my favourite Metroidvanias do it, for sure. There are two entirely optional parts of the map that you just know are optional, from the moment you find them. Definitely prefer to wander around on my own, finding stuff at my pace, rather than knowing exactly where to go at all times. Of course, the level design in this game seemed to focus on challenging obstacles and gauntlets rather than exploration, so I'm not too hung up on it.

(On a side note, considering all of that, I think the convoluted save system doesn't gel well with the game, either. If tricky platforming segments abound, I think the game would benefit a lot more from fixed save points)

Finally, I'd just like to say that I found two more Easter Eggs (albeit not the sort of stuff you can screenshot):

Spoiler
  1. One of the "Behind the Scenes" videos shows that they used Golbat.jpg pictures as placeholders for flying enemies :p They were also using an Ocarina of Time-style music sheet (complete with yellow N64 C-Button arrows), but that clearly never made it to the final game;
  2. As for something that's actually in the final game... the Wilhelm Scream is in this game. I had to do a double take to make sure the noise didn't come from the TV. What a thing to put in a game like this! Didn't even get an achievement for finding it.

All in all, it was a really enjoyable game to play. It does a lot of things right, though with a lot of room for improvement still. Especially the thorns, I was cursing those up until the end.

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And that's Ori done for me as well. I've completed the game yesterday, after about 7 hours and with 85% completion (and I skipped the whole underground burrows :P). I figured I would go item collecting before fighting the final boss but...

Spoiler

...there wasn't really one! I figured I would have to face Kuro after the escape from the volcano but the game ended there, quite abrupt.

So I booted the game up again today and got to 99% completion and all my skills unlocked. The remaining 1% must be the blue stones that don't show up on the minimap as I got every listed item. 

I enjoyed playing Ori. The mood is set right in the beginning, and it feels magical from the start. It is great that without a lot of dialogue and storytelling they can really get themes like friendship, loss and hope across. The amazing soundtrack and the graphics help a lot in that as well.

It is a true Metroidvania in the sense that you start as this fragile little creature and you really have to be wary of your health and when you save as it uses some valued consumables. Fast forward to the end and you can breeze through the world, all-powerful with a lot of different jumps, dashes and what's more. But like @Jonnas said, it does make an obvious case of where to go next, so in that regard it is rather light in the Metroidvania spirit.

Also I agree with Jonnas about combat, it is rather simple and just a matter of mashing the button. I wasn't impressed by the enemy designs as most are just blobs and tentacles. They all relied too much on their projectiles, and the art style made it hard to see sometimes. Although the game looks stunning, the excessive use of glow and lighting does make it difficult to make some judgements regarding enemies and hazards.

One enemy stood out though:

Spoiler

1GRbdgN.jpg

What a majestic beast.

It wasn't a particularly difficult game to tackle and maybe I should have put it on Hard as well. There were only three really difficult segments, and they were 

Spoiler

all three the escape parts from the "temples". These were really hectic and quite long without a point to save.

All in all I really enjoyed the game despite the shortcomings. The fact that I blasted through the game in 2 or 3 sessions says it all, as that's something that I hardly ever do. It helps that it is not a particularly long game. I'm glad I played it and if it learned me one thing is that I love Metroidvanias. This is not the best one, but it was a beautiful ride nonetheless.

Spoiler

3I1KTph.jpg

Spoiler

n1hO6av.jpg

 

 

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This is the last week to talk about the game. We’ll be recording the PodPals episode next week. If you want to be part of the N-E Café PodPals episode tell us what you feel about Ori and the Blind Forest. Any thoughts@Julius @Kaepora_Gaebora ?

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The N-E cafe Podcast for our big PodPals Ori and the Blind Forest episode is now live.  It pulls upon a lot of what was said in this thread, and adds @Nicktendo, @nekunando, and my feelings, too.

Thanks for all who participated in sharing and making the episode a real delight to record and share our thoughts.  Hope you like what we produced.

Anyway, here's a link to that episode, just in case you didn't already know;

 

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Haha well that was not what I was expecting after @Jonnas and my excitement. The Café Crew was a bit more critical about the game it seems :grin:

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Haha well that was not what I was expecting after [mention=3015]Jonnas[/mention] and my excitement. The Café Crew was a bit more critical about the game it seems :grin:

In general I was more positive about the game than Nick, but after listening back I seemed to have focused more on the nitpicking and didn’t spend enough time praising the game in the areas it did well. For me, it’s not a bad game at all, it’s good, it’s just not the masterpiece that people make it out to be.
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In retrospect, there was something that bothered me, but I never mentioned here: the ground stomp kinda sucks. It's strong and useful and all, but it's so sensitive to activate! Maybe it's from the controller I was using, but I kept doing it by accident while jumping (whereas something like Yoshi's butt stomp needs to have some force behind it).

But hey, it was good that Dennis and I got to be the optimistic voices in the cast. It's nice to bring multiple perspectives into a discussion, and despite the contrasting views, nobody got into an argument :heh:

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Just over another hour to hit 100%

The "optional" area you spoke about Jonnas was cool, really enjoyed it. And it SUCKS that it hides one of the best abilities in the game. This game is a little back-to-front, I get that you should feel more powerful as the game goes on, it's how the genre is built, but I had a MUCH better time with this game once everything was unlocked, it's just such a shame it started to feel good / play better in the final third after the annoying stuff earlier on had already worn me out. 360 deaths !! Just rename the game Celeste II and be done with it... Overall, I'm glad I stuck with it, might delete my negative Steam review 

iDwcvTw.jpg

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