Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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17 hours ago, Glen-i said:

Of course, equip Espers anyway. You might as well

Yeah, with the four available right now I decided to switch them around once one character has acquired all the magic from one Esper.

Anyways, made some more progress and am now on a different continent. It seems like shit's about to go down. Can't wait to play again after work :D 

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3 minutes ago, Londragon said:

Finished off the ascent, yet more to do.

[Lee Plays] A Short Hike (Part 3)

Old Nintendo Gamer climbs to the very highest of the peaks, and finds that it only starts the journey. There’s a lot more to uncover, and stories to be told from the island’s inhabitants.

 

1 minute ago, Londragon said:

But also, my trial of the Control: Cloud Version Test for Switch streaming.  Not good in my opinion, game and lag both bad.

[Lee Plays] Control: Cloud Version Test (Part 1)

Situated in Taiwan, Old Nintendo Gamer tests out the Control: Cloud Version running on his particular Switch set-up. Is the game playable, or does the main character become uncontrollable? Find out inside.

Whoops, sorry for creating a new page just as you shared those videos.
Quoted them so they're visible here :peace: 

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So, just finished the Crown Tundra DLC, aside from doing the post game tournament and I have a bit of a treat for you all... I recorded my attempts to catch Calyrex:

 

 

 

This one was a real doozy...

 

I also redownloaded Pokemon Trading Card Game Online (PC) again and finally got it working properly. If you miss sets on these type of games it can be a problem... especially since there's been an entire rotation since I last played the game and I had to either tweak certain decks to keep them Standard legal or just make them Expanded decks... admittedly most of my decks are Expanded anyway but I optimised the Expanded versions for Expanded anyway. Here's some tweets from my first days back on the game...

 

Some of the new Meta decks in this new rotation are pretty powerful. I played against the Eternatus deck and it amasses so much advantage through bench size and the fact that they could play this new card that let's you draw cards until you have 6 in your hand which was also a Dark type so happened to synergise with Eternatus' main attack which is more powerful the more Dark Pokemon you have. So I guess there was an attempt to try and balance it by restricting your deck building options but it's still a pretty powerful deck and it gets to it's really big numbers relatively easy so it basically OTKs everything and has 340HP so someone with an account of latter Sun/Moon era cards is always going to struggle. I have acquired some new cards from Rebel Clash and Darkness Ablaze through trading to help some of my decks and my favourite deck on the game, Rowlaboom, now runs Capture Energy to help search out the combo pieces. Kind of want to try and get the Rillaboom V and Rillaboom VMAX from Rebel Clash because that would be a strict upgrade on Cramorant in this deck. I also have a complete playset of Quick Balls now so edited all my decks to use this card to search things out.

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Got the airship in FFVI. The game starts now :D

Also played 7 hours of Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below.
Finished the story ages ago but I was in the mood to play it again. Got the option to start NG+ and I did. Sadly, the monsters don't get stronger so it's been a breeze so far.
This time I'm going for the Platinum so once the post game starts it'll get a little more challenging again, I hope.

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Tried out a few more games.

Observation is an interesting "visual novel" type game with a few puzzles. The setting (on a damaged space station) and initial mystery is interesting, but unfortunately it doesn't have a satisfying conclusion and seems to answer the wrong questions. 

Dead Cells is enjoyable but unfortunately I can't get into games like this. If it was the gameplay in a structured game I would enjoy it, but the random levels and starting from the start every death is not fun. Probably didn't help that my first death was because I was exploring and had no idea that something was a bottomless pit.

Vampyr is a very curious game. I like the setting and how you can choose how many people to kill. The challenging combat could be good (the temptation to kill innocent people to level up is really well done, and the mechanic of getting to know people better resulting in more XP is great) but unfortunately the extremely long load times after every death just makes it extremely frustrating.

Then there are the enemies. There's a secret group of vampire hunters. A few hours into the game, you've killed more than the amount of NPCs you can meet. It just makes it seems that the NPCs (around 60 or so) are the only people in London who don't know about vampires (well, some of those also know) and it just doesn't make sense in the setting.

Then I got to a point in the game where the game freezes. It seems the only option is to start the game from the beginning.

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4 hours ago, drahkon said:

Got the airship in FFVI. The game starts now :D

Also played 7 hours of Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below.
Finished the story ages ago but I was in the mood to play it again. Got the option to start NG+ and I did. Sadly, the monsters don't get stronger so it's been a breeze so far.
This time I'm going for the Platinum so once the post game starts it'll get a little more challenging again, I hope.

You want to go back to Narshe while you have access to the airship, there's another character you can recruit if you go back through the network of caves. He's not an essential pickup admittedly but he's an interesting addition to have especially if you want to have all the party members.

 

Also in an upcoming dungeon there is an item that allows you to attack four times in a row, if you combine it with the Genji Glove you can attack 8 times in a single turn, it's ridiculous!

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21 minutes ago, Aperson said:

You want to go back to Narshe while you have access to the airship, there's another character you can recruit if you go back through the network of caves. He's not an essential pickup admittedly but he's an interesting addition to have especially if you want to have all the party members.

 

Also in an upcoming dungeon there is an item that allows you to attack four times in a row, if you combine it with the Genji Glove you can attack 8 times in a single turn, it's ridiculous!

Gonna have to chime in here. The first suggestion is spot on, but the item you're talking about is not available for quite a while.

It is amazing. But it's defo end-gane stuff.

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Oh yeah, it's the Genji Glove you get there, NOT the other item... Never mind then.

 

At any rate, that type of combination was on my endgame Locke for the second playthrough, this is what I ended up with by the end (sorry about the screenshot quality, since I played the GBA version I could only screenshot a GBASP for the images)

 

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19 hours ago, Aperson said:

You want to go back to Narshe while you have access to the airship, there's another character you can recruit if you go back through the network of caves.

I did and he is now my favourite character and I will never let him out of my party no matter what

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:D

Managed to also learn 7 dances and unless the menu somehow expands I think I only need one more? No idea where to find it, though...I figured out that different battle locations let Mog learn dances, so I just flew around and fought a few fights.
I did, however, made the mistake of leaving the Blackjack behind while traveling through that stupid water current and had to walk back to the airship. It is then, when I noticed how truly atrocious the encounter rate is.
I don't mind fights, I don't mind grinding, but sometimes I just wanna get from point A to point B without a lot of hassle. Having to enter 8 million battles (which don't give you any worthwhile exp anymore) was annoying.

Anyway, hope I don't have to do much more of backtracking like that, because the encounter rate isn't as much of a problem when I just follow the story.

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17 minutes ago, drahkon said:

I did and he is now my favourite character and I will never let him out of my party no matter what

Mog_(Final_Fantasy_VI)_small.png

:D

Managed to also learn 7 dances and unless the menu somehow expands I think I only need one more? No idea where to find it, though...I figured out that different battle locations let Mog learn dances, so I just flew around and fought a few fights.
I did, however, made the mistake of leaving the Blackjack behind while traveling through that stupid water current and had to walk back to the airship. It is then, when I noticed how truly atrocious the encounter rate is.
I don't mind fights, I don't mind grinding, but sometimes I just wanna get from point A to point B without a lot of hassle. Having to enter 8 million battles (which don't give you any worthwhile exp anymore) was annoying.

Anyway, hope I don't have to do much more of backtracking like that, because the encounter rate isn't as much of a problem when I just follow the story.

Hey, you got Water Rondo? Clever. A lot of people overlook that one. Mostly because of the long trip back to the Blackjack.

You can't get the 8th one yet.

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22 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

Hey, you got Water Rondo? Clever. A lot of people overlook that one. Mostly because of the long trip back to the Blackjack.

Yeah, I figured that dances are based on certain environments so I thought there just had to be a water based dance. Had to try it

And the journey back to the Blackjack was annoying.

27 minutes ago, Glen-i said:

You can't get the 8th one yet.

Good to know :D

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With the exception on June, I have played a fair few games over the past few months. I'll put a paragraph or two about each game that i've played. Strap in...this is going to be a long post.

Spoiler

Anthem

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I decided to see if the server issues had been fixed but sadly found that the game still wouldn't let me play online properly. I had a look online to see if I could find a solution to the issues I was having and thankfully someone had posted on Reddit about how they changed some network settings on their PS4 and got the game working. I tried this myself and lo and behold it actually worked. I now had a fully functional copy of Anthem at my disposal which meant I could now go for the platinum.

The trophies were a bit of a grind, but I did enjoy having to play through the game as each of the different classes. It showed me the variety of what was on offer and also allowed me to play the game in different ways. It was also fun being able to actually play with other people on a more consistent basis.

I still maintain that if EA weren't the ones to make this game that it wouldn't have been given half of the criticism that it received. There is a very good game underneath the rough edges and I imagine if the game had more time in the oven, and a clearer vision, then it would have done much better. Still, for £5 I got what I consider a very good gaming bargain.

Sonic Forces

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I got this as part of PS+ and figured it had been a couple of years since I played and enjoyed it on the Switch that I would give it another play through on the PS4. When I played it on the Switch I finished the story mode and then called it a day but this time I planned on going for the platinum (obviously) which meant that I would have to dig a little deeper into the game and go through the game multiple times.

I really enjoyed doing the challenges. Things like doing the time trials and finding all the collectibles really helped me to get more out of the game. I have to say, I enjoyed this playthrough of the game far more than I did my original one on the Switch. I think I just appreciated the game a lot more this time around thanks to the amount of reply value I got out of it. That's not to say I disliked the game when I played it on the Switch. When I reviewed it for the site I gave it 8/10 which is a score I was hesitant to give seeing as we also gave Mario Odyssey the same score. However, having played through both of them twice now I think I actually enjoyed Sonic Forces more. That game actually challenged me in places, whereas Odyssey was a walk in the park. Funny how things work out.

I also played through the free Shadow episode. 

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It was more of the same but still enjoyable.

Gravity Rush 2

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I started this game back in 2017 and I wasn't sure why I stopped playing it. I fired the game up and started a fresh save because I couldn't remember a thing about the game. It soon became apparent why I stopped playing it in the first place.

There are numerous times in the game where Kat gets stripped of her powers and you are forced to play Gravity Rush without the gravity ability. Baffling. There were also a fair few stealth missions where, again, you couldn't use your powers and if you were seen you would get thrown back to the start. Then there was the camera...man, that camera. It's not very often that I get pushed so far where I want to throw my controller at the screen but this game really tested my patience at times. There were so many instances where I couldn't see where I was going, what I was doing or where Kat was positioned that I nearly threw in the towel. During these times I just had to knock the game off and take a break for a while, before coming back and trying again.

The original game was a fantastic experience, both on the Vita and PS4, but the sequel is outstays it's welcome ( double the size of the first game ) and has missions that aren't fun but instead just infuriate. 

As a glutton for punishment I decided to play through the free DLC as well.

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It wasn't as bad as the main game but it was pretty forgettable. 

Moving Out

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I was late to the party when it came to Overcooked! and I wanted to get in on the ground floor with this game because it looked just as wacky and fun as the Overcooked! games. It seemed to have the same type of charm to it, as well as the chaotic action that those games dished out. That being the case, I decided to snap it up and i'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed.

There were many times during my play through where I caught myself laughing away at the physics engine at play and seeing the removal man just throwing items carelessly out of a top floor window or pushing a giant fridge down some stairs, all in the name of getting a better finishing time for the stage. Like the Overcooked! games, you can finish a stage normal but by playing in a faster and smarter way then you will get better ranks. It really is Overcooked! but with removal men.

I didn't have the opportunity to play in co-op mode but I imagine it would be a right laugh with friends and family by your side. It's certainly a game I would recommend picking up.

Trails of Mana

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Awful JRPG. Cliche characters and TERRIBLE voice acting made for a rough gaming experience. What made things worse was I had to play through this thing 3 times in order to get the platinum.3 times! Granted, the game is only 20 hours long and that time can be brought down during subsequent playthroughs but it was still a pain in the butt to get through. Clearly the series is now for me because I tried playing Secret of Mana a couple of time snow and couldn't stomach it and now my experience with this game kinda solidifies that I can't really get away with Mana games.

Patapon

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Absolutely loved this game. My oldest nephew was obsessed with this game as a kid and would always harp on about it to me. He kept telling me over and over again to play it but I never listed to him. Here we are in 2020 and I finally gave the game a go. Turns out Josh was right.

Trying to keep you rhythm going whilst commanding an army of little creatures at the same time was tricky to get used to, especially in the heat of a battle and things are getting a little hectic. I soon learned how to balance your moves out in order to keep the rhythm going and eventually I was able to doing runs through the stages without missing a beat, which meant that I was doing stupid amounts of damage and getting better rewards.

The game is surprisingly deep, with you needing to pick which troops you need to take into battle with out and what equipment you need to fit them with. Taking the wrong units with you can be very costly and if you lose them then you will have to get some materials in order to make some more. It's definitely in your best interest to think a little tactically.

I had heard stories about the game and how the PS4 version was broken due to the music not being in sync with the button press of the bad. I gotta say, that certainly wasn't the case for me. I'm wondering if these people just had their TVs set to the wrong setting or something? 

Great game and certainly one for rhythm game fans. I'll be definitely picking up the sequel at some point and then may have to invest in the 3rd game for the PSP as it's not on the PS4 for some strange reason.

 

Spoiler

This month was a pretty rough one for me so I just played through the one game.

Crash Bandicoot 2

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This was another game that I started but never finished. I have no idea why because I had already got the platinum for Crash 1 and 3 but for some reason I left the second game. I guess I must have got burnt out by the time I got around to this one.

I fired the game up only to find I was 2 levels away from completing the thing! Having taken the boss down it was time to attempt the relic challenges. Crash 1 was stupidly hard, crash 3 was pretty easy and this one was supposed to fall someone where in the middle. I can say that such a statement is correct. It has a few tricky stages but nothing at the level of Crash 1. Still, there was a lot of memorization that needed to happen in order to get the times needed and some of the levels were pretty long. The ones that caused me the biggest headaches were the ones where you had to ride the polar bear.  Due to the fact that the game is auto scrolling, as well as the speed that you are going, it usually was a case of having to play perfectly from start to finish.

I managed to grab the platinum and that was all 3 of the original games done and dusted.

 

Spoiler

Habroxia

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Not too much to say about this one. I snapped it up due to Colin from Sacred Symbols talking about the game and giving it praise. Plus, I don't give out to Patreon so this would be me at least giving him a little something seeing as he partly owns the development studio of this game. It was on sale so I figured I would give it a go.

It's a fun little shoot-em-up that doesn't out stay it's welcome. Plus, it has cross buy functionality which meant I got the Vita version for free. Score!

Final Fantasy VII: Remake

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Back before the release of the game I said I would like to make FFVIIR my 400th platinum and that's exactly what I done.

The hard mode of the game wasn't that difficult once you had the correct materia setup. The combat system really comes into its own on this difficulty setting. It reminded me very much of the Kingdom Hearts games in that they get criticised for being very button mashy but set the game to a high difficulty and it's a whole new ball game. 

I will say that the game is pretty breezy if you are willing to skip the cutscenes. Having already finished the game in April, I was now happy to skip away. It's crazy how much time the scenes take up. Not that they bother me as I loved seeing them the first time through the game.

Jak X

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I've had this sat on the backlog for a LONG time and for some reason I was compelled to start playing it in July. I have fond memories of the game from when I played it on the PS2 but it feared it may be one of those games that hasn't aged very well. I was kinda right.

The AI in the game can pretty brutal and the rubberbanding that goes on is quite insane. The destruction derby type events aren't that bad but the actual races can push you to your limits. I found it best to hang around the middle of the pack and then go nuts with power ups on the last lap. This meant the AI didn't have enough time to grab the best weapons and smash you back into last place before the race was over. 

It's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, it's just a little dated and has some very tough/cheating AI to deal with.

Disney Afternoon Collection

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This was another game that I had started back in 2017 but then shelved. I originally bought the game just to play through Duck Tales and Chip N Dale, so after finishing those it went back on the digital shelf.

I decided to fire the game back up and try playing through the other games that were part of this collection and go for 100% completion ( there's no platinum trophy..crazy). This required me to play through all of the games in time attack mode and boss rush mode. Some of the games were quite tricky, especially Talespin. That has a very strange control method and you have to play perfectly in a few of the opening stages otherwise you may as well start from the beginning. I had to channel my younger self that grew up playing NES games in order pull of the victory in a couple of these games.

Most of these games are still very playable to this day. It goes to show just how great Capcom were during the NES era. It still baffles me that this collection never ended up on the Switch. Fools are leaving money on the table.

Alienation

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Looking through my trophy list, this was another game that I started (2016) but didn't get the platinum on. I decided to go for it. This required me to play through the game a couple more times as different classes. Like Anthem, this allowed me to appreciate the game a little more and how to differently each of the classes played. 

One trophy looked like it wasn't going to b a nightmare to unlock.You had to get a high leveled weapon to randomly drop from an enemy. The drop rate for such a weapon is supposed to be pretty low. Thankfully, I jumped into a game where I got what I needed out of one of the weapon boxes hat were scattered throughout the stages. With that trophy done, it was just a matter of time before I nabbed the platinum.

Another trophy that took some doing as completing the game on Nightmare difficulty. One death = restart the game from scratch. There was a lot of saving going on during this playthrough as I didn't want to lose my progress.

Housemarque really are the master of their craft. Their ability to nail these types of games makes me sad that thy wanted to step away from making them. I can see why they want to move away from them but it's such a shame when they are so good at making them.

 

 

Spoiler

Ghost of Tsushima

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I have mixed feelings on this one. I think the game looks absolutely stunning. Easily one of the best looking games I have ever played. So much so that I actually took time to stop and take a few pictures here and there whilst I was playing. This is something I very rarely do.

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However, I think the story of the game starts off great but the middle slows right down to a crawl, before picking back up again. I think part of the problem is the way the side stories are structured. I'd much rather see a story through from the beginning to the end in a linear fashion but the game doesn't really allow for this and instead you have to hop between different characters missions and as such things do end up a bit muddled.

Still, it's crazy to see just how far Sucker Punch have come as a studio. From games like Sly Cooper to Infamous and now this. They've certain come a long way and follow in the footsteps of other Sony studios who have been given the time and resources to grow and follow their own vision. They've grown into something very special.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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Nothing much to say about this game either. I mean, it's CoD. It was part of PS+ and figured I would play through the game again. I haven't played it since it was originally released on the 360 and the game holds up really well. Solid shooting mechanics, as always.

Fall Guys

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I was quite excited to play this game after seeing it on the State of Play. It looked completely crazy and could be a right laugh if played with mates. I was having a great time when I started playing the game but the more I played of it the more tired I being of it. The shine wore off very quickly with this one.

A big part of me losing interest in the game was due to the sheer luck factor that's involved. I'm not a fan of luck playing a big role in the outcome of a game and much rather play something that is skill based. Also, the amount of team games that you get lumbered with was insane. You had to rely on others being good at the game, which usually wasn't the case.

The platinum was a bit of a grind and I needed a lot of luck in order to get the 5 wins in a row. I was happy enough to play the game for free via PS+ and it at least gave me something to do for a short time. Once the platinum had been earned I had seen everything the game had to offer and I have no intention of showing back up for the following seasons.

Ape Escape 2

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Another game that I started back in 2016, another game I decided to actually finish. I didn't get that far into it so I just started from scratch.

I really ended up loving this. It's actually the first Ape Escape that I have owned and played through. I did play the original game on the PSone but that was only a demo that came with the official magazine. I never got around to buying it, which is something I may have to sort out now that i've played this.

I love the way the game uses the control stick to select and use the various gadgets that you can unlock. Some of them are very inventive. Trying to not only find the monkeys but then use the gadgets in such a way that allows you to capture them was incredibly fun. I can now see why people rave on about the series years after their release. It was actually nice to play a platformer like this. It does feel very much from that era of gaming and they just don't make games like this anymore, for better or worse. Shame that they didn't give the game a platinum though, especially as you need to play through the thing twice!

 

 

Spoiler

This month I decided I wanted to push myself as a gamer. I'm starting to get on in years (38) and wanted to see if I still have my gaming edge. That being the case I decided to play through a bunch of hard games that would test me. How did it turn out?

Sekiro

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I bought this last November and decided that this would be the first game that I tackle for the month. Hell of a game. Absolutely amazing stuff.

The combat system in this game is something else. It's so fast a fluid and it requires that player to really master each of the moves. Decided when to attack and when to parry is a massive part of the game and it's something I actually wasn't doing early on. I was initially playing the game like I did Bloodborne and Nioh in that I would get a few attacks in and then dodge/roll away. Rinse and repeat. It was kinda working in a fashion but eventually I realised I couldn't continue playing in this manner. Once I reached the Genichiro Ashina boss fight I really started to appreciate the swordplay in the game and it was here when I started playing the game it was meant to be played. After this battle everything seem to fall into place. 

The boss fight of the Owl Father has to be one of the toughest boss fights I have faced in a while. It's certainly up here with the fight in Birth By Sleep with Mysterious Figure. It took me a stupid amount of attempts in order to bring him down, with each one being a learning experience. The sense of satisfaction after bringing him down was very fulfilling. 

After the credits rolled I headed straight back into new game+ mode in order to get the platinum. I had to go through the game again and pick different choices than I did before. This meant that I had a couple of different bosses to face, some of which were pretty testing.

After beating the game I decided to have a look at what people thought of it and I really dislike what I read and saw. A lot of people were calling for the game to be made easier and that it was broken because it was too hard. I massively disagree with such statements. I think an issue that people have is that the game plays VERY differently to the Souls games. You can't really power level your way through the game. Sure, you can level up but all that really does is give you new moves. You can't increase you defense or health in this way so you have to rely on skill to get through it. It would be like me complaining Gran Turismo doesn't play like Forza Horizon. They are bot car games so surely they should play the same, right?

The other issue I think is that a lot of people call for help in the Souls games. This is something I don't ever use but I have no issue with people wanting to use it to get by. However, when that feature is taken away then the people who do tend to use it are left to fend for themselves and if they can't get past a boss then instead of learning to get better they instead call it quits and blame the game. I listened to guy talk about this issue and he was saying, in a none cocky way, that Sekiro does separate the players who have relied heavily on calling for help from those who go it solo.

Having played both this and Ghost of Tsushima pretty close to each other I can honestly say that I enjoyed this more. Yes, they are both very different games but I definitely got more out of this than GoT.

Lords of the Fallen

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This Souls-like game has been sat on the shelf for years and now was the time to have a crack at it. It's not a bad game but you can tell it's on a bit of a shoe string budget. It does play like the From games, if a little more janky. Having played Sekiro just before this I found the whole game an absolute cake walk. My oldest brother played the game back in 2016 and he never managed to finish it due to the difficulty of it. Needless to say that I gave him a call after completing it and asked him what the issue was. :p It did take a few days to get the platinum and that was due to having to play the game multiple times, once for each character class. The game didn't play that differently and each play through of the game was quicker than the last.

With that done I wouldn't mind having a crack at The Surge at some point. The same guys that made Lords of the Fallen made that and i'm intrigued to see how that plays.

Cuphead

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One of the very few YouTube people I watch is Mystic. Ryan is a great guy and is one of the few who has a PlayStation channel but doesn't come off as an arrogant fanboy. He does some decent videos on trophies which is why you can see my appeal to him. One of the recent ones he done was on Cuphead and whether or not he could platinum the game. Seeing as the game has a reputation for being extremely hard, I figured the game would fit nicely with the theme of the month and so I snapped it up.

Looking at the trophies and the game did certainly look very challenging. I had to do things like play through all of the run and gun stages without firing a shot, defeat the Dice King without taking a hit, finish the game on extreme difficulty...the list went on. Bring it on!

Brilliant game that I loved to bits. It really reminded me of the NES era of gamin when you would have to play through the stages multiple times in order to learn enemy pattern and level layouts. It's the type of trial and error gameplay that you don't see often these days, very much like the final stage in Impossible Lair before the nerfed the thing. Fair difficulty that simply requires a bit of patience and dedication.

I do think the difficulty of the game has been exaggerated somewhat, especially once you unlock the various weapons. Each of the bosses seem to be able to be brought down quite quickly once you figure out which weapon is more suited to your play style. If you are struggling then the shot that locks on to enemies can make things pretty simple. Sure, you won't unlock trophies using such methods, mainly because it's a weaker gun and you'll probably go over the time limit, but if you are just wanting to see the credits then the game is very doable.

A couple of bosses did offer a bit of challenge when playing extreme difficulty. Both the dragon and the train fights caused me a few issues but once I switched up my load-out and changed how I was approaching each of them then I managed to pull off the victory.

Again, brilliant game that really rewards perseverance and practice.

Dark Souls

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It was time for a proper Souls game. Despite me playing things like Bloodborne, Seikro, Code Vein, Lords of the Fallen and Nioh, I had yet to actually play a Souls game. I have 2 and 3 sitting on the shelf but I really wanted to start with the first Dark Souls before tackling the sequels and so I ordered it off Amazon and decided to have a crack at it.

I read a while back that Pyromancy and the Master Key was the way to go when creating your character and so I went with those. I spent a little bit of time in the opening area just getting a feel for the game and running back and forth to the bonfire in order to do a spot of grinding. The character movement certainly has more weight to it than something like Sekiro or Bloodborne and this took a little bit of getting used to. For the most part I didn't bother using a shield and instead opted to play the rolling/dodging game. 

I enjoyed the game but I honestly don't think it's as difficult as people make it out to be. I had the exact same experience with Bloodborne and, again, I put my feelings down to me playing Monster Hunter for all of these years. Both series share similarities in that you have to be patient and learn when to strike and a lot of the skills that I learned on Monster Hunter back in the PS2 days are very transferable to the Souls games. As such I didn't really have a problem with the game. Well, except maybe fighting the Brothers of Destruction. All the way through the game I was like Raph in the first Turtles movie.

Raph Quote

Footclan Response

Sending two bosses at me at the same time was a little cheap but it did offer a fantastic challenge. I had to do a lot of dodging and try to position myself in a way that allowed me to get rid of one before taking on the other. These two were definitely the hardest fight in the game for me.

The game is the weakest out of the From games that I have played but that may be due to the age of the game. Oh, and I will say that areas such as Blight Town are simply awful and should not be in a video game. Awful level design and areas that are far too dark. Getting from the top to the bottom took some doing, especially with those stupid little imps who are shooting blow darts at you. Little gits. I was happy to see the back of that area.

The platinum took some doing. What is it with these types of games where they want you to play through the game multiple times? The games are already long enough without having to do a second and third run through them!

Much like Sekiro, once I finished the game I went and watched a couple of YouTube documentaries to see what others thought about it. I enjoyed watching these deep dives and it did make me appreciate some of the aspects of the game that didn't really hit home with me when I played through it.

Salt and Sanctuary

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Back in 2018 @drahkon said this...

Quote

My first action would be: Ban H-o-T until he collectsSalt &Sanctuary's platinum

It is now done. :D 

I'm sorry to say that I wasn't that impressed by it. I flew through the game and found it pretty easy, if i'm honest. I wasn't the biggest fan of the art style/aesthetics used. The dark and grainy look did nothing for me and I was quite happy once I was done with the game. I know it's a game that is well praised and known for being difficult but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Sonic Mania

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Okay. What the heck is Sonic Mania doing on this list of games in a month of playing games that are hard? I added this to the list because of the stupid amount of blue orb special stages that you have to play through in order to get 100%. Again, this is another game that didn't get a platinum trophy for some stupid reason.

Some of these stages were pretty tough. One wrong move and it was back to the start you go. It was a bit of a pain not being able to simply retry the stage again. Thankfully, the special stages can be reached pretty quickly via the first zone. Also, the more you play them the more tricks and routes you learn, so the experience does become easier the more you practice.

Playing through the game again was such a joy. I honestly forgot how good the game was and it goes hand in hand with Streets of Rage 4 as one of Sega's best revival in recent years. They should really farm out more of their classic IPs to capable developers.

Another World

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This got thrown into the mix mainly because I wanted to get rid of it from my PS+ backlog. It had nothing to do with the theme of the month ad it only took an hour or so to complete. I played it back in the day on my Amiga. Game was average then and it's average now. Again, no platinum. :( 

 

 

Spoiler

With this being the month of Halloween, I wanted to try and play through a few spooky games and lined up these to play. 

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I was aiming to get through at least 4 of them and I started with Primal.

Primal

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I started this back in 2016 but I never got that far into it. It was a game I enjoyed on the PS2 but sadly it was a game that felt VERY dated and it was hard going playing through the thing. The combat was rough, the grainy graphical style was hard to look at and the voice acting was very early 2000's. It reminded a little of Soul Reaver, mainly due to the art style that they used. Playing this actually made me want to play through that again but given how I responded to this, it may be a game best left in my memories.

Alien Isolation

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I think this has been sat on the shelf since 2015. Crazy to think it's around 5 years old now. Was it worth the wait? Not at all. I don't think the game deserves all the praise it got over the years. Quite frankly I found the game boring. 

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I remember people saying that the game was quite long and with that being the case I decided to do a single playthrough of the game. This meant doing things like starting on the hard difficulty, not being killed and not killing any humans. Maybe it was because I was playing on hard difficulty but I found waiting for the alien to move to be a very tedious affair. I Would be sat there for literally 5 minutes just waiting for it to leave an area before I could move. 

Another thing I found that was annoying was the AI of the alien. The developers said that they wanted to make it random and not scripted in order for it to be more realistic and keep players on their toes. I swear the thing used to just teleport from area to area because I would see it leave behind me and then 10 seconds later it would be roaming around the corridor in front of me. Not very realistic if you ask me.

I will give credit to the game for delivering on having an amazing atmosphere. I thought it captured the feel of the original film very well. I especially enjoyed the chapters that had you go down in to the nest area and the chapter where you got to see the space jockey was also a treat.

I guess the game was fine but I honestly had more fun playing Aliens:Colonial Marines in co-op with my brother back on the 360. Yeah, that game was a buggy mess but it had action and some good laughs were had whilst playing online in co-op. I guess it's a little like the first 2 Alien films. The first one is very artsy and methodical, whereas the second film is all about the run and gun. This is why I like the second film much more than the first and probably why I preferred the mess that was Colonial marines over the well made Isolation.

Platinum trophy image is a nice nod to the fans though.

Zombi

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I actually played this all the way back during the Wii U launch period. I never got on with the game back then but my oldest nephew loved it to bits. I never did finish it and it just sat on the shelf all of these years. I just found the control scheme very clunky, unnecessary and gimmicky. The game was part of PS+ a while back and it fit with the theme of the month so I decided to give it another go.

Yeah, I definitely liked this version of the game better than the Wii U one and it proved that the Gamepad controls weren't really needed at all and brought nothing to the table other than having to look down all of the time.

The trophy list was a pain in the backside. I had to finish the game on Chicken difficulty, Normal difficulty and Survival difficulty. Yup, the developers committed the old sin of not making the trophies stackable which meant I had to play through the game 3 times. After the first play through of the game the other two were considerably faster, mainly because I knew where to go and what I could actually skip. In fact, the more times I played the game the more I enjoyed it. It gave me the feeling I got when playing through the Resident Evil games and doing trophy run son those. They usually require you to play through them multiple times and do speed runs and doing so brings a sense of satisfaction as you see yourself getting faster and better as you learn the layouts of the stages. It was the same feeling here.

Whilst fun, the game itself is pretty average and even on the highest difficulty setting it doesn't really offer a challenge. For the most part I pretty much just ran around with the cricket bat, quite happily knocking the heads off of the infected. The only time I really used a gun was when it was in the sections that forced it or if a zombie with a bomb on its back was heading my way.

I do think this is a one of those launch games that got a lot of praise purely because it was a launch game. Had this been released a year or two down the line then I don't think reviewers or gamers would have been so nice to it.

 

Mad Max

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Not a game that I planned on playing one there were rumours going around the trophy community that the servers of the game would be shutting down at the end of October and that would mean a couple of the trophies would be unobtainable. That being the case, I decided to take a break from Halloween type games and see if I could get this done and dusted before the cut off date.

You know what/ This isn't that bad of a game. It's a little bland and a very cookie cutter open world game but it is more than serviceable. It feels like one of the older Assassin Creed games but with a car, what with towers needing to be unlocked, side quests dotted all around the map and collectibles to be found. It wasn't doing anything new but then it did get released in 2015-2016.

Getting the platinum was a stressful experience. The game has a nasty bug in it that can glitch some of the side missions that you do. You have to be really careful to make sure that the pick ups you are collecting are adding to the tally correctly otherwise you will have to start the whole game again. I was keeping an eye on such things and was happy when I finally got the platinum to pop.

It was actually quite a nice change going from playing 2 first person horror games to playing a 3rd person action game that had me driving around in a sunny desert. It was certainly a palette cleanser. 

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

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This game wasn't originally on my list of games to play through but I decided I needed a smaller title to play before tackling one of the larger ones. I actually snapped this up at launch on the Switch but i've been out of sorts with that console and just couldn't bring myself to want to play on it so decided to double dip and play it on the PS4 instead. I'm happy enough to give Inti Creates some extra money. Those guys have become quite a favourite of mine this generation.

I loved both the original Curse of the Moon game and the proper Bloodstained game and so was excited to get my hands on this. I think it's great but it's definitely the weakest out of the 3 games. There are new characters and the stages seem a lot bigger than the original game but there was just something about it that didn't gel with me as much as the other games did. Also, I think the soundtrack is a lot weaker this time around. 

I think the game can be a little too easy at times. One of the characters is a dog controlling a mech and his special moves turns him invincible. This is such a strange thing to put in the game and there are a lot of times where you can simply switch to this character, turn on the special ability and charge you way through the stage without even trying to tackle any of the enemies. There is a scenario/play through of the game where this character is taken away from you so if you are going to go for all of the endings then make sure you don't rely on him too heavily.

The game did grow on me more the more times I played through the game in order to get the platinum and it was great to see how all of the stories intertwined with each other, as new character stood to the side for the return of familiar faces but it still wasn't enough to elevate it to the highs of the other games. I dunno, maybe this was a case of my expectations being too high and the game simply not being able to live up to that standard that I had set. I would still recommend the game as it's still far better than a lot of the tripe that gets released these days.

Bioshock: Remastered

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This is another game that I haven't played since its release back on the 360 and to be honest I was worried how it was going to hold up. It's a game that I LOVED back in the day and it was a very memorable experience. I was hoping that would still be the case. Thankfully, I was happy to find that the game is still a jot to play. I was honestly quite surprised just how much of the game I remembered which goes to show how much an impression it left on me.

The PS4 version of the game is not without issues though. At times, the game would randomly freeze and this meant that you would have to open an app on the PS4, say YouTube, and then close that app and then take the game out of suspend mode. That is the only way to fix this bug and it's apparently been there since day 1. It happened to me quite a few times and I was happy that I didn't lose any progress when it happened. 

The game itself does lose a little something though once you know how the story plays out. It's like when you read a book or watch a movie that has a good twist. It will stay with you for a long time but reading/watching it again means that the initial impact will be completely lost. 

The Mummy Demastered

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Not really sure what to say about this one. I talked about it at length when I played it on the Switch. I loved it then and I love it now. It was on sale and I decided to pick it up and play it due to the theme of the month. Once again. Wayforward are another developer I will happily double dip for. I got through the game pretty quickly as it's still pretty fresh in my mind. Great Metroidvaina style game that I would highly recommend, whatever your platform of choice.

 

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Well...I still don't have Salt and Sanctuary's Platinum (if I recall correctly).
Guess I'll just prepare for the banning of drahkon (I think I have found the title of my autobiography).

Looking at your October list and seeing Alien: Isolation reminds me: I bought that game ages ago and never played it. I really have no idea why I bought it, given that I hate horror games.
While I don't hate horror movies, I can really do without them. However, I also bought the Alien movie collection on Blu-Ray back then. Haven't seen a single one of those and probably never will.

Anyways, that does it for drahkon's list of shame (the spiritual successor to my autobiography - it'll be a novel about all my gaming missteps...and no, getting the Platinum for My Name is Mayo will not be mentioned in that book).

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It's excellent to see you here again, @Hero-of-Time. I truly missed your various takes on various games, and your presence in general. As for my recent list...

Happy Halloween, everybody! What do you mean it's November already? Nonsense and pish posh. In fact, I'll do something different this time: here are a bunch of short games I cleared from my backlog this weekend:

Distraint

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The real horror was the toilets we skipped along the way

Billed as a 2D psychological horror, this is a one-person game from Finnish developer Jesse Makkonen (and one I got for free on GOG some time ago). It's a linear, story-driven game about a young man working for a real estate firm, and how seizing people's houses slowly envelops him in guilt. Hallucinations and surreal imagery pop up all over the place.

Getting the good out of the way, spritework looks great, disturbing, and bizarre. Sound design is also quite good, props for making festive music and jazz sound just as eerie as the traditionally scary tracks. The horror imagery and set pieces are visually striking and actually varied enough to stay effective, and the game only lasts some 2-3 hours, which is how long it needs to be.

But to be frank, the story did nothing for me. This feels a lot like someone just found out Capitalism can be bad, and proceeded to paint the shallowest, most simplistic image of it (main character's name is "Price", I mean, come on). If Mr.Makkonen knew more of the subject, even his visual metaphors could've been better, since Price's guilt is represented here by a rampaging elephant... when the stock market is already represented by bulls and bears.

There's also the issue with the script... it's kind of goofy and hilarious. It has that SNK vibe to it, written by someone who learned English, but doesn't quite know how people talk ("I will put on the telly and watch it" being one such example). Plus, the setting is supposed to be American, but this feels super duper European (I laughed so much when Price picked up... a one-dollar coin).

In other words, it feels like Tommy Wiseau is starring in a videogame with legit creepy atmosphere. I can definitely hear him delivering every line in this game.

 

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

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The real horror was the pigs we forgot along the way

I had heard this game was a lot weaker than the first one. Nevertheless, I got it on Steam for around 3€ just to check it. While Amnesia: The Dark Descent was an excellent horror experience developed and published by Frictional Games, for whatever reason, a sequel was made by The Chinese Room, a completely different developer. I do not understand why this decision was made (like, Frictional just handed the IP to another developer like that? Why?), but it does explain why this game feels so different.

The strength of Dark Descent is that it's really effective at keeping you engaged. Survival mechanics, puzzles requiring you to examine texts to solve, sudden appearances of enemies (some of which are scripted and harmless, but the player doesn't know that), and an elegant way to intersperse the plot along the whole way.

In Machine for Pigs, I fell asleep after 30 minutes. I continued playing for 30 more, got stuck on some part (probably a door I missed), and realised I did not care to continue. There are no survival mechanics to speak of (not even a draw back for using the lantern), no puzzles to speak of (every troublesome part amounted to "Check which objects you can move in this room, and move them"), story is way more cumbersome than it needed to be (no monologues, and a lot of the script is confusing to understand), and worst of all, I wasn't falling for the horror tricks (pro-tip: don't distort the camera and make a big deal out of a monster's appearance before I actually see anything!).

So yeah, I just looked up online where the plot was going and... I successfully predicted roughly 75% of the mystery, and what would happen in the game, so I don't feel too bad. See, the script is written in this overly flowery language (apparently it's legitimate English from the end of the 19th Century, the developers did their research), so I was glad enough I could follow anything to that extent. I watched some of the scenes on youtube and they seem well executed with great voice acting, and the story itself sounds intriguing enough (if a bit schlocky). Shame that they're attached to such a boring game.

Making this the first game I straight up dropped this year.

 

The Fall

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The real horror is that I can't get up!

I got this one on Steam some time ago for 1€. I don't remember getting it, but the description made it sound like a horror game, so I decided to jump fall straight into it. This was a nice surprise, because the game turned out to be quite good!

Turns out, it's a 2D exploratory game. Movement and shooting are rudimentary and clunky (like in Oddworld, Flashback, or Out of This World), and most of the engagement involves solving puzzles like in a Point&Click game. There's also this scanning mechanic straight out of Metroid Prime (with a visor that resembles Super Metroid's X-Ray) where you can gather ambient descriptions from your surroundings, lore details, as well as information on elements you can interact with.

Horror-wise, this wasn't fear-inducing every step of the way, but there was a very dark tone to the game throughout. Definitely feels like the more claustrophobic and isolated parts of the Metroid series. There are also aesthetic similarities with Limbo, a game I consider to fit into the horror genre as well.

I thought it would involve an astronaut falling into - and then escaping - a hostile alien planet... but as it happens, the astronaut got injured upon landing and is actually unconscious, with the suit's AI (A.R.I.D.) taking over in controlling the body. I won't say more, but if you're a sucker for AI-related stories like I am, you'll love the places this story takes you.

The exploration and puzzle elements turned out to be very good as well. Creative puzzles with sensible (and darkly humorous) solutions. I also like it when games like this say "I have no reason to pick that up" when there truly is none, so some good reasoning, memory, and sense of space are required.

There's also some developer commentary from the developer Over the Moon, but I turned it off when I realised they'd be blurting out spoilers. The game's short enough (some 4 hours) that I might replay it just to hear them this time around. I did love the game, so that's no problem (the only flaw I see are the shooting/scanning controls, which really are awkward, and frequent enough for that to be an issue).

So yeah, my Halloween experiment ended on a high note, thankfully.

 

  My 2020 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (2018) Completed (January 13th)

-Mr.Driller: Drill Spirits (2004) Beat (January 30th)

-Dragon Ball Fighterz (2018) Beat (February 22nd)

-Advance Wars: Dark Conflict (2008) Completed (February 25th)

-Capcom Beat'em Up Bundle (2018) No Goal (March 13th)

-Professor Layton and the Curious Village (2008) Completed (March 23rd)

-Kirby's Pinball Land (1993) Completed (March 28th)

-Pikuniku (2019) Beat (March 31st)

-Ori and the Blind Forest (2015) Completed (April 18th)

-Atomicrops (2020) Beat (May 24th)

-Infliction: Extended Cut (2020) Beat (June 28th)

-Bravely Default (2013) Beat (June 28th)

-Super Mario Land 2 (1992) Completed (July 13th)

-Pokémon Puzzle Challenge (2000) Beat (July 19th)

-Snipperclips (2017) Beat (August 15th)

-Yoku's Island Express (2018) Completed (August 18th)

-Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (2017) Beat (October 4th)

-Projection: First Light (2019) Completed (October 7th)

-Dandara (2018) Completed (October 28th)

-Distraint (2015) Completed (October 30th)

-Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013) Dropped (October 31st)

-The Fall (2014) Completed (November 1st)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)

-Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido (2018)

 

 I also completed Dandara recently, but I'll write something more substantial about that one later. Need to do it justice.

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Just finished the NG+ play through for Dragon Quest Heroes

Man, that was unnecessary :laughing: Monsters didn't become stronger so it was a breeze.
I kinda wanted to go for the Platinum, but fuck me, I can't be arsed to do the grinding. It's just something with Musou games...the grind there isn't for me ::shrug:

Anyways, too busy to start a new game now, so I'll just dabble with Spelunky 2 (still haven't won a run) and occasionally keep going with FFVI.

Edited by drahkon
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31 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Just finished the NG+ play through for Dragon Quest Monsters.

Man, that was unnecessary :laughing: Monsters didn't become stronger so it was a breeze.
I kinda wanted to go for the Platinum, but fuck me, I can't be arsed to do the grinding. It's just something with Musou games...the grind there isn't for me ::shrug:

Anyways, too busy to start a new game now, so I'll just dabble with Spelunky 2 (still haven't won a run) and occasionally keep going with FFVI.

You mean Dragon Quest Heroes? Yeah, the platinum is a long one. I think it took me around 80 hours or so. Just checked my trophies and I played the game 5 years ago! Crazy. Where the hell has the time gone?

The second game is even longer, clocking at around the 180-200 hour mark. It's why I'm always hesitant to start it.

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1 minute ago, Hero-of-Time said:

You mean Dragon Quest Heroes?

That's the one :D

1 minute ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Just checked my trophies and I played the game 5 years ago! Crazy. Where the hell has the time gone?

When I saw my save file from 2016...such a different time back then. Best not to dwell on it. :laughing:

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Did a fair bit on Pokemon Sword this evening with trying to do the Dynamax Adventures. Acquired a few legendary Pokemon from it including Necrozma, Ho-Oh and Moltres. I have also found Kyurem and Tornadus in the lair but having trouble against them, probably because I'm doing it with Ai and having a bit of difficulty building a good team from the Ai against Tornadus from the Pokemon routes given to me on that particular route.

 

Must say, I do think sticking all the legendary Pokemon in one location is kind of lazy though I do admit that with so many legendaries it's probably more practical. Still, I like how it was done in HeartGold and SoulSilver where every legendary had somewhere on the map dedicated to finding it. Same with Black and White 2, there were different locations for all the legendaries. Crown Tundra has felt like that sometimes for the Regis, the Galarian legendary birds and Calyrex but a good amount of the additional legendaries have been dumped in a single location again...

 

Also this happened in a Max Raid Battle...

 

 

Also been playing a fair bit of Pokemon Trading Card Game Online after I got the game working again and trying to catch up on the last few sets, mainly inspired by all the price hype from recent weeks. Got some pretty sweet pulls:

 

 

 

 

 

I'll also throw this in as a bonus...

 

 

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[Together] Borderlands (Part 34)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son have a few pesky missions to clear in the T-Bone Junction, including killing numerous Lance Guards, meeting Zach, and surviving numerous rounds of Arena kill-zone attacks.  Coming to the end of the game now.  Pushing through the remnants of the DLC missions.  There's some nice wave based arena missions in this video.

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Last weekend, much like September and October, I set up the games I would like to tackle for the month. I was thinking about having a month of Indie games and this is what my line up was on Saturday.

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However, thanks to the new sale that arrived this week, it now looks like this.

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I still have a fiver in my PSN wallet and I may still pick up another couple of cheap games before the sale has finished. It's a heck of a sale.

Sea of Solitude

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Both this and Fe are two EA supported indie games that have been wanting to play for a while now. Both were on sale last weekend and I decided to snap them up before it ended. Just as well that I did because I don't think they were part of the new sale.

I've always had an interest in games that tackle mental issues, such as anxiety and depression. I think the indie scene does a good job of highlighting such issues and i've played a few games that have tackled the subjects rather well. I was intrigued to see how the guys over at Jo-Mei Games were going to handle things. 

You play as a young girl named Kay who starts off in a small boat that is surround by darkness. From the darkness a beast emerges who will constantly chase Kay, mock her and generally just try to put Kay down. This darkness and the beasts that come from it are the main antagonists of the game and you have to make your way through various levels whilst avoid the beasts the best you can. There are ways to help you out on your adventure though. A character of light will help you out from time to time, as well as small balls of light that will guide you through the darkness.

As you make your way through the various levels you are presented with events and bits of dialogue that I found to be quite powerful at times. All of them seem to have their own theme and there was one about Kay's younger brother that I hit me quite hard.

The sequence of events that show Kay's younger brother start off quite tame. You get flashes of him at school, playing with his Friends, but eventually things start getting a little darker. His friends slowly become more aggressive towards him and the playful teasing turns into something far more sinister. They start mocking his family and getting really physical with him. This all leads to where they tell him that they are going to find him and kill him. Throughout these ordeals you hear him try to reach out to Kay but she is far more interested in her mobile phone and what her boyfriend is doing than listening to her little brother. This whole chapter was quite personal to me due to one of my nephews being bullied at school a fair few years ago now. I remember him coming to me crying and asking himself "Why am I such a coward?". This line is actually spoken in the game by Kay's brother and it brought back a lot of painful memories for me. Looking at my nephew now he is very successful in life and you wouldn't think that he went through that as a kid but I found that this chapter was a good reminder of how nasty kids can be and that bullying can be a serious thing, even more so these days thanks to the internet/social media etc.

Some of the other topics in the game are things like broken marriages and the effects it can have on the children, as well as trying to fix such a marriage by having kids. Another subject that is tackled is how to deal with a loved one who is suffering from depression. Do you give them space or try to bring them closer? These are tough topics to tackle and I think they done a pretty good job of exploring some of the aspects of them.

This is one of those indie games where the gameplay is pretty basic and it's more about the journey and narrative that is being told. I usually don't get on with these types of games but this one really resonated with me. I think with me having experience with the subject at hand, as well as an interest in what the developers were trying to say, meant that I was pulled into the game more that I usually am with these types of gaming experiences.

My takeaway from the game was that it's important to have time for people, especially loved ones and we should always be on the lookout for people in need of help. Each of us have things we struggle with in every day life, our own personal demons to fight, but I think that part of the solution is to accept certain things about ourselves and embrace those parts that we may not feel comfortable with.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

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This was another game that was on sale last week and another that I have been interested in for a while. To be honest, I was quite hesitant to pick up up because it seems to be a game that you either love or hate. For a fiver I was willing to give it a go and see what side of the fence I would be sitting on by the time the game was over.

At the start of the game I wasn't really sure what to make of it. Sure, it kinda felt like a rhythm game but it also felt like it was just as much about your reaction speed as it was about timing and pressing buttons with the music. After playing through the whole game for the first time I was like....

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However, by the time I got the platinum I was like...

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This was yet another example of me going for a platinum and then appreciating the game far more than I would have had I called it a day once the credits rolled. In fact, shelving the game after you see the credits would be a big disservice to the game and you really wouldn't get your moneys worth out of it. The game is only a couple hours long and without the lure of trophies I would have been pretty miffed if I had bought this for my Switch.

Some of the trophies were quite tricky to nab. One had me doing the driving/Outrun style stage without gaining a single point, another had me play through each stage and get gold for each of them. Another challenging trophy has you play a level that has a lot of QTE prompts that have to be hit with a GOOD rating. This throws you off because in order to get this rating you have to hit the button in between the best and worst rank. Whilst playing the game you have been trained to go for the best score so it took some shaking off from the muscle memory in order to hit the right beat. The hardest trophy was playing in the Yolo Arcade mode in order to obtain a certain score. The trick here being that if you die once it was game over. You have to play perfectly for around half of the game in order to get the score needed. I came close so many times but kept bottling it and making silly errors.

The OST is to the game is absolutely banging. There's a fantastic selection/mix of songs on offer and think there will be at least a couple of tunes that should please everyone who plays the game. My personal favourite is Inside. The stage itself is very fast and frantic and the music certainly matches this. It starts off calm and then it all kicks off about a minute in. Brilliant tune.

It's such a strange game. I really don't think it's a standard rhythm game as such but I don't really know how else to categorise it. What started off as very meh experience turned into something special and memorable. There are definitely some tunes from the game that I will continue listening to long after the game has been removed from my PS4.

Celeste

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Yeah, I didn't really care for this, despite all the praise the game gets. Besides the OST, I don't think the game is that special. I found the platforming in the game to be a bit uneven. It would fluctuate between quite fun and fair to then go to the complete other end of the scale and become quite punishing. Also, i've never a big fan of games that use the pixel art style and this remained true here. By the end of the game I was happy for it to be over.

The story was decent but I much preferred the way that Sea of Solitude handled the subjects. With that the subject matter was more in your face, whereas with Celeste it's more subtle. I think both share a similar conclusion in that you need to embrace both sides of yourself and not rely on the light/positive but take certain things away from your darker self.

The platinum would have been an absolute nightmare had it not been for the Assist Mode. After finishing the story, I went back to mop up the collectables and play through the B and C stages. They may as well of just handed you the trophies with the assists all activated. You can be killed and you can also just fly through the stages. I don't think I would have even attempted them had it not been for God mode. I'm honestly quite surprised they allowed for the trophies to be earned whilst playing with the cheats on. Very weird. Still, I'm happy I can say that i've at least played the game now, even though it didn't live up to the hype. 
 

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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15 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

It's such a strange game. I really don't think it's a standard rhythm game as such but I don't really know how else to categorise it. What started off as very meh experience turned into something special and memorable.

That's great to hear. I've been always interested in Sayonara Wild Hearts but somehow I keep forgetting its existence :D Will definitely get in when it's on sale next time (and I remember that the game is out there...and if I got the money :p).

In other news: After I stopped playing Dragon Quest Heroes I was in the mood for a racing game. So I downloaded Burnout Paradise Remastered. Bought it for a tenner quite a while ago and played it for a few hours back then.
This time I'm going for the Platinum because I love the game. It's a great arcade racer. Not the best in the Burnout series but still awesome.

I appreciate that you don't have to get every collectible (jump, billboards, gates, etc.). Usually it's only half of each. The only thing you need to do 100% is: find all events and as far as I know you don't have to complete them all.

Anyways, it's been a blast taking down cars, racing at high speed, doing awesome stunt combos.

It's yet another game that puts me back to the past. I played the PS3 version sometime around 2009 or 2010 I think. That's about 10 years ago...10 freaking years. :laughing:

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After finishing off Metroid Blast, it's been a delight again to revisit Nintendo Land, this time around the Pikmin Adventure.

[Together] NintendoLand: Pikmin Adventure (Part 1)

Old Nintendo Gamer & Son send Pikmin to do their bidding and possibly to their deaths in the first 8 levels (levels 1-8).

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Fe

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I finished the game this evening. Awful. I was originally excited about the game when it was first revealed but having now played it I see that the game wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it was a platformer type game but instead it's a 3D open world/metroidvania style of game. This comes with a few problems. The first is that there is no fast travel which is a major sin IMO in these types of games. With it being published by EA I wonder if the developers of Jedi Fallen Order took notes from these guys and that's why there's no fast travel in that game as well. :D The second problem is that the map is pretty much useless as well. There are multiple tiers to each area and the map only gives you the basic outline. You could be thinking you're heading in the right direction only to hit a dead end.

One of the things that is fun about metroidvania style games is that you get abilities as you progress that allow you to skip parts of the map and generally get around much quicker. That is the case here but only to a certain degree. You get new songs/abilities but a lot of the time they aren't that useful and you are still having to go the long way around to backtrack to an area due to hitting a brick wall. Something like a double jump would have done wonders for the game.

The songs I mentioned are also very annoying to use. You are having to constantly switch back and forth between them and this gets very tedious. A far better way to do things would have been that the items you need to interact with are just constantly unlocked once you have the ability. There were countless times whilst looking for collectables where I would go back and forth between areas only to find I had to create platforms again or pull off tricky jumps that I had already done numerous times before.

The game itself is pretty short and I actually seen the credits roll this morning. What's taken me so long is picking up the collectables. They aren't that many to pick up but because the game is a nightmare to navigate it's taken the best part of the day to get them all. A stupid thing they done was lock a special unlockable behind these pick ups. First is the ability to find the collectables. You need over half of them already before this unlocks, not that it really helps. The thing is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. The other special ability you get is unlocked when you have everything in the game. This allows you to fly and jump, giving you more speed and height to your leaps. Yeah, the best ability and most useful is made completely useless due to the fact that you've done everything in the game already. Ridiculous.

The game can be very picky about what trees you can grab on to and platforms you land on. There were numerous times where I made a jump that should have been fine but ended up falling to the ground because the game didn't register me grabbing on to a tree or landing correctly on a rock. There are also issues with the framerate. I'm usually not that sensitive about such things but the game can stutter quite a bit.

I thought Gravity Rush 2 was going to be the most frustrating game I played this year but it appears we have a new winner.

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Edited by Hero-of-Time
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