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17 minutes ago, Goron_3 said:

@Hero of Time Yeah it's Genichiro. The sound of swords clashing is pretty excellent, isn't it? I think I've got his movements down but there's nothing more demoralising than building up his posture meter only for him to start getting it back after you don't land a hit / parry for an age.

I figured as much. That's the point of the game where I abandoned how I played the likes of Bloodborne and Nioh and fully embraced the mechanics of Sekiro. 

Keep at it. You'll eventually get the win.

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Here's some inspiring music for ya.

 

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21 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Ah, if it's the fight I'm thinking of it certainly is a toughie. Hands down one of the toughest bosses in any game I've played. Felt very satisfying to get the victory and the platinum. 

You've got the platinum trophies for all the Souls type games you've played, correct?

Yeah so far I got platinums for all of them (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1,2,3, Bloodborne and Sekiro). Also got the one for Dark Souls Remastered.

You can probably tell but I really like the SoulsBorneSekiro games. :D

 

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15 hours ago, Sheikah said:

Yeah so far I got platinums for all of them (Demon's Souls, Dark Souls 1,2,3, Bloodborne and Sekiro). Also got the one for Dark Souls Remastered.

You can probably tell but I really like the SoulsBorneSekiro games. :D

 

Have you played Nioh?

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Have you played Nioh?
I have yeah, completed them both. Nioh 2 I finished not long ago - had something like 110 hours on it but couldn't bring myself to get the platinum. It would involve a lot of grinding menial enemies with all the different weapons, unfortunately.

They're both really great though.
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I spent a good 10 or so hours over the past week finishing Super Mario Galaxy to 100%. A game that is definitely better in the back half than it is in the first, much like many modern Mario games, I suppose, but there are still a few annoying stars that were tough to get. I think I can come to the final conclusion that Galaxy is the best Mario game when it's at its best - i.e. 2D like levels that are liner and play around a lot with gravity. Some of the more open levels suffer from serious issues with the camera, when it is sometimes controllable, and sometimes not. Frustrating. The swimming is also terrible in this game, especially after Sunshine. I was constantly fighting the controls and the camera to get Mario where I wanted him to go. Overall, I'd put this game firmly behind Odyssey, 3D World and even Sunshine, I had a better time with that game as a whole. 

And so the Mario 3D All Stars collection is done (bar the Blue Coins in Sunshine, but shhhh). Excellent value for money from the £37 I ended up playing. Lasted me a good few months and it was super fun revisiting all these classics. Almost 60 hours of gamepley is nothing to be sniffed at considering the price I ended up paying. Would have liked it physical, but at least it's sat on the Switch for when I decide to go back and do a Luigi run of Galaxy in a couple of years or so.

All finished just in time for Super Mario 3D World which I'm picking up on Friday. Parting ways with my Switch copies of DOOM, Wolfenstien II and Civilization VI, but I have them all on PC now, where they all play infinitely better so no loss, I suppose. 

Two dungeons to go in Link to the Past, so I'll probably finish that off this weekend before starting one of the Oracle games. 

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I finished some games over the past few days.

Habroxia 2

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I picked this up at launch to support Last Stand Media. I don't do Patreon and being a freeloader/scallywag, this was the best way I could think of to show some love to Scared Symbols but without having to sign up for anything. I enjoyed the original Habroxia and had no doubt I would enjoy the sequel.

The game is a shoot-em up that features a clever power up system that allows you to make the game as easy or as hard as you want. During the stages you will collect currency and you can spend this to upgrade your ship. If you find that you are breezing through the stages with your new upgrades then you can sell them and make the game a little bit more challenging. Obviously I chose the route of grinding money, upgrading my ship to stupid levels and then proceeding to destroy whatever was in my path. :D 

You can tell Colin had a hand in creating the trophy list due to there being no stupid ones. Him being a fan of the trophy ecosystem he knows what a decent trophy list should look like and, just like Twin Breaker, he's done a good job here.

The game was crossbuy, which meant when buying it for the PS4, I also got the Vita version for free. This lead me to playing through the game another time to unlock another platinum.

Mark of the Ninja Remastered

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Drahkon has mentioned this game to me a couple of times now and I snapped it up in the recent PSN sale. 

Loved it. Absolutely loved the game, which is weird as i'm not too big on stealth games. However, this game doesn't really punish you for being spotted as you can still make your way out of the situation, either by pegging it or by facing the enemy head on. I also really enjoyed the challenges that each level presented. Having to find 3 scrolls meant I had to search high and low in each of the stages. You then have the 3 different tasks to perform that encourage you to play in a different way. Finally, you have a set score to achieve in order to unlock the new moves and gear. Doing each of these in a run through of the level was very satisfying, especially if I was able to do all of them in a single run.

I was quite surprised just how much of a narrative there was through the game, although I was a little confused by the two endings.

Spoiler

Was the sensei indeed a traitor or was it all in your mind? What about the woman companion that you have? Was she just a figment of your imagination due to the ink curse?

After beating the game I went straight into the New Game + mode. I figured it would be best to fly through the game again whilst it was still fresh in my mind and fly through it I did. Despite NG+ being harder, it's crazy how fast you can get through it when you have all of your upgrades at your disposal and also aren't trying to go for the collectibles or high scores. 

Fantastic game.:bowdown:

The Legend of Zelda

Spoiler

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The Adventure of Link

Spoiler

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After Nick mentioned he is playing various Zelda games this year due to the anniversary, I figured I would join in on the fun by starting at the beginning. I'll be naming my files Link21 to show when I played through the games.

I had a 7 day NSO trail to claim on My Nintendo. It had to be claimed by the 4th Feb and so this allowed me to play through both of these games on the Switch, otherwise I would had had to play through them on the Wii U which would have meant no pics. :( 

Each time I play through the original game the more I dislike it. Having played each of these games numerous times before it's not as if it's a question of being frustrated by getting lost on the overworld map but more that I just think the game just hasn't aged that well and is bettered by a MASSIVE margin by ALTTP. 

The Adventure of Link is a much better game than the original, as i've stated many times before on here. I know people think it as this hard and inaccessible game but it's really not, especially if you take the time to level up and be wise about how you do so. For example, I killed a boss and was 100 points or so shy of a level up. Instead of ending the palace, which will give you a level instantly no matter how many experience points you need, I decided to go back into the palace and kill a few enemies. This meant I leveled up twice in the space of a few minutes. Being smart about how you level up makes it so much easier.

A Link to the Past is up next but i'll either have to renew my NSO or play it on the Wii U or 3DS. I do enjoy taking screenshots though....

Salt and Sanctuary

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This was another game that was cross buy and i've had it on my Vita since last September after I platinumed the PS4 version. I played through the game again and I still find it to be average and overrated. Plus, the Vita version really could have done with a patch. The thing must have crashed on me 10+ times. :( 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Habroxia 2

The fist game is on sale for 1,74€. Would I enjoy it?

58 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Drahkon has mentioned this game to me a couple of times now and I snapped it up in the recent PSN sale. 

Loved it. Absolutely loved the game

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1 hour ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I played through the game again and I still find it to be average and overrated

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3 minutes ago, drahkon said:

The fist game is on sale for 1,74€. Would I enjoy it?

It's pretty easy so probably not. Worth a punt at that price though.

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Just now, Hero-of-Time said:

It's pretty easy so probably not. Worth a punt at that price though.

Yeah, I'll give it a go after watching some gameplay. :)

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Made some more progress on Dark Souls. I ventured through the Tomb of the Giants and after a few bits of difficulty, eventually stumbled into Nito. I thought it might take me a while to figure out how to beat him but... I beat him on my first try. Turns out if you get round the back of him he's easy. So there's now just three Lord Bosses to defeat.

 

Also I had to take down my Top 10 Games of All Time video due to audio issued and reupload it. :( Fortunately it's back up now:

 

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Little Nightmares was interesting. I have no idea what it's about but it has a wonderful creepy atmosphere and it's worth playing for that alone.

 

The slightly "wonky" camerLittlea angles look great but do make it difficult to walk across platforms.

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13 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Mark of the Ninja Remastered

I was quite surprised just how much of a narrative there was through the game, although I was a little confused by the two endings.

  Endings (Reveal hidden contents)

Was the sensei indeed a traitor or was it all in your mind? What about the woman companion that you have? Was she just a figment of your imagination due to the ink curse?

After beating the game I went straight into the New Game + mode. I figured it would be best to fly through the game again whilst it was still fresh in my mind and fly through it I did. Despite NG+ being harder, it's crazy how fast you can get through it when you have all of your upgrades at your disposal and also aren't trying to go for the collectibles or high scores. 

Fantastic game.:bowdown:

 

Noice :grin: Mark of the Ninja is fantastic. One of the best NG+ I've ever seen too, more difficult in specific and creative ways that actually increase immersion! Plus, playing with the Demon outfit is one of the most fun experiences I've had in gaming.

Spoiler

Yeah, the sidekick girl is a figment of the Ninja's imagination (during one part where the two of them are supposed to be separated, she still speaks. The developer's commentary reveals this was unintended at first, but they realised it worked great as foreshadowing :heh: ). She was also the one convincing him that equipping the clan with modern technology is a betrayal. Plus, if you choose to kill her, the Ninja kills himself.

All of that said, the sensei did, in fact, do the things that caused the Ninja (and apparently the painter as well) to rebel. At the end of the game, it's up to you to decide which values you'd rather adhere to. I did like how they packed such an interesting decision at the end, despite the simple plot.

 

Edited by Jonnas
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I needed a palette cleanser after 8 playthroughs of Shadow the Hedgehog. So I needed a short RPG that is also very enjoyable.

In other words, man, Chrono Trigger is so damn good! Just got the broken Masamune.

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18 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

It's pretty easy

You weren't kidding :D

But I'm enjoying it quite a lot. The upgrade system is awesome. Make your ship stronger and breeze through levels, or sell upgrades to make the game a little harder (well, it's still quite easy...defeating bosses just gets annoying 'cause they take a million hits if you don't power up your weapons).

Beat level 5 just now and unlocked Invasion Mode. Gonna give it a whirl soon.

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Habroxia Platinum get :peace:

Lovely little game. Can't afford much for my video gaming needs these days so getting a few hours of fun for 1.75 bucks was nice.

The game was very easy and the music is ass, but other than that: I enjoyed it. :)

Wanna hear something truly amazing?
I didn't realize that you can also press L1/L2 to shoot sideways...and in combination with R1/R2 have a wider spread...I noticed this while farming the remaining kills for a trophy...literally 3 minutes before getting the Platinum :laughing:

Edited by drahkon
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Got through two games last weekend, and started a third on Sunday which I saw the end of a few nights ago.

MEGA MAN 2 | 1988

Mega Man 2 [Rockman 2 Dr.ワイリーの謎] - cover art

Last summer, when I asked for some platformer recommendations after realising that I didn't play nearly enough of them, @Jonnas recommended that if I'm to start anywhere in the Mega Man franchise, to skip the first and go straight to Mega Man 2. And so I did. 

It definitely took a bit of time to adjust going back to an older game, especially when gauging the height or distance of Mega Man's jumps and how long I needed to hold the button down, but a few deaths out of the way early on and I managed to get used to it by around the midway point. There are some weird things I attribute to the game being on the older side too which resulted in me feeling a bit lost as a series newcomer, like not explaining anything about the Transport Items leading to me just running around at the start of Stage 1 of Wily's Castle (because it's the first time it's required in the game) or not really getting what the deal was with Energy Tanks until a few levels in, and some game design decisions which I'm not sure we'd see if the game were to be made today (namely the beams on Quick Man's stage and the spiked walls on Wily's Castle Stage 3, which are very difficult to navigate as you drop from one screen to another and have little time to adapt), but by far the most outdated - and by far the absolute worst - part of this game from a game design perspective is the boss from Wily's Castle Stage 4. Going through for the first time and realising that the domes could only be damaged by one weapon type, and not really getting much of an opportunity to adapt to dodging their lasers (something the game doesn't really prepare you for throughout that level, as far as I can remember) made it a really tedious experience, one where I found myself having to go back and grind for energy for that one particular weapon. 

So, Mega Man 2 certainly shows its age at times, and honestly, that's probably it's biggest flaw, something the designers simply couldn't have predicted at the time (you know, besides that boss I mentioned) and is only so noticeable in hindsight.

Because, all of this being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed playing through Mega Man 2. I had a blast with it! I cracked out my NES Online controller for the first time in a while, and though my hands were cramping up a little by the end, it was a really great way to go back and experience the game with the original controller. It was very funny trying to figure out why I couldn't shoot for the first 5 minutes though (it was because the controller didn't have a preset, so my button for firing my blaster simply wasn't an option on the controller, which resulted in me questioning if maybe Mega Man couldn't use his blaster at the start and I just needed to try jumping over everything. Yeah, if you know the first level at all, that's not a feasible option, and you will die at the very beginning every time :laughing: I found the enemy and character designs really endearing, the stages are full of variety and are so vibrant that it just pops off the screen, and I found myself relishing the challenges I faced along the way. Beating bosses to add their weapons to your collection and trying out different weapons on different enemy types to check for weaknesses was a lot of fun to do; I'd have to say that my personal favourite weapon was Quick Man's Quick Boomerang, mostly just because it made such light work of some of the bosses. Some of the sprite work in this game, by the way, I thought was absolutely phenomenal for an NES game (in particular, the shot of Wily's Castle, Mecha Dragon, and Nuts-Dozer), and could easily pass for being an SNES game at those times. 

The thing which ties Mega Man 2 up so sweetly for me - and will make it so memorable an experience - is it's phenomenal treasure trove of a soundtrack, which is clearly now in hindsight such ridiculously complex music to have on the NES. Seriously, Takashi Tateishi's back must be fixed into a bowing position at this point, because I thought it was just that brilliant. There's just so much energy and charm to the soundtrack that I found it impossible to not smile even at the toughest of points in the game, and there were several times where I would start a new stage and either let the music play through a few times because it was obvious the track was going to be great, or be not too hot on it and start playing the level, before it really got a chance to kick in some 20 seconds later, and I had to kill everything around me just to listen to it over and over. Metal Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Crash Man (my personal favourite of the stage themes, there's a weird jazziness to it and I love it), and Flash Man are the 'normal' stage themes that I'd highlight, there's a lot of variety and depth to them. I'm just listening to the soundtrack again as I type this, and find myself smiling and humming along. The Boss Battle theme is also great; Dr. Wily's Castle is obviously an exceptional piece of music with that high octane epic melody and beat. Epilogue is strangely melancholic when it starts out, seeing as the journey is over - it's probably the most serious track in the game? - but also kind of warm and hopeful by its end, and Credits feels like a great celebration. But the highlight to me is that opening of the game with the Introduction and Title Screen tracks, the soft peacefulness of the introduction music just being obliterated by the high tempo of the title screen music is awesome. 

Despite showing its age at times, Mega Man 2 is still a great platformer to play through today some 30+ years after its initial release, and combined with some superb sprites and a top shelf soundtrack, is filled with charm and this childlike innocence which makes it a classic well worth returning to. 

 

PAPERS, PLEASE | 2013

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Papers, Please sees you play the role of a border checkpoint immigration inspector after winning October's labour lottery, set in the fictional, totalitarian country of Arstotzka in the winter of 1982, in what is effectively an alternate Eastern Europe.

The main gameplay loop is simple enough: one-by-one, you are checking the documents of those entering the country by using the tools at your disposal, and your own investigative skills, to process their documents/person and ultimately stamp their passport or visa with denial or approval of entry to Arstotzka, checking above all else for any discrepancies which might suggest something suspect is at hand. For instance, a difference between their weight as detailed in their documents, and the reading from the scales which they stand on as they speak with you, might suggest that they are smuggling weapons or contraband; discrepancies in height, facial appearance, spelling of their names or locations in their papers, or document stamps, might suggest forgery; and other potential tells, such as their reasoning for entry or how long they will be spending in the country, might be a sign further questioning is required or of genuine forgetfulness. All of this can be cross-examined by hitting the red button on the bottom right of the screen, allowing you to enter an investigation mode, where highlighting two potential discrepancies, such as their face and the face in their passport, a rule in the rulebook about requiring a certain type of document and highlighting the desk as it isn't there, or even a transcript of your conversation and their documents if they don't correspond, and will lead to further opportunities for questioning to explore any suspicions you might have. Playing this on my Vita and using the touch screen, this could be a bit tedious and even a bit frustrating at times, due to the sensitivity of the screen and the default size of the text frequently resulting in the game thinking I wanted to highlight something else. Oftentimes, further exploration and questioning will leading to invasive actions (scanning their thumbprint to make sure it matches the one on their documents, and that they are who they say they are. or in some cases an X-ray scan to confirm their gender or possession of weapons/contraband) or even more direct punishment, such as calling security over to detain them. 

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This might seem mundane, and, well, it is. You're pushing paper to get through to the end of the work day (each of the 31 days you can play through often takes about 5-10 minutes in real-time), when you'll receive your pay. The most common action you'll take in this game is shuffling papers around your desk - which in itself offers a satisfying crinkling sound effect - as you try to cross-examine everything for mistakes, which you'll need to do as any errors will result in you receiving citations - these come with the sound of the citation be printed, which becomes increasingly grating as you go on. After the first two citations you receive on a particular day, which won't incur a penalty, the more of those you get, the more of your pay will be docked, which plays into managing the expenses of your home life, such as heating, rent, food, medicine, and the odd one-off expense, such as a gift for your son on his birthday. You might also be able to receive bonus amounts, such as by helping a security guard get their own bonus by maximising the number of people you choose to detain, or through helping an engineer get word out about his business and giving his business cards to incoming engineers. On occasion, you might even receive a straight-up bribe to allow someone through. If you have enough money on hand, at certain points throughout your term, you can take up the opportunity to move into better accommodation with your family. 

This all is tied together by a distinct and interesting political and national security landscape, which will see changes to the rules in your rulebook on who you can and can't let in, and what documents they need, with a lot of this narrative will coming through reading the newspaper at the start of each day. For instance, heightened political tension between Arstotzka and Kolechia at the start of the game, shortly after the end of a six-year war between the nations, will see you denying all access to Kolechians for a day; a list of wanted criminals, and even some mentioned in the paper itself in serious cases, will have you keeping a keen eye out for them; and later on in the game, an outbreak of Polio will see you asking for medical documents confirming that potential entrants have received the vaccine within the last three years. All of this adds a bit of variety to the mundane day-to-day, adding texture and depth to this fictional world, all while giving rise to a front row seat to smaller arcs with recurring characters, which for me personally was the highlight of the game, as these provide the most distinct of the game's twenty potential different endings. An example of this is coming into contact with a resistance group who claim to have guided Arstotzka's history, and wish to do so again, using you as a pawn to allow certain people in and out of the country, such as important diplomats or their own spies, and on occasion, even doing their dirty work for them. On the other hand, terrorist attacks frequently take place at the border wall, and after a few of those, you'll be handed a key by security, which can be used to open a drawer with a tranquilliser gun that you can attempt to use to sedate the threat (which comes with its own rewards). 

Papers, Please is mechanically sound, if a bit repetitive and mundane at times, though this is part of the point. It was interesting to feel myself, as days went on, getting bullied with citations for making the slightest of mistakes, pay less and less attention to the monotony of the day-to-day, and to the people, and find myself focusing almost solely on the stone cold facts, only to find myself shaken up by some major event, which in its way felt like a commentary on the day-to-day of office work and, further yet, a totalitarian regime and the tensions in Eastern Europe of the 70's and 80's. Almost in spite of how mundane this game is at times, there is something ever so slightly appealing about just pushing papers around for a few hours, and wanting to see how the different endings played out - especially the major ones - by making different choices had me coming back for two more playthroughs after my first.

I think, ultimately, you'll know if this game is one for you, but it was one which kept me hooked throughout and coming back for me. It might not quite be a Platinum, but I 100%'d this game, and I'm glad I took the time to do so; I think it's one which will stick with me for a long while, thanks to its simple pixel art style, its overarching narrative, and just how unique an experience I found it to be. 

Papers, please.

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SOUND SHAPES | 2012

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In Sound Shapes, you play as what is probably best described as an eye ball covered in goo, sticking to walls and platforms as you slide around them before leaping elsewhere, as you try to avoid touching anything red, as this will result in your immediate death. It's a simple enough game on a control level, with the only inputs being the ability to jump (which in some cases might be used for something else in its place), control your direction, and 'de-stick' yourself, shedding your goo to allow you to move around faster and stop sticking to objects, and I thought the platforming through the Campaign Mode was really solid, as it was just a lot of fun to gain some level of mastery over this ball's jump and the goo mechanic, even if I thought that checkpoints were overall on the generous side. 

The main draw, though, is in just in the sheer variety of this game's creativity and level design, as every level manages to introduce something new and fresh for you to overcome. You play through five albums (or worlds), each with 3 - 5 levels and 20 in total, and each has their own overarching theme, with music and graphics design for each album handled by different artists, all allowing for very different experiences, despite the platforming fundamentally staying the same, and how each level interacts with the music is interesting to see. Hello, World has an easygoing soundtrack by I Am Robot and Proud and a soft, round art style provided by Vic Nguyen (Capy); CORPOREAL has a much more serious soundtrack, by contrast, by Jim Guthrie, in a muted, matte office setting with graphics by Superbrothers; Beyonder is an exploration of a variety of natural and mechanical environment types, with music again by I Am Robot and Proud, though this time a bit heavier and synth driven, and graphics by Colin Mancer; D-Cade is also heavy on synth, though a bit more modern in ways, with music by deadmau5 and a retro pixel art style by PixelJam; and, probably my favourite album, Cities, with almost layered paper-like art style by Pyramid Attack, and a great variety of music by Beck (the only album with lyrics). I figure the easiest way to show you what I mean about level design, music, and graphics variety is to just you my favourite levels from each album, so without further ado:

My favourite tracks in the game were probably Cities and Purgatory, though I absolutely loved the flute which turned up at the end of Event Horizon too. 

After completing the Campaign Mode, two new modes unlocked, the first of which I checked out was Beat School. In short, it's a mode where you're basically arranging notes on an blocked out screen to recreate the beat or melody that you hear. I spent an hour on the mode figuring out the first few, but I'm not really sure why it was included. It's neat enough, but doesn't really add anything to the experience in my opinion. An easy way to get a bunch of trophies, though, so once I eventually had my fill of it, it meant looking up guides for the rest of the levels I had left, and unfortunately, I imagine that was the case for the majority of players. 

The other mode unlocked after beating the Campaign Mode is Death Mode, where there is room based on each level in the game, with a core mechanic from that level, where you have to go around collecting a certain number of discs within a time limit. This was simultaneously the most triumphant and most frustrating mode in the game for me. On the one hand, it provided an opportunity to master a particular room and how to overcome a particular obstacle, which could take anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes to really adapt to if you're paying attention, but on the other, and what made this mode so damn frustrating, is that the discs are randomly generated to turn up in one of a number of locations in the room, with only one on screen at a time, and dying once means you need to restart; in every case, there is a ridiculous element of pure luck involved with the disc placement. On one run you could be doing great, and have plenty of time left, only for the level to completely screw you over and decide it wants to set one disc down on one side of the room, then send you all the way over to the other side; at the same time, on another run, you might end up with as many as 5 discs in a row showing up right next to each other. It's this RNG element which tears this down, and I think slightly tweaking the mode could have made it so much less frustrating an experience, either by removing the RNG element and having players learn a predetermined order in which the discs will turn up, which would enough of a challenge in itself, or keeping the RNG element but rewarding players with additional time for each disc collected (even just 1 second per disk would seriously make that much of a difference). 

In the end, there were several times where I had to zone everything out in some way, because after learning the level through, it's just a matter of trying your best until the RNG plays into your favour (and, at that point, not becoming distracted and overthinking things), and I had to come up with some specific strategies for some. I spent hours on some levels in Death Mode, some leaving my hands cramped, whilst others provided so much concentration I had to do that thing you have to do in some games heavy on reaction times, where you don't even focus on the screen to allow yourself to see the screen in its entirety, just to heighten your reflexes to give you that super slight edge. The implementation of the music across the Death Mode levels was something I found to be really inconsistent, with some clueing you in on when to react, but on others it was a hinderance more than anything, so I found myself muting my TV to help me concentrate.

Figured it would be worth sharing some of my triumphs and frustrations of the mode here, just so you can see what I'm talking about when it comes to the RNG nature of it all:

The Campaign Mode of Sound Shapes is great in its simplicity and sheer variety, whether it be its music, level design, mechanics, or art style, and you can get through it in an afternoon, so I would say it's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something a bit shorter, or a shake-up from a more traditional platformer. Beat School is a mode which genuinely feels misplaced in this game, even with the overall focus on music, and I would only recommend Death Mode if you're willing to drive yourself a little bit mad. I stuck with it in the end, nearly tripling my total time with the game, and while it's something I'm glad I put in the effort and time to get through, it's a mode which I genuinely never want to play through again. 

First Platinum get of 2021! Looking through my others, this was probably the most challenging one I've got my virtual hands on so far. 

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To be honest, it's been nice changing things up a bit and getting through some shorter games at a decent enough clip for a change. Still trying to figure out what I want to play next, but February has been a pretty solid month for me so far in my gaming endeavours! 

Spoiler

January

Suikoden (1995)

February

What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)

Mega Man 2 (1988)

Papers, Please (2013)

Sound Shapes (2012)

 

Edited by Julius
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15 hours ago, Julius said:

First Platinum get of 2021! Looking through my others, this was probably the most challenging one I've got my virtual hands on so far.

I didn't like Sound Shapes at all, but it did give me three platinum trophies thanks to crossplay, and I did like that.

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15 hours ago, Julius said:

 

Ah yes, I remember that one. :D RNG dependent bull crap :p

Sound Shapes was my first PS4 Platinum :o
I remember not enjoying the PS3 version, for whatever reason...got back to it with the PS4 version and went for it all :D

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21 hours ago, Julius said:

some game design decisions which I'm not sure we'd see if the game were to be made today (namely the beams on Quick Man's stage and the spiked walls on Wily's Castle Stage 3, which are very difficult to navigate as you drop from one screen to another and have little time to adapt)

You know, the funny thing is, modern games have been made with that sort of level design. Super Meat Boy showed there's a market for that sort of punishing death trap. Of course, indies will indie, but Quick Man and Wily Stage 3 definitely left a legacy.

Anyway, maybe it's just because you posted the track, but reading your post reminded me of this old Youtube video:

 

Edited by Jonnas
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On the subject of ultra difficult games I'm currently in the Duke's Archive in Dark Souls. I've made a fair bit of progress, got through the fakeout Seath fight which proves you can't truly go through this without dying.

 

Can I just say how annoying all these projectiles are? Seems like you always have someone firing at you so you have to fight the enemies with your shield facing whoever is shooting arrows or stand in a place where you won't be killed by magic. You can't even kill all the archers as a melee character because there's one standing on top of a bookcase which you can't drop off onto and then there's another standing on a ledge which you can't reach. I am also noticing a rather large amount of instances where you travel along a narrow pathway towards an archer and the point where you get close to an archer the wall on either the left or the right opens up. I figured they might do exactly the same thing they did in Tomb of the Giants so I rolled as soon as I approached the archer because, sure enough, there's another enemy hiding behind the corner waiting to ambush you. I think enemies hiding behind corners is FromSoftware's most used design technique from what I can see, it's kind of evil but I suppose you just roll whenever you see a corner that could have a blind spot...

 

I haven't made any more progress than the third bonfire in Duke's Archives but I have kindled that bonfire to 20 as I have the feeling there isn't going to be another bonfire until after Seath.

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Finished Person 5 Royal a few weeks ago (along with a platinum medal surprisingly!). It was a great game, I was glad when it was finally over though after the 100+ hours it took. 

Tried Titanfall 2 after, which was nice and short and only took a few days. After a bit of a drab opening, I was surprised how good the game got. It felt like a combination of older Call of Duty's, Mirror's Edge and Portal. Best FPS I've played in ages.

Now I'm working my way through Star Wars Squadrons. It's alright, doesn't really have that magic that older Star Wars games used to have though.

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16 minutes ago, Mandalore said:

Best FPS I've played in ages.

You should play SUPERHOT.

It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years.

SUPER
HOT
SUPER
HOT

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I wish there was a version of Superhot without all the really dumb stuff between levels. Would be a much better game if you just picked levels from a menu.

 

Finished Moving Out with my fiancée. Really good game, I think it's better than Overcooked.

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With Control done it's time for me to start a new game and I think I'll go with the PS4 game we got on PS+ this month: Concrete Genie :)

In other news: Finished one more DLC of Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck.

It was surprisingly emotional given Borderlands' humour and...well...Psycho Krieg :D
Lots of fun playing through this with two mates, as it has always been with Borderlands 3.
Two more DLCs left. After that I think I'll move away from the game. Not going to bother with the Platinum, either, as you need to complete a shit ton of side quests.

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A slow start to February for me. I've been enjoying Super Mario 3D World but have only just reached World 4. Taking my time and letting it all sink it. Had fun with Dennis and BowserBasher playing online over the weekend and as I've mentioned in the OT, I'm struggling to get to grips with the pace of the game. Still, the music and the level design is filled with charm and I'm having a great, if leisurely time. 

As I mentioned in the eShop thread, I've picked up 3 new games which were all on sale - Habroxia hasn't been touched yet. Like H-o-T, I wanted to support Colin and Lillymo Games and picked up the original. I'll get the sequel when I beat it. Super Punch Partol has an excellent look but I've found it pretty underwhelming so far. Not a patch on Streets of Rage 4 for obvious reasons, but I just can't seem to really get the hand of the mechanics. Might have to come back to that one later.

The final game I picked up was A Short Hike, which Lee had praised on the podcast and Greg had seemingly not hated :grin: Praise enough for me to also give it a go. 

I was expecting something quick and easy, but I was truly taken aback by just how much I enjoyed this game. It is simply wonderful. I stuck it on yesterday morning at 9.30am for a mess about before I started work and I ended up glued to the screen for an hour and a half (almost missing my 11am meeting). There's something I can't quite put my finger on with this game. It really feels like a Nintendo game, purely down to how easy it is to play, it's unique look and its quirky cast of characters. 

You start out at the bottom of a huge mountain with the simple aim of going for a relaxing stroll to the top. As you make your way from base camp you meet other animals going about their business and can interact with them. It's this interaction that really sets this game apart for me. The dialogue is absolutely fantastic and filled with tons of charm. If I could summarise it in a sentence it would be "side quest- the game". As you listen to each of their problems, they ask you little favours or ask you to collect stuff for them to help them out. This is when I completely forgot about the goal of actually reaching the top of the mountain and got to work helping my new pals. In a way, it almost feels like a Harvest Moon / Stardew Valley type experience where you can go around collecting stuff like shells, digging for treasure or fishing. There's a whole lot of other stuff you can do too, but I won't spoil it.

Some of the animals reward you with cash or Gold Feathers. These gold feathers increase your ability to climb or give you an extra flap of your wings to gain a little air. It's a genius system which means helping people out greatly improves your ability to get around and scale the mountain. Along your way you'll find treasure maps and notice little islands in the distance. Exploration and experimentation are the name of the game here as you try to build up your collection of feathers. The mountain itself feels enormous at first, and because the game is relatively short, it is hard to really learn it quickly, which keeps it feeling a little daunting. I lost my way quite a few times until I was really able to float around it from on high.

As you've maybe seen, the game has a DS visual style, with blocky textures and flat colours. It works really well and helps to really get the charm across. You can adjust the blockyness in the options if you want it a little sharper, but from a pure artistic point of view, the devs have hit a home run here. As stuff fades into the distance, it loses its colour and has an almost pencil like outline. I can't stress enough how nice it looks. The music, which is location specific, also fits extremely well with the atmosphere and vibe of the game, going from relaxing in tone to more menacing as you make your way up the mountain. 

I reached the top in about 2 and a half hours, which I think is probably quite slow as I managed to get 17 of the 20 Gold Feathers on my run. I could have got more, but wanted to see the end. I've not budged from 17 in the extra 30 or so minutes I've played, and this is where my only real complaint about the game comes in. I really want to 100% this, but there is very little to tell me what I have to do to get there. The only thing I can do really is look up and down until I find those one or two tiny things I'm missing to go for full completion. The journey down is not quite as fun as it was on the way up. Feels a bit aimless. 

Anyway, I can highly recommend this game, even at full price. I have a real soft spot as some of you know for quite a few indie games from the last 5 or so years. This one firmly deserves it's place among them. As unique as it is charming and definitely not one to ignore. 

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