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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


There also seems to be a time-slow ability, probably an unlockable skill, that helps on:

Other comment I’ve seen is some levelling can help on taking on the bigger creatures, which is similar to W3 - getting to a closer parity helps but, if you don’t pay attention, you will get killed. The reverse is true in W3 too: Do a careful offence and you’ll probably win.

EDIT: My copy of Zelda is on its way!


I’m more interested in whether there is any substantial narrative that pulls you in, or whether it is one of those games where you are just supposed to be immersed in the world. I think I’m done with games that are exclusively or heavily the latter. I do t have the time for it these days.


Well, that was a useful experiment - not without its irritations mind - but definitely useful.

What I’d forgotten, it being about 15 years since I played the GC version, is that Link really is an irritating little bastard in Wind Waker. Add in instant death lava, a camera that tends to go a bit close in and an auto-jump function that is less than 100% reliable - it’s not a good cocktail.

Of course, to be fair, if game design had stayed static the last 15 years, it might still be as sharp as it was then, but it hasn’t. Having to hold down buttons to do stuff that would now be automatic irks. The combat mechanism I find clunky, as is having to manually draw your sword, I mean come on kid, get your knife and stab that bastard, OK?

It’s not that old games can’t be enjoyed, but you have to be willing to make some allowances for them because they are going to cruder in quite a few respects, but this time? Nope, it just can’t cross the years and it can’t avoid being an excessively irritating un-fun game for me.

Fortunately, due to the type of game it is, someone will buy it and I won’t be trying the Twilight Princess remaster, as it’ll likely end the same way. So that’s another £30 saved.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how the new, reworked Zelda comes out for me. (Option of last resort? Flog it for mega-bucks!)


Some initial thoughts on Horizon: Zero Dawn:

You know how X-men:Apocalypse sort of feels like a “Best-of” of the X-men film series?

That’s Horizon: Zero Dawn with playstation.

You’ve got:

  • Combat and crafting like Tomb Raider
  • Quests like The Witcher (complete with tracking and so forth)
  • Movement and Graphics like the Uncharted series

All it needs is a dog-with-an-eyepatch to make the Quadrifecta.

EDIT: I think it probably is the best game, graphically, I’ve played. But I think that’s probably because it’s the first game designed for the Pro to be played at 4K - it’s pretty cool playing a game where, no matter how close you get to the TV, you can’t see a single “pixel”.

EDIT 2: Aloy talks to herself a lot though.

EDIT 3: I was only partially joking with the “best of” stuff - but there is an element of Metal Gear in here too - the enemies awareness and search capabilities. It really is quite bizarre to play when you think of it as a different mix of ingredients like this - but it’s impossible to tell whether the sum of the parts will be greater or lesser than the whole.


Well, that was… Unexpected. (By the way, we won’t hear from @TMasters for about 12 hours because he’ll be laughing his arse off for about that long after reading this.)

Wind Waker link is indeed a little bastard, the camera can be a git, the game seems to go out of its way to bugger about, but… That Dragon Roost Cavern really is a very nice bit of design work, it looked good 15 years ago and looks better on the remaster:

So, ended up going back, re-doing all the stuff I lost due to the previous rage quit. Yes, I forgot to save, O-K? Then got past the bit that triggered said rage quit, decked the boss and set sail for Forest Haven. On the way, went through a storm at sunset and that looked far better than it ever did on the Cube, very atmospheric and scary - I didn’t hang around.

Swore I wasn’t going to go any further, before I know it I’m working my way through the Forbidden Woods, getting the boomerang, using the various gadgets to both navigate and fight and then finished off by decking the boss there too.

At this point I decided to save and quit while I’m ahead as there was another, much more recent game to boot up.

Namely The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

So, these are very, very cursory impressions so far, but only on five minutes.

First, one thing none of the video reviews managed to indicate is the sheer graphical accomplishment - this is an older system now, but the imagery here manages to give its younger, bigger rivals quite a bit of competition. The world you move around in is always moving - trees, grass, plants, it really is very smart.

I’ve duffed up a few Goblins, plus ChuChus, gone through about five weapons too and they do handle differently.

All I’ve done is go from the start to activating the Sheikh Tower, but it’s quite the piece of work so far.

It also looks to be one of those games that will become easier as you gain resources, so it’ll be hardest now as you start off with bugger all.

It also set up far quicker than expected, that 3GB install file took a few minutes to install but nowhere near as long as I thought, ditto for the Day 1 patch.

For anyone considering the Season Pass, the DLC won’t be out until Dec 2017 so there’s time for that.


I thought this might be relevant for this thread:


Why would they design a game like that? It seems to run counter to the idea of a learning curve.


It’s actually pretty true of the bulk of old-school and even new JRPGs.

Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy, Xenoblade - you’re encouraged to explore but within certain limits, due to the enemy strength you encounter. As you fight, you gain XP, XP raises levels, which raises your stats with the cash from fighting you buy better gear so you can take on the stronger monsters, then you go elsewhere, the pattern repeats.

As you’re doing all this you get better with the techniques, learn the battle systems, so you might be fighting stronger enemies but you know what you’re doing and have a stack of healing potions and spells that you didn’t have at the start.

Even with Fallout 3 / 4 - you start with nothing, later on as you acquire guns and armour and ammo, it gets easier, even though your adversaries will be stronger.


Ah, I see what you mean.

I’m not a big fan of those types of games, especially these days, but I recognise that structure from some of the ones I used to play as a kid (when I had the time to put into them!).


I think the idea is the equipment and leveling skills and so forth is meant to balance out against tougher enemies, but it’s usually possible in these games to get to a stage when you’re pretty overpowered versus anything you encounter. The Final Fantasy games usually feature a handful of ridiculously tough enemies as sort of “final” challenges for people that keep advancing their character.

Played a little more Horizon: Zero Dawn.

It’s still too early to say anything signficant - I’ve just finished kind of the “opening part” of quests which would be the equivalent of doing White Orchard in Witcher 3 or the first two chapters of FFXV or so, where you do a bunch of quests that set the stage for the game’s narrative and the world opens up.

I have to say that there’s a couple of tough bits of combat so far - mostly boss fights and such. Hunting machines and stuff isn’t really that tough because there’s so many different ways you can take them down and, if worse comes to worse, you can just run away.

The staged boss fights as part of the main questline can be pretty tough though - there’s two I’ve come across that haven’t driven me mad, but they haven’t been cakewalks and have required skill and focus - in that way it reminds me of the way the boss fights were handled in Killzone. Both fights have had me use up all my health-pouch and potions, although the game is never stingy on providing resources. Both fights were pretty fun though, although I find fighting the machines more fun then the humans - as human encounters tend to be more prescribed and the developers clearly expect you to take a particular approach to take them out (which means you die a couple of times until you figure it out) while you get to be more creative with the machines.

In terms of the story - it’s pretty much the standard RPG trope in that Aloy has a “destiny” and there’s a bunch of different mysteries that propel the story forward like that aren’t really connected but almost certainly will come together by end.

It’s a beautiful game, although that there are no ripple effects are frustrating me, and I maintain it plays like a best-of Playstation. That’s not a bad thing, and there’s heaps of scope for it to forge it’s own identity. It is nice playing a game that’s basically an open-world Tomb-Raider/Uncharted though.


I did beat all 3 incredibly tough ‘Weapons’ in FFVII back in the day. I really wouldn’t have the patience now. :smile:


Oh yeah, only ever managed to Zanmato one Dark Aeon in FFX, though, with enough time and strategy you can take those out, whereas dodging 200 lightning bolts in a row…


I’ve always been such a completionist with the FF games that I’ve ended up getting to lvl 99 and taking on those enemies.

FFXV is the only one so far that I haven’t - that’s mostly because it feels like there’s another games worth DLC coming and I didn’t want to start on the post-game content.


Couple of further comments on the new Zelda…

Those after a Wii U copy, insofar as they can, ought to probably look to acquire sooner rather than later, as who knows how much longer the discs will be produced?

The one shame is that second screen functionality on the Wi U Gamepad is gone. Now, I undertand why that is so because the Switch can’t replicate it and just getting the game out for both systems is enough work, but on Wind Waker last night that second screen really worked. It really was quite brilliant, looking at a map, without having to pause, assign items to button by touch, flip between item and map screens…


I was reading about the development of Zelda - how they were developing it to heavily rely on the motion controls of the Wii U and then turned 180 when development on the Switch ramped up and it became clear it was going to launch that console - so they basically just stopped developing it for the Wii U and started developing it for the switch and then ported it over.

It’s amazing that that development process hasn’t caused a ton of errors - I did read in … something today, I forget, that the Switch was the better console to play it on.


The second screen on Wind Waker worked brilliantly. It is a shame they weren’t able to incorporate it for the new game.


It is, but does mean I can break out the Pro Controller, which is dead nice.


It is really strange that you can’t use the Wii U pad, especially since Link’s main tool is a Wii U pad!


It’s a shame, I know why they did it, but Dragon Roost Cavern / Forbidden Woods really showed how well that second screen worked.

Reasonably certain it’s the same on Twilight Princess HD too, but don’t have that yet.


The absolute 180º you’ve made on Windwaker has been a joy to see (maybe it’s a 360º now). Breath of the Wild still sounds incredible.

@TMasters Horizon Zero Dawn always looked boring to me, but you keep comparing it to Tomb Raider and Uncharted and it’s getting me interested. You can bet the next Guerilla game will have ripple effects, now that Kojima Productions are collaborating on the game engine.