Interesting. That’s a little more old-school than I am looking for but thank you for the heads-up.
I’ve been clearing through a bit of a backlog of PC demoes lately, mostly for adventure games. The clear stand-out amongst all of them is Gibbous - A Cthulhu Adventure. It’s a comedy point and click about a librarian who finds the Necronomicon and accidentally gives his cat (Kitteh) the ability to talk.
Gibbous is an absolutely gorgeous game with a sharp, properly funny script and really high quality voice acting. I played a demo for another indie comedy p&c the other day called Detective Gallo, which has high quality cel-shaded graphics and voice acting and it didn’t really do much for me, which I thought was maybe me just being a bit picky. But playing Gibbous makes me realise how much more you can do in that genre and budget, outclassing Gallo in every regard.
What makes Gibbous even more impressive is that its development team seems to consist of only half a dozen people from Romania, but it really doesn’t feel like it’s been done by non-native English speakers (as Gallo and every other Spanish adventure game does) and the quality of the animation usually requires much larger teams than that. I’m really looking forward to the full game.
So, they ported the last piece of Redout DLC to the PS4 today - like I’m going to resist that.
When the game came to PS4, it included 2 of the DLC packs done:
This means the game started with 5 environments:
They had 8-10 types of events, with each environment having five tracks, plus a ‘boss’ track that combines the five into a super-bastard circuit that’ll make your eyes bleed and fry your brain. And this was the starting point! Each DLC added 1-2 new environments. So the PS4 edition had 7 environments, 35 tracks, 7 boss tracks and a ton of events.
Since then they have ported these:
- Mars DLC - 1 environment
- Space Exploration DLC - 2 environments
- Back to Earth DLC - 2 environments
So, relative to the base game, they have more than doubled the content. So why stop as it now appears they have? Probably because they’re out of ideas. These tracks are the most batcrap crazy and inventive circuits you’ve ever raced on - can they keep the quality consistently high after creating 60 tracks? They look to have concluded that they can’t. That’s a decision that ought to be respected.
If they bring out the Redout: Complete Edition (currently out for PC) to PS4 and you enjoyed Wipeout or F-Zero, you have to play this. Want to support a smaller developer? It does that too.
I tried the first track of each new set. The first was unbelievably brutal, the second was not as harsh and had some of the most stunning graphics going, even by this game’s standards.
This is a game I’m never going to be great at, but I love just bombing round the tracks in Time Attack - have loads of other craft to unlock, have done a bare fraction of the game, but it’s utterly superb - and it deserves a bigger audience.
Back to Monster Hunter World - I’ve started trying to work out the difference between blunt and severing damage, while equipping the Palico with paralysis weaponry! Took out 2 Barroth and 2 Jurydyctus, forged a pile of new weaponry and upgraded some armour. Next will be to try out the new weapons on suitable targets.
So… the Carapace Buster lived up to its name - made decking Barroth a damn sight easier, it did one-hit kill on Gajau and Kestodon, plus hammered a Kalu-Ya-Ku into the ground.
Utter slaughter. It was glorious.
Now to upgrade it to the next tier.
I decided to replay Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. This time after finishing the original (whi until days ago, I never played).
And can’t say it lost its fun. Top down shooter, in the style of games made 30 years ago. Gloriously gory and brutal. But hard as nails!! Don’t know if it was to poor optimization or my hardware specs, but the original ran kinda normally, when HLM2, plays like in fast-motion.
The retro music is also one more shining element. Now I use to listen some of these track for hours.
But, the games’ design is interesting. It also has an interesting story, grim, but surreal. But I don’t think it’s the story that matters here.This is one of rare examples of meta-fiction in video games, as it forces the player to self-reflect himself while playing. Observing yourself like God. This is more evidented when you finish HLM2, and then try to replay it in hard mode, where an interesting cut-scene awaits you.
Too bad there won’t be a sequel.
So, managed to deck a couple of Paolomu today, who tends to be a flyin’ cheatin’ bastard, but is a damn sight easier with a greatsword.
Turns out you can’t focus on one weapon in Monster Hunter World, as I found when I used a long sword on Tzitiki-Ku-Ya. I was dodging and hitting far more easily than with the greatsword. Doing less damage in one hit, but dealing more accumulated damage. Did a quest that required two of the buggers to be taken out.
And so I came to Rotten Vale. At this point, there’s only one main location left to get but that’ll be ages away. Instead I have this new, lovingly designed total shitbag of an area to explore. I’m not kidding, decayed corpses, bones everywhere, fetid, acid gases from accumulated corpse decay. It is vile, but it looks amazing. Like the other locations it is also a full, multi-tiered environment - heading to the top is quite the trip.
To my surprise, I took on and took out a Radobaan - just. Having the greatsword really helped, smacked off loads of pieces of him. Then, seconds after I killed it, the game regenerated the fucker! Oh well, I was only being paid for one!
The one crappy bit was at the start, where I tried an egg quest. Turns out you can’t simply kill the creatures whose nest you raid, because however many you kill, the game throws more in! Once you have an egg, you can’t put it down, ever - it is as a crap as it sounds. So that’s one quest I’m not touching.
Overall though - I’ve four of five locations unlocked, duffed up two new monsters, sighted another, got a pile of new weapon and armour upgrades unlocked and have racked up just over 35 hours. I’m now feeling I’ve got my money’s worth out of it.
Turns out Guard is actually quite effective - if you can but see what’s going on to use it! On the times I was able to put it to work, it did see a major damage reduction.
Had an incredibly irritating fight with an Anjanath, who decided to ignore the 30 extra defence points I had to hit as hard as the last fight, which I only just got through, which in turn rendered upgrading armour pointless. Also, the spaces this massive goddamn T-rex manages to get into, while retaining full 360-degree movement is utterly implausible. You think he can’t do a 180-degree spin on the spot to hit while you’re whacking his belly? Wrong.
After that it got better - though on that and this fight, the game played the ‘will be leaving soon’ card and it doesn’t help you get back to where they are that much. In that respect Radobaan was easier - core rule, don’t fight him at the top of Rotten Vale on the mesh, it won’t go well. So, with a change of environment and some guarding, it got much better. What’s fun about Radobaan is you can whack chunks off of him, so its a lucrative run no matter what. After it I was able to do 2 new pieces of Baan armour.
With Effluvium protection, due to Hornataur armour, I explored the rotten depths- quite literally - of the Rotten Vale and, to my surprise, took and decked a Great Girros and his friends. That opens up a host of new weapons and armour, with better paralysis protection.
The only total failure was the new camera settings - Target camera doesn’t work either. Still, set it as an expedition and you have infinite lives to smash the crap out of them, and no, they don’t get all their health back.
It’s also still an audio-visual wonder - Radobaan is very well-designed and animated.
You know, Monster Hunter World would save itself a hell of a lot of aggro by having the backstory that Kitty Pryde shagged the monster creator, from whom all the breeds come from on a genetic basis because these things have one hell of a variability of solidity! I’ll be stabbing a monster with a Katana and I will have walked through its physical body in the process! Then the game decides its back to being solid so it can whack you.
Thus the “challenge” of the game:
- You will not be able to observe the monster without also fighting the camera the entire time
- Everything your character it does manually and slowly, real slow.
- Health regain? Slow. Fix status? Slow. Sharpen sword? Slow.
- Be able to tell the direction of your characer relative to the monster before you commit to an attack? Good luck, you’ll think its facing one way and it turns out to be entirely different.
- Going back to the wonky physics, you will fight a flying monster in a tight, enclosed space that will have no effect on your enemy’s ability to fly and move. Bust its wings? Did that, the fucker still flies.
- You think that big attack you’ve finally got to unleash will hit? Nope, monster roars, you freeze. Even with a greatsword, on a downward arc of such force you wouldn’t be able to stop, freeze.
All of these aspects combined on two fights today - Legiana, a giant pain the arse, even when armed with a thunder sword and then, the King MotherFucker, Ogdaron - cheatin’ son of a bitch bastard hellspawn. The common factors in each, all of the above!
To be honest, given what I’ve since found out about this game - that some Dark Souls experts apparently found it too damn hard, I’ve clearly done far better than I ever expected in opening up the whole of Rotten Vale. Knowing the enemy pattern - he really doesn’t have much beyond relying on camera blindspot, in the same way Koda-Kadachi does - will help, but the game will always be playing dirty pool. I took on a Barroth earlier, should have been an easy fight, except the game decided this one was a precision fighting machine - with every hit making it and practically ignoring the boosted armour I had. I’m damn certain the game boosted that bastard. The big problem is none of these aspects adds up to a fun time for me, I’m sure for some they do, probably the same bunch who play Bloodborne on the You-Will-Fucking-Die-Fast setting.
I know with better armour and weapons I’ll get by the bastard, somehow - probably with a Girros tailrider to paralyse the fucker. Which will probably be the next thing I start developing - paralysis weaponry. Combine that with bleed resistance and Ogdaron will be screwed.
I just end up thinking how much better this game could be, it could be absolutely fantastic. If they had done difficulty settings, it would be far better and that’d be easy to do. As you do the mandatory story, more tiers of upgrades become available. There’s your answer - easy has everything open, you can take your time to develop superweapons and armour to match, super hard has you taking them practically buck naked!
I’m finally near the end of Radiant Historia* after just clearing up all the side quests. Do you ever get that feeling with a game where you’re enjoying it perfectly well but you just want to get it over with so you can get on and play something else? I’ve had that for about two weeks now, with a growing list of other games I want to flit to and inevitably feel the same way about.
*except not really. I’m near the end of the story, but there’s a selection of side story material new for this special edition which is tacked on the end. (The game offers to weave it into the main story, but recommends not to do that on your first play through, I assume because it spoils later reveals).
Oh, I’d so like to play one of the Batman Arkham fights with this as the soundtrack:
You wait ages for a retro game release and then two come along at once.
I’ve already dug into the first one tonight - Ristar, Dynamite Headdy and Toejam & Earl for starters. But how long can I resist Gunstar Heroes…?
Easy answer: You can’t.
I dunno, Streets Of Rage II is on there too.
Ah, SoR2 and Axel’s 15-hit combo.
I feel like giving SoR3 another shot, but remembering how badly it kicked my arse as a kid - and how much worse I am at games now - I’m not sure I should put myself through the misery.
I finally slogged to the end of the post-game extras in Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology. I say post-game, as mentioned before, you get the choice of whether you want it tacked on the end (which the game recommends) or woven into the main game and I’m a little baffled as to why you’re even given that choice, let alone recommended to take the Append mode. Because it’s clearly well balanced with the main game and would fit right in easily. The quests that make it up (which are mostly a series of fairly trivial time-crossing fetch quests, to be honest) give rewards that would have been pretty handy during the bulk of the game, but are pretty useless when you’ve finished it. I was breezing through the majority of these, even using the MP-draining battle avoidance ability to skip through them because it was all so trivial.
By the time you get to the bits that line up with the end of the main game though, this was probably a mistake, as it meant some of the boss battles were tough, especially the final boss, who I died against a few times before I went off to grind for a bit (thankfully, the enemies in the last areas aren’t that difficult and give an unusually large amount of XP, so it didn’t take too long to get tough enough to deal with the last boss).
If you are thinking of getting Radiant Historia (and I would recommend it if you’re a JRPG fan - it’s got good battle mechanics, a decent story and great voice acting) I would definitely recommend not going for append mode. The additional story material for this remake are a worthy inclusion to the original and really flesh out key parts of the story, which is impressive for a game that took over 50 hours even before all that.
It can get stuffed if it think afters nearly 60 hours of gameplay I’m going to want to shell out £2.50 a pop for some more story DLC though. Enough is enough.
So, had quite a run on Monster Hunter World…
First of all, Odogaron - or, as he is better known, mother-fucking-bastard-hellspawn.
I went after him this time with a thunder longsword, Bleeding Resistance armour, got a Grimalkyne along for the ride. Turned out to be an epic fight and, for the first time ever, a monster killed my tailrider helper! But it was too late, by fighting in effluvium pits, with Girros and Great Girros interfering and picking fights, with a lot of hit and run - he finally died just under 25 minutes later! Easily the biggest fight to date.
So, pushing my luck, it turns out the next one is Rathalos and I haven’t yet tried a Rathian, never mind the head honcho. I got lucky. It flew around all over the place so I responded in kind by warping to camps. What really irks about flying enemies is you’re told to bust the wings, you do that and what happens? Nothin’, they still fly as easily as ever with broken wings. It took me out but this was in expedition mode, it was a practice run as, in expedition mode you have infinite lives. It did play the game of ‘Rathalos will be leaving the locale soon’, but I just managed to kill him before he legged it!
Now, what was quite cool - and surprisingly fair, is the game counted my Rathalos kill as doing the main quest, even though I had not accepted it!
If I can use the same mechanism, I might be able to do Diabolos the same way.
First though, I need to go Rathian killing to get that camp set up in Wildspire, as if I can kill Rathalos, I ought to be ought to be take one of those out now!
Yeah, I think I’m done with Monster Hunter World now.
It’s just… Not enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the Souls games, Bloodborne or Nioh, then you’ll probably love it but I go out of my way to avoid those games. Which is why I feel quite conned by MHW, it was sold as this great entry piece for new gamers. It isn’t. I eventually worked out how its systems operated, but intuitive? No.
The core problem is that the game claims it’s all about preparing, having the right weapon and armour but you can do all of that and it still makes little practical difference when in combat on the harder monsters, who are set on such a level they can kill you with ease regardless. Now, for some, that will be excellent, for me? Nope. What’s the point of my grinding to craft that new weapon or armour if the benefit is so damn small? And it recurs across armour levels - by now I ought to be to withstand some attacks by supposedly weaker monsters as the armour is better? Nope.
Then there’s other stuff - I have never played a game where you are told your character is supposed to be this super-hunter - and in cutscenes an eating and drinking machine! In the game? Everything is done slowly by your character. Also, whenever a monster yells, your hunter is stunned - even if in the middle of a move or in midair! The various “skills” to prevent that? Short of equipping to full degree, which the game doesn’t let you, the effect is miminal. Nor do the monsters feel pain sufficiently to ever be interrupted, they have no pain centres, nothing that ever stops them doing anything and they have large hitboxes that mean they don’t even have to hit you directly. Don’t think that a big monster will be slow, because what it will be is a break-dancing master of agility. Can you miss a target that big? Yes, you can, frequently.
Combine that with the most nuts physics engine I’ve ever seen, with variable solidity and a God-awful-ought-to-be-condemned-to-the-depths-of-hell camera that prevents observation of your enemy more often than not and it all adds up to huge disincentive to play. Yes, I can tell an enemy pattern but it doesn’t have any value because the window to hit is so damn small, or your character will be far away, or the weapon you thought had the range to hit won’t - and actually getting a hit has no effect anyway.
It would have been nice to unlock the last area - be nice to get the Aloy armour too, but they walled that away behind high rank too - which is absolutely stupid. All this game needed to be the mainstream, accessible game it has been said to be is difficulty settings, that’s all. They didn’t do that.
I can see the appeal of it if you like the actual form of gameplay it is offering, but for a lot of people I can’t see it working. If you like hard games, this is for you - I just wish they’d been honest to actually sell it as that.
The other effect of this game is that I’m now massively wary of God of War. Yeah, lots of critics liked it but those same guys loved this game too and in no review did they give an accurate sense of the difficulty, so I have reason to be wary.
Returned to Redout - a game I can only do 2-3 tracks of a time before my eyes give up! Explored the tracks of the newest planet and, even by the standards of this game, they are wonderfully insane.
Really responsive controls are something of a novelty after MHW, instead of that 1-2 second lag, the response is instant.
I’ve been getting stuck into the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection with the kids, as part of which I’ve checked out SFIII for the very first time. I had avoided it when it came out as it had a bit of a muted response and not much in the way of a home release.
But it’s actually really bloody good. It retains the sprite graphics of SFII but updates them with more detail and some beautifully fluid animation, making the characters look tons better than the 3D models used in SFIV and SFV. It’s like the SFII update I always wanted but never knew existed!
So I’ve got tons of ‘new’ characters to get to grips with and learn. Some of them are quite out-there for a SF game - especially Twelve who essentially seems to be Venom.
And Q who is like a creepier Inspector Gadget.