Ray and Mighty, who were added with the Sonic Mania Plus update.
Ah, ok. I thought maybe the black one was Shadow with an odd new look.
So, went back to Assassin’s Creed Syndicate in between bouts on YK2.
Initially, the mission started off quite well - getting enemies to kill their friends via hallucinogenic darts is very, very fun. It even allowed exiting the restricted area to restock the darts. Combined with the line launcher it felt far more freeform than AC tends to be, so it was going good then they did a chase sequence. OK, fine, I get Jacob to run at the jump at the book and… He refuses to jump! Water you see. It’s the same guy that’s done a 25-foot jump from roof to ground with no difficulty but now? No way. No, see this is an old-style AC chase sequence where you have to follow a certain route in an open world. It was total arse. Either open up the restrictions and keep them open or don’t, not this mishmash.
Right, back to Kazzy…
The final chapters saw a boss fight with two Tigers that was less epic than it should have been, though the finale image of Kiryu, smacking a tiger right in the face was pretty cool. After that it was max acceleration to the end. The “invasion” of Kamurcho was strangely restrained, but the final level did live up expectations - which is to say it is Kazzy storming through hordes of enemies and bosses and just generally kicking a vast amount of arse.
It is, however, a Yakuza game and that means twist upon twist to the extent that the plot itself must have been getting dizzy by the end! Did it work? Yeah, because the game does nothing without conviction, even if it is an over-the-top cheesy bollocks of a plot.
The only real flaws of Yakuza Kiwami 2 is that, like its predecessor and Yakuza Zero, it links some ability upgrades to minigames success and I’ve never been a fan of those. (I know many are. The Haruka miniquest ends up making you despise her and that just shouldn’t happen) On the other hand, it’s been great to play these missing epics - Yakuza 3 was the first to get a western release on PS3. It gives a lot more context to that game’s plot, knowing the full backstory to it and the various characters.
Some things the earlier games had, which both of the Kiwami games didn’t have, is the before and after fight conversations. This is where your enemies would mouth off, you hand them your arse and then you get an apology and cash or item. Similarly if you bumped into the wrong person, a fight would kick off. Moving instead to always visible enemies removes that aspect entirely and I kind of miss of it. I do love the food power-up system that this and Yakuza 6 used. Yakuza 3 is getting a HD remake so more people will be able to experience the earlier style too.
Having now played this, I do think it is quite a rarity the series has pulled off. The seven games span about 30 years, with Kiryu aging as the plot moves on. This particular installment gives new meaning to one of the final game’s adversaries too.
Graphically the game hasn’t looked better, though I think the pre-Yakuza 6 fighting styles had more to them in terms of how you did some moves. Still, variety is no bad thing and the series is an excellent of how to make a 3D beat 'em up work.
Oh, the final tally of enemies downed in this one? 3,143.
Started playing Shadow of War yesterday. It’s alright. But, gets old really fast. It’s repetitive as hell. With it being pot luck on whether or not you’ll survive random encounters with Orc captains. Haven’t got far enough into the game to start dominating them yet. Hopefully that will mix things up a bit.
Yeah it’s just fighting and fighting and fighting. I liked it for the most part for what it is. The thing that really drives me nuts in those games is the extensive monologue from the bad guys before fights. Just shut up and let me kill you.
You must defeat their QTE death sequence to stand a chance.
Yakuza Kiwami 2: The Majima Saga
Saga? I can only imagine Majima’s response to this line of pure hyperbole. This is a fun one to two hours of side content that acts as a mini-prequel to the main story.
But… There’s no leveling up, no food EXP, no substories, no skills to develop - this is as stripped back a piece of content as you’ll ever see.
It’s a shame because Yakuza Zero made extensive use of Majima as a playable character, but this is a far cry from that earlier game.
It works OK, Majima’s fun to play but he only has a couple of heat moves and a couple of attack sequences too. It’s all too limited to realise anywhere near its full potential. That would have required quite a bit more development time, but I think it would have been worth it.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
This is quite the game. I wasn’t sure what to expect on this one, I certainly didn’t expect a massively ballsy reinvention that practically reincarnates the series as action RPG.
What I’ve enjoyed most about it is it really is far more freeform than past entries. For instance, while doing a side quest I concluded it and then, on the way out of the temple, accidentally ended up crossing paths withe the area boss and his bodyguards! Now, that ended only one way but during the fight I was noticing this one guy was harder than the usual enemies, killed him and cutscene triggered, oh the was the boss? OK. Later, I was exploring, found this bandit camp, killed them all and forgot about it, location came up as complete. Later on, I did a quest that took me back there and the game did not magically restock the enemies. These are far, far smarter moves than might be thought.
There’s other neat touches too - like the ability to upgrade weaponry, so say you have an excellent legendary sword, but it was a while back, you’ve gained levels and got better gear, you can bring that sword up to your current level. It’s a really smart concept. Similarly the crafting is limited and effective. It also allows some major upgrades, as I found after Bayek had taken on about eight crocodiles! The crafting materials from that insane fight were as crazy as the punch-up. The Egyptian method of dealing with a crocodile? Stab it in the face and keep going until its dead.
It’s also the first big franchise game where I can see the influence of Witcher 3 really paying off. The side quests are not your usual fetch quests, they’re far more interesting than that. Also, like that game, some higher level locations are strewn around to see if you’re paying attention.
Graphically, the game is a masterpiece too. Some of the vistas and the draw distances and detail are incredibly good. Synchronising a viewpoint never gets old, but the Eagle vision reinvention is particularly inspired. It takes a little time to adjust to, but when you get it, it becomes very cool.
Combat? Aside from an enemy liking to run into camera blindspot and this irritating slow time effect when enemies spot you, which has the effect of always handing them the first blow, you can be far, far more aggressive in this game. I wasn’t doing anything at one point, walking along and there’s these Greeks being bastards, doing a full execution squad no less. So walked over and… Couple of minutes later and 10 fresh and very deserving corpses. On one enemy camp, I snuck into a room where there were three sleeping enemies - they slept forever.
And this is only the start, I’ve done Siwa and am on the regions en route to Alexandria so perhaps 10% of the game.
Everything I’m seeing says Odyssey takes all this does and builds on it further. I’m not rushing this one, but when I am done with it, that may well be next.
I really liked Origins too. It was my first AC game, which seemed fitting given the title.
So, Burnout Remastered is going for £9.49 in the PSN store. I wasn’t going to pay £25 for it but at that price? Yep.
Gave it a run last night and, while it’s true it is little changed from the PS3, which shows how damn good Criterion were, there are a host of little details that add up when in motion - better light effects, little reflections on your car, smoother running - beyond that, it’s the same brilliant game it always was.
However… Enable custom soundtrack - you boot up Media Player, then boot up the game, switch off the in-game soundtrack, once you’re on the road - go and select track you want. It remains awesome.
(Steep is similarly brilliant with this custom soundtrack set-up)
I played Full Throttle Remastered this weekend. The new graphics and audio remastering are great and I can confirm that the damnable hidden switch behind the factory is much easier to find now.
Another big AC Origins run today.
The side quests continue to impress, I’ve now got some legendary gear - some of which I don’t recall acquiring! Playing Bayek as a human wrecking ball, tearing through soldiers of various types, remains fun though the enemies really only have the game’s slo-mo time protection to stop Bayek just whacking them quick. That you can do some quite smart moves, like ambushing enemies at the top of a ladder is smart.
On the other hand, some weaknesses have started to appear. The cost of upgrading that Legendary gear relative to the level of currency obtained in game is looking a bit suspect. I’ve been looting every jar, sack and corpse going and have just over 4000, to get one item of Legendary gear upgraded, I’m looking at 3000. It’s almost as if there was a mechanism present in the game whereby I could convert real money into game money. What’s that? There is such a mechanism, well how about that? Except it’s not needed, it shouldn’t be needed, but I can see the nudging towards it by the low level payout.
I was convinced by a friend to get Slay the Spire. It is a rogue-like ccg/deckbuilding fantasy rpg card game.
Each run you make you have to follow one of a number of crossing pathways which bring you to a big fight and to progress up the tower.
Items and cards you collect on the way improve your character. If you complete the run, or die (you are most likely to die), all the items are lost. The only thing that remains are some of the cards that you have collected on the way.
It is a good thing I’m on holiday at the moment. I stopped playing my “quick” first try at 4am.
I got RDR2 for Christmas. I managed to get to the end of the tutorial/winter missions but have been at my parents since and unable to play more
I got a phone upgrade as a Christmas gift and in a bout of gaming melancholy/ withdrawal I downloaded PUBG mobile. Turns out that was all I needed to do to be successful at the game. First game and everything!
I also got RDR2 for Christmas. I’ve just got to the first proper camp and after wandering around that to get my bearings, I went out into the great American wilds to hunt, where I promptly got caught up saving some guy from a random stagecoach robbery, killing a witness who wouldn’t listen to my reasonable explanation and then getting a bounty on my head for that murder due to some guy who didn’t even see me do it.
I had something similar happen but I was too busy skinning my deer to actually intervene in the robbery until it they had murdered the coachman. Then I quickly dealt with the robbers and looted the coachman’s corpse.
So, Phylakes have turned up. They’re AC Origins version of superbosses. Took on the weakest with a four level advantage and still lost. Later, noticed the reinforcements summoned includes the area Phylake. Went back to the area, hit a villa, let them signal for help, quickly killed them and then grabbed one of the mounted crossbows, let him walk in, got a good line of fire and then shredded his arse. It still took five to six shots of what is usually a one hit kill weapon. I like to think he saw it coming, ‘what’s that? Motherfuc - agh!’
Yippee-ki-yay, l have a crossbow.
So the end of Witcher 3 is finally in sight. I have 4 side quests and the last bit of the main quest in blood and wine. The last 20% of the main quest in the main game. Two question marks, one in skellige and one in novigrad that I need to return to now I am strong enough to deal with them. That’s it. I reckon another 4 hours.
Been playing a lot of gwent (the online version not the in game version). It went through a big revamp in Nov, some change working better than others but still enjoyable.
Also cracked open Spiderman today. Usually I never start one game before finishing another but with the end of the whitcher being close I couldn’t resist. Really enjoying web slinging.
Finish the main game quest first then finish Blood and Wine.