Games Completed 2019

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 5th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Scrustle wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 3:12 pm
The story is still pretty much as awful as I remember it being though. Kratos is still an irredeemable ding dong with zero depth and is totally unsympathetic. He's terrible to everyone he meets, and doesn't deserve the lame attempt at hopeful redemption they try to give him at the end. Maybe that's why I remember the final boss being bad. After the actual real fight you go through a nonsensical sequence where they try to somehow redeem Kratos that falls so totally flat, before then immediately going back to him being a rage-filled monster who learns nothing from his action
Pointing to Kratos being an irredeemable scumbag as evidence of the GoW story being bad is one criticism that I've never been able to comprehend. He is a perfect example of a Villain Protagonist as far as I'm concerned. That's not automatically a bad thing. He's not supposed to be relatable. He's never meant to be the "Good Guy". Literature and cinema have plenty of examples of similar characters. I think that, after decades of video games and Hollywood movies led by virtuous heroes (Link, Aragorn) and grumpy, somewhat less virtuous "anti-heroes" (Cloud, Han Solo), a lot of players were just taken by surprise by the sudden inherent dissonance between audience and protagonist and dismissed the entire concept as a result.

I for one was rooting against Kratos since the beginning of the very first GoW while enjoying the spectacle and thought the experience was all the more interesting and subversive because of it. Not every character needs to be a self-insert or a moral anchor.

But I also agree that the half-baked and tonally inconsistent attempt at a redemption arc in the final hour of GoW3 is by far the dumbest story moment of the entire trilogy. It falls completely flat and is incompatible with everything that happens before and after it. I think Stig Asmussen just had a fundamentally misunderstanding of who Kratos is and that he tried to shoe-horn in a "conventional" character arc resolution at the last minute. There is a video in the bonus features that shows the moment when he explained this idea to the rest of the team - if I read the room correctly, it certainly seems like everybody thought it was stupid but were too polite to say anything. That's a shame, it really brings the entire game down.

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Scrustle
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Scrustle » April 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 3:49 pm
snip
You actually bring up what would be my counterpoint to that. Kratos isn't a bad character just because he's a bad person, and that can and has been done better. I agree that GoW1 actually did it fairly well. That was a nice (mostly) self-contained story that fit the game's inspiration in being somewhat like a Greek tragedy. His rage and anguish has an understandable reason behind it, and there's even some pathos there in the end when he vanquishes his foes and becomes a god, yet doesn't actually get what he wants and is just as miserable as when he started. The moral being that through not learning to be better, the same rage that lead him to kill his family also lead him to be deceived by the gods in to believing that his violent quest for revenge would actually work.

But in subsequent games that theme was pretty much thrown out the window, or watered down to the point where it forgot the point it was trying to make. Kratos remains incessantly angry and violent, no longer without any relatable reason or goal. Still failing to learn, he is just reduced to a petulant monster who tantrums his way to destroying the world, and anyone who gets in his way.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 5th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Scrustle wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 4:04 pm
But in subsequent games that theme was pretty much thrown out the window, or watered down to the point where it forgot the point it was trying to make. Kratos remains incessantly angry and violent, no longer without any relatable reason or goal. Still failing to learn, he is just reduced to a petulant monster who tantrums his way to destroying the world, and anyone who gets in his way.
Yes, and I honestly think that's actually kind of cool in a way. I'm not trying to contradict you on purpose, but it's one of the reasons I have such a soft spot for these games. How unapologetic they are about the primal barbarity of their protagonist. He's incapable of learning or progressing as a human being because he's the thoughtless embodiment of his environment. The complete opposite of somebody like Kazuma Kiryu who stays a righteous figure trapped in unfortunate circumstances his entire life. The GoW games as envisioned by Jaffe and Barlog are about "The End of Myth". About the self-destructive nature of the Ancient World. Kratos is a mindless beast with delusions of civilization created by other similar beasts who is destined to end them and himself in the process. As a metaphor, I think it's rather powerful. GoW2 and 3 in particular work a lot better for me when viewing them as the tragic stories of Athena / Gaia / Zeus trying to stop this madman by any means necessary.

I get your point about the first game being the best self-contained story in the series and that the sequels have a tendency to put the spectacle in the forefront and rehash a lot of the arcs and inter-personal dynamics. I just think it's an issue that the majority of long-lasting video game series with static protagonists run into at some point.

The reboot is so much more palatable and easily digestible in comparison. It certainly helped the game's popularity and the franchise's respectability among the broader audience to tell a simple story about an old warrior connecting with his son. I just think there's also a little bit that has been lost in translation.

Norse Kratos is basically Logan. Greek Kratos is basically Sauron.

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Scrustle
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Scrustle » April 5th, 2019, 4:42 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 4:33 pm
The GoW games as envisioned by Jaffe and Barlog are about "The End of Myth". About the self-destructive nature of the Ancient World. Kratos is a mindless beast with delusions of civilization created by other similar beasts who is destined to end them and himself in the process. As a metaphor, I think it's rather powerful. GoW2 and 3 in particular work a lot better for me when viewing them as the tragic stories of Athena / Gaia / Zeus trying to stop this madman by any means necessary.
That's an interesting point, especially about looking at it from other characters' perspectives. Something to mull over.

And despite not really being fond of the story past the first game, I have a soft spot for these games too. For as awful a person as Kratos is, it is pretty cathartic to get to be him for a bit. It's not like the story offends me with how bad it is either. I just think it's a bit crass. And I've always liked the scale and bombast they present the world of Greek myth with too.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 5th, 2019, 5:23 pm

Scrustle wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 4:42 pm
I've always liked the scale and bombast they present the world of Greek myth with too.
Same here. The perfect mixture of awe and repulsion.

The stories can definitely be crass at times. But I'm personally more likely to look past awkward or unrefined executions in stories that are based on interesting concepts or themes. The best vocal performances in the business can only do so much for me when the script is all safe and boring.

Maybe one of the reasons I have such a soft spot for GoW is because I like ancient mythologies in general. And the actual details of the plot and the moment-to-moment behavior of mythological characters are rarely that important. It's what they represent that matters the most. I know they've enjoyed some very flattering PR in recent years (300), but the Iron Age Spartans were monstrous, tyrannical warmongers, fueled by the type of ideology that is completely incompatible with civilization at large. Even without going into too many gory details, Kratos fits like a glove as a representation of that ideology.

I think these games are better conceptualized than many give them credit for. But they do require an unconventional headspace in order to be fully appreciated. Going in while expecting the usual "Hero fights Villain and wins at the end" isn't going to work out.

One last point I'd like to raise has to do with the logo of the very first game:

Image

Omega. The last letter of the greek alphabet. The End. Death and Destruction were always in the cards. Classic Kratos is meant to be a world-ending cataclysm through and through.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Indiana747 » April 6th, 2019, 2:05 am

(Jan) Starlink :Battle for Atlas - PS4.
(Jan) Far Cry 5 - PS4.
(Jan) Resident Evil 2(2019) - PS4.
(Jan) Shadow of the Tomb Raider - XB1X.
(Feb) Metro Exodus - XB1X.
(Mar) Marvel's Spiderman - PS4.
(Apr) The Division 2 - XB1X.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Chopper » April 6th, 2019, 7:57 am

KSubzero1000 wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 5:23 pm
Omega. The last letter of the greek alphabet. The End.
I was driving home one night a few years ago when a neon sign rose up out of the inky blackness like the motel sign in Psycho. The Omega Retirement Home. :shock:

The existential horror was strong that night.
Indiana747 wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 2:05 am
(Jan) Starlink :Battle for Atlas - PS4.
(Jan) Far Cry 5 - PS4.
(Jan) Resident Evil 2(2019) - PS4.
(Jan) Shadow of the Tomb Raider - XB1X.
(Feb) Metro Exodus - XB1X.
(Mar) Marvel's Spiderman - PS4.
(Apr) The Division 2 - XB1X.
A serious diet of open-worlders there in Q1 2019 :D

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 6th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Devil May Cry 5 - DMD/HAH all S ranks (Platinum Trophy)

Took me almost an entire month to nail this sucker, I think I'm losing my (Force) Edge. Must be all the gout and cataracts finally kicking in.


Not sure what to play next - my nervous system needs to convalesce for now, so Sekiro has been postponed. If I start NieR now, I'm bound to have even less patience than usual when dealing with its low-tier combat system in direct comparison to DMC's binary coded ambrosia. Dangerous Driving arrives soon, but in tandem to that...

...Zelda, maaaaaybe? :roll:

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Stanshall
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Stanshall » April 6th, 2019, 4:56 pm

Go Zelda, mate. What it does, nothing else does as well.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by ratsoalbion » April 7th, 2019, 1:32 pm

24 Jan: Florence (iOS)
03 Feb: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)
03 Feb: NieR:Automata (PS4)
10 Mar: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U)
16 Mar: This War of Mine: The Little Ones (PS4)
07 Apr: Pilotwings (Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES)

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » April 7th, 2019, 9:21 pm

Nier Automata! Ending W!

That was a quick game!

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by hazeredmist » April 8th, 2019, 12:22 pm

Streets of Rage 1, 2 and Bare Knuckle 3 (Megadrive Classics, Switch)

It was on the gaming bucket list to complete these as I realised I'd only ever actually finished SoR 2. Played on the Megadrive Classics compilation on the Switch which was largely bought for this purpose (cheaper than the 3DS option). Not much I can say that hasn't been said already but I do believe these games are just as playable today as they were back in the 90's, they have aged impeccably and I've still played nothing approaching the quality of SoR 2 in the brawler category. I've got my money's worth just out of these games alone but I do intend to keep going with the list of games in the collection. The modern conveniences of save states and the rewind feature make it far more achievable for an older more time-constrained gamer to see these games in their entirety :D

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by MajorGamer » April 9th, 2019, 5:22 am

Spoiler: show
Jan 2 - War for the Overworld (PC)
Jan 13 - Pyre (PC)
Jan 16 - Heroes of Hammerwatch (PC)
Jan 17 - Mega Man 11 (Switch)
Jan 20 - ReThink | Evolved (PC)
Jan 20 - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
Jan 22 - Ruzar - The Life Stone (PC)
Jan 27 - After Death (PC)
Feb 6 - Vikings - Wolves of Midgard (PC)
Feb 21 - Loyalty and Blood: Viktor Origins (PC)

Feb 27 - Book of Demons (PC)
Mar 4 - Vaporum (PC)
Mar 5 - Frost (Switch)
Mar 9 - DarkMaus (PC)
Mar 10 - Octopath Traveler (Switch)
Mar 31 - Final Fantasy X (PC)

I'll most likely write a full thing up on the podcast topic. For here I'll just do a short summary of things. Enjoyed the gameplay changes, especially having all party members swappable in combat for free. Really wish they all got experience without having to do an action, though. Summons being more of a combat thing than in past games is cool even if I mostly used them as a meat shield for big boss attacks. Had a good time with the story.

Didn't like how cutscene heavy things are as well as how the entire game is almost a straight line. All of the side-content felt designed around wasting your time (capturing 10 of each monster only available near the end of the game, a race that is very RNG, massive grinding) and didn't feel worth it at all. Blocking off previous areas with super bosses is just bad, forcing you to go through it if you happened to miss something there. The one mandatory blitzball match was enough for me to never touch it again.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Alex79uk » April 9th, 2019, 5:39 am

Ha yeah, I never went back to Blitzball either. Just never really got to grips with understanding how it worked, nor enjoyed the match I played. Your thoughts pretty much echo exactly how I felt about the game overall.

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by dezm0nd » April 9th, 2019, 7:33 am

Jan 1 - Cat Quest
Jan 3 - Nex Machina (Arcade, experienced)
Jan 4 - Celeste
Jan 10 - Yoku's Island Express
Jan 13 - Evil Within 2
Jan 14 - Pilotwings
Jan 21 - Edith Finch
Jan 26 - Resident Evil 2 (Leon A)
Jan 27 - Resident Evil 2 (Claire A)
Jan 31 - Resident Evil 2 (Leon B)

Feb 11 - Firewatch

March 19 - Donkey Kong 64
March 29 - Goldeneye 007 (00 Agent)

April 9 - Yoshi Crafted World

Really enjoyable game. I'm sure we will be playing it again for the extra bits over the course of the year

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by duskvstweak » April 9th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 5:39 am
Ha yeah, I never went back to Blitzball either. Just never really got to grips with understanding how it worked, nor enjoyed the match I played. Your thoughts pretty much echo exactly how I felt about the game overall.
I'm one of those sick people who enjoyed Blitzball and played it WAY too much during my initial playthrough. Wouldn't do that again in a replay, but, back then, I had the time to sink into mini games like that.

I'm pretty sure I put more time into the Xenosaga card game then the whole rest of the game..

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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » April 9th, 2019, 9:34 pm

"Blitzball" is very much my main take away from FF-X, a game I started many years ago, got to the Blitzball bit, kinda tried to understand it, didn't understand it... somehow drifted away for FF-X, in the way you drift away from something and can't quite remember why.

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clippa
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by clippa » April 9th, 2019, 9:48 pm

dezm0nd wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 7:33 am
Jan 3 - Nex Machina (Arcade, experienced)
What's your score? Did you get the final boss? I didn't. Mine was 857,684,230

Got so close to getting the proper ending of risk of rain 2 today (according to the steam forums, you have to loop the game and then after you beat the boss in the snow level you get a blue portal to go in and sacrifice yourself) but an imp spawned on me and instakilled me. To be fair, there is a warning red glow, but I was fighting a magma worm and I thought it was just that about to come out of the ground so I didn't bother dashing. Gutted, so close.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by KSubzero1000 » April 9th, 2019, 9:59 pm

clippa wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 9:48 pm
Mine was 857,684,230
Hey, that looks interesting. :)

I need to sit down and have a go at Experienced one of these days.

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Michiel K
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Re: Games Completed 2019

Post by Michiel K » April 10th, 2019, 9:48 am

9-4 Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (PS1)

Did an arcade mode run through with the character Blair.

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