Whatcha Been Playing?

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seansthomas
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by seansthomas »

Scrustle wrote: September 5th, 2019, 6:56 pm I just finished chapter 6 of Astral Chain so I think that makes me about halfway through. I was considering talking about this game earlier (apart from the first impressions of course) but I was holding off, because honestly I was pretty disappointed with it. While I had a lot to say, the idea of dragging this game felt rather depressing, considering my love for Platinum. But then suddenly out of nowhere, it just got massively better and it finally clicked. It's still pretty early as it's only since this last chapter that is has turned such a corner, but it feels damn good to finally crack this.

But I still think the criticisms are worth noting, so I have to mention them. At first the game was completely overwhelming. It came across as simply far too visually chaotic, as I was basically unable to make sense of what was happening on screen. The art style, while aesthetically appealing, is full of really strong colours and high contrast which tended to blend together very easily. And with enemies being so aggressive, and the frame rate often struggling to maintain even 30fps, that didn't help things. Almost every fight felt like a mess where I was being thrown around like a chew toy, not even getting a chance to respond to anything that was being thrown at me. The controls are also pretty fiddly and unnecessarily complicated in many ways. The precision blade mode that's lifted out of Metal Gear Rising in particular is a pain to use. There are also a number of just strange design decisions that seem to serve no purpose other than to frustrate. Chapter 4 in particular is horrible for this, where they litter the whole level with goo that makes you stumble when you walk in to it. Not helpful in a fight. And then there's the exploration sections at the start of chapters before you go in to the more linear action-focused latter parts. I like it from one perspective, as it's cool to inhabit this world and explore it. But at the same time, these sections often feel like padding where objectives aren't that interesting, and it breaks out the pacing of the game in a way that I think does it a disservice.

But then going in to chapter 6 things suddenly changed. I realised I could upgrade my gear much more than I had been doing so far. Suddenly unlocked a bunch of very useful moves that helped me keep on top of combat way more effectively. The ability to automatically bind a group of enemies in front of me, and being able to go from that straight in to a high damage sync combo. As well as finally unlocking a distance-closing attack that also chains in to a sync. So suddenly it all makes sense! I was starting to wonder where the hell all these 9/10 reviews were coming from, but now I think I see it. It's extremely satisfying to pull off a good chain of sync attacks, controlling the battlefield and switching between Legions on the fly. While I still think some of my issues still stand (the performance in particular really struggles in the boss of this chapter) now I think I can see where the magic lies, and what this game is going for. I also think there are things about this specific chapter that help as well. This is the first one where you're not put up against mostly new enemies, and there is a lack of any annoying gimmicks that get in the way of the fun. So there's no nasty surprises with stuff that you don't know how to tackle, or things that get in the way of you trying to deal with that either. At least, when it comes to combat anyway.

It's a shame it took so long to click though. It makes me think that's another issue with this game actually. It starts you off well below the level of power you need to be to tackle what the game is putting you up against, and it takes too long to reach that point. I suppose I can understand them wanting to ease you in gradually with this game, being such a unique thing, but I get the feeling they picked the wrong things to hold back from you. If I had at least some of this earlier, my time with the game so far would have been so much more positive. But at least this does somewhat confirm my suspicions that this game will be much more fun through the second time, when you have all the skills unlocked and know what you're doing. Or at least those early chapters will.
I was feeling this way too until about Chapter 4, then found all those upgrades and started to change my style of play. Much less button mashing a la Bayonetta, more patient movement and timing a la Arkham Asylum. And it hugely clicked

Chapters 6 and 7 have been two of the best few hours of a game I've ever played. Looking forward to the finale.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

I've got about three hours in to Super Metroid, made a decent amount of progress, and I'm not sure whether I'm enjoying it or not. James Farley described it on this weeks TCGS as a perfect game that is just as playable now as it ever was. I don't know if I agree. It's wilfully obtuse, leaving the player to rely on hidden paths to progress, and endless blocks routes that leave you stumped as to how you can go on. Sometimes you just have to bomb the floor and it disappears, except there is nothing indicating that section can be destroyed, leaving you just carpet bombing every level in a desperate attempt to get further. The complete lack of direction in the game is also an issue. You're never sure where you need to go, and there's no structure. For the proto-MetroidVania game, there doesn't appear to be much back tracking, either. In my three hours I've seldom gone back on myself. But there are moments that it's exciting, atmospheric, and genuinely chilling as you inch forward in to the unknown.

So, totally undecided. I'm feeling down on it right now as I'm stuck and can't find where to go, so that may be colouring my opinion. I can see why it turned so many heads back in the day, but I think it's been bettered since in almost every aspect.

EDIT: You know, I think I'm going to start again. I'm sure I've gone wrong somewhere, gone down some secret route and got stuck instead of following the obvious path. Yeah, I'm going to reset, reboot, and relearn.

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion »

I spent almost 15 years getting lost in Super Metroid before I finally finished it!

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

ratsoalbion wrote: September 15th, 2019, 2:49 pm I spent almost 15 years getting lost in Super Metroid before I finally finished it!
Bruv, I've attempted to play Super Metroid three times now and EVERY SINGLE TIME I get lost and lose interest during that ocean area. I can understand the nostalgia and why the game's so beloved, but in terms of playability without a guide, Metroid Fusion does a lot of things so much better - which is why it's my favourite in the series. Like, mechanically, I think Super Metroid actually holds up really well, but some of that, "Try and guess what I, developer, was thinking when I made this level," stuff is gosh darn frustrating these days.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Yet another puzzle game for me today. This time, Snakebird. The premise is very simple: adorable little snakes try to escape a series of challenge rooms through strategic positioning and eating fruit along the way. Gravity is also a factor. Colorful aesthetic? Check. Baby toy music? Check. Goofy sound effects? Check.

Image

The only problem is that the cutesy exterior belies one the most hard-boiled brainbreakers I've ever encountered. I'm barely a third of the way through and I am struggling with some of these stages. The game also has a casual sequel/appetizer of sorts, Snakebird Primer, which I played through without much difficulty. Needless to say, that didn't prepare me for the insane difficulty spike of the main game in any way, shape or form.

Oof. This one really makes me feel like an absolute invertebrate at times. Mad props to whoever out there has managed to play through the entire game without looking up any of the solutions. :shock:

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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ratsoalbion wrote: September 15th, 2019, 2:49 pm I spent almost 15 years getting lost in Super Metroid before I finally finished it!
One playthrough, or did you keep starting again?

I could have sworn there was a CaR on the game, but I don't think there has been, has there?

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

KSubzero1000 wrote: September 15th, 2019, 3:41 pm Yet another puzzle game for me today. This time, Snakebird.
Looks interesting. Downloading to my phone right now.

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion »

I started again several times. We haven’t covered any Metroid on the podcast.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Alex79uk wrote: September 15th, 2019, 3:48 pm Looks interesting. Downloading to my phone right now.
It starts off rather inconspicuously. But then... :mrgreen:

Let us know how you get on!

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KSubzero1000 wrote: September 15th, 2019, 3:57 pm
Alex79uk wrote: September 15th, 2019, 3:48 pm Looks interesting. Downloading to my phone right now.
It starts off rather inconspicuously. But then... :mrgreen:

Let us know how you get on!
It's great! I can see me plugging away at this for weeks. Level 6 and I'm stumped!

Very good so far, though. That 'undo last move' button is a godsend. I avoided pressing it for a while because I thought it took you back to the level select screen, and so I kept restarting the whole stage every time I messed up :lol:

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Alex79uk wrote: September 15th, 2019, 4:10 pm It's great! I can see me plugging away at this for weeks. Level 6 and I'm stumped!
Yeah, I love it too, despite the hurdle.

Remember, if it proves to be too much: there is also another (and much easier) game in the same series. Perhaps it might help ease you into the in-game logic a little bit.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KSubzero1000 wrote: September 15th, 2019, 4:18 pm
Alex79uk wrote: September 15th, 2019, 4:10 pm It's great! I can see me plugging away at this for weeks. Level 6 and I'm stumped!
Yeah, I love it too, despite the hurdle.

Remember, if it proves to be too much: there is also another (and much easier) game in the same series. Perhaps it might help ease you into the in-game logic a little bit.
Yeah I saw you mention that, although it doesn't appear to be available on Android. The in-game logic is pretty straightforward, it's just the fiendish puzzles!

For example, this stage I've screenshotted below is broken in my game. It's broken because it's clearly quite literally impossible to do.

Must be a faulty version. They'll probably issue a patch.

:lol:

Image

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Oh man, I got stuck on that one for quite a while!

Definitely not a glitch though, I promise. :lol:

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

I just played the first two chapters of The Room, the 3D point-and-click puzzle game. Surprised my laptop can even run it, honestly. I really like it so far! Solid atmosphere, engaging riddles and I haven't encountered any arbitrary leaps of logic yet. Although I think this is my first experience with this type of game so I don't know how it compares to other classics or how it rates among fans of the genre. I know CaR did an episode on the trilogy a few years back, so I look forward to listening to it later on.

Also, I noticed the developers are from Guildford! Friends of yours, Flabyo? :)

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Not had a lot of career overlap with the people at Fireproof. But I know one or two people there. (Of the studios in Guildford its probably Hello Games where I know the most)

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I'm right before the last mission in Spiderman so I spent yesterday afternoon swinging around clearing up a good chunk of the remaining collectibles & side missions. Most of it has been smooth sailing but the challenges can be quite tricky, it took me a lot of attempts to get gold on all of the Drones.
For the most part the challenges and side missions aren't that interesting in and of themselves, it's really a testament to how great it feels to control Spiderman that I want to do it all, I feel like I could just swing around aimlessly forever.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KSubzero1000 wrote: September 15th, 2019, 10:34 pmAlthough I think this is my first experience with this type of game so I don't know how it compares to other classics or how it rates among fans of the genre.
It's pretty much the pinnacle of the 'puzzle box/escape room' type game, so you don't really have anywhere to go from here, haha. The first Room game is amazing. Just really interesting and some great puzzles. The second was equally good, although I never got around to finishing it. Although I own the others also, I've never played them yet. Now you've reminded me of the series though, I think I'll give the first game a replay and go from there.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I'm trying to figure out how to balance play WoW Classic, which is just as addictive to me now and is was back in 2006, and playing ANYTHING else. I don't know how people who regularly play MMO's do it.
I had to quite playing League of Legends years ago because it stole all my time and meant that I wasn't playing anything else. Once I stopped, I beat, like, three games that week.
How do I get to level sixty in WoW while also wanting to play Dead Cells?

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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duskvstweak wrote: September 16th, 2019, 4:15 pm How do I get to level sixty in WoW while also wanting to play Dead Cells?
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, MMOs are inherently designed to grab ahold of your lizard brain and take over your life. Not the healthiest concept, I would argue.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KSubzero1000 wrote: September 16th, 2019, 4:21 pm
duskvstweak wrote: September 16th, 2019, 4:15 pm How do I get to level sixty in WoW while also wanting to play Dead Cells?
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, MMOs are inherently designed to grab ahold of your lizard brain and take over your life. Not the healthiest concept, I would argue.
Dinosaurs = lizards
Dinosaurs > Mammals
Lizard brain human playing WoW = Dinosaur!

What's the problem?

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