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Topic: Last Game You Beat

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RR529

Ryse: Son of Rome (Steam) - Xbox One launch sword & sandal actioneer is only $10 on Steam. Worth it?
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Time to march on & show our worth.

  • The main campaign consists of 8 linear missions with a flair for the cinematic (the third mission in particular seemed to give Saving Private Ryan a roman era makeover, as your legions are brutally dismembered by arrow & catapult fire as you make landfall on Brittania, an inspiration the devs don't even try to hide as "Saving Private Marius" is the name of the achievement you get for clearing the mission). All in all the game took me 7.5 hours of playtime to clear on the game's equivalent of Normal difficulty.
  • Combat seems to take a page out of the Arkham playbook as you tend to be surrounded by enemies and you must strike down a rhythm of strikes, parries, & dodge rolls to engage in a rhythmic dance of death. When an enemy is low on health you can trigger a brutal execution move (these can be contextual, as when you are near a ledge Marius may throw the enemy over, for example). It's not a particularly novel setup, but works smoothly & feels good when you get into a groove (it does a decent enough job of introducing one or two new enemy variants each mission as well, so things don't get too repetitive).
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    I've disarmed you.
  • There are 3 perks you can swap around as well, which are activated whenever you perform one of the aforementioned execution moves. Depending on which one you have equipped, each execution will either restore some health (I kept it on this), grant you extra EXP (I was practically able to max everything out without using this anyways), or quickly fill your Focus meter (an ability you can trigger to slow down time, I never had to use it much).
  • There are also some light "shooter" mechanics, for a lack of a better term. Sometimes archers will be firing on you from afar, and you'll have to wait for openings to throw spears back at them. Other times you'll have to man a ballista (which puts things in a first person orientation) and fire away at waves of foes, striking exploding barrels & knocking over cauldrons of boiling oil for maximum carnage. The former segments can be a bit finicky, while the latter are pretty fun & make you feel powerful.
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    I'll give it a shot.
  • One of the game's big twists is that at certain points you can command a legion of soldiers into battle. Occasionally this means marching in a line (these segments feel overly cinematic, where your only options are to move forward, raise shields to block arrows, and throw spears to retaliate, but are nonetheless cool) or getting to slightly alter your next combat encounter (you can have them cover archers while you're left to melee encounters alone, or they can help you on the battlefield but you still have to dodge arrows), but mostly this means a lot of escort/tower defense objectives (probably two or three for every one of the previous types of situations). For example the line may be held down by ballistae positions, and it's up to you to go around on your own to take them out before they whittle your soldiers down (likewise, most of the time your in the ballista seat, you're trying to thin down the waves so they don't overwhelm your line).
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    Take command.
  • It also naturally features boss fights, but these tended to be the easiest encounters in the game, IMO. They're almost always one on one fights & they don't tend to have much of a deeper move pool than regular enemies, so they mostly feel spongy rather than challenging. Well, then there's the very last confrontation in the game which is just a hallway of QTE prompts.
  • There's some longevity added to the campaign in terms of collectables which are hidden in out of the way locations right off the main path (sometimes you may have to break down a gate or some such to reach a little hidden area). There are a bunch of these & despite thinking I did a pretty good job combing through the levels I still missed quite a bit. You have "Vistas" (environmental concept art), "Scrolls" (character, enemy, weapon bios), & "Chronicles" (comic book pages that tell side stories/go deeper into the lore). It's the Chronicles in particular I missed a bunch of, they seemed to be well hidden & there's more of them than the others.
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    Wonder what's behind there?
  • There's also an entire gladiatorial themed multiplayer mode included, but I haven't tried it out (at this point I can't imagine there'd be many people playing it anyhow). Though I do know you get to customize the look of your combatant & there's some sort of DLC related to this mode as I saw a "booster pack" option in it's menu.
  • Graphically it still looks pretty modern & even impressive looking at points, especially the environments (some of the less important NPCs still look pretty "PS360" though). There is some hilariously uncanny valley stuff going on with a few of the female characters though. It's clearly at the point where they were motion captioning real people for the important characters and there's one scene where a prominent woman is in a very serious conversation with Marius, however they decided to map near DOA levels of jiggle physics to her chest so she's just bouncing around as she lightly walks around during this serious moment, lol. There are a handful of other scenes where such effects make some sense, but this didn't feel like one of them.
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  • In terms of vibe it's very much a sword & sandal genre effort from the era where 300, Spartacus, & the OG God of War games were the most prominent names in the field. It's very gory (you can almost guarantee an arm or a leg is coming off during the execution moves, and goops of blood always), and you're not making your way through without seeing some boobs (queue the decadent orgy party showing how corrupt/out of touch Roman leadership is).
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    Whether you want to see bodies, or... bodies, this game has you covered (hopefully that second screenshot is still covered enough to be safe here).
  • Story is pretty simple but sets the stage well. You play as Marius (a young soldier with a family legacy in the Legion), and after being sent off to quell a revolt in Brittania he must question loyalties as the sons of emperor Nero just make things worse with each decision. In the end he'll have to make choices that'll effect the future of Rome. While it's not to the level of the GoW games, there is some level of supernatural/divine work at play as well (though your only foes are fellow humans... and a few elephants).

Overall:

  • While it's GotY material or anything of the sort, it's still a pretty solid action game that's well worth the inexpensive $10 (that's not even it's sale price). As far as short launch window "look what our box can do" titles go, I think I liked it more than the other brand's The Order: 1886.
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    A new legacy is born.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Lup

I just finished Skul: The Hero Slayer last night, since it's leaving Game Pass.
Lovely game, pretty addictive as all roguelites tend to be. Also pretty hard, damn. But well worth the 20-ish hours it took me to beat.
Even the history I liked quite a bit (something I was not expecting).
Sometimes, the games I enjoy the most are the ones I play against the clock.

Lup

oliverp

Resident Evil 2 remake. Was a very fun experience that I enjoyed very much

Edited on by oliverp

oliverp

Lup

Yakuza 0, baby. Finally! Amazing game! Haven't completed ALL of thr stuff, but I did most of it.
Such a good story. Jumped immediatly into Kiwami.

Lup

CJD87

Inscryption (on Switch).... just wow(!)

The less I say about it the better, as the whole experience really benefits from going in as 'blind' as possible.
A mish-mash of genres inc. Deck Building / Horror / RPG / Puzzles....

If any of that sounds appealing, I'd highly recommend

CJD87

RR529

Kandagawa Jet Girls (Steam) - It's like Wave Race, but by the Senran Kagura guys.
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  • An arcadey jet ski racer with a touch of Mario Kart, as you can pick up special weapons along the way like rocket launchers, gatling guns, shotguns, etc (which can be fired in forward or behind you). You also have a basic gun equipped at all times that's mostly useful for clearing out obstacles in your path (it doesn't seem to do enough damage to other racers' shields to break them).
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    Cause other racers to spin out by blasting them with special weapons.
  • That doesn't mean it doesn't (theoretically) require a more skilled touch as well. You can get a race start boost by reving up your engine at the right point during the starting countdown, you gain a bit more speed (at the cost of control) if you tilt the left stick back & you get a bit more control (at the cost of speed) if you tilt it forward, which is useful during tight turns. There is a guage which builds up (located on the lower right corner of the screen) as you complete actions during the race (such as passing through rings that charge it), and you can expend 20% of it for a temporary boost, or if it's fully charged you can unleash a special (if you're holding a weapon item you'll unleash an extra powerful variant of it. If not, you get temporary unlimited boosts).
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    the guage is fully charged, so I can unleash a super variant of the gatling gun weapon I'm holding.
  • There are various elements on the track to keep an eye out for, such as the aforementioned rings you can pass through to charge your guage, but also balloons & holograms (of cute cartoony mascots) you must shoot to clear the path forward (they don't cause you to crash, but can temporarily slow you down), as well as boost pads which temporarily speed you up. Of course there are ramps as well which you can use to catch some air & pull off some tricks. There are four different trick commands, & while 3 of them are shared between all teams, the 4th is unique to each team. Tricks grant buffs such as increased speed, tighter control, or a charge to your special guage. The team unique trick always grants two buffs instead of one, which sometimes includes special buffs like temporary invincibility.
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    Performing a team exclusive trick.
  • There are 8 or so teams to play as (you unlock them as you play through the story mode), which run the gamut in terms of cliches (you have the garyu delinquents, the foreign exchange American weebs, the rich girls, the idols, etc.). Is there a particular gameplay mechanic between having two girls per craft? Not really it seems, just an in game explanation as to why they can race & attack at the same time.
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    These girls don't seem to be as multitask talented as your average MK racer, so have a dedicated driver & attacker.
  • There are about 5-6 different courses to race on, though each has two or three different variants, so there is ultimately quite a bit of choice. These are likewise unlocked as you play through the story mode, and run the gamut from Japanese castles, futuristic city scapes, sewer systems, & more.
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  • I spent most of my time in the story mode, which consists of 64 races spread out over 8 chapters. Each chapter usually centers around the story of a specific team, with the first chapter being the longest, following the titular "Kandagawa Jet Girls" team (I assume this is the canon story, and is what the anime adaptation also follows). It's mostly bubbly fluff (though the California Coast High story mode, the "American weeb" team, is absolutely hilarious) though the last team introduced tries to add a "serious" tone/threat that they ultimately gloss over.
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    The "Unkai Surfers", team of California Coast High, are absolutely hilarious (I've posted more of their gems in the screenshot thread).
  • It's actually pretty technically sound of a racer all things considered. Certainly no Mario Kart (or probably Wave Race), however it's noticeably of a very much higher quality than the absolute drek of the genre like Garfield Kart. The biggest issue is that Story Mode is almost never a challenge. You can easily blitz the first chapter without having to upgrade your team's jet ski, and although the challenge does slowly ratchet up in subsequent chapters, by then you should have enough points at any given point to buy enough upgrades to stomp whatever comes your way. I assume you could probably get more of a challenge by taking on human players (it has an online mode of course) & maybe you can set the CPU difficulty to a higher standard in exhibition races, but I haven't really tested those things out.
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    You can barely see the next closest racer at the edge of the mini-map.
  • That said, Story Mode does attempt to mix things up with optional objectives attached to each race (tasks such as "don't touch a wall", "perform tricks more than 3 times", "pop 10 balloons", "use more than 4 types of weapon items", "don't use any weapon items", "reach X maximum speed", etc.). Now, sometimes you'll have to hold yourself back in order to complete some of these (can't exactly fire off a bunch of weapon items if you're too far ahead of the pack, as they won't fire unless you're close enough to target someone), but they do give you something extra to think about. For your trouble you'll be rewarded with new accessories & costumes for the girls to wear (remember this is from the Senran Kagura guys, so you'll get stuff like bunny suits, nurse bikinis, wedding bikinis, & the like).
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    Lots of different costumes to unlock, such as sailor fuku bikinis, or bikinis that are barely there.
  • Outside of the racing action (& kitting out the cast & jet skis), there are also a handful of minigames to take part in which you can use to earn extra points. These range in scope from a jet ski cleaning rhythm game, mopping auto runner, treadmill running, & a ring race mode, all of which have multiple difficulty modes.
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    Earning extra credit.
  • Given that this is from the Senran Kagura peeps it shouldn't come as much surprise that there's some crossover material. While they don't have a story mode, Ryobi & Ryona (from the SK series newer batch of "Hebijo" students) serve as an extra pair of racers. Of course you can obtain further SK characters (such as Asuka, Yumi, Homura, Ikaruga, etc.) as paid DLC, though I haven't partook.
  • I know I've brought up it's Senran Kagura connections a few times now, so I think it's relevant to point out that it never goes as far as those games go in terms of the "fan service". Yes, there's lots of jiggle & bikinis, but that's about it (similar to the recently released Samurai Maiden in this regard). There seems to be little to no sexual innuendo in the dialogue/narrative (other than maybe some slight Yuri undertones depending on the team), no mode where it's possible to virtually "grope" the girls (before anyone jumps down my throat, I'm not saying that it's a bad thing such a mode is absent, just that it's a feature that was relatively common in such games once upon a time like the older Senran Kagura games & Gun Gun Pixies), and no clothing breakage mechanics (for what it's worth, clothes breakage very much IS a mechanic in the aforementioned anime adaptation, whenever a team has their shield shattered, but whether it was added to the anime or removed from the game is unknown AFAIK).

Conclusion:

  • Actually a pretty fun & bubbly racing game when is all said & done. Granted, it's a very fan servicy game so know what you're getting into, but it's definitely a much more solid game than 90-95% of the games that make gratuitous sexualization part of their core appeal.
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    Celebrate that victory.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Balta666

I finished Hogwarts legacy after completing a good chunk of the extra content (only missing one sidequest due to a bug as a locker on a cage is no longer there as I have been on that spot and opened it before). I really enjoyed my time with it altough I could not say is w masterpiece on both dialogue and RPG mechanics. In the end the combat is quite fun and stepping into the school a dream come true.

Edited on by Balta666

Lup

I've been addicted to Yakuza lately.

Finished 0, Kiwami 1 and Kiwami 2 back-to-back(-to-back?).

Man, great games. A little frustrating if you try to complete all of the susbstories but really really fun. A great time.
I'll take a braeak now, and will play Wo Long before going back to Yakuza 3.

Edited on by Lup

Lup

Tasuki

Beat the story on Mortal Kombat 11 both the main story and Aftermath. I have got to say the story was not bad at all. One of the best MK stories I have seen in a long time. Definitely worth a playthrough in my opinion. Going to be interesting to see where the series goes now.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

Banjo-

Mirror's Edge Catalyst, 2016 game played on Series X with FPS Boost.

There are two elements that stand out in this game, the 3D platforming and the story. The platforming is intuitive and fun but there is enough frustration to avoid the plethora of optional challenges. The frustration is due to the floaty physics and narrow surfaces, mostly while climbing. The story was good enough to keep me interested until the end and both the main character Faith and Icarus are likeable, with the typical moody supporting characters added to the mix. The voice acting is good.

The graphics are perfect for the gameplay and there is decent ambient music. The core of the game is the platforming but there is a lot of forced combat and combat in this game is almost a failure although it's full of good ideas like dodging and damaging while running. The problem is when you have to kill the enemies.

This is the only game I've played where I have died because the floor wasn't rendered after getting out of a loading scene (elevator). This is also the only game where the lighting failed to exist repeatedly, making it impossible to see anything. It's annoying but you just restart the game and the frequent checkpoints bring you back to the same point.

I liked it and I recommend it for a quick playthrough as part of Game Pass Ultimate. I will play the first game as well.

@RR529 Nice reviews 😊.

Banjo-

Banjo-

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge.

The best beat 'em up I've played. What I loved the most is that the slower gameplay let me learn the combat mechanics, evade and counterattack. It also has multiple difficulty levels to make it more challenging and, as usual, different fighting styles for each character, including an additional unlockable character when you beat the game. I also liked Battletoads (2020) but that has frustrating difficulty spikes and this doesn't. Compared to Streets of Rage 4, I found Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge more enjoyable, more balanced, with better music, graphics, enemies and combat. It's really replayable and fun. The graphics and soundtrack are great so there's nothing to complain about. Highly recommended.

Congratulations, Tribute Games. Thank you for this game.

Edited on by Banjo-

Banjo-

Banjo-

@NintendoByNature Say something about them! Especially about Devil May Cry 4 SE because I haven't played it 😁.

Banjo-

NintendoByNature

@Banjo- lol sorry about that. Honestly, it felt forgettable compared to 1 and 3. I did put the game on human since I didn't feel like punishing myself the way I did with 1 and 3, and I'm kind of regretting it. It was alot of backtracking for the most part in a different sense( i don't want to spoil why). Combat didn't feel as fluid as 3. It looked good, but definitely a weaker entry imo. I've heard 5 is the best though, so one day soon I'll try it.

Side note, what's up with that one DMC that isn't number but definitely isn't the first in the series? Perhaps a remake?

NintendoByNature

Banjo-

@NintendoByNature Thanks! It's a reboot by Ninja Theory, it's called DmC: Devil May Cry. I haven't played any yet but they are on every sale so I'll get them eventually. I've also heard that 5 is awesome. So you haven't played 2?

Banjo-

NintendoByNature

@Banjo- good to know. I'll add DmC to the list then. I've heard 2 is absolutely terrible so I see no reason to play it. People say it's laughable how bad it is.

NintendoByNature

Banjo-

@NintendoByNature Interesting. It's included in the HD collection so maybe I'll try it to see how bad it is ðŸĪŠ.

Banjo-

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