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Topic: Last Game You Beat

Posts 41 to 60 of 179

Dpullam

I finished Tales From The Borderlands which was a hilarious game in quite a few moments. The game had a great story, with memorable characters. Well worth a playthrough.

Gamertag: DeePullThree
Switch Friend Code: SW-2321-5988-1019

RR529

Focus on You (PSVR). I had actually went through this months ago, but didn't want to do a write-up until I played around in the post game mode, which I recently did.
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Gameplay:

  • A VR dating sim spread out across 8-10 chapters or so, taking you a few hours at most. In each chapter you'll be in a different location (such as a park, classroom, cafe, home, beach, etc.) where you'll be in a stationary position (though you can look around obviously, and at certain points you'll move to a different area in the room) and interact with objects & people in your immediate vicinity.
  • Most of the gameplay revolves around dialogue choices when talking to Yua (the girl whom you are trying to woo) or texting a friend on your in game phone, and taking photographs with your in game camera (more on this to come). Otherwise there are ocassional small minigames where you'll have to make a cup of coffee or a smoothie for Yua when you are at work in the cafe, and other things of that nature.
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  • As I mentioned before you take photographs, which is the main gameplay element. There's a shoot in almost every chapter, and in these segments you're sort of taken out of VR (when pulling out your camera) and look at things through a flat image floating in the void (I guess simulating looking at the screen of a digital camera). You can rotate the screen to portrait & landscape orientations & implement a "beauty mode" (which focuses on Yua, or whatever else it is you're photographing, and blurs the background), and you can ask her to do one of three different poses in each scenario (you'll have the option to move on after the first couple poses, but you can take as much time as you need).
  • While you can effect some things (such as choosing between 2 different outfits for Yua to wear during a chapter), I'm not really sure if it's possible to "lose" the game or get a bad ending. I know you get a trophy for doing things like making her favorite type of coffee or smoothie, but as there's no way to figure that out other than trial & error, I don't think it effects the end outcome (maybe the reward is just seeing her response in the moment).
  • Upon clearing the game you unlock a post game area where you can listen to the game's soundtrack, look at all the photos you've taken, and replay the game's chapters in a "free play" state, placing Yua in any outfit & hairstyle you like (you can unlock outfits not worn during the story, so maybe that's the reward for doing things like making her preferred coffee during the story?)
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    Come now, you can't go swimming in class.
  • It is possible to play with Move controllers (which I don't yet have, but should be getting), but you can play with the Dualshock as well.

Audio/Visual:

  • Graphically it looks stunning, seriously one of the best looking VR games I've played. Sure, that leads to some blurriness in some of the more detailed environments, but as the vast majority of things you interact with are up close & there's no quick movements, it's never a problem. Whatever the case, my inner weeb was excited about getting to sit in a Japanese style classroom
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    Anyone like "Rony" brand electronics (actually, it does a good job looking like Sony when not right up on you due to the resolution).
  • The soundtrack consists of soft melodic tunes & piano riffs that fit the romantic tone of the game.

Story:

  • You play as a student in an Arts high school into photography, and after noticing your skill while in a local park, fellow student Yua Han recruits you into one of her own projects. You see, she's an aspiring fashion designer & she needs someone to shoot her in some of her designs for an upcoming competition. Along the way you two will become more than partners on a project.
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  • I won't say it's award winning or anything, but the VR setup makes it many times more engaging than any traditional VN dating sims I've tried.

Conclusion:

  • It was something a bit different, but I'm glad I gave it a go, as I found it to be a unique experience and much more investing than a traditional dating sim.
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Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Tasuki

Mafia II (Xbox 360 version). Quite possibly the best one in the series. Vito is such a great character and seeing his story unfold was just great. Some parts of the gameplay seemed dated especially the hit detection and the graphics were good considering when this game was made but overall I enjoyed my time with this game. Definitely recommend this game.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

Krzzystuff

Just finished Tell me Why fully, my second game I've finish on Xbox. Going through Gears 1 at the moment and i have Hellblade on the go as well so I'll likely focus on those before i start something else.

Krzzystuff

Xbox Gamertag: Krzzystuff

RR529

Super Mario Sunshine (Super Mario 3D All-Stars - Switch)
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The GameCube was the first Nintendo home console that I missed out on as a kid (I had one briefly at a later time, but we mainly went with a PS2 that gen), and so SMS was a game I had missed out on until now, so I'm glad I finally got a crack at it. For full disclosure I finished the game with 80 (out of 120) Shines.

Gameplay:

  • It has the same basic structure of Super Mario 64, with an expansive hub world to play around in (this time the bustling Delfino Plaza), and by jumping through graffiti portals, going down red pipes, or being shot out of a cannon(!) you access the various large, exploratory worlds you must traverse in order to collect Shine Sprites (the game's answer to 64's Power Stars).
  • While 64 had 15 Worlds with 7 Power Stars each (6 Missions and a 100 Coin Star), Sunshine has 7 Worlds with 11 Shines each (8 Missions, a 100 Coin Shine, and 2 "Secret" Shines), with it's smaller World selection being in part due to a rushed development cycle (for example, the final level, Corona Volcano, while a linear platforming challenge in the final game, was intended to be a full fat World at one point, and there are one or two confirmed or rumored World cuts as well).
  • Unlike in 64 where you're able to collect a World's Stars in any order you want (with a few exceptions) and any 70 Stars (out of 120) will unlock the final level, in Sunshine you must complete a World's 8 Missions in order (with the first 7 in each World being mandatory to unlock the final level), although the next World will open up after completing the current World's first Mission, so you don't have to complete any of the Worlds in one go (just be aware that you'll eventually have to go back to complete them in order to access endgame). I think having a certain number of Shines is a secondary requirement to unlocking the final level, but it's certainly a lower number than 64's 70, and most of those will be made up of the required Shines, so any extra Shines are largely pointless unless you're going for 100% (not that they can't be fun in their own right).
  • the required Missions (plus the 8th one in each World) themselves are quite varied & range from boss fights (which are more plentiful & more in-depth compared to 64), completing a certain task within a World (such as cleaning up most of a dirty beach in 3 minutes, platforming to a hard to reach area, navigating a maze, etc.), Red Coin missions ( you have to collect 8 red coins, and these are tied more closely to a specific challenge than in 64 where they were more often than not scavenger hunts, and I prefer Sunshine's take on them), Shadow Mario missions (always the 7th mission in a World, these are easy missions where you have to chase Shadow Mario around and spray him with water until he falls. As far as I know there's no way to lose him & fail, if there was I certainly would have encountered it during one of the 500 times I fell off the scaffolding in Ricco Harbor & had to make my way back up to him), and of course the infamous "Secret Levels", which take you to a void & require you to complete a linear platforming challenge without the aid of FLUDD (these can be a stiff challenge, but I actually liked them).
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    The top screen is an example of one of the "Secret Levels" I had to traverse, while the bottom is a unique boss fight where you have to use the propulsion of FLUDD to clean a deep sea eel's teeth while avoiding being sucked in by the creature.
  • Outside of the main Missions, there are also a few hidden levels you can access from Delfino Plaza (similar to 64's hidden slide or Cap unlock levels inside of Peach's Castle), these tend to be linear challenges that offer up a Shine for completion (and two of these, the Pachinko & Lily Pad levels, are considered the hardest in the game. I only did the former), Blue Coin Shines (there are 30 Blue Coins to collect in each World, plus some in Delfino Plaza & Corona Volcano, and you can trade in every 10 for a Shine), the 2 Secret Shines in each World (these can be genuine secrets, but oftentimes just revolve around replaying the "Secret Levels" in a timed Red Coin variant, though you'll have FLUDD with you now) & some Shines you get for doing mundane things around Delfino Plaza (such as cleaning bell towers, uncovering a painting on a beach, etc.), including a 100 Coin Shine for the hub area. These are largely optional, and most seem like padding (especially the Blue Coins) since otherwise there'd be no way to reach 120 Shines with the smaller World count.
  • Platforming itself is much tighter than in 64, and while a few moves (such as the long jump) have been cut, your repitoire has generally been expanded thanks to the introduction of FLUDD, a water filled backpack device that you can use to squirt enemies or goop (which you'll often be tasked with cleaning up), with the R button locking you into place allowing you to direct the stream with the left stick (by pressing in the right stick you'll get a close up over the shoulder camera view that makes aiming easier), with R2 allows you to shoot while running (while this is less accurate, it certainly has it's uses). By pressing "X" it'll switch to "Hover" mode, in which you can instead use it to hover over large gaps or correct a misjump before you land. Via Red & Silver boxes you can swap out the "Hover" nozzle for the "Rocket" or "Boost" nozzle (Blue boxes will switch you back to "Hover"), with the "Rocket" nozzle allowing you to reach high up areas via a compressed water burst, & the "Boost" nozzle shooting you forward at Sonic speed and allowing you to run on water. These latter two abilities are usually used in specific instances & are best thought of as power ups (which the game is otherwise lacking). Using any of FLUDD's abilities will drain your supply of water, but it's usually easy to refill when low, as there are a lot of bodies of water in the environments.
  • It's also the first 3D Mario title to feature a rideable Yoshi (and the only one in this collection), and while it's fun at first, you're abilities actually seem to be a bit limited when riding him, so you'll likely only saddle up when an objective needs him (for example, there is certain goop that can only be melted by the juice Yoshi holds in his stomach, which by the way if Yoshi runs out he'll disappear & you'll have to hatch a new one if he runs out. It automatically drains, and drains further if you use any, so be sure to keep an eye on the guage & eat a fruit if he's running low). He'll also automatically disappear if he comes into contact with water...
  • It's also considered to be the glitchiest of the 3D Mario titles, and though I had a couple issues, it's not something I found to be a particular problem, other than annoyingly the final boss, where you have to destroy parts of the arena with a butt stomp and platform up the cracked area back to the main arena before it falls off (you can glitch through the cracked floor upon impact, dying before even getting a chance to climb back up).
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    The only other issue I encountered is the humorous one above, where Mario got stuck between this flipping grate & a wall, causing a shower of "star sparks" (usually 4-5 show up when you run into a wall at high speed) while he was stuck.

Audio/Visual:

  • Like most 6th gen titles I think it cleaned up really well in HD, with water & heat effects that look good to this day, and the cartoony look certainly helps as well.
  • Interestingly for a Mario game, the entirety of the game takes place within a single overall locale, the tropical Isle Delfino (the different Worlds are really just the different regions of the island), and they go through great lengths to make sure every little platform is organically built into the environment (with the exception of the "Secret Levels") & you can usually see one or two (or more) of the other Worlds from the one you're currently in, giving the game world a sense of cohesiveness that you just don't see elsewhere in the franchise.
  • While this could give rise to the fear that the Worlds themselves could be samey, that couldn't be further from the truth. While an aquatic theme carries across everything, over your journey you'll explore an industrial fishing harbor, an amusement park, a haunted hotel that looks ripped straight from a 60's Elvis movie, huge seaside ruins, & more. Untitled
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    Noki Bay pictured just above is absolutely huge! You start out on one of those little platforms in the water below, and can climb up the shell towers as well as a series of ruins built along the entirety of the cliff wall that surrounds the bay. Many of the worlds have high up vertical platforming that's quite impressive.
  • It has a nice tropical infused soundtrack that fits the theme, plus some classic remixes in the "Secret Levels".

Story:

  • Mario, Peach, & Toadsworth (a character both introduced & dropped in the 00's) are looking forward to a nice vacation on tropical Isle Delfino, but when they get there they find out that the place has been trashed, the Shine Sprites (the island's power source) have scattared, and thinking Mario is the culprit(!) the local Pianta population jails him & tasks him with cleaning up the place, all the while our hero tries to clear his name.
  • Final Fantasy this is not, but it is one of the deeper Mario "narratives" (eclipsed probably only by Galaxy), and while things end up in a pretty predictable manner, the journey there is a bit unique. Plus, it's the only game where Bowser has spoken dialogue!
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    Sonic isn't the only platform mascot in the 6th gen to get a Shadow...
  • Each of the 7 main Worlds has a sort of little narrative of it's own (tying into the set order you have to get it's Shines). Usually nothing particularly noteworthy or even particularly coherent (the mission in Serena Beach where you clean up the electric goop would have made more sense following the Phantom Manta fight in Mission 1, for example, rather than being Mission 5 or 6 which it is), but there are some more coherent Worlds too, such as the aforementioned Noki Bay, where most of it's missions tie into attempts at cleaning up the purple poison polluting it's waters.

Conclusion:

  • Definitely a step up from 64, IMO. Despite a few rough edges with the ocassional glitch, Sunshine feels & looks relatively modern, with generally tight platforming around some quite impressively expansive Worlds, inside the most cohesive game world in Mario cannon. Outside of the varied main missions it feels a bit padded out, but that's not necessarily a bad thing when it has such a strong core. Some may balk at the fact that it largely lacks the freeform progression of it's predecessor (outside of some unintended glitches you can take advantage of), but it's not something that particularly bothered me, especially when the rest of the game is just so much better.
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Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series (PSVR)
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Time to strap in & step into a Galaxy far, far away.

Gameplay:

  • Originally an Oculus exclusive released in an episodic format, it arrives on PSVR only as an all encompassing bundle, though each episode is still separate on the PS4's dashboard. Each episode has two gameplay modes, "Story" & "Lightsaber Dojo", plus a "Settings" menu, which even allows you to adjust the VR settings (I went with the standard experience, but there are all sorts of comfortability options for those more prone to motion sickness).
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    The menu that greets you upon opening one of the episodes, it's immediately clear Move is required, as you must interact with the in-game buttons to progress.
  • If I hadn't known going in that it was originally an Oculus exclusive, I would have assumed it was a first party effort on Sony's part, as the Story mode follows the PlayStation exclusive single-player template to a tee. You're funneled along a linear path from one impressive setpiece to another, with simple puzzles, ledge platforming (though you use the Move controllers to "physically" climb ladders/handholds, grip your way across ledges & overhead monkey-bar style elements, giving these segments much more immersion than you get on a TV), and the occasional combat scenario (with you in place fighting off a few waves of enemies or a boss) to break things up. Each episode's story mode picks up exactly where the last one left off, combining into a cohesive whole that took me about 3 hours to clear.
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    The top image is an early example of a puzzle, where you must turn a knob in order to examine a hologram of your ship, while the bottom image features a boss fight against a Tie Fighter.
  • As for the combat itself, new elements are added in each new chapter. In chapter 1 you get your first lightsaber about halfway through & learn to physically duel & deflect blaster fire. Chapter 2 gives you probably the biggest upgrade in which you can manipulate objects/enemies with the Force with a free hand(s), which is also used in puzzles (you also gain the ability to throw & recall your lightsaber as well). Chapter 3 rounds things out with the ability to steal & use Stormtroopers' blasters & grenades (the former of which requires quite some skill to get a good shot in).
  • This leads us into the other gameplay mode in each chapter, the "Lightsaber Dojo". Each variant of it asks you to master what you know (up to that point) in order to clear 40 increasingly difficult combat scenarios (so 120 across all 3 chapters). Each level grades you on your performance (you usually have a set group of adversaries, and are graded on the time it takes you to clear them & how much damage you take, though there are also scenarios where you're instead graded on how many enemies you can take out in an timed onslaught), earning you 0-3 Commendations (think Stars) depending on how well you do. While you can move on even if you clear a level with 0 Commendations, for every 6 you earn you obtain an aesthetic unlock such as a new color lightsaber (or gloves, lamely enough) & eventually can unlock the specific lightsabers used by certain famous characters. These again are only aesthetically different though (as far as I've unlocked), so only the most die hard of Star Wars fans will likely find the encouragement to really care about the Commendations. Plus, unlocks don't carry across chapters, so each Dojo has it's own sets of unlocks (which means you'll have to start out unlocking the basic color options each time), though episode 3's dojo quickly lets you unlock dual lightsaber weilding (which as far as I'm aware doesn't feature in the first 2 Dojos). Untitled
    I thought I had taken some decent screens in the Dojo, but in the end this shot of me deflecting the blast of some sort of orb drone was the best I got. In the end I think things get quite hectic around any given Dojo's round 20, with so much going on it can be hard to accurately interact with what you want (particularly with the Force), so I haven't pushed much further than that in any of them. You do feel totally awesome when things are lining up just right though, and it can be a good workout.

Audio/Visual:

  • As I've mentioned before, in many ways it feels like a first party Sony effort, and that extends to the presentation. Things look detailed, and even on my Slim model I didn't feel like I had an issue with blurriness (outside of a generally soft image due to the resolution of the set itself).
  • They even match Sony's effort in spectacle IMO, and while these moments continue throughout the entire adventure, I'll try my best to explain with the game's starting moments...
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    You start out finding yourself high above the atmosphere of Mustafar, and soon an Imperial Star Destroyer (sorry if that's not the right terminology, I'm not up on my Star Wars knowledge) flies in from directly overhead in a truly awe inspiring moment...
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    After being taken down through the cloud cover you find yourself above the planet's harsh surface with a menacing structure far in the distance...
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    As you approach the building it's size becomes apparent as it towers above you as you fly into a hanger (at this point I'm looking straight up to get a view of it's peak).
  • The game has the iconic soundtrack & sounds of the Star Wars franchise to work with, and they're used to good effect (especially that buzz of the lightsaber).

Story:

  • As a "Spice" smuggler captured by the Empire, luck shines on you when it's revealed that only you have the ability to access an ancient Mustafarian artifact known as the Bright Star, which Vader seeks to gain immortality (and more personally, a twisted desire to revive Padmé into the world, no matter who else has to parish). Soon you find yourself bouncing between being Vader's apprentice & the appeals of the Mustafarian resistance, who urge you to destroy the Bright Star before Vader can use it to bring destruction to the universe.
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    Once an episode you'll be treated to a painterly vision, such as the one above that features a nightmarish vision of Vader bearing down on you. Word's can't describe how cool it looks in the headset.
  • I can't say it's filled with memorable characters, but your Droid ZO-E3 (pictured above above the Tie Fighter image) provides much needed comic relief, and Vader strikes an imposing figure.

Conclusion:

  • Just a really cool experience when all is said & done. It was my first Move VR game, and it left a really good impression, despite the occasional need to readjust things (which an issue with the tech rather than the game itself I'd imagine). I can't imagine how mind blowing it'd be to a Star Wars die hard.
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    You've done well to make it this far.

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

LtSarge

Just finished Outlast on PS4. What an outstanding horror experience! I usually don't like run and hide horror games but this one might encourage me to play more ones such as the Amnesia titles. I just find simplistic horror games enjoyable in their own right. Not to mention that I love stealth mechanics as well so combine that with horror and there's a good time to be had!

But yeah, it was really interesting to play a horror game that takes place in a mental asylum. I've never played one in that setting and I find creepy real-life settings like that very interesting. There were lots of documents and notes to find to help build upon the lore while keeping the overall flow of the game constantly moving. There was great enemy variety as well and rather varied environments too considering that it all takes place in an asylum.

Overall it was a thrilling experience and I can't wait to play more of this series!

LtSarge

TownYsend

Just checked out What Remains of Edith Finch from game pass. All done and even full gamerscore in a few hours. Enjoyed it.

TownYsend

RR529

The Lost Bear (PSVR)
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Gameplay:

  • A 2D platformer (yes, in VR!) in the same school as Unravel (and I assume Limbo, based on what I've seen) where you must guide a meek & relatively unathletic protagonist through their quest with some puzzle solving along the way.
  • The core action plays out on a large screen in front of you (while it looks tiny in screenshots, in game it appears like a theater screen), and while for the most part it seems like something that could be ripped out of the VR environment and thrown on a flat screen, there are a few things it does to make use of the perspective. The most everpresent is that the graphics on screen are layered (like a 3DS platformer with 3D on), you (the on screen character) have a slingshot you aim with motion control, and there are often mechanical puzzle elements that have you make use of motion as well (such as twisting the controller to work a crank). The most interesting happen late game though, such as a puzzle where you must hit bells in the correct order, and while this can be done by remembering the tones, it's much easier once you realize there are "physical" bells in the environment around you (corresponding to the on screen bells) which move whenever you're given the hint. The one I liked the most though was a spooky scenario where all the lights went out and you had to use the DS4's light bar as a flashlight to illuminate the screen, and at certain points to find an object in the room around you (there's a digital representation of the controller floating in front of you in game at all times).
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    Illuminating the way. Sorry it's so dark, it doesn't appear this dingy in game.
  • Really the only problem with the game is that it's short, even by VR standards. Consisting of 5 levels, it'll take you at most 2 hours (maybe shorter depending on how you get on with it), with no replay incentive as there's no collectables, time trials, or anything of that nature.

Visual/Audio:

  • The on screen graphics have kind of a papercraft/painting aesthetic (maybe trying to give it a puppetry theatre kind of vibe), though the environment on screen scrolls instead of being screen by screen (which I think would have better sold the theatre vibe), but I don't think the game is worse for it or anything.
  • It definitely has a kind of melancholic environmentalist vibe where you go from exploring an autumnal forest to more industrial areas such as a junkyard or abandoned factory (I swear, between Unravel, Tearaway, this, and what I've seen of Ori, this melancholic vibe must be the defining chararistic of the Euro Dev platformer, lol. They never seem to be as bright & peppy as JP or US platformers). In a neat touch, whenever you enter a new area the environment around you changes to aline with the on screen action.
  • There are some moments where elements will pass from the screen to your surrounding area & vice versa. Examples include a swarm of bees who fly out of the screen after buzzing your character to buzz around you, or when it starts to rain on screen and around you at the same time.
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    Looking a bit "off screen" to the surrounding environment).
  • The music fits the melancholic vibe with a lot of stringed instrumentals.

Story:

  • A boy is camping out in the forest with an older relative, but soon he loses his prized stuffed bear and ventures through increasingly treacherous environments in order to find it. Along the way he's persued by "junk wolves"(?) who you often have to run from in chase sequences.
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    Taking junkyard dog a little too literally.

Conclusion:

  • It's nothing revelatory, but it's a solid little platformer that shows devs are trying to see how they can successfully transition any kind of genre into the VR space.
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Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Super Mario Galaxy (Super Mario 3D All-Stars - Switch)
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The only game in the collection I had previously beaten, how does it hold up? I completed it with 91 out of 120 Stars.

Gameplay:

  • It's structured much like the first two entries in the series, with a hub world (the Comet Observstory) to run around in that connects to the various Worlds (Galaxies in this case) you'll be traversing. There are 6 rooms in the Observatory that each house 5 Galaxies (save for the last one, which only has 4), and like 64 each Galaxy requires a certain number of Stars in order for you to enter it, with the 5th Galaxy in a room always being a Bowser level that unlocks the next room of Galaxies. In this respect it strikes a nice balance between 64's open progressiveness & Sunshine's requirement that you must complete a certain collection of Missions to progress. It has more hard locks than 64 meaning you'll probably have to collect most Stars in a Galaxy, however no individual Star is required (outside of the Bowser level ones), so you still have some freedom to skip a few if you feel like you need to. In order to unlock the final level the only things you'll need are 60 Stars & access to the 5th room (so if you get enough Stars in the first 4 rooms' Galaxies, you don't even need to explore the last couple rooms).
  • The Observatory is much more streamlined compared to past hubs & doesn't have as many secrets. There are no Stars to collect in the hub itself (unlike 64 & Sunshine) & and unlike the past couple games it doesn't have any secret one off levels hidden within (it still has one off levels, but they're much more signposted, and unlock after obtaining a certain number of Stars, just like regular Galaxies). Really the only "secrets" it has are a few 1-UP mushrooms that respawn everytime you return.
  • Galaxies themselves come in 2 flavors. You have big Galaxies that have 5 Stars each, and small Galaxies that have 1 Star (rarely 2) each. The first three Stars of a big Galaxy are it's main missions (and these do need to be played in order) while the 4th is usually a hidden Star (it'll only be accessable via one of the main Stars' missions) & the 5th is a comet challenge mission (this requires you to complete a certain main mission with an extra challenge, such as a time limit, or one hit deaths). Small Galaxies only have one mission associated with them, and thus one Star (a couple have a hidden Star as well, though).
  • Galaxies do tend to be much more linear than 64 or Sunshine's worlds in terms of design. You'll usually start out on the same planet no matter which mission you're playing (which at times can be somewhat sandboxy), but depending on which mission you choose you'll take a completely different path through the Galaxy, visiting different planetoids on your path to the end goal. Of course, except in rare circumstances, small Galaxies only have the one goal. While the open ended nature of past games' worlds could be impressive, I think I prefer Galaxy's more focused approach.
  • Gone is FLUDD, & Mario is back to having most of his 64 moveset (though with no diving I believe, and melee attacks have been replaced with a spin move, which you can use as an attack, but it's also extends your jump a tad & activates certain elements in the environment). It feels much tighter than past games (especially 64), and is a joy to control outside of a few small issues. Namely it can be tough to correctly line up a jump on small round planetoids, and every once in awhile when running straight Mario will suddenly run in a circle quickly, seemingly to make sure that he's oriented correctly (these aren't huge or regular problems, though). Untitled
    Mario sometimes needs to reorient himself due to some topsy turvy level design.
  • There are some elements of Wii's motion controls still in-tact as well. The most everpresent of which is an on screen pointer which you'll occasionally need to make use of in order to interact with the environment. This is controlled via your controller's gyro (you can simply touch the screen in handheld mode), and while it requires more reorientation compared to the Wii original, you're rarely ever tasked with doing anything particularly demanding with it, so I never found it to be an issue. Otherwise there are a few rare instances where you'll be required to use the gyro to motion control a Manta Ray surfing or "Monkey Ball" style section, but I didn't have too much trouble with those either. Otherwise the spin move is still tied to a waggle motion, but you can now activate it by pressing a button as well (which is what I did).
  • Powerups return to the franchise after being absent in Sunshine, and feature quite a bit. Bee Mario lets you hover over large gaps (it works like FLUDD's hover mode), Boo Mario lets you float & phase through certain surfaces (plus looks cute), Spring Mario is a bit unweildy to control but lets you jump to really high places, Ice Mario lets you run, slide, and jump on water & lava (there's even a section where you have to wall jump up waterfalls), Rainbow Mario gives invincibility, Fire Mario makes his debut in a 3D game after being a staple in the 2D games for years, and there's even a Flying Mario powerup, though it's really only ever used in one mission & the hub world. Untitled
    Fire Mario goes 3D. Use fireballs to fry enemies & light torches.
  • It's also a much more boss heavy game than past 3D entries, with most big Galaxies having at least 1 boss fight, sometimes 2. While most of these are pretty standard (though more involving than 64's efforts), and there are a few you fight more than once with a harder variant, there are a couple impressive & unique boss fights, such as Kingfin, pictured below Untitled
    An excitingly tense underwater fight sees you dodging explosive piranha skeletons while trying to hit this big guy's weak point with shells, all the while keeping an eye on your air guage & picking up bubbles to replenish it. He won't go down in the typical 3 his required either, taking 5 or 6 hits to put down.
  • It's often said that this is the easiest game in the collection, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. It just doesn't have as many obtuse moments where you wonder what you're supposed to do next due to the more focused nature, it's a tighter controlling game compared to 64 (and even Sunshine a bit), and it's much more forgiving with regular checkpoints & lots of easily obtainable 1-UPs in the hub world (you're even offered 5 extra lives every time you start the game up).
  • If you manage to collect all 120 Stars you unlock the ability to replay the game as Luigi (who again makes his first appearance in a main 3D game, playable or otherwise), who has a higher jump at the cost of more wonky physics, acting as a hard mode of sorts.

Visual/Audio:

  • Despite it's age it's still a remarkedly good looking game, and while you can see some rough edges if you look close enough, it otherwise looks thoroughly modern. Plus, it's cleaned up to 1080p in the collection (720p handheld) & upgraded to 60FPS, which while not a requirement is a nice upgrade.
  • It has a nice variety of colorful & imaginative worlds, from militarized fortresses, oversized bee colonies, a playroom, haunted mansions & more. It's a game that keeps delighting until the end. Untitled
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    Some of the varied locales you'll experience.
  • One thing I like about the game is how epic it feels in scope & adventure. There's a bit of a "war/resistance" theme permeating everything, as even when you're not tackling Bowser levels (which are the most overt with such theming) Galaxies often take the form of militarized asteroids, aquatic bases, & massive warships (it's not enough to be overbearing, as there are still a lot of whimsical worlds as well, but even those can have elements of the overall theme, such a turret bound Monty Mole atop Gold Leaf Galaxy's highest point, giving an air of occupation to some of them).
  • It also feels decidedly "on brand" in a way that previous 3D games didn't. In addition to the Fire Flower, elements like proper "Bowser's Castle" levels, "?" Blocks & more (including Luigi, who was a pretty big omission in past games) make their debut in a 3D game, solidifying it as imaginative as past 3D games while at the same time being comfortable in it's place as a Mario game.
  • Even as someone who usually doesn't pay too much attention to music in games, Galaxy is great in this department. Big bombastic adventure tunes, remixes of classic Mario tracks, and sweet melodies that meld well with some of the game's more somber moments.

Story:

  • It's another "Bowser kidnaps Peach" narrative, but presented in the most epic manner in the entire series. Mario is heading on down to Peach's Castle for a big celebration & Toad Town is all lit up for the ocassion (I think it may be the only time outside of the Mario RPGs the town appears?), but suddenly an armada of airships raid the town blasting it apart with meteors and upon Bowser declaring that Peach is invited to the creation of his own personal Galaxy a UFO breaks cloud cover, carves her Castle out of the ground and carries it into space. Mario tries holding on but is blasted off by Kamek (the wizard koopa), and after a brief tutorial stage getting you acclimated to how this space-fairing adventure plays out Mario is recruited by a mysterious figure known as Rosalina to restore power to her Comet Observatory (when at full power she can take him to the center of the universe where Bowser is putting his plan in motion, however the dastardly koopa has stolen it's supply of Power Stars in order to power his machines of conquest)
    Untitled
    He just won't give up.
  • Again this leads it to having a sort of "war/resistance" vibe, as it really feels like a team effort. Rosalina lends Mario the power of the Luma (starlike beings who populate the Observatory) which allows him access to the star shaped gates that blast him to all corners of the universe, a plucky group of Toads (led by the progenitor of Captain Toad, including his catchy theme) travel the void in a ship built by the Luma on the search for Stars (you'll run across them often in Galaxies & usually must help them out in order to get a Star that they found), and there are even times you'll have to travel to a previous Galaxy to save Luigi after he's gotten himself into trouble trying to find a Star. Heck, every time you unlock a Bowser level a Luma informs you that they've "located an enemy base".
  • There's also a Library on the Observatory, and at certain thresholds you'll unlock a new chapter in Rosalina's backstory, told via a totally adorable children's book aesthetic. It's quite a somber tale & even gets surprisingly emotional. You'll even get some lore on other things, such as the origins of the Power Stars themselves. Alas (likely due to the immense success of the back to basics New Super Mario Bros. titles), further Mario titles have really stripped back what narrative elements were starting to creep into the series with Sunshine & Galaxy.
    Untitled
    Time for a story.

Conclusion:

  • I found this to be just as captivating as it was the first time around, and really cemented itself as possibly the greatest core Mario title I've played. In hindsight it feels like 64 & Sunshine were rough drafts of what a Mario title could be in 3D, and while there are certain things about them I appreciate more (and I think Sunshine in particular is still a great game), I think Galaxy excels by taking the lessens they learned from the first two attempts, crafting an equally imaginative, yet razor focused adventure that's distinctly Mario in a way the previous games weren't.
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    An explosive success, if I say so.

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

RR529

Devil May Cry 2 HD (Switch)
Untitled
Even though it's considered an infamously "bad" sequel to the original genre defining title, as someone who generally likes to play through games in order, what do I think? (For reference, the quick turnaround of this review after my SMG piece is that I played the majority of this before getting 3DAS, but wanted to hold of on writing about it until I finished off the last 3 levels of the second campaign, which I recently did).

Gameplay:

  • A level based action game that consists of 31 missions spread across two story campaigns (18 missions for a Dante run, and 13 missions for newcomer Lucia). You are graded on your performance in a level (based on time spent, damage taken, items used, combat aggressiveness/style, etc.) with a better ranking granting you a larger number of Red Orbs (in-game currency used for upgrades) as a reward. Obviously the intent is for you to better your performance so you'll be able to afford better/more upgrades for the tougher late game missions, but the fact is that the game is easy enough that even by playing cautiously you'll still earn more than enough to get you through without much trouble (it should be noted that Red Orbs are regularly found in the level environments, and are dropped by enemies upon defeat as well. Due to the fact that some groups of enemies respawn after a few minutes, it's entirely possible to farm them in spots as well).
  • You string together melee combos with "X", ranged attacks with "Y", dodge with "A", jump with "B", and activate "Devil Trigger" (a transformation that increases your attack power & heals health with damage dealt) by pressing "L". I believe it's possible to guard as well, but it's telling that the game is easy enough that I never had to do so (preferring to dodge). To the game's credit there is a lot of room to play around with some flashy & stylish combat, but you'll never really be put into any situations where you'll need to do any advanced stuff (in fact, unlike the first game, you can't even buy any advanced techniques or combos as upgrades, as your full move set is available from the beginning), and to be honest in many situations it's possible to get by just by holding down the ranged attack button and slowly mow down everything around you, even off screen (there are these harpie enemies that are hilarious to fight, as when they spawn you can just start shooting and see them fall from the top of the screen one by one every few seconds, as there is automatic enemy lock on). Even some of the tougher enemies can be pretty easily stunlocked by a constant barrage of gunfire.
    Untitled
    Imma gonna go ahead and take you out before you're even on screen.
  • One (sort of) improvement on the first game is a wider gamut of bosses to fight (with only a few you fight more than once, and even then it's usually just once per campaign), but while there are are some that are fun to fight when you get into the intended groove, aside from one annoying boss that's hard for the wrong reasons, none of them are particularly challenging, and most can be cheesed with ranged attacks just as easily as normal enemies (or in the case of a corrupted tank just by hacking away at it, as it can't shoot you when you're under it's turret).
  • Outside of combat you'll have to contend with simple puzzles (such as finding a switch to activate a door), the ocassional platforming element, or even a timed escape sequence. The platforming can be a bit clunky, but nothing I found to be particularly irritating. Oh, and there are also hidden combat rooms behind random doors in every level (some levels must have more than one, as there are 20 in Dante's campaign despite the fact that he only has 18 missions, some of which are just boss rooms). There are no hints as to which doors hide one of these secret rooms, so you just have to check every single one you see in the environment (now, these are optional, but they ocassionally do reward you with a Blue Orb fragment, more on these later, for completion). Needless to say I didn't find all of them.
    Untitled
    Still better than Mario 64 (burn...)
  • In between missions (and at certain statues within them) you can access the upgrades menu. Here you can spend your Red Orbs to upgrade the attack power of your melee & ranged weapons (each can be upgraded twice), buy a limited number of health increasing Blue Orbs (these can also be found off the beaten path inside of levels as well, both whole & in pieces, of which you must collect 4 to make a whole), Purple Orbs (these increase your max Devil Trigger guage), or Yellow Orbs (these fully revive you if you're killed, however you can only hold one at a time. They can rarely be found in levels as well, however will be converted to Red Orbs if you already have one). You can also buy one use restorative items as well, but it's an easy enough game that you're better off saving for the full upgrades.
  • Otherwise you obtain alternate melee & ranged weapons as you progress through the game (with one being quicker but weaker than default, and the other being slower but stronger), but I never felt the need to switch from the defaults). You also obtain amulets that augument your Devil Trigger abilities (such as one that increases your attack strength even further while transformed, or one that increases your regenerative capabilities). Early on you even get one that lets you fly in Devil Trigger, but this isn't used much.
  • Lucia's campaign does reuse levels from Dante's, though some of them are remixed (like one you play in reverse), and it does have some new ones as well (such as an underwater level), including a different final boss. I'd say it's just different enough to be worth a shot if you completed Dante's & want more (it does expand more on the story too).
    Untitled
    Lucia's underwater mission. By default you're equipped with grenades which are cumbersome to use, but there is an (easily missed) harpoon gun early in the segment that makes combat underwater much easier.
  • You unlock a new costume for your character of choice on every difficulty you complete the game with them (for completing Hard mode the costume is the same for both characters, a skin of Trish from the first game). I only completed it on normal, however.
  • When you complete the game you unlock the ability to challenge the "Bloody Palace" mode with the character you beat it with. I haven't played it, but believe it's just a challenge mode where you must clear rooms of increasingly difficult enemies. Not sure what, if anything, you get for clearing it.

Visual/Audio:

  • While the first game had a very thematic castle for you to explore (it was originally intended to be a Resident Evil title & has sort of a "Metroidvania" style structure, just cut up into levels later in development), DMC2 was intended to be level based from the start & isn't anywhere near as moody as the original. I wouldn't say the levels are inherently samey (you do travel from a small European village, to a big metropolis, industrial complex, ancient ruins, and more), but they do come off a bit more dull than spooky as I imagine the intent was supposed to be.
    Untitled
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    That's not to say it's all bad though. The two pictures just above are from the same level, as you explore a skyscraper in somewhat of an interconnected manner it slowly becomes more demonic in appearance the deeper you get.
  • Otherwise it cleans up pretty nice in HD, but is a pretty standard looking game from the era.
  • The soundtrack didn't standout one way or the other.

Story:

  • Many years ago the residents of a small island community helped Dante's father defeat a devil known as Argosax, however a powerful businessman known as Arius has invited the forces of darkness to turn the island into Hell on Earth all in an attempt to revive Argosax & gain immense power himself. Lucia, the last of the island's devil blooded warriors recruits Dante to help her put a stop to Arius' plans.
    Untitled
    This wannabe Dracula is up to no good.
  • It's not the worst story in the world or anything, but it is told sort of clumsily, especially if you just play Dante's campaign as Lucia's holds quite a few plot points that really don't get covered in Dante's. There are other points where things sort of just happen though, such as a mission where you're randomly warped to a boss fight in one of Dante's missions right before the end, and warped back after you beat it, kind of like how they couldn't think of how to organically work it in. Also, I totally think missions 5 & 6 of Dante's campaign were alternate ideas for the same mission (one where you fight a demon helicopter as you scale a skyscraper, the other you fight a skyscraper turned into a demon), as you start out both in the exact same area (which doesn't make sense, since you're working your way up the island). I think they just liked both ideas so included both.

Conclusion:

  • Is it a terrible game? I really don't think so. It's just a pretty run of the mill action game with a bit of a clumsy story that happened to be the follow up to the title that arguably defined the stylish action game, so was seen at the time as a big disappointment. Taken on it's own is a perfectly playable action game, that despite being a bit too easy for most fans of the genre might be worth a punt on sale. Untitled
    What a terrible night to have a curse (wait, wrong monster killing action series...).

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

Krzzystuff

I just finished Ryse last night... such a great game! It looks amazing and the story was great and enjoyed the combat. I haven't tried the PvP mode yet, might give it a go before o remove it from the SSD. Started the campaign of Battlefront II afterwards. Now i have Battlefront II, Hellblade and Gears UE on the go. Will finish one of them before i start something new. Forza Horizon 4 doesn't seem like a game you finish...it just keeps going?

Krzzystuff

Xbox Gamertag: Krzzystuff

ralphdibny

I have now completed 63 games since the first UK lockdown started in March. I decided to write them all down on paper when I started getting through them rapidly but I've now filled up an A4 page so I thought I'd post it here and over on PS too.

Untitled

To some people I'm sure this might not seem like a lot but I have been bad at finishing games in the past due to the knackering job I do so I am quite proud of this!

It's been a combination of backlog, game pass, ps plus, the two game clubs, replaying games/series as well as the odd movie or TV tie in to a show or movie series I've been watching!

I think the game I enjoyed most out of all of the new games I've played was the Talos Principle and the two games I spent longest on were MGS Peace Walker and MGS 5 at 90 hours and 130-something hours a piece. I think those two long games balance out the shortest games on this list like Erica and some minigolf games.

If I've finished a game from before lockdown rather than started it from scratch then I've counted two "finished" games as one and put them as one entry.

If you can read my handwriting then do ask me about any of the games if you want, I may have some brief or detailed thoughts on them!

Edited on by ralphdibny

ralphdibny

MAC26

@ralphdibny that's quite an impressive list. I've always been bad at finishing games as well and it really wasn't until Covid that I put more of an emphasis on beating games. I've beat some and even 100% completed some of those and a part of that was because of Game Pass Club. I have quite a bit of work to catch up to your list but I'm trying. Also, it has really bumped up my gamerscore by a good amount as for the last few years my main game was FIFA career mode or online which gave me very little gamerscore.

MAC26

Xbox Gamertag: YungLaFlame

ralphdibny

@MAC26 nice! I only have 16000 gamerscore and some of that is a holdover from the 10 360 games I had before mine broke. I think my PS trophies are a bit better looking because I was quite late to Xbox this gen so my Xbox gaming has only taken place in the last year or so.

I think another reason I was so bad at finishing games was a combination of decent sales and a busy release schedule around the time RDR 2 came out (barely even started that game) but I have a half finished Pokémon let's go Pikachu, and a barely started soul calibur 6, Dragonball FighterZ and some other stuff. I was kind of in the midst of my crash team racing addiction around then and due to having fomo over the deluxe edition of that game, I was stupidly buying games like DBFZ and RDR2 at launch so I could get the pre order bonuses. I went from a "how do I know if I want the deluxe edition if I've never played the game" mindset to a "what if this is another CTR and I miss out on the extra content" mind set which was bad for my bank balance. Thankfully I'm somewhere in the middle now!

It feels good to play those games across many consoles though too. I had to emulate Snakes Revenge though and I played the PSP and PSVita games on a hacked PSTV so I could play them on the big screen (though I do own original copies of those particular games). I even wacked out the GameCube and Gameboy player to play MGS for game boy color!

ralphdibny

ralphdibny

I finished up gears tactics the other day and I've posted my thoughts in the game club thread in case anyone wants to check. Long story short though, the game is good but it's super buggy. I'm a bit surprised that the bugs weren't mentioned in the review on this site but maybe they just got lucky on their playthrough. It doesn't seem to be just me that experienced issues as every Google search of an issue showed many results with similar complaints. I'd probably be a bit annoyed if I'd bought it full price instead of playing it on game pass. I do recommend the game but you will need some mental fortitude to push through the frequent crashes!

Also I've finished untitled goose game and the Turing test which are leaving game pass soon. Both are relatively short games, goose game was about 3 hours + some post game content which I haven't played because my partner's hands were cramping after playing the main bit with me. Turing test is maybe 6-8 hours and is actually easy gamerscore if anyone's interested in that, I got all the achievements on one playthrough with a revisit to a single puzzle.

Both are good games but I think I was a bit spoiled by playing the Talos Principle a little while back. I think that was literally the best new game (to me) I've played this year and I'm always interested in playing Portal-esque games which attracted me to the Turing Test as well. Both games wear the Portal influence on their sleeve but Talos was so much better even if Turing Test felt a little more polished and felt like a more modern game. I think if I played them in reverse order I wouldn't have noticed so much but Turing Test is way easier than Talos Principle which had some truly mind boggling puzzles. I think the overall world building, themes and philosophical questions asked by Talos Principle were a lot deeper than what Turing Test had to offer too.

It sounds like a negative review but it isn't! Turing Test is a good game, it's just that the similar Talos Principle was truly amazing!

Edited on by ralphdibny

ralphdibny

eduscxbox

Last game I finished on PS4 was Uncharted 4 last week
Last game I finished on Series S was Call of The Sea last saturday

eduscxbox

Krzzystuff

I just finished the campaign on MK X, great story and didn't take to long. It's leaving gamepass end if December so give it a go if you already haven't. Played a few towers, might try an online match just to see how badly i do.

Krzzystuff

Xbox Gamertag: Krzzystuff

urrutiap

Recent couple of days up to late last night been playing Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core and beat it for the 3rd time. Even spent the time to build the Shinra flower cart for Aerith which was funny to watch

urrutiap

LtSarge

Well after having played the game for over 125 hours across almost two years, I'm finally done with Assassin's Creed Odyssey and its DLCs on PS4. Specifically, I just got done with its second expansion The Fate of Atlantis and I have to say, the last episode (that takes place in Atlantis) was definitely the best one out of the three. You don't really get to explore the setting of Atlantis in many video games and I thought it was really cool to act like a judge and help people solve their issues. Not to mention that this episode probably had the most amount of lore of any AC game I've experienced thus far. Because in past AC games, you usually only get a small taste of the First Civilisation and the supernatural stuff, but here Ubisoft went all out on that. Really good stuff! Odyssey, as well as the two expansions, really make it one of the best entries in the series, if not the best one.

So to sum up everything I've done during these 125 hours:

  • I've completed the main story of the base game
  • Got all the trophies (and thus done pretty much everything there is to do in the base game)
  • Finished the first DLC expansion
  • Finished the second DLC expansion

It's a weird feeling to be completely done with a game after having played it for such a long time. I sat down and thought about all the things that I remember doing in it and I realised that this game was seriously very memorable. Great story, great characters, phenomenal missions and plot twists. It's insane how ambitious this game is and that it managed to execute so many things right. Kudos to Ubisoft for creating a stellar of a game and I can't wait to experience Origins and Valhalla in the future!

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

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