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Topic: Last Game You Beat

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Banjo-

@Gamer83 It's great for appreciating modern fighting games 🤣.

Banjo-

Balta666

I finished two of the most recent indie added to GP. Chicory and planeta of Lana. Can't say I am a huge fan of either but definitely prefer the first one.
However I couldn't care less about the painting part of it (which is a bit part of the game lol) and In general I dislike to use the two anologue stocks in different dirrections. The puzzles in the end game are cool though.
Planeta of Lana I was kind of bored from beginning to end (if i didn't know it was very short I would have stop it early on) with my biggest gripes in the slow movement and the very easy puzzles.

[Edited by Balta666]

Banjo-

Metroid Prime Hunters.

I have beaten the trilogy twice on Gamecube and Wii/Wii U (100%, normal difficulty), so I thought why not celebrate the full-priced Switch remaster... by playing Metroid Prime Hunters on 3DS instead? 🤣

So that's what I did and I have to say that it wasn't a smooth ride. Clunky and crippled Metroid Prime Federation Force aside, Metroid Prime Hunters is disappointment and even torture. It was released when a plastic thimble that permanently scratches the screen was included with every Nintendo DS. I used it a lot while playing Super Mario 64 DS. Perhaps the permanent damage and replacing the screen would have been justified this time.

Metroid Prime Hunters was released for Nintendo DS, that doesn't have any analogue buttons. Nintendo 3DS has one, two with a gigantic add-on that I also purchased. New Nintendo 3DS has two, the same sliding button that is like a flat joystick and a new analogue nub on the right side. Sometimes, the left sliding button helps even if it works as digital input when playing Nintendo DS games and this is one of those cases. We have to choose between using the right buttons, D-pad or the touch screen for aiming and we can adjust the sensitivity. After some tests, I decided that the only way to play properly was with the touch screen at maximum sensitivity.

Having been developed by Nintendo of America and not Retro and for a handheld console with a small screen, I thought, "Oh, well, it will be easier to play than the three hardcore masterpieces that Retro crafted." Well, no. For starters, I was barely able to read the squared and tiny font and while the scale of the visual elements is similar to Retro's titles, the resolution is much lower and makes more difficult to see what's going on. Have you ever mixed bananas and coins up in Mario Kart DS? This is much worse.

The environments and enemies in Metroid Prime Hunters are fewer and smaller but some graphics and the maps use Retro's work. You are forced to fight tons of annoying guardians during your playthrough but you also fight the same bosses over and over, each time being more challenging. The music is new but as good as in Retro's trilogy and it really sounds clear with no apparent compression, so I think that it uses midi instead of recorded clips. The composers are not the same but I appreciate what all of them have created. Audio is one of my favourite parts of Metroid Prime and its sequels.

Metroid Prime Hunters looks and sounds great but the controls are abysmal. I tried holding the console with one hand, the other holding the stylus, and resting the console, the smaller New Nintendo 3DS, on my body or somewhere else. I stretched a finger out of my right hand while holding the stylus with the other fingers, trying to stabilise the system. I tried everything but keep in mind that you have to hold the console and also be able to move the sliding button and the L button, so you have to hold the console while using two fingers to hit a shoulder button and using the front sliding button. It's frustrating, moving being the most difficult action. You can't just leave the console on a table because you need to control the slide button and the L button. With the other hand, you control the cross hairs while accidentally touching the buttons for changing weapons in the heat of the battle but changing the ammunition-consuming weapon requires triggering an extra menu. It's all too much.

With all that, I really thought it will be easier to play than the Gamecube games. Let's see. Aim assist? No. Lock-in view? No. Camera assist? No. Slower enemies? No. Checkpoints? Yes, and that's what kept me playing although they are not so generous in the second half of the game, when things get too complicated. You revisit the same maps but you have to reach additional areas using newly-acquired projectiles and rays. The problem is when you realise that guardians start spawning every time you enter a room, when the map doesn't tell you where to go like in other games and when the triggering elements that let you reach the next room are remotely hidden or apparently out of reach. Then you realise you have to be scanning all the time just to be able to advance, reducing the visibility of the room that you are exploring. Remember, the resolution is 256x192 and the game uses the visual style of the home console games.

On top of that, enemies are super fast, some are ridiculously fast and erratic and they will hamper your controls more, if that was possible, by freezing yourself and by causing graphical interference on the visor. If that wasn't enough, then you have to deal with frustrating platforming on tiny platforms that are not coordinated, so you don't know when you are supposed to jump, with lethal magma below, floating enemies around that don't leave life cells floating in the air after being destroyed and with a checkpoint before but not after the torture. Bosses are hard, by the way. You will die many times, while platforming, while exploring, while fighting bosses and the sad thing is that it will not be your fault. That's why I almost gave up the game at the final boss but I persevered and even triggered the second form (using a guide) and beat the game, not caring about collecting all the scans and lore like I did on Gamecube and Wii. Half of the lore is describing the final boss, by the way, so it's not that fascinating.

I don't usually rate but I will this time: 5/10. Five points for having such impressive graphics in a Nintendo DS game and for the clean and satisfying audio. Zero points for everything else that I have explained. It's a pity that they didn't remake it for Nintendo 3DS with analogue controls and outsourced a messy title to Next Level Games instead.

[Edited by Banjo-]

Banjo-

RR529

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PS5)
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Gameplay (Exploration):

  • Like it's predecessor, you'll be traversing multiple planets "Metroidvania" style, as they largely comprise of labyrinthine corridors that you'll be able to more thoroughly explore as you progress through the game unlocking new upgrades (both Force powers for Cal, and tech upgrades for your little Droid companion BD-1). Interestingly, you actually start out with most of the upgrades you obtained in the first game (like the double jump), and success requires you to master a new set of upgrades on top of them (such as a grappling hook you obtain early on).
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  • While it doesn't really offer a greater number of planets to explore than Fallen Order, the rotation here is all new, with the game largely centering around Koboh, a planet with an absolutely gargantuan map. While it still has a crapton of labyrinthine places to spelunk, it's noted for an open world-ish area surrounding "Rambler's Reach", a small settlement that has some light town building elements weaved into it (you'll run across people you can invite to live there, who'll open up shops or otherwise renovate buildings, allowing you to nab the chest or what have you stored within). Honestly, first exploring Koboh's open-ish area is a bit of a chore because there's still a bit of the "Metroidvania" puzzlish element of figuring out exactly how to get to where you want to go (which runs kinda counter to the entire idea of an open area, IMO), but once you start unlocking shortcuts and save spots (which act as fast travel points) it becomes much more bearable. Of course, the formula works fantastically once you're in one of the more labyrinthine environments that it was designed around (and make no mistake, most of the game is still designed this way).
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  • Of course, there are lots of things to collect hidden behind platforming or combat challenges & puzzles. The most elusive of these are the max number of Stim Canisters you can carry (healing items, they refill whenever you rest at a save spot), followed by Perks/Perk Slots (equips which grant passive buffs), Force Crystals (rotate between increasing your max health, max Force meter, or just give you a ton of EXP. There seem to be much more of these than you'd ever need to max out your health & Force, 'cause after awhile I'd only ever get EXP dumps from them). There are also Chests (which hold cosmetics, and you can customize everything from Cal, to BD, your Lightsaber, & Blaster) & a bunch of different knick knacks you can trade in at the various shops that open up. Most of these are again cosmetics, but you can get one Stim Canister & a few Perks this way as well). Oh, and if you see a plant swarmed by lightning bugs cut it, as you'll obtain seeds which can be planted in a garden in town.
  • Lastly you have Force Echoes (Cal can sort of feel the past of an object/location) & Scans (BD-1 can well, scan stuff) everywhere as well. These are primarily lore dumps which are tucked away in the menus, but each one also nets you a tiny bit of EXP. Force Echoes are easy to spot as they appear as a bluish haze, while BD will beep and jump off you if there's a Scan (or something else he can interact with) nearby, so keep an eye on his actions.

Gameplay (Combat/Growth):

  • In order to dispatch foes you'll need to master 5 different Lightsaber stances (in comparison to the 2 of the first game). You actually start out with 3 stances at the start of the game (Single Blade is the jack of all trades, Dual Blade for large groups, and new Dual Wield trades defence for superior offense. You'll also obtain Blaster, which is useful at a distance & Crossguard, which mods your Lightsaber to look like Kylo Ren's and has a slow but very powerful strikes). While enemy types can be more resistant to some styles over others, I mostly stuck with Blaster & Crossguard once I unlocked them & didn't have much of an issue (Oddly, you can only swap between two different styles on the fly, and have to switch out what those are at save spots).
  • Luckily you also have a bunch of Force abilities to make use of which might be able to get you out of a pinch if your preferred Lightsaber stance finds you in a tight spot. You can shove foes (sometimes small groups) off the edge of the map, pull & throw objects (and some enemies) at foes, and can even temporarily confuse organic enemies into fighting alongside you, amongst some other tricks (not Force related, but you can also have BD reprogram enemy Droids to fight alongside you. This isn't temporary like confusion on organic life, however it's harder to pull off, and the ability to hack each different Droid type is it's own separate upgrade, some of which can only be unlocked in optional areas). Your biggest ace in the hole is the ability to temporarily slow down everything around you, allowing you the chance to get out of a tight scrape (this ability gets an upgrade late in the game, but to say more would be a spoiler).
  • Of course, there are also Skill Trees aplenty in order to increase your repertoire & effectiveness of attacks/powers. They're individually not very large, but you have a Skill Tree for each of your 5 different Lightsaber stances, 3 different Force categories, and 1 Survival category for abilities that don't fall in the others (such as a couple health upgrades). Don't hoard your skill points. Outside of a few options that cost 3 points, most everything is either only 1 or 2 points & if you die you lose your unspent experience & have to defeat the enemy that killed you in order to get it back (unless it was a boss, at which point you just have to walk over the spot where you died).
  • In addition to the Skill Trees, you have the aforementioned Perks, which are equips that grant you passive buffs (such as increased damage to an opponent's block meter).
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  • At some pre-determined points you'll be joined by Nightsister Merrin (the "Force Whicraft" user from the first game) or Bode Akuna (a jetpack clad gunslinger) as AI helpers (not unlike Atreus & Freya from the modern GOW games. You don't have to worry about kitting them out & they don't have their own skill trees though). They'll fight by your side and sometimes can be instructed to attack enemies or help you with an environmental puzzle. They'll only ever stay within the bounds of the area they're supposed to help you though, so you'll have to spelunk optional areas by yourself.
  • In terms of optional combat/challenges, you'll run optional bosses (some of which are labelled as "Legendary Enemies") which grant you with a ton of EXP once defeated (I didn't have much trouble with these outside of a giant frog that took me forever to beat because it has a OHKO move), as well as Rift Challenges that also grant you a ton of EXP (these will take you to a broken reality, where you'll either have to take on waves of enemies under a certain condition, such as using a specific stance, or are balls to the wall hard platforming challenges that require you to master a medley of your traversal abilities). I think the only Rift Challenge I noped out on was one that wanted me to fight TWO of the aforementioned frog at the same time.

Graphics/Performance:

  • I'll get things out of the way and say this can absolutely be a rough experience, and across my 40+ hour playtime I had about 10 crashes (not enough to be debilitating, but enough to be an issue to worry about). First time it happened was while taking a screenshot of all things at the beginning (though this was pre-patch), while all the other times were during times where it had to load up a lot of environmental data at once. Fast travel or riding an elevator were the main culprits, but once I even got a crash after returning to the main map after completing one of the platforming Rift Challenges (it took me at least 20 tries to clear & of course it went unrecorded due to the crash so I had to do it again. I was livid, lol). Also got a few random glitches that kept me from progressing until going back to the main menu & reloading. One was right after you learn to lift & slam objects with the Force, and for whatever reason it wouldn't let me to slam down the platform I needed to in order to progress (though it'd let me do it to other near by objects/platforms). Another time it wouldn't go into "BD Mode" when I needed to (where you can do stuff like use the little guy like binoculars & use some of his puzzle solving abilities). Lastly, there was a time when it wouldn't let me charge up my Blaster shots (this wasn't necessary to progress, but annoying nonetheless).
  • Otherwise it was minor stuff like asset/texture pop in (especially when fast traveling or otherwise loading an area), though it wasn't nearly as bad as Fallen Order on PS4 in that respect, and a few framerate issues. Most prominently being near the river at the side of town would cause it to tank, but this was fixed in an early patch. Otherwise I only noticed drops if I was standing directly under a waterfall or during certain cutscenes (and one brief absolute tankage during a segment when a character sets off an explosion in order to distract enemy forces). For reference, I played on graphics mode.
  • Otherwise it's obviously a game with AAA production values, with some absolutely beautiful scenery at times, whether you're traversing a verdant forest, desert ruins, foggy mountain pass, military instillations, & more. I'm generally not a fan of the western AAA industry's insistence on making their (human) characters a near 1 to 1 scan of their mocap actors though. I'm of the opinion that, male or female, it's kinda an uncanny & ugly approach all around (and emblematic of their desire to be seen as Hollywood adjacent, "look, gaming's all grown up & we have honest to goodness actors"). IDK, this is gonna sound terrible, but Bode had these little dark specs all over his face that I found to be distracting, lol (that I can't help but think probably would have been covered up with makeup if he was actually in a movie/TV show).
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Story:

  • Looking for a place to lie low after helping the resistance irritate the Empire in the few intervening years since the last game, Cal ends up on Koboh, a world on the Outer Rim of the Galaxy without much Imperial presence where Greeze (the little four armed alien pilot from the first game) has set up a Saloon. It's not all peaceful though, as a criminal syndicate known as the Bedlam Raiders rules the planet with an iron grip thanks to raiding the military supplies of a crashed Clone Wars era battleship (and repairing the droid army it housed). Soon it's learned that Koboh might hold the answers to finding a route to a nigh impossible to reach planet (a perfect place to hide from the Empire), but it's a race as the Bedlam Raiders want to find it for their own purposes & of course the growing threat of the Empire ever looms in the distance.
  • It's not as thrill a minute as Fallen Order (and I'm probably in the minority when I say I preferred the former game's brisker runtime), but it definitely has it's moments. It wasn't that bloated either, despite being longer (I completed every world at 100% other than Koboh & Jedha, and even those are at over 97%, so I did most notable content, optional included & still only hit about 45 hours). Back to the main story though, & THAT moment on Jedha (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've played it) was absolutely exhilarating and the game never quite reaches those heights again (I almost don't know what they were thinking, there's no way the final boss could have ever lived up to what came before, lol).
  • I also liked checking in on the residents of Rambler's Reach (most of which congregate inside of Greeze's "Pyloon Saloon") from time to time as you can hear more of their backstories as you progress & revitalize the town. Sometimes they'll give you "Rumors" to check out as well (these are sort of like side quests, but you don't need to speak to anyone to access them, they're just a helpful reminder that "hey, you can check out this area you couldn't before" from the game. Cal will usually even have a different response if you've already checked things out by the time someone gives you the rumor). By far the best side character is Skoova Stev though, a crusty old little alien fisherman who you'll often find by bodies of water who'll nab new fish for the Saloon's fish tank if you talk to him when you see him (plus get more of his wild fish tale backstory). Unfortunately his tale is left unfinished as I never figured out where the last fish is.

Conclusion:

  • It still has some technical issues to work out (if they'll ever be fully rectified I don't know), but otherwise it's a worthy followup to the previous game with a lot of nods that'll please long standing fans of the franchise.
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Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Exocraze

Dead Island 2. Absolutely not a perfect game by any means, but it was loads of fun and I really did enjoy playing through it with my friends.

Exocraze

Banjo-

I just beat every single of the Missions in Sonic Origins, a mode that I had not tried yet. I beat them all with an S rank and all I can say is, play them, they are all very well designed. Missions mode feels like a whole game in the sense of value and level design. Some of the missions are incredibly challenging if you aspire to get the S rank. As someone that seldom, if ever, has played as Knuckles, this mode taught me to master him because all the three characters are involved. 10/10.

Banjo-

Banjo-

I played The Walking Dead: The Final Season after having played Season One, Season Two, Michonne and A New Frontier. I have enjoyed all of them but the last game is a full-fledge video game with more gameplay elements and exploration and amazing graphics without shimmering. Game crashed twice and the frame rate is still choppy occasionally which is weird for a game that guides you but the developers have had a lot of obstacles.

I haven't watched the TV series. Anyway, I was sad when the last game was over because experiencing these stories for the first time is enthralling. They are all on Game Pass and I recommend all of them 100%.

Banjo-

NintendoByNature

Planet of Lana. It was a nice little heart warming puzzle platformer. Some genuine head scratchers, not too long, beautiful to look at, some tense moments. Overall, nice solid addition to GP.

NintendoByNature

Balta666

Dordogne. The story is interesting enough and the final plot twist is fairly good but I felt some of the most interesting plot points were never adressed. Gameplay wise is quite terrible as you're not only very slow but it looks like you learned to walk 5 min ago. It is also very stingy on achievments as it does not allow you to go back for collectibles after and instead you need to pick up everything in one go.

[Edited by Balta666]

Lavalera

@Banjo- I also played through all of them this year. For me personally the first one grabbed me the most story wise. But yeah as you say all of them are worth it. Especially for people who like narrative driven games.
The games are pretty easy to follow if you didnt watch the TV series. Except for Michonne and a few references to the communities they are basically only in the same "universe" and thats where the link is between the games.

PSNid: Lavalera

NintendoByNature

@Banjo- it's not bad. Worthy of a playthrough for sure.
@Balta666 you confirmed my thoughts. It looks pretty, but it doesn't seem to be all that fun.

NintendoByNature

Banjo-

Road 96, thanks to @Widey85. It was not what I expected and I liked it much more than I expected in spite of the depressing ending. Someone said it's boring, how? I recommend to speed the camera up and slow the selection cursor.

@Lavalera By the way, which episode [EDIT: season] was that with the family living in a farm that you move to after meeting one of the sons? That was the highlight I would choose after playing them all. Do you remember that?

I'm still busy with Soul Hackers 2, I can't wait to share something about it when I beat it but all I can say so far is that I love it.

[Edited by Banjo-]

Banjo-

Widey85

@Banjo- Yep it's a little depressing although depending if any escape it gives hints that change is coming...

And yes I love the quirky humour such as the idiot robbers and narcissistic TV personality, and the willingness to show the costs of propaganda and the grimness of people's lives

Widey85

Banjo-

@Widey85 Actually, I got a "good" ending with a new president and the former in prison but a policewoman shooting the man who loved her and who was one of the heroes in front of a kid emotionally attached to both was unnecessary and not much like her after letting several teenages escape. Then, the poor kid see teenagers killed around him.

A bit of a graphic adventure with unexpected moments and great mini games except the shooting. Excellent characters and voice acting. Sonya is a blast from start to finish. Jarod is so creepy.

[Edited by Banjo-]

Banjo-

Widey85

@Banjo- Lol don't think I got that good an ending yet, I didn't reach 100% on everyone's bar so think I need to continue my second game.

I'd actually blanked out Jarod lol, that guy was horrible but think I got to deal with him...

Widey85

Banjo-

@Widey85 I haven't got 100% either but I may buy the game now that it left Game Pass. I knew Sonya was feeling lonely right from the start but she is hilarious. Poor Adam...

That doesn't surprise me. That scene in the car with Jarod threatening you... The voice actor deserves an Oscar.

Banjo-

Lavalera

@Banjo- I'm pretty sure that's still episode 1. It's soon after Lee and Clementine meet. That scene on the farm was heavily influenced by the TV series, the farmer is also called Hershell Greene like in the series on TV.

Also curious to see what you think about Soul Hackers 2. I also liked but not as much as the persona games though

PSNid: Lavalera

Banjo-

@Lavalera It's my second Atlus game, the first one was Tokyo Mirage Sessions (Wii U) so I haven't played any Persona game yet. I will. Do you recommend watching The Walking Dead TV series?

Banjo-

GarbonZoni

Just beat Demon Souls on PS5. I must've got good at these games over the years cause I only died 2 times lol.

Xbox: Garbonzoni

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