General Games Discussion

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Post by danyjr on Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:10 pm

What was woke about Andromeda?

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Post by Pedram on Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:28 pm

Andromeda was ok, Dragon Age Inquisition was pretty shameless in injecting stuff that didn't quite fit in the overall themes of the Dragon Age world. you have to play it yourself to get what i'm saying, everything from top to bottom in that game was under the influence of woke culture.
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Post by danyjr on Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:48 pm

I have never played Dragon Age games so I can't comment, I thought you were talking about Andromeda.

I didn't buy Andromeda on release so I didn't encounter all the bugs that got people pissed off. Picked it up heavily discounted for €20 a few months after released and I thought it was a decent game with a good story. I would have happily played more games in the franchise.

Such a shame they canned the whole Quarian Ark story while they still put money towards that dead end game Anthem :facepalm:
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Post by Firenze on Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:32 pm

@Thimmy

I see you're playing Y7 too

Really is Persona: Yakuza huh

I'm only at the start of chapter 5 and combat feels kinda stale to me already tbh, but I love everything else so far
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Post by Thimmy on Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:26 pm

@Firenze wrote:@Thimmy

I see you're playing Y7 too

Really is Persona: Yakuza huh

I'm only at the start of chapter 5 and combat feels kinda stale to me already tbh, but I love everything else so far


I’m not sure which chapter I’m on. I’m still hanging out with hobos Razz

Yeah, I couldn’t help but think of Persona as soon as I played the combat. I thought it felt a bit stale after a while as well, but I imagine it will become more fleshed out as you get more characters and more abilities to use. I barely have anything at this point. The «magic» abilities are pretty ridiculous rofl

I assume there will be more of a tactical aspect to the combat, once you have both multiple characters and abilities that you can use in synergy, like Mr. Hobo’s defence down combined with Mr. Protagonist’s higher damage output, for example.
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Post by Pedram on Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:44 pm



Really excited for this, Hitman was extremely good, IO Interactive sure knows how to create stealth games.
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Post by M99 on Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:40 pm

The PS+ game of this month, Hollow Knight is fantastic. Its a 2D sidescrolling metroidvania Soulsborne game. The art style, level design and boss fights are exemplary. The Mantis Lords boss fight has been my favorite so far. Like Sekiro, its not an RPG so you can't farm and be OP so the difficulty curve can't be fucked around withuch. No cheese for any bosses so far unlike Souls games. Accidentally cheesed a miniboss though Laughing
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Post by Firenze on Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:06 pm

art design for hollow knight is god tier

I put like 5-7 hours into it on PC a couple years ago before getting bored of traversing the world though
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Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:16 pm

@M99 wrote:The PS+ game of this month, Hollow Knight is fantastic. Its a 2D sidescrolling metroidvania Soulsborne game. The art style, level design and boss fights are exemplary. The Mantis Lords boss fight has been my favorite so far. Like Sekiro, its not an RPG so you can't farm and be OP so the difficulty curve can't be fucked around withuch. No cheese for any bosses so far unlike Souls games. Accidentally cheesed a miniboss though Laughing


Great game, I was obsessed with it for a while. Ashamed to say I still haven't been able to beat the final boss (abandoned my attempts when TLOU2 came out), but I completed the rest.
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Post by RealGunner on Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:19 pm

Did you ever finish TLOU2? did we discuss it?
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Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:44 pm

Yeah I did. I'll bump that thread with my final thoughts
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Post by Lord Spencer on Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:21 am

#75

Game: Breath of Fire IV.
Year: 2000.
Genre: RPG.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.

General Games Discussion - Page 37 61MV1JtcClL

I don't think either fans or Capcom itself would have predicted that Breath of Fire IV would be the last traditional game in the series. After all, it was released with a lot of love from Capcom, and it looked like it was setting up the mythology for future sequels.

For whatever reason, the next games in the series went in a completely different direction, and the franchise has since lain dormant.

Which is a shame, because here we have a classic RPG, built-in many ways like an updated SNES RPG, that begs for a traditional sequel. After all, I still have bittersweet feelings at its ending, and I wish I was still it was a little bit longer.

"When the Dragons move, the world follows. Everything the Dragons do changes the world in some way..."

Years after the latest stalemate between the Western Empire and the Eastern Kingdoms, two nobles from the east are looking after the missing Wynidian princess, Elina. Nina, her sister, and Cray, a dear friend, and the chief of a feline tribe, were crossing the desert that separates the two countries in a "sandflier" when they were suddenly attacked by a Dragon.

Needing parts to fix the sandflier, Nina heads for the nearest town to look for parts when she encounters a naked blue-haired man. Fans of the series will recognize this man as Ryu, a dragon in human form who is the protagonist of all Breath of Fire games. And so the story begins.

In the first chapter, the party looks for the missing princess while they try to keep away from the empire not to upset the stalemate treaty. There, you learn about how the war has been going on for nearly a millennium, and how the empire can easily be classified as callous and evil in some way.

In a parallel story that you jump to in fixed moments, you take control of Fou-Lu, the awakened first emperor of the Western Fou Empire. Fou-Lu awakens to join with his second half and take control of the Empire, as promised before the beginning of his slumber. However, the current empire is very different, and they immediately attempt to capture him to use his power, or to kill him in order not to lose their authority. This parallel story does a great job of demonstrating the sheer power of Fou-Lu and his motivations for his actions later in the game.

At that point, it is pretty obvious that Ryu is Fou-Lu's second half. Soon, you learn how the dragons are Gods, called the Endless in this world's mythology. The Endless, you learn, influence the direction of the world, and as such the party of Ryu find themselves swept by the influence of the Endless in an epic struggle.

The setting and characters are great, but the game, unfortunately, doesn't take full advantage of that. Of the six party members, only three get the time and dialogue to shine. It turned out, after some investigation, that the game ran into many schedule and budget items as it tried to release on the PS1 just as the PS2 was peering from the horizon, with many planned story sequences scrapped and replaced with filler.

Yet, despite these clear shortcomings, the characters and story shine. They do so because they provide the room for the player to fill in the gaps through the richness of their design. Like the SNES RPGs that inspired it, the characters' movements and animations convey their personality, feelings, and motivations in ways more than dialog could ever do.

"I would call thou foolish. But thou art mortal. Thou cannot go against thy nature no more than a fish could walketh upon the firmament"

In its gameplay, Breath of Fire IV doesn't innovate much in the RPG genre, but it does enough to craft a strong and free-flowing system that still offers a lot of room for both customization and fun. It is at its best when facing tough bosses, which is unfortunately rare throughout the game.

Your party of six are involved in the battle, but only three of them are active in a single turn, and you can freely swap between them when selecting your actions at the start. The three members in the back recover MP points and may chip in with some assist moves.

Characters can attack, defend, use items, or use special skills. A key element to doing well is using your special skills to craft combos, which are easy enough to pull, and are a must to effectively control battles. Almost all skills can combo into each other, but some combinations are more effective. For instance, using a wind attack after a fire attack crafts a spell that is more powerful and hits a group instead of a single enemy. Combos don't always work, but they should work 90% of the time if you make sure the order of casting is correct.

To help you build a strong team, the game offers two ancillary systems to help you out.

First, you can learn some enemy moves by defending (which is much better than using the analyze function in Breath of Fire III. While the majority of moves you can learn aren't better than the ones you naturally acquire, it is very recommended that you learn the few elemental moves that you can (such as Burn and Icicle).

Second, there are about 10 or twelve Masters in the world that you can train under and influence your statistical growth. For instance, you can make sure the Scias develops well as a secondary healer or a mage by augmenting his MP and Wisdom development. Also, you can switch between Masters very easily this time around, as you can do it from your camp menu.

Note that these systems were available in the last game as well. However, here, they are easier to use, and the game is much faster, that that it is simply more fun to play.

"We live within and throughout the world. Seek us out so that you can gain from our power"

Unlike previous games in the series, the overworld map here is just that, a map. Honestly, I am not too bothered by that, as it saves time and is not a bad system in itself. You move from two points on the map, and you can occasionally go into random battles if you get a question mark on top of your head. Later, you can simply teleport to any point on the map without much hassle.

Outside of combat and travel, the Breath of Fire series is known for its deluge of mini-games, and it doesn't disappoint here. Nearly every plot moving point has a mini-game of sorts around it, ranging from the mundane (organizing a warehouse) to the ridiculous (push fighting pirates on top of a mast).

Mechanically, not all of these games are winners, but they are a welcome distraction that shakes things up pleasantly. Especially since the game doesn't actually have any sidequests to speak off. Sure, you can find new dragon forms and dragon summons, but that's just moving finding point Z in the map.

Of all the mini-games, two are more involved and offer some tangible rewards.

First, there is the classic fishing game, which is brilliant as always and is a lot of fun. I have probably spent 20% of my game time just fishing, and I only regret it a little. Theoretically, this should have allowed me to get to some of the top-level gear that I can exchange for high-level fish, but I rarely managed to catch the correct combination of fish and just did it to get the fish as items.

The other activity is developing your fairy village, which is simple enough without much direct involvement. Occasionally, you find the fairies being hunted by wild animals and you can engage in an annoying mini-game where you need to quickly kill the animals and get food to the fairies.

Generally, playing Breath of Fire IV is mostly about its combat, with a bunch of mini-games sprinkled in to shake things up. Dungeon traversal is mostly very basic, with little puzzle elements in some dungeons only.

"The Endless are... They become Gods or Demons on the desires of those who summoned them"

Initially, it appears that Breath of Fire IV is simply carrying on with the same production and design philosophy of the series. However, it becomes clear that the design here is actually very different despite the surface similarities.

First, let's look at the sprite work. It may not look impressive at first, but once you see the range of character and enemy animations, it becomes apparent that this is some of Capcom's best sprite work, ever. Reportedly, there are over 3000 individual frames of hand-drawn animations, and I believe that.

Characters move and behave in realistic and distinctive ways. Earlier, I said that the character designs and animations convey much about their personality, and that's most apparent in the Fou-Lu chapters. Fou-Lu's animations convey a sense of arrogance and power that outclasses any CGI scene.

Admittedly, the game has a washed-out color palette. However, that doesn't take anything away from the vibrancy of the sprites and the world's art design. That is especially apparent in the many exotic details that make up the game's world.

It is worth noting that not everything is sprite-based. In fact, many bosses, and all summons are polygonal creatures. These didn't age as well as the sprites, but they are mostly saved by their exotic art design.

Equalling its art direction, the game's soundtrack is uniquely great. Unlike the disappointing Jazzy tunes of Breath of Fire IV, this game's soundtrack is heavily influenced by Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It sounds exotic, with some non-conventional techniques and instrumentation, and it sounds great.

While the entirety of the soundtrack is very good, the more exotic tracks stand-out. For me, tracks like "Yet the Merchants will Go" and the two battle tracks in the Western continent are as unique as they are great to listen to. Also worthy of mention is the game's theme, "Endings and Beginnings", which permeates throughout the soundtrack.

Again, we don't have any voice acting other than the soundbites in combat (which are all in Japanese), and I am fine with that.

In Conclusion:

If your major complaint about a game is that you want more of it, then that is already a veiled compliment. The truth is that Breath of Fire IV is a very good game that has clear flaws. There are some clear filler chapters, and characters and story are not explored enough through dialogue.

Yet, in its full design, it conveys so much potential and personality that you cannot help but fill in the missing narrative through your own imagination as we have always done in the SNES era. I think that's why the game is so beloved by its fans, as this is clearly an RPG crafted in the image of the best SNES games.

I can imagine if the game wasn't strained for tie and resources, that it would have been a truly great game. Still, what we have is a cool title that is fun to play from beginning to end.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Great graphics that aged very well
  • Story, characters, and setting are very good
  • The combat is fun, and there are a lot of mini-games to shake things up
  • Some great and unique music


Cons:

  • Mostly lacks in challenge
  • You feel that the game is rushed in some parts, and filler in others.
  • Some narrative shortcomings and lack of dialogue


"Tips"
1-Press Triangle while controlling Nina to fly and check-out your surroundings.
2-Guarding allows you to learn some enemy skills.
3-Press square to get some info on the enemies, which might suggest possible useful items, the ability to get skills, and things that make them drop more EXP.
4-Skills that you can learn are highlighted in blue when an enemy uses them while you guard.
5-Make sure to learn the elemental magic skills from enemies to help you produce more combos.
6-Make sure to find all Masters and train well under them.
7-Alternate between Masters to get a more rounded party.
8-Characters resting in the back row get some MP back.
9-Make sure to find all your dragon forms so that you can control your Kaiser form.
10-Doing well in mini-games, including fishing, helps you upgrade your dragon forms.
11-The fairy village is a useful thing to build and develop.


"Next Game"

As expected, I ended up liking Breath of Fire IV very much, and I like it more because it didn't waste my time as much as its predecessor.

After playing so many RPGs in a row, I guess it is time to play a game from another genre. That game will be the Vehicle Combat game, Vigilante 8 2nd Offence at #74. Let's see how this game has aged.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer on Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:50 pm

#A70

Game: Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare.
Year: 2001.
Genre: Survival Horror.
Publisher: Infogrames.
Developer: Darkworks.

General Games Discussion - Page 37 31615-alone-in-the-dark-the-new-nightmare-playstation-front-cover

In a telling signal to its diminishing legacy, several reviews of Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare suggested that it was heavily inspired by Capcom's Resident Evil series, which is obvious to anyone looking at both games in the context of the PS1. However, it was Resident Evil that was inspired by the first Alone in the Dark game, which is the game frequently thought to have originated the Survival Horror genre.

Yet, the game's two sequels were disappointing messes, and Resident Evil's success cemented it as the leader of the genre that The New Nightmare then emulated. Unfortunately, while a competent game at the time, there is little to recommend this game today.

"My best friend died because of these tablets. He died in Shadow Island and I am going to"

The game is set on a fictional island of the shore of Boston, where two potential playable characters go to investigate a suspicious literary character. As either series staple, Edward Carnaby, or Aline Cedrac, you are thrust into a nightmarish scenario.

Shadow Island is a mystical place where a portal to the World of Darkness is located, and the Morten family has been trying to figure out its mysteries for generations. The lore regarding the World of Darkness and the Morten family is strewn about the game and is very effective at world-building. You can feel the mania behind the Mortens actions when reading their diaries, and it is easy to become invested in the background story.

Unfortunately, the same level of writing isn't present in the story of the age itself. The dialogue frequently tries to be funny, which doesn't fit the tone the game is going for, and the delivery is acceptable but not top-notch.

Mostly, you miss the immediate horror of what's going on in Shadow Island, as there are no stakes besides your own lives. There are no interesting side stories to uncover like the Trevor or Birkin family stories in the first two Resident Evil games.

In the end, I felt that the lore was a missing opportunity of making more of the story we eventually got, which is just a basic bore.

"We Mortens have lived with the darkness for over a century! We have mastered it and learned how to tame it"

The main reason this game was compared to Resident Evil is because its gameplay was nearly identical on the surface. A 3rd person Survival Horror game with puzzle-solving, shooting, and tank controls, which really was the same for all games of the genre at the time.

In many ways, the Survival Horror genre derives much from Adventure games but adds in more layers of action. Like in Adventure games, you gather around a lot of objects and clues that you need to figure out how to use to solve puzzles.

Alone in the Dark does little to innovate here, with simple puzzles whose base complications is the need to read an in-game book to figure out. With no need for inventory management, the only difficulty is to make sure you pick-up all items in a room.

The tension comes in the form of deadly enemies that you have to fight with clunky shooting mechanisms. Soon, you should figure out that the best way to deal with enemies is to simply run away from them, which conserves ammo and is of less risk than fighting. This means you need to familiarize yourself with the stiff movement, which is honestly not that bad.

Note that in the rare instances that you have to fight some enemies, you can simply shoot while standing still most of the time, reloading through the menu screen. Riveting stuff.

"Light has ruled alone for far too long. It is time for Darkness to spill into the world"

Darkness is a good friend for 3D PS1 games, as it can be smartly used to highly any of its graphical limitations. To be fair, Alone in the Dark was considered to look good in the past, but it doesn't look too good now.

The 2D environment looks great, but the 3D elements are as blocky as you would expect, with the added benefit of CGI scenes that suggest a better-looking world (while not actually being impressive for the time).

Mostly, I am upset at the poor and limited creature design, which is lazy and uninspiring. That lack of art direction doesn't support the poorly aged graphics at all.

It is worth noting though that the lighting system is technically brilliant. Your characters have access to a flashlight that can illuminate their surroundings (And also reveal which objects you can interact with). Game designers would understand that this was a significant technical challenge, for the team to make a system that allowed the player to simply direct light at whatever objects they were aiming at.

Musically, the game has a basic Survival Horror score that is heavy on atmosphere, but not so much on melody. It does the job, but there are also some sound quality issues. Also, the voice acting is solid, but not impressive.

In Conclusion:

In truth, Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare is not a bad game. It would have been a solid title to play at the time, despite being inferior to other games in the genre. However, it doesn't justify a playthrough today, not for its own merit or for any historical significance.

Final: 5/10

Pros:

  • Very good lore and background story
  • The flashlight is technically impressive for the time


Cons:

  • Gameplay lack challenge, innovation, and tension
  • Poor and cringy dialogue
  • Graphics didn't age very well and are not saved by the art direction


"Tips"
1-Always have your flashlight open, pointing it around reveals objects you can interact with.
2-Always turn on the light in every room you enter.
3-The best way to deal with most enemies is simply to run away from them to conserve ammo.
4-Press X next to all boxes, cupboards, and shelves.
5-Read the lore documents for some clues.
6-Reload your weapons from the inventory screen to skip the reload animation.


"Next Game"

I wonder what I am going to think about the old Resident Evil games. After all, Alone in the Dark should have benefitted from their example, but it also missed a lot of their skilled design as well.

That's a long way off. The next game in the supplementary review list is going to be Dragon Valor, a reportedly misunderstood Action RPG by Namco.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica on Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:07 pm

Daggerfall Unity finally hit beta: https://www.dfworkshop.net/daggerfall-unity-beta-0-11-0-milestone-accomplished/

Probably my GOTY after Bannerlord and MSFS.
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Post by Lord Spencer on Fri Dec 25, 2020 8:46 am

#A69

Game: Dragon Valor.
Year: 1999, 2000.
Genre: Action (Hack 'n' Slash)'.
Publisher: Namco.
Developer: Namco.

General Games Discussion - Page 37 61GBK4ERRWL._SX466_

Released relatively late in the PS1 life cycle, Dragon Dogma was touted as an Action RPG with some relatively decent graphics and combat. I don't know if that genre classification is what caused it, but the game was considered to be a mediocre ARPG and did not have a good reputation.

However, I think if people stopped to consider what is the actual genre of the game, they may not have been disappointing at what it is not. Simply put, Dragon Dogma is no more an RPG than Guardian Heroes on the Saturn was.

This is a Hack 'n' Slash game with some minor RPG elements, and it was a good game at the time, but it is not worth it much today.

"The Dragon is still alive?! Then I will chase it till the end of the earth and destroy it"

The story immediately begins with a quest for vengeance, as the main character's village is burnt and his sister dies by the action of an evil dragon. Almost immediately, the character is handed a magical sword and becomes the "Dragon Valor", a hero who is destined to fight dragons.

Although there is a background to this conflict, it is rarely interesting enough to care about, and major elements of the story are explained in scrolling Star Wars text. That's not to say that story takes a backseat to the gameplay. Nearly every level begins and ends with a story sequence.

However, there is no real depth or weight to the story. You can't interact with characters outside of these "cut-scenes", and it is difficult to care about any of them.

The game's main narrative innovation is that you control a different character in each chapter as the Dragon Valor title (and sword) gets inherited through each generation. There are also two choices in the game that branches out the story into three different paths.

Unfortunately, this inheritance mechanic means you get even less attached to your characters as you resolve a different micro-story in each chapter. Sure, there are a lot of cool moments, but the overall narrative is a bit weak despite the multiple endings.

"Oh the pain! The agony! So this is what it feels to be alive!"

Mechanically, the game is a simple Hack 'n" Slash but with magic abilities added on top. Most levels consist of rooms where you need to defeat all enemies (who come in very limited varieties), and then you are done.

Some levels are more elaborate, having simple platforming added on top or needing you to backtrack once you get a key. Mostly, the gist of the game-play is in the combat, which doesn't change much across any of the characters.

You move in 3D space, but most encounters are presented in a linear 2D plane (except bosses, but more on that later). You have access to a basic combo attack, as well as some other genre staple moves (dashing thrust, jumping slash, downward thrust).

Magic is introduced to shake things up, and it is mostly useful, making short work of some mobs while supporting you against tougher enemies. As you advance through the game, your magic gets stronger.

Initially, I thought my character would be upgraded regularly, and I may even have the ability to buy equipment as well. However, it turns out that shops only appear at fixed moments (selling a fixed inventory), and that most of my character upgrades are reset when the chapter ends.

Only limited equipment and magic scrolls get inherited to the next character, and that makes the game feel more repetitive than it already is.

For one thing, bosses, who may be the combat highlight of the game, feel stunted because they cannot be designed well for a stronger character when the stats are reset every chapter.

This is why this game cannot be considered an ARPG, since there is no real RPG growth in the player's character. Instead, like in any modern Hack 'n' Slash, your character is augmented in a fixed way as your real growth becomes your skill as a player.

"Aren't I a fearsome sight!? Surrender, and I'll let you live as one of my henchmen"

Due to its release at the end of the PS1's lifecycle, it is not surprising to see that Dragon Valor has some admittedly good graphics. It's nothing groundbreaking (or even pleasant to look at), but the polygonal graphics in the game are not painful to look at.

Sure, the characters may not look anything like their gorgeous portraits may suggest, but they look close enough for you to imagine the better-looking version. This is the same with some of the game's more impressive dragon bosses.

Hell, even the opening cut-scene was some cutting edge stuff.

Yet, there is a minor annoyance in the game's graphical department that develops into a significant grievance. In all of the game, when you enter a new screen, or during some key action sequences in a cut-scene, the game uses a motion-blurring technique to emphasize a dramatic point. However, all it does is give me motion sickness and hurts my eyes.

Thankfully, the game's music does nothing to hurt my ears. It is actually quite a good soundtrack that fits the genre. However, there is a limited number of tracks that repeat several times, keeping it from being anything special.

Also, something to be thankful for is the lack of cringe voice acting, which could have been a real possibility with a Namco game.

In Conclusion:

I think Dragon Valor was a fine game at its time. In fact, its graphics meant it should have been seen as cutting-edge Hack 'n' Slash game. Yet, the perception that it should be an ARPR has hurt it in my opinion, as it primed people to expect something that it wasn't designed to give.

That being said, the repetitive nature of the game and its lack of a core selling point means there is little reason to play the game today.

Final: 6/10

Pros:

  • Multiple paths to the story
  • The basic combat is a little fun


Cons:

  • Inheritance mechanic is interesting in theory but means every chapter is nearly the same
  • The gameplay gets repetitive really fast
  • Motion blur effect is repeatedly overused


"Tips"
1-Always backtrack at the start of a level in case there are some items to take.
2-At shops, prioritize buying permanent upgrades that can be inherited instead of bigger temporary boosts.
3-Magic is very useful, learn what works in each situation.
4-Defeating enemies with magic may drop an MP extension item.
5-The main choices affecting the game's paths is the decision to open or not open a door in Chapters 1 and 2.


"Next Game"

Halfway through the game, I remembered that I actually beat Dragon Valor on the PS1 nearly two decades earlier. In a way, that encapsulates the game perfectly, fun to play and beat, but not memorable in any way.

Next game in the list is something fans of the game would never forget. After all, Carnage Heart has some extremely unique programming-based gameplay that I am hoping I can enjoy.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer on Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:07 pm

#A66

Game: Croc: Legend of the Gobbos.
Year: 1997.
Genre: 3D Platformer.
Publisher: Fox Interactive.
Developer: Argonaut Software.

General Games Discussion - Page 37 _-Croc-Legend-of-the-Gobbos-PlayStation-_

With the massive success and revolutionary impact of Super Mario 64, it was natural for more 3D Platformers to be developed. Platforming was proven to work in a 3D environment. However, most of the early attempts at 3D Platformers outside of Nintendo's expert hands produced disastrous games such as Bubsy 3D.

One of the first successful attempts outside of Nintendo was Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, which was made by true 3D artists, which honestly shows. Yet, regardless of how good it still looks today, the gameplay design is simply lacking in many ways.


"Yazooo!"

Raised by the titular Gobbos, Croc races to save them from the clutches of an evil goblin-looking evil something. In each world, he is tasked with finding the little-cute Gobbos as he gets closer to the end of the game.

The story, or at least what little of it you can piece together, is simply told through several cutesy cut-scenes that show Croc interacting with several elements in the game.

When analyzed in historical context, Croc is an anomaly to the 90s school of mascot design. It lacks the "edginess" of characters such as Sonic, Gex, Crash, and Spyro. Indeed, it has more in common with Nintendo's creations and wouldn't look out of place in the world of Banjo and Kazooie.

Argonaut Software attempts to translate Croc's charming design into its gameplay world and attempts to craft a character for the game through several cut-scenes. While this doesn't necessarily work with flying colors, the world does have a consistent visual feeling that is absent from other 2nd-tier mascot characters.

Generally, the game's graphics and visual design hold up very well.


"Hazooo!"

What doesn't hold up well at all is the actual gameplay design.

Simply put, this is a very boring game. Levels are both short and uninteresting, and the platforming gameplay lacks the necessary polish to be continuously engaging.

First, let's direct the main movement flaws from which all of the game's weaknesses stem from. Due to the limited camera control, Croc doesn't turn-well at all, having to use a 180 turn button instead. What this causes is some significantly imprecise platforming. This, coupled with the fact that the game uses the Sonic health system means that the safest way to play the game is to advance slowly and carefully.

At that point, the second issue of having no interesting levels creeps up. All levels in a world look and almost play exactly the same. There isn't a single memorable feature in any single level I played. Adding the extra collection requirements of colored-gems and rescuing the Gobbos only make things worse.

Finally, controlling Croc himself is a pain. His main offensive weapon is an offensively short tail-spin, while his secondary attack is a Yoshi-like ground pound. Just adding a jump-stomp ability to the mix would have made things much smoother, because now all enemies could hit your invisible hit-box with near impunity as you attempt to tail-spin them.

The worst offenders are bosses, which feel and play lie an afterthought with little to no care in their design.


"Shazooo!"

As I said earlier, this game was crafted by some true masters of early 3D graphics. The world still pops with color, and 2D assets are smartly mixed-up to create something that is both pleasant to look at and also is visually consistent.

In fact, the game still looks good today and is much better looking than early PS1 3D games such as Gex 2. The same can be said regarding the few animations and special effects that I observed.

However, due to the limited number of worlds, there is little visual variety between levels, which helps blend the whole thing into one boring soup.

Ironically, despite the music is quite good, the limited number of tracks just help propagate that same feeling. Seriously, there is some really good music with some soothing piano and jazzy tunes, but it repeats so often that I got easily bored with it.

Thankfully, the game's many sound effects were never too grating or annoying, and some were actually charmingly cute.

In Conclusion:

Despite my complaints regarding the game, there is no denying its importance as a genre pioneer. Yet, while games like Super Mario 64 and Crash are still remembered, and at still fun even in their original form, games like Croc are not.

That's because the game is lacking something at a design level that was hidden at the time due to its dazzling visuals. Yet, with the passing of time, the game's faults are much more apparent today.

Final: 4/10

Pros:

  • 3D Graphics are not bad
  • Music is good (but limited)


Cons:

  • Pedestrian and boring level design
  • Hit boxes are wonky and create several issues
  • Some significant camera issues
  • Ultimetely is a very boring game


"Tips"
1-Collect the five colored-gems in a level to unlock the end-of-level bonus room.
2-Some colored gems are hidden among the regular ones.
3-Collect all the Gobbos in all levels to unlock the true ending (I can't imagine why you would want to do that though).


"Next Game"

I remember the pirated version of this game being marketed as a "Yoshi" platformer on the PS1, which fooled some gullible kids and parents in the day. I also remember playing it and never liking it enough to go past the first world. The best thing I can say about it is that it is at least not an obnoxious game like Bug!.

The next game on the list is Vangaurd Bandits, a Tactical RPG that was published by Working Designs. Reportedly, this is one of the PS1 hidden gems. Let's see how true that is.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica on Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:29 pm



bounce
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Post by Harmonica on Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:53 pm

Best game for VR yet.



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Post by Babun on Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:28 pm

I finally had some time to play Startcraft: Legacy of the Void through. Awesome game, I recommed the trilogy to anyone who has got a Laptop/PC (system requirements are low, skill and intelligence requirements high Very Happy ). Epic battles with epic proportions Very Happy

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Post by RealGunner on Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:07 pm

Does anyone here play as consistently anymore? feels like gaming is going through its worse phase or is it just me?





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Post by Thimmy on Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:24 pm

Don’t you have a ton of great games in your backlog, though? Did you finish Persona 5? Yakuza 0?

I’m still playing Cyberpunk 2077, but I’ve been really busy lately, so I haven’t had much time to progress in it.

Other than that, there’s the occasional online co-op seasons on FIFA 18 with a childhood friend who refuses to play the newer iterations Laughing

And yes, people still play FIFA 18 online, which I think says something about the newer ones.
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Post by RealGunner on Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:31 pm

I haven't touched a game since July 2020 but i meant in general terms for everyone. Feels like it's nothing being released or maybe it's the PS5/PS4 divide which is affecting the gaming world

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Post by M99 on Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:47 pm

I played Spiderman Miles Morales which came out in November and am now playing Yakuza 7 which also came out in November. Definitely gonna get Hitman 3 which is out in a few days. So yeah, really not a rut for me. Also have a backlog of early 2020 games which I picked up on Black Friday. There's definitely no bad phase as 2020 was pretty good year for gaming.

There's this system of digitally renting games that is really cost-efficient that I'm using.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:01 am

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Post by Thimmy on Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:01 am

Laziest teaser I’ve ever seen, but an Indie Jones game always has potential to be fun.
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Post by Babun on Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:48 am

@RealGunner wrote:Does anyone here play as consistently anymore? feels like gaming is going through its worse phase or is it just me?






Not really, I had Legacy of The Void installed forever (4-5 years ago). During Xmas lockdown, I finally played through all of the missions in brutal difficulty (real time strategy on lower difficulties isn't fun Very Happy). The experience was a blast, one of best games of the decade.
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