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Post by Harmonica Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:35 pm

There was statement like year ago, they're looking bigger player base. So yes, moneyh. Everything any public company does, is based on money, only private companies can have other motives.

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Post by danyjr Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:47 pm

@RealGunner wrote:So...days gone coming to PC

Wonder what's with this new stance from sony on porting exclusives to PC? Can't be purely money?

Maybe they are going for more friendlier terms with MS?
There is just a lot of money to be made on PC these days, so Sony have opted for the double-dipping strategy like Rockstar have been doing since 2007. It is a strategy that maximises sales and a no-brainer.

Still, I don't think the main Sony titles like Uncharted and Last of Us will ever come to PC. Sony need to make a reason for people to purchase their console, otherwise people like me would never buy a console if those titles came to PC.
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Post by Harmonica Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:06 am

https://wccftech.com/stalker-2-xbox-series-x-modding-huge-number-of-endings/

On the subject of the game’s open world, expect it’s “A-Life” simulation system to be “more meticulous and more detailed” than ever. NPCs, enemies, and wildlife will interact with each other even when you’re not there, and you may stumble upon unexpected events, such as animals fighting for territory. As for the game’s campaign, expect a “non-linear storyline with a huge number of branches and different endings.”

STALKER 2 is slated to launch sometime in 2021 on PC and Xbox Series X.
My body is ready.
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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:31 pm

#A62

Game: Saiyuki: Journey West.
Year: 1999, 2001.
Genre: Tactical RPG.
Publisher: Koei.
Developer: Koei.

General Games Discussion - Page 40 File:Saiyuki_Journey_West_cover

Saiyuki: Journey West is one of the rare titles that deserve the "hidden gem" classification since it fulfills both parts of that qualification. It is hidden in the sense that few people have heard of it, with fewer actually playing it. It is a gem because it is actually a really solid game.

It is a Tactical RPG made by Koei, the masters behind the massive strategy series Romance of the Three Kingdoms, that is inspired by the Chinese epic, Journey to the West. With decent gameplay and a surprisingly good combination of story and characters, there is much to love about Saiyuki.

Yet, despite that, the game doesn't pull as much as it should. I don't feel compelled to continue going forward and feel I have to force myself back to the game. That lack of a pulling factor ultimately keeps the game from being a particularly shiny gem, but it is a gem nonetheless.

"A monk from Golden Temple must be sent to Thunder Temple in India"

The story, as the game's title suggests, is loosely based on the famed Chinese epic. It stars a female or male monk, needs Sanzo, as he is tasked by the gods to journey West from China to India. At the start of his journey, he is given a magical staff and is accompanied by the magical monkey warrior, San Goku.

Throughout the first chapter, Sanzo meets the rest of the party, which is all compromised of magical beast warriors like San Goku. These beings are called "were" in the game's world, and they have the power to transform into terrifying monster forms. Being a good-hearted soul, Sanzo is not frightened by these "monsters", and he can accept them for who they are beneath their monstrous forms.

These characters form the backbone of the game's story, and their interactions together are frequent, funny, and work well in fleshing them out. Outside of the main party, some optional party members join along the way, but these don't get as much focus as the first six party members, and I didn't use them as much for gameplay reasons.

At each "level', the party encounters a minor disturbance to resolve, and while most of these are simple bandit attacks, some actually offer some interesting story bits and lessons. In fact, these minor stories are generally better than the overall story which involves a one-dimensional evil "demon" threat".

Overall, the story is decent, but it is elevated by a surprisingly good cast of characters that I will remember for some time.


"Sanzo, those are the Devils. They oppose the Lord Buddha. They bring destruction"

In its gameplay department, Saiyuki offers two unique gameplay elements that are heavily linked to its story. First, Sanzo is able to summon Guardians that give a passive bonus to all allies for three turns. Second, each of your allies has a "were" transformation that can massively turn the tide of the battle.

Both elements are balanced in way not to break the game, but are absolutely needed to win some of the tougher battles.

The Guardian summons waste a turn for Sanzo and their passive bonus is affected by prxomity to the the hero. Also, you can only summon one Guaridan at a time, which means you cannot activate all passive bonuses at the same time.

As for the "were" transformation, only one character at a time can engage it, and there is a universal "were" meter that governs how many moves you can make in that form (with more powerful moves costing more meter).

Its great that the game has these two unique systems, because it otherwise is a relatively slow and simple TRPG. Maps and objectives are similar, and the gameplay is slow that I must recommend you to stop all battle animations to enjoy the game.

A big reason for that sluggish aspect is the low movement stat of most characters except San Goku and Ryorin. San Goku has an excellent teleportation ability that allows him to cross vast distances, and Ryorin is pretty mobile in both regular and "were" from. The others are significantly slower, so much that it forces you to slow the entire battle so as not to isolate your two faster character (or have them hog all the experience).

It is worth noting that this doesn't become an obvious issue until the latter third of the game, at which point there is already a feeling that the story is a little bit longer than it should have been.

"Idiot! You think you'd actually make it alone?!"

Outside of battles, there a some other gameplay and story activities to take part in. Each city has a number of stores that offer some side story tidbits, with some composing a series of sidequests that can help you gain special spells or equipment.

Some of the bigger cities have "job posts" which allow you to do bounty missions to gain money and experience. Another way of getting experience is competing in each city's "dojo" and challenging the master of those dojos.

Unfortunately, this means that most of the side activities will require you to engage in just more of the same battles, which become boring over time. In fact, I would argue that this ruins the balance of the game to a certain degree, but is needed to keep your equipment up to speed with your progress.

It's never a good sign that playing more of the game can be considered a negative, but that's the case with Saiyuki, as it is a perfectly good game for two thirds of the time but it drags on wastefully at times.

Thankfully, there is also an admittedly fun card game that can help you get some great equipment, and some of the optional story bits are charmingly funny.

"Humans are like that. If you're different, they treat you like dirt"

Like many of the PS1 games that ignored the trend for fully polygonal graphics, Saiyuki is a much better-lloking game fo it. The sprite graphics are really good, and the character's designs really show in the design of these sprites as well as their animations.

Of particular note is the gorgeous large portraits that are normally made by Koei for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games. These portraits are not only really beautiful, but they are varied and convey emotions really well.

These emotions are then conveyed in the sprites themselves, which look great, but not spectacular. Something that should look amazing is the "were" transformation for each character. However, these outsized sprites did not properly enlarge and their blockiness is apparent because of that.

It is worth mentioning that the special effects for transformations, spells, and various special attacks are really good. However, in order to speed up battles, I wholeheartedly recommend you turn them off.

What you shouldn't turn off is the game's soundtrack, which has some really good music. Of particular note is the heoric theme "Ally of Justice" and the battle music "The Strangest Monkey in History". These are some really nice tracks that are demonstrative of the general style of the game.

True, there aren't many tracks considering the length of the game, but what's in is worth listening to. That wasn't immediately apparent given the terrible music in the game's Anime opening (which is awful in an rendering 90's way).

In Conclusion:

When the biggest complaint about a good game is that there is simply too much of it, then it means that game is probably worth at east giving a try.

In the case of Saiyuki: Journey West, here is a game with interesting story and characters and some really solid production and gameplay. Sure, the game does wear its welcome a bit, but that didn't ruin the fun I already had with the game.

Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • The graphics and music are really good
  • It has some charming characters
  • The TRPG gameplay has some interesting ideas


Cons:

  • The game is a bit too long for its own good
  • Battles become really slow by the end of the game
  • Getting items in a level can drag things even further


"Tips"
1-Utilize the correct "were" form for the situation, you can only engage one form at a time.
2-Use the dojo to get exp.
3-Use the post to get money.
4-Turning to "were" damages nearby enemies and help expose item chests.
5-Turn off attack animations to save time (you will thank me for that).
6-Customize your key party members to have one elemental magic (always upgrade the spells for everyone except those with low MP).
7-Learn how to use San Goku's cloud ability to the max.


"Next Game"

I a glad that I played Saiyuki: Journey West as part of this review series, since I wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to it. It truly is a hidden gem, and I can imagine loving it much more if I played it when it was first released. However, I cannot ignore some of its faults at my current level of experience.

Next in the list is another game that I would have probably loved to bits back in the game but is famous for being a flawed gem; Saga Frontier. Initially, I was going to cancel this review since a "remastered" version of the game is being released on the Nintendo Switch. However, since the game is built for multiple playthroughs, and because the smoothed sprites look bad on the remastered version, I am going forward with playing this game.

Stay Tuned
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Post by M99 Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:30 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMloaJIPm1k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_3fndPnBmQ
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Post by Firenze Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:04 pm

I didnt play any LiS post the first game but that trailer looks good, I'm in
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Post by Myesyats Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:08 pm

To me LiS is Max, Chloe and nothing else although this trailer does seem interesting. More excited for the direct sequel to the 1st game though
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Post by Lord Spencer Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:53 am

#61(A)

Game: SaGa Frontier.
Year: 1997, 1998.
Genre: JRPG.
Publisher: Squaresoft, Sony.
Developer: Squaresoft.

General Games Discussion - Page 40 266655-saga-frontier-playstation-front-cover

Despite routinely selling and scoring less than average for a Squaresoft JRPG, the SaGa series continued to be developed by the company since its inception as the second Final Fantasy games. That must mean that the series has some really dedicated fans.

That's the only explanation why SaGa Frontier, a game that is incomplete in many ways, opaque in others, and generally deficient in structure, is so loved by many.

Honestly, when the game clicks, I can see something close to greatness here. However, that moment is often hidden in a cloud of anxiety and frustration that encompasses most of the game.

"Our kingdom does not need two incomplete magicians. We need a superior one. And that, we believe, is you"

The SaGa series is known for having a penchant for multiple protagonists and non-linear storytelling, and that doesn't change here. From the start, you have the choice of one out of seven main characters, and each has different stories to tell.

Ranging from Red's mostly linear story to the completely open tale of Lute, your narrative experience depends heavily on which character you choose first. Generally, it is recommended to go with the more linear stories first, since that teaches you about the various locations in the game.

In theory, this allows you to experience the world and character of SaGa Frontier from multiple angles. In practice, these are mostly cliched stories with no room to grow into anything interesting. Ironically, that may be less due to the writer's skills and more due to budget concerns.

You see, there were actually eight planned stories, but the eighth was cut due to budget concerns. However, that's not the only thing that was butchered in development. Two characters have stories that conclude suddenly, and Lute, the character who is supposed to tie everything together, has barely any narrative to speak-off.

Ultimately, each character's path boils down to collecting characters and doing the exact same sidequests as the rest. The only difference being the opening narrative, the main characters, and the opening chapters

"I don't want him to commit any more crimes. Even in his madness, I still consider him a friend"

While SaGa Frontier's lacking story may be augmented and developed through the layer's imagination, there is, unfortunately, no such player input regarding its opaque gameplay and progression mechanics.

Let's be clear, the combat in the game is excellent. There are a lot of skills, magic trees, and the five party members can do some spectacular combo moves in potentially challenging battles. However, getting into battle-worthy shape may be a little random and tricky.

Like any SaGa game, the game forgoes Levels and exp in exchange for random stat bonuses after battling, random acquiring of skill, and a significant need for grinding. Besides being an unpredictable progression system, the non-linear nature of the game creates a constant sense of unease at being underpowered in any given area.

As a result, it is rare for the player to match the power-level of the area, and combat ranges from absurdly easy to brutally unfair. This sometimes happens in the same area, where a brutal enemy casually appears within a set of normal foes just to clean you out.

The level of opaqueness is increased in this game with the addition of three other races, each of which progresses in a unique and equally mysterious way. For me, the only way to feels safe in the game was to grind like crazy, and with a group of 15 characters developing randomly, that's a hell of a lot of grinding.

"It was the only way to save your life. I had to make you a Hero"

Let's say you studied the complex growth mechanics and random nature of progression, and you mastered the game's excellent battle system and had the perfect level for each area of the game. At that point, you would be primed to get the best out of the game.

Here is where SaGa Frontier fails to live up to its premise.

While theoretically having seven different stories, each story tasks with nearly going through the same sidequests and dungeons. Of course, each playthrough is slightly different because of the large cast of potential supporting characters. However, these characters differ in small ways and bring very little change to the table.

More varying is the choice of Magic school you focus on in each playthrough, which opens up different quests. Yet, generally, in order to level-up enough to fight the final boss, you are recommended to go through all magic quests even if you are planning to focus on only a few.

I believe that the sense of first discovery and playing the game blindly is the best way to enjoy the game. Guides can simply spoil things and expose how shallow and predictable the game actually is. Instead, the player who is super-patient and willing to enjoy the game's opaque mechanics and sense of direction is the one who is going to get the most out of it.

"Ladies, this isn't a movie. It's the real thing"

Usually, I would sing unqualified praises for sprite visuals in most PS1 games, but that cannot be the case here. While it looks great at times, there are just too many weird visual choices in the game for me to ignore.

For instance, from a technical and visual perspective, the graphics in the latest SNES Romancing SaGa is significantly better. In contrast, the weird mushy sprites against the static 3D background is lacking. This is not the same block (but charming) nightmare that is Final Fantasy VII but it is not much better.

The closes game visually is Star Ocean 2 and that game looks much better. Although special credit should be given to the varied design of the game's many cities.

It's worth noting that the upgraded visuals in the upcoming Remastered version actually make things worse. The low res graphics add some much-needed charm (like a layer of vaseline) to graphics that would look ugly, inconsistent, and cheap if they were upgraded.

On the other hand, the game's soundtrack is very good as is expected from the Squaresoft sound team. Kenji Ito is not as famous or accomplished as other Square composers, but his energetic and modern jazzy tunes work well for the game.

Too bad I was being too stressed by the game to enjoy the music.

In Conclusion:

When the best way to enjoy a game is to power through the mysteries of its mechanics and the weaknesses of its direction, then that's not the mark of a great game. Yet many love that aspect about it.

True, SaGa Frontier is widely ambitious in its world design and scope, but that ambition has clearly taxed the developers greatly, with much missing content and haphazardly designed quests.

On top of all of that, the game carries the same unpredictable curse that is the SaGa growth system, which to me, simply subtracts from any game that features it.

Final: 5/10

Pros:

  • Very good battle system when it clicks
  • Variety of characters and paths
  • Very good music


Cons:

  • Game is unfinished
  • The usual random growth style of the SaGa series
  • Lack of direction in both story and gameplay
  • Multiple significant difficulty spikes
  • Need for a lot of grinding


"Tips"
1-Pick Red's quest first.
2-Developing monsters can be a gamble.
3-Consult a mechanics guide to figure some things out.


"Next Game"

At this stage, I should be extremely confident that I simply cannot appreciate the chaoticially weird style and mechanics of the SaGa series. After all, I was more stressed playing SaGa Frontier than relaxed.

Yet, perhaps due to some hidden masochistic desire in me, I will try to play the sequel, which is considered to have fixed much of the first game's flaws. However, I am not going to spend much time with it if I find it as stressful as the first. In that case, I am moving back to reviewing the main PS1 Reviews list, going back to Klonea at number 68.

Stay Tuned
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Post by M99 Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:31 am

Finished Doom Eternal and the Ancient Gods DLC (bought the Deluxe edition back in Black Friday).

I think Mole mentioned before how good the gameplay loop is. This is probably my favorite single player FPS of this gen. The gameplay is incredible. Negative points for how lore heavy the story got, it was unneeded imo. Doom 2016 story was basically some lore but it boiled down to "f it kill everything" which worked perfectly. Also could have done without the platforming. Other than that, this was everything a sequel should be. It is a massive improvement on its predecessor. Sometimes though it gets cheaply difficult, especially in the DLC. And the final boss in the campaign is pretty tedious.

Playing FF7R now which was free on PS+. Loving it.

Also before Doom I played 13 Sentinels. I imagine Jay and Vendetta will really enjoy it. Its half visual novel and half RTS. The narrative is something special. You expect the story to be an anime stereotype but it really surprises you and upends expectations. A very complex and well-told story.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:54 pm

I did yeah, the gameplay loop is probably the best I've ever experienced in not just a shooter but in gaming.

I haven't played the DLC, should i?
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Post by M99 Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:18 pm

If you're into the story then definitely. Its not a side story or anything, its a direct continuation/sequel.

If you disliked the difficulty spike of the last missions then don't get it. The difficulty is ramped up by a lot compared to the main campaign endgame.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:09 pm

It was fine i felt like, the last boss was tedious as you say tho.
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Post by Warrior Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:38 pm

@M99 wrote:
Playing FF7R now which was free on PS+. Loving it.


Same

I am at chapter 14. So far i have only good things to say, the gameplay is perfect, the scenario is touching, the scenery is superb. Seems an easy platinum although it needs a complete second playthrough.
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Post by M99 Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:24 am

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:It was fine i felt like, the last boss was tedious as you say tho.


The final bosses of the DLC can get annoying but thankfully they have generous checkpoints. Its split up by phases unlike the main campaign boss. The Slayer Gates in the DLC are brutal but I really enjoyed them. Every enemy pretty much can be killed easily with the right strategy. Once you figure all of them out the game really isn't that hard. Mind you I play at Normal Laughing Can imagine its different at the harder difficulties.

@Warrior wrote:
@M99 wrote:
Playing FF7R now which was free on PS+. Loving it.


Same

I am at chapter 14. So far i have only good things to say, the gameplay is perfect, the scenario is touching, the scenery is superb. Seems an easy platinum although it needs a complete second playthrough.


Chapter 11 and I have similar sentiments. They did a superb job with Midgar and all the depth they are giving to the characters. Gameplay is good too. Its hard and strategic enough that you can't just button mash your way to victory and right now I am constantly needing to use items and switch up materia to win battles.
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Post by Warrior Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:00 am

Very recently i got comfortable with my "builds" and i can experiment with materia (by that i mean develop them) before i was constantly healing/reviving myself and i could only use elemental attacks

Maximum fury was the real game changer, you can get it chap.13
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Post by rincon Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:43 am

@M99 wrote:
@Warrior wrote:
@M99 wrote:
Playing FF7R now which was free on PS+. Loving it.


Same

I am at chapter 14. So far i have only good things to say, the gameplay is perfect, the scenario is touching, the scenery is superb. Seems an easy platinum although it needs a complete second playthrough.


Chapter 11 and I have similar sentiments. They did a superb job with Midgar and all the depth they are giving to the characters. Gameplay is good too. Its hard and strategic enough that you can't just button mash your way to victory and right now I am constantly needing to use items and switch up materia to win battles.

Same sentiments. Midgar was even some of the least favorite part of FF7, and never cared much for the Avalanche crew. Remake changed this totally, Biggs, Wedge, Jessie and co. are great and the main party is done justice, or maybe even improved, compared to the original up to this point of the story. I'm waiting to replay it when I am finally able to get a PS5 and the upgrade/DLC comes out (which one will come first?). I'm hoping that the save files transfer from ps4 to ps5, havent looked into it, so that I can play in hard mode.

Hard mode makes the gameplay even better by disabling items. You have to get really creative with materia and really tight with your movements. It's the best combination of turn based ATB with action gameplay I've seen. I would hope that future final fantasies build on this gameplay instead of reinventing too much.
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Post by Warrior Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:32 pm

Btw i got the platinum for Cyberpunk Laughing was a long grind but it gets very easy at some point

Once free DLCs come out i play the new game + or whatever is offered. My curiosity is mostly about what the 6th skill tree is ?? Just hope my saves are still there
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Post by M99 Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:54 pm

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-09/sony-s-obsession-with-blockbusters-is-stirring-unrest-within-playstation-empire

- The Last Of Us remake in development
- New Uncharted in development
- Days Gone 2 not happening

This shit is wild, Sony is getting complacent. They were gonna do a UC1 remake and then switched to TLOU because its easier...
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Post by RealGunner Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:59 pm

why the need at all? PS4 remaster can easily be scaled and textured to ps5 lol. They really are getting complacent after PS4's success

New uncharted was never in doubt. But i won't be surprised if it's based on Nathan's daughter with Nathan playing the Sam role.

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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:40 pm

I don't think complacency is the word, it definitely seems devoid of leadership or planning tho.

It's very worrying to me, some of the best PS4 games weren't big massive blockbusters even if they had them too.
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Post by Harmonica Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:56 am

PC RDR2 true price still at 40€ (on sale), I guess people are still buying it, will probably pick it after it drops below 30€. Flight Simulator also still selling at 70€, but I don't think that will drop anytime soon. Only two games I would currently like to get.
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Post by Lord Spencer Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:10 pm

#61(S)(A)

Game: SaGa Frontier 2.
Year: 1999, 2000.
Genre: JRPG.
Publisher: Squaresoft.
Developer: Squaresoft.

General Games Discussion - Page 40 266660-saga-frontier-2-playstation-front-cover

Seeing the recent remaster of SaGa Frontier anyone might think that it's obviously both a better game and a more regarded title. That can also seem the case if you consider the vast amount of love for the first game compared to a relative indifference to the second.

Having played both, I can see why the first game may have more of a cult following. It's an uneven and poorly designed game, but it had a lot of ambition (that I think it failed to even remotely meet).

In contrast, SaGa Frontier 2 is a significant departure that tones down the most ambitious and non-linear aspects of the first game but offers a tighter and better-designed experience. In my opinion, it is the far superior game and is unfortunately forgotten to some degree compared to other Square games.

"I shall bestow upon you my name, and the name of my ancestors: Gustave. Become a great man. A man who will not disgrace our name"

The world of SaGa Frontier 2 is a fantasy realm that is loosely inspired by late-medieval Europe but with some clear magical elements called "Animas". In this world, every "natural" thing has its own Anima, humans included, which allows the casting of magic. Tools are created to better harness the Anima, but there are also ancient artifacts with infinite Anima's, called Quells.

Not having the multiple storylines of the first game does not mean that SaGa Frontier 2 abandons the experimental storytelling that is typical for the SaGa franchise. Indeed, while the game nominally has two intertwining stories, they unravel over several scenarios that you can play in a loose order.

The first scenario involves the rise of Gustavw, a banished prince who has the rare distinction of not having any Anima in his body. This scenario covers not only the rise of Gustavw but also the entire political movements in the game's world.

The second scenario covers the more humble but traditional adventures of Wil Knights, a Digger who tries to find the magical Quells in ancient ruins. Wil eventually encounters a powerful sentient Quell called The Egg, which threatens the peace of the entire world.

Both scenarios are to through multiple chapters spanning nearly 100 years, and starring multiple protagonists. You can pick these chapters in any order as they are revealed in the chapter-selection map. However, I think the best way to experience the story is to try and do it chronologically, which means you end up jumping through the two main storylines often.

In theory, this approach allows the game to tell a deep and intriguing story through multiple perspectives. However, in practice, this means you spend less time with characters, and some are introduced suddenly and not allowed to have any depth. In fact, the entire middle of the game suffers from lacking the impetus of the beginning or the resolution of the end.

This is a darn shame because the story in SaGa Frontier 2 is otherwise would have been very good, but the way it is being told reduces the focus on the narrative and eventually brings the whole thing down a notch.

"Soon, many Animas will disappear from the face of the earth. They will desperately fight for themselves and their families. They believe that, if I gain the throne, those things that have been lost will not have been in vain"

Typically, the SaGa games are not known to depend on their narrative brilliance (which was significantly lacking in the first SaGa Frontier) and to depend more on their gameplay and weird leveling-up system.

It is then good to know that the Turn-Based battle system in SaGa Frontier 2 is really good. The many characters you control each have different weapons and magic specialties, which allows them to tap into a variety of special moves. These moves are either physical or magical in nature and use a different resource accordingly, which naturally recovers during the battle

The main twist in the battle system is the Life Points resource. At the beginning of each round, a character can consume one LP to fully recover their health. This means that a character with 10 LP points theoretically has 10 health bars to use in the course of a dungeon, and knowing when to use LP healing vs traditional healing is a key strategy.

A strategy that is required to win against the game's tougher enemies, which will task you to fully utilize the game's various systems. From LP healing to combining specials and using "roles" which give passive benefits.

For those apprehensive about the random nature of leveling up in SaGa games, rest assured that it is more uniform and much easier to do in this game, which has much fewer stats to worry about. In fact, I never felt under-leveled at any point in the game.

That is, I never felt under-leveled until the final dungeon which is GROSSLY unbalanced, introducing a nearly insurmountable difficulty spike that may require an extra five hours of grinding to overcome. Worse, you may lock yourself from an efficient grinding opportunity and risking extending that process for five more hours.


I'm the number one Digger in the world. I'm Tycoon William!!""

Besides the regular party battle mode, there are also a number of big strategic battles in key moments in the game as well as a duel battle mode.

The big battles are limited in number and only offer an occasional twist, but duel battles are much more frequent.

In duels, one party member faces against one enemy and they can choose a combination of four moves based on their equipment (it is worth noting that the elements of the equipment you wear unlock spell casting capabilities). Picking the correct sequence of equipment causes you to either use a special move you learned or learn a new special move provided you meet the rough level requirements. This makes dueling the best way to learn special moves (which are shared across all characters).

The relative ease of unlocking moves is a massive improvement over the other SaGa games and fixes some of the problems of the series.

Outside of battle, it is worth noting that many of the chapters are simple narrative "cut-scenes". However, some chapters (which can be created) simply give you access to cities in order to shop, which is a little bit more complicated than it seems.

You see, money is really scarce and it disappears when a protagonist is no longer use, but you can convert most of the tools you get to chips, which can then be converted to money. This is an overly convoluted system that also has some positive side effects (that I didn't discover), but it adds a layer of activity outside of battles.

"Be careful. Or then, you might be consumed by the power of the Quell..."

If there is one thing you have heard about SaGa Frontier 2 then it must be its amazing 2D graphics, because they are truly some of the best graphical work on the PS1.

While character design and sprite work is great and works well in establishing the game's style, it is without a doubt the hand-painted watercolor backgrounds that take the cake. These are some sublime backgrounds, and the way the characters seamlessly navigate through them makes for a truly beautiful game.

It gives the game a storybook style that is fresh and still looks great despite the time. Sure, there are some minor complaints. Enemy models are very few, and I wish the characters had portraits. Yet, that is not nearly enough to detract from the absolute majesty of the game's graphics.

A majesty that may not be fully matched by the music, but is actually perfectly complemented by it. This is one of Masashi Hamauzu's first soundtracks for Square, and in it, you can see the classical compositions and styles he is now famous for.

This can be seen in the German titles of the game's music, which is instrumentally very classical but also has some mysterious and fantastical elements in it as well. At times, you may feel that some tracks repeat a tad too often. However, I would say that those tracks repeat at points that generate the same feeling and that the music in the game is used as a narrative element very clearly.

In Conclusion:

Despite being a huge step-up from the disappointing SaGa Frontier, this game never fully escapes the trappings of the SaGa series. It has some clear narrative weaknesses due to its non-linear and experimental storytelling and it suffers from a particularly egregious end-game difficulty spike.

Yet, despite those flaws, SaGa Frontier 2 still emerges as a game I am mostly glad I played. The battle system is really fun when it clicks, and the narrative has some strong bones even if it is not fully fleshed out.

Mostly, I won't ever forget how the game looks, and I will be reminded of its every time I listen to the game's beautiful soundtrack. It's a fun storybook even if the final chapter nearly got me to chuck into the nearest blaze.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Very good battle system when it clicks
  • Excellent Graphics
  • Very good music
  • Ambitious and interesting story


Cons:

  • The experimental style doesn't flesh out the characters
  • An extremely bad difficulty spike at the end


"Tips"
1-Try and play the chapters chronologically.
2-At the end, make sure to have a safe save slot in case you want to grind at a safer location.
3-Convert your unwanted tools to Chips frequently.
4-After every chapter, check if the cities of Gruguel and Westsomething are available.
5-You can convert tools to chips in Gruguel.
6-You can fight the Megalith beast in Westsomething which helps unlock AOE specials.
7-There are some unbeatable enemies that you must flee from after surviving a couple of rounds.
8-Specialize your characters depending on their natural WP and SP points as well as their strongest weapons and elements.

"Next Game"

I am so glad I decided to play SaGa Frontier 2 despite my bad experience with the first game. It turned out to be a really fun game with some unique elements that I may not see in any other game now or in the future.

Going back to reviewing the regular Retro Sanctuary list, I don't expect Klonoa at #68 to be as unique of a game, but I hope I have a lot of fun playing it. Before that, I will first write a report about the 10 or so games I played in the Addendum list.

Stay Tuned
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General Games Discussion - Page 40 Empty Re: General Games Discussion

Post by M99 Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:04 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDlUtPTQEOk
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Post by Babun Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:05 am

@M99 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDlUtPTQEOk

Holy shit, they've taken the horror of 7 with the action gameplay from 4 and combined them cheers
I've played every single RE installment so far. This one is a must for me.
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Post by Firenze Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:34 pm

Nier Replicant this week. Not quite a remake, but more substantial than a remaster...with a lot of cut/new content apparently.

Haven't played a game since Cyberpunk so I'm looking forward to it. Not sold on Resident Evil Village, but I may play that...

honestly the only two games I'm interested in are Elden Ring (pls give new info soon) and Breath of the Wild 2, doesnt seem likely I'll be able to pick up a PS5 until 2022 with how things are ffs. But whatever, nothing on it I wanna play.

How's gaming going for the rest of you? Hard to believe E3 is less than 2 months away, digital only and no Sony but..still kinda interested.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:33 pm

Looking forward to Nier replicant too. Not sure when i'll get it though.

Other than that it's just Demons Soul and Elden Ring for PS5. Nothing else looks interesting tbh
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