General Games Discussion

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Post by danyjr Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:30 pm

Good man, thanks! Thumbs up

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Post by Lord Spencer Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:59 pm

#A55

Game: Brigandine: Grand Edition:-
Year: 1998, 2000.
Genre: Strategy & Tactical RPG.
Publisher: Hearty Robin, Atlus.
Developer: Hearty Robin.


General Games Discussion - Page 7 Brigandine-NTSC-PSX-FRONT

Brigandine is one of the few late 90's games that attempted to combine the Grand Strategy genre with Tactical RPGs. Oddly, all of those games, like Dragon Force on the Sega Saturn, feature a similar anime-inspired character design and story that recalled some of the classic medieval setting anime shows of the 80s.

That retro look at a time where "futuristic" and "realistic" trends were all the rage may have contributed to their relative obscurity, but their undoubted quality led to some of them being cult hits.

I am glad to say that Brigandine on the PS1, in all of its versions, certainly has the quality and pedigree to deserve its cult-favorite status. This is a really good game.

"Even if war covers the world. Even if all of Forseana burns to ash. I will fight on, fight on like a demon, I will rule it all"

The story is set in the continent of Fornesa, where a rebellion breaks out in the old Kingdom of Almekia, thrusting the entire continent into an all-out war between the six nations of the realm. With each nation having its own reasons to fight, unique characters, and perspectives, this means there are nominally six stories to choose from. From the ambitious unification quest of Norgard to the righteous revenge of New Almekia, each story promises to give a unique perspective on the war.

However, as should be expected with a game that straddles the Grand Strategy genre, the story takes a back seat to the gameplay most of the time. Since you have control over how your nation operates, this means that story beats you uncover happen at your own pace, and could be completely missed if certain mysterious conditions were not met.

In battles, characters with established relationships have unique opening dialogue that offers context for the war. Between battles, some scenes between key characters in your nation develop their personality as your quest advances, but these scenes could be missed entirely. Meanwhile, your army consists of several named knights, each with their own unique portrait and backstory, but limited interaction within the game itself.

Yet, I find this paucity of narrative to be more of an advantage than not. I find the story of Forsena's struggle and each character's motivation to be the canvas in which you paint your own story. Similar to the stories we craft for the historical figures we play as in a Romance of the Three Kingdoms or Total War game, Brigandine simply gives us the main ingredients to imagine an entirely unique narrative for the game that advances based on our actions.

That's not to say that the story that is there is lackluster. Not at all. Despite its scarcity, the main scenes and unique dialogue situation you uncover reveal an interesting cast of characters with their own morals and motivation for their battles. These are interesting stories that are sold really well by the excellent character designs and portraits, as well as the occasional anime cut-scenes.

However, the terrible voice acting does it no favors at all. Thankfully, that part is very brief.

"You misunderstand. I want to revive hope from the ashes"

The gameplay in Brigandine is divided into two main parts. The "Grand Strategy" section where you manage your towns and officers as well as direct your armies to attack or defend, and the "Tactical RPG" battles that take place when a battle actually starts. However, the game leans extremely heavily into the battles themselves, leaving the Grand Strategy elements to be more of a cosmetic than an essential element to the game.

So let's talk about the battles themselves first to explain the limitations of the Grand Strategy segments later.

These Tactical RPG battles are great, starting from their hexagonal design basis, which immediately offers more strategy than the typical square grid. At most, each side in the battle has three rune knights, each accompanied by a maximum of 6 monsters. The nature of these 21 units is key during and after the battle.

Rune Knights come in many different classes, which governs they utility in battle (offensive, supportive, defensive, magical, ranged, etc.) and their abilities to control monster unit through their Rune Power and Rune Range stats. These are the named members of your army, and they grow and develop with battle like any typical TRPG, with the ability to class upgrade or change as a result.

Depending on their Rune Power stat, these knights can be accompanied by a variety of monster units that comprise the majority of your forces. Monsters come in a variety of forms of varying Rune Power requirements. Dragons are more expensive than three ghouls for example. As such, the number of your forces may not be as important as the strength of each unit and their suitability in battle.

You mustn't treat your monsters as cannon fodder, as they permanently disappear when defeated. As such, battles become a strategic pull and push match where you try and defeat the enemy Rune Knights (thereby scattering their forces and potentially capturing some monsters) while keeping your army healthy and survivin. This I find very important, because losing monsters too often means your army will be significantly under-leveled at the end of the game.

With widely different maps, terrain structures, Rune Knight, and Monster options, there is a huge variety in the battles you can have. Ideally, this variety should sustain itself further as you utilize your vast and varied army. However, that would actually be a grave mistake. Ironically, it would be a mistake to use more than 9-11 Rune Knights in your conquests, as you will need consistent growth for that core as the enemy gets stronger with each cycle.

"A Utopia... could what starts in treason end in such a noble state"

Outside of battle, your options are limited to summoning more monsters for your armies, moving knights around towns, sending them for quests, and managing the "order" menu where you can equip characters and upgrade their classes.

As you can imagine from the way I described battles, the summoning aspect becomes moot later on since you need to avoid having to actually do it. Sending characters for quests is an automatic activity that may bring with it items you can equip, more monsters, or the occasional characters. Also, it could uncover some story scenes.

Consequently, the majority of your time on the map is simply reorganizing your army around border towns (all other towns don't need to even be occupied) as you plan your next attack. By the end of the game, I didn't have anything to do with my funds, and the map just became a semi-loading screen between my battles.

Oddly, this is not actually a disadvantage of the game as much as lost potential. In fact, it is probably better than a poorly implemented and overly complex Grand Strategy element. Yet, I feel like there were that could have made the game a bit better, like developing an economy or using the money to revive dead monsters.

As it is, the map of Forsena is another tool of self-narrative, where you imagine the story and strategic councils as you plan multiple attacks and continuously expand your territory.

"I swear, I will unite Forsena in peace soon. Perhaps when that day comes, you will sing again"

At the start of the review, I alluded to the game's 80s anime influence, and that's most apparent when you the still-image scenes depicting the game's characters. These still images look like pause screens from a famous Robin Hood anime of that era, and they do justice to the amazing character portrait art by Yoichi Kawade.

These portraits give real personality and depth to characters that otherwise may just have a few lines, and for the key characters, they fit their in-game personality and dialogue very well.

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, there are very few unique in-battle sprites. This is a shame, because the sprite work is really good in this game. Sprites are well-animated, and the variety of monsters each have their own unique sprites.

Elsewhere in the graphical department, expect some solid if unspectacular special effects with magic attacks and a functional and expressive map (both inside and outside of battle). This is a game that doesn't need to be graphically intensive, and the many still images we get convey a suitable image of the world.

The unspectacular trend continues with the game's music, which unfortunately follows the trend of TRPGs in having a low-key musical score. Sure, there are unique themes for each nation, but the music rarely commands center stage, which is typical of the genre.

In Conclusion:

With its interesting world and an array of characters and creatures, as well as its mix of Strategic and Tactical RPG gameplay, Brigandine offers a sandbox of sorts in which to play in. In this sandbox, you can focus on the limited but solid story of the game as you plan your conquest of Forsena, and you can imagine a parallel narrative that follows your own unique path of conquest.

Thanks to the very TRPG elements and the variety of monsters and characters, you can play the game multiple times with different natures, and I don't think it will ever be boring. Sure, the game may be lacking in certain production elements, and it has some unfulfilled potential. However, the ambition of what's there ensures that fans of the game won't forget it for a long time.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Very good character portraits
  • Strategic elements give you a lot of flexibility in how to play the game
  • A big variety of units that grow with battles
  • Excellent TRPG gameplay with hexagonal style maps


Cons:

  • The Strategic elements maybe should have more things to do
  • Some story segments are hidden behind mysterious conditions
  • Some basic production shortcomings such as few unique sprites and meddling music


"Tips"
1-If you are playing anything more difficult than easy, then just stick with a core rotation of 9-11 characters and their armies.
2-Focus on protecting your border towns by always leaving three officers in them (Even when attacking from those towns when there is another path).
3-Attacking a city from different directions can be very helpful.
4-Aquatic units are extremely helpful on water tiles.
5-Its best to stick together, but pay attention to casters with area-of-effect attacks.
6-Generally, it is best to kill all enemy units before attacking the Rune Knight, but go for the knight if in trouble.
7-Don't forget to equip both your characters and monster with the loot you get from battles and quests.
8-Send the reminder of your army to quests.
9-There is an elemental triangle to attacks. Red vs. Green vs. Blue.

"Next Game"

I enjoyed Brigandine very much. So much that I am buying its long-delayed sequel, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia on the Nintendo Switch.

The next game on my addendum review list is the twin set of King's Field games on the PS1, numbers 2 and 3. I have low expectations of how these early From Software games aged, and might even end up skipping actually reviewing them.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:05 am

Alan Wake Remastered Will Not Be Announced During This Week’s PlayStation Event – Rumor

https://wccftech.com/alan-wake-remastered-playstation-event/

EDIT: confirmed by Sam Lake
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Post by RealGunner Tue Sep 07, 2021 6:42 pm

Just happy it's coming to PS5. Always wanted to play it
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:26 pm

I loved it in back in the day.
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Post by RealGunner Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:27 pm

General Games Discussion - Page 7 E-twLCVWQAEbGNe?format=jpg&name=small

Finished Days gone.

3/4 of the story was great. Final 1/3 was so rushed. But overall i really enjoyed it. The characters (specially Deacon) was amazing.

This is why you should never listen to critics. They gave it a 5/10 when it's a solid 7 if not 8.

Shame there won't be a sequel
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Post by Firenze Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:50 pm

think there will eventually

it sold well
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Post by Arquitecto Tue Sep 07, 2021 11:59 pm

Never played Days Gone nor do I plan to but RG the game was criticised for its bugs and occasional lack of polish otherwise its potential and premise was huge. Likely development issues.

Glad to hear of Alan Wake. One of the most atmosphere games I have ever played and Remedy does that the best above anyone.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:23 am

Weird post tho.

Days Gone metacritic was 71, so in between the 7 and 8 you say it is.

Also the review Copy of Days Gone is a significantly worse game than what it is today.
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Post by Warrior Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:28 am

Congrats on the platinum
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Post by RealGunner Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:00 pm

@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Weird post tho.

Days Gone metacritic was 71, so in between the 7 and 8 you say it is.

Also the review Copy of Days Gone is a significantly worse game than what it is today.


I meant reviewers like IGN and Gamespot that gave it 5/10 or 6.5/10

But then apparently the game was quite bad when released?

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Post by RealGunner Wed Sep 08, 2021 8:01 pm

@Warrior wrote:Congrats on the platinum


one of the easiest considering the length and size of the game. No grind at all
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Post by Firenze Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:15 pm

havent played a tales game since 2010 but think I'm gonna get this

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Post by M99 Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:59 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-RfE-ioJ8
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:18 am

@RealGunner wrote:
@Great Leader Sprucenuce wrote:Weird post tho.

Days Gone metacritic was 71, so in between the 7 and 8 you say it is.

Also the review Copy of Days Gone is a significantly worse game than what it is today.


I meant reviewers like IGN and Gamespot that gave it 5/10 or 6.5/10

But then apparently the game was quite bad when released?



Not so much release, but the version Reviewers was given apparently ran like shit.

The launch version was apparently much better.
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Post by Harmonica Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:24 pm

@M99 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-RfE-ioJ8
Been reading that this will get the Disney woke treatment too. How lovely that ruining only movies wasn't enough. Mad

Alan Wake remaster comparison at least is one of the better efforts.
General Games Discussion - Page 7 GLyQCb3
General Games Discussion - Page 7 8FnMuNz
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Post by danyjr Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:03 pm

Surprised nobody has talked about Deathloop yet.

Personally really enjoyed the Dishonored series from the same studio (Arkane). The setting, the artwork, the level design were very fresh and exciting. Clockwork Mansion level design was perhaps my favourite design of all time. I enjoyed Prey less, perhaps due to the setting.

Still don't quite know what Deathloop is about but the reviews have been great. Pre-ordered.

Eurogamer: Essential
IGN: 10/10
GameSpot: 8/10
PC Gamer: 89
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Post by M99 Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:58 am

@Harmonica wrote:
@M99 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-RfE-ioJ8
Been reading that this will get the Disney woke treatment too. How lovely that ruining only movies wasn't enough. Mad


Bet you read that in some incel cesspool. Out with that shit.

@danyjr wrote:Surprised nobody has talked about Deathloop yet.

Personally really enjoyed the Dishonored series from the same studio (Arkane). The setting, the artwork, the level design were very fresh and exciting. Clockwork Mansion level design was perhaps my favourite design of all time. I enjoyed Prey less, perhaps due to the setting.

Still don't quite know what Deathloop is about but the reviews have been great. Pre-ordered.

Eurogamer: Essential
IGN: 10/10
GameSpot: 8/10
PC Gamer: 89


https://opencritic.com/game/10993/deathloop

Yeah, great reviews. Arkane really are great devs. Redfall looks good too.
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Post by Harmonica Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:33 am

@M99 wrote:
@Harmonica wrote:
@M99 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-RfE-ioJ8
Been reading that this will get the Disney woke treatment too. How lovely that ruining only movies wasn't enough. Mad


Bet you read that in some incel cesspool. Out with that shit.
https://cosmicbook.news/star-wars-woke-knights-republic-remake
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Post by Lord Awesome Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:34 pm

@Firenze wrote:havent played a tales game since 2010 but think I'm gonna get this


Last one I played was Vesperia and it was so good I ended up buying a used copy for the Switch. Before I get to Arise Im gonna play all the others I missed out on
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Post by Harmonica Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:33 pm

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Post by danyjr Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:53 pm

Was let down by Elex's combat and controls. Never really 'got' it.
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Post by Harmonica Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:00 pm

I only disliked melee, and combat stun lock, everything else was pretty much on point, like weapon combat, story, guests etc. Exploration and the verticalness of it is still pretty much unparralled in sandbox rpg's. FO4 is another good example.

It's pb game so it's day one for me, but I hope they removed the combat stun lock.
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Post by Lord Spencer Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:27 pm

#A53(S)

Game: Mega Man Legends:-
Year: 1997, 1998.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.


General Games Discussion - Page 7 7113-mega-man-legends-playstation-front-cover

I think it's weird how much people like Mega Man Legends. Objectively, I don't think it excels in any one thing that it does. It has charming graphics that are terribly constrained by technical limitations. A well-realized world that is absurdly small in scope. Good gameplay ideas that become repetitive and boring on closer scrutiny.

Yet, it combines all these partially flawed systems into a passionate package that manages to charm despite itself. It manages to evoke some special feeling that I think stuck with fans of the game since its release, and grew with its sequel and the unrealized hopes of a third game.

Mega Man Legends managed to become a truly legendary game.

"The Mother Lode--a treasure so great that if it were discovered, it would provide so much power that the world will never fear running out of energy"

Other than the name of its protagonist, there is nothing in Mega Man Legends that remotely suggests a connection to the series at large. Instead, it takes place in an entirely new world that appears to be a vague post-apocalypse of sorts. The earth was flooded at large, and civilizations thrived in pockets of islands in a vast ocean and supported themselves by digging for "ancient" technology. In that world, Mega Man is part of a family unit of diggers comprised of Roll and her grandfather as well as a cute pet robot monkey.

The set-up is unique, and creates a world that is slightly reminiscent of Studio Ghibli films (especially the early Future Boy Conan anime). However, that only works because of the delightful characters which come to life with great animations and some surprisingly competent voice acting. Seriously, it is surprising how much better the VA here is than the legendary bad lines in the Mega Man 8 cut scenes.

At the start of the game, Mega Man and crew crash land into Kattlelox island, a large settlement with a lot of mysterious ruins underground. As they attempt to fix their airship, the island comes under attack by a group of lovable pirates, the Bonne family, who try and discover and steal the island's treasure.

Mega Man's frequent run-ins with the Bonnes and his attempt to uncover the potentially disastrous secret of the island constitutes the rest of the game. Meanwhile, you can get to know the residents of Kattelox and help them with their various problems.

Although the game's final twist does give it interesting lore, Mega Man Legends is all about the feeling of being in a Saturday night's cartoon main hero. The Bonnes are a classicly "evil" pirate family with charming characters, over-the-top acting, and motives, and a weird knack for surviving the explosions and always coming back with bigger and badder robots. In that comedic conflict, Mega Man builds his reputation as a hero for the town.

Obviously, this was the intro to a bigger narrative, and it builds the character of Mega Man and the supporting cast to a great degree.

"There are a lot of stories about the treasure, but no one knows exactly what it is"

With its transition into 3D, I am sure it wasn't immediately obvious how the core Mega Man formula and experience can be effectively translated into 3D space. Maybe Capcom has tried many things before simply coming with something drastically different.

Basically, this is an Action-Adventure game that even predates Ocarina of Time, with dungeons replacing the typical stages in a Mega Man game, and a sort of 3rd Person Shooting action as the core gameplay mechanic.

Mega Man can move around and shoot his buster gun, and can stop and lock on for better accuracy and to hit flying enemies. It's not very smooth in the first Mega Man Legends game, but the kernel of a good thing does exist here.

The main detractor is that enemies simply rush into you too fast, which makes the only viable and best tactic to deal with them is to strafe around them while rotating the camera. This move is the main one you need to learn, and you will need to use it for most fights in the game.

Other than the buster cannon, there are a lot of other sub-weapons that you can use. However, you can only swap between them outside of a dungeon, and using them costs energy that cannot be recouped inside. This significantly reduced my desire to use them, nor did I ever feel compelled to do so for anything except bosses.

As for the dungeons themselves, they are uninspired in their construction, and a poor replacement for the iconic and challenging stages of the past 2D games. With the concept of digging, you would expect more labyrinthian designs and/or puzzles, but the focus is mostly on light confrontations and getting three key items in each dungeon.

"I will use my ultimate digging machine, the Marlwolf, to dig up the treasure myself, and I won't let a little blue boy get in my way either"

Although the main gameplay segments of the game are not really engaging, Mega Man Legends wisely shakes things up with the Bonne family confrontations and bosses. The Bonne family fights are presented as "missions" and they frequently have a unique hook to them and some kind of time limit.

For example, one mission has you protect the government building from their robot tanks, while another is a battle in lack. These showcase a different side to the gameplay, that while not mechanically great, is varied and fun in its execution.

The variety in mission is not matched by the boss fights, which are exciting with how big they are, but you will still deal with all of them the same way, strafing around and shooting until they explode. Admittedly, that's still fun to do with the big bosses, especially since these are the best fights in the game.

Outside of battle, there are some light RPG mechanics and a number of sidequests and mini-games to play. The RPG elements come in the form of upgrades you can buy and install to your buster, or upgrading the sub-weapons with the money you get from enemies. Upgrading all weapons can be extremely expensive, so it is recommended to only upgrade what you are going to use.

One interesting thing is that stuff you find in dungeons can be used to make more sub-weapons and even some key equipment. For instance, you get a helmet that improves your defense, and a skating shoe that makes it a breeze walking around town.

Speaking of the town, this is a well-realized place with a lot of character and side-quests that remind me of a lower-stakes Majora's Mask town. It's fun talking to everyone around, and there are some side quests and fun mini-games you can take part in.

However, a major issue with some of the sidequests is that they are dependant on the passing of real in-game time, which frankly meant I didn't do all of them. This is a shame, because the ones that I did added to my experience despite their simplicity.

"He'll see, it will be the Bonnes who get the last laugh in this game"

The Mega Man series is known for its great graphical design, which culminated with the excellent sprite work of the Mega Man X series. Naturally, the fledgling scene of 3D art could never compete with the absolute mastery that Capcom had with 2D sprites, but the artists had a solid background to work from. This was most apparent in the design of the various Robot enemies, the Bonne family, and the game's own minion-like Servebots.

It resulted in crafting a charing and memorable world that pops despite low polygon count and its blocky edges. Taking a more colorful style than the X series, Mega Man Legends goes full throttle with the Saturday Night cartoon look that hides the limitations of the hardware. Sure, there are clearly some graphical hiccups here and there, but the end result is something that is playable and nice despite its age.

Like many early 3D games, it looks especially good in motion, both inside and outside of cut-scenes, which is due to the good animations which even extend to typical anime-like facial expressions.

Unfortunately, I don't think the music approached the level we are used to with this series, and this is most apparent in the dungeons. Mega Man stages have great stage music that ranges from action-packed and blood-pumping to mystical and atmospheric. Here, with the exception of the last dungeon in the game, it's just a constant mysterious droning noise.

Ironically, I don't think that's due to the soundtrack itself though as much as the sound direction. Simply put, music is not well-utilized in the game.

Other than the music, the voice acting is really good as I discussed above. In fact, it complements the in-scene acting really well, which was actually made using motion-capture.

In Conclusion:

With its charming world and characters and a story that looks like it is directly pulled from the classic cartoons of the past, it was inevitable that the game would make some people fall in love with it. It is a seriously charming game with lots of things to like.

However, I cannot but wonder if perhaps there should have been more substance to the game, especially when it came to its limited dungeons and the repetitive combat. Also, while the story was charming enough, you feel like they shouldn't have kept the stakes so low until the very end and maybe should have explored the mystery of the world a bit more.

I think these faults ultimately keep the game from being a true great like it aspires to be, but I am hopeful that its sequel ironed some of those issues out, because I already love the game despite its flaws.

Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • Charming world and characters
  • A unique feeling that is difficult to explain
  • Just like a Saturday-night cartoon


Cons:

  • Not a very good use of music
  • The combat gets repetitive after a while
  • Simple dungeons and stages


"Tips"
1-Learn the strafing shooting method (run around while rotating the camera and shooting).
2-Look inside holes on walls to find stuff, they are obvious.
3-Upgrade the sub-weapons you want to use first.
4-Play and win the mini-games to get stuff.
5-Look inside trash cans and boxes.
6-Learn how to use the terrible lock-on system.
7-Sub-weapons can be very useful.
8-The big brown walls can only be destroyed by an end-game drill sub-weapon.
9-Learn the strafing shooting method.

"Next Game"

After strafing and shooting my way through Mega Man Legends, I think I can clearly see how the second game improved on it in many ways, but I still managed to love this game nonetheless.

The next game on my review list will Mega Man Legends 2, where I will finally beat this game after losing my save when the game was first released. My guess is that it will just make me wish for a Mega Man Legends 3 game even more than I already do.

Stay Tuned
Lord Spencer
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General Games Discussion - Page 7 Empty Re: General Games Discussion

Post by Babun Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:49 pm

@Lord Spencer
I don't whether you reviewed Dino Crisis 1 & 2. They're some awesome games on PS1.

@ALL
There is a new psx emulator which is VERY accurate and user friendly. It's called Duckstation. epsxe totally fades in comparison.
Babun
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