General Games Discussion

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Post by rincon Mon Mar 06, 2023 9:46 am

So far, PS5 gaming has been incredible.

Just finished God of War Ragnarok last weekend. It's a ridiculously high quality game, the level of production is something else. I will plat it soon, its massive yet always engaging. The way it wraps up the story is an achievement. 10/10.

Back in December I also finally finished Elden Ring. What else can be said about it. Best FromSoftware game, best Souls game, best use of an open world in years. One of the best games of all time. 10/10.

Neither are perfect, but who cares, nothing is, its gaming at its best.

Those two plus Horizon FW and Returnal have made the PS5 great for me. Now I will probably take a break and then play Hogwarts Legacy while waiting for FFXVI.

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Post by Thimmy Mon Mar 06, 2023 11:04 am

Did you already purchase Hogwarts Legacy? The most positively reviewed, non-niche, PS5 game that's come out recently is Octopath Traveler 2. I'll probably start on Like a Dragon: Ishin soon. It's been a while since I've played a Yakuza game Smile
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Post by rincon Mon Mar 06, 2023 12:31 pm

I got Hogwarts Leagcy at launch so my gf could play it. She is loving it. I'll jump on it at some point. I still have to play Octopath 1, I got it 3 months ago but it didn't click so far. It doesn't help that I had Elden Ring and GoW. Given that I've liked Bravely Default 2 and Triangle Strategy, Octopath seemed like a given for me, but I'm not completely sold yet. I hear 2 fixed some of the issues of the first one. This HD2D style of Square is amazing though, would love more games to use it.

Yakuza seems to be doing better than ever which is cool even if they haven't appealed to me. Like a Dragon, and I shin are the two that have tempted me the most.
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Post by Warrior Mon Mar 06, 2023 3:17 pm

Guys what is your PSN IDs ??

Not necessarily looking for co-op since i have a long list of solo games to finish but would be fun to have some GL posters on the friendlist
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Post by Harmonica Tue Mar 07, 2023 8:16 am

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Post by Warrior Tue Mar 07, 2023 2:37 pm

Bloodborne available until may 9th

Is it preferable to play other "souls" games before getting into it ?? Not familiar at all with this type of game.
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Post by Firenze Wed Mar 08, 2023 9:33 pm

no its very different to any of the other games, lot more faster, rewards aggression, if anything playing those first would give u the wrong expectations

speaking of souls games, im very hyped for a PC game releasing friday called bleak faith forsaken...but there are a lot of red flags, review embargo is up tomorrow

its a souls like with strong inspirations from some manga I like

but here's the red flags...two developers, from Montenegro...been in development for like 5 years but I can't imagine a game with 2 developers will live up to any hype

the atmosphere looks incredible, but another red flag is that most of the footage we have is from like 12 months ago

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Post by Warrior Thu Mar 09, 2023 1:25 am

I started last night, went quite far into the city and eventually circled back to where i started from without being able to save Laughing will really dive into during the week end probably

A bit confusing at first since there is no indication of what to do, where to go and how to level up. It shares similarities with Nioh (i was not aware when i wrote my post) i will die less in Bloodborne i think, the gameplay is not too difficult so far.
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Post by Harmonica Thu Mar 09, 2023 7:37 am

Aaand, it's delayed to 6.9.23 (until delayed to holiday season)

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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:37 pm

#R1

Game: The Granstream Saga-
Year: 1997, 1998.
Genre: Action Adventure
Publisher: Sony, THQ
Developer: Shade


General Games Discussion - Page 17 220px-The_Granstream_Saga_Coverart

Quintet was a legendary under-the-radar developer in the days of the SNES, responsible for making games such as ActRaiser and the brilliant Heaven and Earth Trilogy (Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma. The fact that this brilliant developer is no longer active today points to a surprising decline, and that decline, unfortunately, started with The Granstream Saga.

From a conceptual level, this is a game that made sense, with an interesting story and setting and an intriguing real-time Action combat system. Developing a game for a new and exciting system, Quintet rebranded into Shade, and decided to make a game that takes advantage of the 3D capabilities of the hardware.

Yet, the game fails to be as snappy and satisfying as the developer's early SNES titles, and you can see how the uninspiring polygonal graphics conspired to add tedium to what should have been an exciting gameplay system, eventually creating a tedious game.

"Without the new Wisemen, the lands are beginning to slowly sink into the sea. Once again, an entire civilization is threatened with extinction"

From the opening anime cut-scene, which is a tool that this game uses extensively and effectively, it is clear that the game is set in an interesting world. A past conflict between various nations and a suspicious Empire lead to the world nearly being completely annihilated.

What remained of the world were a few small floating "continents" are kept from sinking into the sea by a line of "Wise Men" that elevated the landmasses upwards in the first place. In this world, where the contents are constantly shrinking (being intentionally cut by mages) to keep them from sinking, you can imagine the repair of the population.

An extremely interesting showcase of the complex world-building in this game can be seen in the continent of Volcos where an active volcano (how it operates when it's not linked to the magma at the center of the planet is never explained) is in the middle of it. This led to the creation of the ministry of balance, which ensures that the weight on both sides of the continent is the same so that neither side tips causing the volcano to erupt into it.

In this dying world, Eon is thrust as a chosen hero who can summon the memories of the past through a special bracelet to save the lands from sinking into the sea. In his quest, he is joined by two archetypical Anime ladies who help along the way while the remnants of the Empire are hell-bent on pursuing power for its own sake.

Besides its interesting setting, the narrative is not far from the usual anime cliches, even somehow shoehorning a "shower scene" for that tried-and-true Tsundre female characterization. However, this was at a time when dialogue and story were still being figured out and are frankly rather effective here.

Unfortunately, it's inconsistent in many ways due to poor dialogue writing and some odd scene direction. While the anime scenes are competently voice-acted, the in-game dialogue scenes are not, which is expected. However, there is an inconsistent use of character portraits, which could convey emotions much better than the game's primitive polygonal faces could ever do.

"As the lands continue to sink to their doom, the struggle for more power goes on..."

Two things you will immediately notice about this game. First, it is a top-down Action game in the same style as most of Quintet's SNES games, and the second is that you cannot change the awful view angle the developers perplexingly chose for the game. It's obvious that the team was more comfortable with the handcrafted artistry of sprites than the "freedom" that polygons game them.

As such, I was happy when I realized that game's main gameplay mechanic jumps into a completely different perspective. When you touch enemies in the dungeon, you zoom into a one-on-one battle with that enemy in the arena with a much better camera angle.

In battle, you try to strafe around the enemy, looking for an opening to attack. Utilizing guards and quick steps, you alternated between attack and defense in real-time action battles against a variety of cool enemies.

At least, that's what I imagine the concept was, which is completely undermined in reality by a few poor design choices.

First, there is a shortage of enemy designs and patterns that ensure that battles become repetitive before long. Second, is the lack of offensive choices for the player to engage with and customize, which eventually means you will try and avoid most fights.

Hence, the gameplay consists of running through boring dungeons viewed from an unattractive angle, trying to avoid fighting as many enemies as possible, so that you get from point A to B in the story until you hit the more exciting boss battle. If the game is been better served by a fast-forward button in a YouTube video, then it's not really fun to play.

That's, unfortunately, going to be the enduring sentiment of most players with this game. A creeping tedium permeates through the act of playing this game, obliterating any promise the game's plot or setting could ever have.

"Journeys are about meeting new and parting old... It is a cycle like the waves"

Yet, even if a game is boring to play, its visual and audio strength when coupled with a good story could still power players through it, but that's alas not the case here. In fact, I would argue, is that the game's poor use of polygonal graphics is the root cause of all its issues.

In the past, Quintent crafted interesting worlds coupled with snappy and exciting gameplay in their sprite-filled SNES worlds. It is my suspicion that they simply did not know how to do that on the PS1's hardware. From the choice of camera angle to the featureless character faces, the limitations of polygonal graphics were clear to see.

What's less clear is how it affected the gameplay. I imagine that the time spent to make sure it worked at all cut into the design of interesting dungeons and enemies to fight, which completely wasted the game's unique combat system and the developer's past in creating great levels.

So, we are left with a game world that betrays the imagination of its storytellers and its great anime cutscenes, where blank faces try to emote instead of the lovely character portraits, and you can only sigh at what could have been made on the SNES instead.

One thing that couldn't have been done on the SNES was the limited voice acting and orchestral score in the anime scenes, which were really good. Even better is the game's soundtrack, which is made by the same composers that made the soundtrack for Terranigma .

It's made in the same style as the developer's earlier work, with an excellent fusion of instruments and styles that creates a mystical and distinct cultural flavor to the game. That's evident in both town themes such as "Pixim (Pixim Town – Troubled)" theme or dungeon themes like "Shrine (Inside Kilia Shrine)".

In Conclusion:

Despite their critical success, none of Quintet's previous games were seriously successful. This may have been a precursor to difficulties in the company that both caused them to rebrand to Shade, and then fail to succeed with their first game on the PS1.

While The Granstrea Saga clearly has the fingerprints of Quintet's past titles in its story, setting, and music, it lacked the finesse that made them so fun to play, I blame that massively on the jump to 3D polygonal graphics which affected every facet of the game's design.

Overall, it's a shame that Quintet's final original game went out with a thud.

Final: 5/10

Pros:

  • Great Worl Setting
  • Nice use of anime cut-scenes
  • Interesting cast of characters despite the cliches
  • A unique real-time Action combat system
  • Great soundtrack



Cons:

  • Inconsistent use of character portraits
  • Battles become stale fast
  • Extremely boring dungeon design
  • Little incentive not to simply run through a dungeon instead of playing it
  • Terrible camera angle for the majority of the game
  • Ugly and blank polygonal world


"Tips"
1- When beating an enemy you get a colored "chest" that you can not open. This "chest" gets stronger if you beat other enemies in sequence without getting hit.
2- The increase in reward is useless unless you are a completionist, and you shouldn't be a completionist for this game.
3- Hold the R button to do quick steps, or double tap the directional buttons.
4- The sword is usually the most useful weapon.
5- Explore jars and barrels to find useful items.
6- Talk to everyone in town.
7- Interact with weird things in the environment.


"Next Game"

As a huge fan of Quintet's SNES games, I really hoped that The Granstream Saga did not deserve its mediocre reputation. Alas, it really did deserve that reputation, and it was clear that it is part of the reason that Quintet disappeared later (equally possible, Quintet's own problems could have been the cause of this game's problems as well).

I am going back to the regular Top 100 PS1 games list with a review of Syphon Filter 2, which sits at number 36 in Retro Sanctuary's list. However, I am going to first review the first Syphon Filter game first.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Vibe Fri Mar 17, 2023 6:51 pm

Where is the original Spencer review thread? This gold is going to get lost here.
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Post by Warrior Fri Mar 17, 2023 9:07 pm

Probably it's stuck between 2 crypto NFT spam threads Thumbs up
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Post by Lord Spencer Sat Apr 08, 2023 11:11 pm

Vibe wrote:Where is the original Spencer review thread? This gold is going to get lost here.


I have everything backed up thankfully.
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Post by Lord Spencer Sat Apr 08, 2023 11:11 pm

#36 (S1)

Game: Syphon Filter:-
Year: 1999.
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth
Publisher: 989 Studios
Developer: Eidetic


General Games Discussion - Page 17 3894623-syphon-filter-playstation-front-cover

Games like Metal Gear Solid showcased the development in gameplay and storytelling that was possible on the PS1, and many aspiring developers raced to follow its example. Several attempts failed at providing a compelling narrative, compelling gameplay, or both.

Syphon Filter is one of the few games that succeeded in that regard, offering a solid story within an innovative and fun game. Despite its polygonal graphics and early 3rd Person mechanics showing their age, the first game in the series is still fun to play.

"Imagine a weapon that can target specific demographics, ethnic groups. It can wipe out whole continents, except those chosen to survive"

Set like a typical Bond movie, Syphon Filter starts with a cut scene in a Costa Rican jungle, where special agent Gabriel Logan and his partner Lian Xi uncover a viral attack plan by the terrorist mastermind Erich Roamer. The plot of the game is to discover the full details of Roamer's plan and eventually stop it.

It's a solid spy-thriller with the requisite number of betrayals, action set-pieces, countdown segments, and infiltration of bases in foreign lands. With solid voice acting by the main characters, the story is not a throwaway and is in fact one of the game's strengths. Another strength is the direction of the game's cut scenes, which wears its Bond influence on its sleeve.

One thing worth noting is the variety of mission structures and locations in the game. The first mission is set in Washington D.C. where Logan attempts to diffuse a bomb threat in a Subway station and ends up chasing the villains all the way to the Capitol building. Another has him wear a Tuxedo and infiltrate a private museum of a pharmaceutical company.

Even in areas where the game has some awkward voice acting or the odd boring mission location, it is still easy to forgive the game thanks to its ambitions and the very good things it has going.

"We do what it takes Logan. All of us..."

An interesting story doesn't make for a compelling game, and interesting mission locations wouldn't work without interesting gameplay to back it up, which is thankfully mostly the case in Syphon Filter. While it contains some stealth elements, the game is mostly a 3rd Person shooter at heart.

Logan can target enemies through a lock-on function, which is useful against enemies early on but is useless once they start wearing flak jackets. Those elite enemies can only be effectively dispatched by using the game's free-aim system, which allows the player to control an aiming reticule to snatch those precious headshots.

Unfortunately, free aiming in the age before universal dual stick control is a bit awkward, and mastering this mechanic will be necessary to overcome the game's later stage which increases rapidly in difficulty.

Thankfully, Logan moves really well in the 3D environment, with the camera following him mostly being smart about it. With the ability to strafe, which you can use while free aiming to lean out of cover, you have many survival options.

Many of these options don't work much with the game's limited number of bosses, who are all both boring and cheap, making the generous checkpoint system something to be thankful about.

"Be aware that you're now completely cut off from all reinforcements"

One you probably noticed I am yet to comment on is the stealth portion of the gameplay, which is tangential to one of the brilliant things about the game, and that's the varied mission structure. Each mission has several objectives, which, along with the level's map, are visible on the briefing (start) screen.

These objectives vary greatly, from saving a hostage to simply killing a target. Some missions introduce a fresh idea to the gameplay that isn't seen elsewhere, like a scanner to look for dead bodies or a maze-like stage where you need to look for scientists to kill (Logan doesn't have a moral compass about his orders).

Some missions are more focused on stealth than regular open shooting, and these are usually the game's weakest points. Not only are these sections painfully slow given Logan's glacial squat walking speed, but the game's poor draw distance makes them much harder than they should be.

This doesn't mean that stealth missions are completely unplayable in the game, but that they are just not as fun as everything else. Especially when getting found will summon an army of goons that will surely overwhelm you.

It's ironic that one of the game's leading aspects is actually one of its weakest. Thankfully, it is mostly peripheral in most of the game, and a little care in movement can help alleviate some of the stress in the few stealth-focused missions.

"I hope Roemer is paying you enough to die for him"

I already briefly mentioned the poor draw distance of the game, which was a common complaint about most if not all 3D games in the 5th generation of consoles. Of course, frequent pop-ins were a bigger issue in shooter games since enemies could attack you "beyond the veil". But what about other issues common to 3d games in the past?

Cameras were usually the biggest challenge in making games work in 3D space, and Syphon Filter was not an exception to that rule despite having a decent camera. Specifically, in about 20% of the game's levels, the camera is prone to errors in trailing transparency, showing pieces of the environment the player leaves behind. This greatly affects free aiming at those levels.

Other than these issues and the expected low quality of its textures, the game's graphics are surprisingly smooth, especially in motion. Characters have decent detail to them, and the polygonal make-up of the game's world lacks the jagged edges of similar games.

Musically, the game has a decent and genre-appropriate soundtrack that plays organically as you progress through a map. It isn't anything special or memorable, but it adds excitement and tension where it needs to.

In Conclusion:

As the first game in its franchise, Syphon Filter doesn't an admirable job in crafting a 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth game in a post-MGS world. Not only does it have a decent and cinematic story, but also has a solid and compelling gameplay structure and mechanics.

That doesn't mean that the game is free from flaws though, although many of those flaws were standard fare in its era. Poor draw distances and the occasional transparency flaws show the game's age, but the relative smoothness of its movement and solid gameplay systems keeps it fun even for the modern gamer.

Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • Very good Bond-inspired story
  • Very good voice acting
  • Good 3rd Person shooting mechanics
  • Good movement options
  • Varied mission structure
  • Decent polygonal graphics



Cons:

  • Free aiming is awkward at first
  • Boss battles aren't fun
  • Stealth gameplay isn't a lot of fun
  • Wierd difficulty spikes
  • Poor draw distance
  • Frequent trailing transparency errors


"Tips"
1- You can shoot locks to break them (and electric panels as well).
2- Learn to take advantage of your map to figure things out.
3- Beware of enemy grenades.
4- Some levels require some vertical climbing, so look up often.
5- Some dark areas will require you to use a flashlight.
6- Learn how to reliably get headshots with free aim.
7- Grenades are useful against multiple targets.
8- Final boss only dies with a gas grenade (which you can find in the room you fight him in).



"Next Game"

It looks like I am going to enjoy the Syphon Filter games on the PS1, which is good since I am going into a blogging collaboration with another member of the site on the franchise.

The second game is supposed to be better, and it's the one that sits on the Top 100 PS1 Games list by Retro Sanctuary at number 36. Here is hoping the incremental improvements of the sequel fulfill the solid potential of the first game.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Thimmy Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:02 am

rincon wrote:I got Hogwarts Leagcy at launch so my gf could play it. She is loving it. I'll jump on it at some point. I still have to play Octopath 1, I got it 3 months ago but it didn't click so far. It doesn't help that I had Elden Ring and GoW. Given that I've liked Bravely Default 2 and Triangle Strategy, Octopath seemed like a given for me, but I'm not completely sold yet. I hear 2 fixed some of the issues of the first one. This HD2D style of Square is amazing though, would love more games to use it.

Yakuza seems to be doing better than ever which is cool even if they haven't appealed to me. Like a Dragon, and I shin are the two that have tempted me the most.


I haven't played any of the Octopath Traveler games. I don't think the first one was ever released on Playstation. Apparently, you don't have to have played the first one, in order to get into the second one.

I'm currently Playing Horizon: Forbidden West and I'm loving it, but it's taking up too much of my time. I've got assignments piling up + exams next month Laughing

Did you ever play Yakuza 0? If not, that's definitely the game I recommend starting with, if you're not familiar with the series. I like all of them, but the formula does get repetitive when you play more than one every year. I have yet to play Ishin, which is a remake of a game that was never released in the west. Like a Dragon is a cool game, but I'd still recommend Yakuza 0 over it. It simply has the best story in any of the games. If not for the incredibly long and slow paced start to the game, I'd recommend it to anyone.
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Post by Vibe Sun Apr 09, 2023 11:02 am

Lord Spencer wrote:#36 (S1)

Game: Syphon Filter:-
Year: 1999.
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth
Publisher: 989 Studios
Developer: Eidetic


General Games Discussion - Page 17 3894623-syphon-filter-playstation-front-cover

Games like Metal Gear Solid showcased the development in gameplay and storytelling that was possible on the PS1, and many aspiring developers raced to follow its example. Several attempts failed at providing a compelling narrative, compelling gameplay, or both.

Syphon Filter is one of the few games that succeeded in that regard, offering a solid story within an innovative and fun game. Despite its polygonal graphics and early 3rd Person mechanics showing their age, the first game in the series is still fun to play.

"Imagine a weapon that can target specific demographics, ethnic groups. It can wipe out whole continents, except those chosen to survive"

Set like a typical Bond movie, Syphon Filter starts with a cut scene in a Costa Rican jungle, where special agent Gabriel Logan and his partner Lian Xi uncover a viral attack plan by the terrorist mastermind Erich Roamer. The plot of the game is to discover the full details of Roamer's plan and eventually stop it.

It's a solid spy-thriller with the requisite number of betrayals, action set-pieces, countdown segments, and infiltration of bases in foreign lands. With solid voice acting by the main characters, the story is not a throwaway and is in fact one of the game's strengths. Another strength is the direction of the game's cut scenes, which wears its Bond influence on its sleeve.

One thing worth noting is the variety of mission structures and locations in the game. The first mission is set in Washington D.C. where Logan attempts to diffuse a bomb threat in a Subway station and ends up chasing the villains all the way to the Capitol building. Another has him wear a Tuxedo and infiltrate a private museum of a pharmaceutical company.

Even in areas where the game has some awkward voice acting or the odd boring mission location, it is still easy to forgive the game thanks to its ambitions and the very good things it has going.

"We do what it takes Logan. All of us..."

An interesting story doesn't make for a compelling game, and interesting mission locations wouldn't work without interesting gameplay to back it up, which is thankfully mostly the case in Syphon Filter. While it contains some stealth elements, the game is mostly a 3rd Person shooter at heart.

Logan can target enemies through a lock-on function, which is useful against enemies early on but is useless once they start wearing flak jackets. Those elite enemies can only be effectively dispatched by using the game's free-aim system, which allows the player to control an aiming reticule to snatch those precious headshots.

Unfortunately, free aiming in the age before universal dual stick control is a bit awkward, and mastering this mechanic will be necessary to overcome the game's later stage which increases rapidly in difficulty.

Thankfully, Logan moves really well in the 3D environment, with the camera following him mostly being smart about it. With the ability to strafe, which you can use while free aiming to lean out of cover, you have many survival options.

Many of these options don't work much with the game's limited number of bosses, who are all both boring and cheap, making the generous checkpoint system something to be thankful about.

"Be aware that you're now completely cut off from all reinforcements"

One you probably noticed I am yet to comment on is the stealth portion of the gameplay, which is tangential to one of the brilliant things about the game, and that's the varied mission structure. Each mission has several objectives, which, along with the level's map, are visible on the briefing (start) screen.

These objectives vary greatly, from saving a hostage to simply killing a target. Some missions introduce a fresh idea to the gameplay that isn't seen elsewhere, like a scanner to look for dead bodies or a maze-like stage where you need to look for scientists to kill (Logan doesn't have a moral compass about his orders).

Some missions are more focused on stealth than regular open shooting, and these are usually the game's weakest points. Not only are these sections painfully slow given Logan's glacial squat walking speed, but the game's poor draw distance makes them much harder than they should be.

This doesn't mean that stealth missions are completely unplayable in the game, but that they are just not as fun as everything else. Especially when getting found will summon an army of goons that will surely overwhelm you.

It's ironic that one of the game's leading aspects is actually one of its weakest. Thankfully, it is mostly peripheral in most of the game, and a little care in movement can help alleviate some of the stress in the few stealth-focused missions.

"I hope Roemer is paying you enough to die for him"

I already briefly mentioned the poor draw distance of the game, which was a common complaint about most if not all 3D games in the 5th generation of consoles. Of course, frequent pop-ins were a bigger issue in shooter games since enemies could attack you "beyond the veil". But what about other issues common to 3d games in the past?

Cameras were usually the biggest challenge in making games work in 3D space, and Syphon Filter was not an exception to that rule despite having a decent camera. Specifically, in about 20% of the game's levels, the camera is prone to errors in trailing transparency, showing pieces of the environment the player leaves behind. This greatly affects free aiming at those levels.

Other than these issues and the expected low quality of its textures, the game's graphics are surprisingly smooth, especially in motion. Characters have decent detail to them, and the polygonal make-up of the game's world lacks the jagged edges of similar games.

Musically, the game has a decent and genre-appropriate soundtrack that plays organically as you progress through a map. It isn't anything special or memorable, but it adds excitement and tension where it needs to.

In Conclusion:

As the first game in its franchise, Syphon Filter doesn't an admirable job in crafting a 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth game in a post-MGS world. Not only does it have a decent and cinematic story, but also has a solid and compelling gameplay structure and mechanics.

That doesn't mean that the game is free from flaws though, although many of those flaws were standard fare in its era. Poor draw distances and the occasional transparency flaws show the game's age, but the relative smoothness of its movement and solid gameplay systems keeps it fun even for the modern gamer.

Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • Very good Bond-inspired story
  • Very good voice acting
  • Good 3rd Person shooting mechanics
  • Good movement options
  • Varied mission structure
  • Decent polygonal graphics



Cons:

  • Free aiming is awkward at first
  • Boss battles aren't fun
  • Stealth gameplay isn't a lot of fun
  • Wierd difficulty spikes
  • Poor draw distance
  • Frequent trailing transparency errors


"Tips"
1- You can shoot locks to break them (and electric panels as well).
2- Learn to take advantage of your map to figure things out.
3- Beware of enemy grenades.
4- Some levels require some vertical climbing, so look up often.
5- Some dark areas will require you to use a flashlight.
6- Learn how to reliably get headshots with free aim.
7- Grenades are useful against multiple targets.
8- Final boss only dies with a gas grenade (which you can find in the room you fight him in).



"Next Game"

It looks like I am going to enjoy the Syphon Filter games on the PS1, which is good since I am going into a blogging collaboration with another member of the site on the franchise.

The second game is supposed to be better, and it's the one that sits on the Top 100 PS1 Games list by Retro Sanctuary at number 36. Here is hoping the incremental improvements of the sequel fulfill the solid potential of the first game.

Stay Tuned


Man does this bring back memories. One of the first games I played. These nostalgia trips Proud
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Post by rincon Tue Apr 11, 2023 10:10 am

Thimmy wrote:
rincon wrote:I got Hogwarts Leagcy at launch so my gf could play it. She is loving it. I'll jump on it at some point. I still have to play Octopath 1, I got it 3 months ago but it didn't click so far. It doesn't help that I had Elden Ring and GoW. Given that I've liked Bravely Default 2 and Triangle Strategy, Octopath seemed like a given for me, but I'm not completely sold yet. I hear 2 fixed some of the issues of the first one. This HD2D style of Square is amazing though, would love more games to use it.

Yakuza seems to be doing better than ever which is cool even if they haven't appealed to me. Like a Dragon, and I shin are the two that have tempted me the most.


I haven't played any of the Octopath Traveler games. I don't think the first one was ever released on Playstation. Apparently, you don't have to have played the first one, in order to get into the second one.

I'm currently Playing Horizon: Forbidden West and I'm loving it, but it's taking up too much of my time. I've got assignments piling up + exams next month Laughing

Did you ever play Yakuza 0? If not, that's definitely the game I recommend starting with, if you're not familiar with the series. I like all of them, but the formula does get repetitive when you play more than one every year. I have yet to play Ishin, which is a remake of a game that was never released in the west. Like a Dragon is a cool game, but I'd still recommend Yakuza 0 over it. It simply has the best story in any of the games. If not for the incredibly long and slow paced start to the game, I'd recommend it to anyone.

Yeah Octopath is not a story sequel so I'll probably end up jumping directly to 2 at some point. On the topic of 2D JRPGs, Chained Echoes is pretty amazing. Indie game developed by a single person over 7 years. Had a lot of hype and its cheap so I gave it a try. Outstanding game. A lot of Chrono Trigger and FF6 in it. I'm about 60% through the game. Highly recommended.

Forbidden West is amazing. Improves almost everything from Zero Dawn. I love Horizon. I will probably play Burning Shores as well, even if I don't normally play DLC.
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Post by RealGunner Sat Apr 15, 2023 6:12 pm

Was using the PS app and noticed you've not been online on ps5 in over 6 months @firenze

Gaming dead? Bored?
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Post by Thimmy Sat Apr 15, 2023 6:21 pm

Mine's been almost permanently set to "appear as offline". I always receive an overwhelming amount of messages from friends, colleagues, people I played CoD or FIFA with around a decade ago as soon as I go online Laughing
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Post by Firenze Sat Apr 15, 2023 8:09 pm

RealGunner wrote:Was using the PS app and noticed you've not been online on ps5 in over 6 months @firenze

Gaming dead? Bored?

appearing offline

I play FIFA several times a week and that's basically it

I also fucking despise FIFA, go figure

I do game a lot less in general nowadays and feel like I always will, playing maybe 2-4 games per year instead of like 10 going forward

I played Horizon back in December and the next real game I'll play will be Final Fantasy 16

maybe Diablo 4 on PC too but not sure on that
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Post by RealGunner Sat Apr 15, 2023 10:51 pm

Firenze wrote:
RealGunner wrote:Was using the PS app and noticed you've not been online on ps5 in over 6 months @firenze

Gaming dead? Bored?

appearing offline

I play FIFA several times a week and that's basically it

I also fucking despise FIFA, go figure

I do game a lot less in general nowadays and feel like I always will, playing maybe 2-4 games per year instead of like 10 going forward

I played Horizon back in December and the next real game I'll play will be Final Fantasy 16

maybe Diablo 4 on PC too but not sure on that

Fair enough.

I've not played anything myself since Elden Ring but itching to play something lately.

Thinking between God of war ragnarok and hogwarts legacy. Also have nier Replicant.

Ff16 looks bad man. I saw a clip of its combat and it looks like a devil may cry game than FF. Looked very much like a press x to win combat system
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Post by Lord Spencer Mon Apr 24, 2023 1:25 pm

#36

Game: Syphon Filter:-
Year: 2000.
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth
Publisher: 989 Studios
Developer: Eidetic

#36

Game: Syphon Filter:-
Year: 2000.
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter/Stealth
Publisher: 989 Studios
Developer: Eidetic


General Games Discussion - Page 17 MV5BMjVmOGRhMDktN2YzOS00NDY5LWE4YTEtNTk2NGQxMjRmMzNkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjExODE1MDc@._V1_

The first Syphon Filter game followed the steps of Metal Gear in making an Action-packed game with some cinematic sensibilities, and it proved to be one of the better games that partially imitated the great PS1 classic.

Syphon Filter 2 is more of the same, but thanks to the lessons the development team learned, it is a much tighter experience in both its gameplay and story. As a result, I have no doubt that it is one of the greatest PS1 action games at the time and one that is still fun to play today.

"Use any and all means necessary to reach that location. The data discs must be retrieved to find a cure for Syphon Filter, and to save Lian"

If we want to compare the Syphone Filter story to Action-Espionage movies, and the first one can best be linked to a James Bond flick, then the second game is best compared to the Jason Bourne films, which is surprising considering the game released two years before the first Bourne film.

This time around, Gabriel Logan is a special agent running away from the agency that hired him, desperately trying to find a cure to the genetically modified virus that infected his partner, Lian Xing, in the first game. Initially, I thought that the otherwise strong and capable Lian would play a damsel in distress role, but I was thankfully mistaken. She becomes a playable character for almost half of the game and the narrative is better for it.

The runaway plotline makes for a consistently high-stakes story, where Logan and his allies face off against the evil conspiracies of the secretive "Agency" not to save the world or America, but simply to survive and find a cure to the virus. Yet, the "Agency" actually needs Lian's living body to extract the information necessary to mass produce the virus.

Naturally, this cat-and-mouse game leads to interesting scenarios, with the team switching from sneaking into a museum to engaging in a shoot-out in a Moscow nightclub. There are a lot of nods to action movies of the time, and the game is no slouch in introducing its own ridiculous contributions to the genre.

Overall, this game's story is more engaging and tightly paced than the original. However, due to its increased dialogue, the weakness in some of the voice-acted lines are more apparent, especially regarding the main voice of Logan which has some improper inflictions and emphasis points that fail to sell some of his lines.

"How are you going to get out of this alive? Not really sure, I'm making it up as I go"

While the series is billed as an Action-Stealth game, the first title's stealth segments felt awkward and stiff compared to the base 3rd Person Shooting gameplay. Thankfully, the promise of that billing is more fulfilled with the second game, which manages to fix many of the first game's issues.

Mainly, the crouching speed is noticeably faster, leading to more fluid movement. In addition, the draw distance both visually and in the compass radar is slightly improved. These improvements, coupled with increased stealth-weapon options made stealth missions more fun to play.

This is great considering nearly half the missions in the game are stealth-focused this time around. The majority of Lian Xing's missions are stealth-oriented, with some missions even completely stripping you of your offensive capabilities. Thankfully, the game's mechanical improvements go a long way in making these missions actually fun to play.

Not to be outdone by its newfound stealth competency, the action-oriented missions are no slouches either, with a nice mix of adrenaline-pumping shooting fests and more methodical infiltration/escape missions throughout.

Generally, I found the stage design better built this time around, and I rarely got lost regarding my surroundings and objective, with missions making more physical sense within each stage. At any point, if you need more information, you can consult a rather useful map and even check the location of your objectives, which was a feature that was inadequate in the first game.

"I want him finished, even if you have to blow up the whole state to do it"

Other than minor improvements to its movement/stealth mechanics and general mission structure, the game is technically the same as its prequel. This means that the 3rd Person Shooting mechanics, with a mixture of lock-on targeting and first-person free-aim, is nearly identical to the first game.

In 3rd Person mode, you can easily move around, run, and strafe, while locking on to your target to shoot. As long as you are fast enough to dispatch your enemies before they get a good chance at fixing their aim, Logan or Lian will be fine. However, you need to be more precise with enemies wearing flak jackets, and here is where free-aiming shines.

This system works surprisingly well, especially when you can utilize the free-aim in conjuction with the strafe buttons to aim while taking cover, yet it is still an incomplete solution to the aiming problem in 3D games at the time. A dedicated camera control scheme is notably lacking, and you can imagine the game being better with a modern twin-stick aiming method.

These issues are most apparent in the later game, where the difficulty spikes considerably, with many enemies able to immediately destroy you at first sight. In those instances, you will clamor for a better and more responsive aiming style, even though the base mechanics still work really well.

Besides some unfortunately unbalanced situations and minor graphical hiccups here and there, the gameplay is solid throughout the game and remains fun despite the "historical" mechanics in both stealth and action missions.

"What I am is a tired angry fugitive whose partner is dying. Don't try me!!"

Following so closely after the first game, there probably wasn't much time for the development team to improve their grasp of the PS1 technology, resulting in a very similar-looking game, which looks nice compared to other PS1 games but is not spectacular by any definition. Ironically, the best-looking areas were places you revised from the first game which now have more detail.

Yet, some of you may notice that the game is divided into two discs, so what's up with that?

Most likely, this is to account for the increased number of CGI scenes, which are expertly directed and while not technically impressive even by the standards of the day, are actually quite decent for their number and proximity to the in-game engine.

Also, another major contributor to the size of the is the number of audio files, especially regarding the voice acting which I touched upon earlier. Other than Logan, who is decent but has the toughest job and consequently higher standards to aspire to, the other actors do a professional job most of the time.

Notably, the music is more involved and apparent in this game, which is great since the soundtrack by Chuck Doud is on-point and nicely integrated into the game. Cool suspenseful tunes play while you are sneaking around, suddenly turning into tense guitar riffs when you are in the middle of a shootout.

Other than some minor audio and graphical errors here and there (audio suddenly missing, some camera transparency issues), this clearly a better-produced game than the first, continuing the trend of marginal but noticeable improvements for the sequel.

In Conclusion:

My main surprise when playing Syphon Filter 2 is the fact that it reviewed lower than the first game, which I think is purely due to its lacking of originality since it copies much of what the first game does. However, I think that is a poor metric to judge games by at the time and would be poorer still today.

While it is true that this sequel is heavily iterative, it improves a game with a solid foundation in almost every way, making this game much more polished and more fun to play by a noticeable margin. Playing these games back to back, I felt forced to play the first for completion's sake, while I really enjoyed playing the second, making it a clearly better game in my book.

Originality has its value, but so does excellence.

Final: 8/10

Pros:
  • Very good runaway agent story
  • Very good scene and story direction
  • Great pacing throughout
  • Improved stealth mechanics
  • Solid mission and level design
  • The Third/First Person shooting hybrid works
  • A lot of decent CGI scenes
  • Suitable soundtrack



Cons:
  • Clear awkwardness in Logan's Voice Acting
  • Free aiming is awkward at first
  • Wierd difficulty spikes
  • Some graphical and audio errors


"Tips"
1- You can shoot locks to break them (and electric panels as well).
2- Learn to take advantage of your map to figure things out.
3- Beware of enemy grenades.
4- Some levels require some vertical climbing, so look up often.
5- Stealth missions REQUIRE stealth.
6- Learn how to reliably get headshots with free aim.
7- Grenades are useful against multiple targets.
8- Use the roll to approach quietly while sneaking.
9- Beware of shooting friendly targets.
10-Take advantage of cover when fighting multiple targets.


"Next Game"

While the first Syphone Filter had clear potential, the incremental improvements of the second game made it a much more enjoyable game for me.

The third and final game of the series on the PS1 game is considered the weakest of the bunch. Yet, given the fact that the second game was reviewed worse than the first, I wonder how much that has to do with familiarity.

Stay Tuned
General Games Discussion - Page 17 MV5BMjVmOGRhMDktN2YzOS00NDY5LWE4YTEtNTk2NGQxMjRmMzNkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjExODE1MDc@._V1_

The first Syphon Filter game followed the steps of Metal Gear in making an Action-packed game with some cinematic sensibilities, and it proved to be one of the better games that partially imitated the great PS1 classic.

Syphon Filter 2 is more of the same, but thanks to the lessons the development team learned, it is a much tighter experience in both its gameplay and story. As a result, I have no doubt that it is one of the greatest PS1 action games at the time and one that is still fun to play today.

""

If we want to compare the Syphone Filter story to Action-Espionage movies, and the first one can best be linked to a James Bond flick, then the second game is best compared to the Jason Bourne films, which is surprising considering the game released two years before the first Bourne film.

This time around, Gabriel Logan is a special agent running away from the agency that hired him, desperately trying to find a cure to the genetically modified virus that infected his partner, Lian Xing, in the first game. Initially, I thought that the otherwise strong and capable Lian would play a damsel in distress role, but I was thankfully mistaken. She becomes a playable character for almost half of the game and the narrative is better for it.

The runaway plotline makes for a consistently high-stakes story, where Logan and his allies face off against the evil conspiracies of the secretive "Agency" not to save the world or America, but simply to survive and find a cure to the virus. Yet, the "Agency" actually needs Lian's living body to extract the information necessary to mass produce the virus.

Naturally, this cat-and-mouse game leads to interesting scenarios, with the team switching from sneaking into a museum to engaging in a shoot-out in a Moscow nightclub. There are a lot of nods to action movies of the time, and the game is no slouch in introducing its own ridiculous contributions to the genre.

Overall, this game's story is more engaging and tightly paced than the original. However, due to its increased dialogue, the weakness in some of the voice-acted lines are more apparent, especially regarding the main voice of Logan which has some improper inflictions and emphasis points that fail to sell some of his lines.

""

While the series is billed as an Action-Stealth game, the first title's stealth segments felt awkward and stiff compared to the base 3rd Person Shooting gameplay. Thankfully, the promise of that billing is more fulfilled with the second game, which manages to fix many of the first game's issues.

Mainly, the crouching speed is noticeably faster, leading to more fluid movement. In addition, the draw distance both visually and in the compass radar is slightly improved. These improvements, coupled with increased stealth-weapon options made stealth missions more fun to play.

This is great considering nearly half the missions in the game are stealth-focused this time around. The majority of Lian Xing's missions are stealth-oriented, with some missions even completely stripping you of your offensive capabilities. Thankfully, the game's mechanical improvements go a long way in making these missions actually fun to play.

Not to be outdone by its newfound stealth competency, the action-oriented missions are no slouches either, with a nice mix of adrenaline-pumping shooting fests and more methodical infiltration/escape missions throughout.

Generally, I found the stage design better built this time around, and I rarely got lost regarding my surroundings and objective, with missions making more physical sense within each stage. At any point, if you need more information, you can consult a rather useful map and even check the location of your objectives, which was a feature that was inadequate in the first game.

""

Other than minor improvements to its movement/stealth mechanics and general mission structure, the game is technically the same as its prequel. This means that the 3rd Person Shooting mechanics, with a mixture of lock-on targeting and first-person free-aim, is nearly identical to the first game.

In 3rd Person mode, you can easily move around, run, and strafe, while locking on to your target to shoot. As long as you are fast enough to dispatch your enemies before they get a good chance at fixing their aim, Logan or Lian will be fine. However, you need to be more precise with enemies wearing flak jackets, and here is where free-aiming shines.

This system works surprisingly well, especially when you can utilize the free-aim in conjuction with the strafe buttons to aim while taking cover, yet it is still an incomplete solution to the aiming problem in 3D games at the time. A dedicated camera control scheme is notably lacking, and you can imaginbeinge game being better with a modern twin-stick aiming method.

These issues are most apparent in the later game, where the difficulty spikes considerably, with many enemies able to immediately destroy you at first sight. In those instances, you will clamor for a better and more responsive aiming style, even though the base mechanics still work really well.

Besides some unfortunately unbalanced situations and minor graphical hiccups here and there, the gameplay is solid throughout the game and remains fun despite the "historical" mechanics in both stealth and action missions.

""

Following so closely after the first game, there probably wasn't much time for the development team to improve their grasp of the PS1 technology, resulting in a very similar-looking game, which looks nice compared to other PS1 games but is not spectacular by any definition. Ironically, the best-looking areas were places you revised from the first game which now have more detail.

Yet, some of you may notice that the game is divided into two discs, so what's up with that?

Most likely, this is to account for the increased number of CGI scenes, which are expertly directed and while not technically impressive even by the standards of the day, are actually quite decent for their number and proximity to the in-game engine.

Also, another major contributor to the size of the is the number of audio files, especially regarding the voice acting which I touched upon earlier. Other than Logan, who is decent but has the toughest job and consequently higher standards to aspire to, the other actors do a professional job most of the time.

Notably, the music is more involved and apparent in this game, which is great since the soundtrack by Chuck Doud is on-point and nicely integrated into the game. Cool suspenseful tunes play while you are sneaking around, suddenly turning into tense guitar riffs when you are in the middle of a shootout.

Other than some minor audio and graphical errors here and there (audio suddenly missing, some camera transparency issues), this clearly a better-produced game than the first, continuing the trend of marginal but noticeable improvements for the sequel.

In Conclusion:

My main surprise when playing Syphon Filter 2 is the fact that it reviewed lower than the first game, which I think is purely due to its lacking of originality since it copies much of what the first game does. However, I think that is a poor metric to judge games by at the time and would be poorer still today.

While it is true that this sequel is heavily iterative, it improves a game with a solid foundation in almost every way, making this game much more polished and more fun to play by a noticeable margin. Playing these games back to back, I felt forced to play the first for completion's sake, while I really enjoyed playing the second, making it a clearly better game in my book.

Originality has its value, but so does excellence.

Final: 8/10

Pros:
  • Very good runaway agent story
  • Very good scene and story direction
  • Great pacing throughout
  • Improved stealth mechanics
  • Solid mission and level design
  • The Third/First Person shooting hybrid works
  • A lot of decent CGI scenes
  • Suitable soundtrack



Cons:
  • Clear awkwardness in Logan's Voice Acting
  • Free aiming is awkward at first
  • Wierd difficulty spikes
  • Some graphical and audio errors


"Tips"
1- You can shoot locks to break them (and electric panels as well).
2- Learn to take advantage of your map to figure things out.
3- Beware of enemy grenades.
4- Some levels require some vertical climbing, so look up often.
5- Stealth missions REQUIRE stealth.
6- Learn how to reliably get headshots with free aim.
7- Grenades are useful against multiple targets.
8- Use the roll to approach quietly while sneaking.
9- Beware of shooting friendly targets.
10-Take advantage of cover when fighting multiple targets.


"Next Game"

While the first Syphone Filter had clear potential, the incremental improvements of the second game made it a much more enjoyable game for me.

The third and final game of the series on the PS1 game is considered the weakest of the bunch. Yet, given the fact that the second game was reviewed worse than the first, I wonder how much that has to do with familiarity.

Stay Tuned


Last edited by Lord Spencer on Mon Apr 24, 2023 1:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Lord Spencer Mon Apr 24, 2023 1:27 pm

RealGunner wrote:
Firenze wrote:
RealGunner wrote:Was using the PS app and noticed you've not been online on ps5 in over 6 months @firenze

Gaming dead? Bored?

appearing offline

I play FIFA several times a week and that's basically it

I also fucking despise FIFA, go figure

I do game a lot less in general nowadays and feel like I always will, playing maybe 2-4 games per year instead of like 10 going forward

I played Horizon back in December and the next real game I'll play will be Final Fantasy 16

maybe Diablo 4 on PC too but not sure on that

Fair enough.

I've not played anything myself since Elden Ring but itching to play something lately.

Thinking between God of war ragnarok and hogwarts legacy. Also have nier Replicant.

Ff16 looks bad man. I saw a clip of its combat and it looks like a devil may cry game than FF. Looked very much like a press x to win combat system


If its like Devil May Cry, then pressing X mindlessly won't let you win Smile
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Post by rincon Thu Apr 27, 2023 8:09 am

I don't think it will lean that hard into the complexities in DMC, from previous it looks like a mix of that type of action with magic/ability based action RPG game play.

Looks hype, all the hands on previews praised it a ton.
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Post by Thimmy Thu Apr 27, 2023 2:38 pm

Lord Spencer wrote:
RealGunner wrote:
Firenze wrote:

appearing offline

I play FIFA several times a week and that's basically it

I also fucking despise FIFA, go figure

I do game a lot less in general nowadays and feel like I always will, playing maybe 2-4 games per year instead of like 10 going forward

I played Horizon back in December and the next real game I'll play will be Final Fantasy 16

maybe Diablo 4 on PC too but not sure on that

Fair enough.

I've not played anything myself since Elden Ring but itching to play something lately.

Thinking between God of war ragnarok and hogwarts legacy. Also have nier Replicant.

Ff16 looks bad man. I saw a clip of its combat and it looks like a devil may cry game than FF. Looked very much like a press x to win combat system


If its like Devil May Cry, then pressing X mindlessly won't let you win Smile


I'm pretty sure what he's getting at is that it's not a Soulsborne game, lol
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Post by Thimmy Mon May 01, 2023 1:06 am

I'm in progress of doing a completionist run of Horizon: Forbidden West. It's a really polished game with a ton of content, and I've really enjoyed playing it so far. They've really gone above and beyond in adding content to this game. New weapons, customization options, armor dye feature, mini-games, underwater and flying mounts.. it's mind-blowing how much content and new features there are in this game.

But I'm currently on my 5th side quest that has a quest giver or side character that complains that she was discriminated against in some way for being a woman. One was discriminated against by her own brother, another was denied military service on account of her gender. It doesn't take away from the quality of the game, but I do wish they had been more subtle about these things. I don't know if it's comical or just annoying at this point.
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