General Games Discussion

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Post by Thimmy Fri May 07, 2021 3:48 pm

That game seems interesting, but I’m not getting any new games anytime soon. My PS4 Pro’s fan goes crazy every time the console runs a game. It really sounds like a jet plane that’s flying straight through my living room. It looks like I won’t be able to get my hands on a PS5 in the near future either, so I’ll just have to manage without games for a while.

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Post by Lord Spencer Thu May 13, 2021 1:19 am

#64

Game: Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix:
Year: 2001.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Publisher: Eidos Interactive.
Developer: Kronos Digital Entertainment.

General Games Discussion - Page 3 File:Fear_effect_2

Fear Effect 2 is a prequel that is very much in the image of the first game but with some additions for better or worse. It has more action, story complexity, puzzles, well-directed cut-scenes, and more cleavage.

Originally, I thought that the overt sexuality of Fear Effect can be considered an empowering factor. That argument is blown out of the water with this second game, where the sex factor is clearly gratuitous and exploitative, but apart from two or three points it's not far removed from a typical action movie.

Depending on how you like the first game and the specific combination of things the sequel has, you will like it more or less. Personally, I found the first game to be slightly better, mostly because of its tighter story and better character interaction, but they are very much in the same league.

"A psychotic dying of EINDS, a drunk, and a whore. Interesting choice"

Disappointingly, the prequel doesn't delve deeply into the origin of the trio in the first game (Hana, Glas, and Deke). It just explains how they met with a brief glimpse of their actual origins.

Instead, the story revolves around Rain, a less interesting character that may or may not be in a lesbian relationship with Hana. Normally, this would have been a landmark occasion noting the game. However, the gratuitous way the game used this relationship for marketing purposes with an almost soft-core pornography focus removes any supposed progressive values.

Like the first game, the plot is a B-Movie affair with horror and Asian mysticism elements. It's nothing much, but the scene direction and voice acting is very good, and that allows for the characters to sell the story.

The first chapters in the game pertain to a mission that is clearly inspired by movies like Mission Impossible, and that's one hell of an opening (I don't even count the revealing dresses of Hana and Rain against the game for their actual plot relevance).

However, the game's latter parts are just too complex, and the supernatural elements even write off key elements of the first game, but who is keeping track of that.

"Ahh, two kitties... I like kitties... Come play with me kitty kitty"

Regarding gameplay, Fear Effect 2 is a step-wise improvement over its predecessor. It still retains the Resident Evil style tanks controls but with improved mobility options, but it feels a little bit smoother than the first game with more weapon options.

It also has a "Full 3D" movement option, but I didn't feel that worked well with the game's fixed camera angles.

Like the first game, there is a helpful cursor that shows when an enemy is in your sights, which is doubly helpful when you change screens and when you flip around. That removes some of the aiming annoyances typically seen in such games.

Honestly, though, the gunfights in the game, at least in normal difficulty, are not that engaging and they depend almost exclusively on having the right weapon equipped and killing the enemies before they get the chance to attack. That's important with the game's health system, which only recovers after surviving unscathed from a fight or solving a puzzle.

Even against bosses, who are not as interesting as the first game, the combat is not especially impressive. In hard mode, it requires more dodging and more ammo, but I imagine that being more annoying than fun.

"Look, I don't think I can hack the computer with my breasts. So it's all up to you and your brains"

Outside of combat, this game focuses more on puzzles than the first game, and they are more elaborate in both nature and execution. There is the typical key-item hunt, which could be quite boring if the level design wasn't particularly good. Here, the best puzzles incorporate the information you gather all around the level and culminates with a final puzzle that combines all that information.

Getting or using key times sometimes requires unique puzzles. These puzzles vary widely. Some require you to recognize a pattern, others require you to figure out the pattern yourself, and there are even some sliding block and war game puzzles.

Another type of puzzle requires some movement elements, which can be quite a pain due to the stiff tank movements. These puzzles are the most annoying parts of the game, but they are thankfully still doable to a certain degree.

Both types of puzzles make sense within the game's world and story, which gives these obstacles a welcome narrative explanation. The more "intellectual" puzzles are also fun to figure out, even if a few of them seem a step to two more complicated (or longer) than they should be.

One puzzle at the end of the game simply didn't make sense to me though, and I had to consult a guide to figure out which still didn't explain how I was supposed to figure out the solution myself.

"Any chance you've seen the tomb beneath us? It's got two nice spots waiting to be filled. Sorry it has to end this way doll"

Like with the first game, the game's unique graphical style and its cinematic focus is the game's biggest strength. Simply put, the game's cell-shaded style didn't age badly at all and still looks quite good even compared to early PS2 titles.

This is further highlighted by the excellent directing of the game's numerous cut-scenes and the fine voice acting on display. It allows you to forgive the game's sometimes muddy in-game textures and ugly enemy models.

Better than the first game, the environments are more varied and colorful, and as such the background doesn't drag the game's graphical department down at all.

Also improved from the first game is the soundtrack, which is clearly better even if it doesn't have any especially standout moments. To b fair, a game of this genre doesn't need a stellar soundtrack, but this one has a good mix of ambient and location-specific sounds that complements the game well.

In Conclusion:

Despite its more questionable excesses, Fear Effect 2 is still quite a good cinematic action game on the PS1. On that front, it doesn't add much f=on what the original game already created, but that's just more of a good thing.

I think that cements the legacy of both games as ambitious PS1 games that succeeded in crafting impressive graphics and ambitiously cinematic games married to traditional action gameplay. Yet, the series arrived too late to make much of an impact in the scene, and as such subsequently disappeared.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Very Good characters and dialogue
  • Excellent scene direction
  • cell-shaded graphics aged very well
  • Expertly delivered voice acting for the most part
  • Some good puzzles


Cons:

  • Awkward tank-style controls are detrimental to some puzzles and hard difficulty
  • Outside of cut-scene graphics are a little washed up
  • Potentially misogynist or offensive tone


"Tips"
1-Pay attention to figure out what you need to do.
2-Lear to duck and roll to avoid enemy fire and attack.
3-You must scroll to the blue (key) items to actually use them at the intended location.
4-Whenever the "use" command flashes, make a mental note of it. Sometimes, you need to hug a door to find it.
5-Ammo is plentiful, but don't waste too much of it.
6-You can use stealth attacks to instantly kill enemies from behind with melee weapons (if they didn't notice you).
7-Save whenever the option to save comes up.
8-Health recovers every time you clear a room from enemies, switch characters or solve a puzzle.
9-Some doors can be blasted open with a blasting cap.
10-Sometimes, running away from enemies is the best option.

"Next Game"

I expected to like Fear Effect 2 (which I did), but I didn't expect to focus as much on the sexual aspect. Still, it was a good game eve I ended up preferring the first one.

The next games I am going to review are the two Abe's Odyssey games, with the second one occupying #63 in the Retro Sanctuary list.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Harmonica Thu May 13, 2021 9:23 pm

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Post by Harmonica Fri May 14, 2021 6:09 pm

General Games Discussion - Page 3 Fgz3aWb
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Post by Harmonica Fri May 14, 2021 6:51 pm

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Post by Harmonica Sun May 16, 2021 11:54 am

https://wccftech.com/starfield-is-indeed-an-xbox-pc-exclusive-says-jeff-grubb/
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Post by Harmonica Mon May 17, 2021 12:15 pm

General Games Discussion - Page 3 3cn181i

And the game is still EA, modding scene is about to reach critical mass and bunch of full conversions on away.  Shocked

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Post by Harmonica Mon May 17, 2021 3:15 pm

Starfield targeting Q1 2022, although I'm sure it will be hurried for milk and cookies season.
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Post by danyjr Wed May 19, 2021 11:25 am

@Harmonica wrote:General Games Discussion - Page 3 3cn181i

And the game is still EA, modding scene is about to reach critical mass and bunch of full conversions on away.  Shocked

3rd Crusade looks dope Thumbs up
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Post by Harmonica Wed May 19, 2021 4:35 pm

@danyjr wrote:3rd Crusade looks dope Thumbs up
Waiting all of them tbh. Bannerlord engine is pretty much perfect for these kinds of Kingdom of Heaven, Helm's Deep scenes. There's currently 2048 actor hard coded limit, but I hope they'll be able to unlock that when the game is released.
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Post by Lord Spencer Fri May 21, 2021 3:41 pm

#63(S)

Game: Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee:
Year: 1997.
Genre: Puzzle-Platformer.
Publisher: GT Interactive Software.
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants.

General Games Discussion - Page 3 Oddworld_Abe_sOddysee-01_1400x

There is no doubt that the Oddworld was a unique breath of fresh air (despite Abe's foul farts) when it was first released on the PS1. It was an interesting Puzzle-Platformer with a unique look and a subversive story. Also, it had hugely ambitious lore behind it.

Yet, playing it now, I cannot but wonder at the patience players at the time must have had to enjoy it. Abe's Oddysee is a game that demands precision without being equipped for it and has some very obtuse solutions to puzzles on top of that.

That's not to say that its unique charm cannot be engaging some of the time.

"My name is Abe. I was employee of the year, now I am dead meat"

The opening cinematic cut-scene immediately establishes both the lore of Oddworld and the stakes of Abe's Oddysee. As a member of the enslaved Mudokon species, Abe works in a slave factory making food products for the Mudokon's Glukkon overlords.

At the beginning of the game, the sales of their food products have started deteriorating recently, and the Glukkon's were just about to start making and marketing some New 'n Tasty product. Unfortunately, for the Mudokons, they are the main ingredient of that product. Abe accidentally discovers that fact, and so begins his escape journey.

Despite there being little dialogue or implicit exposition, the game's world obviously depicts the terrible conditions of the enslaved Mudokons in hilariously Orwellian background text. Also, through the animation and personality of Abe and the other denizens of the universe, which partially remind me of the personality of the Earthworm Jim franchise, Oddworld becomes fully realized.

As such, the excellent setting and world of the game are still preserved and humorous today and are probably the primary reason anyone would have to experience the game.

"Don't play with your food. Unless it plays with you first"

On the other hand, I don't think that Abe's Oddysee's gameplay has stood the test of time. Simply put, it is both too precise and too cumbersome for its own good.

As a 2D Puzzle-Platformer, each screen in the game is populated with a puzzle to solve, and that is usually presented in three levels if you want to truly roleplay as Abe. First, you need to survive the danger yourself. Second, you need to neutralize the danger so that you can save your fellow Mudokons. Third, you need to make sure your fellow Mudokons survive the danger so that they can then teleport to safety.

Unfrotuantnetly, the solution to any of these puzzles can either be an obtuse and extremely specific and frame-specific maneuver or a frustrating dependency on AI behavior. For instance, grabbing into ledges can only happen if you jump from ONE exact location in the flow with no correction if you jumped before or after that VERY SPECIFIC point.

Also, your AI allies are idiots and completely unreliable. Sure, you are given and a number of commands you can give them, but these are mostly useless. So much that I enjoyed it more when those idiots fell to their death than when I actually managed to save them.

This frustration would be slight alleviated if the core gameplay was actually fun or rewarding in any way. Yet, I honestly found it boring, repetitive, and not worth the agony.

"Mudokons entering this door will be slaughtered and packaged as disgusting yet yummy novelty meat products"

In order to sell the lore of its world, Abe's Oddysee clearly needed to have some excellent visual design and direction, and that is undoubtedly true in this case. The Mudokon species have unique and expressive designs, and these designs are expertly animated as well.

This gives a lot of personality to the characters, which is supported by the oppressive personality of their enslaved world.

Unfrotuantnetly, the color palette is dark, which means that the screens start repeating style frequently, and that gets a bit boring after a while.

As for the game's sound effects. They are uniformly funny even if the Mudokon farts are not funny as the developers (or the Mudokons themselves) think. The limited voice command acting is also well-executed.

However, I don't recall the music having any presence in the game, and the soundtrack was mostly ambient with little oomph or pizazz to prop Abe's adventure up in any meaningful way.

In Conclusion:

Gamers regularly ignored the frustrating aspects of some games in the past when they had other good parts to them. At least, we were more used to unfair design and repeated failures.

Unfortunately for Abe's Oddysee, I don't think its unique and interesting world shields it from what I consider some unfairly precise gameplay, nor would I consider it fun even if it was slightly less frustrating.

There isn't anything odd about that.

Final: 5/10

Pros:

  • Excellent and original concept
  • Very good character animations and design


Cons:

  • Washed-up graphics and boring color palette
  • Figuring out what to do is not very intuitive
  • Platforming challenges are very tight and easy to mess up
  • Puzzle and platforming solutions are very specific and frame-perfect


"Tips"
1-Don't bother trying to save all the Mudokens to avoid frustration.

"Next Game"

Damn, I expected to like this game much more than I ended up doing, but it simply is not as fun to play as the story and setting deserves.

As such, I am not terribly excited about playing the game's prequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exodus which is considered the better game and is the one numbered 63 in the Retro Sanctuary list.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Warrior Fri May 21, 2021 4:38 pm

Nice job man. I read them all since many years, mostly because of your writing and method. Even those of Nintendo DS a console for which i had zero interest.

A new Oddworld was free last month on PS+ but exclusive to PS5 and i don't own. Reviews are very bad so it seems i missed on nothing. Oddworld New n Tasty is the real remake.

Was very young at the time, on PS1 i remember playing Driver 2 a lot, i would cruise in Chicago forever. Also Crash Bandicoot, Frogger and a Batman game whatever the name. Although those are all famous games and probably not worth a reviewing on your part.
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Post by Pedram Wed May 26, 2021 7:35 pm



Looks incredible tbh, makes me really excited for the upcoming generation.
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Post by danyjr Wed May 26, 2021 10:17 pm

Holy shit. Certain models look absolutely photorealistic.
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Post by RealGunner Wed May 26, 2021 11:09 pm

@Pedram wrote:

Looks incredible tbh, makes me really excited for the upcoming generation.


Always has been a cut above the rest so not surprised
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Post by RealGunner Wed May 26, 2021 11:11 pm

@Lord Spencer wrote:#63(S)

Game: Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee:
Year: 1997.
Genre: Puzzle-Platformer.
Publisher: GT Interactive Software.
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants.

General Games Discussion - Page 3 Oddworld_Abe_sOddysee-01_1400x



I remember playing this game for like an hour and never touched it again as a kid. Man i absolutely hated it. Couldn't get past the first few levels lol.
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Post by Myesyats Thu May 27, 2021 9:13 am

WTF that looks so photorealistic. Mindblowing

File size ought to be ridiculous though right?

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Post by Pedram Fri May 28, 2021 6:33 pm

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Post by Thimmy Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:18 pm

Have any of you played the Scarlet Nexus demo? It reminds me quite a bit of Nier: Automata, but also Persona 5 a bit in terms of atmosphere. It’s definitely not for everyone, but the combat system seems quite unique and stylish, and I enjoyed the little I played through in the demo.

My only complaint is that my PS4 nearly choked when I was pulling a large construction vehicle on top of an enemy’s head. My old console can’t handle all of the fancy effects.

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Post by Harmonica Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:48 am

General Games Discussion - Page 3 HiORLjE
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:46 pm



I have no idea what it will play like but it looks beautiful at least.

It kinda crept up but E3 started and the Avatar video is from Ubisoft's showcase yesterday.

The joint Bethesda/MS showcase is today in a little over a hour.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:47 pm

Looking forward to Square Enix's conference later.
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Post by Firenze Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:56 pm

same

E3 has been dog shit, cant believe they were considering making ppl pay to watch this year lol

I'll also watch Microsoft's but I'm only really interested in Square and to a lesser extent Nintendo
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:11 pm

Tbf there's been like 1 conference lol.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:15 pm

It is always shit without Sony.
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Post by RealGunner Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:40 pm

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