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Topic: Games You Recently Beat?

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Ralizah

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Platform: PC

Genre: Metroidvania

Completion level: Main game completed with best ending. Not all quests or optional bosses vanquished. 98% of the castle explored. Roughly 14 hours of playtime.

PRO

  • While leveling has a net effect on your stats over time, the differences aren't usually dramatic enough to swing a difficult boss battle in your favor. One of my biggest issues with Metroidvania-type games that feature leveling systems is that, wrongly implemented, they can trivialize the game, but I felt like a good balance was struck here. Your "load-out" when going into battle, in terms of your items, shards, and weapons, is the main thing that will help ensure victory (besides player skill and learning to avoid the attacks they telegraph, of course)
  • Speaking of a good balance, I like the difficulty balancing on this game by default. It's very approachable, but some bosses will still give the player a hard time until they make some changes to their loadout.
  • There's a decent amount of diversity to the types of weapons you can use in this game.
  • The game's 2.5D look is awesome, especially in sequences where there's a scrolling or rotating 3D environment that you're navigating on.
  • The game's art-style itself is very striking, with a lot of really bold, clashing colors that create a world which feels very stark.
  • The music is awesome. Not my favorite OST in the series (that it's technically not a part of), but I think there's an argument to be made for it being one of the upper-tier "Castlevania" soundtracks.
  • The combat, in-game animations, and feel of the character movement is all quite ideal. It's a very fun game to play, purely in terms of how the character controls.
  • The voice acting is quite decent, all things being equal. I especially like David Hatyer's sexy, growling voice being used to bring the stoic demon hunter Zangetsu to life.

Mixed

  • The "shard" system in this game, which allows you to collect and level up abilities you obtain from enemies, reminds me a LOT of Dawn of Sorrow, and of the sort of systems employed in the NDS era of Castlevania titles. There's a good amount of diversity to the types of attacks and effects that can be activated by these shards, but most of them just feel sort of... out of place for me, in the sense that I never really feel the need to switch up most of my shards throughout the game. I find a set that works for me, and I just stick with it.
  • The hidden "retro" level that you can unlock. While I like the idea of a level that carries the aesthetics of the NES-era Castlevania games, in practice, it feels quite lazy, with overtly simplistic pixel art, HP sponge enemies who don't even react to being hit (like, they literally just keep trucking on at the same pace until you kill them, making it hazardous to attack them on the ground even with fast weapons, considering they'll use the momentary pause of a weapon animation to just blow right past your character), really basic level geometry with a minimum of platforming, and your character's detailed model clashes horribly with the aesthetic of her environment; the least the game could have done is transform her into something akin to the Miriam we encounter in Curse of the Moon. The boss of this level is tough because, again, he's an HP sponge, and he spams aggravating, often difficult to avoid attacks at the player.
  • The plot is... I dunno. It becomes clear what's happening over the course of the game, but the actions and logic of a few major characters never fully make sense, and the story is reliant on overly-complicated worldbuilding early on. There's a story that the game wants to tell, but it comes mostly in the form of diary entries stowed away in random bookshelves and some poorly conceived "dramatic" cutscenes between characters.
  • I like quests and whatnot to pad out games like this. But the ones in this game sort of suck, and are mainly "kill [x] amount of certain monsters," or centered around making dishes for people with some hard to find ingredients. In general, the rewards weren't really good enough to justify the effort I expended in the first place. Also, they need to add the ability to accept multiple quests at once. Having to individually select 12 quests in a row and skip through the quest-giver's samey rambling each time is no fun.
  • In 14 hours of gameplay, I had one crash and one audio glitch after defeating the final boss that was a bit annoying. Also, the framerate juddered a bit too much in certain areas. Overall, though, performance was mostly pretty decent, and the game ran like a dream 95% of the time.

CON

  • The in-game character portraits during dialogues are pretty shoddy looking, like something out of a game from a few generations in the past. Retro in exactly the wrong sort of way.
  • The game does this annoying thing where it'll give you access to a late-game boss early, but, if you defeat him without a particular item, you'll get a bad ending. So you have to leave this particular portion of the map unexplored until you get the item to defeat him in the correct manner.
  • You have to talk to Johannes to synthesize materials, upgrade your shards, and cook food with ingredients you've gathered. But almost every time I went to him to employ his services, he'd trap me in some unnecessarily long dialogue before I could get back to the game proper and save. It's, like, dude, I just want to bake a cake to eat later, I don't want to sit through some five minute conversation about your personal anxieties.
  • There's a sequence where you tag alongside Zangetsu and witness just how much more powerful he is than Miriam, but the boss fight in this sequence is very dull, as it mostly involves just staying out of the way of attacks so Zangetsu can kill it, considering how much more damage he does to it.
  • The final boss is a total bore as well. It's only "difficult" insofar as it has way too much health and navigating around the stage to harm it is so awkward that you accidentally trip into it over and over. The attacks themselves are almost pathetically easy to avoid.

Conclusion: Perhaps not the untouchable masterpiece some people might have been hoping for, but it's a very good "latter-day Castlevania" style experience, and, hopefully, not the last Bloodstained game we'll see. Although, if I'm being honest, I'd rather see another Classicvania-styled entry in the series from Inti-Creates, like Curse of the Moon.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

Silly_G

I completed the story mode of Super Mario Maker 2. I'm not sure if there is anything else as it has been so anticlimactic.

Silly_G

3DS Friend Code: 2578-3134-0847 | Nintendo Network ID: sillygostly

NintendoByNature

@Ralizah I was waiting on your review of the game. Although it was on pc I'm starting up my switch version tonight. Bugs or no bugs 😋. Hoping a patch comes in the next week or so though.

NintendoByNature

Kukui

I just beat world of light in smash ultimate

Kukui

Ralizah

@NintendoByNature Good luck. The input delay was too much for me in the Switch release, but apparently that's one of the first things they're addressing with the new patch. I might pick up the Switch version down the line if they substantially improve it, considering that's the version of the game I was most interested in to begin with.

Ralizah

MarioLover92

I finally beat Banjo-Kazooie last night. Acquired every jiggy, musical note, and honeycomb piece. And I was playing the N64 original.

I gotta say, the Smash reveal trailer convinced me to revisit it. It's still a great game after all these years. The worlds are creative and not too overwhelming to explore, with just the right amount of collectables. The music is fantastic, as well. My few gripes were that it can be a pain to aim while you're shooting eggs or doing the Beak Bomb (the attack that you can use while flying), as well as collected musical notes and Jinjos not being saved when you lose a life or leave the world. Other than those, I had a good time with it. I did, however, have my fair share of deaths in Rusty Bucket Bay's engine room! That place is ruthless. Also when I got the last 6 honeycomb pieces, they didn't give me another hit point...lame. I also got the 100% ending where Mumbo Jumbo shows a few locations of the Stop 'n Swop items, but I don't think I'll bother with those. One of these days I'll finally put more time into Banjo-Tooie, I played a little bit of it but not too much.

Edited on by MarioLover92

Nintendo Life's (self-proclaimed) #1 Mario fan! Wahoo!

My Super Mario Maker 2 ID: V1J-NRF-PWG
Username: MarioFan92
Latest Level: Coin Mining (TYJ-6J9-BCG)

BlueOcean

@MarioLover92 Nice! I have to say that the games are more gamer-friendly on Xbox because of the better performance, resolution and because they save more stuff than the N64 versions and they also have the Stop n' Swop functions restored. I'm glad that you liked the game. It has some hard moments but the visual art, gameplay, writing, level design, bosses and music are amazing.

Edited on by BlueOcean

BlueOcean

Tyranexx

Pokemon Ultra Sun

I mentioned completing it in this thread about three weeks ago but held off on writing my full impressions until I was done with the post-game. The game was, on the whole, a mixed bag. Long post mode, engage!

Positives

  • They've kept all the additions that I liked from the original Pokemon Sun. Ride Pokemon are back, the trials are back (While I do miss gyms, I think trials a nice alternative; there's even a new trial here!), and the amazing Poke Pelago has made a return.
  • Mantine Surfing, an addition new to the Ultra games, is surprisingly fun. It's a nice alternative to traveling between the islands, though you sacrifice the near-instant speed of flying on Charizard to do so.
  • They really expanded on Hau's character growth. He still has his carefree personality, but that takes a nice change later in the game as he realizes that, while battles should definitely be fun, you should also give your all. It was also a nice twist to make him the final trainer you face before becoming the Champion.
  • More Pokemon are available before the post-game than ever. I was able to build a team that I like that uses a lot of my favorites without trading.
  • Team Skull is still here and as wonderfully campy as ever! I like how most NPCs in the game still don't take them seriously. They're definitely up there with some of my favorite teams. The "gangsta" stuff seems a little over the top at times, but I think that's the point. XD
  • Personality-wise, I like the Ultra Recon Squad, particularly Zossie.
  • I felt that the game, on the whole, was more difficult than Sun/Moon. That difficulty spike with Ultra Necrozma was pretty surprising and took some work with my current team to get through.
  • Many of the added side quests were fun. My favorites were the one where you investigate the seven school mysteries, the quest in Konikoni City involving the Ditto Five, the post-game quest involving your mom and her Meowth (where you get to learn something about her past), and the Left Pokeball quest with the little girl and Dartrix. I'm also glad that a returning dialogue with an older woman returns in this game. It occurs in the Hau'oli Cemetery and results in the player obtaining the TM for Fling.
  • Out of the things that they didn't really fix this time around, the relatively thin post-game is something that they did address. The Team RR Episode was fun, challenging, and was a nice throwback to Team Rocket puzzles of yore. Fighting all of the bosses was fun, even if they did cheat and use Ubers. Not much else has changed with the post-game content besides some side quests and events that open up after the main game and the new post-game content are finished, but the above definitely helped extend the experience.
  • Kukui no longer barges into your house like an uncouth savage, but I suppose the player isn't much better in most cases.
  • In the Ultra Wormhole, some of the worlds that the Ultra Beasts are from were quite neat and very alien. I got a few flashbacks to the Distortion World in Platinum.

Neutral

  • The plot kind of felt like it was all over the place. Heck, I even think I liked aspects of the original plot in Pokemon Sun better. I both liked and disliked some of the changes this time around. I liked how the beginning and how you obtain your first Pokemon was changed. The Ultra Recon Squad and the plight of their world in relation to Necrozma was interesting, but not ground-breaking. While I liked the resolution of what happened to Lusamine a little more here (versus the "she's unconscious and recovering in Kanto" hanging thread from the previous pair of games), the story this time around turned both her and Guzma more into anti-heroes. While this isn't bad per se, I found the plot twist where she was controlled and fused with Nihilego to be more interesting.
  • The Alola Photo Club could have, in my opinion, been expanded into so much more. It and the camera on the Rotom Dex could have been paired together to form a sort of lite version of Pokemon Snap in the games, but there was really no point to this. It was all purely cosmetic and was something I didn't bother messing around with. That's not to say that I've never done any of the side stuff of no consequence in the Pokemon series before, but photo editing just for the sake of it doesn't grab me. Now if they would bring back something like the movie studio that was outside of Virbank City in Black/White 2....
  • Some areas of this game are more fleshed out and finished, such as the Pikachu Valley. Unfortunately, it confuses me as to why some of these areas weren't that way to begin with. In some ways, these areas feel like they should have been "finished" instead of being left in an unfinished state in the first games. That makes them seem rushed.
  • In the beginning, I didn't mind the chattier Rotom Dex. I liked answering some of the questions and liked the extra interaction. After a while, however, this started to get annoying. The worst was the constant pushing for me to visit the Alola Photo Club each time I had a Pokemon evolve. I get it, game. You have this new feature I don't care about. Please stop mentioning it every five minutes.

Negative

  • They've done absolutely nothing to fix the railroading here. In fact, I realized this time around that Melemele Island is basically one giant tutorial. I understand making games accessible to younger players, but I never got permanently stuck in the older games as a kid. I just kept exploring and pushing forward.
  • In general, I like cut scenes in video games, particularly when there's a cool action sequence or a nice bit of plot being divulged. I can even stand a lot of them here. That said, these are even more terrible about the cutscenes and pacing than the original Sun/Moon. The main problem this time are the constant interruptions by the Ultra Recon Squad. While you occasionally learn some new things in these scenes, they occur a lot in this game and ultimately are of little consequence in some cases.
  • While this normally isn't an issue with me, cutscenes can't be skipped. There was a point in the post-game where I had run into a difficult spot and had to keep going through the same cutscene over...and over...and over....
  • With some of the changes to the plot that I did like, I also feel like they sacrificed some of Lillie's character development in the process. It's still there, just less so.
  • While I can't fault them for trying something different, I didn't really like the randomness of the Ultra Wormhole encounters. Some probably found this a nice change of pace, and more power to them, but this exact thing is why I'm glad they kept random legendary encounters to a minimum in the past. As a kid, I wouldn't have minded this as much, but I just don't have the time to grind out every single legendary or Ultra Beast and hope that the next wormhole has what I'm looking for. That's not to say that they're TRULY random in some cases as I know there are some criteria to be met, but the fact remains that I just didn't find this very appealing.

Overall, I thought that Ultra Sun was fairly decent, but it's definitely not my favorite Pokemon game and has some glaring issues. I don't feel like there's been a third (sorta) version this barebones in terms of new changes since Pokemon Crystal, but that could be the rose-tinted glasses talking. As mentioned above, in some ways this (and I'm certain Ultra Moon) feels like what the original Sun/Moon should have been, and in others I actually prefer the original product. I think the "this should have been DLC" claims feel quite right sometimes.

I'd recommend this to Pokemon fans, but probably not at full price. Just don't go in expecting an award-winning story.

Video Corner: How SM3DW Actually Started (language)
Currently playing: Dragon Quest IV (DS), SteamWorld Heist (Wii U)

Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

Heavyarms55

I finished Mario Maker 2's story mode over the weekend, and that was pretty cool. I think the story mode alone makes for a fine full 2D Mario experience, but coupled with the level making and the effectively infinite levels made by other players, I don't see any reason for Nintendo to release another traditional 2D Mario on Switch. Rather, they should make DLC releases for Mario Maker 2, adding in more power ups, enemies, and most importantly themes.

Nintendo Switch FC: 4867-2891-2493
Discord: Heavyarms55#1475
Pokemon Go FC: 3838 2595 7596
PSN: Heavyarms55zx
Feel free to add me

MsJubilee

Recently beaten World End Syndrome. Lovely game, the mystery of the island and the Yombito had me engrossed.

But like any game, this has problems. I thought this would be a straight forward VN like the prologue, boy was i wrong. You have to start looking around every day and night for one of the main girls(can't do them all in one run, you will have to pick a girl and keep following her until the month is over) to make any progress, that means loading and saving constantly which is tedious. You can watch a walkthrough if you'll like, but the thumbnails will spoil key points. Written walkthroughs for this game is nonexistent.

If you're interested in a straight forward mystery VN, look somewhere else. If you want to unravel the mystery and can cope with the tedious saving and loading, i can recommend this. Also this is a teen summer romance first(get ready for some anime tropes), a mystery second. Still,learning about all the characters backstories and getting to the truth of it all was worth it. I wish i bought a physical copy of this game, still kicking myself for that mistake.

I've died,there is no more me.

If it's bitter at the start. Then it's sweeter in the end.

Reading Grappler Baki & The Saga of Tanya the Evil(light novel volume one).

Switch Friend Code: SW-5827-3728-4676 | 3DS Friend Code: 3738-0822-0742

Ralizah

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Platform: PS4

Level of Completion: Pretty much everything in the base game. Unlocked the platinum trophy and spent roughly 70 hours playing the game. Didn't touch the DLC, but I'll play that separately at a later time*

PRO

  • Let's start with the obvious: Horizon: Zero Dawn has one of the most fascinating and lovingly realized post-apocalyptic worlds I've ever encountered in Western media. The art direction for the machines and the environments is amazing. Additionally, there seems to be a ton of world-building here, and this was one of the few games where I actually bothered to stop and read a lot of the history and lore informing the tribal conflicts and mythologies at play.
  • Combat against the machines that inhabit this world is just... superb. All of them are so different, requiring different tactics to tackle different machines. It's a bit like a Monster Hunter game insofar as I initially struggled to beat the often intimidating new machines I encountered, only to become an expert and quickly taking them down as I learned their patterns and the best ways to neuter their offensive capabilities. Strategically removing components from the machines plays a huge role in this game, and the best way to get good at hunting the wildly diverse array of robotic wildlife is to isolate what components they're drawing strength from. Scrappers, for example, are fairly easy to deal with if you quickly remove their back-mounted guns; Thunderjaws need to be stripped of their rocket launchers sooner than later; Glinthawks are a pain until you realize that using fire arrows will ground them very quickly; Stalkers are terrifying until you learn to quickly strip them of the component they they use to become invisible; etc. There's such a huge amount of depth to these encounters, and when you learn to "git gud," every fight flows like beautiful poetry. Human combat doesn't fare nearly as well, but there is something fun to stalking around bandit camps with modded stealth gear and quietly murdering everyone like The Predator.
  • There is a fantastic level of diversity to the weapons you can use in this game. You get normal arrows, elemental arrows, arrows that specialize in removing components, arrows that explode and strip machines of their parts even more quickly, weapons that lob normal explosives, explosives that stick to stuff, explosives that trigger when something gets near it, wires that explode or trigger elemental effects and damage, landmines, a weapon that ties machines down with arrows, etc.! Learning how to combine these various tools to devastating effect against the monsters you regularly encounter is one of the funnest aspects of this game.
  • I really like how much stuff you can mod and upgrade in this game. Modding weapons and armor allows you a certain level of customization that will change your playstyle.
  • Additionally, there are skills you can unlock throughout the game that will often dramatically change how you engage in combat. They almost all feel invaluable, and it was difficult to pick out what skills I wanted to attain first. Which, of course, increases my desire to play more of the game and continue to upgrade Aloy.
  • How Aloy controls. Unlike a lot of Western AAA titles I've played over the years, where the character you control feels 'heavy' or otherwise doesn't respond immediately to controller inputs, Aloy in HZD controls beautifully. She'll twitch around instantaneously to any touch the control sticks. It feels good to run, jump, dodge, etc., which makes the game's brilliant machine fights all the more fun.
  • The world in Horizon: Zero Dawn is often photo-realistic and is one of the most visually resplendent environments I've encountered in a video game. This is both due to the level of detail in the environments as well as the gorgeous weather and lighting effects. Guerilla Games did a great job of getting the somewhat weak PS4 to render this absolutely stunning world at a consistent frame-rate.
  • Performance is excellent. If this game was dropping frames, I never noticed it.
  • While it took me a LONG time to bother really engaging with the main plot, I ended up being quite into it as I progressed further in the game. But I'm a sucker for good science-fiction, and I liked how the game attempted to fully explain why the world is the way it is.
  • This game really nailed the side quests. Everything has so much narrative grounding and the presentation is frequently so superb that even mere fetch quests felt substantive, like I was making a positive change in the world. And there are a LOT of side-quests in this game.
  • HZD is good about frequently rewarding the player for completing side content and exploring, making it where I rarely felt like I was wasting my time or playing the game just to play it.
  • The game almost always opts for "gamey" design over pure realism when it'll impact the player's enjoyment of the experience, which I really appreciated. A perfect example of this is the treatment of mounts. After you learn how to override and mount machines, you can use them to quickly traverse dangerous environments. Now, in many other games, mounts are often more trouble than they're worth because you can't stray too far from them and they'll freak out at the slightest hint of environmental unevenness. The beautiful machines in this game will intelligently maneuver over streams, up small rocks and down slight dips, so that you can still take shortcuts, explore, and stray away from the beaten path. Additionally, you can summon your mount from pretty much anywhere, no matter how far from it you seem to be. The best skill in this game is actually one that allows you to automatically spawn a mount to ride whenever you need it, which is SO helpful and convenient. Unrealistic? Absolutely. But it made the game better, and I appreciate that the designers prioritized fun gameplay over an obsessive fixation on realism at all times.
  • The photo mode in this game is super robust and a ton of fun to play around with. I never really bother with photo modes in games, but I spent a lot of time lining up great screenshots to share with people. This is mainly down to the camera being VERY flexible and adjustable, I think. Aloy has a lot of different poses as well.
  • Aside from one particular trophy, the platinum was a pleasure to achieve, and most of the trophies come along with fully engaging with the game.

Mixed

  • While the world is full of stuff to do, the way it's designed is pure Ubisoft. In particular, there's a number of striking similarities to recent Far Cry games, particularly in terms of how a huge emphasis is placed on hunting animals for resources to upgrade your gear, and icons of those animals adorning your map. It works... but it also means that HZD never feels fully realized on a game design level (absolutely brilliant combat and art design aside).
  • The music is serviceable, and I have no complaints about it, but, aside from the title theme (which IS quite lovely), I didn't really take much away from it. It's difficult to even remember the music in this game a few days after completing it.
  • The characters are all over the place. I really, really like Sylens, and several of the side characters have a surprising level of depth to them (Nil, Erend, etc.). Others, like the primary human antagonist and numerous other people you meet, are fairly stereotypical, although you can't expect great development from hundreds of characters. What moved the characters to the "mixed" category for me is Aloy herself. She, to put it in no uncertain terms, a generic heroic character who rarely struggles to do the right thing and almost always seems to reach with grace to a situation. Burch's voice work for her is excellent, but there's only so much personality you can impart to a character who is fundamentally unrelatable. This is particularly grotesque when other people in her tribe literally begin to worship the ground she stands on (which she, of course, dissuades them from doing). You can have morally upright and strong characters who are also interesting and relatable, but I don't think they really achieved that here. If anything, I thought the scientist that Aloy is a clone of had a much more interesting story arc and characterization.
  • The voice work in this game. There are a ton of voiced side characters in this game, and I've noticed that the quality of the acting varies pretty wildly over the course of the game. Thankfully, the core cast of voice actors do a pretty good job overall. With that said, every time I stumbled across another shrill, whiny male NPC in the overworld, I would feel a momentary urge to mute the sound.
  • I like all the loot you can find in this game, but it doesn't feel like there's a whole lot to do with most of it other than sell it. The bulk of craftable items tend to draw from a small pool of similar items. Which means, despite the huge amount of stuff to find in your environment, you're better off selling most of it and having blaze canisters, ridge-wood, and a few other useful items take up 3/4 of your available inventory space.

CON

  • The climbing in this game sucks. The geometry is set up in such a way that it's difficult to even try to climb up some boulders without Aloy stumbling around like an idiot. At least in Skyrim you could kind of clip your character up a hill, but, here, unless you get extremely lucky, you're mostly relegated to using these horrible yellow handholds plastered onto everything in this world to climb places. Even worse is when the game expects you to know that some grooves on the faces of mountains and rocks are climbable, meaning you often have to go way out of your way and hunt for some creases in a wall so that you can climb up a short way to a building or tower on a different environmental plane. When you do climb, it's this loose, Uncharted-esque flow of movement that takes minimal effort on the part of the player.
  • More broadly, while the environments, as previously acknowledged, are GORGEOUS, the way you interact with them is incredibly shallow. You don't get cold, wet, hot. Environments don't really burn or ice over. Weather doesn't matter. The environments are beautiful window dressing meant to change the scenery and little else.
  • It's understandable given the almost complete lack of loading screens as you're actually playing the game, but the load times when you first start the game, or when you fast travel across the map, can exceed a minute in length and feel PAINFULLY long.
  • During cutscenes, the game has this weird tendency to engage in jump cuts when a character is in the midst of a drawn out dialogue. It's always startling, and impacts the immersiveness of the game during story segments.
  • The way lighting changes in the environments in this game is frequently very odd. It's like, when the sun is setting or rising, instead of a gradual shift in the environmental color gradient, there'll be sudden, jarring shifts between different colors, or, even more jarringly, between darkness and illumination. One second you're surrounded by darkness, the next, the sun is suddenly illuminating your surroundings.
  • What's up with the camera hugging the backs of the protagonists in so many PS4 exclusives? The camera is always sort of close to Aloy, but in caves and towns it zooms in so close to the character that I almost felt claustrophobic at points.
  • I hate that Aloy, and the game with her, kind of forgets about Rost after the start of the game. I was hoping for some sort of callback or tribute or SOMETHING at the end of the game, but it never happens.
  • The facial animations in this game are... not good. These are some seriously creepy looking people: their lip movements never really sync with the dialogue, they're often somewhat strange looking, and I feel a chill going up my spine when I see their plastic-y mouths move and contort. The Nora apparently live in the heart of the Uncanny Valley. These are some of the creepiest looking video game characters I've seen this side of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and its parade of deformed-looking hill people. I've heard the animations are improved in the DLC campaign, though, so I'm eager to play that at some point and see how they stack up to the base game.
  • I found the final mission to be somewhat rushed and disappointing. Not a big deal, but it doesn't match up a lot of the narrative highs in this game.
  • Obtaining all the collectibles is boring. Finding them involves pixel hunting in certain parts of the map. No puzzles, no quests, you just follow a map and hunt around an area until you find them. The power cells are a bit different than this, insofar as they're hidden out of the way, but you still don't really do anything interesting to collect them.

Conclusion: Despite the large number of complaints I've made about the game, it should be pointed out that the impact of almost all of these were fairly minimal on my enjoyment of the game as a whole. Horizon: Zero Dawn is an epic, original, inventive, addictive, responsive, beautiful, and straight up fun game, and, more than 95% of games I play, feels high quality in almost every respect. HZD is the complete package, and it's very, very satisfying to play a game that feels so... complete as an experience. I wasn't expecting to like this even half as much as I do.

I don't know that it's the BEST game on the PS4, but it's absolutely my favorite exclusive on the system now (sorry, Tetris Effect, but you've been dethroned), and I'm excited to see how this franchise evolves going into the future.

Verdict: 9/10

Ralizah

NintendoByNature

Finally, even though it's long over due, I was able to beat Bloodstained Ritual of the Night on Switch. Despite the negative attention the switch version gets, i had a great time with the game. Certain boss fights and areas i experienced slow down or frame rate issues, but it's wasn't too bad. I had two crashes within in the first hour and 1 in the last hour. Completed only 90% of the map and total play time was 13 hours. It was actually more but that doesn't include load screens and what not. For someone who rarely completes metroidvanias and the like, I didn't find myself struggling with where to go or what to do. The map is easy to understand, and you can even place markers in areas as a reminder to go back to that location which i thought was nice. There were plenty of Save rooms and portals which helped alot.
Although, For portals, it didn't make much sense why there would be a save room next to one, but in certain locations it was far off the beaten path.

The crafting system was neat as well as the shard system. My biggest gripe about shards though is that there were some i could've used in later boss fights that I sold mid way thru the game for never touching them to that point. The problem is, you never know what you should keep and what you should sell. A big thing that's stressed early is on for Miriam never to carry too many ( this is explained in the story but for spoilers I won't say much). So i found myself never wanting to keep too many and risk what COULD happen.

The story itself was fun. There wasn't manu cut scenes unless it was a boss battle or a rare instance of running into someone. So it was pretty much gameplay the entirety of the game which i liked. My biggest issue which some of you heard me discussing in the bloodstained thread, is that I cruised thru the game with only a few hiccups on boss battles. I was leveling up at a fair pace that presented a fair but difficult boss fight for each boss. Some i beat on one try. Others may have taken me 30 to 45 min to beat. The latter was a small few. But then I got to the end game boss, The true ending. And I was severely under leveled. It got to the point of having to spend a couple hours just farming for xp to level up which imo is never fun. I had to go from level 36 to 42 to finally take down the big bad. Problem is, I didn't think leveling up was necessary at first as I flew thru the game with ease. So for a good 4 to 5 hours I stayed at level 36 trying to beat the boss and failed each time. Then i went back to town to upgrade, craft and purchase items etc, multiple times. From start to finish of leveling up, purchasing and defeating the boss,it took me ( and this is an extreme case I'm sure) about 6 to 7 hours(load screens included).

Aside from those gripes, it was one of my favorite games I've played in a long time and even though it was the most funded kickstarter ( I believe), for an indie game, i was blown away with how good it was. Even with the small technical issues i faced and the lower resolution, it's at least an 8-8.5 out of 10 for me.

NintendoByNature

Ralizah

@NintendoByNature The last boss sucks no matter what level you're at. He's an HP sponge, and the hardest thing about it is that it's so easy to keep tripping over his stupid faces.

Ralizah

NintendoByNature

@Ralizah exactly. It was by far the worst/hardest boss ive ever faced...
.ever..... cuphead was tough..zelda 2's final boss was tough. But this was the worst experience of my gaming life and I've been gaming nearly 30 years. I wasn't even having fun toward the end because of the boss. Everything else was class A for me until that point. It was no like no matter how many times you hit the [email protected][email protected] he doesn't die. And you're constantly bumping into the heads. The inverting helped a ton though. I screamed HElL YES upon beating him. Thankfully I was alone in my car, in a parking lot lol

Edited on by Matthew010

NintendoByNature

Ralizah

NintendoByNature wrote:

I screamed HElL YES upon beating him.

I think I'll shout "Heil Yes!" the next time I beat up Hitler in a Wolfenstein game.

Ralizah

NintendoByNature

@Ralizah hahah you got me. And I'm not going back to edit my post. I typed that out of shear excitement from finally beating the game that my fingers were slap happy. This day will forever be one of happiness and typos 😉

NintendoByNature

RR529

Batman: Return to Arkham Asylum (PS4) - A remaster of the PS360 title for modern platforms.

Pros:

  • The core beat 'em up combat is pretty fun, and it feels good to get a lengthy combo going. Although I never got too good at it, the stealth mechanics were well concieved too.
  • There was a pretty good variety of gameplay on offer, with most combat scenerios often going back & forth between straight beat 'em up action (areas where enemies didn't have guns) or stealth (all enemies would have guns and you'd have to take them out without drawing attention to yourself), and then it would further break up the action with some God of War (2018) style platforming or light puzzle solving (which sometimes would be mixed with the platforming).
  • It had classic "Metroidvania" style world design & progression, with absolutely brilliant atmosphere (the creepy Medical Facility in particular creeped me the heck out).
  • I liked how it handled the collectables. Instead of items that would directly increase your health or attack as you would find in Metroid, they all gave you EXP instead, which largely allowed you to upgrade at your own discretion. The collectables themselves would often have other purposes beyond just granting you EXP as well, like Interview Tapes & Arkham Chronicles providing in game world building/lore, Solving Riddles would often grant you character bios of various Batman characters (most not even in the game), and others would grant you character trophies.
  • While it's roots as a last gen game came through in places, I generally found it to be a nice looking game even by modern standards.
  • The banter of the Joker & Riddler throughout the game was a highlight.

Cons:

  • Not a big fan of the boss fights in the game, which is a shame considering they could have done some cool things with a slate of supervillains. One early game boss had his whole combat shtick aped by special late game enemies (I hate it when a boss, usually an early game one, essentially becomes a regular enemy in late game), a couple were pretty cool, but don't actually involve fighting them, a couple (including the final boss) devolve into little more than fighting waves of regular enemies in a hazardous environment, and then you have exactly one that is a traditional, unique fight.

Overall I thought it was a pretty good time though, and though I'll be taking a break from the Bat, I'm looking forward to continuing the series (I also got the remaster of Arkham City in the same bundle).

Currently Playing:
Switch - NSMBU Deluxe
PS4 - Moss

NintendoByNature

Crash Bandicoot 1 on switch. That was my first play through of the series and game. While I think the game was fun overall, I cant help but say there were some levels with very poor design and controls. Quite a few were down right frustrating. The ones that spring to mind are the " up in the clouds" ones where you have to land on very thin boards while avoiding hogs and turtles. Or in some cases, turtles are required to be used as a trampoline and many times, I accidentally killed them meaning you cannot cross the gap without them. Only solution? Jump off the ledge and start over.

The controls were a little clunky even given the era they came from. This made it especially hard landing on ledges. Not to mention, most of the non side scrolling levels were so hard to master because the depth of which you had to jump to, was hard to visualize. On screen, it was so hard to tell if I should do a full jump or half, causing way too many deaths than I care to share.

Now i will say, there were still some really fun levels to be had and the thing that saved it all, was the boss fights for me. I thought they were really well done and took some good trial and error.

By no means will this ever be the quality that a Mario game is, or even a yoshi game, but I got this trilogy on prime day for $20. Needless to say, I'm happy with the purchase. I can only imagine the next 2 games will build upon the 1st, and hopefully some of those frustratingly difficult levels are more balanced.
7/10

NintendoByNature

Ralizah

@NintendoByNature The first game is universally considered to be the worst of the original trilogy. IMO, CB2 is the best, as Warped (the third game) was overrun with irritating level gimmicks that ruined the game for me.

I'll never understand the nostalgic fondness people seem to have for these games. The levels are like literal hallways! I guess, in that respect, nothing has changed for Naughty Dog.

I'm looking forward to the Spyro collection, though. They're really excellent early 3D platformers.

Ralizah

NintendoByNature

@Ralizah well I'm glad i have no where to go but up 😆. But In all seriousness I agree. It's like hallways with all sorts of craziness going on but you can't tell how far you need to jump. Then they throw an "unlit" level at you where you can't even see where you jumping( depth perception aside). When i got a PlayStation growing up , I was kind of over platformers unless it was Mario, So i skipped this. I'm sure if I grew up playing it I would enjoy it more. Like i said it's not bad, but there was some poor choices in the design. Graphics, characters worlds were all top notch though. Playing doom 3 now and mm2. When im done with doom 3 I'll give 2 a shot

NintendoByNature

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