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Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:26 pm
by Exhuminator
MrPopo wrote:Ack really liked the level designs but I didn't; they were really sprawling and mazelike and it never felt like they made sense, which hurt my normal directional sense.

Jedi Knight is the only game I've ever played that gave me vertigo. So I'm inclined to agree the level design has issues.
Normally I'd pick up the expansion for play but I think I'd rather give things a rest for now.

Mysteries of the Sith is terrible, don't waste your time man.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:54 pm
by Xeogred
Exhuminator wrote:
MrPopo wrote:Ack really liked the level designs but I didn't; they were really sprawling and mazelike and it never felt like they made sense, which hurt my normal directional sense.

Jedi Knight is the only game I've ever played that gave me vertigo. So I'm inclined to agree the level design has issues.

Go play Wolfenstein 2009...

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:03 pm
by MrPopo
You know what I will say? I enjoyed the live action cutscenes in Jedi Knight. Sure, they weren't the best acted, but taking the time to do so is definitely something. I've enjoyed live action briefings ever since I first played C&C. Now making a whole game live action, that's a recipe for disaster since it constrains you so much. But the cutscenes? Bring em on.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:15 pm
by Ack
Rereading what I wrote, it seems level design is all we disagreed on, Popo. I also had issues with the weapons and wasn't a big fan of the boss fights.

Mysteries of the Sith has worse levels in my opinion. It never gave me vertigo(only Redline has done that), but it has some truly awful moments in some levels.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:23 pm
by MrPopo
I think you preferred the gunplay while I stuck with saber and force powers (mostly jump).

Something I've found out from youtube is that there are less cinematics if you go dark side. After going dark the only things you get are the escape the ship (but no crash) and then the victory cutscene.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:26 pm
by Ack
MrPopo wrote:I think you preferred the gunplay while I stuck with saber and force powers (mostly jump).

Yeah, I suppose that is true. I liked some of the force powers but generally despised saber combat. And most of the bosses could be defeated by running around them in a circle and attacking at angles. It just never felt fun to me.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:45 am
by Sload Soap
Lego Marvel Superheroes (Xbox One)
I've been chipping away at this for quite a while but I finally finished all the levels and special levels. I didn't unlock every single character (because there's a shed-load of them) or get every gold brick but I did a lot. I got Captain Britain which is what really counts here.

Anyway, this is the first Lego game I've ever actually owned and it's quite a good one to start with I think. Nice breezy puzzle-platforming with a jolly little story about Lego Doom and Lego Loki trying to take over the Lego world. I'm not too big on the cutesy poo Lego versions of famous franchise characters but there's obviously a lot of love for the universe from the developer. When you can unlock Black Bolt, Wizard and Squirrel Girl among 120 others, you know the developer cares.

The game is structured pretty basically: New York City and the SHIELD helicarrier that hovers above make up a secret stuff hub world from which the main missions are located. Even if that mission takes place in Asgard or on Asteroid M they still all kick off at street level. And the city itself is a fairly large and varied location, a sunny recreation of the real thing but with universe specific buildings thrown in like Oscorp and Fisk Tower.

I found beating the missions alone kind of boring to be honest so I went back and did them all in free-play (where you can select any character you have thus far unlocked) to find all the secrets and goodies. This is probably the best way to play the game. Since enemies pose such little threat in the game and boss battles essentially boil down to puzzles, going back through and digging around for hidden goodies is basically the bulk of the experience.

Augmenting the main levels are a bunch of side missions that you unlock through attaining gold bricks (think Mario stars) which are much shorter, usually taking place in one room, but still quite fun and featuring yet more guest heroes and villains.

So I guess the game is a collect-a-thon when you boil it down. Aside from having 250 gold bricks to unlock through various means you also have 100 minikits, 30 Stan Lee in perils, 11 Deadpool red bricks, 120+ unlockable characters (some with alternate costumes to unlock on top of that), 25+ unlockable vehicles and literally millions of lego studs to acquire. It's not at DK64's bacchanalian level of collectable madness but it's not far off. What is it with British game makers and collecting?

That kind of led to a situation where I finished the game off around three weeks ago and have been just hoovering up the odd gold brick of character here and there. I find it a bit like busywork but I also appreciate how I can just load in for 20 minutes or something before dinner or work and find something new.

I did have a lot of easy fun with Lego Marvel but it does have a couple of issue outside its sea of unlocks and child friendly difficulty.

Firstly, flying. Flying is a cool way to traverse the gameworld and generally it's done very well...until you do a flying race and realise that it's not quite responsive enough to handle some of the slightly complex things it asks you to do. You never really need flying to accomplish anything other than sidequests and races but it's still a shame TT couldn't smooth it out a bit more.

Secondly, there are a numerous bugs and glitches some minor like NPC's running into walls and some major like mission gates failing to activate forcing a restart or clipping through the floor. Now the game isn't awash with these instances but I was forced to replay an entire level due to one particularly egregious glitch where a boss wouldn't spawn the item needed to defeat him and another where a boss froze the console completely forcing a reset. When these instances happen it's almost like you can physically see the overworked Travellers Tales employees being whipped by Warner Bros execs. No Lego game should be crashing a current gen system.

Overall, I had lots of fun and definitely got my moneys worth. I kind of feel like other Lego games will seem a bit tame next to it but that's okay, this one has more than enough content to keep someone going for weeks.

Captain America:Super Soldier (360)
This has become a fairly uncommon game on these shores so when I saw a copy I had to snap it up. I had heard it was a fairly decent Batman: Arkham Asylum clone only featuring everyone's second favourite patriotism themed superhero. Oh, how I yearn for the day Captain Britain gets his own game.

So yeah, Captain America: Super Solider is pretty much exactly a decent if somewhat cheap looking Arkham rip off set during WW2 and featuring Cap's rogues gallery of insane Nazi scientists up to no good.

Okay it's maybe a push to say CA:SS is an Arkham clone. It attempts some of the backtracking and hidden goodies that Rocksteady's game pulled of which such aplomb but it does it a bit half-arsed. There's a sewer system that connects all the game's various sections but it's so poorly signposted I didn't discover it until the penultimate mission of the game.

Even then there is little reason to actually backtrack. There are hidden caches of nazi documents and some trinkets relating to Cap nemesis Baron Zemo (who unfortunately only features in voiced memos) but don't expect stuff the equal of Riddler clues or easter eggs. At best there is a room with a gold statue in it; at worst and as is mostly the case, documents will just be lying around in the open, either on top of boxes or tables or sometimes even just thrown onto the floor in the rain. Hydra must have spunked all their budget on robots and lasers and couldn't get anyone in to properly file their stuff for them.

Speaking of budget, it's fairly clear that publisher Sega had their cheapskate hat on when they gave the greenlight for this title. I could probably write an entire essay on how moronically Sega have handled the Marvel licenses, especially considering the vast quantities of money the movies these games are based on rake in. I won't but I will surmise it thus: fuck sake, Sega.

As I said the game feels a bit cheap or knock-off and this extends to everything from the graphics to the gameplay to the overall structure. I will give the developers, Next Level Games, some credit as I think they both wanted to make a good Arkham-a-like AND a good Captain America game as there are occasional flashes of originality here and there that shine through. One is Cap's ability to ricochet back enemy bullets if you time a shield block or the way you can find documents on enemy types that unlock bonuses against them which can help even out some battles later on.

I'll say this: the game doesn't fail at anything. It does combat well, it's very well paced even if it is a bit brief (5 hours maybe 6 tops) and has a couple of pretty cool boss battles. The graphics or sound aren't horrible either. It's a bit better than average, fun for a weekend or a single marathon session. But the flip side of that is that it doesn't do anything great and so it's a very flat experience in the main.

I think if Sega had been a bit more generous on the business side of things and the game wasn't restricted by being tied in to the movie license we could of had a really, really solid Captain America game that'd be something like Arkham Asylum meets Wolfenstein. As it is I can only recommend to Marvel fans and collectors as it perhaps isn't worth the value it holds.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles (Saturn)
Played for Together Retro and the first time I'd played both locked on in a long while. More thoughts in the accompanying thread but short of it is, while I don't think this game deserved to be shit on as much as some people did, I can also kind of see where those people where coming from.

I like the game a lot but I just think it's almost too ambitious for its own good in this form. Each game separately are classic Sonic adventures. I just find when they are back to back like this, it becomes a bit like having ten plates of your favourite food. Too much of a good thing and all that.

I do very much appreciate all the little hidden areas and multiple paths and the game is gorgeous to look at. I even like the soundtrack, mostly. I do hate Blue Sphere (have I mentioned this yet?) with a passion so this was a low emerald count run through but for me, finding the ring gates is payment enough of its own.

Again though it can become a slog. There are some very long, twisty levels in both 3 and Knuckles that can drag out. Thankfully Sonic Jam has the option to turn off the timer but it seems kind of contradictory to have more open ended levels that encourage exploration but still stick with the timer from previous games.

I also find the game too fond of enemies that are less designed to inflict damage and more to bounce you back in the opposite direction. There also seem to be many more springs placed in positions which are again only intended to send you flying back where you came from. Minor stuff but a bit irritating as the game goes on.

But yeah, not a bad game by any means. There are unfortunately a lot of bad Sonic games around these days both in 2D and 3D and Sonic 3 or Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic 3 & Knuckles is still many echelons of quality above them in whatever configuration you wish to play them.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Xbox One)
As it stands, Wolfenstein: The New Order is on course to be my personal GOTY. I found it to be an incredible FPS full of great action and complemented with a very fine story and characters you can actually invest in. With that in mind I had to get The Old Blood as soon as it released. And then I accidentally played it through all in one go. Whoopsie.

First things first: The Old Blood is not TNO DLC. It is, like Far Cry: Blood Dragon, a stand alone download containing eight new levels, split between two tonally different though storyline linked chapters. This is also set back in 1946 and is set entirely in Germany, in and around Castle Wolfenstein itself. Sorry, no Moon Nazis here.

Like The New Order, Old Blood doesn't really do anything new but what it does do it does very well. Combat is still fast and frantic, stealth is still satisfying to pull off and the diesel-punk/sci-fi aesthetic is still excellent. If you just want more Wolfenstein, this is your game. If you're curious about Machine Games' take on this venerable franchise, the £15 pricepoint is quite generous for the content within.

I do have a few qualms though. The advertising in the run-up to release promised new enemies to fight and while this is technically true, it isn't functionally true. Many are just superficial variations on Nazis you slaughtered in TNO and the one new truly new enemy class is well, well let's just say you've more than likely fought a lot of them before elsewhere.

Since The Old Blood is stripped back in scale it is also stripped back in scope. There are no jaunts to Nazi-occupied London (something that might become reality on thursday if UKIP get in) or secret underwater Jewish science labs, no the game is instead split by chapter into the castle and its dungeons, and the town of Wulfberg and its graveyard.

As I mentioned before the two sections, while linked by the plotline, are tonally different; the Castle Wolfenstein section feel more like TNO with its emphasis on deranged nazi science, while the Wulfberg section is more like Wolfenstein 2009 which was more about the Nazis various forays into the occult. (Side note: It's been a bit odd that Wolfenstein games tend to favour one aspect from the other game by game, with maybe Return to Castle Wolfenstein being the only one to successfully blend the two).

The Castle chapter felt longer than the Wulfberg chapter perhaps because it has more opportunities for stealth (and therefore restarts) but it's decently long and while it won't keep you playing for weeks, unless you try for hidden items and challenge rooms. Otherwise it'll be give you a a couple of sessions, if you don't do what I do and use your night off to devour the whole thing in one that is.

There are issues though. The New Order was such a hit because of it's surprisingly effective story telling, which has sadly also been scaled back somewhat in The Old Blood.

BJ is still his psychotic lovable self but the new villains and heroes don't get enough time to be built up like they were in TNO. Because of this the script uses some pretty cheap cliches to add personality to the new antagonists: one is a meat head who feeds prisoners to his beloved dog, the other a fat Nazi archaeologist with a god-complex. Neither come close to the skin-crawling villainy of The New Order's chief antagonists and come off a bit pantomime.

Another slight issue, albeit one that doesn't directly interfere with the main action: in TNO there was a easter egg of sorts where you would lie on a bed and enter BJ's "nightmare" which was a recreation of Wolfenstein 3D. It was cute as a one-off. Well, I guess people must have really loved it as there is now one of these nightmare flashbacks per level. It might seem like an odd gripe but I kind of got bored after the first two and avoided the rest when I could. Like all good jokes, you keep telling it, the less funny it gets.

Arsey gripes aside though this was some good stuff. It doesn't quite have the gleeful bloodlust of last year's title but it does have a few new weapons like a bolt action rifle that's great for headshots and a pistol that fires small grenades. There are some great set-pieces generally a lot of Nazi killing goes down in very awesome ways.

I'd go for The New Order first obviously but this is a very appreciable package. Machine Games have done another great job on this franchise and not a season pass in sight! Sehr gutes Spiel.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:53 am
by noiseredux
sload, even though I was one of the shitter-on's, I'm still planning to push myself to complete Sonic & Knuckles this year.

Also, I am so so excited for Old Blood. New Order was my GOTY, so I'm really looking forward to the expansion. Will probably start it up tonight!

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:03 am
by graffix_13
Beat Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis) last night.

Wow, what a game. It was my first time playing it and it lived up to the hype. One of my favorite Beat 'em Ups and I like it better than Final Fight. The gameplay was smoother than FF and I liked the character graphics/animations better as well.

I need to play the first Streets of Rage and the 3rd one now.

Re: Games Beaten 2015

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:53 am
by dogman91
You're gonna find it hard to go back to Streets of Rage 1 after finishing the sequel. For Streets of Rage 3 I suggest playing the Japanese version instead, if you can get your hands on it (Bare Knuckle 3).

About S&K: I ran out of time almost every level. It would have been a lot better if they took out the timer. That being said, everything else about the game is awesome.