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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:26 pm

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16
10. Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3

So when I noticed on my calendar that Tales of Berseria was coming out I realized I was multiple Tales games behind, and decided to rectify that. So first on the list was Xillia 2. This game takes a lot of cues from Symphonia Dawn of the New World but also learns from that game's mistakes to make a satisfying experience and a great follow-up to the original Xillia.

Like DotNW, Xillia 2 follows around a new protagonist in a world that now has to come to grips with the sudden merging of two previously separated worlds and forge a new path forward. Now, this joining was far less traumatic in the Xillia world; just a barrier separating them rather than an overlay. But you still see a lot of themes of prejudice against the less technologically advanced society. Now, I didn't get far enough in DotNW before my Wii bricked to see how much more of the story parallels, but the main theme here is that Xillia 1 was more of an anecdote in the larger storyline that gets resolved in Xillia 2.

Now, the biggest weakness of DotNW is that the old cast is very much sidelined. You have your two new characters and then monsters to fill out the rest of the party. Every once in a while you get an old member as a guest, but they have no character growth. Xillia 2 rectifies that entirely. The two new characters are one battle character; the other is a key support character crucial to the story. The rest of your team is filled out by the old cast plus two reformed antagonists from Xillia 1. And all of these characters get continuing character arcs where they work through the consequences of their actions during and after Xillia 1 and overall grow as people. All of these story bits are optional, as well. If you just want to focus on the main story then you're free to do so.

Which does bring me to the main weakness in the game. The gameplay is padded out in an incredibly obvious way unnecessarily. Near the beginning of the game you get saddled with a 20,000,000 gald debt. To put that in perspective, at the end of the game I had paid off 1.5 million, and the game routinely hits you up for money. In fact, in between each chapter is a downtime segment where you need to make a loan payment. Now, the good part of these breaks is the aforementioned character arc side stories. But the debt payment generally requires you to engage in MMO-style quests; kill X dudes, collect X items, etc. Things get a bit better by midgame as at this point they start laying on the elite monsters (optional bosses) that give out tons of gald and the character arc side stories also pay out well. This let me avoid most of the random MMO jobs (I'd do the quick "give me X items" if I already had the items because free money). But honestly I feel it was a completely unnecessary prod to the game. There's a reason for it plot-wise, but at the same time it was unnecessary plot-wise because of the disposition of the main character.

The other thing I feel I should point out is you have a nearly mute protagonist. Now, there's a very good reason for this, but it ends up being very awkward because everyone else is very voiced and your character still gets engaged with a lot. By contrast I think Persona 3 and 4 did a better job at a silent protagonist. I think it's just mostly a case of the writing.

On to Zesteria.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:46 pm

Hmm, and I was just hearing how the Xillia games are shorter (20-30 hours?) thinking maybe one of them could be the first Tales game I beat! Your review doesn't make it sound all that fun.

I hear nothing but mixed results on Zesteria. On the flipside, Berseria is actually sounding pretty legit and maybe the first Tales ever with a solid story. I'm cautiously curious as always with this series. I love that they exist, but I hope to beat one someday.

PartridgeSenpai - Sad to hear all that. I'm a big fan of the first two, but most of your complaints about Second Son I've heard several times over... so yeah I've been skeptical. Though looks like a bargain bin price thesedays. Were you going to play the expansion First Light or whatever it was? I wonder if that improved things.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:11 pm

Xeogred wrote:PartridgeSenpai - Sad to hear all that. I'm a big fan of the first two, but most of your complaints about Second Son I've heard several times over... so yeah I've been skeptical. Though looks like a bargain bin price thesedays. Were you going to play the expansion First Light or whatever it was? I wonder if that improved things.


Yeah. At 20 bucks, it's certainly more than the originals (I think the double pack with all the DLC is like 10 bucks), but it's certainly very cheap for an action adventure/sandbox game on the PS4. I'm not gonna try the DLC though. Though I did enjoy Festival of Blood for how campy and silly it was, that game had a lot of Cole and Zeke silliness to amplify that. ISS really doesn't have a single character nearly as good as any from 1 or 2, so I'm not too interested :/

Another thing I forgot to mention, actually, is that ISS is LITTERED with Infamous and Sly Cooper references. Fairly early in the game, if you zoom in on the title of a book on a table, it's a Thevius Racoonus volume, which made me giggle because it's just a tutorial area (like the basketball easteregg in System Shock 2, kinda). But then you get to the main game and there are tags of Sly's logo all over the damn place, Mcgrath and Cooper Bank, Cole McG's Electronics, and a few others. All of that nonsense really just added to the campy, silly quality that the game seemed to really want, but at the same time really hurt the serious moments it went for because it wasn't breeding any kind of serious tone.

Cool to hear you enjoyed Tales of Xillia 2, Popo! I still gotta get through the 4 most recent games, so Xillia 1 is near the top of the list of console RPGs I plan to hit up soon. I've just been hesitant because it kinda has an RE2-thing where you gotta beat it twice to really get the full story goin' on :?
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:13 pm

Xeogred wrote:Hmm, and I was just hearing how the Xillia games are shorter (20-30 hours?) thinking maybe one of them could be the first Tales game I beat! Your review doesn't make it sound all that fun.

That was not my intent. I enjoyed Xilia 2, I just see things they could have changed that would have made me enjoy it more. Xillia 2 took me 40 hours; I don't remember how long Xillia 1 was. Combat-wise they're based on the Symphonia style (whereas Zesteria is the Graces style).
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:06 pm

MrPopo wrote:
Xeogred wrote:Hmm, and I was just hearing how the Xillia games are shorter (20-30 hours?) thinking maybe one of them could be the first Tales game I beat! Your review doesn't make it sound all that fun.

That was not my intent. I enjoyed Xilia 2, I just see things they could have changed that would have made me enjoy it more. Xillia 2 took me 40 hours; I don't remember how long Xillia 1 was. Combat-wise they're based on the Symphonia style (whereas Zesteria is the Graces style).


Xillia is known to be one of the "shorter" games. That is one I've also heard. Granted, most Tales games, in my experience, are only short if you do just the main story and no more. The supporting content to the main story is one of the parts that I love most about Tales, so I personally couldn't recommend playing any I've beaten like that.

Also, when you mean Symphonia-style, do you mean no free-running, or just very simple normal-attack combos as compared to the Graces-style of action points and all of that nonsense (nonsense which I adore, but nonsense nonetheless)?
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:15 pm

There is free running by holding down L2. I'm thinking more that it's using several attacks before chaining into one or two artes. I see the progression of that battle system as being Symphonia -> Vesperia -> Xillia.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:21 pm

So what you're telling me PartridgeSenpai, is that Sucker Punch should have come back and done Sly 5 instead of Second Son? 8)

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1. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (PC)
2. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter* (PC)
3. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (PC)
4. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die (PC)
5. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (PC)
6. Deadcore (PC)
7. Yakuza 4 (PS3)
8. Hyper Light Drifter (PC)
9. Doom 2: Valiant megawad (PC)

* replay

Turns out there's really easy ways to trick Steam into tracking your game time with mods for various games. Often by replacing the main exe file with an external source with a new launcher or whatever. So you can do this with Doom and sourceports, fun and easy way to keep track of time. Getting Steam overlay to work seems more tricky though and Steam updates break it, so I didn't bother. But I've grabbed gzdoom's latest release and have jumped back into Doom'ing as the craving always hits a few times a year. Might just start saying it's my third favorite game of all time next to Link to the Past and Super Metroid.

Megawads are big fan made map packs. The scene has been going strong since the release of Doom, all the way up through 2016 and into today. By this point mappers have gotten extremely good with texturing, architecture, to the point that the vanilla games are looking a bit archaic... but I'll always still love them. Basically, there are a lot of megawads out theresdays so good, you'll think they're officially endorsed and released id sequel episodes.

Valiant:
https://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mods/ ... n-idgames/

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Valiant is one of the most popular ones from 2015. This one has five episodes with a theme as you can see and they were all freaking awesome. Tons of new textures, along with the pistol being upgraded to automatic and the chaingun doubling in speed as well, both with new textures. Even cooler though is all the new enemies. Hell Knight's now have two alternate appearances, the Pyro Knight whom are ultra dangerous with their lightspeed fireball streams, and the Cybruiser that shoots rockets just like a Cyberdemon. The regular Imp's now shoot fireballs much faster as well. Pinky's are the same but have some cool new looks with mechanical legs. There's now an upgrade Mancubus that takes 5 or so rockets instead of 3. And the Arachnotron's can now float around outside of the mechanical spider body, sometimes surviving the explosion from one. So they can be quite tricky floating around like a Cacodemon, but still with their Arachnotron plasma beam. All these changes along with the unique and new level looks gives this entire megawad a lot of character and originality. At the same time it looks and feels totally authentic, like this would be an official expansion. The difficulty is pretty high though haha, the last boss was insane... like a red super powered Arch-Vile. I liked how this one had some small maps too, so not all of the 30 some levels were 30+ minute labyrinths. Overall Steam shows I played for a little over 10 hours.

Lots of great remixed music in this one too. I even heard Thunder Force in there.

As it stands, probably my second favorite megawad after Alien Vendetta. The others I have played are Memento Mori 1-2, Hell Revealed 1-2, Community Chest Pack 1-3, and a few others here and there. From here on, now I'll be able to keep track of them better with lists and such.

Gonna check out Ancient Aliens next:
https://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mods/ ... n-idgames/
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:54 pm

Xeogred wrote:So what you're telling me PartridgeSenpai, is that Sucker Punch should have come back and done Sly 5 instead of Second Son? 8)


More or less. Just make Sly a frickin' conduit and he'd be right at home in that game, especially with what a quip machine the two most prominent characters are (especially the main character). I wonder what Sucker Punch are doin' now. I'd say another Infamous game, but after Second Son I'm not sure I wanna see another one. I'd almost prefer a new IP at this point (as it seems they don't really want to develop Sly Cooper anymore).

MrPopo wrote:There is free running by holding down L2. I'm thinking more that it's using several attacks before chaining into one or two artes. I see the progression of that battle system as being Symphonia -> Vesperia -> Xillia.


Ahh, that makes more sense. It was SOOO satisfying activating Overlimit in Vesperia and just unleashing really quickly spammable artes like crazy. There was a tinge of sadness in my heart that Graces and Hearts both had some method to keep you from just spamming until you totally drained your mana :P
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Juan Aguacate Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:13 am

To chime in on the Infamous discussion. The thing about First Light that is kind of a turn off is that it focuses on a lot on annoying, survival mode bullshit. It's the only thing to do after you finish the short story and it's what the majority of trophies are built around

The game does have a few minor gameplay improvements over Second Sond though in that they've tweaked Fetch to not feel too much like Delsin and she seems a bit stronger

If Second Son were the only Infamous game I'd played I might be wondering why Sucker Punch is wasting their time on this series instead of getting back to Sly Cooper, but festival of Blood was fun. And the 15 minutes or so I've tried of Infamous 2 already showed a lot more potential than Second Son. I actually wish Sanzaru Games had continued on with Sly as they did a good job with Thieves in Time and I would accept them as a Sucker Punch substitute.

I posted earlier in the thread when I finished Second Son, but I've been playing through it again on an evil playthrough for the platinum trophy. Some notes:

Some of the story stuff is so clearly based around a hero character that it creates awkward moments where it feels like the characters are not reacting properly to the evil way I've been playing. Even Delsin himself sometimes sounds like a Delsin that isn't the one that I'm playing as.

There are some interesting power differences. Smoke seems more fun to use because you can cut loose and take advantage of its destructive power without fear of hurting innocents. Neon is a bit under powered compared to a good Delsin because you lose that cool, bullet time power. However, I still found it fun to use at times because its highly accurate and as an evil character you can head shot people for an instant kill instead of shooting them multiple times in different parts of their bodies as a good character to subdue them. so I'd often position myself on a high location outside of the aggro zone of enemies and basically snipe them all with head shots. Video is every bit as useless as it is on a good playthrough. The only good thing with video is it easily takes out helicopters.

Building up your karmic streak is more annoying when you're evil. In order to fill up the bar you have to kill a certain number of enemies within a time limit. And whether you're evil or good karmic streaks are still your best offense, especially if you use the neon one. Essentially, the idea is that you're supposed to go on a rampage, which sounds nice thematically, but mechanically all it does is make building up your karmic streak more annoying than a good Delsin. It's still fairly easy to do though, don't get me wrong, it's just annoying is all. Occasionally, the game will ignore a kill you've just made when trying to built up your streak and I'm like, WTF game. I totally slaughtered that dude

So overall, you're a bit gimped as an evil Delsin. However, I find the game more fun overall as an evil character. I am not a pacifist gamer. I like killing people. Now before you try and get me committed, let's remember that we're talking about fake, virtual people here :wink:

They put a lot of time and effort here in the effects of lethal attacks in this game, and I think you miss out on all that in a good play through. It is really fun seeing bodies disintegrate when hit with smoke powers or seeing bodies literally explode when filled with neon energy. You can kill a civilian or DUP soldier, and his corpse will explode and cause collateral damage to other people who are nearby. You can set up chain reactions. You really feel like the evil character you're supposed to be when you see this stuff happen as you're killing civilians and cops.

Also, if you let your dark side loose some of the stuff that happens as an evil character is fun. I love it when an enemy surrenders and you execute him and you get a message pop up on your screen that says, "Surrender....denied". I don't know why, but that cracks me up. Maybe because it makes me think of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTidn2dBYbY

On a good play through, I found all the story missions kind of bland. However, there is one really fun one on an evil playthrough that basically consists of Fetch and Delsin slaughtering and trolling civilians and soldiers while exchanging quips with each other and basically villaining it up. It's the most fun mission in the entire game. Fetch actually races you to the next slaughter location at one point. You have a battle in a tunnel with DUP soldiers and there are civilians running around terrified and Delsin is just making funny comments as you're casually killing them for getting in your way. And Fetch trolls the soldiers at the end of the mission by telling you to fake surrender to them, right before you and her slaughter them. The game even gives you a freebie karmic streak here to use on them. That whole mission is basically about reveling in being evil and causing mayhem. And it's a nice detail that at one point in the mission, when you and Fetch are fighting side by side, I actually found myself taking some minor damage from the ferocity of her attacks as she's letting her inner demons out.

I don't know how many other players feel this way, but man Fetch and Delsin just work much better as villains. It honestly just seems to fit their personalities better. I didn't like Delsin much on a good karma playthrough. On an evil playthrough, I was amazed by how many hilarious one liners he made when I was killing people. Seriously, he's almost on an Ash Williams level of awesomeness with some of those lines he spits out as a bad guy

So yeah, I like Second Son better as an evil protagonist game, but it is still lacking in a lot of areas (the story still ain't all that over all)and makes me want to play the other Infamous games that seem to be better

@PartridgeSenpai

Did you play Cole's Legacy? It's supposed to address events in the previous games
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:50 am

I have not played (or tbh heard of) Cole's Legacy. I generally buy games second hand as a rule because I'm cheap, and DLC just tends to be so expensive forever (like paying as much as you did for the whole main game or more for a third of the content), so I usually never play DLC unless it's bundled in with the main game somehow in some sort of later release. Though honestly, Second Son just made so mediocre of an impression on me that I really feel no desire to experience anything more in that game's story. The characters just aren't engaging enough. (I'll also mention that I never do evil routes in games because it generally makes me uncomfortable being such a cold-hearted bastard, even to fake, virtual people).

You should TOTALLY play the other games though. They are much better than Second Son, and also super duper cheap now. If I will give Second Son credit for any kind of emotional appeal, it gave me a strong emotional urge to replay through one of the other games because of how much better I liked them Xp
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