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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:02 pm

I started up Darksiders today for the first time in a very long time and it is definitely a 2010 game. From how the enemies move and hurt each other to how the characters do their VA, there's a very distinct "mid-last-gen" feel to the game. I'm also playing it on PC with the Steam Controller, for what it's worth, as I wanted to see just how hard that would be (and it's actually really serviceable).

Last time I played this I had never played much of the original God of War games, and now that I've played 1 and 2, I can REALLY feel the inspiration in Darksiders. This very much has a "God of War but a bit more Zelda-y" feel to it, that I'm not suuuuper digging. I'm gonna try and stick with it this time, but it's still not really wow-ing me. I think it may just be a point I've reached with these OoT-style games where I've played them so much that playing them always feels like I've seen this before.
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by MrPopo Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:32 pm

So if that's how you're feeling I've got bad news for you; Darksiders is OoT with a bit of GoW style combat. That feeling you're having will not change as you go through the game, it's just more "yup, this is 100% OoT". And then the ending of the game is a "you finished the battle, but the war is just about to start" type thing that so far has no payoff (as the other two numbered games are set prior to and during Darksiders 1). I really hope they make one last game in the series that pays off the buildup, as that looks like it will be a fun story to tell.
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by Sload Soap Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:49 pm

Wrapped up Lords Of Shadow. How does it fare ten years later? Well honestly not very well. I kept hoping the game would get better, that there was a reason I had this fondness for it at the back of my mind but aside from the too brief time spent in a castle slaying vampires, Lords of Shadow is always putting up these barriers to enjoyment.

I didn't mention them before but the game has quite a puzzles that range from quite good to execrable. So, the best puzzle is naturally the one with the most effort put in which is the entire stage in the music box. When you play the music box song (a version of Vampire Killer) the stage moves around you. You then collect different bits of the song and have to play them in the right order to get the stage to align so you can escape. It's quite good. But that's it, almost all other puzzles are either mindless tile matching or rotating gear puzzles to really obtuse stuff that expects you to know your zodiac signs. Towards the end these puzzles really start to drag things out and the last stage proper is chock full of them when it should really be testing your combat prowess. One of them comes directly after a boss fight which is really unnecessary. It feels like padding most time and the game is already too long as it is. I assume an attempt to get it to official retail length? They also introduce new concepts without any explanation for them so they can be more confusing than they need to be especially when they enter the game so late.

I am less critical of it as a Castlevania game as I was before. Essentially it does it's job as a reboot and sets it out as its own thing. The Vania canon, such as it is, is so convoluted anyway there is always more room for offshoots. There are a few nods to Vania's of old, Cornell and Carmilla are bosses and as mentioned the Vampire Killer track turns up, but that's it and in retrospect I think that's fine. There is no Dracula or Death so Satan himself pops up to fill the void, voiced by Jason Isaacs who gives it some good ham. Not as good as Patrick Stewart who absolutely gives the script more gravitas than it deserves but then he is a pro. The setting is interesting and blends in some Russian folklore and Hyperborean imagery. It's done with some flair as this is still a very good looking game and a good sounding one, albeit in a different way to the usual Castlevania.

The combat I still feel isn't fleshed out enough. I had actually thought to myself that it would be best if the light and shadow magic were instead two different weapons and it turns out this is pretty much what happens in Lords of Shadow 2. I also feel the camera needs to be zoomed in and locked during combat so enemy patterns can be better read. It's telling that when this does happen during some of the better boss fights e.g, Olrox (oh hey another nod) it becomes much easier to parry, to dodge and to land consecutive blows. The problem is the game is too focused generally on battling multiple enemies and zoning which it isn't that great at. It's absolutely fine but it's not great and more annoyingly those tighter encounters show there is potential.

And that's my main takeaway from the game really. There is potential and that potential is met during the middle of the game when we are in the castle and the game moves quicker, the puzzles make sense and the combat has its time to shine. But the beginning third and last quarter are too bogged down by inane puzzles, repetitive fights and poorly paced levels. Even then, when game looks like it's progressing it regresses. The best boss fight against Olrox in the castle area is also the one immediately followed by a pointless puzzle to open a door to end the level. Just end the level when the boss dies, stop faffing.

It's a very mid-gen 2010 sort of game though so it's very apt for this thread. It tries to be God of War, Prince of Persia and Shadow of the Colossus all at once and kind of fumbles in all aspects. Lords of Shadow also manages to smuggle a "The Cake is a Lie" joke in which would have been uncool even in 2010. I'm kind of interested to play Lords of Shadow 2 to see if any of my issues are addressed as well. On a final note I would rank it below both Curse of Darkness and Lament of Innocence in the 3D-Vania subset.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:00 am

MrPopo wrote:So if that's how you're feeling I've got bad news for you; Darksiders is OoT with a bit of GoW style combat. That feeling you're having will not change as you go through the game, it's just more "yup, this is 100% OoT". And then the ending of the game is a "you finished the battle, but the war is just about to start" type thing that so far has no payoff (as the other two numbered games are set prior to and during Darksiders 1). I really hope they make one last game in the series that pays off the buildup, as that looks like it will be a fun story to tell.


Oh I absolutely know that that's what the game is. I played like halfway to the second boss the last time I played through the game, and everything I'm running into now is what I remember running into then. I hopped back in after writing this and it stuck with me a little better, but more so just to the point of that I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing the game to its conclusion. I've managed to get past the second boss and it's got into the dopamine hit-level of engagement for me, but beyond that I'm not suuuuper loving it. That said, the game certainly does pick up after a few hours and gets more interesting in what you're doing, even if on the whole it's nothing new. It will be finished (very likely with a Steam Controller, unless I need to aim far better at some point XP), but it's not exactly a game I'm gonna talk about beyond "yeah I played that."

I remembered that God of War 3 actually also came out in 2010, so I may give that a go soon if I'm in the mood and try to compare the two. My little sibling is coming to visit me in a couple weeks though, so I probably won't be playing a ton of games then because I'll be hanging out with them~. The combat and art style in Darksiders is making me really wanna play Splatterhouse (also a 2010 game~) again, so I may do that next because that's something I've been wanting to go through again for months :lol:
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by SpaceBooger Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:43 am

I played Darksiders (Warmaster on WiiU) yesterday for a bit. I'm not huge on the GOW games or other 3D action games other than the Batman Arkham series, so the combat is slightly awkward for me. I have managed to make it past the first boss and opened up the gate after paying 500 souls.

I'm hoping to get the hang of it soon and I am doing more than button mashing and quick dodging to the right over and over again because the game intrigues me so far. Any suggestions or tips from those who have played before?
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by MrPopo Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:30 pm

Frankly I felt the combat was always pretty bare bones. The various "moves" you can purchase from the shopkeeper are completely unnecessary. Just learn to dodge the big guys' attacks and you'll be set. The bosses are Zelda bosses; you get an ability in their dungeon and you use that ability to make them vulnerable.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:58 pm

Woke up at 2am because I'm still reeling from jet lag, so I decided to play a bit more Darksiders. Made it past the 3rd big boss. The 3rd area was alright. The boss fights were actually pretty fun, although the sorta-stealth section was absolutely pants.

The feeling I get from this game is very much along the lines of God of War 1 but a little more. Like a God of War one and a half. Definitely not the polish of GoW2, but not quite as bare bones as 1. The way certain mechanics are introduced, used slightly, and then dropped off also makes it feel a bit like GoW 1 in that I get the feeling that this game was originally far grander in scope, but it had to be toned down a fair bit due to the realities of development. I'll probably have it done in the next couple days at this rate (I assume 2 more areas, if the last boss has an area leading up to it at least), unless I really get mired down trying to go and find goodies once I get what I can only guess is the final mobility power.

I also second what Popo said in that the extra moves you can buy are generally not that important and easily ignored. I got some of the basic moves, but really all I ever do is mash my sword combo and dodge when I need to. I really do wish block and dodge were not the same button, as I cannot tell you how often I get the crap beaten out of me trying to block but I dash instead Xp
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by TEKTORO Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:35 pm

noiseredux wrote:
TEKTORO wrote:On games like Bioshock 2, Residet Evil 5 Gold, Dragon Age Ultimate are you guys sticking to the release dates or can the HD versions or vanilla versions still be considered?


Tek!!!! Go crazy my friend.


Hey brother! Help me pick a game or two. Some I own but still haven’t played in a long time.
-The stuff I own: Fable 2 & 3, Bioshock 2, Metro 2033, Perfect Dark, Skate 3, Toy Story 3, Halo Reach, Fallout New Vegas, Borderlands, Dragon Age Origins.

-What I don’t have But wanna try: Dark Void, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Assassins Creed 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, Alan Wake, Mafia 2, Lost Planet 2.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:15 am

TEKTORO wrote:What I don’t have But wanna try: Mafia 2


I really enjoyed Mafia 2 ^w^
A bit sparse in side activities for a GTA clone, but I really enjoyed the setting and the cars and the kinda cheesey mafia acting. It was a good time~
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Re: Together Retro, Jan 20: 2010 RETRO!

by lordb0rb4 Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:27 am

Mafia 2 is awesome, much like the first it's a very focused big map rather than open-world per say, the DLC seems to be very meaty as each one takes almost 6 hrs to complete, might hit that if time allows since my vacation's over. :cry:
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