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Ocelot

Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 04:00 PM

#488973 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 14 September 2019 - 12:38 AM

I forgot to tell you guys about my new Nintendo Switch. Late last year I sold my old one that I bought back at launch, and this month I bought one of those new ones that has the upgraded battery life. Here's my full, exhaustive review: it's the same as the old one but the battery lasts longer now. Considering I  always leave my Switch in its Dock when I'm not playing it and never played in handheld mode for more than three hours anyway, this isn't exactly a huge deal, but... oh well. I got the grey one this time (my first one was Neon), so that's a nice change, and the left JoyCon fits more snugly on this one (it wobbled a bit on my old one). Also I got a tempered glass screen protector this time, and I managed to get that puppy on with ZERO air bubbles, so I'm pretty happy with that.

 

But what have I been playing on this new Switch of mine, you ask? Well, let me tell you about a little game called...

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses: This may be the most difficult video game experience I've ever had. I am atrocious at strategy games, I don't really have a whole lot of experience with the waifu genre, I've never played a Fire Emblem game before, and here I am trying to jump into all these disparate challenges while playing the whole thing in Japanese. After three-ish years of study, I can pretty much hang with most games in Japanese, but it's always a learning experience when you come across some new genre or theme that you don't know any of the words for. Yakuza ranks and culture in the Yakuza games, law terms in an Ace Attorney game, that kind of thing. Fire Emblem is obviously based on medieval Europe, so to start with I have to learn the Japanese words for describing great houses, lords and ladies, the entire peerage ranking system and all the various lines of succession. Then I have to learn all the medieval battle-related nomenclature, like military ranks, battle formations, knights and infantry and spearmen and cavaliers and such. Then I have to learn all the Fire Emblem-specific stuff, and all the made-up names of empires and kingdoms and realms and all that junk...

 

What I'm saying is that it's an absolute nightmare, but I'm kinda sorta getting through it. Another spanner in the works is that I find Ye Olde Nipponese very difficult to understand at the best of times, so you add all these things together and you end up with a situation where I baaaarely understand anything that's going on with the story or the characters or even the game mechanics. But, I mean, I'm making it happen. I'm going to keep plugging away at it until I just genuinely can't get any further. I'm up to a point where a bad guy is planning an attack on Hogwarts during an upcoming holy celebration day, and I think I'm doing an at least reasonable job of training and teaching all my students so far. We'll see how it goes.

 

I've also been playing a bit of Astral Chain, which is looking like a VERY solid contender for Runner-Up Game of the Year 2019 so far. I'm about eight hours in, and the combat system that is unfolding as I progress through the game is so wonderfully original and delightfully fun to play. Much like The Wonderful 101, it's something totally new, so it's taking a while just to wrap my brain around it, but I've had a few fights where I can feel it all coming together and I feel like once I can really make it sing it's going to be amazing. There is so much more to it than I thought from just watching the trailers, and it's all designed so cleverly; it isn't about complex button inputs, but rather using every part of the buffalo that is a pretty simply control scheme. New moves and abilities cascade into and out from eachother in really interesting ways, with a big emphasis on timing and situational awareness that I really love.

 

I'm also really surprised at how meaty the game is. This ain't your grampappy's 6-8 hour Platinum game; this is a real thicc boi of a game that feels like that sequel to The Wonderful 101 that we're never going to get. Levels are long, with some nice opportunities for exploration and some fun little sidequests, and there's a high-tech police station to explore in your downtime between the main operations where you can catch up with your buds, customise your look and the colour schemes of all your Legion summons (I'm going with W101 colours, of course, so the Sword Legion is blue, the Arrow Legion is Green, and so forth), and just generally have a fun time. The characters are a likable bunch, and I really like the way the story is going so far, too. This is one of very few games I play where I actually want to go and track down and read all the lore of the world.

 

Oh, and it gives you a camera and it wants you to take pictures of every person, monster and assorted thing that you meet on your journey, so of course I have to do that.




#488971 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 11 September 2019 - 08:51 PM

It's TGS, boyos! All the Japanese game trailers you weeb losers can eat:

 

Nioh 2 (coming early 2020):

 

 

FFVII Remake (oh my God how are these trailers so HOYPE?)

 

 

There's some FFVIIR Remake gameplay, too:

 

 

Resident Evil: Project Resistance (a 4 vs. 1 multiplayer escape thing):

 

 

Yakuza 7, with its real-time RPG battle system:

 




#488955 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 04 September 2019 - 12:47 AM

Did I mention that you can fire a rocket in one direction, change your mind, grab it back with your telekinesis and throw it in a different direction? While flying?

 

Control-air-tek.gif




#488934 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 27 August 2019 - 03:53 AM

BOOOM! BSHHH KRKSHHH BANG KERPOW! That's the sound of me beating Dark Souls 3, baybee. Come at me. Meet me somewhere. Huh? HUH? Yeah, I thought so.

 

So I killed all those big bois. Went through the Consumed King's Garden and beat Oceiros, which was a weird fight because he kept screaming about an 'Ocelotte' who I can only assume is my secret female body double or something. The rest of Lothric Castle and the Grand Archives was an excellent level, with a wonderful sense of adventure as I worked my way through an enormous castle filled with scary monsters, cutting in and out through tortuous hidden paths, through all manner of barracks, kitchens, keeps, opening a portcullis or two and even soft-shoe-ing it out on the rooftops and dicing with gargoyles for the final stretch up to the Prince of Lothric's chamber. That has to be one of the best areas in all of Sekiroulsborne. With the exception of the part where you kill a big ol' guy in a suit of armour on a bridge and get a Bonfire, then walk LITERALLY TWENTY SECONDS and get another Bonfire right outside the library. That was bizarre. I've included a helpful visual aid:

 

ds3lcjuh.jpg

 

I found Archdragon Peak and the Untended Graves with a little help from the internet, too, and I plundered those areas dry, too. Champion Gundyr didn't give me too much trouble, but the Nameless King was definitely the hardest boss in the main game for me. At first I didn't even know if I'd bother with him after getting woefully screwed over by the camera on my first few attempts, but once I took my time with it and worked out that the strat was to keep my distance and run in after the King's attacks to punish his poor dragon's face I was able to get through the first stage without even taking damage pretty reliably. That second stage, though... boy oh boy. That fellow hits hard, and a few of his combo strings have that devious little moment of hesitation before the third or fourth hit that's perfectly timed to nail you if you roll too early. Once I realised that the safest place for me as a melee character was to rub myself right up against his giant torso and always dodge past him, though, I had his number.

 

After that I went and beat the final boss, which I found pretty anticlimactic after the Nameless King. I beat the Soul of Cinder on my first try and was actually surprised to see he wasn't a three-phase fight. The first two phases went down so easily that I fully expected him to refill his health bar one last time and come at me for reals, but... nope. Oh well, they can't all be big bois. Anyway, that's the entire main game finished, so tomorrow I'm going to start on the DLC. I hear that the DLC bosses are the real big bois, so we'll see how that goes :P




#488929 Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Posted by Ocelot on 26 August 2019 - 05:37 AM

 

YOOOOOO

 

Dark Rey confirmed! Definitely not a trailer misdirect! Sheev turns Rey bad, Ghost Luke turns Kylo good, WHAT A TWIST!

 

OK, so it's definitely going to be a Force Vision of some kind, and that shot of a thousand old model Star Destroyers in blue lightning space probably is, too, but it's still pretty neato. What a gorgeous movie this is. Rey and Kylo are going to fight in the half-sunken wreckage of the second Death Star and I'm going to die.




#488924 The Star Wars Non-Canon TV Show Topic

Posted by Ocelot on 24 August 2019 - 10:20 PM

That looks so good! I had no idea they had Werner Herzog in it; he's one of those non-actors like David Bowie who is just so captivating by virtue of being a weird, one-of-a-kind human being that you can't help watching everything he's in.

 

That music was perfect, and it's still dull and grey like Solo and Rogue One but at least it looks pretty expensive :P

 

Other good news: the Ewan McGregor Obi Wan show is for-realsies, set eight years after Revenge of the Sith:

 

Ewan+McGregor+Kathleen+Kennedy+Disney+Sh

 

Unfortunately he didn't say Hello There when he walked out on stage.




#488896 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 20 August 2019 - 09:40 PM

Yeah, I guess you don't realise how much important marketing is until someone doesn't do it right. Gears 5 feels like a 2020 game because they just haven't done the usual hype cycle right :P

 

More Gamescom stuff

 

The Avengers gameplay we didn't get to see at E3:

 

 

I'm not impressed. Thor looks like GOW 2018 but worse, Hulk doesn't look anywhere near as fun as Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction, Cap had more going on in his PS3/360 licensed game, Iron Man looks like Anthem but... well, not worse, but not really better, either. Black Widow's combat looks and sounds low-impact, and her character model obscures the enemy you're fighting because the camera placement is wrong, which just seems like an amateur mistake.

 

I don't know, it doesn't look bad for a fun singleplayer game full of big dumb setpieces, but... it isn't one. It's a GaaS. You're supposed to endlessly farm the same missions over and over to make your progress bars go up and buy new colours for your fists or whatever. I don't know that this gameplay is going to hold up for a thousand hours of grinding.

 

Launch trailer for Remedy's Control:

 

 

Surprise announcement of the Yakuza 3, 4 and 5 PS4 remasters coming to the West. In fact, you can buy Yakuza 3 digitally right now, with 4 in October and 5 in February 2020, alongside a physical release of all three games. Looks like they're $20 each, or $60 for the full set:

 

Yakuza-Collection_08-20-19_Box.jpg

 

Also a full, 30+ minute live demo of Astral Chain out of Gamescom with the director Takahisa Taura:

 

 

btw Astral Chain just got a 37/40 in its Famitsu review this week. Incoming Runner Up GOTY 2019 (after DMC5, obviously). We might never get a real sequel to The Wonderful 101, but its influence is palpable here. Diplomacy has succeeded.




#488814 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 18 July 2019 - 06:20 AM

You're in for a treat there. I would say you've bought three of the best games of the generation... and RDR2 :P

 

Coincidentally, I just loaded up Horizon Zero Dawn again today. It was my favourite game of 2017, but I never played the DLC and I always intended to go back to it. Unfortunately it's one of those giant AAA monsters with gameplay mechanics upon gameplay mechanics and a very particular balance to its overall... y'know, game flow or whatever, so it's a bit hard to just pick up and play again if you haven't touched it in a couple of years. I'm getting back into the swing of things, though, and I'm remembering just how much I loved this game. Aloy feels so good under my thumbs, and now that I remember what all the buttons do again it feels so slick and smooth to sprint and dive around like a maniac, swap between all my weapons, and land a perfect, slow-mo bow shot right on a robot dinosaur's weakpoint.

 

I'm going to do a lap of the world polishing off some of the side content to make sure I'm all up to speed with the controls (and maybe get myself another cheeky little Platinum Trophy...) before I jump into the Frozen Wilds DLC. I'm looking forward to some more Horizon!




#488778 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 02 July 2019 - 11:21 PM

Well, I don't necessarily mean it as a bad thing when I call Chief shallow. I feel like Halo is a universe where all the characters are soldiers and everyone has been at war constantly throughout all of recorded history, and even among that crowd Chief sticks out to the people around him as being single-mindedly obsessed with fighting bad guys. When I think about a character with some depth, I think about whether I can imagine that character on an off day, when they aren't at their day job. I can imagine, say, Nathan Drake when he isn't on an adventure. I can imagine Old Lara Croft when she's just relaxing around the manor, but I can't imagine Nu Lara Croft that way. I can imagine the Solid Snake of MGS1 and 2 as a regular man, but I can't do it for MGS4's Snake; I guess it's a quality of writing and characterization that I can't really put into words, but I know it when I see it.

 

When it comes to Master Chief, I absolutely can't imagine him doing anything but shooting guys, but, like you said, the canon of Halo more or less categorically states that he doesn't do anything but shoot guys. He basically doesn't even get to take a shower from the opening of Halo 1 to the end of Halo 4, right? And then at the beginning of 5 his buds mention under their breath that he's been running missions non-stop since the last game. And I think that's totally fine. That's what Halo is; the fiction is all about Chief being a manmade supersoldier who doesn't stop, and I think it'd be a mistake to start depicting Chief sitting on the space couch watching football or whatever. He doesn't need to be a deep character. You mention Doomguy, and I'd argue that 2016's Doomguy carved out more of a personality for himself from that miracle-energy-source destroying scene in Doom 2016 alone than Chief has in like five games (I will give him points for jumping through space all those times, though). Anyway, I'm still fine with him being shallow.

 

It is why the emotional Cortana/Chief stuff in 4 just didn't work for me at all, though. Chief isn't a character I can imagine being sad about things, or forming any kind of emotional bond beyond a Chris Redfield RE5-style "she's my partner" kind of thing, which I'm fine with, but it really puts a limit on the kinds of stories you can tell with the guy. On a pure gut reaction level, I just didn't buy Halo 4's relationship between the green deathbot and the blue sexbot. This shot of him just standing there at the end really put the capper on the whole thing. I just don't know what they were thinking with this. He just stands there. Have him drop his gun. Put his hands on his head or something. Drop to his knees. Melodramatic, sure, but it'd be something. He doesn't have a face, he doesn't move, he doesn't express any emotion vocally, he just stands there.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

To be fair, I think Halo 5's story worked a lot better. I found Chief's voice actor a lot more convincing, and I think the premise of "we're trying to stop Cortana being evil" worked a lot better for Chief's limitations than "she's dying because lore and the emotional crux rests on Chief being sad". And 5 had some other characters and subplots going, too, so Chief didn't have to pull all that weight himself. And also Cortana had some clothes on this time :P

 

Anyway, I think that's pretty much how I feel about these Halos. I don't want to say they shouldn't ever try anything more with Chief's character, I just... hated it when they did it. They could always try again. I'd like to see it. I'm still looking forward to Halo Infinite.




#488777 moving Wicktures that you are watching: John Wick 3 Edition

Posted by Ocelot on 02 July 2019 - 09:24 PM

I've been sick as a DOG recently, to the point where just lying in bed makes my body so sore that I can't even relax properly and each new day is a fresh hell to acquaint myself with. So I've been watching some stuff.

 

Counterpart: I really like this show. It's got J.K. Simmons, who I think is the best actor in the world, and it's a spy story set in a world where a doorway to a parallel universe was opened in a nondescript building in Germany in the '80s. Or rather, it splits one world into two, and the moment the copy comes into existence the two worlds start to diverge. And, crucially, to be suspicious of the other. So we've got a story of quiet, subtle espionage where not only to double agents exist, but doubles exist. As in, maybe the other side has sent a mole in through the gateway, and maybe that mole is someone you know. Maybe that mole is your wife. Maybe your wife is actually the woman from the other side who killed your real wife ten years ago and you never noticed. It's so good.

 

The other nice thing about it is that it's two seasons long, ten episodes each, and that's it. It ends before it ever gets to that point of wasting your time inventing lame stories for supporting characters to fill out three more seasons just for the sake of it. You can blast through the whole series in a week or two and it'll tell you a wonderful story with a satisfying ending. I'd strongly recommend this one if you have any love for the 'grey men in grey buildings upsetting the balance of superpowers' genre.

 

Chernobyl: k, so this is the TV show of the year, without a doubt. A kind of pseudo-documentary/dramatization of the events of what I now understand was so nearly the worst disaster in this planet's history. I'd learnt about Chernobyl in High School, but they never went into much detail and, to be honest, High School Ocelot wasn't equipped to understand the full scope of the petty bureaucracy that almost lead to the entire continent of Europe being uninhabitable for centuries. This show is as heartbreaking and confronting as it is infuriating, like a dark version of Catch 22 where a nuclear disaster cannot happen in the Soviet Union, so a nuclear disaster has not happened in the Soviet Union, and any assertion otherwise is seen as traitorous to the state even when THE ENTIRE BUILDING HAS BLOWN UP.

 

Oof, it's hard to watch. Graphic depictions of how such horrific levels of radiation can just ruin a human body aren't even the worst of it; it's watching rational, educated people desperately trying to explain the enormity of the situation to bureaucrats who simply aren't willing to listen. They killed so many people through gross negligence and incompetence, like, oh my God. It's a real tear-jerker, too, which really played havoc with the agony inside my sinuses. So many scenes of people being forced to expose themselves to lethal doses of radiation and being essentially dead but for the falling over. One of the most horrific things I've ever heard is that, in late stages of radiation poisoning, the veins and arteries simply fall apart, leaving doctors unable to even administer morphine for the pain.

 

So, yeah, watch this show. It manages to ride the line between historical documentary and dramatic miniseries really well, and (speaking of not wasting your time) it's only five episodes long. Get yourself learnt about a historical event, and maybe also the horrors of the totalitarian regimes that are making their unfortunate return to the world of late.

 

Us: a.k.a. Jordan Peele's new movie. a.k.a. the one that was inevitably going to be compared to Get Out. I feel like Us probably needed a disclaimer at the start cluing people in that it's just a straight horror movie with no kind of political statement or deeper meaning, because it definitely would have helped a lot. I liked it, but I just kept waiting for the other shoe to drop... and it never did. It's still a good horror movie, though.

 

EDIT - For those keeping score at home, today's version of my ever-changing flu is that I'm swallowing razor blades and my diaphragm is spasming so horrifically that I actually can't stop coughing. Like, for realsies. Like, people say they can't stop coughing when they have a really bad cough, but I'm over here popping forehead veins trying to hold these coughs in and basically looking like I have hiccups, except each hiccup is a massive, chest-tearing cough.

 

Anyway, good excuse for watching more stuff, starting with...

 

The Death of Stalin: I feel like this movie really flew under the radar, and I only just remembered it existed today. It's made by Armando Iannucci, the creator of The Thick of It and Veep, whose particular style of political satire mixed with hilariously juvenile swearing is just wonderful, and it's a depiction of the titular event played for laughs with actors like Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor playing the highest echelon of the Soviet government. Nobody even tries to put on a Russian accent, or even agrees on one single accent they should all attempt, so it's a ridiculous farce all the way through. It's great, you should watch it.

 

 

The Predator: a.k.a. The 2018 one. This is one of the silliest movies I've seen in a long time. Not necessarily in a bad or unwatchable way, but definitely in a 'someone needs to talk to Shane Black about cutting back on the cocaine' way. He wrote every scene of this movie like the "We're getting beat up by the inventor of Scrabble" scene from The Last Boy Scout, where every line is trying to be funnier and more subversive than the last. A lot of it is still really funny, to be fair, but a lot of it is just, like... really? That one couldn't have stayed on the cutting room floor?

 

The CGI is really bad (and there's a lot of it), and there's a spectacularly ill-advised subplot about the main army dude's autistic son whose autism gives him the magic power to operate Predator tech. Olivia Munn is actually great in the movie, but she's had a looooot of plastic surgery and her face is really distracting. I don't know, I had some fun with it, but it's a weird one.




#488771 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 29 June 2019 - 08:53 PM

Blue Team however...well to say they're nothing like their book counterparts is an understatement.

 

Aren't their book counterparts... dead? I did actually read The Fall of Reach years ago, and my memories are pretty vague (I only really remember Kelly being very fast), but I was pretty sure everyone died at the end and it took me a while to realise that Chief's friends in this game were supposed to be his friends from the book.

 

Anyway, I finished off Halo 5, and I really liked it! There's a bit at the end when Team Osiris finally hops aboard a Guardian to teleport to Cortana's evil lair, and then has to run down the outside of it to reach the ground in a gameplay sequence that is basically that rad opening cutscene made playable, and from there on it was just popping off everywhere until the credits. I feel like I've just been sprinting and DUMPING ammo into dudes for the last hour or so and having a ball doing it. Having the game fake me out with enemy encounters that chop and change as the Warden and Cortana argue with eachother was such a lot of silly fun.

 

Honestly, I can see why people wouldn't like this game. Cortana coming back to life feels like a huge backpedal after 4, and Cortana turning pseudo-evil on top of that is absurd. It comes out of nowhere. If it had something to do with rampancy they could maybe have got away with it, but they actually go out of their way to say that it [i]isn't/i] rampancy. And I can see why people would be upset with Team Osiris horning in on their Master Chief time, especially when Locke is just another gruff military dude with the barest shreds of personality.

 

But, Halo 5 kind of reminded me of that one episode in the final season of Game of Thrones that I actually liked. Sure, Dany turning evil and doing 9/11 times a thousand came out of nowhere. Sure, everyone's characterization was miles off and there was no consistency with the rest of the series. But taken in a vacuum and judged purely on its own merits? I think it was pretty awesome, and Halo 5 hit me the same way. Cortana being alive and evil was pulled out of thin air, but I thought it was a really fun premise all the same. Playing the majority of the game as some new guys was maybe not the best idea for the fifth game in a series, but I really enjoyed playing alongside Nathan Fillion and Laura Bailey, and I kind of think Chief is such a shallow character that there isn't really much more they can do with him as the solo star anyway. Halo 5 might not be a good sequel to Halo 4, but Halo 4 was bad so I don't really care :P

 

So, hey, that was Halo! I've played 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and ODST now, and I know there's still Reach but I'm going to wait for that one to come to the Master Chief Collection. I'm really happy I finally played these games. I may not have loved all of them, or, y'know, even understood what was going on in half of them, but I still had a lot of fun. They're pretty good games, who'd'a thunkit? And now I get to be excited for Halo Infinite, too.




#488763 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 28 June 2019 - 06:32 AM

Hey you guys I remembered that I was supposed to be playing these games, so I went back and finished off Halo 4. Boy, it's nice to have a game that's just really straightforward and easy to understand every now and then, isn't it? A game where all the things in the script are there for a reason, everything is explained and has some kind of satisfying build-up and payoff. Aren't those kinds of games nice?

 

I wouldn't know. Halo 4 is not one of those games.

 

In the early hours I actually thought maybe 343 Industries was going to fix the storytelling problems I had with Bungie's games (the noun salad that leaves me behind and never gives me a chance to catch up), and for a time it actually did. I found that I could follow the first half of the story reasonably well, I knew where I was in any given level, I knew what the characters' names were. They even had personalities this time. Sarah Palmer was Jennifer Hale, and that dude Lasky seemed like a good bloke; that's already more characters than I can name from the whole Bungie trilogy. The blowhard Captain who wanted to destroy Cortana and take Chief's badge and gun was a cliche I've seen dozens of times before, but he set up the fun little 'Chief and Cortana go rogue' plot, so I'll allow it. I was groovin' around the mid-point of the game.

 

But then the game suddenly falls down the Bungie hole into noun salad, and then just keeps falling. At some point I started wondering if the game's story was an elaborate joke, because I don't know if I've ever been more baffled by anything that wasn't doing it deliberately. There's a point where Chief gets beamed up to some kind of hologram world to meet with a no-nose woman who calls herself the Librarian, which kicks off an info dump that I'm almost positive must be the result of Halo 4's lead writer having a hilarious sitcom moment with the lead writer of the Assassin's Creed series, where they bumped into eachother in a hallway and the scripts that each of them were carrying flew up into the air and got hopelessly muddled up. Ancient humans? Are there ancient humans in Halo now? What? How did it come to this? Why did it come to this? What does it add to the story of "Green Boi fights the Blarg monsters" to suddenly reveal that there were ancient humans? Why why why would you do that?

 

 

At the end of that info dump, the Librarian says that Master Chief was the result of a bajillion-year-long eugenics experiment, like the Kwisatz Haderach from Dune, and that she has to advance Master Chief to a new frontier of human evolution or something, but the end of the cutscene and subsequent immediate transition to mundane shooting gameplay afterwards was so poorly executed that I genuinely don't know if she even did it or not. How are you going to make a cutscene where your player character is evolved and then not have it be reflected in the gameplay in any way whatsoever? There's a scene later on where the Didact hits the base that Chief is on with some kind of weapon that (I think) digitized all the humans around him into computer code (I honestly don't know. Maybe it just turned them into piles of ash; it's never brought up again), but Chief is fine, and Cortana remarks that it's lucky he got evolved. I thought it was just his suit that stopped the blast. It's the only time him being evolved is mentioned after that cutscene. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE POINT OF IT WAS. Have I used the word inscrutable to describe this video game yet? Because that's the only word for the job, but I don't want to wear it out.

 

The script is bad and the storytelling is poor and the cutscene direction doesn't include the shots you need to see to understand what's happening, but somehow that isn't the worst of it. No, the worst part is that they hang all this nonsense on Master Chief, and the only thing less expressive than Chief's motionless steel face is Chief's voice actor. He is BAD IN THIS GAME. Like, God, he is awful. To the point where I feel bad for Cortana's voice actor, because she's excellent and she goes for it super hard in this game, but Chief just gives her nothing. NOTHING. There is no chemistry there. She does all the work and he is a brick wall. I simply don't believe their relationship. I see Cortana practically throwing her embarrassingly-detailed naked computer woman body at him and I just think, nope. Don't believe it. Why would she like him? There's nothing going on behind that visor. Playing as a metal automaton with a wooden robot voice was fine when Halo was just about killing the bad men and being Oscar Mike, but now that they're to Assassin's Creed it and trying to drum up a love story he just sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

There's a scene right at the end where Chief and Cortana are transported into robot heaven, which is obviously intended to be a heartfelt goodbye, but I did not buy it at all. It ends on this shot of Chief watching her fade away into nothingness that felt more comedic than anything else, like they were deliberately drawing attention to the absurdity of doing an emotional scene with a character who doesn't have a face or any emotions or any personality and isn't even moving at all. They kind of set up a razor thin character arc for Chief where Cortana mentions early in the game that he's more of a machine than he is, and then at the end of the game someone reminds him that she said it... and that's it. He doesn't actually develop as a character, but they set up the possibility that he might. Later. Off-screen. After the game is over.

 

The best, most emotional moment in the game is when you callously tell this older lady scientist that you're going to destroy her life's work and she's devastated. That actress steals the show. Chief doesn't care at all, though, and later the game melts the poor woman's skin off in grotesque close-up detail. Video games.

 

So that was Halo 4, I guess. The worst Halo. I didn't even get to talk about how I didn't enjoy fighting Prometheans, and how all the new weapons looked the same, and how they screwed up the flow of combat by having your shield take way too long to start recharging. Chief looks terrible, with a completely unappealing armour design that isn't even close to being the right colour, and 343 should have been too ashamed to even admit that they modeled Cortana as a naked waifu, let alone have her be the centrepiece of the game with her knockers hanging free and loose in every scene. I still had some fun shooting the guys, but I feel everything 343 added to Bungie's already perfected combat system just made it worse. I didn't like this game, you guys. I hope Halo 5 is better, because I'll be on to that one next.




#488760 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 23 June 2019 - 03:39 AM

While I usually don't find myself posting here ever, I'll just say enjoy the Dark Souls series! Truth be told, they aren't as hard as anyone makes them out to be.

 

Oh, I don't know about that. I tend to think they're pretty much exactly as hard as people make them out to be. I'm playing through the Bloodborne DLC right now with my character that was comfortably overlevelled by the end of the main game, and the last few DLC bosses are absolutely stomping me flat. The last few regular enemies, too, for that matter. There's this big bipedal sharky boi who lives in the eldritch fishing hamlet full of Lovecraft fish people who is just an absolute nightmare, and to unlock one of the last weapons I need I have to fight two of them at once.

 

But, for the most part, it's a kind of difficulty you can learn how to deal with, and once you go through the absolutely brutal crucible that is getting used to how these games work, they aren't quite so intimidating any more. You learn to spot the obvious traps (like when a little scuttling loot demon runs through a doorway begging you to chase it into a suspiciously empty room, you just know it's bad news in there), and you really internalise the lesson that everything in the game can kill you if you let your guard down, and eventually you realise that you're no longer dying dying dying every five minutes like you were at the start of the game and you're actually having a pretty good time.

 

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Some of it still feels a little too punishing, though, particularly that handsome woman up there^. She's called a Winter Lantern, and she slowly wanders around the nightmare castle that serves as the main game's final level. When she hears or sees you she snaps to attention, starts glowing a warm orange, and inflicts you with a status called Frenzy which, to put it simply... kills you. Unlike your standard status afflictions like Poison, which merely makes your health drop slowly, Frenzy just instantly wipes out about 90% of your health bar, and if you don't do something about it immediately you just die. But, even then, you can do something about it. You can sneak up behind Winter Lanterns and kill them before they spot you, and there is an item that can counteract the effects of Frenzy if you pop it quickly enough, and if all else fails you can just top your health up to maximum before Frenzy hits, kill the Winter Lantern without taking any damage, let Frenzy get you and wipe out 90% of your health and then just heal back up again. It's an agonizing waste of resources and really brutal enemy design, but, y'know, that's Souls for you.

 

So, I'm still thinking I might go for this Platinum Trophy in Bloodborne. I just have to finish the DLC, go into New Game + to pick up the last weapon I'm missing (from a quest that didn't trigger properly in my first playthrough), and then I'll have nothing left but... the most difficult and time-consuming Trophy of all, which requires you to blow through like seven dungeons full of stronger versions of all the main game's bosses. Oh and one of those dungeons curses you with half your normal health bar. And it's all balanced for endgame character builds, so my big boi overlevelling won't help me. Oh well, I'm still not sick of the game yet, so I'm at least going to try it.

 

EDIT - OK, kiddoes, I think we're doing this. I think it might be happening. I beat the Bloodborne DLC today, which I really enjoyed. Three really nicely-designed levels full of horrible monsters to explore, five great bosses to bang my head against, and probably a story in there somewhere for the people who like to go looking for that kind of thing (it's all Greek to me, though :P). Now I just have one more Trophy, and I'm already making progress towards it. The Chalice Dungeons in these games are three to four semi-randomly-generated floors where you first have to look for a lever that opens a door, and then go through that door to fight a boss and unlock the elevator to the next floor down. If you're playing properly you'll be diligently exploring every last nook and cranny to kill every monster and find all the loot, but you don't have to. You can just blaze through all the levels at a hundred miles an hour, taking turns at random until you find the big purple lever that unlocks the boss gate, and basically turn the dungeon into a boss rush with some light racing in between.

 

This strategy is serving me well now that I'm in the Defiled Chalice Dungeon, where my health is cut in half and which I have to beat to unlock the final dungeon where Queen Yarnham awaits. Unfortunately, there's no way to cheese the bossfights themselves, which are pretty brutal with half a health bar. I've beaten the first of three (a fire boi) in this hellhole and now I'm steadily working out the second (a fire doggo). He's reasonably predictable, but he has at least three attacks that are tricky to dodge and can basically one-shot me, so it might take a while. But once he's done there's only one more half-health bossfight, and then three more bosses in the final dungeon (but I'll be back to full health for those), and then we're done with Bloodborne, boyeee!

 

EDIT AGAIN - We are doing this, baby! IT. IS. HAPPENING. I beat the Defiled Chalice Dungeon and all its ghastly bosses with my tiny health bar, and I unlocked the final dungeon, and I beat the first boss, and then I tried for like forty-five minutes and didn't end up beating the second one. But tomorrow is the day! I'm going to beat this horrible giant monster with no head and a giant worm that grows out of his neck stump, and then there's just one more floor after him and the very last boss is a wailing woman in a bridal gown. How hard could she be?

 

WE'RE DOING IT!




#488746 E3 2019: Whoever wins, we lose

Posted by Ocelot on 17 June 2019 - 10:44 PM

OK, well, to put this one to bed, I want to thank all of you for E3ing with me for another year. I'm sorry I couldn't have made it a better one through sheer force of will, but there are limits to even my powers of getting unreasonably hyped over what is, at the end of the day, a giant cynical marketing exercise for driving pre-order numbers.

 

E3 2019. Not a good one. But then, how does one appreciate the good E3s without the bad to which they might be compared? What I'm saying is ONLY ABOUT 355 MORE SLEEPS UNTIL E3 2020, BABY! GET HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOYPE!

 

I leave you with the most succinct possible summary of this year's event:

 

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#488737 The Pokemon Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 June 2019 - 06:14 AM

Yeah, they could, but so far Game Freak have only ever put out patches when they really needed to fix bugs. They're not really a content update kind of developer, because they know they're always going to be selling a new game in a year or two anyway. They're also a really weird developer, and they're always doing baffling stuff like this for no conceivable reason.

 

For reference, Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee have the same limitation where they don't have an International Dex and you can't transfer most Pokemon into the games. They never patched more Pokemon in. People didn't like that, but basically excused it because the Let's Go games were spin-offs, and surely the next 'real' Pokemon games would bring back all the Pokermen. Except now we see that Sword & Shield are going to be the same story, and maaaaybe your favourite Pokemon will be back in 2020's game, or maybe not. Gotta Catch 'em All Some of Them!