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Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:15 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: moving Wicktures that you are watching

Yesterday, 01:18 AM

I enjoyed that new Tomb Raider for about the first forty minutes. They went with this interesting story where Lara is living by the skin of her teeth as a bike courier in London, with a team of spunky young friends with interesting haircuts. Alicia Vikander's accent is shaky, but she still does posh better than Camilla Luddington from the new games, and she's immediately a lot more lively and likable. She's showing off her sweaty sixpack at an MMA gym, she's showing off her smarts in a bike race through the city streets (that's actually surprisingly well-shot and exciting), and you're immediately drawn in to the mystery of why our favourite rich girl is out there scrambling around for money.


Unfortunately, it becomes a completely different movie once Lara gets to the spooky island. Those spunky friends from the beginning? We never see them again. Instead, we just sit through a checklist of every major action setpiece from the 2013 game, in what is basically an hour of Lara vs. the CGI Animators. The rusty old WW2 bomber, parachuting through the forest, getting impaled on a tree branch, finding a bow, etc etc. They even copy Game Lara's laughably quick transition from reluctant, "What have I done?" self-defence killer to unflappable murder machine, but somehow they do it even worse in the movie! Nothing is given any time to breath, nothing is given any special care, and I'm pretty sure they only had a couple of shooting locations to work with because the big jungle island looks suspiciously like the same two or three places over and over again.


The final act turns into Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade remade by amateurs, with a short reprise of Lara vs. the CGI Animators for good measure. They try to do all the fun riddle-solving and ancient-mechanism-activating scenes, but they forget to establish where Lara gets all the information she needs to solve the puzzles, so she just suddenly starts chanting these "The penitent man will pass"-style cryptic hints that we've never heard before, and rotating these big gear wheels without telling us why she's doing it. They talk a big game about this ancient cursed Japanese Queen who was exiled to this island, and how her thousand servants all killed themselves to protect her in the afterlife, and then they do the least-interesting thing they could do with that setup.


It's just a big load of rubbish, you guys. It has all the hallmarks of a movie that's been rewritten ten times, with bits and pieces from earlier drafts still left over in the finished product but without all the connective tissue they need to make sense, chopped to pieces in the editing room and then sent out to hopefully make some money off the brand name. I wouldn't recommend it.

In Topic: The Video Game News Thread

16 June 2018 - 12:56 AM

So I heard you guys like POST-E3 CATCH-UPS!


- There's a new Octopath Traveler available on the Switch eShop. It's basically just the full game with a three hour time limit, and your progress will transfer over into the full game


- Capcom plans to release both Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5 before March 31st 2019. RE2 is dated for January 25th, so presumably DMC5 will be some time in March. What a time to be alive.


- Shadow of the Tomb Raider has separate difficulty levels for combat, puzzles and exploration, which I think is wonderful. I actually find the combat in these games uncommonly easy on the default difficulty (and I'd never consider myself especially good at third-person shooting), but I'd be happy to ramp the puzzle difficulty up.


- The studio that ported Doom and Wolfenstein 2 to Switch is going to be announcing another "major port" for Switch next month


EDIT - I thought this was interesting:




Here we see concrete proof of Bioware never making another Mass Effect game again.


Also I just want you guys to know that the lettering on Leon's gun in the RE2 artwork says 'Machilda', because someone just transcribed it straight from the katakana and didn't know that Leon has a gun named 'Matilda', and if this mistake goes unnoticed all the way to the final game's box art I'm going to be so happy:



In Topic: D3 2018: The DMC5 Display Demonstration

15 June 2018 - 04:30 AM

Here's a translated synopsis of an interview Miyazaki did with Famitsu.

A lot of good info that clarifies some things about Sekiro.


This game sounds awesome. The little taste I've had of From Software I've had so far with the Dark Souls Remaster has been pretty great, so I'm really interested to see with a more traditional action game that's much more up my alley.


Well, I think that will about do it for E3 2018. We've laughed, we've cried, but most importantly we've seen DEVIL MAY CRY 5 and that makes this the best E3 there ever has been. I just want you to know that I love each and every one of you bozos. We've been together all these years, united in our tireless wait for DMC5 (I mean, we've also done other things here, too), but we've finally done it. It's here.


I'll leave you with the gif I didn't get to use because Nintendo's show was so bad:



In Topic: What Are You Currently Playing?

14 June 2018 - 01:29 AM

I need to tell you guys about this game called Vampyr, because I think I might love it. It's a new action RPG from Dontnod, the people what made Life is Strange, where you play as a vampire named Jonathan in foggy post-war London, and to be honest it's pretty janky and gives a really bad first impression, but if you stick with it for a couple of hours it turns into an incredible RPG with some of the most interesting RPG-ing mechanics I've seen in years. Let's get into this bad boy!


Step 1: OK, so check this out: vampires eat people, right? And RPGs (good ones, at least) are all about making choices about how you're going to treat people and whether you're going to be a Paragon or a Renegade, or a cool customer somewhere in between. So what Vampyr does is give you a world where every NPC in the game is named, with their own personality, sub story, side quests and social links with other characters, with an excellent Mass Effect style dialogue wheel and wonderful branching conversation options with each of them. Apart from generic enemies you fight in combat sections, there are no nameless, faceless NPCs here; it's a really intricately crafted and interlinked world of people. Those links take the form of friendships, professional rivalries, family relationships and all manner of others, and, of course, you find out through the old RPG routine of talking to everyone and exhausting dialogue trees. Vampyr treats new morsels of information as keys that will unlock new branches of those dialogue trees, so if you're anything like me you'll want to spend hours just moseying around prying into everyone's private business so you can find out everything about them, open up new sidequests and generally just find out all the hot gossip.


Step 2: Alright, but now check THIS out: you can eat every named character in this game. All of them. In the midst of dialogue there's a button you can hit to mesmerise them with your vampire powers, walk them out into the shadows and suck'em dry. Whether you can glamour a certain character is governed by your Mesmerisation Level, so it isn't a complete free-for-all where you can eat every NPC at the start of the game and break the story entirely (I'm assuming certain important story characters won't be edible until towards the end), but I think that's pretty cool all the same.


Step 3: Right, you with me so far? Now see if you can hang with THIS: as a classy gentleman vampire, you don't want to drink just any old blood. In fact, Vampire Jonathan is a physician, one who specialises in blood transfusions no less, so he has an innate sense for the quality of a human's blood. In gameplay terms, this manifests as a checklist of things you can do with each of your potential victims to improve the quality of their blood, and thus the quantity of XP you'll receive if you decide to have a nibble on them. If you just walk up to a new character and chomp'em, you'll miss out on a lot of potential XP that you might have been able to reap if you'd spent a little time getting to know them, getting them to reveal their inner secrets, maybe completing a side quest for them that sets their mind at ease and makes their delicious blood all the sweeter. It becomes this perverse game of solving people's problems like a good little RPG protagonist, but at the same time feeling like you're just fattening up all your little piggies for the inevitable feast :P


Step 4: BOYS, this is where it all comes together. This game doesn't have a difficulty setting, instead the game's challenge is predicated on how much XP you can suck down to buy the necessary stat upgrades to spec your character out just right. You'll get a drip feed of XP from conversations and unlocking new hints about characters, a decent chunk of it from completing quests, but by far the biggest source of XP comes from sucking the blood of characters in the game. If you manage to complete all their little substories and get their blood to maximum tastiness level you can get HUGE blasts of XP from them. And the game tells you this right as you load it up: if you want the game to be easier, you've gotta eat those dudes.


So, I think this is brilliant. I think it's not only an incredibly clever RPG mechanic, but a wonderful new twist on the morality system and even a pretty cool way of designing a game's difficulty level, and they're all tied together. If you're struggling with the difficulty you have to consider biting some of the people that you're trying to help in the game, but then you also have to consider what's going to happen with all the other characters they're linked to, and what you might be missing out on later in the game in terms of unlockable substories or sidequests. You obviously want to complete those characters' sidequests to fatten them up to get the most XP out of them, but in doing so you learn their stories, and then it becomes a matter of "Can I kill this guy knowing that he has children at home waiting for him?" And then how is everyone else going to react if people around them start going missing?


I honestly don't know, and I find it absolutely fascinating. I'm trying to play the game without chomping on any of these people, because I generally like to play a goodie-two-shoes in RPGs, but also because I'm really enjoying all the dialogue trees and character relationships and I don't want to lock myself out of them. I'm so curious about what might happen if I started gnoshing these guys, though! The game tells me there will be consequences, and the atmosphere they've created so far is enough for me to believe them. I'm definitely going to have to do another playthrough once I finish it.


I don't think I've been this enthralled with just wandering around talking to characters since The Witcher 3, which is probably the highest praise I can muster. To be clear, I don't think Vampyr's technical aspects are up to the comparison (the writing is a bit plain and the voice acting lacks personality, for starters), but considering this was probably made on a much smaller budget I'm still really impressed. The actual action gameplay is kind of a Bloodborne-lite in design, but far short of that game in execution; the combat really doesn't feel very good, but it's at least manageable. The meat of the game is definitely in the RPG-ing, and I'm really surprised by how much I've been enjoying it so far.

In Topic: D3 2018: The DMC5 Display Demonstration

13 June 2018 - 10:17 PM

I'm a little upset that my choice isn't on the poll.

It's pretty obvious looking back through this thread that Ocelot won E3.


DMC5 was announced. We ALL won E3.


I think it's safe to say that Sony "won" E3 even though Microsoft had the best conference. I just find it hard to be Best of E3 when there's still a drastic lack of exclusives for Xbox, aside from your Halo's and your Gears' and your Forza's.


To be fair, I think they did about as well as they could have. Microsoft has had such a bad last few years in terms of canceling games, burning bridges, and taking big gambles that don't really pay off that their show here was almost a mea culpa. Phil basically came out and said "Hey, I went out and bought all these studios because I know we're bad at the first party thing". And of course, the reality of game development these days means none of those deals are going to pay off until the next Xbox comes out, but, y'know, they have to sign those deals sooner rather than later. 


Sony obviously had the best showing in terms of "Look at this sick games you can only play on our toy", but, at the same time, we saw all those games at last year's E3, and while Spidey comes out this year, we're almost definitely going to see the other three at next year's E3, too because none of those bad boys had a release date. I'm getting a bit sick of the whole 'show a game at five consecutive E3s' thing.


(oh btw there's a demo for the Fist of the North Star Yakuza game on the Japanese PSN if you want to check it out. I imported the game when it came out in Japan earlier this year but I still haven't got around to playing it :P)


There are a bunch of people crusading for third person perspective in the CD Projekt forums, and from what I hear, a developer jumped in at one point and said they would reconsider the issue. So it might still happen.

I think the obvious solution is "whynotboth.gif" - just let us zoom into first person when we want to be immersive or aim, and then zoom out to third when we want to see our character... Heck, I think 99% of games should work like that, but I guess the technology that made it possible in Metal Gear Solid 2 got lost at some point since 2001. :P


From what I've read in various previews of the behind-closed-doors demo they showed press, it seems like CDPR are doing pretty interesting things with the first-person perspective. There was one that talked about the player going into a cyborg chop shop, having their eyeball plucked out and outfitted with a new cybernetic enhancement that changed the whole HUD of the game when they plugged it back into their head, which is something that wouldn't work nearly as well in third-person. CDPR made the best video game of this entire generation, so I'm willing to trust that they know what they're doing here :P




Devil May Cry 5 - Have I mentioned that I'm quite a fan of the DMC series? I think I might have said it here once or twice, right? While the new art style certainly took me by surprise, I actually really like it now and I am 200% hyped about this video game. Itsuno is back. Dante, Nero and Vergil are back (and with their proper voice actors, no less!). Devil May Cry is back. GOTY 2019, boyeeeez. We eatin'.


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I only just started playing Dark Souls last week, and I think it's pretty cool, but I'm not entirely sold on this "run all the way from the checkpoint to the boss door every time" thing, so hearing Sekiro is more of a traditional action game is a big point in its favour for me. I don't know how we suddenly ended up in this situation of having THREE cool olde-timey Japan samurai sword games coming out at once, but I'm pretty OK with it.


Cyberpunk 2077 - I mean, obviously, right? That game's going to be an absolute juggernaut. I poured almost 200 hours into Witcher 3 and will fite u irl if you don't think it's one of the greatest video games ever made, and now the best RPG studio in the business is setting their sights on the cyberpunk genre. What a time to be alive.


Resident Evil 2 Remake - That game looks really cool. I haven't played any of the REs pre-4, but I've always been interested in 2 because I know it was my boi Hideki Kamiya's first game, so I think I'm going to check this one out. I am an incorrigible wuss when it comes to scary games, though, so I hope I can manage it.


Those big expensive Sony games - I think Sony has settled into a pattern of not doing anything hugely innovative, but basically just taking familiar templates and turning them into very pretty, very well-polished games, and I'm happy to play'em. Spider-Man is an Arkham, Ghost of Tsushima is an Assassin's Creed, TLOU2 is a TLOU; none of them are going to change the game but I imagine I'm really going to enjoy all of them. And I still don't know what to say about Death Stranding. Somehow the more we see the less we understand. But, y'know, how are you not going to play that game? I don't know what it is but I need it.


Babylon's Fall - Yeah, we know absolutely nothing about this game, but Platinum is making it and that's enough for me :P