Review the last game you finished

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#461

Post by I am nobody » Tue May 05, 2020 9:38 pm

32. For the King (5/2) (PC)

I played a lot of this in single player on default difficulty back when it came out and didn't get too much out of it. It basically takes a 3v3 JRPG and turns it into a silly roguelite RPG, but the default is actually really hard and it suffers from the same problem as all hard permadeath games: Replaying six hours after a death absolutely sucks. I had that happen twice and decided life was too short to keep trying.

They've done a lot of work on the game since then, most notably adding a few campaigns that seem significantly different and giving each a few parameters to tune the difficulty. And @smol Kat and I had a good time with it after adjusting that down a fair bit and playing co-op. It's still largely the same game, but delaying doom timers and inflation gave us the time to explore the gameworld and experiment more with different builds. It all culminated in an extremely close-fought and satisfying final boss gauntlet. We're planning to go back and do the bonus campaigns later.

33. Neoverse (5/5) (PC)

It looks like Slay the Spire but starry optionally largely undressed anime women, and I (presumably along with many others) wrote it off as yet another Steam sexy game because of that. Humble Choice ended up giving it to me for free this month, and it turns out to be solid card battler that completely forgets it was trying to be a sexy game after the main menu. It's maybe a little on the easy side - I won the main mode on my second try and the gauntlet mode on my first - but you can build some really crazy combos, so the flashy numbers more than make up for the fact that it's never as scary as StS.

One of the most interesting mechanics is that you always draw cards to fill your empty hand slots until your deck runs out, at which point you either need to play a card with Shuffle or end turn to get more. It's a minor change from how these usually work, but it really impacts how you value card cost and allows for some strategies that wouldn't be viable at all in most other games. Another interesting thing is that the game uses loads of pre-made assets, including some rather infamous for appearing in asset flips, but it manages to integrate them all in a way that feels natural.

Wasn't expecting much from this game, but it's good enough that in a normal year I could see it making the end of my top 10. Really doubt that'll happen with the lineup for 2020, but you never know.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#462

Post by I am nobody » Thu May 07, 2020 8:24 pm

There's a board game bundle on Humble, which as always means I have a bunch of things that took 10 minutes:

(now at 35 because I counted a Hollow Knight DLC on HowLongToBeat and I want to keep the counts in sync)

35. Patchwork (5/7) (PC)

It's Patchwork, but with really cutesy graphics and a surprisingly good soundtrack. Alas, the interface is as obviously unchanged from mobile as all the other Uwe Rosenberg Steam games. A decent port with room to improve.

36. Love Letter (5/7) (PC)

It's Love Letter, which really isn't a deep enough game to need its own Steam game. The port is fine, but I'm kinda done with this game after playing it twice in my life.

37. Potion Explosion (5/7) (PC)

Porting a game that was clearly inspired by Bejewled, etc, is kinda weird because all of those games are also available on PC and they're better. It's functional and has a good tutorial - although the animations for the computer player are waaaaay to slow - but there's just not much reason to play a digital version of this over the competition.

38. Carcassone (5/7) (PC)

An honestly really great port of an alright game. Looks phenomenal for a board game, the AI is decent, etc.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#463

Post by I am nobody » Tue May 12, 2020 9:49 pm

39. Scythe (5/8) (PC)

It's the board game but on PC and actually looking pretty good. The AI and tutorial are both solid. That's about all I look for in a port of a good game.

40. Use Your Words (5/9) (PC)

It's basically a Jackbox game. You put in your answers in a game that's always subtitling two foreign films, two fill in the blank, two caption contests, and a three-for-one series of random prompts at the end. It gives a great platform for players to be funny, but the real highlight is actually how good the house answers are. They have to be, since a central mechanic is penalizing players that vote for them, and some of them are just brilliant.

41. Monster Prom: Second Term (5/11) (PC)

DLC for Monster Prom that adds two new main characters, a handful of new minor characters, and some events. None of it is a revolution on the base game, but that was good and this is more of it, so I don't have a problem with that. Still a great multiplayer game.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#464

Post by X-3 » Mon May 18, 2020 4:24 pm

12.) Final Fantasy VII Remake

I'll preface this review by mentioning that I've played through the OG only once, around six years ago. While I had a very good time overall I'm not some sort of big FF7 fan or anything, so when I mention the original game in this review what I actually mean is 'what I remember from the original game.' This is especially important to note when I start talking about gameplay.

It's also important to note the FF7 Remake covers only the Midgar portion of the original game, and this affects the plot and gameplay in several ways. (amazing insight, I know) I'll start with the plot, which is more of a mixed bag. I think the characters are conveyed pretty fantastically, with solid voice work, good banter and a lot of nice heart-to-heart moments. If you're a fan of the original there's a lot of subtle (and not-so subtle, unfortunately) ties to future revelations about characters. Barret, for example, has a lot of slight nods towards his backstory without explicitly spelling it out.

As for not-so subtle, there's Cloud and Sephiroth. I guess it's inevitable that they'd blow their Sephiload when making a remake but it's still disappointing for his presence in the Midgar section to go from 'just who is this Sephiroth?” to 'I came here to laugh at you' and constant Jenova migraines. The Cloud and Sephiroth relationship here is not as it was in the original, and that's a shame because I think it was legitimately very interesting in the original.

The big flaw of FF7R's story, however, is pacing. When it was first announced that FF7R would be in multiple parts, I think most people groaned at the thought of an episodic format. Well, in reality, this isn't one of those short bite-sized episodes; this is a 30+ hour game, whereas Midgar in the OG was about five or so hours. As a result, events and locations get stretched out a lot. If it was a room in the original, it's probably an entire Chapter in the remake. Compounding this is the simple fact that most of these events weren't originally written to be super-important in the grand scheme of the game, so it's hard not to shake the feeling of 'do we really need to spend so much time on this?' I think the lead-up to Mako Reactor 5 is the perfect example of this: you spend about three Chapters preparing for and traveling to the Reactor when it's really not that important.

And then there's the elephant in the room...the endgame.
Spoiler.
While the idea of a remake that's also-maybe a pseudo-sequel is interesting, the execution here is pretty poor in a lot of ways. I'd say the underlying problems are:

-it's so unsubtle (DESTINY) to the point that it becomes obnoxious
-it raises so many unanswered questions (Why do the Time Ghosts need to harass anyone in the first place? Why does Aeriffff know so much? Why does Sephiroth...anything? Is Zack alive or only in an alternative timeline? Are timeline shenanigans actually happening and if so, how? How much is this going to divert from the original storyline? Did humanity actually die at the end of the OG now? Was the original game just following DESTINY?) to the point that it becomes frustrating because the answers will only MAYBE be revealed in Final Fantasy 7 Remake-II which will release Who Knows When. Until then, speculate and Pray. In other words, this must be what it's like to be a KH fan.
-noooooooomuraaaaaaaa (actually Nojima in this case)

On the other hand, I can sort of respect a remake that readily admits that it can't really replace the original. All too often it seems like video game remakes try to completely replace the original in the popular consciousness, but with FF7R we have a game that knows full well that it can't do that and tries to do something else. (This is all assuming this doesn't just turn into a 'everyone lives lol' golden ending that makes the struggles in the OG story essentially pointless) But, like I said at the beginning of the review, I'm not a big FF7 fan, so my take is completely different from legit FF7 fans, who probably just want a straight remake instead of whatever this turns out to be. And hey, I can't blame them.
Moving onto the gameplay side of things, FF7R is technically an action RPG, but I don't feel the term fits that's well. See, your standard 'attack' option isn't like an action game: it (generally) won't stagger enemies or even do that much damage. Its main purpose is to build ATB Gauge, which lets you use abilities and magic. This certainly isn't a “dude check out my Tifa COMBO MAD” type of game but rather a slower-paced, menu-heavy game. (There are controller shortcuts to use abilities, but I stuck to the menus.) There's a bit of a learning curve to how this all works, especially when switching between multiple characters, but eventually this system actually does feel really good to use. It's a great feeling when you can let loose with a bunch of ATB abilies at once.

Covering only the Midgar section actually works in the gameplay's benefit in a major way: characters. Having only four playable characters (Red-XIII is a guest only this time) might sound bad at first but it gave Square-Enix the opportunity to truly make all four unique. In the OG, every character played roughly the same most of the time due to the Materia system being so prevalent. Here, all four characters not only have unique basic attacks but also a variety of unique abilities to learn that make each character feel distinct. And this is on top of the Materia system, which returns with a much better UI. (A godsend considering how bad the Materia UI was in the original)

I also love what they did with weapons. The OG followed conventional JRPG standards: new weapon replaces old weapon. The remake gives each character six weapons to use and each one has its own niche that it fills, and they can all be upgraded further for better stats, more Materia slots and passive skills. No weapon totally replaces another: now even the good old Buster Sword is a viable choice. I personally love using Cloud's Mythril Saber to turn him into a deadly spellsword, so much so that I used it all through Hard Mode.

There are definitely a few quirks to the gameplay that could use work. Having attacks get interrupted by enemy attacks and losing ATB meter is annoying. The way the game handles boss phases is way too favorable to the bosses. The UI for upgrading weapons could use some simplifying. There's probably more, but as a whole I'd say they don't stop the battle system from being pretty solid. I might actually prefer it to the original's.

As for things not directly tied to combat, the level design is pretty unimpressive as a whole, with not that much going on. Going off the beaten path is only truly rewarding once-in-a-while, as the most rewarding treasures are usually in your face as you press forward. Every few chapters you get the RPG equivalent of recess as the game lets you go tackle some side-quests, but they're nothing to write home about. Sure, Midgar in the original didn't have much to it, but there it was only the beginning of the game. Here it's the full game, and while it's passable I think they could have done a better job.

There's also a lot of slow walking and moving through tight spaces. I suppose a lot of it is to mask loading, but it does make replaying several Chapters (namely Chapter 8) very painful. Seeing as beating the game gives you the ability to move between Chapters at-will, it would have been nice if they included a 'no story' option to cut down on the slow-walking and necessary loading.

It will be interesting to see where they go with the next game, as the party leaves Midgar and more members join their ranks. Linear set-pieces won't quite cut it anymore, and it'll be a challenge to add new playable characters while making the old ones are still satisfying to upgrade. (Making the player relearn say Triple Slash would be unsatisfying...but at the same time you can't really just exponentially add more and more abilities) Ball's in their court.

I had a pretty good time with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Mechanically it's fun and satisfying to play, and the characters are all very likable. Still, it's hard not to notice that the pacing is stretched-out and that the level design isn't too interesting. It's a decent game overall and I think there's room for its sequels to turn out to be even better, provided they come out before the End Times.

13.) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Zangetsu/Randomizer Modes)

Free DLC, so I figured I'd jump in before the next project game. To get both you have to beat the final boss again even if you have a cleared file, which is a bit awkward but no biggie. Zangetsu's toolkit is ridiculously strong and includes an invincible dash that goes through enemies, basically limitless jumps (reminiscent of Richter in SotN only with an easier input) and some powerful sword techniques with generous invincibility on them. I figured out that you can cancel the helmbreaker technique into a dash which is kind of a get out of jail card.

Randomizer mode is what it says on the tin and you can play around with the options a lot, which is cool. I played around with it a bit but didn't finish a seed. Weird thing though is that it kicks you to the title screen when you die instead of just starting you from your save like the game. This is a good mode to play while you watch a stream or listen to a podcast.

I had a few doubts about the game as I was dusting off the cobwebs, but almost one year later it's still a lot of fun to play.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#465

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Sun May 24, 2020 10:16 pm

Undetale. It certainly has its merits, but it comes off as more pretentious than smart. I think that even without the wokeness (which abundant) I'd still walk away mixed, so I don't feel like bias played too much of a factor in my takeaway. So here's my rambling thoughts.

The story is vague and shallow, what little there is gets a nice chunk revealed through an exposition dump by the end. Most of the adventure feels random, maybe by design but it's no less a problem for the story. Writing is very amateur.

Combat is repetitive and bad. I do think finding ways to spare enemies can be interesting, but usually not. Most of the music is good, some is only decent but there's a couple truly great tracks. Graphics and art style--no reason to **** on it for half a paragraph, it's bad.

It does a good but not perfect job of being surprising, which kept me going. It wasn't ever too much of a slog, though it's too puzzle heavy for me. The most fun I had was seeing the reloaded speech changes (such as after death or killing someone), and some of the ways to spare enemies.

Overall, I can see a lot of reply value here, its structure is enough to bring me back for a replay some day. That's probably its greatest strength outside of music, inspiring curiosity in players. There's a lot of cool little details everywhere too. I rarely replay even great games, yet here I plan to try this mediocrity again. It also seemed to try to be emotional, but that usually failed. I'm a bit of a sucker for sad stuff though, kinda legit felt bad killing Toriel after letting her guard down. Not many other instances of this though (maybe Asgore if he had more screentime and
Spoiler.
wasn't very obviously going to be killed by Flowey right when he started yapping about us being a family
).

Conclusion: it's overrated and kinda bad but unique enough to combat that to some degree, and music is cool.
Last edited by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! on Mon May 25, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#466

Post by Apollo the Just » Mon May 25, 2020 5:16 am

I finished a non-NG+ playthrough of ToS for the first time in, like, uhhhhhhh a solid decade?

I've been learning the New Game speedrun route and today I kicked Mithos in the shiny disco butt.

Early game is quite a difficulty spike because you are mega limited on money to buy weapons/gels/etc as well as on stats to tank hits and spam moves. Iapyx is a **** wall that wipes the party more than half the time I try to fight him because he is SO much stronger than you that he **** PIERCES YOUR INVINCIBILITY FRAMES when you get res'd via life bottle etc.

Once you get to late game though it is pretty familiar territory of "everything melts because you're OP". You have to still think a lot more about resource management, get better at thinking on the fly and using items mid-battle, rationing your unisons, etc. It's definitely a lot more of a challenge and it's making me get a lot better at the game and all of its mechanics, so I think I'll also improve at NG+ when I finally go back to it after.

Building EX skills and good stat titles are great mechanics but the latter is absolutely horribly explained. A better tutorial would have made an enormous difference to me when I was trying to play this game casually lmao. But that's okay because those days are behind me, we real gamers now.

I really like that NG forces me to play as almost all the characters who don't really get utilized so much in NG+; between both categories you really have to learn to play as just about everyone except.... basically just Sheena. I had to get good enough at Kratos and Zelos spell cancels to pretty much NEVER drop the infinite combo to not die, during the Yuan/Botta fight as well as Iapyx (and some others). I had to learn to adapt to different button mappings for Lloyd's tiger blade - demonic tiger blade combo while also macroing others; AND what's interesting is you map in tech usage in the route to make sure people have used base level techs enough times to learn higher level techs etc. It's really interesting and cool.

Regal Chad Bryant is literally useless in NG, he is literally not in the party once, but he carries so hard in NG+ that it's okay. Also, you don't play as Colette in NG because you get a better DPS boost by controlling Lloyd and getting out more lightning tiger blades and timing your combos and macros.

It's been really fun; it's both familiar and new and definitely an increased challenge. NG+ is more optimized but NG is more challenging to just... not die. Looking forward to doing a run soon.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#467

Post by I am nobody » Sun May 31, 2020 7:56 pm

Oh wow, I really fell behind on this.

42. Yardlings (5/14) (PC)

I started doing the Sokpop Collective Patreon, which gives you a weird little game every two weeks for $3/month. This was the first one, and it's a MOBA-ish RTS where everybody plays as garden plants and you beat each other up in a quest to capture more than half the flowers on the map or destroy your enemy's flower. Fun enough.

43. Disc Party (5/14) (PC)

Also Sokpop. This one is mostly disc golf, but you only need to get the disc inside a marked cylinder instead of in a basket, and there are these floating boost pads in the sky that some holes use in a fun way. It's also nothing too remarkable, but I got a solid hour out of it.

44. Freddi Fish 5: The Case of the Creature of Coral Cove (5/21) (PC)

More Freddi Fish, honestly. This is the most Scooby-Doo of all of them, with the plot centering around a developer who wants to turn a coral reef into a theme park but for a big scary monster. There are a couple cool sequences here and there, but I can definitely see why the series stopped after this one. It's an enjoyable game that really doesn't add anything new to the core ideas of either this series of the Humongous brand at large.

45. Monster Train (5/29) (PC)

The latest hot entry in the card-battler genre. This one is more Hearthstone than Slay the Spire. You're driving a train carrying a crystal to relight the fires of hell and have to fend of angels in seven battles along the way. Each battle consists of units spawning in on the bottom floor of your train and advancing to the next of four floors each turn. They'll attack your crystal if they reach the top, but you can play units and spells to the first three floors to try and stop them before they get there. After each battle you're giving a choice of two paths that each contain 2-3 unique events and one shared event, which are generally known quantities like extra gold, shops, or deck modifiers, but can also include a selection of choice-based rewards.

The game is actually really easy to beat on the default difficulty because there are 25 levels of modifiers to progress through after that. I haven't played enough of those to say how they develop, but I can say that each of the 5 clans plays very differently and there are a ton of interesting synergies. Definitely a game to check out.

46. Super Mega Baseball 3 (5/31) (PC)

The last game really perfected the arcade baseball mechanics and this one fleshes out all the other content you'd expect from a big sports game. There are way more teams and stadiums than in previous entries, much better and more detailed graphics, and a general sense of polish over everything that wasn't quite there before. The biggest addition is a franchise mode that does what those always do. It's one notable change is that you earn player development funds after every game based on your budget surplus and can use those to buy silly training ("back alley accupuncture") for your players. I'm a little disappointed that you don't get any of the stadium management that sometimes comes with these (or, at least, that came with MVP Baseball 2005), but it's overall a great addition.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#468

Post by Marilink » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:39 am

I've been thinking about checking out Super Mega Baseball 3. I think I just might, since you're positive on it.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#469

Post by smol Kat » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:43 am

As an observer who doesn't really care about baseball, the best part was the ridiculous names. Seriously. They're hilarious.
looking up into pure sunlight

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