Review the game you finished recently.

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
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10,002
I have the first two, I'm keeping an eye out for the third. Due to how mediocre the first one was though I'm taking a break until I play part 2. It wasn't a terrible game, just not great. After thinking on it more it's a hybrid of both Halo and Half-Life 2. Hopefully 2 and 3 are more fun and original.
I still have all 3 but my PS3 been retired awhile ago.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,221
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Finally played through the Brothers in Arms Trilogy. Overall enjoyed all 3 games. The First two games were very similar and for their age a enjoyable FPS experience. The 3rd game is probably my favorite of the three games due to the improved gunplay and gameplay as everything felt more responsive. Hope another gets made some day as I would like to return to this kind of game with the AI interactions but improved with todays tech.
 

KickAssCop

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
7,352
Finished Uncharted Lost Legacy. The 60 fps mode on PS5 makes it totally worth it. Wasn’t bothered paying 10$ for it. Just all around a fun time. Over the top action and set pieces that mostly I had forgotten last time I played.

Still a solid 9/10 from me.
 

Danny Dawg

Gawd
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
811
Cyberpunk 2077. Got it on sale back around Christmas for $30. I am kind of torn about it. Even though I downloaded the latest version with the current patches, it has some glitches in it that should be worked out by now given its age on the market.
I played through using only minimal cyber (what they make you take- your eye and hand cybers) and went for more punk.

I could live with the people fading in and your weapons sometimes doing it just as long as no armed NPC came up from behind me after I looked there.


It was disappointing that:
- Playing a nomad, the quest "boots made for walking" could not be completed because V/Johnny's old car never appeared so you could look under the hood and complete the quest.
- Guns put in the 3rd weapon slot in the menu would glitch occasionally and not fire when you right clicked to aim and then tried to left click and fire. Had to unequip the weapon, drop it and then pick it up and re-equip it to workaround. (At first I thought this was part of the game- as guns can jam- so when it first happened I tossed the weapon and got another but then it happened again and again- using sniper rifle or pistol). Also thought my mouse was screwing up.
- Pickups in the game did not always allow themselves to be picked up. I noticed that when NPCs dropped a weapon, if it did not fall horizontal to the ground but vertically instead, you could not take it. Quite a few common items could not be picked up either- example - one was right inside the door of V's apartment on the floor and another was a rosary/necklace scattered throughout the game that despite having an indicator to pick it up, I never could.


It was good that:
- The game played smooth and never crashed once. Did not have any graphical issues at 1080p (no mods) .
- The map was large and you could explore a lot (just too bad many of the buildings had open signs on them but the doors were locked).
- Driving around in different cars/trucks was cool- but driving in the desert off road and beating the crap out of whatever you were driving was even cooler.
- The soundtrack had some good songs on it- had to make a note of a few of them to chase down later.
- That it had lots of people (just too bad it lacked dialogue or dialogue variety with most of them).
- Lots of weapon choices (I liked Overwatch and Lizzy).


P:S. I could be wrong here but the voice of the NCPD dispatcher sounded a lot like Sonequa Martin-Green to me.
 

jbltecnicspro

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
8,251
Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance for PC

Long story short - this was one of my favorite games on the PS2. Released at the end of 2001 for PS2. It was ported over to the Xbox and Gamecube later. Xbox is the definitive version for that generation, while the Gamecube got the shaft. I always wondered why it never got a PC port. Well, it got one finally and now you can have it for $30!

For a game this old it still holds up quite well. I see a few reviewers bashing it for "old school difficulty" and while I suppose that's true, I don't think it's all that hard. In my opinion, this is a port done right. Here's a list of bullet points of the game:
  • Runs on damn near anything (I can play it on my NVS-4200M 512MB at a locked 60fps at 1080p)
  • Handles native resolutions and aspect ratios without problems. I have played this on my plasma TV, my projector, and even my 4:3 CRT monitor. 1920x1080 and 1600x1200. In each instance the game handled the aspect correctly and the game looked and performed flawlessly
  • Is just a port. I loved the original game and this port doesn't do anything to mess with it
  • Handles modern controllers effortlessly. Plug your controller in and go
  • Original soundtrack intact
  • Original voicework intact
  • No rebalancing or changes. The game is the same game you love/hate back then
Really the only thing I have a problem with is the price. For diehards, you may consider buying at full price (I did). But for the rest of you, wait until it's on a Steam sale. It's still one of the best couch co-op games I've ever played. I'm currently playing through the game with my son and we're having a blast.

EDIT: There's a Switch version too, and from what I can tell it has all the hallmarks above. Also sells for $30. My recommendation is still the same - diehards will want it and not care that it's $30. The rest of you will want to get it on sale.

Double-EDIT: Even if they bundled Dark Alliance 2 with Dark Alliance, I still think that $30 for BOTH! Yes - both... Is still a stretch. So yeah. Like I said - for the rest of you, maybe wait until it's $4.99? :D
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
5,111
I remember picking this up years ago used for Xbox at Electronics Boutique. It ended up being one of my favorite games of that gen.

Looking forward to playing it again. But no, I won't be paying $30 for it.
 

biggles

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,205
Need for Speed 2015 PS4. Grade D (below average).
Not much to like in this racing game. Graphics are awesome, really nice reflections on the wet ground. Lots of car customization. If you pay attention they even brought back a few songs from the very first need for speed game which was nice.

But almost everything else is a mess in this game. Handling and physics are awful, just awful. Horizon shows you can have arcade handling that controls well unlike in NFS 2015. It is easy to lose a lot of races because the draw distance on is poor, along with the camera being too close to the ground. In other open world racing games developers make it clear where to go during a race. Not so here, it is way too easy to take a wrong turn during and get off the racing path. One of the collectibles is called "donuts" where you spin the car in a donut. Which does not work unless car is RWD. And the game does not tell you which cars are RWD. Long load times. So many bad design decisions, like the fact that it does not let you restart a race after losing. You have to instead go back to that place on the map. Drag racing, which was great in Need for Speed Underground, is so much worse here and the directions suck.

Worst Need for Speed ever, worst game I have played on PS4. If you want a great open world racer the Horizon games are incredible and completely destroy this game. NFS 2015 looks like a million bucks but plays like 3 bucks. Luckily that is all I paid for it since that is about what it is worth.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
3,772
Going to do all 3 bioshock games

The first one is still good and I liked the story the best of all 3. Still looks pretty good graphics-wise and played fine. The game is pretty easy if you spend a little extra time looking around for the boosts/cash.

The second uses the same engine as the first so it's slightly better looking but still fine even by today's standards. The levels are a bit bigger and the combat a bit different since you're playing as a big daddy. But not too much different, guns were changed a bit too and the spear gun was fun to use. I was disappointed at the end I did not get to shoot the annoying woman always pestering me and trying to have me killed.

The third looks excellent still, I was impressed that it's over 8 years old at this point and still looks that good. After some .ini tweaks I was able to have a better FOV (100+) and a small improvement in graphics. I liked the gunplay best in this game, it felt tighter and blowing people's heads off was great. I also prefer the weapon simplification over the previous 2, having 3 types of ammo for every gun was a little excessive to manage although it did give you more options. The story was okay, was just not too into the time travel stuff.

Overall I'd say they're all worth playing if you enjoy FPS games.
 

biggles

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,205
Going to do all 3 bioshock games

The first one is still good and I liked the story the best of all 3. Still looks pretty good graphics-wise and played fine. The game is pretty easy if you spend a little extra time looking around for the boosts/cash.

The second uses the same engine as the first so it's slightly better looking but still fine even by today's standards. The levels are a bit bigger and the combat a bit different since you're playing as a big daddy. But not too much different, guns were changed a bit too and the spear gun was fun to use. I was disappointed at the end I did not get to shoot the annoying woman always pestering me and trying to have me killed.

The third looks excellent still, I was impressed that it's over 8 years old at this point and still looks that good. After some .ini tweaks I was able to have a better FOV (100+) and a small improvement in graphics. I liked the gunplay best in this game, it felt tighter and blowing people's heads off was great. I also prefer the weapon simplification over the previous 2, having 3 types of ammo for every gun was a little excessive to manage although it did give you more options. The story was okay, was just not too into the time travel stuff.

Overall I'd say they're all worth playing if you enjoy FPS games.
I thought they we were all excellent as well. Lots of bugs and crashes on Bioshock 2, though. And this was across multiple systems. And both the original and remastered Bioshock 2 ran poorly for me, buyers beware.
 
Joined
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3,772
I thought they we were all excellent as well. Lots of bugs and crashes on Bioshock 2, though. And this was across multiple systems. And both the original and remastered Bioshock 2 ran poorly for me, buyers beware.
They did? I did both remasters and they ran great, I used DLDSR 4k->1440p/144hz and they did almost perfect. I think I had 1-2 crashes for the first 2 and none for infinite.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
35,407
Need for Speed 2015 PS4. Grade D (below average).
Not much to like in this racing game. Graphics are awesome, really nice reflections on the wet ground. Lots of car customization. If you pay attention they even brought back a few songs from the very first need for speed game which was nice.

But almost everything else is a mess in this game. Handling and physics are awful, just awful. Horizon shows you can have arcade handling that controls well unlike in NFS 2015. It is easy to lose a lot of races because the draw distance on is poor, along with the camera being too close to the ground. In other open world racing games developers make it clear where to go during a race. Not so here, it is way too easy to take a wrong turn during and get off the racing path. One of the collectibles is called "donuts" where you spin the car in a donut. Which does not work unless car is RWD. And the game does not tell you which cars are RWD. Long load times. So many bad design decisions, like the fact that it does not let you restart a race after losing. You have to instead go back to that place on the map. Drag racing, which was great in Need for Speed Underground, is so much worse here and the directions suck.

Worst Need for Speed ever, worst game I have played on PS4. If you want a great open world racer the Horizon games are incredible and completely destroy this game. NFS 2015 looks like a million bucks but plays like 3 bucks. Luckily that is all I paid for it since that is about what it is worth.
I've honestly not liked any of the NFS games made by either Ghost Games or Criterion. They're trying too hard to make the driving "interesting" when all I want is a "real" racing game again like Underground 2 or Most Wanted.
They did? I did both remasters and they ran great, I used DLDSR 4k->1440p/144hz and they did almost perfect. I think I had 1-2 crashes for the first 2 and none for infinite.
The original games look and run better for me than the remasters. They also somehow messed up the sound. Overall seems like a very lazy update to a classic game and ranks up there with the worst remasters ever made.
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,163
I've honestly not liked any of the NFS games made by either Ghost Games or Criterion. They're trying too hard to make the driving "interesting" when all I want is a "real" racing game again like Underground 2 or Most Wanted.
While I liked The Run, I just couldn't get over how drafting works in it. The criterion games however are complete trash.
 

jbltecnicspro

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
8,251
I've honestly not liked any of the NFS games made by either Ghost Games or Criterion. They're trying too hard to make the driving "interesting" when all I want is a "real" racing game again like Underground 2 or Most Wanted.

The original games look and run better for me than the remasters. They also somehow messed up the sound. Overall seems like a very lazy update to a classic game and ranks up there with the worst remasters ever made.
Wow. So glad I didn’t download the remasters…
 

biggles

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
2,205
The excellent Forza Horizon games have raised the bar on what I expect from arcade racing games. They are light years ahead of where Need for Speed is in just about every area.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,221
Dragon Age Inquisition

Really enjoyed this one. Found the main character, companions, main story and side quests to be very interesting, enough for me to reach almost 100 hours going through make sure every zone was thoroughly explored. The game went more open world which made the zones much larger, which was one of the complaints of the second game I had in having small levels. Also it seemed to have less recycled zones. The graphics were also nice and some of the views were wallpaper worthy.

I played a mage and found the class to be overall very powerful and the skills available were fun to use. I did wish some of the skills trees had some more exciting skills to use but the ones in were good enough. The loot in the game had some interesting stats and made for some nice items but it seemed the scaling of some of them was off. It could have the same requirements but was underpowered which made some of the items feel underwhelming.

I also went through the DLCs and felt they were an excellent addition to the game. The Trespasser DLC was some of my favorite content of the game.

Overall, had a great time with this game and hope the next game is even remotely as good.
 

TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
3,526
Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U

Graphics: It looks good for a 3d Mario game even with it being nearly ten years old. It looked good on the gamepad, a 1080p TV, and a 4k TV. No complaints in this department. I think it’s the first 3D Mario that could age as well as SMW visually.

Gameplay: It plays as one would expect from a 3d Mario game. Although the wonky camera sometimes makes it hard to know whether you are over the enemy to land the jump, or under the block just right when you try to break it. Gating progression behind collecting Green Stars is also kind of meh. The levels themselves do have enough variety to keep it interesting while at the same time reusing some mechanics throughout the game so it doesn't seem like its full of one-time gimmicks. I found it most natural to play with the Wii U Pro Controller, but did end up playing probably half of the game with the Gamepad just out of necessity. There is up to a 4 player co-op mode. I played a couple levels with one of the kids and while fun, not sure I'd have the patience to play the whole game with them that way. Level lengths vary with some being able to easily blast through and others took a bit more time especially being mindful of needing to collect Green Stars. It can be a long game for somebody looking to do a 100% completion.

Story: Well it has a story and as expected it's a bit wonky of a Mario story. Of course it involves saving people from Bowser but at least not Peach this time. Can't say I'm too much of paying attention too much of Mario game stories though.

Final Thoughts: If you only have a Wii U and you haven't played it, it's worthwhile enough if you enjoy 3D Platformers. If you have a Switch, well I haven't played the port on the Switch but I've heard it plays well on it as well. I enjoyed the game enough that next time I see it with a pretty big discount I probably will buy the Switch version just to play through Bowser's Fury. It might be a while before I'm willing to play through the main game again though.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
21,605
Horizon II: Forbidden West

This is one of those games that could have been a GOTY candidate, but it feels like the developers deliberately wanted many aspects of the game to be a time sink.

Roughly 80% of the game is just like more of the original. The controls (jumping, melee, archery, rolling, collecting items, etc.) all work the same way. Traversing the world works the same way, too. If you liked the original game, there's nothing on the surface that shouldn't appeal to you.

However, as you get a little further you start to notice little things that make you roll your eyes. The inventory is the biggest one. There are now literally hundreds of weapons. Each one has seemingly random elements associated with it so that it's only useful vs. certain foes. Each one can be upgraded, but that requires a boatload of collectable items that you can only get from killing certain enemies in specific ways. If you upgrade one item, you aren't going to be able to upgrade your other ones unless you like grinding. Think you'll stumble upon the right items in the thousands of chests laying around? You won't. The items you need aren't ever in those. You have to grind out powerful foes in specific ways to upgrade your bows...so you can kill those powerful foes? Why are you powering things up when you can only upgrade your gear by killing those enemies first? It doesn't make sense to me, either. Okay, so the inventory sucks...but you can just ignore that, right? Luckily you mostly can! You can make it through the core game just sticking to your base gear. That's what makes the whole thing even more annoying. It isn't needed. They could have just stuck to the way things worked before and it would have been fine.

Okay, so what about combat? It's fine, but enemies are notoriously spongy. That's even using powered up weapons that you don't have to power up. Normal enemies are no big deal, but any major encounter feels like an MMO battle where the rest of your party didn't show up. Battles aren't particularly hard, just tedious. The few times I died felt like random projectiles fires from miles away. I found myself using melee a lot more as a result. In particular, I used a charge-up R2 attack over and over and over...because it's one of the only things that does real damage. I like to see health bars that go down more than a pixel at a time, shoot me.

Puzzles? At the start of most puzzles you'll tell yourself, "There's no way they're going to make me do all of THAT!" only discover they do want you to do all of that. The developers are genuinely masters of putting an objective 2 feet in front of you and making you circumnavigate the globe to actually reach it. Whatever the longest possible route with the most backtracking and repeated steps is what they want you to do. In EVERY puzzle, too. Even fun distractions like the hunting grounds (my favorites from part 1) and arena matches feel hollow. In the first game they prepared you for actual encounters. In this one, they're just kinda there. There's even a board-based mini-game (think Gwent or Orlog) that feel shoehorned in.

So the game sucks? NO! That's the problem with this game. It doesn't. It's actually pretty good. The story is good, the gameplay is still good, and the overall presentation is fantastic. I think my issue with it is that most of it is a step backward from the original game. The story is better. Everything else...isn't.

Overall 80% (The original game gets a 92%, FYI)
 

KickAssCop

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
7,352
Horizon Forbidden Dope. 9.5 kg of dope/10. Absolutely loved it. You feel like a total badass all throughout. So goooood!!!

Go ahead and play it.
 
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TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
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3,526
Civilization V for PC
This was the complete collection of the game through Steam with all the expansions and DLC.

Graphics: Perhaps a bit dated compared to the newer Civilization VI but it certainly is playable for the genre while still looking pretty good.

Gameplay: Lots of replayability as one would expect from the genre with tons of different leaders to pick each with unique characteristics, multiple ways to win (or lose), different size of worlds, different layout of land, and of course difficulties. These recent playthroughs I did a domination victory on a 500 turn game, a science victory on a 1500 turn game, and a diplomatic victory on a 750 turn game. The 1500 turn game was also the largest map with 12 civilizations and 24 city-states to start. The other two were the standard size map with 6 civilizations and 12 city-states. I don't remember the exact difficulty setting I used for each one but started at the normal Prince and raised it for the others. I felt like 750 turns was probably the best balance among them as sometimes 500 turns is just short considering the earliest turns go by so quick.

Final Thoughts: Overall I felt like it was close enough to previous Civilization games to be able to pickup and play it without really needing to know too much of the new mechanics.

Civilization VI for PC
This was the base game only that was provided as a free game for the week a while back on Epic Gaming Store.

Graphics: They look nicer than Civilization V, but I'm not sure it was always better. Sometimes it made it a bit more difficult to tell from a glance what was on a tile. I also had a few crashes while running the DirectX 12 mode, but once I reverted back to using just DirectX 11 I didn't experience one again.

Gameplay: While most of the game works the same as one would expect, one of the biggest change is the Districts that need to be placed around a city. No longer are you just building the buildings and able to improve all the tiles around your cities. You'll need to place an Encampment District before you can build Barracks and other land unit improvement buildings now. Same goes for all the other kind of buildings. There are also some bonuses for placing these Districts near each other, or near certain tiles. It makes what can already be a heavy micromanagement game into a lot more of one if you like to extract the absolute maximum of your yields. Wonders also need to be placed on tiles as well. The base game does lose one victory condition--Diplomatic--that seems was added back in one of the expansions. A bit of a shame as I believe in Civilization 5 it was there in the base game, but it just worked different between base and one of the expansions. The other big change I noticed is research is now split it into two categories. You have the regular research tree that primarily focuses on new buildings and new units, and a civics tree that primarily gives you new government policies and types.

Final Thoughts: Most of the changes were fine, but the districts just was a hard one. Even though the game's complete bundle has been on sale on Steam and now Epic, I have no desire to get it. It'll be the first one that I don't own all the expansions and DLCs. I don't have desire to play it again. If somebody was new to the series, sure start here because its likely where the newer ones will evolve from, but I'll just go grab my disc for 3 or 4 and keep playing those.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,221
Prey (2017)
Loved every minute of this game. The environments, story, worldbuilding, characters and gameplay is what I expect out of these style of games. While the game might be a little bit of a slow burn as its not fast paced but if you like to explore levels, learn the story through dialog, and environments then this is probably going to be a game for you. I rarely fully explore areas but I made a solid effort to do so for this game. Gameplay wise is a mix of some guns with RPG style combat with hitpoints and damage numbers mixed in with some abilities that provide some unique experiences.

Minor complaints would be some bugs that require me leaving an area and come back for certain objectives to complete. Also some weird physic interactions, items glitching out in the floor but nothing game breaking and only happened a few times.

Overall a fun game that I really enjoyed and might go for a 2nd playthrough at some point.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
3,772
Prey (2017)
Loved every minute of this game. The environments, story, worldbuilding, characters and gameplay is what I expect out of these style of games. While the game might be a little bit of a slow burn as its not fast paced but if you like to explore levels, learn the story through dialog, and environments then this is probably going to be a game for you. I rarely fully explore areas but I made a solid effort to do so for this game. Gameplay wise is a mix of some guns with RPG style combat with hitpoints and damage numbers mixed in with some abilities that provide some unique experiences.

Minor complaints would be some bugs that require me leaving an area and come back for certain objectives to complete. Also some weird physic interactions, items glitching out in the floor but nothing game breaking and only happened a few times.

Overall a fun game that I really enjoyed and might go for a 2nd playthrough at some point.
I really enjoyed it. Felt very close to deus ex in many respects.
 
Joined
May 19, 2021
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20
They Are Billions 9/10

A great game that does not forgive mistakes and inattention. If someone liked the era of flash and tower defense, this is definitely a game for you. Lots of different units, different maps, lots of upgrades and my favorite zombie theme!

In my opinion, one of the best games in recent years, I highly recommend it
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
21,605
Elden Ring

What happens when you combine Dark Souls and The Elder Scrolls? Basically, you end up with Elden Ring. It's probably better than either of those series', too. I could probably delve into the details of what differentiates it from the Souls titles, but it wouldn't be wrong to consider it Dark Souls 4. After all, the storylines from the prior titles are only loosely connected. The major difference is that you're now in a huge world that can (mostly) be freely explored. You can't quite go everywhere right from the start, but you can get pretty close. Just know that some areas are tougher than others. There are also enemies scattered almost everywhere that aren't designed to be fought immediately. The world is absolutely gigantic and there are caves, castles, labyrinths, etc. to explore all around you. If you've played Skyrim or the Witcher 3, the size and scope are similar. Elden Ring isn't quite as large as those two titles, but it's in the ballpark. It's also quite a bit more challenging, too. To facilitate getting around easier, you now have a horse. It makes for quicker transportation, it allows for surprisingly satisfying mounted combat, and it has the ability to jump (twice) so you can reach new areas. Speaking of jumping, your character now has a jump too. With all of the frustrating platforming From has implemented in the past, it's a welcome addition. It's handy in combat, too.

Gameplay is otherwise very similar to the Souls games. You can go with 2 styles of melee, 2 disciplines of spellcasting, or some combination of all 4. Stats, armor, weapons, upgrading, etc. is all handled just like in the Souls titles. For that matter, dying, save points, "souls" (aka. runes in this title), etc. mostly work the same way, too. They did add some nuances (like secondary save points), which are a welcome change.
What about the difficulty, right? I've managed to complete all of the other Soulsborne titles by myself through at least NG+, so I'm really familiar with them and how tough they can be. I feel like Elden Ring is probably the overall least difficult in the series, BUT that isn't a bad thing. It keeps the game from being inapproachable for new players. Plus, there are lots and lots of ways to make the game more challenging if you actually want it to be the toughest in the series. For instance, there are lots and lots of fights where you're dealing with multiple bosses at once. The game usually allows you to summon an AI player (or even a friend) to help you deal with them. Yet you don't have to do so. If don't, Elden Ring has some battles that are as tough as anything Fromsoft has ever put out. It's a nice way of allowing players to avoid hitting a wall while giving better players the option of challenging themselves.

So, what's the verdict? I give it a 95% and it's probably among the best games I've played from the modern (3D) era. It isn't as innovative as Dark (and especially Demon's) Souls were, but it's the ultimate example of their successful formula, though.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,110
Just Cause 4 & DLC (Updated Review)

Updating some reviews on older games I tried, quit, and retried later. First up is Just Cause 4. What was the worst alpha build released as a retail game in modern history has been patched of game breaking issues. The game, when I last finished it, was patched and stable. The crashing was gone, as were other game breaking bugs. There was still some occasional small bugs but I could complete all missions without problems.

However, that is where the praise ends. Just Cause games are based around mindless action, blowing up sprawling complexes and using crazy vehicles and weapons. Strangely this was toned down greatly in JC4. There are not many targets to blow up, even in large enemy bases. The explosions and environments themselves are therefor even more static and empty. You also can only quick swap between two weapons, which seems absurd given that the game is supposed to be centered around obscene chaos and destruction.

Mission design is even more basic and there are less interesting things to see or blow up compared to previous entries in the series. The story too is even more mundane, without the silliness of previous games. There are all kinds of quirks related to the combat and GUI that make the game more of a chore to play than it should. Especially odd because they already had systems in place in previous titles.

Graphics and map design looks worse than Just Cause 3, with lighting in some areas still looking horrific. Although the LoD does prevent the terrian from looking like water, morphing and changing as you walk. So it is certainly improved, but still not where it should be given the year it was released. Graphics can look blurry, low detailed, fairly ugly terrian and dated effects. Sounds are nothing special.

Despite this there can still be some fun in using vehicles and blowing things up. But I do stress the word some. Every set up, every mission, and even enemy responses are not nearly as thrilling as past games. Red Faction Guerilla is an example of what is possible, with gradually increasing enemy responses on a grand scale. JC4 just seems limited to what is brought on screen at once. But flying/driving around and blowing up the occasional enemy and complex still offers some basic fun.

DLC is more of the same in general.

Danger Rising - You get a hover board and destroy some ships. Fairly difficult for the game, with lots of enemies although the ships get repetitive as they're mostly the same.

Dare Devils of Destruction - Racing/driving competitions. Kind of amusing, about what you'd expect from racing in similar games.

Los Demonios - Boring. Repetitive domes with monsters/demons. After you do two domes you'd wish they could just disappear from the map so you can fly or drive around normally.

5 / 10

Ugly, bland, under-developed but a little bit of fun can be had if you like games were you can use a variety of vehicles. This is a fairly generous score because I enjoy vehicle based games.
 
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t1k

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
178
Sword and Fairy 7 (released October 21st, 2021 on Steam, story-rich Chinese singleplayer action-adventure RPG)

This is a very beautiful and enjoyable game. My Completion time for it was 20.5 hours. Its graphics, sound, and visual design are amazing, and there are a pretty wide variety of environments you will traverse. You will know after the first three hours whether or not it is the game for you or not. It tells a very long and sophisticated story, and you will spend a lot of time in between your adventuring reading or clicking through dialogue. I found it’s pacing was actually very good though, and it seemed to throw a curveball at me to keep me engaged just as I was beginning to feel impatient with clicking and waiting through all the lines of dialogue and the many cutscenes. Sometimes it was a twist in plot or something that really pulled at my heart strings or made me burst into laughter. Most of the cutscenes are of very high quality and quite entertaining; they rarely felt like a slog to get through. The game has some amazing action sequences and setpieces, and its soundtrack is beautiful. It does require a certain level of patience though, and it is not for those who must feel engaged 100% of the time in more kinetic gameplay.

You can safely skip quickly through all the dialogue and still have a great time with the game, as the gameplay and visuals alone provide enough context and information to you. There aren’t any lewd or super heavy mature themes in it; it’s all very wholesome. Some parts are very touching emotionally. It will make you feel things, even if you just loosely follow the story rather than try to suck in every detail. You could certainly approach this game like a book or visual novel if you wanted to. The story is so fantastical that I didn’t feel the need to understand everything and know all the details.

The gameplay between all the dialogue and cutscenes felt very fun, smooth, and polished to me. It is an action-adventure game before it is an RPG game, and its progression system is not super deep or complex. It is not difficult, but it will still make you think and keep you engaged. It has some puzzle sections, most of which are fun and not too frustrating. There are many opportunities to just relax and take in all the beautiful visuals for a while with optional side quests from NPCs that basically have you play errand-boy for them around the world. Above all, it is a gorgeous looking game that puts many other games graphics to shame. The special effects in this game are absolutely incredible, and the game’s final act really blew me away.

I think the only way it could improve is if slightly better facial expressions/animations were there in some parts and if the main character was given another animation or two. A ledge-climbing animation would have been nice to see rather than having to jump everywhere. I also think they could have added more walking-plus-talking sequences for some of the lengthy dialogues to keep you more visually engaged. But I’m being very nitpicky in mentioning the above, as the game’s visuals and animations are, for the most part and on the whole, very nice.
 

JustinCorrigible

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
1,133
I want to write a huge review, but I’ll keep it short.

Finished Judgment (played on my Series X).

Never played and if the Yakuza games before, and if this is close enough to those I just might.

There were times where the story was very engaging to me, even though I saw a lot of the plot twists coming. Like, engaging enough that I could forgive the too many random street battles, which themselves I probably wouldn’t mind as much if they have you more SP per encounter than they did/do. The fighting was difficult for me to master. I didn’t git gud until very far in and 100s of thousands of Yen spent on med kits. I’m sure Elden Ring had something to do with the late blooming in this combat.

Highly recommend the game and I can’t wait to start Lost Judgment.
 

t1k

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
178
Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem (released January 25th, 2022 on Steam, action-adventure FPS)

I beat this game in one sitting on normal difficulty in 6.5 hours The game isn't too long but is really fun if you like fast, frenetic shooters with massive hordes of enemies. It's the funnest I've ever had with the franchise, having only played some of the older games' VR versions some time ago. Visuals are very solid in the game if you take the time to tweak all the settings, and the soundtrack is amazing too. There is a very wide variety of weapons, and they are all fun to use. They just added a survival mode, and there is a co-op mode as well. I will definitely try both of these soon. The game does have some stutter, but most of the time it occurs while a new part of a level is loading, and it only happened a few times for me during combat. Fortunately, the entire game seems to stop when it happens, so I never died because of it or anything. I highly recommend the game, based on what I've played so far. At time of writing this, game is 20% off on Steam. Very well worth $16 in my opinion!
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,110
Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Open, vastness, and scale are something that can add so much to a game. However there is a point of no diminishing returns when the journey becomes a slog and that scale is largely repeating the same few things over and over again. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is one of those games that makes you think "this was a slog" rather than "this was an amazing journey!". Size, length and scale is something Valhalla does well. Yet at times these aspects end up hurting the game.

Compared to its predecessor, Odyssey, Valhalla is a vast improvement. The game largely throws out grinding for weapons, necessary paid boosters and the obscene level system. This is worth pointing out as Odyssey had some of the most predatory pay to play systems in AAA single player gaming. Valhalla generally plays and progresses like a traditional single player, story driven game. Although I am not sure if I should be congratulating Valhalla for not being based around a morally wrong pay to play system. It should be a given that games can be played normally without paid, time limited boosters. But Ubisoft came to their senses with Valhalla so I must stress this point.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.16 - 14.32.07.39.png
The game often overwhelms the player with all the side content/fluff.

Valhalla is a large scale open world game. The setting is mostly in England, of which most of the area is seemingly modeled in game. Of course it is scaled down and not actual size, although the map itself is huge. This is actually fairly impressive and one of the strengths. To essentially make a miniaturized England, save for the western parts, is impressive. The game does a good job of adding enough detail to make the various regions feel different and have their own stories, loosely based on actual history. England has a rich history and although at points much of it seems flat and dull relatively, it is impressive in the least to see all of these stories, areas and kingdoms explored in some way. I went in thinking a story set in England would be too dull, but the game managed to make it palatable. It was still nice to see the small intricacies explored. You'll encounter Danes, Norse, and various other groups that gradually move to the area. While they may not be all that interesting and different enough to matter for gameplay, the level of historical hair splitting for a video game was nice to see. The game also has a smaller map, a region of Norway, which serves as a prologue area. You can and will return to it once getting to England.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.21 - 16.53.43.48.png
There are some interesting landmarks to see in an otherwise mundane landscape.

As mentioned, while the large scale is one of the games biggest strengths it is also a weakness. Due to the setting and length, there is a lot of repetition. There are some landmarks, although many areas feel similar due to lack of geographic and architectural variety. Enemies will get tiresome after a while. Even story quests will get old as they will feel similar, such as helping young men rise up to become strong leaders. You'll start and end story quests with the same sequences, the same animations, and the same dialogue lines. "Now, it seems the wind calls me back to Randvi" is a line your character will mutter after most major story sequences. You'll meet characters and then essentially never interact with them again. Some you will meet again, and will act like best buddies to the player's character yet I could not remember who they were.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.21 - 00.16.42.77.png
Large scale melee with friends/foes.

Combat is fairly standard. You mash buttons, have some abilities, and can generally take down enemies sensibly. Although sometimes you will go up against stronger NPCs that need to be stabbed dozens of times, generally it seems like it is easy to match the required levels of each mission so it won't be much of a problem. There are some slick abilities that will allow you to do feats like quickly grab weapons and toss them at enemies. Weapon variety is descent, with swords, small axes, large axes, daggers flails and of course bows. They will offer unique enough gameplay variety with some being quicker, more likely to stun and good when surrounded and then heavier things that are better for damage dealing. NPCs react to attacks decently. Animation and hitting reaction isn't the best, but I'd say industry standard. Obtaining new weapons are typically found throughout the world and may require some parkour to get. There is enough variety here to keep the game playable without becoming too boring. Yet it doesn't set itself apart from the pack of slashing games out there.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.21 - 00.17.43.10.png
The different weapons offer enough variety and are fun enough to use.

There are also Viking raids, which essentially means you jump on your boat and sail to an outpost. You then take out the guards and steal loot. These are fun although again, similar to what you see in most open world games. Combat and scenarios are just standard fare.

The story of the game is middle of the road. It is long and there are many characters. But it lacks a strong emotional aspect and isn't very sophisticated. Some parts are better than others but as a whole there is just so much repeating themes and similar events that it all blurs together. While there is a focused central story it is weak. Generally, the story is you being sent on quests to help people with their own largely secluded mini stories. These can be amusing or forgettable, but generally are filled with plenty of dialogue to keep a semblance of purpose. The end does culminate with typical Assassin's Creed modern day stuff as well as the main character's search for something related to their motivations which I won't spoil here. As for the modern aspect it is severely lacking. It sees a return of the cookie cutter, bland, unrealistically good at literally everything and highly unlikable Layla Hassan. Thankfully you don't spent much time with her.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.16 - 18.37.38.97.png
Many characters. Many forgettable faces.

The "side quests" to this game aren't really side quests, much like Mass Effect 2. They are a necessity because that is where the bulk of the story content comes from. You can skip some regions but you'll be missing out on much of the story aspects. Luckily this means the side quests, which are generally self contained stories spanning 5-9 missions, are of equal quality to the main story quests. You'll secure alliances, meet new characters, explore England and get weapons from completing these quests. This means the game will take around 100 hours to finish all of the story missions and "optional" story missions in all regions. There are smaller quests called mysteries. These are short and typically a puzzle or something else that can be finished in 5-10 minutes. Sometimes there is some story content but they are generally not required. Though some are worth playing most people won't want to do all of the rock stacking mysteries or puzzles.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.19 - 14.28.38.25.png
The game has plenty, if too much content including dozens upon dozens of similar puzzles.

Graphically the game looks good. General terrian detail is high and lighting looks good. Character faces and textures might not be as detailed as other games but this is a larger scale open world game and generally these have lower quality assets. There isn't much to comment on here because the game looks about on par with AAA games of the time period. Audio is also about standard with nothing standing out. Voice acting is fine. Some minor NPCs might not have the best voice acting but again, that is standard in massive open world games.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Screenshot 2021.04.16 - 20.54.26.76.png
Graphically the game gets the job done.

The major problem with the game lies with the bugs. There are many small and medium sized bugs in Valhalla. Physics bugs, NPCs occasionally being invincible, animation bugs, the player falling through the ground and getting stuck are examples. Some of these are minor, others require restarting from a save. I have yet to find a game stopping bug that prevented progress, but loading from a checkpoint can set you back 5-30 minutes. These notably hurt the flow of the game. The game save feature isn't very good as it relies on you not being in combat or an enemy zone. So if you get a bug that requires you to restart, you might have to clear an entire camp out again. This is unacceptable. I have not played the game in over a year at this point so maybe it is less buggy in current builds. I have not played any of the new DLCs either.

Some examples of bugs:



6.5 / 10

An okay game that is too long for its own good and held back by bugs.
 
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harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
5,111
Far Cry 6

This is going to be a short one, since I refuse to spend much more time on this game that it's already stolen from me.

Pros
  • It's a Far Cry game. You get guns and you shoot things
  • Nice graphics. Notable upgrade in nearly everything from Far Cry 5. It makes my 3080 ti cry at Ultra with RT on and the HD Texture pack at 4k
Cons
  • Vehicles are unresponsive and seem slow compared to past games. e.g. there's a dune buggy that has a 20-degree turning radius in which a got stuck in an Austin Powers-like corner. All vehicles have generally been gimped and not fun
  • Moving all buffs and upgrades to equipment instead of the character makes the skill tree disjointed and a confused mess (and it's not naturalistic as I feel was the intent)
  • Enemies are bullet sponges unless you're railing headshots
  • The map is too big, and too much content to remain focused. When a new mission appears on my map, unless it happens to be nearby, my first reaction is "hell, I've got to schlep 10 minutes to get across 10% of the map
  • Camp upgrades and building are superfluous and annoying in a game like this (but boy, do they help push microtransactions)
  • Story is nonsense and not motivating, but I won't really ding a Far Cry game for it's shoddy story
In general, a slog. If I was to summarize what's wrong with FC6 vs. prior entries in the series, I'd say the fun aspects have been sucked out. I only got through ~50% of the map and dropped the game. Ain't no one got time for this. 5.8/10.
 
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TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
3,526
The Oregon Trail for iOS
This was the version available through Apple Arcade. I’m not sure on its availability outside of that.

Graphics: Looked much nicer than the last time I played it on an Apple II! Looked fairly good for a mobile oriented game. Believe the graphics are the same if you play it on the other Mac OS based platforms. I didn’t try it on them though.

Gameplay: It seemed to add a lot of various mechanics to the game I remember playing. Now I know there has been a few remakes over the years but I didn’t play them. So it’s possible some of those mechanics are in them. It wasn’t particularly long to complete it the first time. There are also smaller challenges that unlock, and upon completing those gives you new options in the main game.

Final Thoughts: It wasn’t particularly long to complete the main game nor difficult. If the Apple Arcade subscription wasn’t included in my cell phone plan I wouldn’t have played it. I don’t think I’ll be planning to play it anymore, but will keep it around so the kids can give it a try. Certainly easier but less fun than tracking down an Apple II to give them the authentic experience of playing it.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
3,772
Tron 2.0

A surprisingly good game. Story was simple but still fit the bill just fine. No overly long cutscenes. I liked how they did upgrades/loadouts in this game, lots of customization options. I think my favorite part was the aesthetic, you simply don't really get many games like this. If it were made today the levels would be larger, they seemed a bit small most of the time, could be the engine limited them. Combat was fun, but I had some performance issues that I couldn't work out so I just powered through them.

Overall highly recommended, 8.5/10.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,110
Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Ground breaking games that become iconic and genre trend setting are few and far between in recent years. As the games industry ages, nostalgia grows and we're seeing plenty of remakes coming out. Final Fantasy 7 Remake (FF7R henceforth) is one of those. It may be based off an old game, although this re-imagined version has made sufficient changes to allow it to be an enjoyable experience in 2022. I would like to note that I have never played the original so this was an entirely new experience for me.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.11 - 11.19.09.68.png
Even though I never played the original, Cloud is a character I had already recongized.


FF7R is a Japanese RPG, which should be fairly obvious by looking at character designs. Japanese games can have good and bad aspects to them. FF7R does a decent job of carefully balancing the typical Japanese oddities. It never goes quite so overboard as other games, but still has a strong and evident Japanese styling. This allowed the game to be sufficiently grounded and not excessively cringe.

For a JRPG this game is an improvement over many of its competitors. It is largely based around the story and plot based missions. There is a leveling and upgrade system which is thankfully straight forward, natural, and doesn't require the player to run around aimlessly collecting things to upgrade. There will be times when you spend a few moments applying upgrades but this is all done through a convenient and straightforward menu. The game is centered around a party system, of which characters will rotate in and out throughout the story. There are numerous abilities characters can learn as well as weapon upgrades. Between these two, you can then cater each character to a different gameplay style; up close brawler, long range support or a character based around healing. Because you can swap out abilities and different weapons, you can even change each character's build slightly. The game clearly nudges certain characters into certain play styles though, but you still have the ability to change things up as mentioned.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.12 - 01.03.48.11.png
Having a massive gun in place of one arm makes it obvious that Barret is supposed to be a long range support character. His large size coincides with his high HP.


In general the system works out well. It is simple and intuitive though at times some things could have been explained better. At the normal difficulty setting the game is forgiving enough so any confusion on what upgrades may do isn't much of a consequence. The most important ones, like damage type, healing, reviving, and stealing of items are straightforward. As the game goes on synergy between different character builds does work well. I found myself frequently switching between characters as different types of enemies would appear. Most JRPGs require excessive amounts of time to flip through menus and running around gathering useless garbage in fetch quests to upgrade your character. I was relieved that this was absolutely not the case in FF7R. But this is where the extent of the RPG aspect of FF7R ends.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.12 - 18.01.23.74.png
Boss fights will require using each character's strengths in conjunction.


Generally the game is centered around linear map design. Most chapters of the game are linear without much in the way of alternate paths. Despite this I found it enjoyable and more relaxing than typical modern games. A typical problem for JRPGs is they tend to focus so much on fetch quests with zero content, and modern western games focus too much on open world and running around aimlessly gathering resources. This is largely absent in FF7R, which is a massive help to actually having fun. Most of what you do has relevance to the story. The majority of the time you are doing main story missions/quests. This is an aspect that is clearly carried over due to this being a remake of an older game, and it makes you realize just how far modern single player games have strayed from being designed around fun and not being chore simulators. There are hub areas which offer standard, lesser important side quests. This helps the game as it does open it up a little and offer some player agency without bogging the game down. While the hub areas may not be as well designed as something like Deus Ex Mankind Divided, it is yet another game that proves that limited and smart design flow is often better than giant sprawling maps.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.10 - 10.58.59.25.png
There are a few on rails motorcycle sections which are just okay although feel a bit too basic.


There are occasional dialogue choices in FF7R, but they generally have little impact. If you are looking to influence the story this game is not for you. It is an action RPG (depending on the gameplay mode selected at least), but it has a fixed story. This isn't necessarily bad but the role playing aspects purely come from playing around with character builds and not changing narrative outcomes.

In terms of the narrative, FF7R is a bit of a mixed bag. The story is generally enjoyable but seems to never quite go as far as it could have. This is likely because the story was originally intended as a single piece but has been split into three or even four parts. As such, there seems to be a lack of detail in the lore exploring in game. This makes sense in that the original FF7 had much more to offer and the parts covered in FF7R only account for what seems to be a quarter to a third of the overall story. Playing this for the first time, as a standalone experience, left me wanting to know more about the city of Midgar. Outside of the main events FF7R does little to provide more background lore to this city, despite its interesting design and being the setting of the entire game. I also felt like I learned too little about the real antagonists. They have little screen time and the real plot only just started to take shape before the game ended. Once again, likely the result of this being the introduction section of a larger piece of work. But as a standalone game I felt like we needed more time spent explaining the primary antagonists and background. This will all clearly be revealed in the sequels, though with how much detail is uncertain. While the game does spend most of its time on story missions, they feel more like a sequence of events that unfold rapidly with a bit of ambiguity of what is going on in the background.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.11 - 13.58.21.94.png
Characters ultimately prop up the story in FF7R.


The strongest point of the story is probably going to be the characters. Generally most are likeable, although come with typical Japanese oddness. Some more than others. Their interactions and dialogue at times can be a bit weird in a very Japanese way. You will hear a lot of "eh" or "urgh" type responses from characters in place of more normal sounding dialogue. Despite that, the main cast is generally likeable. The characters themselves may not be entirely unique but their constant presence makes them relevant enough to the story events. Perhaps the least likable main character is ironically Cloud as he doesn't talk much, using the aforementioned grunting sounds in place of worded responses frequently with little of his background is revealed. The antagonists come off as comic book (or I suppose anime) type of generic evil guys. Although again, more is revealed towards the end of the game and clearly they will be detailed more in sequels. But as of now they have not had enough screen time to bloom properly into rounded characters. The playable support characters is where most of the human interactions will come from, and they generally carry the narrative.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.11 - 00.24.25.26.png
Some parts of the game look nice.

From a technical perspective the game is mixed. Frame rates are high and graphics look good in certain areas. But the hub areas have stuttering, especially when running around quickly. This is not present in the main story mission/levels, and not during combat thankfully. Graphically it can look fairly amazing in some aspects. Characters look nice and lifelike. Lighting in certain areas looks great. However there is a notable amount of low resolution assets. Environmental textures can be low resolution. As do some 3D models for map props. The sky box of Midgar in the distance in particular looks awful. You can tell this was clearly a last gen console game designed around older hardware; or a lack of effort was put into making the game look uniformly great. This is disappointing because the game can very often look great. Likewise this is a half baked port, with only around 3-4 PC specific graphical settings.

Stuttering and graphical shortcomings aside I could not recall many bugs. The game is stable. I had zero crashes. Zero bugs that prevent progression, or other small bugs that stood out. Occasionally it looked like party members would stall mid combat but I think that has more to do with gameplay and the developers intending on the player to play the game, not the AI. Having a working game is very important and this game was well polished in every other way.

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.11 - 22.49.34.02.png
See that pipe on the right? There are many areas of the game that look that bad.


Voice acting is great. Aside from some odd dialogue at times, the voice acting is well done. Sounds are generally done well to. The soundtrack is better than average, with numerous catchy background tracks. I wouldn't put it up there as one of the best games I have heard but it does standout above most AAA games.

Episode INTERmission is the included story DLC that comes with FF7R on PC. You play a new character, Yuffie in a plot that takes place between the main events of the base game. It brings some new weapons and abilities unique to the new playable character Yuffie. However the character is boring and too cringe. The additional side characters are not that interesting either. The main plot of the DLC is not very relevant in a significant way to the overall story, and the overall gameplay is the same. However the main missions are generally enjoyable but it is more of the same. Assuming you enjoy the main game you will find this playable. As additional content it holds up, though I am grateful Yuffie was not present in the main game and hope she is at best a minor character in any sequels.


FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Screenshot 2022.05.11 - 17.54.42.20.png
The various abilities and magic moves can be fun to use.


In summary, FF7R is a good game. It manages to remember what gaming is about - having fun, not clearing percentage lists and searching for certain materials to obtain other materials and sending the player off on wild goose chases to get them. Yet at the same time it never quite reaches that higher bar. The plot and lore background just doesn't have the depth past the basic character level. There was potential to elevate this game further that just wasn't reached.

8.1 / 10

Looking forward to see the sequels really delve into the story.
 

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Ripskin

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,516
Black Mesa:

Played earthbound when they released it. Just went through to play Zen. Game is still so much better than the original HL. Some of the voice acting could be better but great sound and more cohesive story and guidance. A few bugs and minor issues but a great way to build into the HL series. Zen was definitely worth the wait but also suffered from some overly repetitive activities as you near the final chapters which hurt it IMO.

Solid game though and I would say a 7 or 8 out of 10. 7 for the repetitive mundane parts, but outside of that they recaptured the story and built upon it perfectly making it so much better than the original.
 

WarriorX

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
2,221
Mass Effect Andromeda

Yep I played the infamous 'my face is tired' game. And I loved it...

Does it have flaws, yes. Does it stray away a little from what makes a Mass Effect game a Mass Effect game yes, somewhat. I still had a blast in my 65+ hour journey through exploring in this game.

A few things I wished they did different. I missed the tactical pause and ability to control my team abilities. I felt I did 90% of the work in combat. I did miss the paragon/renegade interrupts. There were a few times you could take an action during a cut scene but it was rare. There also weren't as many one liners to troll the NPCs. Also some of the dialog was a little rough in the delivery but it wasn't too distracting for me.

I did love the exploration of the planets. Lots of quests to discover, locations to visit and it had you returning to previously visited areas often to find new areas you previously didn't find. Graphics are nice as well which made the environments look good.

The story was interesting, little similar but I was vested in it. It was nice uncovering what had happened to the various species from the previous games and how they got to the new Galaxy. I think a few more plot twists would have been nice to keep the stakes up but overall I did like it. The final boss fight was ok, but final sequence of the boss fight was over too quick.

I ended up liking the crew and felt they all had their quirks to make them unique. Some of them really stood out for their unique missions.

Only encountered a few glitches with one crash to desktop but the game had auto saved so no loss of progress. I'm guessing the game was in a much worst state on launch than after post launch patches.

Might not be a perfect Mass Effect game or even RPG but for what it offered I really enjoyed it.
 

Flogger23m

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
13,110
God of War

Prepare to embark on a confused journey, smashing every pot that gets in your way as yet another Playstation exclusive has arrived on PC. God of War is an action adventure game that relies far too much on finding weird resources and is based around a confusing and odd menu design.

GoW Screenshot 2022.05.14 - 13.49.22.23.png



God of War is an action adventure game, based around fighting and melee. And collecting money and odd resources to upgrade your character. Otherwise the "god" that you play as will get his ass kicked by literal brain dead draugrs. The fighting combat is okay. It is not bad, but it is not great either. There are a variety of moves that you can learn over the course of the game. These have some unique effects and animations. The problem is that few of them are actually useful. Enemies will interrupt the more complex moves you can perform. The basic moves are therefore much more useful and consistently better for actually playing the game. In practice this makes the gameplay limited because you will spam the few basic attack moves instead of using the more complex ones.

GoW Screenshot 2022.05.15 - 16.21.34.09.png
To the game's credit using the shield to block enemy attacks is actually viable in this game, which is a plus.


There are factors like staggering enemies and moves that place a larger emphasis on staggering than damage, but again, enemies recover so quickly that it is often pointless. There are other fighting games released in the past like Sleeping Dogs where the more complex fighting moves were actually practical and staggering had a use in a fight. This is very disappointing, as the general combat is actually fairly fun. There is some weight behind your character and impacts. The foundation of the gameplay is fine, it just seldom allows for the complex moves to be practical resulting in a more simplistic basic light/heavy attack spamming gameplay.

The boy has a bow, which offers longer range support and is generally how you will stagger enemies. Nothing is really special about this in terms of gameplay but is often needed.


GoW Screenshot 2022.05.15 - 17.55.11.81.png
The most common foe that God of War forces you to crush through your journey is the pot.


Outside of combat you will spend a lot of time figuring out how to upgrade your weapons and armor. The upgrade system is a bit of a mess, and relies heavily on pulverizing random pots and vases throughout the game. Of all the things I'd expect a god to be able to do, I didn't think beating the crap out of ornate furniture randomly strewn about the landscape was one they'd spend half their time doing. But you will smash a lot of crap in God of War. This is necessary to upgrade your gear. There are other ways to make money, like finding pointless treasures or items to sell in a shop. There is also a lot of weird resources you need to find. Certain times of steel for certain types of items. You'll then need to upgrade it, only to find out you need a bronze turd straight from a dragon's ass to upgrade it. It is just too much of a pain to remember what you need, and finding out where that junk is found. It becomes chore like and is a bit essential to ensure your character doesn't become too weak.

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The menu is hard to navigate, hard to figure out what you need to upgrade, and what you have or where to find something.


You can upgrade your moves, weapons, weapon grips, armor, special abilities, the kid's bow, ability so summon some ghost wolves/hogs, and some "quick attacks". All of which is done through a messy and confusingly designed menu. Through the middle of the game upgrading becomes an absolute chore but luckily it loosens up later.

God of War isn't exactly a large sprawling open world, although I suppose it does technically qualify as one. Once accessing a new area you can go back to previous areas at anytime. Most subsections of the map are fairly linear, though there is a hub area in the center. You can paddle around the lake and find some side quests here. This works out okay as the map is sensibly big so you don't run around too much aimlessly and it is well focused. This would have been good, had the map design naturally been logical and allowed for easy interpretation of where you are supposed to go. That isn't the case with God of War. Despite being linear it is often hard to read where you are supposed to go.

The map is perhaps the most useless map in video game history. The markers don't exactly correspond to where something is, and the path way to get somewhere is not shown at all. You wouldn't know if you are supposed to climb up something, follow a river inland, or go into a cave. Practically nothing of relevance is shown on the map.

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The map is almost entirely useless.


There are just so many little things wrong with the flow of this game. Navigation, bad upgrade system and bad menu design. It could have been so much more smooth and a really good fighting game. There are just so many hindrances throughout that bring it down.

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The two main characters, who don't really change much at all throughout the game.


The plot of the game itself is fairly thin. As someone who never played previous entries it was only after I finished the game that I realized God of War 2018 is not a complete reboot of the series, despite taking the title from the 2005 game. Despite a story carrying over from previous games there was not much to been seen in God of War 2018. Within the first 3 minutes of the game you learn someone dies. You must take their ashes to a mountain. You fight some bad guys. You never really learn much about them or their motivations and they don't have much screen time. There are three other characters, all minor, two of which are shop owners and quest givers. Not a whole lot happens in the story. The two main characters don't change much. At one point the boy becomes a prick, then after one mission be becomes normal again.

Unfortunately that is about as in depth as the story gets. You just have to turn off your brain. You are beating the crap out of monsters and pots in a mythological world.

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Pots aside, killing the other types of enemies can be fun. Low detail effects are apparent in this screen shot.


Visually the game looks about average. Visually it is less impressive than Horizon Zero Dawn, also a Playstation port from two years prior. It doesn't look bad, but occasionally textures can be a bit low resolution such as Kratos himself. Splatter and spark effects are low in resolution and standout. The water can look bad. Some parts of the world can look low in detail. Other parts can look nice. Reflections can also look great. Overall, it is just average.

Performance is about on par with similar games. I get around 50-90 frame rates depending on the scene. I did not experience any stuttering or odd performance issues. Perhaps the best part of the game is that it was very polished. I cannot recall many bugs. Certainly nothing that would standout and annoy me at least.

Sounds are fine. Voice acting fits the game. Background music is what you would expect given the theme, but there is no particular track that was memorable. This isn't a game where you'll remember any music tracks even two days later.

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Later in the game you will have to switch between your axe and blades for different types of enemies.


In summary, there is just a lot of underwhelming aspects. The core gameplay is perfectly fine. It just lacks fine tuning and has many tired, dated and tedious aspects in the game. Good performance, but mixed visuals. Really, everything about this game is mixed.

7 / 10
 
Last edited:

Nytegard

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
3,735
Completed Strangers of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin.

Overall, disappointed.

I played it on the PS5 on performance mode. The game though had some serious frame rate drops throughout. And while I'm a fan of the original NES soundtrack, I found some of the remixes grating.

Now in terms of gameplay, this game demonstrates precisely why I think action conversions of turn based RPGs still haven't gotten there. Your teammates are all but useless. The enemy monsters will target you 90% of the time, even if your teammates are 2 inches away from them. And half the time, they just stand still doing nothing. Some missions require killing Tonberries, who will insta kill you if they hit you. Your teammates though, almost never get hit. So, I ran towards the tonberry, had my teammates there, than told my teammates to go wild, while I ran away like a coward. Took about 10 minutes for them to kill the tonberry, though if I get lucky, I can kill it in about 15 seconds. Which brings me to my next point. This game is everything people complain about Dark Souls, but really isn't in Dark Souls. It feels like it reads your inputs. Once again to the tonberry, I time a maneuver, and bam, it does a 180, and lands the insta kill at the perfect time. And some of the later bosses on the hard difficulty basically require you to play perfect. Get hit once, and it's practically over. It's not like the bosses are difficult in patterns, but sometimes you have to change skills using the analog sticks, not only moving them, but pressing them down. And while it's instantaneous outside of the boss fights, it feels like there's a couple second delay in order to make it work in the boss fight, at which point the boss will hit you. And once your down, you're stunned for 3 seconds, while his next attack goes off in 2 seconds, followed by a few more attacks to land the killing blow on you. This only happens on the harder difficulties, not the easier ones. And while I understand playing harder difficulties is suppose to be more difficult, I find getting chain killed from full health is cheap, not difficult. There's a difference between getting hit due to a mistake and being able to recover vs being hit due to a mistake, and being chain killed before you have an opportunity to recover.
 
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