The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

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AndyF1069
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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:10 pm

Episode II is as poorly designed as I. I got frustrated quite a lot and ended up trying different Sonic games. There was a Sonic bundle which included just about every game available for PC from all eras. I tried Sonic Lost World having no knowledge of when and where it came from. It's a 2d platformer in a 3d world. You can only ever run in one direction, but you aren't limited to just left and right. Reviews I read compared it to Mario Galaxy. That said, it wasn't very fun and was far too unfamiliar to keep my attention. Next I tried Sonic CD. A game that launched for a console I've never heard of, the Sega CD. The game launched in 1993, before Sonic 3. It feels just like the Genesis games but unfortunately it was pretty short. Here are my reviews of Episode II and Sonic CD for Steam.

Episode II

"Episode II tries far too hard to imitate Sonic 2 (from the Genesis). From the introduction of Tails with no story given whatsoever (seriously, why is he suddenly here? Isn't this supposed to be the second half of Sonic 4?), to levels based off Sonic 2 and even the bonus stages for collecting enough rings when finishing a level. Unfortunately this game isn't a remake of Sonic 2, it is supposed to be the second half of Sonic 4. At least episode 1 modified the bonus level to be a new take on the gameplay from Sonic 1 (rotating the level and letting Sonic freefall, rather than just moving Sonic himself). The gameplay in the bonus levels of Episode 2 is identical to Sonic 2.

A quick reminder of the issues that plagued Episode I. Unfamilar feeling controls and physics, poorly designed levels, extremely frustrating boss battles and for PC specifically, a terrible port. All of these are present in Episode II unfortunately. The introduction of Tails doesn't detract from the already existing negative gameplay. Ironically, the addition of Tails introduces new problems that didn't exist in episode 1. There are tag team moves that are now possible such as flying throughout levels, a super spin dash and quicker swimming. However, these mechanics aren't explained at all. Instead all that is given is a prompt to tell you that pushing a specific button will perform an action. There is no explanation of how you may only "jump" whilst flying with Tails 6 times before he will automatically begin to land. There is no explanation of the benefits of super spin dashing and the uses of this mechanic are extremely limited. The two mechanics also clash with each other frequently. With an Xbox controller you engage flying by jumping and pushing X. To super spin dash you simply push X. In a game as fast paced as Sonic, it is far too easy to instinctually push a button expecting a certain action to happen and a different action actually taking place. It would have been much simpler to assign the actions to different buttons. B and A both produce jumps. Couldn't B have instead been used to super spin dash? The dual swimming also isn't explained which led to many frustrating level attempts.

Another irony is that the ability to fly with Tails also allows a lot of the existing platforming to be bypassed. Why bother to attempt to use springs or maneouver over platforms that go up and down when I can instead just fly straight to the top?

There are a handful of levels and bosses that are extremely poorly designed mechanically. There are situations in which you will find yourself dying repeatedly due to no fault at all of your gaming ability. There were far too many times in which I found myself shouting "bull shit " at my screen. This isn't Dark Souls. This isn't Super Meat Boy. I'm not supposed to get this frustated at this type of game, especially when the problem is how the level or boss is set up, rather than the challenge of the gameplay.

I rage quit the game more than I'd like to admit. If not for the completionist in me, I wouldn't have bothered to finish at all. The fun that is had in the acceptable levels is undone by the frustration of the poorly made and designed game. If you are a fan of classic Sonic and wish to experience a modern take, then Sonic Generations and Sonic Mania are leagues better. If like me you just want to experience and complete the game for the sake of doing so, then prepare yourself for a lot of frustation and contemplation of nostalgic feelings for better Sonic games."

Sonic CD

""Unorthodox"

This is the best way that I can describe this game. The introduction of a time travel mechanic is quite interesting. Throughout each stage you can attempt to travel to the past and future of each stage. Doing so will modify the layout of the area and introduce optional minor challenges such as destroying objects.

Gameplay wise, it is the same as all of the genesis games which is absolutely a positive. You platform your way through non linear 2d levels avoiding the varying traps and enemies, working out the boss mechanics at the end of each zone and attempting to collect the chaos emeralds. I could quite easily believe that this was a Sonic 3 if labeled as such (considering it was launched before the Sonic 3 that we know today).

The levels and music mostly fit in to what one would expect of a 90's Sonic Game. I find the music used for bosses to be a bit iffy, but not to the point of them impacting my enjoyment.

My only real gripe with the game is that it's quite short. I finished in well under two hours and that includes multiple failures and repeats of certain bosses. But the time spent playing is enjoyable and there is a replay value in experiencing past and future levels and completing achievements that doesn't exist in the genesis games. So all in all if you enjoyed the genesis era games then there's no reason you won't enjoy this. I wouldn't recommend this as your first 2D Sonic game however."
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:00 am

I was looking for a game to fill the time between my last post and tomorrow when Sonic Mania is released. It needs to be small because I hate committing to games and not finishing them. I decided on the revamped Hitman game from 2016. It's an episodic series, broken into five parts. I only have part 1 so it seemed perfect for a weekend play session.

I've never played any of the prior Hitman games and have absolutely no idea of what to expect and what the standards for a good Hitman game are. I found the controls a bit awkward at first, but after a while I got used to them and found them comfortable. It's quite a unique experience. You are tasked (obviously) with the killing of a person or persons and aren't given any instructions on how to do so. There are a wide variety of methods to do so, all optional. The game doesn't hold your hand either. You have to work things out for yourself. For example, the first level requires the killing of a guy on a yacht party. There's lots of ways to do this, including the generic get close and kill with weapons or choking. It's possible to plant a bomb in his office and blow it remotely. You can poison his food or drinks, wait for him to rush to the bathroom to vomit and then choke him to death in the toilet. I understand that in later levels there will be stronger poisons which can kill on the spot. In this level specifically, there are environmental deaths that can be triggered such as pushing him over the rails to his death r detaching a lifeboat when he is standing underneath it. These aren't cutscene based deaths either and aren't guaranteed kills. I attempted to crush him under the lifeboat but he was moving as I did it and it missed him. There are many other ways in the level to kill him, each of which is considered a challenge to be done on repeat playthroughs. Each level has tons of these challenges, which produces a ton of replayability.

One thing I found whilst playing is that it is mentally exhausting. It's basically a permanent puzzle game. I am constantly thinking of how to kill, avoiding enemies who can recognise that I am out of place and ensuring I can do my kill unnoticed. My second level took me an hour to complete, an hour of non stop "puzzle" solving. I needed a break from the game afterwards and I decided that this wasn't the game for me right now. Knowing there are 4 episodes I have yet to purchase helps with my gaming ocd of finishing everything.

I enjoyed what I played. I look forward to returning to it at some point.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:04 am

I booted up Ryse: Son of Rome knowing it to be a game with a short campaign. I'm already 11% complete after less than a couple of hours. I had no knowledge at all of this game (besides the length) other than it being one of the first games of this generation that was being showcased for the Xbox One. I assumed it to be a stereotypical gladiator hack and slash, but it's a bit different. Combat is somewhat tactical. There is only one attack button. Besides that, you can parry attacks or bash enemies with your shield to set up a counter attack. It's somewhat simplistic, but when surrounded by multiple enemies, it's surprisingly fun. Another strategy element is to set a bonus for when you execute enemies. You can choose between health regen, a damage boost, focus regen (more on that in a minute) or xp boost. Being able to pick and choose is a welcome gameplay element. Am I struggling and need healing? Do my enemies have poor defenses and would die quicker if my damage is higher? But what if those weak enemies are numerous and I am taking hits? Which perk do I want more?

Focus allows you to mildly slow time, enough to get chains of attacks before an enemy will parry or dodge. From my experience of it so far, it's broken. It's basically a win button. Enemies block frequently in regular combat, forcing you to alternate between attacking, bashing and parrying. Being able to chain attacks is basically a guaranteed kill. It's also somewhat boring, but it's a necessary advantage in fights with multiple enemies attacking. Perhaps it will be expanded upon further in the game.

Too early to comment on the story, but thus far it's generic.

There are multiple types of collectables, but they don't seem to have any purpose. If they are there for the sake of being there, then I wonder why they weren't just consolidated into one type. They are highlighted in green which I appreciate. It makes me want to explore each area rather than just barge into each battle.

The game looks fine, but it's also a few years old. I probably would have been quite impressed a few years ago.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:33 pm

Sonic Mania is absolutely fantastic.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:28 am

My Steam review of Sonic Mania


"wow"

If there's one word to describe this game, that would be it. From start to finish I was completely blown away at what was thrown at me. From level design that made repeated runthroughs all have different experiences, to the best boss design of any 2D sonic game of any era. Mania also boasts many tiny little innovations which when written on paper may not seem like big deals, yet when I experienced them for myself I frequently found myself with a smile on my face of what I was experiencing, but to describe them here would be to spoil the experience.

I rarely manage to play a game for more than a couple of hours at a time. I just don't have the attention span in this crazy social media, smart phone having world we live in. I got up to the second to last zone in one sitting. Sonic Mania kept my attention and was fun for every moment.

As mentioned earlier, repeat run throughs are seemingly different experiences. The amount of different potential paths to take is staggering. Add in that Knuckles has zones designed specifically for him, the standard 7 chaos emeralds to attempt to capture and all of the unlockable content, and you find yourself with tons of (always fun) replayability.

My gripes are minor. I dislike that it's a bit too easy to be squished to death. My only moments of (brief) nerd rage came from deaths that I had no control over (rather than just not playing well on avoidable obstacles). The worst of it was with Knuckles in Chemical Plant Zone. The infamous part of the level captured from Sonic 2 in which you have to make your way up through water over the moving obstacles that slowly transition from position to position. Many of us first experienced the horror of the drowning warning here. So I was playing as Knuckles and a spring propels me into this areas as the obstacle is transitioning and it caused me to squish to death. Admittedly I imagine this specific scenario is probably rare due to the timing required, but that it was able to happen is still unfortunate. From a non-gameplay consideration, I was disappointed with the achievements. The overwhelming majority of them are simply about going to a specific part of a specific level and triggering a specific event. It's not really interesting, but achievements aren't a point of consideration for gameplay critique. That I have to mention them at all is proof of strength of all of the good that is included in Sonic Mania.

SImply put, this is one of the best Sonic games ever made. Christian Whitehead and his team should be proud of what they have accomplished and it is my hope that they produce many more Sonic games for many more years to come.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by Jama7301 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:59 pm

I picked up Sonic Mania on steam as well, and played a bit today while dinner cooked. Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 is a mashup of the Act 1 and Act 2 of the Sonic 2 stage. I had to stop before I got to the Act 1 boss, but I laughed at myself when I noticed it. I'm excited to see what else the game has to offer.
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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:20 pm

That boss was one of my favourite surprises of the game. I think I hyped myself up too much though, I got through the entire game in less than two days and I'm sad that there's nothing new to experience.


I tried to return to Ryse: Son of Rome but I just can't get into it. Here is my review of an uncompleted run on Steam

I'm a completionist. I try my best to finish a game that I have started no matter how long it takes. I had Banjo Kazooie stolen from me when I was 9. I bought a copy from ebay 10 years later just to finish the final two hours.

I most likely won't finish Ryse.

There is very little about the game that motivates me to keep playing. The combat claims to be "realistic" but realistic would be people dying to singular attacks that pierce the body. You literally have two attacks. Hit with your sword and bash with your shield. That's it. That's the combat. You essentially fall into the same rhythm for every enemy - Hit, bash, hit, bash, hit bash until the execute prompt appears. The execute system also serves very little purpose. Once triggered you are ushered into a quick time event, but your input has no consequence. You are prompted to push a button based on colour (which is quite annoying in itself, games have almost always given input buttons for these events). But even if you get the button wrong, the action goes through anyway. Your only penalty is points that serve no important purpose.

Upgrades are shallow. Increase health, increase focus, increase exp gains. Unlock execution animation A, B , C and so on. If not for the occasional death screen reminding me I have points to spend, I would have utterly forgotten the system existed.

Enemies have no sprite variation. This is quite frankly extremely lazy on the developers part. How can a AAA game that is launched with the Xbox One able to get away with each enemy unit having one singular sprite?

The path is linear. You go in the direction that is before you. Side paths exist but they lead to dead ends, with the occasional collectable item. You could argue that this encourages exploration, except that the collectables seemingly server no purpose. I might be wrong on that in fairness, but I found a decent amount of the different collectables and nothing happened as a result. I don't understand the variance in the type of collectable either. Why have 30 of A B and C if collecting them accomplishes nothing? Why not 100 of A and be done with it.

The visuals are what they are. I'm spoiled by modern games and my expectations. I'm sure at the time this game was considered extremely pretty. Having played The Witcher 3 for so long, I can't say that Ryse impresses me. Especially the robot like facial expressions. The story is generic, but not comical.

The music was occasionally impressive and I found myself enjoying it. But the orchestral themes that I was enjoying only appear during cutscenes. The voice acting is acceptable. I wasn't sucked in but I wasn't dismissive either.

Ignore my total play time, a lot of that is from being idle. I've put about 3 hours into the campaign and apparently I'm already half way through. I am playing on the hardest difficulty available to me. A six hour AAA game isn't really acceptable.

The killer for me though is the performance. There are frame rate drops out of seemingly nowhere. I have a very good pc, able to run the Witcher 3 at ultra with a constant 60fps. Ryse would frequently drop to 20-40fps. It was less common in the first couple of hours but the most recent foresty section was a nightmare. But besides that, alt tabbing caused my pc to crash on two different occasions. This is ultimately the reason why I have no motivation to return to the game.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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Re: The AndyF1069 Video Game Thread

Post by AndyF1069 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:05 pm

Played a few hours of Borderlands. Came back to it tonight after a few days and found that Steam had somehow lost the file location, something that's never happened to me before. I didn't have to reinstall the game, but the last big portion of gameplay I'd done was lost which has put me off playing anymore.

I tried Castlevania HD hoping for a nostalgic experience of a game I played a lot on the Genesis, but it wasn't similar so I put that away. Then I found myself in a stump. I've got over 700 games and don't know what to play. I pondered and pondered and settled on giving Assassin's Creed III another go. Last time I played it I was put off by the atrocious keyboard controls, but now I have a controller so it should be a much better experience.
"My favourite spot is the one where I would pick him up for an aeroplane spin and rotate as many times as possible. He’d be so dizzy that he would try to pin the referee, and I’d count to three and he’d think that he won - Daniel Bryan

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