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Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


kazil posted:

A recent Terraria patch added fishing to the game.

No video game ever has benefited from having fishing in it. Fishing is a boring as gently caress chore and has no place in video games.

Ocarina of Time did pretty well with it, although as I recall that was actually a full cancelled game that was simplified and balled into something else. It was that 'throw everything at the wall and see what sticks' era, they didn't know better.

Heroes of Might and Magic VI has a campaign mission that is, as far as I can tell, impossible unless you knew it was coming. The second map of the Necromancer campaign has only an extremely finite amount of units and resources,and no cities; playing conservatively and losing as few troops as possible is key.

In fairness, the Necromancer army is the one best suited for such a thing; they're geared very defensively and have in-built methods of healing. But even that's not enough, you need to specifically design your necromancer hero as a defensive healer-type just to survive that map. My necromancer was geared towards doing a shitton of Cold damage, which didn't work, I had to go back to the first map and redo it with the 'correct' build.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 04:54 on May 17, 2014

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Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


SergZpartan posted:

Cleretic, your avatar reminded me of...

PVP in City of Heroes/villains

PvP took place in special zones, and the hero/villains both had safe areas guarded by invincible, insta-kill NPC's.
There was a skill that let you teleport enemies to you.
See where this is going?

Even better, you could be chain-teleported by a coordinated group. "Safe" in your base? Talking to the NPC so you could leave the zone? Ha ha not anymore!

PvP had some significant issues in CoH, because it really wasn't designed for it. Even outside of teleporting exploits, it was unbalanced as all hell, with any attempts at balancing only really shifting the issue instead of eradicating it. There were always certain builds that were just better than others, and no attempts really solved that.

The meta became 'what hasn't been nerfed yet/recently', an when they basicaly gave up on PvP a few years before the shutdown the answer was actually the Dark sets, which had a secondary effect that just never got nerfed.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


The only bad thing about Wind Waker's forced stealth section is that it's far too early.

I spoke about this a long while ago in the last thread, but I'm going to summarize what a good stealth section in a non-stealth game would need. I'm gonna use Zelda games as examples, because yeah, Zelda's got a bit of a love of them.

1. Timing. Ideally, the stealth section should be somewhere around the middle of the game. Wind Waker, for example, stuck its stealth section way too early in the game. You hadn't even gotten the chance to do some proper action-puzzler Zelda action, and they force you into a stealth section. It's also possible to place it far too late, thus sort of wrecking the flow of the last act. I haven't seen a game that makes this mistake, but I'm sure it exists.

2. Well-realized stealth mechanics. No matter what the game, good stealth gameplay needs to give you a certain degree of control and awareness of your surroundings; it's essentially a puzzle based around getting from Point A to Point B without being seen, and so every factor that could stop you needs to be easily understood and countered. Zelda games are usually very good about this in their stealth sections, there's usually a clear path and it's clear what you have to avoid, but they probably learned that because Ocarina of Time was just awful about it. They seemed to learn quickly from that, though; Majora's Mask had the Stone Mask that trivialized stealth, and every Zelda game since has done really well on it.

3. You need a good reason why you aren't just playing normally. In the Castlevania game mentioned earlier, I guess they do it badly; there's no real reason, logically speaking, why you can't just play normally around those guys. Wind Waker takes away your sword, and Skyward Sword has the stealth sections taking place in a realm where normal rules rules don't apply, so they work. But the Gerudo Fortress in OoT, or the stealth section in A Link Between Worlds, there is no real reason; Link should by all logic be able to just let loose and make the whole thing a ton easier, and there's no reason he can't.

4. Somewhat related to the last two, it still needs to play like the rest of the game. It's of course going to be a different style of play, but the basics need to remain the same so that you can actually approach this challenge properly. Zelda games do this well, for the most part; everything you have on hand will still work just like it usually does, you just have to use them differently. This is something you can pull Wind Waker up on by technicality, though, because it didn't give you enough time beforehand to really understand those basics.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 16:12 on May 18, 2014

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


HOW COULD YOU posted:

Dragon age 2 is like if you took everything cool and good about dragon age and then were like "nah no one wants any of that" and then took a dump in the game case

This is how I felt about Mass Effect 2, but nobody agrees with me on that one.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Alouicious posted:

truest post ever made on this forum

Seriously, god drat. I never thought about it before, but ME1's soundtrack is just so boss because it's not generic orchestral stuff. I like orchestral stuff, but god damnit there's a time and place, and 'Space Adventure' is neither.

ME1 tried to be everything I could have wanted. It's a fancy loving space adventure about going to strange new planets and shooting everything, and it does that perfectly. Sure the inventory is barely even a system, and when you actually get into areas of action it's pretty samey, but it tried to embrace exploring strange new worlds and basically being a Star Trek game,and it succeeded in most areas. Gameplay-wise I liked how much power and customizability it felt like I had, you could really proeprly devastate your enemies if you build right.

ME2 just took out everything I liked about the game except for the setting, and replaced it with Gears of War and a cast that was 80% bad. That didn't work.


Celery Face posted:

As someone who's played Mass Effect 2, there is nothing sexier to me than harassing some poor guy while he's trying to work.

Also, I never play as male characters in general so I wouldn't know about dude Shepard's romance choices but lady Shepard's picks are not very good. There's a really boring guy who becomes useless in combat early on and will later cheat on you, a spiky alien who is just awkward to talk to and the mopey frog single dad who will die in the next game anyway.

I think it rather says something that having a fling with your secretary is by a wide margin the least bad romantic choice you can make in ME2. Dude-Shep gets Miranda, Tali and Jack to pick from, by the way, so I think he's got an even worse selection than Lady-Shep.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Morpheus posted:

I have yet to play a videogame where the romantic writing isn't hamfisted, awkward, and embarrasing.

It's debatable and doesn't really avoid the problem, but I'd give Persona 4 a pass on the 'not garbage romantic writing' side of things. Not because it isn't awkward and kind of embarrassing at times, because it is, but you're dealing with teenagers so of course it's going to be awkward and embarrassing.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Deltasquid posted:

Not really dragging a game down but a company as a whole: Atlus, I love your games. I don't love waiting for more than a year after Japan and US release before I can play my EU version, especially not if you region lock your game. You have the honor of creating the only god drat region locked game on PS3.

This is probably going to go away in the future, fortunately. The thing causing it was that Atlus didn't have an actual European branch; they had to make specific deals with other companies to work as publishers in Europe, because they couldn't do it themselves. That's why Koei published Persona 3, Square-Enix P4, Ghotlight SMT Nocturne, Nintendo the Trauma Center series, and it's probably why Europe still hasn't gotten SMTIV (which hit pretty soon before the selling-off).

Now that Sega's bought them up, they can actually do it themselves, which they're first doing with Persona 4 Ultimax.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Tiggum posted:

The radio in SR4 feels very repetitive anyway because it's no longer limited to vehicles, since vehicles are much less important when you have super powers. I generally play with the radio off, just because I've heard it all so many times.

That probably is why it feels more repetitive. You're hearing it for 95% of the game now, instead of just when you're in vehicles.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Lap-Lem posted:

Mario Kart 8, Great game, really fun. But here's my sticking point. I have two daughters and they love playing the game. They are quite young. The two of them play together on 50cc with Easy Com and they both come in 1-5th place. Pretty good. So I pick up a controller to join them, and we keep it at 50cc with easy coms. But I jump into first place because Easy coms and 50cc is way to easy for me and the game just decides on the fly to ramp up the difficulty. If I play with my daughters they will always come in 11th and 12th place because the WiiU decides because I am good enough for harder racers then screw the kids. It's pretty lame, My daughters still love racing with me, but for Christ's sake why can't they just let me race way up front and let them have fun instead of slingshotting every com player 1 lap ahead of them? Or take 2-5th place and have them on my rear end and leave the rest in 50cc Easy land? If they absolutely must punish a guy for playing below his ability level. It gets to the point where I want my girls to hit a dude with a shell, so I have to stop playing. Boo, Nintento, Booooo.

Back in the Mariokart 64 days, my dad sat idle for a lap before starting. He even did this when playing against the computer, because all the fun items were given to last-place as well. Might want to consider that.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


RyokoTK posted:

Your dad sounds like a real poo poo.

That's just Dad Gaming at its finest.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Alouicious posted:

You are why video games are poo poo and will stay poo poo forever

I dunno, I haven't played Syndicate 2012, but I know I'm getting loving tired of video games throwing a betrayal into the second half or third act. For a while it felt like that was literally the only way video games knew how to change things up or raise the stakes. It was so bad that I specifically remember liking that Deus Ex Human Revolution didn't do that, despite being right in the middle of the trend and having ample opportunity to do so.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Alouicious posted:

Eurocorp doesn't betray you, you betray Eurocorp.

Because they're an awful, reprehensible corporation.

That's still the exact same twist.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Stick Insect posted:

Some RTS games have a similar plot thing they do: As the story progresses, a new enemy is introduced and former enemies have to join hands to defeat it. Like in C&C: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm and Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.

This happened in Heroes of Might and Magic V (and possibly others, but V was the only one I played to completion). Which was really to its detriment because of the structure of the story; every faction's story is in one big chunk, in order. So the game starts with the humans, then the demons, then the necromancers, the dark elves, the regular elves, and the mages. But, since the overall story has to be resolved by the end, the balance of gameplay skews... weirdly.

Because they're effectively the tutorial, the humans get a piss-easy campaign that doesn't really let them showcase their good points.
The demon, necromancer and dark elf stories are all relatively solid, with each faction getting a pretty good run in terms of difficulty and power.
But the story starts reaching its climax around the elven campaign, and the stories have to start converging. So the elves get the second half of their campaign stolen out from under them, and the mages barely get any time in their own spotlight because they're so late to the party.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


The real thing dragging Saint's Row the Third down is that it's not Saint's Row 2 or IV. It's still a good game, even given its problems from THQ's handling of it. But two things have really started bothering me about it since I've started replaying it.

1. The radio isn't good. Each station has two, maybe three really good songs tops, and the rest just miss the mark by a long way. Special mention to how badly they hosed up The Mix, having failed so phenomenally at making a 'classic pop' station that I often forget I'm actually listening to it. A lot of these songs aren't bad, but they're so far away from what you want from the Mix that it just doesn't work.

2. There's some really loving awesome missions, but it misplaces its climaxes. The two best missions in terms of both scope and gameplay are stuck in the middle of the game (http://deckers.die) and an epilogue that SRIV immediately makes non-canon (STAG Film), and while they're both fantastic missions to play, they come at the wrong times. Especially given that STAG Film includes a payoff to something that, otherwise, is never realized.

I'm not sure how it could've been written for it, but I think it would've worked better to have the Deckers as the last gang you face (making http://deckers.die the gang finale), and then have the actual 'final mission', Three Way, incorporate the Daedalus that makes STAG Film great.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 07:25 on Jun 21, 2014

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Jastiger posted:

The World Council makes a lot of sense, I think, I just wish they changed the way the votes worked from city states and gave you the ability to go "rogue" and have everyone hate you if you wanted to.

Apparently they tried that in testing, and it just didn't work. Striking out against the World Congress was just too powerful, to the point where there wasn't much reason not to do it no matter how many penalties they put on it.

I find that City-states are rarely too bad an issue unless the game includes a civ that really goes for them. It's very easy for Greece especially to go runaway with city-state support (Venice can probably do it well too, I've never played against an AI Venice), and once they get rolling it's very hard to stop them.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Jastiger posted:

Really? Massive unhappiness penalties, embargoes, and permanent war with everyone wasn't enough of a disadvantage? What kind of penalty did they give, no one likes you, boo hoo?

Striking against the World Congress should be a Thing, but it should be a really difficult thing to the point where if you're doing it, you better have a drat good reason to do it. Otherwise it's just a quick way to a game over for you.

Bah Civ 5 does so many things decent enough but drops the ball on so many excellent ideas that they started to implement.

I'm not sure on the logic, but I can definitely see having 'going rogue' as an option being bad for balancing. The most important effect of the World Congress is to give lesser players some agency in the game; you might not have the ability to get up and start smashing the leading player, but you can put some effort towards securing city-states and getting enough clout to push through ways to slow them down.

If there was a way to just leave the World Congress, then that would defeat the purpose. The only guy that would benefit from that is the one that was far enough ahead to cop the penalties. If he's rendered immune to the World Congress by rebelling, then there's nothing those smaller civs can do to influence him. He won't pay the standing army tax, he won't adhere to nuclear non-proliferation, he's probably self-sufficient enough to not need trades, so there's nothing anybody can really do about them.

The World Congress isn't perfect, but I think that removing the rebelling option was a good idea.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


The best 'vehicle' mod I ever found for Fallout 3 was a TARDIS, with a functional control console that sent you to a bunch of different locations depending on what you hit on it.

I could never do anything more than have it crash in the sea outside of Rivet City, but I like how it actually managed to find its own way to suit both source materials.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


scarycave posted:

I got Sonic Generations on the 360 for 7 bucks, and I completely forgot how much I disliked Sonic Unleashed.
Granted the level designs are a lot safer, there's no insta-death traps that blend in with the background for starters.
There are still a few areas where you can barely tell what's going on because of how fast your going or where not launch yourself.

The way Generations is, that can sometimes come down to the stage's visuals. They now have signs that tell you where instadeath pits are, which is a great addition, but one stage in particular is actually kind of bad about that sort of thing.

In a way it's fitting that the Sonic 2006 stage has some bad design elements, but Generations honestly couldn't help the worst one--Crisis City is mostly reds, oranges and browns, so while every other stage is very high-contrast and relatively easy to make out at high speeds, Crisis City's features start blending in and becoming hard to discern. It's a shame, because I genuinely think that Crisis City is the best level in the game outside of that.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Ryoshi posted:

I grabbed The Secret World during the Steam Summer Sale and I'm loving it so far - I don't know how I missed it when it came out but the theme and setting are right up my alley, and so far it's been interesting enough that I've even gone out of my way to talk to all the NPCs about all the topics they have available.

The one thing that drags it down for me is how weird it is compared to other MMORPGs. While the basic abilities are all cooldown based like every WoW clone ever, they have extra mechanics that make them a little weirder. Plus, since it's a modern setting and doesn't use a class system, you can't apply the bog-standard fantasy tropes from DnD as a gauge for how things work. If you want to heal, you can't just be a cleric or whatever, you need to get skilled at a healing weapon like an Assault Rifle.

You know, like all those medical assault rifles that EMTs across the country are carrying. Right.

The other healing weapons are blood magic (which kind of makes sense), and claws. I really like TSW, and its game mechanics, but I'll openly admit that it had to get weird for healing.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


ChaosArgate posted:

Better than loving Skyrim, which almost drat near collapses on itself if you want to alt-tab. Every PC game should have a borderless fullscreen option.

Skyrim's actually better about alt-tabbing than older Bethesda games. Oblivion and the Fallouts crashed immediately on alt-tabbing, and I'm pretty sure Morrowind didn't handle better.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


The Moon Monster posted:

The Spider Ball boss ruined MP2 for me. Up until that point I liked it for the most part, but after dieing 5 times to that long, bullshit boss I just decided to call it quits. I feel li9ke the bosses are usually the worst part of Retro's games.

There are two types of people that played Metroid Prime 2: people who hated the Spider Guardian, and people who hated the Boost Guardian. I guess since they're both on opposite ends of the action-puzzle axis, so someone who's coming in to the game for one of those will have difficulty with the other.

I was in the 'gently caress Boost Guardian' camp.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


U.T. Raptor posted:

One of the biggest things dragging down Soul Calibur as a series is how they keep sacrificing the single-player modes on the altar of multiplayer. SCIV's was bare-bones compared to SCIII's, and SCV somehow was even worse.

Also, they just sort of threw away all the new styles they added in SCIII. While a lot of those were just knockoffs of existing characters' weapons, several of them were really cool and should have been kept (like the bladed boots, a completely unique weapon type that has never appeared again).

Anybody who thinks that the single-player experience in fighting games should be shuffled back in favor of the multiplayer should just be pointed at the PS2 Soul Caliburs and shut up. I probably had more fun with them solo than playing some actual single-player games at the time.

To be honest, Soul Calibur sort of needed that, because while the actual fighting game has some good ideas both mechanically and conceptually (I like the idea of everyone using different fighting styles grounded in real-world disciplines and weapons, and having an array of different weapons with different mechanics was cool) it winds up just sort of mediocre, without enough to distinguish it. To stand out from the crowd, Soul Calibur needs that strong single-player experience.

EDIT: Damnit, now I wanna play both the PS2 Soul Caliburs again.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 04:10 on Jul 30, 2014

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


kazil posted:

This is silly the keyboard is such a poor tool for most types of video games.

I wouldn't say 'most types', but there are types of games that do better with controllers. I wouldn't play a platformer or driving game with a keyboard, and I never tried playing Dark Souls II with a keyboard because the controls on a controller are just too good. As a rule, I'd say that controllers are good if you only want to do a small number of things on very short notice. Keyboard and mouse, on the other hand, are for when you need to control a wealth of things at once. I wouldn't dream of playing strategy games or most RPGs with a controller (exception being given to Dark Souls II again, because the controller setup is just that perfect).

The only exception to the rule is shooters, because while you might not be playing with a huge amount of features, mouselook is just too good to pass up. This makes sandbox games with vehicles a weird one, because if you only stick to one then you have to make a choice: drive well, or shoot well.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


kazil posted:

The dialog is also super terrible.

I gave up on FF7 when I tried to play it a couple years ago when they translated the tutorial fight so badly that actually following its advice gets you killed.

I've been really liking Dark Souls II, but I just came to a zone that's doing poorly in a way that I can articulate beyond 'it's unfair'.

The Shrine of Amana hits a gimmick overload. Dark Souls areas usually have gimmicks to make each one a different experience in play, and that actually works pretty well; in the original, no two zones could be approached in exactly the same way because they wre all structured in ways to provide unique challenges. Dark Souls II is a bit shaky about it, but the Shine of Amana is the only time I'd directly say that they've failed. It has three unique things to it:
-Waist-deep water that slows you down when you're in it.
-Mutated sea beasts hiding under said water.
-Spellcasters with range.

All of these gimmicks actually lock together in a relatively compatible way; the water impedes your movement and makes dodging difficult, the sea monsters hide and force you to watch your step, and the spellcasters force you to keep moving and stay alert. The problem is that they compound, and all three at the same time becomes a frustrating experience with no adequate way out. You can't beeline for the spellcasters, because the water slows you down and lets the sea monsters ambush you. You can't weed out the sea monsters, because they're dangerous enough targets and in the slowing water such that the spellcasters can pick you off. And you can't keep a fast or slow enough pace to deal with the complications of the water, because it keeps you slow enough that BOTH enemies can bear down on you. If it was only two of those three gimmicks it would be fine, but with all three it becomes too much. You can't prioritize dealing with any of them, because then one of the others will get you.

I know Dark Souls Chat was outlawed in the last thread, but I'm hoping that we can avoid the substance-void arguments that led to that ruling this time.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Simply Simon posted:

Dark Souls II really wants you to use a Bow. It's blatantly obvious in the Shrine, if you don't have a ranged option, the difficulty increases tenfold. For the love of your sanity, invest in some arrows or bolts.

I'm a Sorceror, I am the ranged option. But the spellcasters in Amana have resistance to magic attacks (not magic damage, my enchanted falchion rips through them, but magic attacks) so that doesn't even loving matter either.

That's something I'm finding in DSII as well; sorcery isn't crap, but the game isn't balanced in its favor at all. I played a Sorceror as my first character in DS1, too, and I found that how good that is for areas could fluctuate wildly. Certain areas were really good for a sorcery approach, others weren't. A Sorceror was never totally hosed by being all-magic in certain areas, but for every area that gave you a huge advantage by letting you take potshots there was another place that just wouldn't work out in your favor.

While magic as a whole is better in DSII thanks to a few things like the magic charge-boosting herbs, hexes being in from the get-go and some spells that make up for the typical shortfalls, I find that being a full-on sorceror lands you pretty far back on the curve because of the enemy and level design. While the buffs have made it a great sidearm option, and something that gets a lot of use in PvP, areas like the Shrine of Amana that're geared against you mean that you're probably just gonna have more trouble on average.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


kazil posted:

I can't imagine trying to play FF7 for the first time these days. It's a good game for the era it was made, but it has not aged well at all. I think a lot of the stuff that drives you crazy is ignored because of nostalgia, yes.

I've tried, and yeah, it doesn't work (primarily for the reason that I stated above, the translation is so bad it actively obstructs you). There's other reasons, but in general it just doesn't age well. I want to say that Square was one of the companies that bit off more than they could chew in the jump to 3D, but that's not entirely right; 7 pulls a lot of the same stuff as 6, especially narratively, and if the two games were made with the same engines and constraints they'd come out pretty equal.

Instead, it feels like FF7 was a shaky first step. They tried to make the same sort of game they made beforehand, with an entirely new engine and potential new heights to reach, to learn how they work and if they need to change things up. Very little of it works, but (with the exception of the lovely translation which is a different issue) fixing it would've required foreknowledge that they just didn't have. I haven't played FF8 or 9, so I can't attest to how quickly they learned, but I can say that they definitely did by the time the PS2 rolled around.

I'm going to make the bold claim that 7 is the worst mainline Final Fantasy, or at least the worst one I've played, but I find it hard to really blame them for that. They were learning how to make an entirely new type of game, and they didn't exactly have any other way to do it.


I have a bit of a fascination with that era of gaming, where pretty much every company (and sometimes different teams within the same company) was faced with the same question of 'how do you make the jump to 3D' and having to make their own answers. I've been kicking around the idea of doing a YouTube series or something on it, but I have no idea how I'd do it or if anyone else cares as much as I do.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Mierenneuker posted:

The first three Final Fantasy games are all very bland at this point. I think nostalgia is the only thing holding the first one up.

I admit I haven't played the original NES Final Fantasies, but they have the advantage of stellar remakes. The Dawn of Souls remake of 1 was actually the first Final Fantasy game I played at all, and I think that polish does a lot to help it; the remakes remove some of the worse bugs, sharpen up the slightly shaky translation, and overall when it gets that level of polish then it actually holds up really well, although it comes off a tad plain.

II is a different beast to the entire rest of the series, but I still like it for trying. Its attempt didn't exactly succeed, but it's fun enough to go with. III isn't user-friendly at all even remade, and I'll admit that has to go somewhere near the worst, but I'm a sucker for the job system, so.

Playing the absolute originals of all the games, yeah, one of the NES Final Fantasy games will come last. But they've had remakes to polish up their flaws and actually make them pretty decent. If someone, right now, decided to buy and play every single Final Fantasy game in its most readily available form, I think VII would come in last because it's the only one that really needs that review and hasn't gotten it. So it only ever stands as Square's shaky first steps into 3D that only kinda-sorta work.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


RyokoTK posted:

Isn't the subtitle for the FF mega thread something about how every game is the worst in the series? This thread is proving that nicely it seems.

That's not true, nobody here has put forward any of the SNES or PS2 FFs.

And they'd better not start, because if someone tries to speak ill of FFV I will fight them.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


piratepilates posted:

Dark Souls 2 is a pretty good looking game for the most part, it starts off with you being dropped in this really cool abstractish dark area with this giant crack in a wall shining light through and it's really good looking on the PC at 60FPS as you just walk around admiring this area, and then you step outside to this coastal area during the day and you look out over the ocean and it has this cool water effect.

And then you go in to the first area past this hub (Forest of Fallen Giants) and suddenly it looks like a PS2 game -- like exactly how a game being played on the PS2 emulator looks after you jack up the resolution and what not. It's weird when you go and look back at the prerelease footage and the same area looks 10x better. Even down to certain columns being a better model and better textures. In this one area where you're looking down from a bridge and in the final version there's visibly repeating ground textures and lovely looking flames and then looking back at the prerelease version the ground textures look great and there's nice particle effects (that are present elsewhere in the final game too anyway, just not in this area) on the fire that makes it look nice.

It's like the Great Hollow in DkS1 where the areas before it for the most part have nice effects and art direction and suddenly you're thrown in to flat lighting and lovely textures

Yeah, Dark Souls 2 has some weird issues with single aberrations, while everything else stands up just fine. The Forest looks kind of crapshack, especially compared to the Undead Burg that it's basically a straight parallel of, but it's the only one like that. Every other area looks just fine, and can either stand on its own and look really neat (Heide's Tower), be just as good as the predecessor doing the same thing (Drangleic Castle), or even directly beating the original in the same field (Iron Keep).

It's true of the actual zone designs and bosses, too. They usually do well, but then there's one place where they gently caress up inexplicably. The original had the same problem where some parts were just surprisingly poo poo compared to the rest of it, despite the fact that doing it right is demonstrably possible.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


As the resident person with The Wrong Opinions in regards to western RPGs (Oblivion is better than Skyrim, by the way), I will step up to bat for ME1. I got it at the same time as ME2 because I liked Dragon Age: Origins enough to see what else Bioware had on offer, and started 2 literally an hour after 1. I will say that I liked playing 2 at the time, but there was a vague feeling of disappointment that I couldn't quite figure out at the time.

It was replaying both of them in succession again a few years later in preparation for ME3 (which I didn't end up getting) that I put my finger on it. ME1 did everything I wanted to see it do, even if it didn't necessarily do all of it well. It's a big, grand Space Adventure, about going to all these amazing different planets and shooting up the joint, and even if they didn't do that especially well, I heartily enjoyed their attempt.
The gameplay had shooting, but I liked that it was still an RPG about it. I can't shoot for poo poo in games, but in ME1 I didn't need to since the guns were only part of a larger system. I could focus really heavily on the non-gun parts of my character, make that my primary force, and not even bother with a gun outside of an emergency pistol, and still turn out really strong. Every single tech and (especially) biotic power had this immense impact to them, too, it was so satisfying to whip them out.
The worldbuilding was really strong too, and aided the whole 'Space Adventure' feel. It really let you get a feel for the world at large around you, and get a feel for a galaxy where humans aren't necessarily the center of things. Every alien race is really interesting, and the game knows that and focuses on it. Hell, your six-man crew only has two humans, and one of them doesn't even survive to the end. The game knew we wanted to go 'humans are boring, let's hang out with the cricket cop, giant lizard brute, blue-skinned space babe and space gypsy' and then gave it to us.
And finally, it just looks and sounds like exactly what I wanted it to. Alien landscapes, copious amounts of bloom, electronic music, yes, this is exactly how you Space Adventure.

...Then Mass Effect 2 rolls around, and it's Gears of War with some RPG features.
Exploration didn't work, so they cut that out completely.
Gameplay is now extremely gun-centric, even for the non-gun classes. Tech and biotics were both toned down considerably to be more of a quick-fire aid, instead of high-impact tide-turners.
Liked the many different species and focus on the interesting different types of aliens from the original? Too bad, you're now working for the Human Supremacists group, your party now consists of professed space racists, a poor attempt at recapturing the best party member from the original, two different focused, emotionless killers, and two returning party members that spend the game doing a lot of not much. There are only two good party members that weren't returning characters, and one of them comes so late that you only get to spend three missions with him.
I'll grant that it tries for interesting landscapes, and succeeds rather often, but you get a lot of plain earthlike planets and storage warehouses. And they ditched the electronic music for orchestral; I like orchestral stuff, but the electronic music suited the setting so much more, and really let it stand out.

ME2 might be a better game than ME1 on objective metrics, but it did so by abandoning everything I actually enjoyed about the original except for being arguably prettier.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


DStecks posted:

It always seems like 90% of the criticisms of ME2 are "It wasn't what I thought it would be/ isn't what I think it should be". Which is exactly as legitimate a criticism as saying "Inglouruous Basterds was awful because it should have been an action movie".

I think it's fair enough to criticize ME2 from being too big a departure from the original. I liked ME1, a lot, and was hoping for another game like it, which isn't really something that exists. Instead I got Gears of War with RPG elements, and while it might be good at being Gears of War with RPG elements, that isn't what I expected, nor what I wanted.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


SomeJazzyRat posted:

Yes, the big failing for Mass Effect as a franchise is the lack of cohesion. Many look at 1 generally positively, despite some failings, because it was both good and set a good foundation for the trilogy. Then 2 comes along and becomes a little divisive as it changes the game and somewhat disregards what came before it. To put it in an analogy, the first was a concrete base. It's not the prettiest, but it has it's own beauty and is promising. The sequel is a neat looking shed that stands on stilts above the foundation. Going back to the games, three comes out and heavily builds on top of while kinda disregarding two. Apparently the gameplay is great, the callbacks to choices were neat, and the story was adequate up to a very distinct point. To bring back around the building analogy, the hut now has a 5 story condo-complex situated right above it, all filled with beautiful 'quaint' living spaces, and on the top is a leaky pool. And that pool is dripping down into the condos, floor by floor, down onto the hut, and down into the foundation. Instead of a beautiful house I was hoping, there is now a condo situated on top a hut and a concrete pit that is water staining everything.

A bit of a weird analogy, but I'd probably be nicer to the greater Mass Effect series if it were either more cohesive, or a series of standalones. Taken by itself, there's nothing wrong with what ME2 is, because it is a perfectly serviceable TPS with RPG elements. I hate it for what it isn't; namely, that it's too big a departure for me to honestly consider it a sequel to the original Mass Effect.

Mass Effect 3 has a whole host of other problems, but I'll grant that it managed to be cohesive in that regard. It is, at the very least, Mass Effect 2-2.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Great Metal Jesus posted:

You know, I actually want to hear your argument for this. Only at the same time I don't because it's probably going to lead to me spending hours downloading and feverishly modding Oblivion only to play it for about twenty minutes before throwing up my hands and going "This is bullshit!"

It's similar to the ME1/2 matchup for me, in that I enjoyed Skyrim well enough on its own terms; it's hardly a bad game. But while it's a more cohesive package than Oblivion, and probably a better game by objective standards, I just don't enjoy it nearly as much. It suffers sort of a 'death by a thousand cuts', where a lot of individual elements just aren't as good as Oblivion in terms of what I'd actually want from it.

-Oblivion Gates are far better for that sort of game than dragons. Dragons are big, demanding of immediate attention, and actually kind of unbalanced towards certain styles of play. Oblivion gates are a lot more passive; they're there, and they're big and obvious, but they're not urgent. You can mark them on your map and then go on your way. And since they're a dungeon, when you finally do want to take them on, they're pretty open in how you want to actually take them on; any approach will do.

-Enchanting is far less expansive. Spellcrafting is nonexistent.

-Related, but the magic reworking left it in a weird place. In Oblivion it's a sidearm, a separate thing that you run parallel to an actual weapon, so it doesn't exactly compete with them. That's good, because they run on a different scale, and can be exactly as powerful as you want them to be. But in Skyrim it does compete with actual weapons, and as much as I want them to, they just don't. Their progression is weird, uneven and ultimately inferior to just stabbing people, and thanks to the lack of spellcrafting you can't make up the difference yourself.

-Most of Skyrim's guild questlines suck. The Dark Brotherhood doesn't have nearly enough murder, the local Fighter's Guild turns into the local Werewolves' Guild on a dime and seems to just expect you to go along with that, and the local Mage's Guild is just the coalescing of all the 'guild questlines are short and unrealistic' problems with the 'magic system got hosed' problems. The only one that I'd say is superior to the Oblivion questlines (which aren't really great, but they deliver what they promise and have some good moments) is the Thieves' Guild, witht he College of Winterhold being given a consolation prize because it's not really its fault that it sucks. The total's still in Oblivion's favor.

-I just didn't like the region as much. I don't mean the usual chesnut of 'Bethesda dropped the ball with the interesting parts of their lore', because I'm pretty sure that Skyrim was always boring in the lore. I mean that I never found Skyrim all that interesting to traverse. While it had some nice landscapes, and the rare bit of interesting scenery, I just much preferred the lush greens of Cyrodiil, which are actually complemented very well by the bold reds of the Oblivion incursion. It was just a much more fun and colorful game to look at, NPCs notwithstanding (excepting the fact that I prefer how the armors look).

I'll grant that Skyrim gets some things pretty right; NPCs don't look as much like rear end, the main quest is better as is the general quality of the standalones, and probably the most important one is that the melee combat was heavily refined. That last part may be the root of a lot of problems for me; Skyrim clearly wants you to be the Big Burly Man-Hero with big armor and a big weapon, but as someone who hates those sorts of characters that just falls flat to me. So in the end, it comes out that while Skyrim put forward a lot and should rightly be considered a great game, I would just prefer to pick up Oblivion.

While each Elder Scrolls game is clearly standalone, all the ones since Morrowind (I haven't played Arena and Daggerfall) have been radically different, with different focuses. I sincerely hope that Summerset or whatever the sixth one is will be more geared towards my kind of playstyle, but it probably won't. I did try playing Morrowind last year, and found myself just running out of steam; as good as it is, and as strong as I could tell I'd get later on for my playstyle, it does lack a lot of really good changes that Oblivion made.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


EDIT: ^^ The original Final Fantasy game was basically the result of people who didn't entirely know what an RPG was making an RPG. The entire JRPG subgenre (or just genre, if you prefer) was just a really weird game of telephone, deviating further and further from the original point while still being kind of internally consistent.

One of the reasons I think Dark Souls is really neat is that it's basically an attempt by Japanese developers to make a western RPG.

Strategic Tea posted:

I'd forgive all of Oblivion's gameplay flaws if it wasn't for the setting.


At one point, all of Elder Scrolls was weird and awesome like Morrowind. Now TESO spreads across what's left of the setting that we haven't seen and conforms that, no, it's just fantasy England or not-Arabia or Rivendell or whatever after all.


Counterpoint: I just checked, and Skyrim was accurately depicted. Place is boring as poo poo even in the lore.

I don't even hold Bethesda not living up to their own lore against them anymore, personally. They wanna make pretty, realistic places, go ahead, it's probably a lot easier and a lot more profitable. Being as consistently batshit insane as Morrowind probably isn't worth the effort overall. It's why I'm betting on the next Elder Scrolls being in Summerset; on top of bieng foreshadowed in that janky Bethesda way during Skyrim, it's at about their level of comfort in setting. They were sure as poo poo never gonna make a Black Marsh game.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 16:07 on Aug 6, 2014

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Strategic Tea posted:

Yeah, that's one thing I much preferred in Oblivion. In Skyrim I never felt like I was really deep in the wilderness, far away from anything more civilised than a campsite. The vertical emphasis might have had something to do with it, splitting the world into regions in such a way that you always know where you are. Parts of Oblivion, though, especially in the east had a way of making you feel miles from the nearest road.

That said, I've also heard people say the exact opposite so it might just be me.

That might be the design choice of 'White-Gold Tower is almost always visible' in action. No matter where you are in Cyrodiil, you can usually see White-Gold Tower and work out your way from there; I think it's a really neat way to design an open world, although I've heard plenty of people complain that it made the world feel small, since you can see this one building from everywhere. Fallout 3 and New Vegas did much the same thing with the DC skyline and Lucky 38 respectively, and of the three I've only seen New Vegas escape this criticism.

It could also be the fact that most of Cyrodiil's fairly densely forested. You go the exact same distance out from the road in Skyrim and Oblivion, and then try to find your way back, and you'll probably have a harder time in Oblivion since there's more in your way. And then it combines with that earlier design choice; when you go into that forest, you're going to lose White-Gold Tower in the trees. And with that ever-present landmark gone from your view, you feel a lot more lost than if you never had it in the first place.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Inspector Gesicht posted:

I stopped playing Skyrim when I finished the first Daedra quest, the Boethiah one. As I was in the air I came to the conclusion, "The other 16 Daedric Princes are all the loving same, aren't they?"

There are three different types of Daedric Prince:

A: The fun ones (Sheogorath, Sanguine, arguably Clavicus Vile)
B: The violent ones (Mehrunes Dagon, Malacath, Molag Bal)
And C: The rest.

If you aren't in A or B, then good loving luck even having your name remembered.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Hedgehog Pie posted:

The second point is just one of the big contradictions GTA has to live with. I think they can ask some interesting questions and provide some adequate drama on the back of silly, racy jokes, but it gets harder to sustain the above narrative of Niko when one of the big appeals of the game is the ability to mercilessly kill populations of no-name, no-character computer people. Gamers themselves are complicit in this, as it seems like the big defence of the series whenever a political opponent comes along is that it allows them to "let off steam". It puts whatever point Rockstar are trying to make (and they're not very stable writers to begin with) in jeopardy.

I still feel like Rockster just don't understand the sandbox genre, which would be an understandable flaw if it weren't for the fact they invented it. The way that every story since San Andreas has completely fumbled handling that freedom, how it appears to be steadily getting worse about giving you that freedom, and some of its more mean-spirited moves in GTAV, really bring forward the message of 'we don't know why you like this game, but if you aren't playing it for the reasons we think then you are Wrong'.

Fortunately, it seems the rest of the city sandboxes on the market have grasped it. I haven't played Sleeping Dogs, but Saint's Row loving nails it, and Just Cause 2 and Farcry 3 Blood Dragon (if you want to count it; I haven't played the actual Farcry 3 though) both seem to really know what they're doing.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


...of SCIENCE! posted:

San Andreas had that exacy same bullshit too. CJ talks about not wanting to get back into a life of crime and is blackmailed with a handgun that killed a single cop, and then slaughters hundreds of rival gang members and policemen to change the color of that area on the hud and them steals a tank just for laughs. The gameplay was just fun enough to make up for it and the story wasn't as heavily in the forefront as it would be in later games.

Yeah I said 'since San Andreas' and I intended that to include San Andreas. Tommy Vercetti is literally the only time they got this right.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


DStecks posted:

Uh, Trevor? Even with Michael it's justified in that he's clearly as much a violent psychopath as Trevor is, he just really wishes he wasn't.

I haven't played GTAV, so I'll grant you that one out of ignorance, but from what I've heard he seems to be part of a greater issue of GTAV just sort of hating you for wanting to play your way.


An unrelated thing that I'm realizing after picking it up for the first time recently: Wow, Baldur's Gate feels old beyond its years. It might've been made in 1998, but the fact it's based on D&D 2e rules combines with the slightly archaic interface to make a game that, instead, feels like a really good mid-80s game to me. It's honestly a bit impressive that it's managed to make Nethack feel modern in comparison; at least Nethack is more streamlined.

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Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

Like a bull in a china shop.

Well, if the bull owned the china shop.


Mokinokaro posted:

That's why I loved the chaos system in dishonoured. Be a sneaky bugger and the enemy won't even know you've been there. Go on a murder spree and the next levels give you more enemies to deal with.

The gameplay is fun enough that it doesn't feel like it's punishing you either.

On the contrary, actually. I feel like the game actually rewards you no matter which way you go, by aligning the gme more with how you've played it thus far. You want a murderfest? You get a murderfest.

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