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Messages - vivigamer

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Been an odd things here and there month:

Xbox One/Series:
The Last Campfire

Xbox 360:
Dark Void (Digital)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Left 4 Dead (Digital)
Left 4 Dead 2 (Digital)
LEGO Harry Potter: years 1-4
LEGO Harry Potter: years 5-7
Harry Potter and the Daethly Hallows Part 2
Ninja Blade
Prince of Persia (Rebbot) + DLC (Digital)
Split/Second Velocity

Catherine Full body (Digital)
Mafia II Definitive Edition (Digital)

Resident Evil Village DLC (Digital - As they ****ed up the Gold Edition)

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood


Final Fantasy VIII (Big Box)

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: February 24, 2023, 06:47:52 am »
04. Star Ocean: The Divine Force (PS5)
Has anyone here played the new one - The Divine Force? I've just about beat it and have had a blast!
It's very much like a PS2 era JRPG - And I mean that for better and for worse.

After SO5, I never thought the series would recover - it wasn't offensive but the most unremarkable experience I can think of. So news of the latest game had me anxious. I ended up getting as a Christmas pressie and have put a good 60+ hours into it.

The games premise is very much like the over games which features a sci-fi civilization crash landing on a underdeveloped planet and you explore the difference in cultures as they clash through a dramatic JRPG story. Overall i found the story very compelling! There is a lot of writing put into the game and the concepts it explores are interesting. The characters too are also a lot of fun to be around and very likeable – Each having valid reason to be apart of the journey. I think the problem with the story is how heavy dialogue the cutscenes are. It is clear the game still had a small budget and lacks many action scenes or suffers a little on certain attempts.
That said, I love the visuals of the game! I've heard a lot people complaining about the doll like characters but I think t hey look really detailed and nice! Also well animated too! The art direction is very strong too with each area having it's distinct feel – One of my favourites was this dark forest overridden with thick vines to climb. I was going up a hill and there would be toads and magical enemies in dark armour hidden in the depths to get you. The DUMA system really leads to a decent amount of verticality to t he map layouts.
The combat is a lot of fun too you can assign different commands to 3 face buttons. if you tap it you can assign a 5-hit combo which you can assign the moves from or hold to use a stronger attack - I mostly just used the hold attack. Then there is DUMA, A Sci-fi gadget which acts as a burst jet pack, it allows you to lunge in and strike enemies, I found the combination of this and the power attack to be fitting for most of the game.

The game also has a lot of complex mechanics its item compounding, it has like 7 different settings where you can mix different items and its really only accessible via a game-guide. What's worse is that it's not a matter of just having the items but there is also a percentage of the mix working - which leads to a lot of save scumming! This is essential to tackling the games post content dungeons too.

The game also continues its Private Action sequences which in concept is great, the idea of entering a town and seeing what the other characters are up to is fun. But sadly so has never executed this feature effectively. To get most of the scenes you have to return to areas which aren't story related later on and while they're entertaining they just don't fit into the pace of the game – As there is little incentive to return to these areas past their initial visit.. I still feel FFIX executed the concept better with its Quick Time Events – God I miss that aspect of the game!

I felt compelled to tackle the games post game dungeons and it kept me invested. It is a case of just breaking the game with it's components and accessories which take a lot of prep to get but quick to execute – you can max out your characters levels very quickly once you have the right equipment buffs. The last boss did create a challenge and while looking at advice from guides online I did venture into a little item conjuring of my own to build a set up to beat the Ultimate Boss – A little proud of that too!

Overall I found it to be an above average JRPG with heart. It's a massive step up from the previous game and if they would consider another Star Ocean game I would certainly be on-board!

Modern Video Games / Re: State of Play | February 23, 2023 thoughts?
« on: February 24, 2023, 06:46:49 am »
Not much to be fair - Though I had zero expectations. I thought it wa just going to be all about PSVR2, which I have no intention of gettign anyway.

The only real announcement I cared for was the March PS+ Selection. Been cautious of Ghostwire Tokyo so glad to have a a chance to play it.

RE4R Looks great, not a day one purchase for me as I am currently replaying all the RE games and just beat RE4 not long ago.

I'm pretty far behind on the Arkham gamse (I started City and the open world structure put me off), but the new game seems VERY over the top in comparision to the grounded experience I play with Arham Asylum - While not realistic of course, to see massive cit size robots and all gubns blazing just seemed a massive departure in tone from the previous games (Well my experience wit A.A. at least.)

General / Re: Buying games for a system you don't own
« on: January 31, 2023, 03:38:07 am »
I tend to do this with Switch RPG's if they hit a good deal. Problem with Nintendo is you never can tell how they'll fluctuate in price and depending on how their next system goes & if it is backwards compatible with Switch games I could potential get theit next system/uprgrade. But it is mostly due to the fear of their prices gettign silly in time really - The Wolrd End With You has gone up to £60+ & I got it for under £20.

Even games which you would expect to be available in large quantity seem to remain high in price. The one time this has backfired is when I paid £50+ for the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC cart, then months later around the release of XC3 it seemed to be available again at £20-30! That's the only case I have seen of a Switch games stock resruface and drop like that though.

More than I expected this month but quite pleased with what I got.

Road 96
Syberia: The Wold Before- 20th Anniversary Edition
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One + Season Pass (Digital)

Coffee Talk (Digital)

True Crime: Streets of L.A

Chocobo GP
Deadly Premonition 2: A blessing in Disguise

Xbox One
A Way Out (Digital)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Collectors Edition
Sonic Generations (Digital)

Xbox 360
Dante's Inferno

Timesplitters 2

Dirge of Cerberus (Final Fantasy VII) Original Soundtrack

The Legend of Final Fantasy X

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: January 26, 2023, 06:11:08 am »
02. Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One (PS5) - 26/01/2023

Really struggled with this game! There is a lot I like about it, the stories behind the cases, the setting & Sherlock as a character but the gameplay is just insufferable! The problem is I always found myself getting stuck on what or where to go next. What's most infuriating is you have a sidekick you could help you but never does. I know the nature of the game is to be a detective and figure things out but a lot fo the time there was no indication what so ever. One example, I had to enter a dock and find out information in a building, I found the building and couldn't enter. The game wanted me to ask people around for the location but to do that I had to change outfit into a police officers uniform for them to talk to me... Yes, I had to use a guide and kept one at hand because events like this would happen so often! Another example would be that you would need to go to 1 of 3 buildings which have archives for you to research details on the cases your on – But there was no mission objective to inform you to go there next, so I wouldn't know, despite really if that was Sherlock's intention to progress details on where to go next would make sense from a narrative & gameplay perspective.

Then there is the sidekick Jon, like I said before he is a great opportunity to offer hints or indications as to how to progress but he doesn't. Actually, he is much worse because if you talk to the wrong people or don't find out the right information 1st time he has a journal which he criticises you... The more mistakes you make the more he does and it felt like there was this karma system with him within the game which stopped all aspect of exploration for me - As I felt I was getting backhanded by my 'buddy' at every turn!

The games setting is very nice but it is too big for the content on offer - There is fast travel at least. The open world has collectables and side missions to encounter so there are extras to explore but my patiences wore thin with the experience and I just focused on the main narrative - which was satisfying overall.

General / Re: What are you playing?
« on: January 23, 2023, 11:50:37 am »
Me and a friend tried to play PREY from bethesda...but we just couldn't get into it! I've tried it once before too already. It has a good set up and wondeful art direction but the lack of interesting scenario writing makes the gameplay feel bland.

I got Dante's Inferno & intend to play that with him from now on as there is more going on with the game - And works onf my Xbox One X backwards Compatibility!

Classic Video Games / Re: The mClassic -- Pulled the Trigger
« on: January 23, 2023, 11:48:00 am »
Well done for taking the plunge!

I'll be curious to see how you get on with it as I have been debating it too for some time  - More to use for the PS3/360 era but if it is a quikc fix for PS2 games I'll certainly be interested!

Video Game Database Discussion / PS1 PAL - List Quality Control
« on: January 20, 2023, 05:57:48 pm »

I've taken a great amount of time to sort out images for the listings over the years - Mostly scans from websites but I do make effort to crop or neaten them up with Photoshop at the very least. I just wanted to address some of the issues I am having here recently.

Admin comments: Missing corner holofoil label
I've uploaded many images before that have not had te holofoil label and it's been fine. What annoys me is when I upload are accepted then quickly overwritten by someone who is taking poor quality photos. Here are some examples: - I uploaded a replacement image a few weeks ago and it was denied then replaced with a poor quality photo at an angle. - I replaced this image which had a mannual cover and it has been replaced with another image altogether With the Holofoil (but lesser quality). - I repalced this image as the colour looked really faded yet it has been reverted back to the previous design in an instant.

There are a lot of examples of this, I don't want to harp on but there are times when I look back at my collection on the site and suddenly see a garrish image stick out. Is the protocol really to preference poor quality photos with glare or at an angle to a decent scan? Is the only way for me to fix this to place my game covers in a scanner CIB?

Photos of the manuals instead of the inlay
This is also a big problem, I find a lot of the images have the manual images rather than the inlay - The main indication is the gap on the bottom left corner.

Full Case Display - Do we included the full inlay with the sides or the Plastic Embossed strips at the side.

I'm not making this post to whine, I just don't want to keep wasting my time when I see the work I put out replaced like this - Othertimes I have posted images with minor faults on them and I appreciate the admin team making such notes.

News / Re: Website Outage January 18/19 2023
« on: January 20, 2023, 02:20:19 pm »
Congrats for soting it! I did wonder what was going on. Very grateful for the site and that it keeps on going!

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: January 09, 2023, 02:30:11 pm »
The Sonic 2 Specials Stages can get tough, the magic of Save States can help but god only knows how I managed that back in the day! S3's are more managable and fun IMO.

Sonic Frontiers (PS5) - 09/01/2023
Sonic games these days have a tendency to be very hit or miss so there is always trepidation when the next one arrives. Sonic Frontiers is a game that initially disinterested me, the open world level design looked questionable and the art direction very bland. Having spent 25 hours on the adventure, overall... I had a very decent time with this one!

It's not without its faults mind you, the games structure is a mess. You have the open world maps, which have little challenges spread throughout the landmass that help you acquire tokens to progress with the main characters story of that section. You also have Keys to gather from Levels, each level has 5 challenges which if you do gets you near double the about of Keys. I found these Levels to be quite fun to play, among the best I have played within a 3D Sonic game that match Unleashed/Generations quality - Sadly, there is no incentive to play the levels as you can by pass them easily by finding more Keys in the Open World Section or participating in a Fishing game to where you can acquire any of  the Collectables you need for the Open World Section you are in. Also upgrading Sonics abilities was very tedious as you find little cute creatures, when returning them to the inhabitants of this land they upgrade Sonic 1 Level at a time, Yet the other creature takes all the Heart/Shield upgrades and accumulates them to upgrade your level in 1 go.

As much as I whine, there honestly was a lot of good within the game too! The Open World Sections where fun to navigate, I've heard many complain about the pop-in but this was not a detraction for me at all. There was only one Open World Section to where navigating felt like a chore and became really difficult to progress in but the other Sections were great. Also, I enjoyed the story overall too! It adds more depth to characters seen in Sonic Adventure in a respectful way - The only thing I will say is that, while this aspect was interesting I felt the active story within the game was very slim. If they do another game, I don't want it to be set in a digital dimension, I want active conflict with the main characters more. One minor gripe is that the final boss is hidden within the Hard difficulty within the game, which left playing it in Normal mode quite underwhelming.

Also, combat overall was very enjoyable! it's not the first thing I think of within a Sonic game but I found there enemies and sub-bosses very compelling and almost like little puzzle to figure out how to defeat. The main bosses of the Island while great spectacles played the exact same way and the Parry in the game requires you to hold the buttons rather than time the action right.

Sonic Frontiers does more right than not and good foundation to go forward with, I just hope for a little more empathist on the core levels and more active story telling next time around.

Classic Video Games / Re: The PS3 in 2023
« on: January 05, 2023, 10:32:54 am »
Yes, Remasters are also another big part of the disregard I have for the system - Sure there are still games I value which haven't been ported but if there is an alternative way to play the game on another system I'll try go for it. I have a seperate box of PS3 games tucked away which have been ported to PS4 - Can't quite let myself rid of them as there is a big bundle and they're not worth much at all now.

I use to use the PS3 for PS1 Emulation until I saw how badly compressed the image quality was in comparison to an emulator - Which is how I play any PS1 game from now on. My friend has a Polymega which still makes use of the discs, my PS1 & PS2 games are all just in storage.

Classic Video Games / The PS3 in 2023
« on: January 05, 2023, 06:13:30 am »

It's the begining of the year and I've been going through my game stock once again. Something that has become very apparent is my disinterest for my PS3.

The Console is Slow! - When did you last boot up your PS3? have you nicted how terribly slow it is? This isn't me tyring to compare it to modern consoles, it wasn't always this bad! I don't know if it's just a multitude of updates but the console is a chore to navigate one.

The Dualshock 3 - I have nothing wrong with the functionality of the controller, however trying to find one in this day & age is really difficult! I rememebr I bought a couple 'NEW' off eBay a few years back and while official they were bought lightweight and the analogue sticks didn't rotate natually (They'd stagger like the edge was an octogon rather than a circle). Maybe I just got duped but I'm not finding many pleasant alternatives out their either. Strangely you can use a PS5 controlelr wired up but even then I have noticed issuse when holding shoulder buttons down.

Not 1080p - This may not matter for retrogamers here but for me I always like to aim for the best experience possible on consoles and sadly it feels the PS3 doesn't offer this so much any more. I know a couple of gamse run in 1080p but for the most part games are set to 720p and it shows - This coming from someone who doesn't even have a 4K display yet. I know you can get HDMI plug-ins to upscale the content but they're hardly at accessible prices online.

Backwards compatibility - While not about the console itself this topic is very prominiten to my issues with the consoles content. The battle between 360 & PS3 gamse was very hit or miss, at first it seemed many games were made on 360 then ported to PS3 as the PS3 was renown for being difficulty to develope for. So it really is a case by case scenario as to what title is better one what system. I have been working on gathering replacement copies of PS3 game for their 360 counterparts and this is mostly due to the appeal of backwards compatibility. Now Xbox's BC is hardly perfect, a lot of original Xbox games accessible on 360 were dropped for Xbox One/Series & I have noticed that many of the game that are accessible via One/Series BC aren't even upscaled. Still, beyond all that, the notion of not having to deal with the PS3's archaic hardware is enough of an incentive for me alone.

Am I being too harsh? I noticed I didn't use my PS3 once last year, the year previous we had the panic notion of the PSN going down - I just have little positive to reflect on about the console in modern days.

I'm going to continue going through my collection but I have noticed I have already put aside some sale items.

General / Re: Video Game Resolutions and Goals in 2023
« on: January 01, 2023, 05:09:10 am »
1. Attempt the 52 Challenge - I did good in 2022 as i had multiple GamePass trials. Not worried if I beat 52 or not but like to keep track of them all the same.

2. Play More Classic Games - I've gotten access to a way to play PS2 games now so I want to really xplore that catalogue as there are many I have missed out on over the years.

3. Play More Sonic Games - Sonic is a series I have really wanted to explore more, I've beat most of the mainnline ones but I'm curious to try ones like the Advance games.

4. Avoid Day One Purchases if I can - Tends to be a benefit to hold out for a while these days, the only Pre-Order I have is for Final Fantasy XVI. Any sign of a Season Pass I'm out.

5. Continue Collecting for Backwards Compat 360 titles

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