Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2022  (Read 14700 times)

tripredacus

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #330 on: November 23, 2022, 10:37:53 am »
36. Diablo III

This is something I had played earlier this year that was a game I had previously beaten, but it is technically an "endless" game at this point. For whatever reason i wanted to try it again but this time do something different. And that was to complete a Season Journey. For Season 27 I had made one more character that I had not made yet, the male Demon Hunter. To complete the Season Journey is to finish 4 tiers of achievements, although there are additional ones possible. And despite having played this game for so long, I never really got into the mechanics or synergies of skills in this game like I had done in Diablo II. Because of the difficulty tiers, you really need to do that or else you end up hitting a progression wall, which is something that my other regular chars had run into. Unlike DII, there doesn't appear to be any real way to make any interesting build without using a synergised Set.

My regular WD was sort of on that path, using a partial set bonus and one other item to make it to Torment 9 on GRs, where I was able to see damage numbers in the billions, but his progress was quite slow. He could get the kills but would kill slow when there were large numbers on the screen. The pets were not doing any sort of damage but basically keep the enemies away. 1v1 on a boss or GR boss was easy, usually a 1-3 click kill. The primary damage for the WD is Haunt, which I could use constantly without worry of running out of mana. The combinations involve these skills, which were not (and still aren't) something I understand in regards to how the damage is calculated:
- When Haunt lands on an enemy already affected by Haunt, it instantly deals 3500 seconds worth of Haunt damage.
- Locus Swarm and Haunt now deal their damage in half of the normal duration.
The WD page is here: https://us.diablo3.blizzard.com/en-us/profile/Tripredacus-1592/hero/143229319

For the Seasonal Demon Hunter, the choice was clear. All of the GR leaderboard people were using the Marauder's Set and so I had figured I would try it as well. In addition, I was using Kanai's Cube to convert set items which I never did before, because I wasn't trying to use a set and just using whatever I ended up getting. For this, the Set Bonus says it all, as to how this works:
- You may have 2 additional Sentries, Cluster Arrow deals 153% increased damage
- Sentries cast Cluster Arrow when you do, as well as automatically cast your equipped Hatred spenders.
- Your primary skills, and Sentries deal 12,000% increased damage for every active Sentry.
And then I have my skills set up so that Cluster Arrow is my only Hatred spender (the Sentries never cast Traps or spawn other Sentries) and what ends up happening is once I put just 1 sentry out, everything on the screen gets melted even at Torment X.
This character is here (the boots do not show up on the site for me) https://us.diablo3.blizzard.com/en-us/profile/Tripredacus-1592/hero/143517569

And after completing the Season Journey, I wanted to try some ideas out with my regular Demon Hunter using up to the second bonus of Marauders and the second bonus of The Shadow's Mantle, however I ended up seeing a slowdown in progression at Torment X and I know it can't actually perform past that without that huge damage boost or without actually using a full set.

So I consider this game done (again) for now, and will change to Minecraft in an attempt to complete as much of Project Ozone 3 as I can. I considered starting over but I have already done so much that going backwards wasn't something I wanted to do at this point.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #331 on: November 24, 2022, 05:31:15 am »
38 - Pokemon Violet (Switch 2022) - A lot of what happened with this game, I was sorta expecting to happen, though not to this degree.  After Sword/Shield was a pretty rough experience, and Arceus was a cool time, but not the greatest experience, I was expecting Scarlet/Violet to be a game that suffered from some clear rushed development, but it took a big hit this time.  Performance, visuals, just an absolute mess, severe downgrade from Arceus.  Features and options were cut, such as they removed all tops and bottom clothing, forcing you to wear a uniform, but this essentially removed a huge swath of customization.  A lot of the menu and battle stuff is very slow, the story isn't really that good, the open world is functional, but suffers from performance issues, it's clear they just didn't have the time to make the Sword/Shield expansion, Arceus, and this game all at once. 

I mean the only real positives are just that it's Pokemon.  If you like Pokemon, you know how strong that pull is, because Pokemon is fun, it just struggles so much.  This game should be the culmination of everything they've done so far on Switch, but where in some areas it is, others its definitely not.  I really can't recommend it, maybe if it gets some decent patches, but that's only going to fix some general performance stuff and not much else I'm expecting.  I'm just waiting to hear that they are doing the expansion of the game and they'll be charging people money for full wardrobe options.  I think I remember something similar happening with the Sword/Shield expansion pack, but I forget now what that was.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #332 on: November 24, 2022, 01:46:24 pm »
38 - Pokemon Violet (Switch 2022) - A lot of what happened with this game, I was sorta expecting to happen, though not to this degree.  After Sword/Shield was a pretty rough experience, and Arceus was a cool time, but not the greatest experience, I was expecting Scarlet/Violet to be a game that suffered from some clear rushed development, but it took a big hit this time.  Performance, visuals, just an absolute mess, severe downgrade from Arceus.  Features and options were cut, such as they removed all tops and bottom clothing, forcing you to wear a uniform, but this essentially removed a huge swath of customization.  A lot of the menu and battle stuff is very slow, the story isn't really that good, the open world is functional, but suffers from performance issues, it's clear they just didn't have the time to make the Sword/Shield expansion, Arceus, and this game all at once. 

I mean the only real positives are just that it's Pokemon.  If you like Pokemon, you know how strong that pull is, because Pokemon is fun, it just struggles so much.  This game should be the culmination of everything they've done so far on Switch, but where in some areas it is, others its definitely not.  I really can't recommend it, maybe if it gets some decent patches, but that's only going to fix some general performance stuff and not much else I'm expecting.  I'm just waiting to hear that they are doing the expansion of the game and they'll be charging people money for full wardrobe options.  I think I remember something similar happening with the Sword/Shield expansion pack, but I forget now what that was.


The last Pokemon gen I was able to get into was X/Y, and even with those games the cracks in the franchise were not just showing, but already pretty big. I tried desperately to get into Sun/Moon, but the Aloha challenges and various other tired Pokemon game cliches had me putting it down after about 10-hours. I bought U.Sun/U.Moon played both for a few hours before losing all motivation and never picking them back up. Despite my better judgement, I picked up Sword when it first came out and while there were some welcome changes to it compared to the previous gen, I still got so bored and annoyed by the game that I don't think I even cracked 10-hours.


I've accepted that new Pokemon games stopped appealing to me a while back. They've essentially become Nintendo's Madden or Call of Duty with the same shallow retread of the same formula with mostly minor superficial changes here and there to justify it being its own game. The quality of the newer Pokemon themselves has dropped significantly to the point where I just wish I was catching Pokemon from the first three gens instead. And then there's the fact these games have become laughably easy and also do everything they can to stray away from more serious, mature themes like in the first 5 gens.


With that said, I still really enjoy Gen 1 through 3, and enjoy gens 4 through 6 for the most part. I actually replayed Red Version on the Gameboy last year and had more fun with it by far than any mainline Pokemon game released for the last 15-years. And that was despite its crude graphics and relatively simplistic gameplay. It's everything it needs to be without stupid gimmicks and it's actually pretty challenging at parts too. I'm sure nostalgia played a part in me enjoying it so much, but I've discovered that nostalgia can only carry an old game so far before its flaws start becoming a distraction from any warm fuzzies you have about a specific title.


So yeah, Pokemon just isn't for me anymore. I'm pretty bummed about it given how important Pokemon was to me throughout most of my life, but I guess things change and nothing can be amazing forever. I almost forgot Scarlet was coming out, and have zero intention of ever buying it. I also skipped on Arceus too.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #333 on: November 24, 2022, 06:29:44 pm »
I like Pokemon, the core aspect of it, battling, catching them, that's always appealed to me ever since the beginning and still does, and I would've stuck with the series had they not been handheld as I grew to not enjoy playing handheld games.  These games though are so rough and it's primarily because they are just rushing them out.  I think this series could be great still if they weren't trying to make bigger, open world, games, in a timeframe that doesn't allow these games to be made.  From what I read, they were essentially making the expansion pack to Sword/Shield, Arceus, and Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, all at the same time and released all of that in a 3 year time frame.  That's crazy.  Just Arceus and S/V alone would be a game a normal developer would spend 3 to 5 years making so that they could create a decent open world experience.  Arceus had its own problems, but it plays and looks better than this and it was released in the same year by the same company.  It's wild, but yeah...nothing will change, because they'll sell 10+ million copies.

I'm actually thinking of emulating some older Pokemon games, figure out which one is generally considered peak Pokemon before they went 3D, just to have more of that classic feel.  I would've tried the new Diamond/Pearl remake, but I hate the art style they went with and it sounds like another lackluster game for the most part.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 06:31:24 pm by kamikazekeeg »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #334 on: November 25, 2022, 11:41:46 pm »
I like Pokemon, the core aspect of it, battling, catching them, that's always appealed to me ever since the beginning and still does, and I would've stuck with the series had they not been handheld as I grew to not enjoy playing handheld games.  These games though are so rough and it's primarily because they are just rushing them out.  I think this series could be great still if they weren't trying to make bigger, open world, games, in a timeframe that doesn't allow these games to be made.  From what I read, they were essentially making the expansion pack to Sword/Shield, Arceus, and Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, all at the same time and released all of that in a 3 year time frame.  That's crazy.  Just Arceus and S/V alone would be a game a normal developer would spend 3 to 5 years making so that they could create a decent open world experience.  Arceus had its own problems, but it plays and looks better than this and it was released in the same year by the same company.  It's wild, but yeah...nothing will change, because they'll sell 10+ million copies.

I'm actually thinking of emulating some older Pokemon games, figure out which one is generally considered peak Pokemon before they went 3D, just to have more of that classic feel.  I would've tried the new Diamond/Pearl remake, but I hate the art style they went with and it sounds like another lackluster game for the most part.


They've become pretty pricy, but I'd start with Soul Silver and Heart Gold on the DS; both are excellent remakes of the originals + they have a bunch of extra features they make them even better than the GBC released. You get all of Johto and Kanto too which makes them the most expansive titles in the franchise too if I'm not mistaken. Gen 1 is best experienced via Fire Red and Leaf Green on the GBA, but you can't go wrong with the original GC games either. I also thoroughly enjoyed Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire on the 3DS, and in fact those were technically the last mainline Pokemon games I really, really enjoyed. I never played the Switch remakes of the Gen 4 games. My wife did and she said they were meh. I'd probably just play the originals on the DS. I don't remember much of it since it was over a decade ago, but I recall really liking Platinum when I played it. Hopefully that helps as a guide, but I'd say if you were going to pick any of the older ones I'd go for SS/HG on the DS.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #335 on: November 26, 2022, 01:47:16 am »
I ended up going with an emulated mod version of Pokemon Black called Blaze Black, as a few folks were saying Black/Black 2 was peak Pokemon in terms of everything it offers, debatable according to some others (lol), but it's neat.  All available Pokemon are ready to catch from the start (From what I read, you can only get new Pokemon first and then once you beat the game, then you can get old gen stuff), they tweaked some other details I don't remember, and trainer fights are more challenging by giving them more Pokemon right away, so you aren't just fighting trainers with one or two Pokemon for a lot of the time.  It's neat so far, I really like the visuals. 

This game makes me want to see The Pokemon Company allow another dev like Square Enix to make a new game or remaster an old one, but create sprite art for it and put it on high detail 3D backgrounds, like Octopath Traveler.  I'd buy that game in a heartbeat compared to that super terrible looking Diamond/Pearl remake.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2022, 03:08:49 am by kamikazekeeg »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #336 on: November 26, 2022, 02:39:54 am »
60. Nights: Journey of Dreams (Wii)

The original Nights on the Saturn is one of my most special, cherished games for a variety of reason. Ironically I never owned it growing up and my entire nostalgic experience of that game involves playing it at friends' houses. But with how important the first game is to me I've been wanting to plat it's sequel/reboot Nights Journey of Dreams for.a very long time. Seeing how the first Nights game reminds me heavily of the holidays (no small part to the Christmas Nights expansion) I decided to finally pop Journey of Dreams in and see if it's as good as the original. Not only is it not as good as the 1996 Saturn game, but it's way, way worse.


One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of what's wrong with Journey of Dreams is how bloated this game is. The original Nights was a fairly simplistic game where you flew through eye catching interesting Dreamscapes, collected orbs, fought a boss at the end of each stage, repeat a few times, and that's it. Journey of Dreams offers stages like this, except your mostly trying to catch a bird rather than collect orbs (???), and afterwards you fight a level boss like in the original. If this is all this game had been I'd probably have enjoyed it more, but instead you have to complete 4 other mini game like missions that range from overly simplistic to extremely annoying. And then to add insult to injury you have to fight the stage boss AGAIN to complete the stage. Contributing to this game's bloated feel is its tacked on story which isn't entertaining or adds much to the game; it's just sort of there and is delivered by stiff voice acting for the most part. Speaking of audio, this game leans on the excellent OST of the first game, however most of its original tracks are not great, and some of the remakes of some of the classic Nights songs sound pretty bad. This game is a massive disappointment as someone who really loves the first game and honestly I wish I hadn't played Journey of Dream since a) it wasn't that fun, and b) it's honestly not worthy of being part of the same franchise. (11/26/22) [26/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #337 on: November 26, 2022, 11:06:06 pm »
61. Ghost Squad (Wii)

It's been a while since I played something on the Wii and since I just got done with Nights I figured I'd pop another game in on that console.


I feel like I might have seen Ghost Squad at Dave and Busters back in the mid-2000s, but I honestly can't remember. Regardless I played through it tonight and while the game is pretty good overall for a lightgun arcade shooter, it's certainly nothing amazing. The game is essentially what Ghost Recon would be if it were made into a lightgun. You're given branching paths with various objectives, and to Ghost Squad's credit it attempts to push the lightgun genre forward by offering selectable weapons, an action button to do things like hand to hand combat and disarming bombs, and also branching stage paths which encourage replay value. Unfortunately I found the game far to generic for my tastes, mostly due to the theme and your objectives. I'm way more of a fan of far more ridiculous shooters like House of the Dead or Time Crisis. I guess Ghost Squad just took itself a little too seriously. Audio-wise the game is pretty solid and that compliment also goes for the visuals. One other cool visual flourish are the pretty detailed destructible environments which have things like fruit, dishes and other objection go flying whenever they're shot. While I wouldn't place Ghost Squad towards the top of the best lightgun games from the 2000s, I'd say it's definitely worth a playthrough in the arcades or on the Wii which is how I played it. (11/26/22) [33/50]

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #338 on: November 27, 2022, 06:49:36 pm »
Game 15 - The Witness (PS4) - 23 Hours

This Thanksgiving weekend was very productive for me games wise! Was able to finish two games and also beat the final boss in Hades for the first time. Here's a review of the first game, The Witness.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that The Witness was one of the hardest games I've ever finished. Not from a traditional sense in terms of combat or controls, but from a mental, problem-solving aspect. The Witness is one of the most no-holds-bard, balls-to-the-wall, hardcore puzzle games I have ever played. Most puzzle games are pretty casual, or they serve as a merely a light distraction in other games. In contrast, puzzles are the focus of this game, and it takes you for a ride and  forces you to really think in order to finish it, and from that perspective it was a very interesting and unique experience.

The most brilliant aspect of The Witness is how it integrates over 500 puzzle boards into the game and teaches you how to complete them. Every puzzle is structured with a simple overarching concept. You have to draw a line from a starting node to an ending node, kind of like completing a circuit. This simple premise quickly becomes more and more complicated as new mechanics are added, like drawing specific shapes with your lines, separating colors, or connecting dots. All of the rules of the game are communicated to you as a player without any tutorials, and through perfect intuitive sequencing, the game teaches of you all of its mechanics without actually needing to sit you down and explain everything explicitly. It's incredible game design in my opinion. And like I mentioned, this game is not easy. The final area of the game will really test all of your previous knowledge about previous puzzles and force you to think outside of the box. And while I'm not ashamed to admit I had to look up a few solutions towards the end of the game, it was really satisfying trying to figure out all of them. Not only are you connecting circuits through boards, but there are also over 100 environmental puzzles that involve you connecting lines by using rock formations, trees, or rivers. Really great stuff.

Where I feel a little more mixed is the game's story and pacing. Personally, I think the game runs a little long. Once I finished the final Town area, I thought the game was over, but I was blindsided with another 4 hours of some of the most frustratingly difficult puzzles in the game. Because the game already drains you mentally, I didn't have any energy to try and figure out the puzzle of the story on top of all the other puzzles. As a result, I didn't really try to explore every nook and crany of the game and find every secret regarding the story. Like the gameplay, the story is extremely abstract and almost none of it is conveyed to the player through normal gameplay progression. What I was able to find are some audio logs with about 5 minutes of voice dumps from famous philosophers, astronauts and scientists droning about all kinds of philosophical topics. While none of what they say is contrite, it really doesn't feel like it was there was attempt to build these audio logs into the games' story.   If you look online there's actually a lot of discussion regarding the story but a lot of it is personal interpretation of the various information presented to the player, and all of it is hidden. I'm sure I missed a lot of what was going on, but frankly this kind of story telling tends to not interest me very much. I think I probably need to jump back in and try to find more of the story for myself and my opinion would probably change.

All that being said, The Witness is a very smart, interesting and unique gameplay experience and I'm glad I gave it a shot, though it's definitely on the pretentious and artsy side of gaming. This was one of those free games that Sony gave out during the pandemic last year, so if you downloaded it from that, give it a shot.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 09:03:53 am by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch), Hades (Switch)

My music collection | My Backloggery

telly

PRO Supporter

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #339 on: November 27, 2022, 06:58:32 pm »
Game 16 - It Takes Two (2-player co-op, PS4) - 17 Hours

Here's the second game I was able to finish! I played this game through with my wife, and overall I would say we enjoyed it for the most part! It Takes Two is a very fun, but pretty polarizing game for me. It’s a game that triumphs in some ways but falls hopelessly flat in others. Let’s talk about what didn’t work first then talk about what did.

First, the story, writing, and characters are not very good. It Takes Two centers around a divorced couple trying to reconcile their relationship, and right away some significant issues emerge with the way the narrative is delivered. For one, neither of the characters were likeable or relatable. They were both aggravatingly standoffish and selfish, and very little context is given to why they’re getting a divorce other than “we don’t get along” – well yeah, I figured that! There’s a bit around not having enough time to spend with each other and their daughter, but it’s painfully anemic and hardly explored over the course of the game. It makes the “counseling” session that you go through as part of the game’s story not only cliché as hell, but also a little insulting. The overall message that’s conveyed is that the only reason why your relationship failed is you didn’t try hard enough. The writing is also quite bad, which further sucks you out of the experience. We were left just wanting more given the massive potential a story like this COULD have had. All that being said, the game's story remains touching and sweet and I still enjoyed it despite the issues that I had with the writing and delivery.

In addition, the game is not optimized very well. We had several significant glitches including freezing, falling out of the world, collision errors, and significant framerate dips. Entertaining for sure, but also frustrating at times. I don’t know if anyone else had this problem or if it was just my TV, but the snow level was so blindingly bright at points that it was impossible to see where we were going.

All that being said, the game was still a blast to play… for the most part. It Takes Two has a ton of variety, some of which works and some of it doesn’t. What this game does well is giving you and your partner complimentary abilities which requires you to work together in clever puzzle-platforming challenges. It's a delightful experience testing out your new abilities, messing around with and trolling each other, and exploring the game's various collection of toys and mini games. The game diverges from a puzzle platformer at times, which is where some of the gameplay doesn’t really land. The worst level was the beehive level which turns into a clunky and hectic 3rd person shooter, which was very challenging for my wife to play. So while it throughs a lot at the wall in terms of gameplay, and some of it doesn’t stick, what does stick is really great.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 09:04:03 am by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ring Fit Adventure (Switch), Hades (Switch)

My music collection | My Backloggery

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2022
« Reply #340 on: November 28, 2022, 01:29:31 pm »
Picked back up my Sonic franchise run and burning through games.  I kind of hope I can get to Frontiers before the end of the year, but I've still got like 10 games to go.