Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2019  (Read 4940 times)


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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #150 on: June 30, 2019, 05:31:24 pm »
Game 10 - Tales of Xillia (39 Hours)

Long review comin' atchaaaa. Overall I think this is my new favorite Tales game. At least it’s the one that I’ve the most, even though it has plenty of flaws.

The combat is downright fantastic, and really makes up the meat of what I love about the game. I racked up over 850 encounters and the combat still didn’t feel stale at the end of it. It feels pretty similar to Tales of the Abyss but with lots of little refinements and additions. The linking system felt really well implemented and it adds a lot of depth to the battles.

These are hands down my favorite characters in any Tales game. They have fantastic personalities and character development over the course of the game. Usually there’s one character that I can’t stand (Anise in Abyss, Genis and Zelos in Symphonia), but here I loved all of them. The skits ranged from funny to touching to awkward to downright unwatchable. But thankfully their entirely optional and just add to the characters.

There are lots of sidequests, little plot details that flesh out the world, and secret areas and weapons to find. The fact that you can play the game again as a separate character also adds a lot of replay value to the game

Overall I think the story is good, but as the game continued I started to like it less and less. It has a lot of elements combined of Abyss and Symphonia, and doesn’t take a whole lot of brand new steps, but it’s competently thought out. Just the numerous plot twists and retcons and stuff makes you not want to believe anything anyone is saying and it gets really annoying. I don’t really enjoy narratives that throw like 20 curveballs at the player as a substitute for actual good storytelling, just makes me want to roll my eyes at the end of it all.

There are a couple plot inconsistencies that bugged me too, such as:
• Teepo reverts to his pre-booster self at one point and it’s this big point of drama but then he just becomes normal again like 2 hours later and this isn’t explained
• Ivar rips a hole in the schism with the Lance of Kresnik and brings all the ships from Elympios and almost kills Milla… and nobody confronts him about this afterwards.

I do have one major gripe with the story, and that is that playing as Milla first really leaves a lot of plot details missing. There were three instances where this happened.  `

• When you meet Muzet in Kanbalar she just... shows up with no explanation or rationale for why she’s a part of your team now.
• When you die after killing Gilland and you revive yourself using the arte provided by Maxwell, LITERALLY the next thing that happens is you’re dropped into this random no-man’s land where Jude is fighting Maxwell. And the game doesn’t tell you why Jude and company are there now and why they’re fighting. You’re just expected to join in no questions asked.
• After you get to Elympios, you find out about several important plot elements that happened while you were in the spirit world as Millia. Apparently... Jude kills Presa and Agria, Alvis almost shoots Leia and they and Jude have a huge fight, and Ivar was also defeated a third time and sent away for good. Those are huge plot details that all explained in an OPTIONAL skit that you could completely miss. If I had skipped that skit, Ivar, Presa, and Agria would have never came back into the story with no explanation at all.

All of these happened while Millia and Jude were separated for an extended period of time, so my hunch is that the developers wanted you to play as Jude first. So when you play as Millia those story elements didn’t need to be explained to you a second time because you would already get it. But.. if that’s the case, they should have just made you play as Jude first. Would have made things a lot less sloppy.

Anyway, a couple other nitpicks. Removing the world map is nice, but a lot of the areas that you have to traverse feel really stale after a while. It’s just random highroad with tall cliffs and trees over and over again. All of the unique areas pretty much disappear after you leave Shariton. The soundtrack was also pretty mediocre. I really loved all the music on Elympios, and there are some other good tracks (like the opening). Most of it’s pretty bland and uninspired. Lastly, there was some serious slowdown at later points of the game.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 05:39:49 pm by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ys Origin (PS4), Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 (DS)
Off and On:
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC), Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (PS4)

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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #151 on: July 03, 2019, 08:51:59 pm »
12. Midde Earth: Shadow of Mordor(PS4)

This games nemesis system is such a fun mechanic to play with because even when you die it contributes some change to this overworld you play in. I also love that literally any orc you fight could become a captain/warchief. The gameplay also surprisingly did not get stale for me because it wasn't just button mashing and countering wasn't overpowered, you actually had to fight different orcs with different approches. The only real complaint I have is how empty the world can feel with only orcs and slaves running about.

I also ran into a seriously bad bug that I only realized was a bug about 10 hours into playing. So you're supposed to jump from this tower at the games start and get a cutscene fight to explain the games mechanics. For whatever reason I didn't activate this cutscene when I jumped off and after playing for 10 hours none of the orcs that were killing me would show up as captains and by this point I had unlocked a lot of abilities and collected all of the collectables in the first area. It's an understatement to say I was pissed but thankfully after I restarted it didn't take too long to get back where was, as I knew the game pretty well at that point.

Besides that problem I really loved this game and I can't wait to see what's different in Shadow of War.

Time: 33 hours
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 02:06:03 am by wolfen »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #152 on: July 04, 2019, 09:12:35 pm »
15 - Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch 2019) - BEAT - Took me awhile to beat this one as I was only playing it when portable, which is uncommon for me, but finally beat it.  Compared to the first one, I think it improves on most areas, particularly in the story department which is nice.  I kinda like the contained world of the first game more compared to the separated areas of this game, but it's still generally the same experience.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #153 on: July 06, 2019, 12:50:03 am »
I completed the Community Center in Stardew Valley and played all of the story mode levels for Super Mario Maker 2.

SV is the perfect way to veg out and just play some games, but I kind of wish that SMM2 provided a bit more of a challenge - a fair challenge mind you, not the player made kaizo crap.

Playing ~Something New~ @

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #154 on: July 07, 2019, 12:23:36 am »
27 - Godzilla Unleashed (PS2 2007) - BEAT - Been quite awhile since I've played something retro on the original hardware, usually playing it on some port or collection, but decided to start picking up Godzilla games for my Godzilla collection and now that I have this on PS2, and no new Godzilla games exist, I figured I'd give this one a run through. 

It's your basic arena brawler, plays well enough, though it has some serious slow down in fights.  Also they apparently cut like 6 monsters from the PS2 version, with the Wii version in general sounding like the better version perhaps.  I was kinda excited to hear about new monsters they added just for this game, but the PS2 version just has Obsidius, a rather bland magma/rock monster and the other new monster is Krystalak, another bland crystal based monster.  Neither really fit the common Godzilla style.

Overall, it's maybe a 6 out of 10 in general feel.  It has a very competent amount of monsters and the gameplay is totally fine, but the slow down gets pretty bad, the camera is confusing,and the lock on is mostly proximity based making it hard to fight in groups sometimes.  Alright game, but as I think it usually is for Godzilla games, it's mostly a game for Godzilla fans.  Really curious to check out the Wii version of the game as it has 6 more monsters and new gameplay mechanics.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #155 on: July 10, 2019, 05:13:49 am »
Just Beat:
14. Spyro The Dragon - Reignited (PS4)
Had a blast playing through this, though I must say it is a lot shorter than I remember, I beat the game 120% within 6 hours! Still, it was a blast and Toys for Bob did a brilliant job in bringing Spyro back. the visual designs is so vibrant and really pops out.

15. Devil May Cry 1 HD (PS4)
Played through the original again and honestly, I still find it to be the most engaging one. I like the more gothic atmosphere and the story was more interesting than DMC3.

16. Devil May Cry 2 HD (PS4)
I heard the rumours, but I simply didn't remember how bad this game was... until I replayed it. The level design lacked focus, almost every boss encounter I faced I found a way to break it - One I stood on a higher platform and just shot at it from a distance. The tone and direction of this game was just so bland... which is one thing DMC should never be. A very vague and uninteresting story, even a new playable character couldn't breathe life into this after they already toned Dante down. I beat both campaigns under 2 and a half hours...there simply is nothing remarkable about this title at all

17. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition (PS4):
A vast improvement over 2. The cinematic action style is back and there's a lot to like about this game, while Nero wasn't particularly interesting his character was serviceable. I do love the Devil Arm mechanic put into this, part of the problem with the score system in older games is that my chain would be broken from enemies in the distance  (Firing guns never seemed to maintain it), so having an ability to drag enemies back for a further beating was great. Sadly this game suffers from being bloated! You have to fight every boss encounter 3 times, for no good reason! especially the 3rd time which you have to progress through this stupid checkered board game and at the end of every area you'd have a boss encounter with no context. It just ruined the games momentum and I don't know why they did it as the games length would have been fine without it.

18. Devil May Cry V (PS4):
Immensely disappointing! Final Fantasy XIII got slammed for being linear, yet this game has the exact same corridor level design - it got to the point where I could tell when every encounter was going to happen due to the widening of the path ahead. Previous DMC's would have you navigate a big area similar to Resident Evil where you would progress and find keys to unlock other areas of the mansion - not this game, it was mainly just passing through cityscapes. The game also has a serious problem with it's loading times. the worst being the loading times before and after entering the shop, sure it's wonderfully animated but it really breaks up the pace and would honestly just put me off starting up the next mission. The story wasn't remarkable either, I was excited to see a new character within the series... but I did not like the direction they went with his story. Like DMC2 really there just wasn't anything remarkable about this title at all.

Judgment (PS4)
Crash Team Racing (PS4)

Plan to play:
Wolfenstein (PS3)
Ni No Kuni (PS3)
Vampyr (PS4)
Lost Planet (Xbox 360)
Final Fantasy VII (PC if I can get a solid build)

Beaten List:
18. Devil May Cry V (PS4), 17. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition (PS4), 16. Devil May Cry 2 HD (PS4), 15. Devil May Cry 1 HD (PS4), 14. Spyro The Dragon - Reignited (PS4), 13. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PS4), 12. Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS4), 11. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (PS4), 10. Final Fantasy V (GBA), 9. Firewatch (PS4), 8. Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise (PS4), 7. The Simpsons Game (PS3), 6. Devil May Cry 3 HD (PS4), 5. Kingdom Hearts III (PS4), 4. Resident Evil 2 REMAKE (PS4), 3. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (PS4) 2. Resident Evil REMAKE (PS4) 1. Kingdom Hearts RE:Coded (PS4)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 05:22:44 am by vivigamer »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #156 on: July 11, 2019, 07:36:43 am »
I beat the 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot which was pretty good.  Great story, ok gameplay - a couple of AI fights are super cheap.  Not a bad time to spend a few hours.

Then I started Mortal Kombat X which is flipping fantastic.  Everything good about MK2011 is made even better.  The biggest flaw is that I'm playing on XB1 and the controller is not great for this game.

Playing ~Something New~ @


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Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #157 on: July 11, 2019, 10:17:22 pm »
Game 11 - Shenmue (PS4) – 19 Hours

So… walking into this I already knew that this would be a very difficult game to play for two reasons. Similarly to games like FF7 and OoT, this game has an outstanding legacy, and is beloved by so many and put up on such a pedestal that it makes it very difficult to experience objectively. Second, I never know whether to consider ambitious games like this within the standard at the time or compared to what’s standard today. I tried my hardest to take the game in the context of when it was released, but I do believe there are  elements of this game that didn’t age well, and I would argue there are parts that were never that good to begin with. That all being said I was hyper aware of lots of little pieces of this game and that's why I have so much to say about it. I think it’s fair to say that because of those two factors I came out of this game feeling a little disappointed with the overall experience, but we’ll get into it.

Let’s start with the parts that have held up, and surprisingly I found that this game has fantastic visual presentation. Even 20 years after the fact, this game looks amazing, and the amount of detail and polish in the exterior and interior environments is still impressive (there are a few rough spots but nothing major). The ambitious level of interactability you have with your immediate surroundings is very entertaining and the lack of a clear direction or structure to the story feels very refreshing. In many ways you have complete agency over how you decide to spend each day in the game, and it allows you to take things as slow or as fast as you would like. The background sound design is excellent too and helps build a cohesive and very absorbing atmosphere. I felt a strong desire to keep playing because I wanted to see what happens next

I also like Ryo as a character, but he’s entertaining probably for the wrong reasons. I just find it hilarious that he oscillates between dopey clueless and emotionless to a no-shit taking badass at the drop of a hat. It’s especially great when he’s interrogating people. I did not enjoy his interactions with Nozomi though, he’s just so dull and emotionless in general that it totally ruins all those romantic moments, and that felt perfectly exemplified by the motorcycle scene towards the end of the game.

While the sound direction was very strong, the voice acting is downright horrendous. I would say it’s about 25% good, 40% bearable, 25% bad, and 10% awful. The writing is also awful. Ryo asking about XYZ thing then pretending like it’s not important afterward were my favorites. If period games like Metal Gear Solid can produce well scripted and acted cutscenes, this game really shouldn’t have that much trouble either, especially with the budget they had.

One piece of the game that disappointed me was the music. Not that it’s bad… it’s just not at all what I thought it would be. While there are some great tracks, most of the music is made up of these very brief incidentals that while effective in building the atmosphere of the game, don’t really do much for me at all as a standalone soundtrack. I also had a very hard time finding a suitable audio level for the game. The default settings have the voices way to soft, and the music and sound effects way too loud. Even after all my finagling, there are sounds that are still too loud, like the gatcha sound effect, or walking into the Tomato Convenience store. I’m guessing this was an issue when the game was brought over to HD though.

Another portion of the game that especially disappointed me was the story. I really thought the narrative would be much stronger, but upon actually finishing the game it felt pretty superficial and poorly executed. For one, I found the way you progress in the game to be extremely frustrating. I didn’t mind that you had to wait around for things to happen at all, like the infamous tattoo parlor scene. What annoyed me was that the first 6-7 hours consist of you walking around and asking people about 10 different questions one after another. First it’s the black car, then it’s about Chinese people, then it’s about sailors, then it’s about Nagai Industries, then it’s about Charlie, then it’s about a tattoo parlor, then it’s about Warehouse 8, then the harbor, and so on. And then your housekeeper actually drops the real lead out of nowhere on you. It's just not good story progression. Then in the latter half of the game, the only thing you can do is work in the harbor for 5 days moving crates over and over and it gets incredibly tedious really quickly. The other issues I had with the story was that it’s just not very interesting. There were some good moments, like finding the Phoenix mirror and Master Chen for the first time but most of it’s just so.. mundane. The gravity and scope of this game just felt quaint and almost a little childish to me. I don’t know why, it just didn’t resonate with me.

So all in all, I feel like this game spent way too much time and money on the visual horsepower of the game and let almost everything else sag and slip through the cracks. I don’t think the potential in the amazing 3D word that was built for this game was realized at all and that’s a shame. I imagine it's because a game like this had never been made before and it was tough to know how to bring the storytelling and gameplay to match your newfound capabilities. To me, it’s almost like foreshadowing to how modern developers nowadays spend way too much resources on cutting edge graphics and lighting techniques instead of spending those resources on producing an entertaining experience (alright, cynicism moment over  ;))
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 12:47:42 am by telly »
Currently Playing:
Ys Origin (PS4), Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 (DS)
Off and On:
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GC), Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (PS4)

Administrator on Bulbagarden Forums


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #158 on: July 14, 2019, 12:24:25 pm »
13. Horizon Chase Turbo(PS4)

Just so simple but tons of fun, I did not expect to love this game so much. It's a great callback to the classic racing games just with updated mechanics, graphics and newer cars. If you like racing games you'll love this, so if you've got the time it's free on PS+ this month.

Time: 20 hours

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2019
« Reply #159 on: July 14, 2019, 09:09:08 pm »
From here on I'm mostly going to be playing some of the more expensive/rare games in my collection. Really want to see if these games hold up as being awesome or they're just overprices, overrated trophies. I'll definitely play other games here and there, but if anyone has been following the games I've beat expect to see some big titles for the remainder of the year and probably next year too.