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Agreed on the lack of Tomb Raiding. More of those optional 'tombs' would have gone a LONG way to helping out in that regard.

Currently playing 'Time Gentlemen, Please", having whizzed through its prequel, 'Ben There, Dan That!'. Recommend both. Only flaw I've really found is that you constantly have to right-click to cycle through the various commands. I know it's kind of inherent in AGS games, but they've managed to make the game look amazing (that opening rain-soaked area is absolutely BEAUTIFUL considering the engine), and it seems a shame to have to knock off a couple of points because the interface is kinda fiddly.

Only real flaw I've found so far though. Lot of fun.

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If the game had been released under any other brand than Tomb Raider I would have considered Tomb Raider 2013 a pretty good game. On the measurement of a pure third person action game, it's mechanically far better than most, though I would say ludonarrative dissonance really plays a heavy part here for me. Basically, you one moment are given a portrayal of how emotional she gets about death of even a single animal, and then follows absolute slaughter with no crap given about that whatsoever. Second, she's still in the beginning phase, that time in life when she went from being just a scared young woman to being the heroine Lara Croft we all know - but she's expert at pretty much every aspect or adventuring that she encounters as soon as she arrives there. Played right, she should have been a fumbling and unskilled girl that through the game grew into a skilled adventurer woman. The story and the actual gameplay are worlds apart.

But as it *was* released as a Tomb Raider franchise game, it failed horribly to deliver on the one and only thing that I really expected it to do well: advanced and thoroughly engaging 3D platforming puzzles throughout. That the shooting was good or that the story (ludonarrative dissonance aside) fleshed her character out a bit was vastly overshadowed by the game not feeling like a Tomb Raider game to me. So - just rebrand and reskin it as a new IP and I'd probably given it praise. But it was not a good game for the Tomb Raider franchise and very much went in the wrong direction gameplay wise for me.

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tombs

optional

That pretty much sums up the game's #1 problem.

Also, that would be a great subtitle for this reboot.

TOMB RAIDER: Tombs Optional

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I feel that people are to hung up on the word "tomb". It makes me wonder if most people who complain about it played more than one Tomb Raider game.

Yay tombs. Why does it matter?

For me, complaining about Tomb Raider not focusing specifically on tombs is like complaining that a Metroid game doesn't have very many Metroids.

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The lack of tombs in the story didn't bother me. It was supposed to be an origin story. People would've been complaining if they DID shoe-horn tombs in and she just happened to need to raid tombs even though she has no desire to do so. Not that the story we got explains why she will in the next game.

"I've never done anything like this before, but I MUST retrieve this amulet or else I can't save the children and there wont be a little league championship!"

I think they did it right by including tombs on the side. They weren't part of the story they were telling, but fans got some regardless.

(...and I think I just stuck Lara Croft in a Clerks cartoon ripping off Indiana Jones for some reason)

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I feel that people are to hung up on the word "tomb". It makes me wonder if most people who complain about it played more than one Tomb Raider game.

Yay tombs. Why does it matter?

For me, complaining about Tomb Raider not focusing specifically on tombs is like complaining that a Metroid game doesn't have very many Metroids.

I'm not saying that just because the title contains the word "Tomb". I have played almost all of the previous tomb raiders, and while they do include a lot of action segments that aren't strictly confined to tombs, well over half of the game is focused specifically and primarily on navigating one or more ancient tombs.

The new TR is like a combination of LOST and Call of Duty. All you're trying to do is face-shooty your way off of the island. Sometimes you pass by a tomb. And a "tomb" always means the same thing: walk down a dark hallway, solve a single puzzle in a single room. Done.

It's not because the title says "tomb", it's because every game before this was VERY focused on tombs. She is female Indiana Jones mixed with James Bond. The new TR forgets the Indiana Jones entirely and replaces the James Bond with John Rambo.

I don't think I'm just quibbling over semantics. It's a weird thing to do with an established series.

Imagine if the next Zelda game was still action, but there was no inventory and/or no dungeons? There are certain things about established IP that are simply axiomatic. Anything else is an offshoot. (e.g. Hyrule Warriors = offshoot)

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Persona 4 Arena

It's a pretty sweet fighter. Much more accessible than most. Has similar mechanics to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure on the Dreamcast/Arcade.

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The problem with the modern Tomb Raider (which, if I may be so bold, the original formula had gotten stale) is that it mirrors Uncharted. If one were to make her raid tombs in that game, she would have been doing /exactly/ the same thing as Nathan Drake instead of /somewhat/.

The problem as I see it comes out of the fact that other games have long since horned in on Lara's territory (the primary culprit being Uncharted.) Firstly, TR made the move from classic free platforming to modern sticky-surface platforming. Sure, the free platforming is where the franchise came from, but my understanding is that many people hated making pixel perfect jumps and fighting with the camera. On the other hand, having modern platforming drops Lara squarely in the territory already occupied by several other well-known franchises. Changing the locale doesn't fix this.

The game is also more action and less platform than the previous titles--which probably plays a big part into people's feelings about it--but I think the biggest problem is that it waited too long before adapting to the changing market...

Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose the /real/ issue is that the original games are now a niche market, and the devs wanted to target more than the classic platforming crowd.

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You know, I don't know what people see in these 2D fighting games like Super Street Fighter IV or Skullgirls.

There's way too much exposition, there are a billion characters so exploring which ones are a good fit is hard, and the move lists are extremely varied and overly complicated.

Whatever happened to normal, simple fighters like Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat? I don't care about Ryu's backstory or emotional problems, and I prefer at most a dozen or more characters, most of which are unique and interesting without being overly complicated to control.

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Speaking as somebody who has never played Unchartered, nor seen it played, nor heard hype about it, I can certainly tell you that it has no impact on my opinion. The thing is, what I expect from a Tomb Raider game isn't tombs. It's brain challenging environmental puzzles that rely on your figuring out whole chains of tricky platforming and environment manipulation puzzles requiring you to find mechanisms and paths and sometimes have timing and skill, set in whatever environment is necessary for the objective. It also consists of navigating an environment that contains hazards such as dinosaurs and guards, sure, but the focus is on the non-fighting aspects, never the fighting aspects. There was very little of this in the world for Lara to do, especially since that should be the required part with third person QTE shooter being the optional part instead of the other way around. Instead this game has very much Ramboing around (Though it's more of a Hot Shots 2 than a Rambo, who in the original First Blood had a kill count of one.) and nearly no Indiana Jonesing, which was the fun part of the earlier games.

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You know, I don't know what people see in these 2D fighting games like Super Street Fighter IV or Skullgirls.

There's way too much exposition, there are a billion characters so exploring which ones are a good fit is hard, and the move lists are extremely varied and overly complicated.

Whatever happened to normal, simple fighters like Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat? I don't care about Ryu's backstory or emotional problems, and I prefer at most a dozen or more characters, most of which are unique and interesting without being overly complicated to control.

I've played a lot, a LOT of fighting games in my time. 2D AND 3D. I've grown up with them.

So I can tell you that probably one of the most accessible so far is probably Persona 4 Arena, (and the new MK and Injustice games, mechanics wise). And Skullgirls isn't really that complicated either. (It's got a nice tutorial and a pretty small roster)

Combos are like the language of the game. The building blocks of strategy.

It takes time to learn a language, it takes time to master particular combos and techniques, but really once you get the hang of it a bit, it isn't too bad.

And really, there are only like 4 different types of inputs to special moves.

A quarter circle/half circle/full circle + button

A Z input on the D-pad + button

Hold one direction for 2 seconds + another direction with button

Arrow inputs like up, down, or left, up, right + button (Mortal Kombat Style)

Everything else is just variations on that. (Double up the movement buttons for supers or add two buttons)

Usually whenever I get a game, I pick up the characters, do these inputs to see what they do. (double check the movelist)

Then check the tutorial for any unusual game mechanic. Then either jump straight into the arcade mode, or just go into challenge mode and have a go at some combos. (I usually get about half-way before I hit my limit. I really need to practice more, but usually I end up making my own combos through play anyway)

Blazblue is a pretty nice fighter for variation in playstyles also. Not a massive roster either. (the story is kind of lame, but c'mon here, its FIGHTING GAMES. Who would ever play those for the PLOT? It's just silly business really. And I quite like Blazblue for just running with the goofiness in the story mode)

I'm definitely planning to get the SF4 expansion and the next blazblue once its out.

And for the hardest 2D fighter out there. That has to go to The King of Fighters series.

Go play some of those games, and then try to complain about Street Fighter.

----------------------------------------

Been messing around with some characters in Persona 4 arena.

I quite like all of them tbh.

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Have you played the main Persona series at all, Retro?

Chyron, I can honestly say that the no one pays much attention to the story in fighting games. Except for Soul Calibur. Well until Soul Calibur V anyway. Persona 4 Arena would be another exception, I guess. That's because it's a fighting game spin off of a RPG series though.

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Have you played the main Persona series at all, Retro?

Chyron, I can honestly say that the no one pays much attention to the story in fighting games. Except for Soul Calibur. Well until Soul Calibur V anyway. Persona 4 Arena would be another exception, I guess. That's because it's a fighting game spin off of a RPG series though.

I've played a bit of 1 and 2 on PSP. Persona 1 was a bit too old-school for my tastes. Pretty sluggish.

Persona 2 (the japanese one that got remade on PSP) I played for a bit and I thought it was pretty good. (need to get back to that)

I own Persona 3 portable, but haven't played it yet.

Persona 4 I've played all the way up to the point just before you start dealing with Naoto's storyline. Enough to know the characters and plotline. (I already know how it ends since I read the wiki.)

I'll start playing it some more soon. Just catching up on PC games mostly, but I fancied playing Persona 4 Arena on a whim.

(Yukiko is definitely my favourite character, now that I know them. She's totally my Waifu! <3)

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An addendum to Deus Ex: The Fall - the stealth system is made of FAIL.

It is quite feasible to walk up to an enemy, perform a takedown (non-lethal - there's an achievement in it), then run away from the other guys as they shoot at you and just wait until they go back to their boring routines, not even remotely caring that one of their colleagues is now missing.

And it's also perfectly possible to do this for ALL THE ENEMIES IN A GROUP, ONE BY ONE.

This is the exact opposite of how stealth systems should work in a full 3D game with stealth as a core mechanic, and it beggars belief that something like this could even be considered acceptable.

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An addendum to Deus Ex: The Fall - the stealth system is made of FAIL.

It is quite feasible to walk up to an enemy, perform a takedown (non-lethal - there's an achievement in it), then run away from the other guys as they shoot at you and just wait until they go back to their boring routines, not even remotely caring that one of their colleagues is now missing.

And it's also perfectly possible to do this for ALL THE ENEMIES IN A GROUP, ONE BY ONE.

This is the exact opposite of how stealth systems should work in a full 3D game with stealth as a core mechanic, and it beggars belief that something like this could even be considered acceptable.

That's how stealth works in most games, though.

There was a really good review I read once----I wish I could remember where----that made a very good and well-supported argument that with the one exception of Mark of the Ninja, all stealth games are actually incredibly bad. But anyone who makes a stealth game (or a game with stealth in it) does not try to fix the obvious and well-known problems because a) it takes too much time, or b) they don't want to (or lack the vision to) stray from the established (and bad) stealth genre conventions.

Suffice to say, Deus Ex HR doesn't try to innovate in the stealth genre. Unless you count including stealth characters in a game that is not designed to be played by stealth characters as an innovation, because they totally did that one.

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I think what makes Deus Ex: The Fail worse is just how quickly the enemies go back to their usual routines, coupled with how small the levels are and how easy it is to "hide" from the AI.

Plus, ow that I've managed to get a 'recharge' augmentation, I can takedown an enemy, hide around a corner for 10 seconds while my batteries recharge and then do it again. It makes combat feel like a particularly awful game of whack-a-mole.

Also, skip to around the 9 minute mark to see why actual gunplay is almost unplayable, which is why I'm doing nothing but takedowns. No, seriously. 9 minute mark. Everything will be explained.

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Metal Gear Rising, like many other things, is even better the second time, when you know what you're doing, and you do it Hard.

(GET IT??? IT IS A SEX JOKE) Also, if anyone ever said that Mark of the Ninja is the only good stealth game, I totally 100% disagree with that entirely because seriously the Thief games are still really fucking good and anybody who implies that they're bad stealth games has no idea what they're talking about. This isn't nostalgia talking, I first played Thief 2 within the last three or four years and got all the way to the last level, those games are fucking great. Not to say Mark of the Ninja is a bad game, I'm sure it's really good, but it's not THE ONLY GOOD STEALTH GAME

(also i don't care what anybody says the metal gear solid games are actually very good stealth games too)

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My mark of a good stealth game is one where, if you're noticed by an enemy, they will ALWAYS be on alert from then on. Not full alarm status (that'd be absurdly hard), but the amber one where they're all on edge and break away from their normal patrol routes.

Having enemies shrug and go "huh... guess it was nothing" is easily the biggest problem I have with stealth games.

ANYWAY. Back to Deus Ex: The Fail. Guess what happens after you complete Chapter One?

A044216B2EC4E90620C094AF07C8D2446106E6AD

...yep. Just as you're actually starting to get into the game - just as you're starting to adapt to the awful controls and the shocking gunplay and the awful AI - it just ENDS.

9DC792A075D916C6A40D2AE47B01A2FB8BFCE1C5

Of course it will, Squeenix. Of COURSE it will.

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I have a hankering for some fighting game goodness today.

Anybody here want to fight me today?

Here's what i got:

PS3:

Persona 4 Arena

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

PC:

Super Street Fighter 4 AE

Street Fighter X Tekken

Mortal Kombat

Injustice

King of Fighters 13

Skullgirls Encore

(I got a TON of xbox 360 fighting games but no live gold atm)

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Started up Mark of the Ninja again, because Steam cards, and it really is one my favorite games ever. There are very few games where I after having beaten a section tries to fail immediately, just so that I can replay it and try something new, but MoN is one of those games. Absolutely bloody brilliant.

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Thomas Was Alone Benjamin's flight (Free DLC)

I found it pretty enjoyable a short 2 chapter prequel to the main game featuring 2 new characters and one Old character setting up the game

It is a bit short and not as good as the main game but very enjoyable for a free update

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Final Fantasy XII

Played for a little bit. Got thrown into a fight with knights. Got shanked by my superior and died. He got captured by an army.

Some story about two warring factions closing in on each other. A lot of royalty dead.

Took control of some blond guy, who nicks things and moans about how bored he is.

Went out to kill a tomato monster, found a T-rex and died. Lol.

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Played a little Shovel Knight, realized the keyboard controls are TERRIBLE.

Also, there's a page to enter your name when you create a new profile.

You can't TYPE your name, you have to use the arrow keys to select letters and press "Enter".

GAAAAAAAH

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Played a little Shovel Knight, realized the keyboard controls are TERRIBLE.

Also, there's a page to enter your name when you create a new profile.

You can't TYPE your name, you have to use the arrow keys to select letters and press "Enter".

GAAAAAAAH

That's one game I'll grab on Wii U for sure.

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Finished my first go at Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Super fun, but very short which is okay I think. About 2-3 hours. The extra content makes up for it. They really stepped it up with the things you can do and the ways you can do them, it wasn't quite so easy this time around and the story was a little more coherent. The introduction of stealth elements was nice, although I felt they could've pushed them a little further.

The only things I could really complain about were the inability to move the camera and the lack of clear instructions at some points. I'm gonna give it another run for the achievements at some point.

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Finished my first go at Octodad: Dadliest Catch.

I've seen it played and I must say it really shines on co-op. A group of friends, each controlling a limb, makes it very entertaining. I would call it one of the better "party games" out there.

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