TheArcadeKid

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About TheArcadeKid

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  • Birthday May 18

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  1. I don't often give up on games, but goddamn if I didn't give up on RDR2. I used fast-travel in a camp to experiment, couldn't fast-travel back (or at least not without going somewhere to pay my bounty, then going somewhere else to get a coach) and backed out of the game to get my 100GB back. Watched the story highlights on YouTube. It's lavishly produced, but my time is more important. I resent Rockstar for continually ignoring that fact. I'm also truly in awe that the majority of gamers find it easier, not harder, to become absorbed in a game that constantly demands you play by its own rules, to the constant inconvenience of the gamer. The impulse to go anywhere, do anything is completely hindered by these insane gameplay systems that are about as fun as feeding CJ in San Andreas. And in pursuit of what? Authenticity? It's still a video game - you still respawn when you die. To capture the spirit of the western? The western was never obsessed with authenticity and technical details, and it's hard to get caught up in operatic moments when you've spent hours - literally hours - with your horse's rump trotting in front of the camera. Then the whole illusion falls apart: with so much downtime, so much time to scrutinise the ways the game works (and doesn't work), you quickly figure out which moments are for Character Development™, which moments are supposed to encourage Quiet Reflection™, and which moments are just there because some creative director was too busy chasing his own brutally tedious vision instead of something that truly engages the player. RDR2 is a game that knew it had the attention of millions of gamers before it was ever even announced. The result is one of the most bloated, indulgent and unsatisfying pieces of media I've personally encountered, especially in relation to the stature of the company that brought it into existence.
  2. I was one of the people who kept his expectations low for this one. I wasn't interested in the father/son angle, I wasn't especially interested in Norse mythology, and I wasn't interested in the de-emphasis of operatic violence. I was utterly blown away by how good it is. It caught me in a feedback loop I don't think I've experienced in fifteen years of gaming. Some of my friends have spent years with games like Destiny and The Division, and I've never understood how they can just play the same game for hours on end without getting bored. God of War '18 is the closest I'll get to feeling the same way. It's like the level designers were able to predict exactly what I was thinking as I played: how to get somewhere, how to kill something, whether I wanted to spend some time gathering resources or just press on with the main story. Not once did I feel like I was doing filler content, or something I didn't want to do. I played at my own pace. Combat gets progressively better, a perfect blend of skill and strategy, and the platforming gives you a chance to take a breather and appreciate the stunning visuals. For all the praise God of War '18 received for the story and themes - for 'growing up' - it's still a game that puts gameplay first. Every reaction it got from me felt fully earned. I don't care for GOTY lists, but this one probably deserved every award it got. For me, it was like reading a novel where every single word has been laboured over: not for the pretensions of the studio or the demands of the critics, but for the player.
  3. I played this extensively on PC back in the day - although my shoddy Rogue build could never beat the final boss, even with the big Orc guy trying to help. It's a total surprise seeing it come to PS4, but I'll definitely be picking it up. I'll take a wild guess, though, that the platinum is well out of my reach.
  4. Base PS4, which must be about four-and-a-half years old by now and still performing fine. I'm sure the Pro has its uses, but I'm also sure I wouldn't benefit from it. I don't have a fancy TV set-up, for one thing, and only recently have I seen slight performance issues with new PS4 games; framerate drops in Ni No Kuni 2 and Team Sonic Racing, for instance. It's annoying, but hardly worth dropping £350 on an upgraded version of a console I already own. Especially with PS5 right around the corner.
  5. It's going to be sexy.
  6. At the moment, LocoRoco Remastered. It's just not very fun. The initial novelty wears off long before the end of World 1, there's no rhyme or reason to the level design, exploration is as likely to screw you as reward you, and as far as trophies go, it's a collectible-fest of the worst kind. I hate abandoning games so I'm going to get to the end, but it's a slog. Which is a shame, because the visual and audio design is delightful.
  7. It might be nostalgia talking, but I've long considered Rage to have some of the greatest gunplay in FPS gaming. There's just something about the core mechanics that made every encounter ridiculously satisfying. Plenty of options as well, from the usual guns to the spinning blade thing and (I think) exploding RC cars. If they can nail it again for the sequel, I'll be happy. Hell, I'll even put up with notorious pop-in.
  8. It's a close call, but I'll have to go with PS3. For all its faults, there was surely a golden age of PS3 that simply doesn't exist with PS4. There was more risk-taking, more original IP, more variety across all games. PS4's been keeping up a steady stream of titles, but a lot of it just follows trends. There have been no groundbreaking indie titles that I can think of. Original IP has slowed to a trickle while triple-A sequels/reboots live off past success. PS3 had: Uncharted, Resistance, The Last of Us, Motorstorm, LittleBigPlanet, InFamous and so on. PS4 has: Horizon: Zero Dawn, Until Dawn and a cross-gen Metal Gear. Hardware-wise, PS4 wins hands-down purely for efficiency and ease of access. But compared to the creativity on PS3, jumping into PS4 sometimes feels like the equivalent of getting fast food.
  9. PS4 (197) PS3 (269) PS Vita (152) Multiplatform (66) Makes perfect sense. I had a PS3 for the longest and got into trophy hunting with it. Spent plenty of time on Vita but the games dried up. PS4 recently overtook it and it's only a matter of time before it overtakes PS3, partly because I don't own a PS3 anymore.
  10. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst. I absolutely love this game, which is good because getting the actual platinum is proving fairly tedious. The dashes are fine - although they feel more like navigational puzzles than anything else - but the collectables are a real grind. It's not even the number of them (although all told, you're looking at about 450, 500) but the way they're distributed. I'm going to have to replay most story missions to the end for bags, recordings and documents and this is on top of scouring the actual city for them. Still, just moving around in this game is incredible, so I'm sure I'll have the plat in the bag soon.
  11. I don't much care for The Witcher, but this is a really good choice. Much better than Darth Vader.
  12. Buying this by default. The actual collection doesn't look like much of a step up from the PS3 compilation (maybe worse, with no Master System games), but still, it'll be fun revisiting most of the games, especially with a fresh set of trophies to collect. This also gives me (yet another) chance to get to the end of the Phantasy Star games.
  13. I can't comment on split-screen because I only have one controller. For farming, I recall choosing an elimination race, holding accelerate and immediately restarting when I lost. I used one of the icy tracks for this, although it's possible there's better ones. This method perhaps isn't the most efficient, but after doing everything else you're probably sick to death of actual racing, and it means you can watch a film or something while slowing grinding KM. You still need to hold accelerate and tap the X button, though.
  14. I admit that this may be the case. It's a combination of being a harsher critic, and of course that the game of 2018 comes nowhere near to matching the game of my memories. A shame, really. I've also got Final Fantasy VII downloaded on PS4, and haven't touched the original for about a decade. Perhaps I'd better lower my expectations for that one as well... Yeah, fuck that guy. It was almost as bad as Silver in Sonic '06. Almost It's not about difficulty, because the game is, for the most part, dead easy. I'm actually getting through the remake much faster than the original PS2 version, despite not remember how to defeat most of the colossi. My point is that for the many colossi that have to behave in a certain way in order for you to defeat them, the battles become inherently tedious. You've already figured out how to kill the thing, but it takes twice as long to do so because it just - won't - move. To me it's an archaic game design that hasn't aged well. In being forced to recognise the (slow and meandering) attack patterns of many colossi, and having to wait for them to play out before you can make your move, you're continually being reminded that this is, without a doubt, a video game. You've highlighted the exact issue I have with the music - it's inconsistent. Wander isn't a hero, so why does the music treat him as such when he's repeatedly stabbing a colossi to death? I can make a comparison to God of War here, very similar thematically to Shadow: he's an anti-hero trying to right a personal wrong without any thought to the rest of the world. Yet God of War's soundtrack, across all the games, never reaches the same tones as Shadow; it never celebrates what the character is doing, which is what Shadow seems to do the moment you start climbing a colossi. Having such majestic tracks, immediately followed by ominous tones after a colossi's defeat, sixteen times without failure, doesn't strike me as a sensible artistic decision. I admit that the music by itself, however, is very impressive.
  15. Oh, boy. I first played Shadow of the Colossus on the PS2 a few years after it came out, and although I had certain issues with it - most notably the ending which left me cold and slightly bemused - it went on to become, in my memory, one of the best games I'd ever played. It was my go-to example of gaming as art, made all the more substantial because, unlike the likes of Journey and other indie titles, this one actually had the makings of a traditional, triple-A video game. Revisiting it on PS4 for the first time in eight years (I never got round to the PS3 remaster), I've just beaten Colossi 11 and it's fair to say I'm largely disillusioned. There are moments of sheer awe - grabbing the shoulderblades of Colossi 5 and soaring up with it into the air, or likewise grabbing the tail of Colossi 7 and plunging into the depths of a lake - but far more often are horrendous failings on both mechanical and artistic levels. Perhaps the biggest problem, gameplay wise, lies with the colossi which heavily rely on AI in order to defeat them. This becomes painfully clear with the fourth colossi, in which you have to hope the four-legged bastard will actually approach the cave you're lurking in and stay there while you sneak out of another one and run up to it from behind. Colossi 9 has the same problem, where you have to lure it to geysers and again hope that it stays there long enough to flip over. It's tedious, immersion-breaking and completely at odds with the grandeur the game apparently wants to achieve. I understand that this isn't God of War - you're not supposed to feel like a badass. Most of the fights aren't meant to be played quickly or fiercely, and the colossi themselves are supposed to feel more like animals than enemies. And yet, there's often no avoiding a frustrating slog of an experience as a result of this. More than that, it impacts a multitude of artistic intentions. When a Colossi's AI proves non-responsive, I don't feel it's docile or animalistic - I feel it's stupid and needs to hurry up so I can slaughter it. There's numerous other discrepancies that strike me now as bizarre: we've got a gloriously barren, depressive open world, but the minute you latch onto a colossi, the music transitions into something undeniably triumphant and heroic. For all the moral ambiguity of Wander, there certainly doesn't seem to be anything highlighting this during the actual fights. I haven't reached the ending yet but I imagine it'll leave me as underwhelmed as it did with the original release. Meantime, over halfway through the game I've come to believe that the minimalist storytelling owes more to laziness than anything else. You have an empty, virtually contextless storyline for 90% of the time, and in the last 10% a lot of shit goes down that tries to manipulate your response. Yeah, I don't think it'll win me over. I'm genuinely curious how others feel revisiting Shadow of the Colossus after all this time, or maybe even playing it for the first time. Is mine a case of blinding nostalgia and high expectations? Or are there genuine faults with the game that seem to have been ignored for so long? I really did want to cherish my playthrough - it's incredibly rare for me to buy games this close to their original release, and I even waited until I had time off work to dive in - but somehow, it's gone from a beloved title to a muddled disaster.