realm722

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  1. Game: Doom 64 Analysis: I bought Doom 64 for $2.49 back in early March 2022 and had a pretty fun hour in the time it took me to earn the 100%! Why Doom 64? You all should know the routine by now. Every sale, I scrounge in the corners of the trash pile unloaded by Sony filtering through digital deluxe exclusive editions of games I'll never play as well as about two thousand Warhammer & The Sims DLCs before eventually finding some incredibly cheap, short, 100%'s, that I think could be decent enough to make for an interesting 100% experience. Doom 64 caught my eye given the fact 1) Playing a Nintendo 64 exclusive that was originally released in 1997 on modern Playstation 5 hardware released in 2020 is precisely the sorta thing I'm into and 2) I haven't played a single FPS game apart from Superhot, why not play one of the founders of the genre? The experience itself is remarkably short. Due to the "password system", you are quickly able to load into very specific levels with the proper gear required in order to quickly attain all the trophies scattered about the game. The first of these involved gaining entry to the secret level "Hectic" which can be found in the first stage. You just start a new game and takedown every demon in the level before shooting the barrels in the required order. What jumped out to me right away was DAMN, you move quickly. The movement was super fun, though, it was a bit jarring not being able to jump or hell, even aim your reticle to fire at enemies on higher positioned areas but I quickly adjusted. After taking care of that, I moved on to the level-related trophies that can be easily attained thanks to the password system. The hardest of these was "Escape Artist" which requires you to finish the level on the "Watch Me Die" difficulty. HOLY CRAP. I seriously underestimated those two Cybderdemons at the end of the level. After dying 10+ times I reloaded and conserved the ammo for my big bad guns that I was wasting on prior enemies. I ended up finally blasting through them when I wasn't solely reliant on my piddly shotgun doing most of the damage. Would I recommend Doom 64? Sure! It's an extremely brief experience when using the password system but I had a fun time with it. All of the trophies are quite easy given the game gift wraps you the best weapons in the game with that loophole so even a complete novice could likely hold R2 long enough to take down any and all potential threats. Shoutout to the wonderful PSNProfiles guide by @griffin123456789. You know it's a great guide when you never have to look elsewhere for secondary information and the YouTube videos included at the bottom to visually demonstrate how to earn each trophy was a big help. Since I also know the Doom franchise has some diehards, may I also recommend Tim Rogers' delightful 3 1/2 dissection of the original 1993 game. It's brimming with intricate details of John Romero's level design to deeply personal anecdotes of being a "Doom poser" and a rough upbringing as a social outcast. Hell, you don't even have to like Doom to enjoy it! I ultimately earned the 16.87% rarity 100% completion in 1 hour and 4 minutes. Panda Score: 6.6 / 10 Panda Difficulty: 1.7 / 10 I really hope you enjoy it half as much as I did Doc! Checking out your rankings, seeing Dead Cells (15th) and Hades (47th) means I've really placed it into some vaunted company. I don't know if this is contaminating the jury pool but if it lands Top 80 I'll feel like I won't have let you down πŸ˜„ Absolutely!!! I don't always make it a focal point if I know that it's something that has to be done towards the end of a game (such as cumulative kills) but if it's something challenging I can earn right out of the gate? 100%. Hell, your appreciation for the game can grow when you know you got the "annoying" portion out of the way and can enjoy all the other aspects. Plus, now that I think about it, I think my FIFA 22 experience could have ended far worse if I was having to wait 10+ hours to find matches after doing everything else compared to starting that way and having all the other fun experiences slowly drown it out. Def something I'll keep in mind when completing future games!
  2. Super glad I got around to reading your review! Horizon Forbidden West was a game I had a lot to say about it and I've been trying to find someone to talk about it with that goes beyond 1-2 paragraphs and you honed in on a few points I'd really like to hone in on. Hmmm... I never noticed the reliability of the accuracy. In fact, I'd argue the arrow was a bit too generous at times with me clearly missing an enemy target and the game giving it to me anyway. Could have been my settings, I played on Hard mode but I know there are some customizable options available. I think you subtly brought up an issue with the game that the developers did a poor job of "forcing" upon returning players. They added all these brand new, fanciful, intricate weapons.... and never once did you or I feel obligated to use them lol. I too was happy with my basic ass Hunter's Bow and merely upgrading it to a higher rarity whenever I ended up in a new settlement and the opportunity presented itself. I legitimately thought the game had poor weapon variety until I did the challenges in The Arena and you are given pre-selected loadouts. Then I said "lmao whoops I just ignored all these other options for 40+ hours". In terms of length... I dunno man... I remember one of the Cauldrons being particularly lengthy. The one with the Tideripper I believe? Other side quests tho 100% ended a bit abruptly. Completely fair take. I am someone who almost NEVER used mounts, even ground ones, for the majority of my play-through. I just preferred running as Aloy given the ease to collect materials. I basically used the flying Sunwing for the 2 necessary quests for the trophy and that was it. Even though I did a lot of side quests, I still only had 68.79% completion overall so if they ever added DLC I'd be able to use the mount and really be able to zoom through some areas I hadn't previously. I'd have to replay the intro of the game in order to notice that about Aloy. I don't remember it being too jarring. The shameful thing with regard to the Tenakth is that I very frequently tuned out conversations cuz I just... could not care less about some of the mindless jargon they'd spout sometimes. That is one of HFW's worst flaws IMO. So many dialogue trees. So much technical sci-fi nonsense that as someone who really loved the game even I couldn't tell you what X tribe leader talked to me about 3 minutes after the conversation ends. I agree though, Kotallo was fantastic and Sylens crushed it again. Felt like he was a bit underused to be honest. Dude you and I both lmao. Do you remember those two characters at the very start of the game when you're with Sun King Avad and can reject/put off his advances and they're these two warriors acting like they're your best buddies and I am like I have never seen y'all in my life. This game has a large amount of that. I DID remember Erend... slightly less Varl. Other characters from the original I remember off the top of my head are Rost, the mother tsars over in the Nora tribes(none of their names, Theresa?), and that dude you can either choose to let live or kill on a side quest at the very end. Good ol ludonarrative dissonance baby. The world is ending and we need to move quickly but yo I've REALLY gotta take care of racing these Tenakth folk on my Lamborgini Bristleback πŸ˜‚. That's fair. I think the mileage on that will differ greatly between players. I don't see a way to make the game sufficiently urgent with huge stakes while simultaneously not ripping away all freedom form the player and rail-roading them into a linear narrative. I think the open world is a HUGE part of what makes the Horizon games special and I don't see how you could force the player to focus on the main objective without taking away side activities. Personally, didn't really think about it when I played but fair for you to see the huge disconnect. I'm a lil sad to hear your conclusion is down on the game but it's understandable. For me, Horizon has always been a bit less about the story and more so on the fun as all hell gameplay and danger you can get yourself tripped up in if you take on too many machines at once. I'm vaguely trying to remember the ending right now and IIRC... I think on strictly mechanics and content, the game was well worth full price and I say that as someone who rarely spends money on full AAA titles at release. But I think the more I read about others opinions on the game I'm in the minority. The most popular YouTube critiques of the game are those lambasting it as formulaic. Maybe I just haven't played enough open-world games yet to find it stale. Nonetheless, thanks for sharing your 2Β’ and I hope to see your avi around more frequently going forward πŸ˜„
  3. Ayyyy the rare time I end up helping you uncover a game! I also had to go back a re-read my review to remember how I felt lol. I think my tone was just about right with how I felt. I enjoyed all of the story beats but the fact the game didn't even require you to earn B-ranks on all the songs just to make you put in a little bit of effort was a shame. Nonetheless, a leisure experience is also cool and the game is cute and fuffy enough that it I didn't mind it being such a cakewalk. I also see you started that Friends of Mineral Town. πŸ‘€ Any early vibes you'd like to unveil given I believe it's a pretty lengthy plat? (I've had a farming sim itch for a lil while now)
  4. You're only missing 4 trophies in Detroit: Become Human for the platinum. It looks like you earned A LOT of them over the span of just 4 days back in October and likely got burnt out of all the loading and reloading for specific paths in order to unlock certain trophies. Given that it has been 6+ months though, maybe you could go back and speedrun through the remaining ones to put that plat to bed?
  5. Game: FIFA 22 Analysis: I did not buy FIFA 22, but instead got it for free as part of the PS+ package of games for the month of May 2022. I'm going to state from the outset this is going to be radically different from any prior review I've ever done. Sports games are somehow simultaneously the easiest and hardest to write for me given my familiarity with them and I wanted to put a unique twist on this one essentially documenting my journey to the platinum. If it works, awesome! If it doesn't, I'll never do this again lmao Why FIFA 22? As I've mentioned in many prior posts, I used to be a sports-only exclusive baby gamer. I'd play every latest iteration of Madden, FIFA, NBA2k, MLB The Show, etc.. Eventually, the cynicism of the sports gaming landscape got to me as the obsession with Ultimate Team being a cash cow led to the abandonment of caring for the franchise modes in these games, my personal favorite mode. I absolutely loved the sensation of being a general manager, turning around a stagnant franchise, and bringing it back to prominence with smart trades and savvy drafting. One of the better franchise modes found amongst these was in FIFA with Manager Mode. (Not quite on par with NBA2k, better than Madden, about equally as good as MLB The Show). I'll never forget taking over Swansea City back in FIFA 16 and turning them into a perennial Premier League contender. Here's my old Operation Sports Dynasty Thread from 2015 / 2016. DO NOT READ IT. I FORBID IT. I cannot imagine what unbearably cringy stuff I wrote back then. I am merely linking it for posterity. Despite it being 5+ years old, I remember the local legends of Gylfi Sigurdsson (who has aged very poorly) and my signing of Breel Embolo who became our superstar striker. Hell, I upset France as Switzerland over 5 years before it bloody happened! Why do I make mention of all these memories from so long ago? Well... FIFA is basically my video game version of crack cocaine I get addicted. I think about it when I'm not playing. I dream of it. I have gone cold turkey on all other sports games and by and large have not missed them. MLB The Show is typically a good time, but I don't quite reach that same level of obsession. Madden is whatever and I largely just play it nowadays for $5 via EA Play so I can scope up an easy ultra-rare platinum. But FIFA? To give y'all any idea - FIFA 20 was the last time I had dabbled in the genre. I paid $80 for it when it released and the extra $20 was just to play the game 3 days early. To this day, it's the most money I've ever spent on a video game. I snorted that game like it was going out of style. In an absurd and bizarre fixation, I wanted to crack the Top 50 First Achievers leaderboard. This is despite the fact those leaderboards are crooked. Very often, people will have the game 1-2 weeks before 99% of players and attain it before everyone else has a chance. I didn't care. I wanted this. Screw a platinum guide. I've been playing these games for a decade. I knew the ins and outs. and whaddya know? I did it. To this day, I am the 11th first achiever on the leaderboards. Hell, I'm the 8th fastest in the game at 1 week and 4 days! That is despite the fact the EA Servers entirely screwed me over and I lost 1 1/2 days of progress completely out of my control. I spammed Division Rivals, did that awful 90 OVR Volta trophy, and even disconnected my way to 200 appearances at a lightning-fast pace. But in this process, something had broken within me. I couldn't do this again... at least not quite for some time. So what did I decide to do? I swore off FIFA 21. Did not play it. Did not watch my favorite FIFA YouTuber (Nepenthez). I did a full FIFA detox. The gaming year came and went without me breaking. I had broken the curse. It was the first FIFA I did not touch since FIFA 10. I planned to do the same in FIFA 22. I did not want to get sucked into that classic FIFA craze. The game was released in September and I held out. 2021 went by. I wasn't going to break... and then.... they made the game available for free for all PS+ Users. Imagine dumping a fresh crate of Colombian booger sugar on a recovering junkie's doorstep. What did you think was gonna happen? So here we go! Trying To Make The Rarest Trophy My First Trophy Earned - Because I'm a psychopath, I decided to try and make the rarest trophy in the game the very first one I unlocked. How would this be possible? In Ultimate Team, after I built up my team to a reasonably decent gold squad, I tried for "Be My Guest" which requires you to win an online co-op friendly mode match with a random player. Why is that so rare? I'm so glad you asked. 1) No one on FIFA plays friendlies. 2) This cannot be boosted in the typical sense. This needs to be a random you pair up with, not someone on your friends list. 3) EA Servers are based in a Cambodian dumpster. 4) Winning with a complete stranger against an opposing player by himself is VERY challenging. All of these factors combined made for a miserable experience. But most of all because of factor #3. Before continuing reading - how long do you think I spent searching to find 3 matches in this game mode with these parameters? Take a guess. Seriously. 20 minutes? An hour? 2 hours? TRY 7 GODDAMN AGONIZING HOURS. I could not for the life of me find a match. Do you know why? Because whenever I would randomly find a partner, if they decided to back out, I'd get a "The other player has left the session" pop-up message and be forced to search again. Do you know what this led me to? I became a freak. As SOON as I got paired up with someone, I would click the PS5 home button to see who they were, and INSTANTLY message them - "Hey!" "Yo!" or "Hola!" and then say something overly friendly like - "I think you're my co-op partner, hope we find a match soon!". I did this to try and bait them into a friendship. I wanted to get them invested in me, as a person, and not quit out over the long wait time. I did this 13 times. It worked 2 times. The first time was with a man named "Rokkuem". He responded in Spanish. I speak Spanish! Perfect! We miraculously found a match, entered, went down 0-1, but tied it at 1-1 just before halftime. No biggie! I send him a little pep talk message at halftime and said we got this! We did not have this. We lost 4-1 in the 2nd half as the other dude was playing by himself and didn't have to deal with the painful chemistry issues. Yes, why was the other dude playing by himself? Because I discovered EA designed it so if co-ops in friendlies can't find another co-op team, they just play a random friendly dude in classic match. Wonderful. What a disadvantage. I told the other guy not to sweat the loss. Do you know what he did? He became OBSESSED with me. He sent me a billion FIFA invites to play again. Several over the course of a week whenever I was logged on. I, shamefully... ignored them. I didn't want to be mean. He wasn't going to be good enough for us to win and get the trophy. But I was the nutcase that messaged him in the first place. Call it Fatal Attraction: FIFA Edition. I umm... blocked him a week later. I know. It's shameless. Here I am whoring myself out to the entire FIFA player base, no one will take my call, and the one who did, I ignored him since he wasn't good enough. Don't do drugs, kids. The 2nd match (which took a full hour to find) led to me connecting with a player named "piritoledo". He was ALSO Spanish. Mexican. We entered the match. We were down 0-3 by the 20th minute and I forfeited the match. The dude was horrific. He pulled ALL of his defenders out of position. I thankfully did not need to block him and we went our separate ways amicably. Unfortunately, the cosmic forces that be PUNISHED me for my poor treatment of these individuals. I went to bed that night disappointed I couldn't get the trophy done. The next day, I spent 4 CONSECUTIVE HOURS searching without finding a match. I kept getting paired up with a user named "barranquilla" who I can only presume is Colombian. 5 times we paired up. 0 times we found a match and the servers forced us to search again. I was at my breaking point. If I didn't find a match within the next 2 hours, I'd swear off FIFA 22 and delete it from my console, abandoning any pursuit of the platinum. I was dead serious. I was not going to waste my life searching away endlessly for EA's FUBAR Servers to find me a match. Then... it happened. I got paired up with a man by the name of "PAZ-OSCAR". I did NOT message him. After those first two friendly Spanish gentlemen, I feared my overt friendliness was scaring people off. Multiple disconnected instantly AFTER I sent the initial greeting. I don't blame them. Imagine loading into a match and some lunatic instantly messages you trying to establish some form of communication. I would have blocked myself. Anyways, this dude, PAZ-OSCAR, ended up being the one. I loaded into a match with him. We were playing a man by the name of "Top_Shagger519". Brilliant username. It was a 2 v. 1. We went down early in the 20th minute down 0-1. I held the faith. PAZ-OSCAR was a solid player. In the 40th minute, just before halftime, I was able to go down his goal line and sweat it across to my waiting partner to knot things up. The rest of the match was a slogfest of lost possession and missed opportunities by both sides. In the 80th minute, I broke free down the top right-wing and got into his penalty box. He fouled me with his left center back. PENALTY! IT WAS THE 81ST MINUTE! This would essentially decide the match. The game, for whatever reason, decided to give my partner, PAZ-OSCAR, the responsibility of taking the all-deciding pen. I was dying inside. Was he going to pull a Bruno Alves and lose me the match in devastating fashion? OR was he going to send me to pure ecstasy? He steps up... laces it.... TOP BINS IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER! A PERFECT PEN! 2-1! 2-1! The last 10 minutes were the most shameful example of time-wasting I've ever committed in a game of FIFA and I felt so filthy I needed to take a shower afterward. it didn't matter. I HAD EARNED THE TROPHY! HERE'S A VIDEO AS PROOF AND THE FINAL MINUTE TO CONFIRM IT! I sent him an all-caps response "YOU ARE A LEGEND MATE THANK YOU!!!". He did not respond. My hell was over, I was now committed to the FIFA 22 platinum, but at least I had gotten past the worst part of it. Alexis Sanchez hoisting the trophies for the 2016 Copa AmΓ©rica Centenario & Golden Ball Award after defeating Argentina in the final, 0-0 (4-2 on penalties). I hope Chile bounces back to this level of form soon! Remaining Online Trophies for FIFA 22 - Given the house of horrors that was that one specific trophy, I immediately decided to make a gaming session on this website in order to find other players who had also gotten the game for free this month and wanted to help each other out. Thirteen hundreds of people poured in. Within the day of me posting that, I received a message while playing Squad Battles from a guy by the name of @NetoStyle. He had already had someone queuing up with him in order to earn the two necessary Pro Clubs trophies. I joined and we briefly messaged back and forth as we tried to find an opposing club for the match. He also started a party with the other dude, @ApeTheGreatApe for ease of communication. I ain't gonna lie... I was mad hesitant to join. Why? Because I am petrified of running into trophy goblins. What are trophy goblins you ask? Basically, it's a term I've used to coin people who are even more sociopathic than me when it comes to earning trophies. These people are monsters wearing human skin. They will berate you if your skill level is costing the group an opportunity to earn a trophy. They communicate via shouted orders and grunts of misery when anything isn't going their way. I avoid these people like the plague. I don't care about earning trophies that much to be berated online by a stranger. But... I joined the party, and to my pleasant surprise, these dudes were freaking awesome! Despite our initial woes of losing our first two matches, everyone was positive and upbeat. In Pro Clubs, you can either choose to play a specific position (typically an attacking player) or "Any" which will allow you to control all players that are not controlled by humans. It's typically preferred that at least one player assumes this responsibility as relying on the CPU to get players the ball is less than ideal. I assumed the "Any" role because... well I don't know why. Nobody else decided to? I wasn't playing very well, but the two dudes were absolutely cool about it. Eventually, a 4th player by the name of Legend_King_5 messaged me and asked if we could go for "Friends for Life". I told him not at the moment since we were focusing on Pro Clubs but he needed those trophies too and decided to join us. What we did was I created my own separate club from that of Neto/Ape and that way we were able to pair up, play a cup match(which NOBODY plays) and also win a league match which can be surprisingly difficult given the number of sweaty players with exotic blonde beards and 99 OVR stats. "Our Club, Our Rules" and "Dream Debut" was officially in the books for all of us. Despite that marking the end of the session for two of the dudes, NetoStyle, despite not needing any other online trophies, stuck around and decided to help me earn "Teamwork works" in Volta as well as "Friends for Life". I can say with absolute certainty that he's one of the most wonderful dudes I've come across since venturing into this hobby. He's Chilean and we just had an awesome time chatting about football(mostly smack-talking cocky CONCACAF Mexican fans lmao, NFL, Formula 1, gamers who have rage problems, platinums in other games (Planet Coaster, Riders Republic, Mass Effect & Mafia trilogies) as well as travel in general. He's a fan of the racing genre and if you ever need any help with a game I HIGHLY recommend reaching out to him and seeing if he's down. Guys who are fans of racing games seem to be the coolest dudes in general since I haven't forgotten about the time @GhostRush37 helped me knock out a bunch of Burnout Paradise trophies and he's also huge on the genre. He also mentioned while we talked for a few hours that he recognized who I was because of my all-Miami sports team avatar. Not gonna lie, made me feel like I deserve a nomination on the Z-tier celebrity list. This trophy checklist is doing numbers!!! But seriously, one of the most awesome things about FIFA despite the hate for online trophies is creating social experiences like this one and I can fortunately say I loved it given the bunch I got to hang out with. Wrapping up "Friends for Life" & Volta Football - The only online trophy I had left to earn in FUT was "Friends for Life" and I was able to bang it out with @ratmond97 who also needed the very same trophy. It was easy crushing the CPU on Semi-Pro / Professional in Squad Battles. From there, I transitioned to grinding Volta. I expected it to be miserable... it was not! There are a variety of modes that EA has added to the mode since I last played and one of them is "Volta Arcade". As opposed to being a typical FIFA match with a small net and far fewer players, these are quirky game modes such as dodgeball, race-to-the-finish-hidden-map straight outta Fall Guys, and other unique mini-games. I LOVED my time with this. Seriously. I played it 5 times and finished in 1st place all 5 times since the opposing players were largely incompetent. It's 4-players per session and some of the matches are free-for-alls while others are 2 v. 2. It was shockingly fun how quickly the 4 rounds flew by and I honestly think it's hugely underrated given I had never seen it praised publicly on any of the forms before. Once I got to a high enough level, I grinded the remaining skill points I needed to unlock "Volta's best" and easily snagged "Full wardrobe" with ease given all the money I had stacked up. If you had told 2020's version of RealM722 that future RealM722 would ENJOY the Volta mode while trophy hunting, I would have been utterly stunned. But it's the truth. Good job EA, keep it up! Memphis Depay, club legend of "Bruh FC" was my leading goal scorer while playing Ultimate Team totaling 200 appearances and achieving 73 goals and 46 assists as well as 1 bicycle kick that came at the most opportune time Playing Pro Clubs Drop-In Matches - With Volta all wrapped up, I decided to return to Pro Clubs but this time as an individual player only needing to play drop-in matches (randomly paired up online with other players) in order to level up my avatar and achieve the "Maestro" and "Tactical Mastermind" achievements. I've gotta say... this was ALSO surprisingly fun! Winning did not matter as you'll gain the necessary XP by merely playing enough matches. I just tried to do decently well as a striker and facilitate as a passer if I felt it was the right play since NO ONE passes online while playing solo. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The matches are quick and every now and then I paired myself up with a winger that was also willing to pass the ball and we ended up developing some chemistry. You can view my stats here as proof. 145 passes as a striker in 11 matches is quite generous in my mind! The 9 goals and 8 assists in 15 matches with an average rating 7.6 and 5 player of the match awards aren't too shabby either. Something I can appreciate about the trophy lists that EA creates year in and year out is they DO make players experiment with game modes they normally wouldn't try and Pro Clubs drop-ins is a perfect example of that. Without being a trophy hunter, I likely never would have bothered. Grinding Ultimate Team - But the fun times of playing different modes without a care in the world is over. It was time to turn up that FUT gear into overdrive. I needed to earn a lot of trophies. Some of them were quite simple while others required quite a bit of effort. "Design and Conquer" particularly stands out. You need to win a division rivals match while having 4 pitch trophies equipped. You unlock pitch trophies by completing stadium objectives. Most of these are very simple. But two of them "Assist a goal with a backheel flick" and "Score from a bicycle kick" proved a bit tricky. This requires the player to hit L2+X or L2+O in order to achieve the pass and shot. I thought I had earned it with Memphis Depay on this attempt but a scorpion goal does not register the objective. It took me a handful of matches, but I eventually earned it by cheesing it within the box as opposed to attempting any lengthier cross attempts. The same happened for the backheel. From there, I pressed onwards and managed to qualify for FUT Champions as I was absolutely demolishing other players in Division Rivals. It did not matter that they had their star-studded 90OVR+ rated squads that looked like a damn rainbow after the initial loading screen. I was dusting them with my 80OVR Victor Osimhen upfront and split Serie A / La Liga club in the basic as all hell 4-4-2 formation. With around 75 matches played in the mode, I took a brief break as I was getting a bit burnt out and decided to move on to some single-player trophies. Player / Manager Mode - I had seen on the trophy guide that "Maxed Out" in the Player Mode was a fair bit of a grind and decided to start chipping away at it before leaving it for the end. It's... fine. It's not the greatest trophy ever and probably should have been rounded down to Level 20 as opposed to Level 25, but it wasn't an abomination either. Basically, slap the game down to Beginner, set halves to 4 minutes, put yourself as a striker, pick your favorite club, and mindlessly complete objectives (largely scoring goals / assisting teammates) while demolishing the CPU before being asked to be subbed out within the first 15 minutes of the match. Rinse and Repeat x60. The only match I played in full was against Manchester City and I battered them 5-0 in the final. I watched many of The Rewatchables videos from The Ringer and they're a fun podcast if you wanna relive an old movie and want it to be overly dissected by a funny cast. After that, I switched over to Manager Mode. There were 3 simple trophies here. Be careful with "Newcomers" as if you create a club and set the expectations by the board too high, you can be fired at mid-season if your simming club loses too many matches and you won't earn the trophy. I had to start over a 2nd time because of it. Thankfully, the simulation is much faster on PS5 than it ever was on PS4 and you can get it done in around 15 minutes. Lorenzo Insigne, club legend of "Bruh FC" will most be remembered for doing nothing the first 45 minutes of every match and only playing to up his match appearances. Always subbed off for 91OVR Jeremie Frimpong and his 99 pace Full List of Bruh FC Legends on FIFA 22 The Grind for 200 Appearances - Fully acknowledging that I did not care to waste time desperately pleading with someone to gift wrap me this trophy by playing a co-op match with them, I decided to do this myself. What did this entail? Well, since I had around 75 matches with Depay/Insigne since qualifying for FUT Champions, I decided to play the mode and quickly blast through the 20 matches before the event expired within the day. I played the first... 5-6 matches fairly. I went 3-3. I was quite chuffed about that since GOOD LORD the quality of player AND team in the mode absolutely obliterates that of Division Rivals. I was getting ass blasted. Imagine, I'm out here trying to make things work with 80OVR Osimhen upfront while jerks are out here trotting legend Henry, Pele, 95OVR+ Haaland, Ronaldo, Messi, etc... it was a complete farce. But I couldn't upgrade my team since 1) I didn't have the coins given how new I was and 2) I didn't wanna swap players who had built up a ton of appearances. I was stuck with the lot I was given. So I set myself a goal. If I go down 0-2 in a match, I automatically forfeited, earned the appearance, and kept it moving. I NEVER quit in FIFA Online. See the match through is ALWAYS my motto. But the goal had changed. This wasn't my addiction anymore. The aim was the platinum. I adjusted accordingly. All in all, I finished with 35/36 points just one shy of Rank 7 Awards. I quit A LOT of matches. I can't be too fussed with it given I really did feel like I didn't stand a chance in many matches against reasonably skilled players with god squads. At the end of this, I had 96 matches on Depay. Not even HALF the way to the necessary 200. Knowing what needed to be done, I took a brief rest and focused on the other trophies I had remaining. Miscellaneous Offline Trophies - Delaying the inevitable, I decided to wrap up all of the remaining offline trophies. These were nonsense such as completing all of the skill games or playing an international women's match. These are stupidly simple to complete with a 2nd controller as you can move a keeper out of position in order to complete a free kick or purposefully sabotage to easily earn a perfect penalty shootout. This took me less than an hour and while doing all the skill games provided some mild amusement, it was time to put this game to bed. The Grind for 200 Conclusion - How does one fit 100+ matches of FIFA in a day or so? By embracing all insanity. I booted up Squad Battles, played DJ Mario's Starting 11, and instantly forfeited the match every damn time for the most agonizing session of trophy grinding that I've done in recent time. What makes it so bad? Well, put simply, EA does NOT WANT you doing this. How do I know this? While your first 10 or so forfeits will come free, the game will eventually start booting you from the EA Servers as it presumes you're up to some nefarious deeds trying to coin glitch or something. I was not. I just want the bloody digital imaginary platinum dammit. This meant that EVERY time I forfeited a match from the 20th ish forfeit and onwards, I would be booted straight out of FUT, back to the Main Menu, have to log back into the servers, go over to Squad Battles, load up a match, and do it over, and over, and over, and over again. You can see why I left this for the last trophy. You can't even mindlessly do it as it requires a very specific set of button prompts that you can't gaze off and focus on whatever movie or podcast you'd prefer to be enjoying. This was painful. But I powered through. At around 190 matches, I decided to stop for the night. I did this because I feared if I did the full amount all the way up to 200, the game would glitch as it always booted me from the servers. This had a very negative consequence. You see, once you disconnect this much, EA refuses to believe you're a real account. They boot you after EVERY match. You can play a full Squad Battles match 100% fairly. You WILL be booted at the end and receive ZERO coins. You'll still get the appearance on your cards, but I didn't want to risk it. I waited a day. I came back. I played one match of Division Rivals. I was instantly kicked at its conclusion and received the loss + zero coins despite winning. I didn't panic. I waited another day. I came back, I played a full Division Rivals match.... AND I DIDN'T GET BOOTED! I believe you need to wait a full 24 hours for the servers to sort of reboot themselves with your account and believe you're no longer trying to break the system before continuing. I played out the final 8 matches I needed in Division Rivals, went 7-1 (not that I'm bragging or anything), got promoted to Division 4, and saw my platinum pop! I had earned the 3.49% rarity platinum in a rapid 1 week and 2 days, good enough to land 45th on the fastest achievers list! Would I recommend FIFA 22? Only if you have prior experience with platinuming a FIFA. I both loved and despised my time with this game. I nearly didn't even bother going for it. I literally dedicated 3 paragraphs of this entire review to ONE specific online trophy which should be enough to speak for itself. Yet, after that, I loved the socialization and got to meet some fantastic people, enjoyed Volta & Pro Clubs drop-ins to bits, got to smurf my way up the Division Rivals Divisions given my hundreds of hours of FIFA experience and even got the bask in the unique features added to the career modes! Seriously, creating a club and being able to change players' positions is a DREAM and I have to give props to EA for improving the mode greatly in the years since I used to dedicate entire evenings to learning all of its systems. The downsides? The matchmaking and how slow/broken the menus can be. I had to dashboard to the PS5 home menu and close the game and reload it 20+ times during the course of my time due to the game randomly freezing on a loading screen. It happened across all the game modes. Volta score, Pro Clubs match settings, FUT, career mode, etc... The 200 appearances grind is also not for the faint of heart. Still, I enjoyed it more than I hated it. For all the hate it gets, there's a reason FIFA is one of the gaming giants out there and it will always have me twisted around its finger whenever I decide to immerse myself. Will I play FIFA 23? That depends... it'll be the last under EA with the FIFA branding given the cancellation of their partnership. Will EA Sports FC be the same? That's a problem for future RealM722. I've word vomited enough. Hope this bizarre journey was entertaining for at least someone and we'll be back to our regularly scheduled reviews going forward. Toodles! Panda Score: 8.4 / 10 Panda Difficulty: 4.9 / 10 (the matchmaking and servers will be your hardest opponent)
  6. Thanks man! I did not forget my promise to read your review the second I finished typing up mine and I somehow thought I was the only one who loved this game as much as I did. You scored it higher than me lmao! I was VERY curious to see how you felt about the Greek mythology aspects as I know in other reviews I've read of yours you've been very critical of developers getting things wrong. To see that you respect the devs for doing their homework and nailing how they should be portrayed was music to my ears. I honestly don't know anything about that stuff outside of what games I've played have dabbled in with it. The that you and I were BOTH able to appreciate it speaks volumes of the work done by Supergiant. I also found it funny how Elysium was also your least favorite region. It was for me as well despite it probably having my favorite visuals. I'm telling you man, 90% of my dissatisfaction comes from those damn shield enemies you can't do damage from anywhere but behind them lol Awww thanks Smev 😁 This is probably one of my favorite compliments I've ever been given. Sometimes I read other people's reviews of games (not on this site, just in general) and they'll sound so... negative. It's not even a bad game or one they're purposefully lambasting. But it sounds like they don't even enjoy playing games? I feel like you can always offer some cheeky criticism even on games you enjoy and that'll let the reader know you enjoyed your time with it. I'll be looking forward to your Hades review and I hope it can live up to the heights set by my past recommendations!
  7. Game: Hades Analysis: I bought Hades (physical edition) for $19.99 via Amazon way back in early November 2021. I specifically left it until now for my 175th platinum milestone. Here we go! Why Hades? - If you know anything about me at all, you should know two things. 1) I love Supergiant Games. 2) I love roguelites. I am of the belief that Supergiant Games are the incredibly rare indie studio that has only improved upon each release. I gave Bastion (7.5 rating), Transistor (8.75 rating), and Pyre (9.0 rating) ascending scores given their latest release. Though I played them out of order, I have been able to plainly see how much they've honed their distinct style of gorgeous visuals, compelling narratives, serviceable to great gameplay, and of course unforgettable soundtracks. So imagine my glee when I learned of their latest creation, Hades, was a ROGUELITE? It ranked as the #1 game I'd be willing to commit a minor crime in order to get it ported over to Playstation consoles. I'm sorry if your car was keyed but I did what needed to be done and in August of 2021 that dream came true! My Dream Game - You play as Zagreus. You are fed up with your father, Hades, the Lord of the Under World, and seek to escape this literal and metaphorical hell by battling your way out to freedom in order to reach the surface. Your father is not exactly willing in seeing you go free and ensures his underlings will do everything in their power to ensure you are kept where you belong. That's the template the game gives you to justify the roguelite cycle and I think it works quite excellently. As you are escaping from your home, you will quickly learn you are not the only resident in your father's care. An entire legion of shades(dead people) and undead(uhh... I guess the prominent people who care for the house?) are also in your company. It doesn't take long for you to get acclimated to them. Nyx is your goth mommy who tries to secretly aid and gives you extra powers upon each of your deaths. Achilles is a trained fighter and taught Zagreus what he needed to learn in order to be capable of fighting out of here. It's pleasant enough initially making their acquaintance, but what you'll soon uncover is along with them, all of the major Olympians (your father's family) will ALSO try to aid you in your quest by offering their various powers. I hope you're starting to see just how huge the cast for this game really is. What was the thing that made me realize I'd LOVE this game? The game has Persona 5 social links, basically. By gifting "nectar" (an item gained randomly during dungeon runs) you can draw closer to different cthonic family members OR Olympians. Yup. This game did what I have begged oh so many to do. They made me feel like I was Zagreus and could pick and choose who I got close to and who I didn't. I mean, I'm going to get close to everyone because of course I will, but when I realized just how many "hearts" you could earn with each member and how this would slowly but surely unlock more conversations with them and even on some occasions cutscenes for specific side plot story bits? My love for this game grew three sizes. An Excellent Gateway Roguelite - Given how much love I saw for Hades when it released, I think it's fair to say that if you've never played a roguelite, Hades is probably just about the perfect one to start with. It won the Game of the Year for 2020 from BAFTA, D.I.C.E., GDC, Eurogamer, IGN, & Polygon. I'm not exactly unearthing some hidden gem to you all. I'm late to the party(on purpose!). That being said, this game is quite frankly my favorite game of All-Time. Didn't think I'd spill my the tea in the 3rd paragraph but I just have to be honest. The game is difficult early on, but offers an incredible amount of help and unlockables that if you're a halfway decent video gamer with mild reaction ability, you'll be able to beat it. I love the way the narrative is handled. If you focus on just trying to go as far as you can each run and don't cut things short "just to get to the story", you'll have a lovely time. Each time you die, each character in the house will have an exclamation mark over their head and different goals or suggestions to give you. The narrative is so ever precisely sprinkled as you play that it is perfect for a gamer such as myself who suffers from gorilla brain. One of my criticisms in Horizon Forbidden West is losing focus during story portions due to the fact they would drag on for 10+ minutes of dialogue trees of tech jargon I didn't care about. That doesn't happen in Hades. You're talking about 3-4 bits of dialogue exchanged before moving on. While it may not seem like much, the delightful voice acting and careful distribution of these plot nuggets got me MORE invested than if they had been truck dumped on me 30+ minutes after hours of gameplay which some AAA games can have the habit of doing. My love for this game abounds and I encourage you to try it out. OR don't. I'm about to make a mess of my keyboard and type out for the next few thousand words all the different things I love about it. SPOILERS BELOW. I'M SORRY, I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. Perhaps by osmosis, you'll gain a bit more appreciation for the game than you already do. Away we go! Do you see how gorgeous the character portraits are? Look at adorable little Dusa in the top left corner. Supergiant Games Art Director, Jen Zee is a master at her craft, their games are always visually stunning My Codex of the Underworld upon Platinum! The Story of Hades - We're now venturing into spoiler territory. You've been warned. After initially making your way out with Zagreus, you will discover your mother, Persephone, on the surface. You'll be able to speak briefly with her but your time will be brief given Zagreus can't actually survive in the overworld for very long. He belongs to the realm of the Underworld and try as hard as he might unless he plans on making a deal with the devil(heh), he's stuck here for the long-term. That doesn't mean he won't stop trying to leave. You must defeat escape hell 10 times in order to complete the main story and discover your full backstory. Nyx isn't your mother. Persephone is. It was a cover-up by your father. You weren't even supposed to live in the first place. Things could get remarkably hairy as one of the Olympians, Demeter, is actually Persephone's mother and she was whisked away by Zeus and given to your father in a secret ordeal. Due to your persistence, upon your 10th arrival to the final battle after having defeated your father 9 times prior in the final battle, he won't try to stop you anymore. He lets you see your mother without a fight. I LOVED that twist. I was really not expecting it and it's a wonderful surprise when narrative can have an impact on gameplay, especially in a roguelite where it's so damn rare. You go to her and due to your insistence, she agrees to leave Greece behind and accompany you back to her old home with the aid of Charon. I really did not expect that. I appreciated the neat twist of forcing the main story to be delivered in bite-sized chunks and only progress upon each victory given the roguelite nature. I didn't know how things would end given the game sort of needs a reason for you to continue to escape. That's when we get to the..... The Post-Game Story of Hades - In a remarkably generous fashion, the plot of Hades does not end after your 10th victory. Rather, things change with regard to your relationship with your father. Due to his desire to please your mother, you'll find he'll still allow your attempts to escape, but this time in service as a sort of white hat hacker. Rather than being constantly at war with him and engaging in cutting remarks between each run and during the final battle, he'll actually show some character growth! He'll treat you with far more respect. His tone will soften. He no longer treats your constant presence as a nuisance. It was delightful. You can tell the influence your mother has on his behavior and even though he's the god of the freaking dead he makes an effort to please her. Your escape efforts now serve to test the security of hell and show him where the deficiencies lie in his underlings. Upon your victory over him, you merely perish off-screen and the game recycles and while I kind of would have preferred something better, nothing immediately comes to mind with what Supergiant could have done to make that feel more rewarding or impactful. Well actually... something does come to mind but that's for MUCH later in the review. Nonetheless, there's still an obvious issue at hand. The Olympians STILL think you're battling out of hell to go visit them. They know nothing about your mother or her whereabouts. That needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. So she gives you the task of befriending all of them to eventually initiate a banquet that would allow all the matters to be properly explained. I really wished they actually showed that cutscene and allowed you to consort with the various gods who had helped you through your 70+ hours of play-time, but I understand the limitations from a relatively small studio all things considered. It was a lovely conclusion to the post-game plot and the scene of Hades and Zeus embracing with a handshake knowing all their history was fitting. Overall, GOOD narrative that kept me in the loop and intrigued in between all the chunky gameplay segments. But enough of the story. We want to get to the characters and BOY are there a lot of them. Sounds like it's time for a ranking list - here we go! Chthonic Gods: #1. Hades - Who else was it going to be, honestly? This ranking list isn't just about the most enjoyable characters but the most memorable. The game is named after him and he simultaneously serves as the final boss that stands between you and a successful run while also engaging in dialogue with you constantly between each of your failures. While he can be an insensitive jerk, absent father, and completely numb to the pleas of his son, damn if he isn't human. I think his love of Persephone though done in his strange way is adorable. He owns A LOT of capes. I dunno why he doesn't just throw them off in the lake rather than burn them up at the start of each final encounter. His quips disparaging you for messing about the house with your different requests such as swapping out the rugs constantly are also hilarious. I love this big grump and I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt the way by the end of their time with this game. #2. Megaera - Do you want to talk about a shocking upset. I would have never guessed after my first 10-12 hours or so that Meg would finish in the Top 2 of these rankings. Meg serves as the 1st major boss in the game at the end of the Tartarus region. She is ruthless with her whip and her tone is remarkably... grim. Like, I can't imagine her ever cheering with excitement. She's very stoic and has a remarkable amount of disdain for Zagreus that comes across as very personal even from very early on. Eventually, you'll discover why. She was your frigging girlfriend man. Now you're out here on the battlefield slaying her over and over again. She obviously doesn't take too kindly to this. Eventually, by shoving enough nectar down her throat you'll eventually thaw through her cold demeanor and eventually regain amicable relations with her. and I'm not kidding when I'm talking relations! But seriously, she grew on me greatly the more I played. My only wish is that there was some way for her to become a more important boss later and actually have a chance at yanno... beating Zagreus with some consistency again. Unless you ramp up the difficulty a ton on the Pact of Punishment, she becomes a minor inconvenience at best for most runs. Imagine her all supped up and randomly serving as a final boss encounter rather than your dad? That would have been incredible. #3. Nyx - Nyx is quite literally Night Incarnate and she essentially fulfilled the role of your mother after Persephone decided to go to the surface. She also speaks in a very serious and almost apathetic tone but clearly cares deeply for all those who belong to the house. She's one of your biggest supporters and through your mirror allows you to increase your abilities and powers which permit you to escape in the first place. Hades catches on to her schemes but doesn't take severe action to stop her. You can also help her reestablish a relationship with her parental figure in Chaos once you establish a bond with her. Nothing quite like reuniting some cosmic forces to make yourself feel all warm and fuzzy inside. #4. Zagreus - Zagreus is just a good dude, man. He's obviously got quite a bit of spunk that can be interpreted as arrogance depending on who's asking but I think it's undeniable that one of the elements of the narrative is Zagreus recognizes he could complete any of his accomplishments on his own without the aid of others. He cares deeply about all his friends and treats those who aid the house in various roles with deep respect rather than with scorn or terseness which is quite uncommon given the behavior of Hades & Nyx. #5. Chaos - Hilariously enough, Chaos was the very first character I drew close enough to reach the "locked heart" phase of the relationship. I just really liked conversing with them. They'd speak in such a tone as though they simply knew more than any of the Olympians or those in your own household. But they did so without coming across as pretentious. I also really loved the boons they'd offer as while they would offer some brief handicaps for a handful of encounters, the rewards for succeeding through their challenges would typically be well worth the risk. They're also very appreciative of you opening the channels of communication between them and their daughter, Nyx, upon you depositing an absurd amount of darkness to the house contractor. #6. Hypnos - Such a lovely chap. He's a complete klutz and pretty bad at his job because of how many people he leaves waiting around in line but I can't help but love his cheery tone upon seeing you after each death. He'll describe in explicit detail how you were decapitated, maimed, crushed, and severed depending on the foe who dealt the blow and will do it with a smile! Though slacking in his job, he's very dedicated to his list-making and by repurposing that energy in the right fashion it's easy to see how he turns things around and is at least passable in his role by the end of your arc with him. #7. Charon - Charon actually doesn't say a single intelligible word throughout your entire playthrough with him. It's all groans and moans. Yet he serves as the ferryman to the overworld (hey, I learned that from The Forgotten City!) as well as serving as a super-secret surprise boss fight if you decide to enter one of his shops mid-region before his final shop pre-boss battle. OH MY GOD HE IS A DIFFICULT FIGHT. I lost my first 3 times to him and his swinging attack x2 has some ridiculous range. Thankfully he's all chill about it afterward. #8. Thanatos - I didn't really click with Thanatos for whatever reason. I'm appreciative of his random help during fights when we'll engage in a showdown to see who can kill more enemies within the allotted time frame(which if you do correctly, gets you a bonus +25 HP), but, I honestly felt his lines were very flat. Obviously, that's a theme amongst the underworld folk but I'm literally talking about his voice actor. Perhaps I just didn't get where they were going with the tone. He has an icy relationship with Zagreus as well which means he doesn't ever converse much with the player even when you rarely find him in the house. Sicks abs though bro! #9. Alecto - She's one of Megaera's sisters. She's better than Tisiphone since she actually talks but all she wants to do is kill you and make you suffer. It's fine and all but I think a blushy crushy character here that honestly kinda liked Zag would have made for some more engaging lines. The bantz with Meg would have been great. Her boss fight is honestly probably the hardest of the three since some of the random spinning saw wheels she can unleash did some unreal trap damage to me. #10. Tisiphone - I get that the "murder" quip was cute but I was kinda hoping for a twist where she'd be genuinely insightful and articulate and just kept it hidden away due to keeping on her "game face" during work hours. That never happened for me. Her boss fight is cool and is broken up into three different phases where the arena gets smaller and smaller but she's honestly probably the easiest of the three at the end of the day. Olympian Gods: #1. Artemis - Artemis is the shyest Olympian of the bunch. Whereas many of them are bombastic and frequently remind you of their prowess and greatness, Artemis is fairly reserved and just appreciates the personal relationship she's able to cultivate with Zagreus through their many interactions. She has some adorable owls in her character portrait and generally lives out in the wilderness with her many nymphs minding her own business. Her boons are particularly effective if you work with a bow and she'll frequently comment on the various aspects you'll use. Given the bow was my favorite early game weapon, it's easy to see how she quickly became my favorite. #2. Hermes - Hermes is awesome. He is the only Olympian in the game whose boon you can't summon or "force" through his keepsake. Yet he always appears in Asphodel without fail and I highly recommend you visit him whenever given the opportunity. His boons are phenomenal, and I imagine they're not allowed in his keepsake given how quickly a run can become broken if you get a lucky break. Swift Strike, Swift Floruish, & Greater Evasion were my personal favorites. Particularly that last one can be a lifesaver when you're supposed to take a 40+ damage hit from Hades on the final boss and instead your "dodge" percentage bails you out. His general demeanor is also wonderful. He's very quick-witted, gives you a heads up on some future boons you'll find, and gives you the challenge of beating Charon back-to-back times. I also imagine he's a speedrunner's favorite since he'll offer the player the opportunity to make him shut up and get straight to the boon which I don't believe is possible with any other Olympian. #3. Poseidon - Poseidon embodies "fun crazy uncle" energy. He's literally your Uncle! He's always looking out for his favorite nephew and I appreciate his jovial tone. He also has my favorite dash power-up in the entire game as "Tidal Dash" can be ridiculously OP if you have 3 dashes and can knock enemies into a wall for some asinine damage. Boiling Point is also very useful if you have an easy method to regain lost health. My only critique of Poseidon would be he quite literally does Artemis to smile more and uh... you don't do that to best girl and get away with it! #4. Aphrodite - Quite easily the spiciest character portrait and that is saying something given how many hottie-hot-hotties there are. Basically, Aphrodite is extremely flirtatious and lecherous with the player and despite the fact that you know she's absolutely the type of woman(Goddess...?) who'll ruin your life... you're ready to risk it all. She'll also comment on your flirtations with some of the other characters once that time comes. Sorry your husband loves his work more than you, lady. She's also lowkey prolly at her hottest when you choose a rival god over her in those challenge rooms. I think I've said enough. She has my favorite "Call" in the game with Aphrodite's Aid and will deal a devastating 2.5k damage to bosses which will outright kill many of them if you get them low enough. #5. Demeter - The Ice Queen. Demeter is very cold in all her interactions. Whereas many of the others will show appreciation for Zagreus and cheer him on, Demeter is usually very reserved and will offer tepid congratulations to the player when they succeed. I kind of get it. Your mom (who is her daughter) was stolen away from her and vanished. I get how that'd make someone pretty unsympathetic. Then again, she killed her parents. None of the Olympians have a clean record if we're being honest. Anyways, the reason she's this high is because of how helpful her boons were. Forcing "chill" on enemies and making them slow down is arguably the most helpful negative effect you can inflict on opposing foes. Those extra split seconds you're given to react can save your behind and turn a potential failing run into a winner. #6. Zeus - The most famous Olympian. Ruler of Olympus. He's kind of a jerk when you know his history but this feels as good a point as any in the review to mention that I know next to nothing about Greek mythology other than the minor bits of information that have stuck with me through the video games I've played. Yet despite that, I know Zeus' history of basically screwing everything that walks. If you're a Greek mythos nut, I imagine you could or could not enjoy the direction Supergiant Games went with his character. As someone who doesn't care about the source material, I'd say he still comes across as properly arrogant and you can feel the weight his words carry knowing who he is. #7. Athena - This one may be a bit surprising. I don't really have many memorable interactions with Athena in the game. She comes across as one of the more sympathetic of the bunch but she was also the one who I felt was most putting on a veneer. She wants to be known as very gracious and considerate. Yet is she really? Aphrodite once called her out on it and it always stuck with me from then onwards. Regardless, her abilities to deflect are extremely helpful and she has one of the most helpful calls in the game which can make you immune to all damage for an extended period of time. #8. Ares - God of War. Heh. Yea, there's no Kratos in this game. He's honestly just kind of there. He helps aid Zagreus in his conquest because he appreciates some good bloodshed. The reason why he wins out over Dionysus despite having less of a personality is due to the fact his boons are far superior in my eyes. His blade rifts can deal some devastating damage when cornering an enemy and the "Doom" effect can give you that extra edge you need against enemies with a sliver of health left. "Blood Frenzy" can also be sensational for the final boss. #9. Dionysus - The most debaucherous of all the Olympians. Dionysus is the example of when having fun all the time is good and all until it isn't. He has you play a little prank or Orpheus. But meh. I felt like alongside Ares he's the Olympian that I least developed a real bond with. I also didn't care too much for his boons. Hangover is just aight. A lot of his other powers revolve around health-related boosts and those are just okay. You can pay for a nifty little poster of him in your room if you pay off the house contractor. Others of Note: #1. Skelly - I love Skelly. He has the absolutely brutal job of being brutally beaten to death by the protagonist Zagreus every time he wants to test out a new weapon before venturing into battle. Rather than lament his situation, Skelly takes pride in his job and offers help to Zags with various many tips while the player is still getting acclimated his game. The reason why he became my favorite is that he's such a ballbuster. In a world filled with serious characters who respect Zagreus for being royalty, Skelly's always cracking jokes. His favor of asking the player to "kill him permanently" 100% fooled me. Thank you for being yourself, Schelemeus. #2. Achilles - I imagine for many players, Achilles is quickly going to be the one they most find themselves favoring and befriending early on. He taught the prince everything he knows about fighting and was once a great warrior himself before perishing. He offers his codex and assistance to Zag whenever it doesn't overly conflict with his loyalty to Hades. You end up returning the favor when you help him reunite with his lover in Elysium after so much time apart. More on that later. #3. Persephone - She's your mother. The person who gave you the motivation you needed to battle out of hell time and time again to understand your past. The one who ends up reestablishing the lost and strained relationships that are ever so prevalent in your family. It's no surprise how she was beloved by so many in the house. She also happens to be the only one who can keep your father in check and can cultivate a hella baller garden I mean my goodness do you see how gorgeous this scenery is? She's splendid and worthy of the effort it takes to bring her back. #4. Theseus - Okay this may be a shocking one for a lot of y'all. Theseus is an ENORMOUS jerk. Arguably the biggest one in the entire game and man is that saying something. He talks himself up in a ridiculously self-absorbed fashion every time you fight him in the arena in order to get out of Elysium and despite being part of a team alongside Asterius, frequently overshadows him by hogging the ball in essentially every conversation. But I love him. He's so ridiculous. He hates Zagreus so much. Always going on about how much of a demon he is and how the hellspawn needs to be vanquished. It makes it all the sweeter when you send him home in tears with a fat L. Easily one of the most memorable characters in the entire game. #5. Eurydice - Eurydice is lovely. She serves as the NPC you'll most frequently encounter in Asphodel. Despite the scalding climate, you'll always find her pleasantly singing along a tune and tending to her many recipes. She offers one of the more helpful upgrades in the game which is the option to upgrade your boons or abilities or the ability to guarantee higher rated ones in the future. I absolutely love her character design and think her eventually ceding to Orpheus' advances of reuniting after being separated was quite cute. #6. Asterius - Okay this is the point of the list when I've gotta be honest and say the "Others of Note" category is where my favorite cast of characters lie. Asterius would be Top 3 in either of the prior two yet here he ranks 6th. Despite being a minotaur and his appearance suggesting he's all brawn and no brains, Asterius is remarkably respectful of both the player and the position he holds. Despite working with an insufferable companion, he greatly respects Theseus and is loyal to a fault towards him. I was so badly hoping the tables would turn and we'd be able to fight an overpowered Theseus aided by all the Olympians and Asterius would help Zagreus vanquish him given the familiarity he has with his fighting style. That never came to pass. Aside from that, you'll also fight him on 1 v. 1 in a prior Elysium encounter if you so choose while venturing. This will bump down his health for the main fight and especially help on later difficulties when his "leap and smash the hammer into the ground" attack deals some devastating damage with extra range. #7. Sisyphus - I really did not expect Sisyphus to be a good dude when I initially started playing. I knew he had been given a severe punishment of pushing up a boulder for eternity but aside from that... I thought the direction they went with him was wonderful. Rather than bemoan his unfortunate circumstances of an awful task and being bullied by the likes of the Fury Sisters and Thanatos, he's befriended his inanimate companion, Bouldy, and offers Zagreus a helpful boost to start off Tartarus by offering health, darkness, or extra coin depending on what the need calls for. The only thing I didn't like about his arc is even after reworking your contract and allowing him to leave his punished state... he just kinda doesn't. He's content there. He says why and it's an okay justification but the reality is since it's a roguelite you need him to always be there. Kinda wish he could randomly show up in other regions of the Underworld on vacation or something to show that he is taking full advantage of his newfound freedom. #8. Dusa - Dusa is delightful. She's the body-less gorgon who serves as the house cleaner for Hades. Her voice is adorable. I imagine for many other players she could end up being their favorite given how unbelievably blushy crushy she is for the prince. As in, literally vanish from conversations by ascending into the ceiling after receiving a bottle of nectar who getting spooked off guard after you sneak up on her. Nyx and others try to establish boundaries between the two of you(such as she's NEVER allowed to initiate conversations with you), and you have to tell them to back off and let them know you enjoy your time with her. I guess she's a romance option? It's cute. #9. Cerberus - Ceberus is a good boy. OR good boys? I dunno if the heads enjoy being discussed as an individual or plurally. Cerberus obviously can't speak given he's a guard dog but the narrator allows you to interpret his movements and he typically remains as stoic and steadfast in his assignment as over. He also serves as the final obstacle as you can't leave the Temple of Styx without first finding his Satyr snack which serves as a bribe to make him leave his assignment. #10. Patroclus - The lamenting warrior you'll find mumbling to himself in Elysium. He's Achillies lover. You won't discover this for quite some time and until I realized it, I kinda... didn't like his character? He wasn't bad or anything and you could tell he had been through a lot but I don't really vibe with melancholy types. I'm happy I was able to reunite them after being apart for so long but aside from that, his character doesn't offer much else. Actually, scratch that. He does! He has by far the best NPC gift in the game which allows the player to replenish all death defiances used. With some mirror settings, you can have up to 3 of them which is HUGE for more challenging difficulties. Shoutout to him for that at least. #11. Orpheus - Orpheus is the musician of the house and is forced by Hades to serve and sing in the house faithfully regardless of if his passion isn't in it. He's... meh. Given how awesome the rest of the supporting cast is I can't rate him much higher than last place. He botched things with Eurydice and after much persistence was able to return things back to an amicable status. He's very gullible to Zagreus tellings and will spin songs out of folklore even after Zags has told him he's kidding. He's aight at the end of the day. Wow... I went on WAY too long analyzing each and every character individually. Sorry about that. Let's move on to the damn gameplay! What Hades lacks in weapon variety compared to other roguelites it makes up for in weapon depth. 6 weapons, 4 aspects of each. 24 total. You will be incentivized to learn how all of them function. Video Demonstrating All of Hades Weapons Melee Weapons - The melee weapons in the game are the sword (2nd) and gloves (5th) as featured in the image above. They require the player to get close to opposing foes in order to deal damage, but combined with their special can also do AOE damage that can dwindle the number of opposing enemies in a matter of moments. I loved both of them. The sword was excellent early on and I loved one of the weapon abilities you can gain from Daedelus hammer which makes it so you can regain +2 health per attack on a foe. On higher difficulties it becomes an unviable strategy but beginner level? Absolutely worth it. The gloves feature an uppercut that can deal damage to all enemies within an allotted area. I was quite partial to the aspect of Gilgamesh due to how devastating I found maiming enemy monsters could be. The gameplay is incredibly fast-paced and while a bit teensy bit button mashy, a great deal of fun. Ranged Weapons - The ranged weapons in the game are the bow (4th) and railgun (6th). My favorite early game weapon was the bow. Particularly the aspect of Chiron. Due to my lackluster reaction time, being able to have some distance between enemies and still be able to hone in on specific enemies while also having a spray attack that removed all incoming projectiles was gigantic. It can also be super fun timing the power shot after each dash which means the gameplay never feels stagnant or overly safe which can be contrary to how ranged weapons feel in many games. Despite all the love I've shown the bow, my 1st ever run victory came on my 21st attempt and it was all thanks to the adamant rail! Despite the fact it probably isn't even within my Top 3 favorite weapons, I have to give it credit for being able to deal devastating damage with it's special bomb that does damage to a number of foes within range. The Daedelus augmentation that allows you to fire 3 in quick succession known as "Triple Bomb" proved to be the difference-maker. I generally wasn't in huge favor of the latter aspects but that'll be entirely dependent on your preferences. Mixed Weapons - There are two weapons in the game that serve as both melee/ranged options and they are the spear (1st) and shield (3rd) featured above. I'll be honest, the spear was in all likelihood my least favorite weapon in the game. Aspect of Achillies was by far my favorite of the aspects given the ability to dash after using your special, but all the other ones had lackluster features that I never really vibed with. Guan Yu particularly was borderline impossible to win on higher difficulties given how low your health was. The thing I most disliked was in order to do the charged-up attack where you spin in a circle, you had to hold down the attack button. I hated this sensation. I felt like I was leaving myself open to an attack by an enemy and only ever used to immediately as enemies spawned into an encounter in order to deal some heavy damage from the outset. I also feel like it's too risky on bosses as you can leave yourself open to being hit. The shield on the other was a weapon I loved. Perhaps my 2nd favorite in the entire game. The bull rush is ripped straight out of Pyre and Jodariel's moveset and I absolutely love it. My favorite aspect was easily that of Chaos as seeing that many shields fly out after bullying the enemy never ceased being satisfying. My Security Log (All 85 Legitimate Runs Documented) My Permanent Record My Play Style - I thought it'd be fun to include the two above links so that anyone who has platinumed Hades could compare how they fared to my personal experience. I got to Hades for the 1st time in my 13th run. Died at his hands in the 16th, 17th, & 18th attempts before finally overcoming him. My best hot streak came when I started grinding for various rewards and won on my 39th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, & 46th attempts consecutively. But as I felt the game was starting to get a bit too easy for my liking given how powerful Zagreus had become, I decided to aim for the "Skelly's Last Lamentations" trophy which requires the player to beat the game with a heat level of 16. I flamed out in Elysium, at the hands of Hades, at the hands of Asterius, and Hades again before finally vanquishing him on my 6th attempt. All thanks to the aspect of Arthur wielding absolutely devastating damage. Switching gears over to boons, I somehow cleared the game 8 times with the adamant rail out of the 9 times I used it? I honestly don't even remember playing that well with it. I clearly preferred the bow given it has the most number of run attempts but neither of the melee weapons fall too far behind. My favorite boons were those of Hermes (unsurprisingly) and Aphrodite... somewhat more surprising. Dionysus finds himself at the bottom of many of the boons I only used once. Sorry not sorry. Shoutout to Sudden Rush and Triple Bomb. Finally, in terms of keepsakes, I was always a fan of taking extra health with the old spiked collar given how helpful that extra health would be upon using death defiances should I inevitably lose a life to Hades. All in all, while not the most complex or difficult combat system for a roguelite - I think the complexity offered by the game along with the number of available synergies should make it appealing to the vast majority of the gaming public, and its no wonder it became as mainstream of a title as it did. Hades, more than any game I've played, has a wonderful collection of small elements that when put together create a transformative experience. Why did they include an overview map? SO YOU CAN TAKE A PIC LIKE THE ABOVE! Responsive World To Player Actions - If someone asked me, "what is your favorite thing that Hades does?" this would be my answer. This FEELS like an actual world I'm partaking in as opposed to being the lord and master puppeteering a bunch of AI-programmed citizens. Characters will comment on what you accomplish. But rather than being a formulaic response such as in FF7R where you'll go kill a bunch of rats in the corner of a sector and you'll randomly hear citizens say "GLAD WE NO LONGER HAVE A RAT PROBLEM", Hades characters recognize what the player is doing. If you are favoring specific Olympians, the game will comment on that. Progressing in certain storylines will have characters you wouldn't imagine being involved comment on them. Your own playstyle can be critiqued. By far, my favorite example of this in the entire game is once you start defeating Megaera consistently, she will call you out. She KNOWS you're getting help and assistance from Nyx via the mirror in your room. She calls you out plainly and states that without the aid of her powers, you wouldn't stand a chance against her. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Now the game has incentivized me to go ahead and challenge myself and remove all of Nyx's upgrades to the player just so I can directly prove her wrong (or right lol) and it did through freaking dialogue rather than a challenge menu. There are more examples I could list but they're best experienced firsthand when you realize just how much the game is actually watching what you're doing and will have an answer for it. I quite enjoyed whenever I would face Hades, he would always call me out for using any of the Olympian calls. My favorite on my first time using one against him was with Athena's shield and he called me a coward for hiding behind her protection. Obviously, all of this stuff is programmed in by the developers, but the candidness of these moments when they occur move mountains for creating an immersive experience for the player. Constant Rewards / Progression - One of the classic questions/criticisms made about roguelites is trying to find that balance between the player naturally getting better due to practice with the game vs. the game getting easier due to more unlockables. How does Hades handle that question? Pretty decently. I'll cover the Pact of Punishment (difficulty slider) more in detail later and I'd like to dedicate this paragraph to the rewards. They're excellent. They feel meaningful. Rather than being an outright damage buff, they're elements that allow the player to exploit the weaknesses of monsters and gradually allow for more error by granting things such as more health, more death defiances (HP depletes, you respawn, and continue with half health) and so forth. You unlock those by collecting darkness which you will naturally collect the more runs you play. If you stagnate on a certain difficulty, you'll gain darkness in the hundreds which may give you that extra push you need to conquer a specific boss. Eventually, you'll run out of things to unlock as each ability has a ceiling limit. So what does Hades do? It gives the player a ridiculous amount of things to unlock in other departments. By defeating bosses on new difficulties, you'll gain titan blood, which can be used to upgrade the distinct capabilities of all 24 of your weapons. You can also gain diamonds, which can be spent in exorbitant fashion for fancy designs of the house such as portraits of various family members or unlocking Orpheus full music catalog. This doesn't even get into gemstones, which can be collected in the thousands to unlock some of the coolest designs in the entire game and I can say comfortable I still had a number of things to purchase with nearly 70 hours in the game. My point? There's always something to do, and you're likely looking at 150+ hours before becoming a full true completionist. Perhaps for some, the cosmetic aspects of the house won't matter to them, but knowing what I knew about the paragraph above, you bet your ass I'm dropping diamonds on a brand new green-themed disco skull just so I can hear father bemoan my reckless spending! Have You Seen How Gorgeous This Game Is? - I've purposefully placed many images from the game in this review to allow the game's tantalizing visuals to speak for themselves. Good lord man. The game is breathtaking. It can't be understated how much just enjoying hanging out in a world due to how visually stunning it is can add to the enjoyment. I've enjoyed movies almost entirely carried by the fact I enjoyed looking at an actress's face. (See: Zoey Deutch in Before I Fall). The personal character portraits have small details that you won't notice until your 30th time speaking with them. Each region has vibrant colors that give a sense of progression when you're in the early game and go venturing into Elysium for the first time. Hell, even things such as simple as the Olympian power-ups are simplistic yet so perfectly well-designed that within your first 10 hours you'll already have perfectly memorized which symbol signifies each of them individually. It's all incredibly well done and I would be astonished if it doesn't take for the reward of "Best Art Style" comes my 2022 Awards thread in late December. Megaera is too focused on her career of murdering to get too caught up and distracted with a boyfriend. Kinda awkward when the murdering she's doing implicates you directly. #ItsComplicated My Biggest Criticism of Hades - I've spoken glowingly about this game for the last few thousand words. I think I can temper that slightly with some well-intentioned criticism. One of the biggest flaws in the entire game, in my mind, is the game needed more regions. Not in terms of length, but in terms of choice. This is easily the biggest difference-maker and one point that a game such as Dead Cells has in its favor. I'll compare the two in-depth later but the lack of player choice in this aspect is absolutely felt by around the 50-hour mark. You are always going to have to escape from Tartarus, then Asphodel, then Elysium, then the Temple of Styx before facing Hades. It just gets a bit... repetitive. I understand completely the limitations. This is a smaller team that relies HEAVILY on narrative with you directly speaking to Meg/Fury Sisters (Tartarus Boss), & Theseus/Asterius (Elysium Boss) but man... it sure would have been nice to be able to get some variety and take a backdoor to another area. Even adding just 1-2 options between Asphodel and another place and Temple of Styx and another place would have been immensely appreciated. I would argue enemy variety is very ever so slightly lacking due to these restrictions. Fighting the Greatshield enemies in Elysium gets obnoxious after quite some time and not even having the ability to pick a different, equally as difficult enemy accentuated that limitation. If This Was a Dragon Quest Game - This is going to be an off-the-wall bonkers statement, but I legitimately believed for a moment that when we got to Greece and saw Persephone for the first few times, the game was eventually going to unlock a 5TH region we could go to, make our way through, and eventually fight one of the Olympians 1 v. 1. You would do this progressively until all of them had been defeated. I know, I know. This is some Dragon Quest-tier generosity that would be required of the developer but WOULDN'T THAT BE FREAKING AWESOME? There presents some obvious divisive problems with the narrative and gameplay that would need to be resolved. For example, what if you had powers given to you by Poseidon and then you go and fight him in his sea-level region? 1) He could either punish you and revoke them. 2) You could use his own powers he bestowed upon you against him. Either works in my opinion. Defeating them doesn't mean killing them either. It could mean subduing them, gaining their respect, and them now being willing to listen to Zagreus regarding his pleas and the actual reason for his escape. The game ALREADY kinda does a version of this with you sometimes having to pick between gods and then pitting you against the one you slighted. The final boss would be left for Zeus until you defeat all the others and... am I crazy or doesn't this all sound phenomenal? Again, wildly unrealistic, an obscene amount of dog years would need to be spent in terms of developer time but I thought I should mention it since if the game did this, I would have gifted it Game of the Decade with no qualifiers on the spot. Pact of Punishment - It's about time we talked about the Pact of Punishment. This is the way Hades handles difficulty after you defeat the game for the first time. You can add levels of "heat" to your run. This is necessary in order to keep elevating with different weapons in order to be eligible to earn diamonds, ambrosia, titan blood, etc... otherwise, you just earn more darkness(material to upgrade Zag's stats). I both love it and hate it. On one hand, I appreciate the freedom the game gives you to try and make the game harder for yourself. Early on, I always put the time limit of 9 minutes in each region since I wanted to play first anyway. As you start increasing, you can give enemy shields, make their attacks faster, include more enemies, make traps do way more damage, make mini-bosses harder, etc... there are plenty of options. By far the GREATEST of all of these is "Extreme Measures". Why is it? It is the only difficulty alteration that has a DIRECT effect on the narrative. By raising it, Meg will no longer fight alone but alongside her two other Fury Sisters and this will be covered in dialogue that they are working together again due to your actions. Against Lernie (snake skeleton boss), he'll have different variations of himself. Against Theseus and Asterius, the former will have a GOLDEN CHARIOT that he will parade about on until you knock him down to like 30% health left while Asterius will be faster and unleash a devastating swinging axe attack that you better distance yourself from or else you'll die in a hurry. All this sounds awesome, yea? Here's my criticism. The game needed better-defined elevations in difficulty or "baselines" than offering complete freedom. The game on 1-2 heat is nothing compared to the base game. There needed to be defined increments of 5, 10, 15, 20, etc... much like the boss cells in Dead Cells that offer an appreciable difference. I think the game could have kept the freedom and still given player's these benchmarks and added a narrative element on top of it. Imagine your father Hades saying: "This is our new baseline of defense we're debuting with you. Good luck handling it." and make that the new standard. Sometimes players can be given too much freedom and I think this was an example of that. Trophies - I refused to look at the trophies in the game until I had beaten it once. I made sure to use a number of different keepsakes, use a variety of weapons, give nectar to many different characters, work on the prophecies, etc.. since I imagined many of these would be part of the trophies involved with the game. I was 100% correct. I only looked at them after about 30+ hours in and had earned over half on my own without any guide. There is an exceptional guide on PSNProfiles that will help aid players if assistance is needed, but I'd honestly say the game is so straightforward you can pick up on the majority of these without any assistance. The game is very helpful with finding new boons by adding a little scroll marker when you uncover a new one which means you don't need to reference your own handwritten list in order to remember. I've included some videos of my trophies so you can see how I play. "Hold the Onions" requires you to beat an Erbeus gate without taking damage. It's easy on lower heat levels and all you need is a minimum of 5 to unlock one in Tartarus. "Friends Forever" requires you to max-rank each keepsake. USE DIFFERENT KEEPSAKES. This would be a pain to grind at the end if you didn't and I'm glad my initial instinct was to always switch whenever I maxed one out. The trophies in the game are by and large not that difficult and I imagine they can be cheesed with "God Mode". I never dreamed of turning it on once but the back door is always there for those who don't love the game as much as I do. I ended up earning the 27.57% rarity platinum in 2 weeks and 41 minutes. Do you know how parents will lie to you and say they don't have a favorite child? I'm here to vanquish that trope. These games ARE my children and I DO have a favorite. Hades Vs. Other Roguelites - With games as great as these, the final rite of passage to be enshrined in my Top 10 games of All-Time requires me by law to pit them against one another. I'm sorry, I don't make the rules. I only follow them. Take it up with the council if you disagree. First of all, Hades vs. Going Under - this one is brutal. I feel like a traitor. When I played Going Under back in December 2021, I was blown away by a roguelite that made me give a damn about its characters and had a plot that I could follow and didn't mindlessly wade through. The gameplay was chunky and purposeful. Hell, when I played it, I thought that Hades was getting too much mainstream love while a hidden diamond in the rough had gone completely unnoticed. Then I played Hades... and saw that all the hype, praise, and adoration it received was completely justified. Another issue that presents itself is I only got to bask in Going Under's greatness for 18 hours compared to 68 hours with Hades. There is a chasmic gulf between the two. While the DLC made an impressive attempt to narrow the gap, Hades is just superior in my mind. But now it's time for LeBron vs. MJ. Hades vs. Dead Cells. Which is better? Goodness, that's tough. I think I honestly prefer the snappiness of Dead Cells with its and difficulty ceiling over Hades. Hades doesn't let you stomp on enemies' heads. It doesn't have a jump button. It doesn't let you smash through doors. It also demolishes the opposing game in terms of different game regions (literally 20+ compared to the same 4 in Hades every time) as well as enemy variety AND weapon variety. Granted, some of the differences between many of them are absurdly minor. Yet... Hades has in its favor the fact I actually cared to learn and practice with every weapon. I NEVER went with a Survival style in Dead Cells. I also prefer the more heartfelt and sincere nature of Hades story and cast compared to Dead Cells cynicism / dark humor of the headless being a constant jerk to everyone he comes across. Ultimately, I think this is the deciding factor between the two for me. I prefer a story that'll pull at the heartstrings and be 100% willing to lay its soul bare at the risk of being mocked VS. one that never dares venture into that territory and maintains a sarcastic tone. Obviously, both developers had very different goals in mind with their creations but I'll settle with Hades taking the throne and reigning as the new King on the Roguelite Throne. Would I recommend Hades? Yes. Yup. Si. Absolutamente. How else could I answer? Perhaps you may not like the bite-sized distribution of the narrative, you may find the game is far too dependent on upgrades in order to improve upon each run, or hell, perhaps your cold heart is so hell-bent on mechanics and gameplay that Hades lacks some of the depth of other titles that you may not want to spend the next 70 hours of your life playing it while unlocking everything. I can safely say none of those sensations come across me. I'll always remember Hades for the fact that it felt like time evaporated while I was playing it. I legitimately almost missed a few necessary life meetings/events due to the fact I hadn't realized an entire 30-45 minutes had flown by while trying to squeeze in one last run before quitting. It is ridiculously rare for a game to live up to the hype that a player can place upon it BEFORE playing and to see Hades pass every benchmark makes me giddy for the next Supergiant Games. Seriously, the guys and gals over there are getting better with age. It's ridiculous. Despite all that I've written, I still feel like I missed out on including some details such as the soundtrack and immaculate voice acting (which lemme tell you, MOVES MOUNTAINS for this game when I think back to how much I loved Pyre). But that's life. It's hard to write about every detail and I've been bogged down writing this review for the last 2 WEEKS that I need to move on. I hope this review was able to encapsulate some of the feelings of those who loved this game as much as I did. If not, I'll try better next time. Until then! Panda Score: 9.73 / 10 Panda Difficulty: 5.5 / 10
  8. I have been absolutely swamped the last week or so and all my entertainment time has been left to Miami playoff sports and FIFA but I finally got a chance to sit down and enjoy your Arkham review. Let's disagree!!! Agree 1000%. it boggles my mind how this was an EARLY PLAYSTATION 4 RELEASE in 2015 and somehow the game looks better than releases made even today. Perhaps the always night-time aesthetic helps hide some deficiencies that other games don't have the luxury of but I believe it's up there with Horizon in terms of being the most visually stunning for a realistic world. Yesss!!!! I cannot fathom how there are some with the opinion that another game in the franchise could have better combat than Knight. It just doesn't make sense. As someone who played the games in a bizarre order, it feels weird not having to worry about medics potentially reviving amongst many of the other hazards that Knight throws at the player knowing they have Batman's full combat arsenal at his fingertips. The increase in the amount of enemies thanks to the "fear takedowns" was also a fantastic addition as it allowed fights to have even more enemies and the satisfaction you have of a completely empty room with 15-20+ enemies writhing about on the ground in pain is timeless! This is where I'm gonna disagree with you :P. This is by far the most common complaint I see regarding Knight. I understand how if someone absolutely loved the first two games, taking away time from playing as Batman in order to play a "tank mode simulator" can be jarring. But man... as someone who didn't have those preconceived notions going in, I thought it was a solid mechanic and balancing act. The weaving back and forth between missiles coming at you on harder difficulties can make for a really fun rhythm once you get into a flow state. I thought the side missions were pretty solidly done regarding it. The biggest criticism that I'll agree with regarding the Batmobile is that while I understand why they did it, they should NOT have had all the major boss fights in the game be solely done in a tank. After playing Arkham: City, I 100000% understand why that made so many people mad. But in terms of the open world? I enjoyed it! My memory is a bit foggy regarding the Riddler trophies as it has been 2+ years but I don't remember hating them... I know I had a collectible guide playlist on YouTube that I followed and did a clean sweep of each level/island in the game in order to collect them all. I didn't hate it? For me, Arkham Knight is just such a fun world to hang out in I don't mind the game giving me excuses or tasks to do regardless of how menial they are. I'd be on my quest for the final few in a region and make a quick pitstop to beat up a thug who said he had been in Asylum & City and never seen Batman once. πŸ˜‚ But I get if you're just trying to finish up the game they can be seen as obtuse. I'll refrain from talking too much about the story points in order to avoid risking it for others. As someone who loves Batman but has never read the comics, I didn't see the Arkham Knight reveal coming and was very pleasantly surprised! But I've also heard from diehards about just how obvious it was. Think your mileage with it very much depends on how much you're in the know regarding his history. I'm a lil sad it's your least favorite of the trilogy but glad to hear you still enjoyed it! I think if I'm ever going to replay a game and give it a "Replayable Review", I think it'd honestly be this one and /or Pyre. I love it that much. I hope Rocksteady knows what they're doing with the Suicide Squad game and Gotham Knights can at least somewhat fill the gap in my heart these games have left for me since they stopped releasing.
  9. Great brief reviews! Honestly, thank you for bringing to my attention that Unpacking came to Playstation consoles. I saw the game receive a ton of love on Steam and didn't realize it released a few days ago! Will definitely scoop it when it goes on sale a few months down the line. I was also happy to finally hear someone else's thoughts on here regarding Haven since I feel like the game has gone virtually unnoticed despite being released from the same studio that dropped Furi. I think I had a more pessimistic interpretation than you did since I wanted more from the gameplay and had greater ambitions for what could be possible but I really hope it serves as an inspiration for future games to explore romance more deeply. Right now the whole type of game really exploring it is visual novels and while those are wonderful and all, it feels like a really untapped market in other genres.
  10. I feel like you're gonna need to be placed into a witness protection program Cassy since this is one of a handful of times in my history of using the internet that I've seen someone not talk positively about SpongeBob lmao. Honestly, I never watched it and when I did I thought the characters were largely annoying. The show has seen a second life of sorts given how insanely popular some memes of screenshots of the show have gone but aside from that I never got much entertainment out of it. Think I'll stay away from the game for now even though I claimed it for free as you did but it seems like it's only really worthy as a game you'll enjoy if you're a fan of the show.
  11. You and me both man. I have searched for many hours, played just two matches, and lost 1-4 and 0-3 each time playing against someone solo. Have no idea how there are so few people playing the mode given the game was just given out on PS+.
  12. Ayyy happy I could be of service! It's hilarious how sometimes the best tips you'll find for games on specific trophies will be on those threads buried from 4-5+ years ago. I know I'm appreciative when people leave their discoverings behind so glad I could help out in a small fashion. A part of me has forgotten just how difficult the DLC trophies were for Arkham Knight but it currently stands as my hardest rating difficulty game ever at "8.3" only behind Stardew Valley so yea... the fact you got it done in a matter of days is a huge compliment! I will say, it's very curious that you found this to be easier than the ones in Arkham City. I am convinced that which one you think is more difficult entirely depends on which one you play FIRST. Arkham: Knight was the first Arkham game I played. Asylum the 2nd, City the last. I'm convinced those challenges felt were easier for me due to the fact Knight kicked my ass so badly that even though there were several months between playing each of them, the muscle memory I had gathered proved faithful. All the medals were a teensy bit time consuming but aside from a few very specific Predator challenges none gave me the hours of forced practice like Knight did. There were some hella annoying ones in the train station too IIRC. Of course, with your experience from City, Knight while challenging was managable. I hoped you enjoying the New Game+. I had a ton of fun in my mind speedrunning it and going through and seeing how it looks on YouTube is a hilarious watch.
  13. Checked your profile and congrats on the platinum! How did you find it? It's one of the games I've avoided due to the fact it's been described as an "insufferably slow" walking sim and while I like playing different games outta my comfort zone, I don't care that badly about earning a 15% rarity plat if it's going to be a miserable slog.
  14. It's so funny that you mentioned Transistor, I was super close to putting it in the list of short games I included! I went back to look at my play history and at 16 hours for the platinum, I could have easily played it for double that! But it also feels so weird asking for so much more from an indie developer πŸ˜‚ EXCELLENT point. I've always thought about this subconsciously but to see you express it in plain words is perfect. I will absolutely find some games that I enjoyed while playing but moved on from to have less staying power than ones that I also equally enjoyed playing but spent far more going back and searching for critiques on YouTube or trying to find fan content / let's plays / first reactions / speedruns / etc... Hollow Knight really stands out in this regard for me. I don't LOVE the game like the diehards fan do but watching a bunch of lore videos and seeing someone complete the absurd boss rush perfectly? Always here for it! Spider-Man is such a funny one to hear you mention. That is a game I oddly look back on not so favorably. It scored in the high 7's and yet I felt like I was more down on the game back then compared to the consensus. I think it was in part due to finishing Arkham: Knight just a few months before. But it also seems really unfair to compare a developer's 1st attempt at a superhero game vs. a studio's 3rd iteration of a character they had grown over two prior games. I still REALLY wanna play Miles Morales when I can get it for $15 and will be happy to play the next mainline Spider-Man game whenever it comes out by like late 2023. I'm with you though. I will avoid pretty much any and all games that are somewhat decent but if they have an asinine "you'll have beaten the game 20 hours ago but you need to do this one task for 1 trophy", I'm out chief. Great call on Persona! I somehow forgot how long it was I didn't even include it amongst the longest games section lmao. The funny thing is, being hyper critical there are absolutely some sections that I look back on and say: "eh that could be cut" such as the annoying tedious mice puzzles in one of the dungeons or the somewhat contrivance between Ryuji/Morgana but on the whole, why would I still wanna cut that? At the end of the day the game is all about hanging out with your buddies. Cutting content directly CUTS DOWN the amount of time I am hanging out with my buddies! Beautifully put! As a fierce defender of the roguelite genre, I will be stealing your arguments and make them my own! It's so true though. I get that open world games have some sense of discovery that roguelite can't quite create but I'm a sucker for a repetitive challenging loop. So much so my next platinum review may be of my favorite game ever TBH Thank y'all for the in-depth and sincere responses! Didn't expect to get so much solid feed back
  15. Video Game Length - Is It Fair To Criticize A Game For Being Too Short/Long? Let's engage in a little bit of a thought exercise. Either from your memory or from browsing your PSNProfile, try and think of a handful of games you personally felt dragged on way too long. They were "bloated" and stuffed with "filler content". Did you initially enjoy your time with those games in the early hours and had your experience wane due to the amount of time spent in the monotony? OR was it that you disliked the experience from the start and the length of the game only added to your frustration? On top of that, were these laborious tasks necessary content found in the main game or were they side content that you were "forced" to complete for a specific trophy? Flipping to the other side of the spectrum, now try to think of games that you felt were WAY too short. The developers either clocked out just as the concepts of the game were getting good OR ran out of budget and had to ship the final product on a whim. Would these games have been better if they were doubled in length? What do you believe the developers could have added that could have justified the original runtime? I hope those rhetorical questions served you as well as they served me. Criticizing a game's length is about as common of a criticism as you'll find from journalists who review games nowadays. I've seen the recent Assassin Creeds Games get lambasted for just how bloated they are with copy & paste content. People who don't play RPGs will often cite their gargantuan length as one of the biggest impediments for getting started in the genre or the reason they've been turned off completely compared to when once enjoying them in their younger years. Meanwhile, you'll also see remarkably short games' biggest critiques being their limited length. Wait, you're seriously going to pay $30 for a game that isn't even 10 hours? Are you crazy? You could buy insert AAA franchise and quadruple your playtime! As someone who rarely ever purchases a game brand new, I get it. There's this bizarre blockade in my brain that thinks "time spent in-game = worth in money". How can I justify spending money on such a short experience when there are games 5x scope going for half that? This is a phenomenon very unique to gaming. The difference between a 1 hour & 30-minute film and a 2 hour & 15 minutes one is ultimately negligible in the grand scheme of things. But games? You can beat a puzzle game like Gorogoa in 2 hours and spend $15 on it OR buy The Witcher 3 for $10 on sale and keep yourself busy for 100+ hours. Your call, champ. Let's go back to those questions I posed in the original question. Do you know what games first popped into my mind for "extremely long games"? Dragon Quest 11, Okami HD, Ni No Kuni 1, Dragon Quest Builders 2, CrossCode, Graveyard Keeper, & Dragon Quest Heroes 1. Yet somehow, I'd consider only two of those games "bloated". Of course being the latter two, GK & DQH. The former are all mammoth sprawling RPGs and I can only appreciate their generosity as they offer multiple satisfying endings for people who don't want to pursue all the content to be found in the post-game. It's more for those who asked for seconds. GK was hampered by the fact the mechanics were ridiculously grindy, necessary for a trophy, and it took me until I got into a comfortable loop that the hours started to fly by without me realizing it. Dragon Quest Heroes was always a struggle. That game was painful from the jump and I remember within the first hour of playing thinking: "yo... what the hell did I pay for?". There was no moment where it clicked and while I am enough of a veteran to realize now that's what ALL Dynasty Warriors clones are like, my fledgling self did not realize that back then. A task that proved far more difficult is thinking of games I thought were way too short. I don't think I've ever played a game and felt there wasn't "enough" content. I've had the sentiment of wanting to play a game for more time, but that's mostly because the trophies did not ask any more of me so I had to check out of Risk of Rain 2 & Slime Rancher once the platinumed pop. In terms of overall short games? Sayonara Wild Hearts, The Forgotten City, Oxenfree, Islanders, & Journey are all extremely short games but I don't think they would have been enhanced if they had doubled in length. Sayonara maximized the rhythm style it was going for and is perfect in the sense it can be completed in a single play session of an hour. The Forgotten City is a wonderful mystery game and perfect for a game that can be played once before you uncover all there is to know about. Oxenfree & Journey can be replayed and enjoyed but the peaks and valleys you enjoy on your initial playthrough will be the ones that ultimately remain years later. All these games had a very specific intention when they were designed and they executed them beautifully. Trying to pad out an extra 4-5 hours would have brought the overall quality of the game down and asked the world of games with remarkably small dev teams. The Bottom Line - AAA developers will "inflate" their games out of necessity. I'd be disappointed if the next Final Fantasy 7 Remake game was only 20 hours in length. Even if those 20 hours were magnificent and streamlined perfection. When you're asking for $60 and now even $70 out of a game, the general gaming majority will be unwilling to negotiate on this point. It happened with the Resident Evil 3 Remake. I've accepted this as fact. The hope is the general gameplay loop is fun enough that handling a few bullet sponge enemies won't suck too much fun out of the areas that the developers poured the majority of their effort into. As an individual, you could also consider what's truly valuable to you. Are you down to pay $20 for a unique 4-hour experience on an indie OR is time spent in the game ultimately going to reign as king? Until the majority of the gaming public relocates in swaths to the former, this will continue to be a necessary evil for the medium going forward.