rjkclarke

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About rjkclarke

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  1. I wasn't sure who's thread to really post this in, so I guess I'll put it here. You two are both friends with one another anyway - so, even if I didn't tag you both in this post, you probably would have both seen it. Okay.... so @TalesofGaming and @KazaneHime - I've read of both of your Tales of Arise reviews.... Which are both great by the way, which is the main reason of this post. I think from what you've both said about it and what another one of my friends has said about it too, is that it's definitely one I'd enjoy myself, but would definitely find a few flaws in it. It's quite staggering really, because the three of you seem to have the exact same criticisms about it - and as we are all pretty huge Tales of' fans I suspect I will probably share those too, once i actually get around to playing it. Nevertheless - I'd like to congratulate you both on making short work of that platinum, and providing some great reading when it comes to your respective reviews. Now - onto some slightly more fun Tales of' things I'm going to assume you've both watched this guys YouTube content before, but if not - I'd totally recommend watching his output, lot's of really entertaining Tales of' video essays and retrospectives. I'll try and leave a link for something you'll each enjoy if I can. @TalesofGaming - I know when we first spoke a couple of months back you said your favourite one was Xillia 2 (I hope I'm remembering that right) - which I'm assuming is still the case, well this guy likes that entry as well - even if we do seem to be in the minority as folks that enjoy Xillia 2 quite a lot. I know this is a long video, but I hope you enjoy it if you give it a watch. @KazaneHime - I'm just going to assume based on your profile Avatar, that you quite like Vesperia... Or at the very least like Yuri and Estelle - this one might be perfect for you, purely based on that assumption alone. Hope you both enjoy these! Don't worry if you didn't.
  2. I just want you to know - that I only put a rep point on that post because of your complete honesty in it - like you said, you didn't need to make that post at all. So the fact you did means you have a lot of integrity, not that I didn't already think that. Still, I was a little hesitant, because I thought - if I put a like on this he's going to think I'm happy about him losing his save file and progress.... Which I'm absolutely not. I'm really gutted to hear that man - I'm sorry that happened to you. I think I totally take the cloud save feature for granted these days myself, but now I've become so used to using it, I couldn't imagine a time where I didn't use it just for safety. As plenty of others have alluded to - turn that negative into a positive, at least now you're coming back to the game with even more beastly aptitude for the game, I'm sure you'll be racing past all of your own previous track times, and giving them a nice big wave as you go driving past and smashing them into the ground like tent pegs. It's awesome that you're planning on jumping into a FromSoftware title in the future - I've got fairly limited experience with those, I've played Bloodborne (I missed out on the 100%, that I've not gone back to because I spent so long laughing at Ludwig in the DLC that I forgot to get his weapon, so I suppose I ought to do that too at some point.) and Dark Souls I and II (on my old Xbox account though, so I've yet to play them on here, I totally should though right?). They are some really great games though, so whichever one you chose to go for first, I hope you have a great time with them.
  3. I did read this last night - but I wanted to be a little bit more alert when actually writing something about it. That was a fantastic review, as usual. You being a bartender certainly makes sense - especially as you're so good at just making people feel at ease, and like the problems they might be having are just a temporary thing. That's an incredibly rare skill to posses, so any bar would be lucky to have someone like you there to help them unwind and feel welcomed. Just as you did with your review of GTA III - you did such an immaculate job of putting into words exactly why these games mean so much to you - and many others. Whilst I didn't grow up in the 80's myself, so I don't quite have exactly the same personal connection to the era, I can definitely appreciate how much of an effective love letter this was to the decade. I'm so glad that it evoked those memories for you, that's a true testament that it worked, that someone from the era had such a positive reaction to it. I'm very fond of a lot of music from the 80's myself and I'd have a hard time arguing that this title isn't in the mix for greatest video game soundtrack of all time. You aren't the only one that was completely blown away by the business element of the game - although I was about 13 or 14 when I played this one. Although I thought I'd replied to this, and clearly didn't sorry about that - I couldn't help but think of this when I was typing that...... Well my desk and PC is right next to a window so - funny how nobody has heard from my neighbour since he came back on a motorbike in the middle of 600 skipping rope jumps on Final Fantasy IX haha 😆..... Nah in all seriousness though I also played things like Mortal Kombat when I was about 6 or 7, so thankfully I've managed to grow up into a chilled out person, instead of y'know a homicidal maniac. Anyway..... I definitely remember absolutely loving that taking over businesses aspect, it was one of the first times I can remember being excited to do side activities. I had so much fun going out and scouring the streets to try and find all of the cars for Sunshine Autos. It took me ages too, because there wasn't quite the same ease of access to guides back then, at least not in my internet free house, but I remember really enjoying just learning what each car looked like, and then that eureka moment when I would eventually find the one I was looking for. That's just a tiny element of the game too, it has so much more to offer than just that. I could go on and on - but my fingers will bleed. I'll simply say thank you for such a fantastic read, it's nice to be reminded why Vice City is my favourite one - I certainly won't be reviewing these myself any time soon, just in case they sound far too much like I'm copying your own amazing work.. I'm very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on San Andreas though. I know that's your favourite one, so I think that's going to be a really fun time.
  4. Thanks man! I worried I wasn't thorough enough in the DLC but it's a bit much to write something very in depth about each of them, so glad to hear you and Doc enjoyed the write up. Definitely don't be put off by the Co-Op mode, it's definitely way more enjoyable than you'd expect it to be going into it. It can be such a fun experience if you let it. I hope you enjoy the last game - I'm very fond of that one..... Or to be more precise I'm very fond of the story in that one, I think some of the areas tend to feel a little too gated and disconnected compared to what they do in the first title and Rise. It's still of a very high quality though. So I hope you have a lot of fun with it when you get to it. Thanks mate! I do really appreciate that - although it's your constant stream of such high quality content that is one of the huge factors in making me really put more effort in, in trying to make these enjoyable for people to read. I'm sure you'll get back in the groove in no time... I know how long writing these takes me, and I don't have to contend with ranking them either. I guess this comes under us talking shop a bit about writing, but do you find that when you have to add bonus games to the rankings that it somewhat throws your rhythm off? I found recently when I did the two Harry Potter games that coming back to Tomb Raider was - not necessarily a struggle, but it was hard to get straight back into that groove and talk about something so wildly different. I probably should have got those Tomb Raider ones out first, but I didn't want to rush them and I still don't with Shadow. That's probably just me though. Once I've written the actual review part I can sort of cut and run so to speak, so it must be a little bit of an extra battle for you when you've also got to figure out where they go on your rankings. That's interesting - for the record I like Rise very much too, there's very fine margins for my preference for each game in this trilogy - I guess that's a testament to its quality. It's very probably a bit of recency bias for me when it comes to why I think I probably like Shadow the most. It's the one I've played most recently, yet also the one that has the most standout moments for me as a NARRATIVE at least - I put that in caps, because I think Shadow is weaker than Rise in almost every other area, but some parts of that have just stayed with me, for such a long time. That scene with Lara in the oil fields in Shadow is absolute dynamite, and really that one thing is what slightly pushes it higher for me personally - it's the culmination of a lot of hard work and pretty decent character writing that I think went into this version of Lara, sometimes things like that just don't quite come off the way I think they were desired to, whereas there, it's so well realised. Anyone that would remotely question Camilla Luddington's performance as Lara as being bad (as one of my friends often does) after seeing those scenes following those moments, should probably just find the PC version of the original play a Nude Raider mod and have themselves a hand party, because this just might not be their thing. That's very true! I think that's something that works exceedingly well in pretty much each game in the modern Tomb Raider trilogy, except not quite as strongly with Shadow - for as much as I like that game, and obviously I do - there are elements of the areas you visit that feel quite meandering and even claustrophobic at times - particularly in the hidden city (ironically, I also feel that really adds to the atmosphere, so perhaps I'm making an Everest sized problem for myself out of a relatively small mole hill). It's something that you yourself alluded to further down in your post that doesn't quite work so well in it, as the areas themselves don't have quite so much narrative cohesion - at least not in my mind at least. It doesn't appear to flow quite as naturally as it did previously, or at the very least doesn't compliment it in the same way. I'm probably about to massively contradict what I previously said - but that's a great point man, it really is - what they lack in environmental variety they really did double down in level design. Especially in the first two. Each area in those first two titles feels so distinctly like it's just a natural extension of the same place, which seems obvious, but things like that really help with immersion I find. I didn't talk about it enough in that review of Rise, because I want people to experience it for themselves if they ever play it - but I think that is this trilogies peak of level design, everything just flows naturally together, and you could imagine that each distinct location could be geographically linked with the next. The geothermal valley is tremendous, it's a feat of impressive game design that's on a similar level to what they did with Peru all the way back in Tomb Raider anniversary, it just flows together in such a satisfactory way. That's where Shadow fails a bit (I'm sure ragging on it a lot considering how much I like it huh? Although I did try and explain why I primarily like it 😆) there's almost too many locations - and they don't all flow together in quite the same way. As if you couldn't tell I've got quite mixed feelings about that one, I think you and I seem to like backing the underdog more often than not anyway - but I couldn't figure out why people didn't really get on with either of those things... Score attack was really fun for me, I found it such a satisfying experience playing through all those areas again, and noticing what little adjustment you could make to get a slightly faster time, or corners you cut with avoiding enemies. It's actually quite the testament to Rise' quality I'd say, the fact you and I both enjoyed score attack. Regarding Endurance - do you think it's just people didn't like the change in gameplay? Or just the mechanical difference sort of thing - DLC is absolutely the place to experiment with things like that. It can lead to some really amazing avenues that you'd never think a game would go down. That's why I'd probably put Resident Evil 7's DLC pretty high atop the tree as far as high quality DLC's go, it has so much variation on the normal gameplay, that takes the concepts in such interesting directions. Those are things that are absolutely worth paying money for. They feel like a worthy edition, instead of some cut content that should have been there to begin with. I'll be interested to see where we both sit regarding Shadow once I've gotten to writing about that one soon - I'm curious to see if my opinion changes on it once I give it a bit of a revisit, I definitely think I appreciated Rise a little more as a result of going back over it, even more so after reading through your post.
  5. Classic Review Platinum #171 Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4) Platinum You unlocked every trophy in the game A Few Trophy Stats Platinum Earned - 10 May 2018: 4:28:29 AM Time taken to Platinum - 2 weeks, 1 day, 14 hours Platinum Rarity - 6.82% 100% Rarity - 2.02% Trophy Number - # 9158 Rise of the Tomb Raider – the difficult second album in the second Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, sees a slight return to its more grounded Tomb Raider roots in this entry, whilst also managing to maintain some of the very unique hooks that make the new trilogy compelling in its own right. The plot takes place, one year on from the events of the previous game – the effects of the previous game have somewhat taken their toll on Lara’s psyche, which is something that is delved into in quite a large depth in this title. I’ll keep the nature of that as brief as possible – because as always, you’ll get virtually no spoilers from me. This entry also sees a slight return of the supernatural element to the Tomb Raider series, I’m aware it was present in the previous entry, but it’s something that is so minimal in that game that it barely warranted mentioning. Whereas here, it’s a little more integral to proceedings, and is done in a way that thankfully doesn’t strangulate the plot in quite the same way it did in Tomb Raider: Underworld. I know some people are quite fond of those elements, I certainly can be myself – I just think they are best suited to being something that compliments the plot, rather than drives it forward. However, the main focal point is still Lara’s overall character journey – that may seem like I’m minimising the importance of this games plot, yet that’s not the case at all. I just have always felt that the prevailing theme of all three of these titles is Lara’s personal journey more than it is an overarching three part narrative. Yes – each game has elements of the plot that carry through all three entries in the reboot series, but I don’t think they really prioritise moulding the story around them in the same way the Keeley Hawes trilogy does. Rise of the Tomb Raiders plot – whilst probably not its strongest feature, is still interesting throughout and provides several more layers of character development – I think there exists a slight irony, in that some of the best plot elements are actually found within some of the DLC chapters, which if the DLC wasn’t a free component, I would imagine could be an incredibly egregious thing to some. Camilla Luddington returns to both provide motion capture and her vocal talents as Lara – in a performance, which – well, I believe at least, she has never received enough of the credit that I think she deserves. This isn’t personal bias creeping in either, otherwise this write up would consist of me saying “Camilla Luddington is good but Keeley Hawes would have been better.” Luddington just gives her all as Lara, if you ever watch any interviews with her, something I recommend by the way – you’d get a real sense of how much, she understands and loves this character. What makes her performance so impressive is that as I alluded to in my previous Tomb Raider review – this Lara isn’t an easy character to like, not in the traditional sense anyway. I can’t really delve into it too much, because it’d be going into spoiler territory, but I’ll say this; Luddington has the rare ability wherein, and I’m going to sound like a broken record again – but she has the ability to really make you understand Lara’s character, even if you don’t quite like her. It’s in the pursuit of making Lara a much more relatable human character that this aspect really shines through, her vocals at times have such a raw energy to them, that especially in the more emotive scenes, you can’t help but feel for her character. This is particularly the case in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but we’ll get there soon. You could definitely argue they pile a lot of misery onto this version of Lara – but part of me thinks that’s Crystal Dynamics doubling down on a lack of character development for Lara across the history of the series. It isn’t a new facet of her character; Lara has always been somewhat of a tragic heroine, but with less of the explored depth that she has here. We see and experience the events alongside her, instead of hearing about Lara’s past trauma as you did in previous titles – which ultimately ends up going a long way as far as empathy towards her character is concerned. Perhaps their mentality was one of go big or go home. Rise of the Tomb Raider, marks the first time really since Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness – all the way back on the PS2, that there have been a few lite RPG elements added into the gameplay mix. This game even contains side quests, which at the time I remember finding such a jarring experience seeing a quest list in the Tomb Raider game, it’s one I ended up welcoming though, these quests however, small do add quite a large amount of depth to the overall world this game is seeking to build. I think you can definitely make the argument that there is probably an overabundance of collectibles here – a slight by-product of having quite a large semi open area to explore. Sometimes though – I definitely think there’s a lot to be said for quality over quantity, which is something I wish Crystal Dynamics had paid a little more attention to. This ends up being something that plagues all three entries in this series a little bit, I’m all for collectibles if they actually mean something, but what motivation do I have for picking up the games GPS caches and scavenger spots, if trophies were taken out entirely, you never really get low enough on resources to have to rely on these either, so unfortunately it renders this aspect a little bit redundant which is a shame. Unfortunately, the immersion breaking chalky surfaces of platforming sections return. It’s something I’ve never quite understood about this series, is how they can go for added realism in almost every area, and then completely breaks the immersion by reminding you the situation is completely unreal. Crystal Dynamics might as well have written please go here in large friendly letters on every chalky ledge, because you’re never stuck for very long on where to go. It’s a small gripe I understand, and one the Tomb Raider series has always been a little guilty of, but I can’t help but think, this game and the previous one was the time to abandon that formula. The thing I was most happy to see return – and in reality, the games title somewhat plays into this too, is the return of the tomb raiding element factoring in with more prominence. From what I understand, from everything I’ve read it was Crystal Dynamic’s intention to show us as players, how Lara becomes the Tomb Raider, so as a result of this, the tomb raiding element is interwoven intrinsically into the plot in a much more satisfying and organic way than it was previously. Yes, the game still does contain some optional Tombs and crypts, but I think these only enhance the experience further; they don’t detract from anything, unless you are particularly offended by puzzle elements. Each of these bespoke Crypts and Tombs, have a litany of unique puzzles attached to them that are all very intricately and interestingly designed. As a result I feel like the game embodies much more of an authentic Tomb Raider experience than its predecessor. Thankfully, it manages to strike that balance between elements of Tomb Raider’s past and the at the time current plan Crystal Dynamics had for the franchise. Something of particular note regarding the gameplay is some of the very slight metroid-vania aspects of this title, which reward both exploration and diligence in finding collectibles. What I mean by that is this game has languages tied to certain collectibles (called monoliths, which add the locations of the collectibles to the map) the interesting feature here though, is that to be able to read these monoliths you have to become proficient in the language that they use. In this games case, Greek, Mongolian and Russian – this is something you can only do by finding other collectibles and slowly learning the language. In a way this really enhances the experience, as it gives you so much more motivation to go back and explore some of the previously visited areas, with the various upgraded gadgets and tools that you’ve discovered along your travel, which even include the area found in the prologue, to find new and exciting secrets you hadn’t realised were there. Whilst I may have criticised the overabundance of collectibles, some of them are meaningful, and do add some much needed flavour, so I’m thankful the monoliths encourage the player to seek some of them out. In much the same way sequels often do – there is a significant graphical leap, between this game and Tomb Raider. The jump onto the PS4 made a huge difference in several areas, none more so than visually. This game is a real treat to look at visually. I don’t just mean graphically either – there is so much fine attention to detail with how the more realistic art style, returning from the previous game was implemented into Rise of the Tomb Raider. Almost every component has such a rich atmosphere to it, dilapidated long forgotten relics of the cold war, look exactly as they should, flecked with rust, and various amounts of wear and tear. The crypts and tombs feel suitably, unsettling – which is especially pertinent with this game, as they have reintroduced more of the supernatural elements back into the series, which means that you never quite know what might be lurking in some of the Tombs and Crypts. I could write reams and reams just about how intricately designed many of the games locations are, and how well they represent the specific eras they are attempting to evoke, but I’ll leave that joy for anyone who decided to play the game to discover. I think it goes without saying that some of the voice acting in this game is phenomenal – not just from Lara either, many of them add a lot to the characters, they aren’t all perfect of course. Jonah is a particular highlight throughout this trilogy, but this is the game where his character really starts to develop much further than his “little bird” lines from Tomb Raider. Unfortunately a friend and I always refer joke about the little bird line, so I struggle not associate it with that now. Earl Baylon’s performance aside, there are a few low lights too unfortunately, both Konstantin and Ana do become, well - fairly clichéd antagonists, and their respective voice performances do suffer in this department. It’s probably fair to criticise the writing here a bit too, as the characters themselves unfortunately flounder a little bit as a result. It’s a shame, there are some intriguing elements to them, but those elements don’t really get explored in any great detail. Much like Tomb Raider before it, Rise of the Tomb Raider, maintains a highly filmic original soundtrack. There almost isn’t a single thing about it that sounds like a video game soundtrack. There’s good and bad with that, it makes all the cinematic moments feel more grandiose, but elements of the gameplay tend to lose some slight atmosphere as a result of having less material. It does have a smattering of ambient elements, but for the most part it remains rather cinematic. The sound effects themselves are also quite well produced, whilst this doesn’t contain the same amount of attention to detail with crafting an atmosphere, by use of a complex soundscape as the Keeley Hawes trilogy does this won’t actually affect your enjoyment of the game, unless that aspect is something that particularly is important for you, or bothers you. Due to the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider was a timed exclusive for Michael-Soft, the version we have here on PS4 contains all of the DLC for the game for free. So as a result of this, there is a mammoth 125 trophies available to everyone that might want them in this title. You’ll essentially have to play a highest difficulty playthrough, attain 100 percent completion in the open world, and then a full run through of score attack. Which tasks you with having to do the story sections again, but with a score based system (hence the name), scoring points based on time and other gameplay elements (headshots, multi kills, things of this nature). I actually really enjoyed score attack mode, it adds an extra level of challenge to the game, that isn’t as present in the main game, even on the hardest difficulty. I’m grateful that Score Attack exists, even if others aren’t. There are also plenty of trophies tied to collectibles, but they’ll all unlock in the pursuit of the 100%. I always like to try and give advice where I can in this section, but outside of the DLC – there isn’t a whole lot to talk about, most of the trophies are either very self explanatory, or they just aren’t that difficult. There is a very specific piece of information in the trophy guide here, regarding the score attack mode – which is to essentially pay 2000 credits and rent the cards that the person at the top of the leader boards used, trust me on this one – this one will save you a lot of frustration, as a lot of those have figured out the perfect balance between giving yourself an advantage whilst also being able to maximise your score. DLC As the DlC is free for us all, I’d thoroughly recommend people play it. There’s both deeper meaning added to the story, as well as some really interesting gameplay tweaks, that lend a bit of replay value to an already high quality game. As I’m sure a lot of you that have read a lot of my previous write ups will know – I love variety in the games that I play, and this DLC definitely does a wonderful job of providing lots of that. This DLC might deviate a little bit, as it’s more a collection of my thoughts on the DLC themselves as opposed to a review in the traditional sense. So I hope nobody minds that. It would take far too long to intricately deconstruct every aspect of the DLC. Endurance I went into the Endurance DLC fully expecting to hate it. I didn’t, thankfully. I really enjoyed it, and I’ll probably play it again in the future. So what is the Endurance DLC? Essentially – it’s a survival mode, with a lot of depth to it too – a surprising amount actually. Of particular note is the fact that this mode has specific challenges set out for you to try and achieve, which all have varying rewards including trophies. You can only have several active at once however. In a way it leads to a lot of re-playability as you can essentially make up your own challenges by combining many of the ones that are on offer. This mode tasks you with having to keep an eye on your hunger and water levels, as well as making sure you’re warm enough. There is also a slight risk versus reward elements with looting Tombs, which can give you a slight edge, like random perks, but are littered with traps so you can completely kill your attempts if you aren’t careful. I wouldn’t like to admit how many of those I lost to clumsily stepping on a trap. As a result of this, the game mode ends up being a fine balancing act, but a very enjoyable one nonetheless. Elements of this game mode can become so tense as a result, especially as you are working on trophies, you could be on the tenth day of survival, and you unexpectedly run into a group of enemies when you are low on resources, those kind of moments can really give you a shot of adrenaline, as you know that even on the simplest difficulty settings, some of those high level enemies can dispatch you within seconds. Baba Yaga Baba Yaga is such a wonderful piece of story content; it’s got so many fantastic visual elements to it, that I’d argue probably gives it quite the edge over the other ones. Some of the visual elements of it are fantastic – one in particular you can’t help but draw comparisons with something like Howl’s Moving Castle – so to see something like that represented in a Tomb Raider game was such a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t quite fit into the overall narrative though, so I can understand why it was relegated to being DLC. Don’t let that put you off it though; it’s absolutely worth anyone’s time. On top of the already stellar visuals, the new area you are tasked with exploring – The Wicked Vale, has such a rich an interesting environment to marvel at. I’d love to go into more depth with this one, but again it’d be incredibly spoilerific, so I’ll just leave this brief, but I think this one in particular is such a worthwhile experience as part of the game, it’s one that absolutely shouldn’t be missed. Cold Darkness Cold Darkness ends up being a slight hybridisation of Baba Yaga and the Endurance DLC. Whilst altogether far more story centric than Endurance is, it’s also based around a lot of very random elements being at play (weapon placements, collectible locations), you could almost argue it has some roguelike/lite elements I suppose. Don’t panic too much though, the DLC is not much more than about half an hour long, so whilst losing an attempt can be frustrating it doesn’t feel quite as egregious as you don’t lose too much time. One of the trophies does involve doing the complete run without dying This aspect of it does remain very interesting though, as it can really heighten the intensity of certain situations – especially the ones where you’re primarily looking for collectibles, and you’re aware that one wrong move that might get you killed. In situations like that I find it’s so easy to just go into auto pilot, and just look for the collectibles, but because you’re surrounded by unpredictable zombie like enemies, and some of the collectibles themselves can be in a randomised location - no run is ever quite the same as a result, so whilst it is quite a short experience, it remains a memorable one as a result. I can’t help but appreciate all the variety that was on offer across all of these DLC packs. Croft Manor The old school Tomb Raider fan in me was left a little bit disappointed by this pack. Neither Croft Manor nor Lara’s Nightmare are bad or anything of that nature, it’s just not quite what I envisioned this version of Croft Manor being from a gameplay stand point. I don’t really think gunplay and Croft Manor really go together very well; as a result of this you have the jarring imagery in Lara’s Nightmare of the odd zombie-esque creatures from the Cold Darkness DLC running afoul of your family home. Whilst I guess that is a nightmare, as a result of all of the zombie presence, you end up fairly unable to drink in any of the atmosphere you might have done from a dilapidated Croft Manor. As everything is so frantic and frenzied. What I do appreciate, is what both of these added to Lara’s back-story, and to her overall character development – whilst I think Croft Manor is done much, much better in the next game, what we see of it here, and how it pertains to Lara’s mental state going into Rise of the Tomb Raider is very noteworthy indeed, so to experience that I didn’t mind having to wade through hoards of zombies, which unfortunately does get tiresome pretty quickly. Endurance Co-Op This was actually the first mode that I tackled, when I played Rise of the Tomb Raider, one of my friends had an urge to play something Co-Op and we both had this available and decided to give it a go. Coincidentally, it was the same friend who was involved with that same story about me telling that lady I loved her the same day I met her. So it’s funny how that happened. I was always going to play this eventually though. It’s surprising how much fun the co-operative side of Endurance can be – at least it can be if you allow it to be. Don’t go into this with the negative mindset that you are going for some hard trophies just treat it as two people having a good time. There absolutely is a good time to be had as well, it was such an enjoyable experience being able to co-ordinate with a friend during the Tomb Raiding sections, as you can basically work as a spotter for them or vice versa, in disarming or avoiding traps, which end up making the experience that much more engaging. I hope I’m not misremembering this, but I was sure that you can basically just wander around the map independent of one another too - which means one of you can be out gathering food, whilst the other gathers wood to keep the fire burning. I’ve never been a huge fan of the way some co-op experiences limit your freedom by not letting you go further than a certain distance than your partner. However, it’s easier to stick together as you survive longer though, as it can be a lifesaver if there’s another person to act as a lookout to tell you which way an enemy is facing to help with stealth takedowns and the like. I ended up being so pleasantly surprised by this game mode, as it’s one I never really expected to get that much out of. Concluding Statement I’d definitely recommend Rise of the Tomb Raider, even to those that aren’t particularly fans of the series; there are enough interesting features and gameplay quirks to keep people interested for quite a while. I’ll say this now though, of the three games in this second reboot trilogy, I think I like this one the least, there’s just something about it, that doesn’t really make me want to go back to it, apart from to dip into Endurance on occasion. Whereas I don’t have that feeling regarding the other two, I’d happily replay them. I think that’s a story preference though – I think I just prefer the story the other two are telling, despite being very fond of some of the puzzles in this game, that’s the only thing I slightly struggle with. No doubt this review might be littered with the odd grammatical error, or two or two hundred, but I'll try and read through this again in the next day or two and correct it if there is.
  6. Thanks for the much needed and probably annoying at this point pep talk 😂 Although - the length of Rise of the Tomb Raiders review, you'll see why it took a while. I might have to consciously shorten the Shadow of the Tomb Raider one, because it's got so much DLC in it. I don't think anyone from the UK would pronounce it like that - not even the ultra posho UK folk that speak the queens English. I think it's different to how you guys do in the US though - that sounds more like Leee-shure. Although like in the US we've got loads of regional dialects so that pronunciation will change depending on where you are too I suppose. The second one is actually quite a good time. Michael at least doesn't look quite so bad in that one. Although he sounds nothing like Pacino, which isn't ideal. Scarface was actually pretty good - I never finished it, but I played quite a lot of it. I remember getting hackedoff because I lost most of my in game money in a failed drug deal and I didn't want to play the game much after that, because I had to rebuild all of my fortune. I don't know that making it a direct sequel to the film was necessarily the best idea. It made sense to set it within the events of the movie, but nope it's set after the film... Go figure. I never played all that much of The Getaways, I remember it having some pretty funny dialogue. Like the cockney Brits were super cockney..... I've got such a vivid memory of one line in particular where one of the characters is distraught and delivers a line in such a weird way, with " OH MY GOD.... YOU KILLED SUZY!! YOU BLOOODY WANKERS" ........ It's just not what you expect to hear from someone in that situation and it's always made me chuckle a bit. Yes!! Go write that post on your checklist, why the hell not, like you said, your thread your rules. I'm planning to do some games without trophies at some point myself. I'd sure as hell like to read in some more depth what you thought of that Godfather game. I'd really like to read that, I'm sure plenty of other people would too. Lucky monsters! I loved that pixely teacher lady! I can't remember how she conventionally learned her blue mage skills in that game, I think you feed her items, so I guess it is similar. I remember making her loads of good blue magic attacks out of Cards. I think you're right, she probably did eat them. That makes sense.... Who am I to question that 😆 I doubt GTAIV probably liked having to go bowling though..... You'd think it'd be absolutely sick of it, because of y'know............... ROMAN I don't know why he gets so much hate though, he asked me to " go see girls " far more than he ever asked me to go bowling. I hope there is, that Noel image needs to happen. I like Snow as well - I wasn't aware that he wasn't popular? Shame, there's much worse characters in XIII to rag on before going for Snow........ Y'know like Hope I like Troy Baker too - even if he does seem to have the ambition of looking as close to the human equivelant of a 99 Ice Cream without the flake as humanly possible. I hope it isn't a whole forum pages length, that'd be crazy - I'll give myself carpel tunnel syndrome at that rate, if I did something like that. I won't do that game for a while though - I'm a little Final Fantasy'd out for the time being as far as reviews go. I'll be honest I had fogotten the Dead Space remake was happening...... So yeah I guess I'm excited for that too - although not as excited as I am for KOTOR - I'm looking forward to wandering around the sandy bits of Tatooine hacking up Tusken Raiders like Anakin would if Obi Wan had grounded him. That's strange that people would make a huge criticism of a game because of what it's trophy tiles look like - as you said they don't remotely change how the game plays, so what's the point in that. Some people really do like exercising their right to complain huh...... I'm far too cautious around stuff like that - so I tend to just avoid any information altogether, so I end up just being completely oblivious about whatever it is as a result. I'll let you discover what Rocky IV is when you watch it - but a musical seems the most apt way to describe it. I guess I'd better post Rise of the Tomb Raider's review as well, before I forget to.
  7. I don't believe you are even remotely capable of this man! We're all our own worst critics though right? You've been putting out such incredibly high quality content consistently for a while now. I mean - I struggle to get even three MUCH less high quality pieces out a week, so the fact that you manage five plus on a pretty much weekly basis, is so impressive. Still - take care of yourself mate.... You're doing the absolutely smart thing and not losing sight of what's important. We'll all be here when you get the next batch out.
  8. My first impressions of Agents of Mayhem - and..... A slight apology! I might have gotten just a little bit behind with my own reviewing schedule.... You know the one I don't have, and that I only really have in my head 😅..... Anyway, I meant to have a Rise of the Tomb Raider review out today, but that's just not happening tonight, I'll have it up tomorrow though, not that anyone is really waiting on it, I'm just feeling self conscious about those now, as I've been meaning to get those written for a while and something just keeps getting in the way. The reason is, I got quite hooked on playing Agents of Mayhem - I've genuinely been quite surprised by how much I've enjoyed it so far, I very much had low expectations going into it. It's not going to win any game of the year awards or anything, but it does have potential - yet unfortunately also has the potential to really become boring, if they dropped the ball with it. If you're a fan of Saints Row and were on the fence about it - it's actually a little more connected to Saints Row than just a few references here and there, which I found quite nice, I'll say no more, lest the surprises be spoiled. It actually has appearances from several characters so far, and I'm only about two or three missions in, I've just been doing side content quite a bit. I can't help but feel this game might have been so much better received if it had, had three person co-op the game is practically built with that in mind, yet there isn't a single element of it anywhere, outside of the online contracts, where 6 people can undertake the same contract, to work towards one goal, yet never interact with one another the whole time. Still, so far I'm quite enjoying it - you can play it incredibly sleep deprived too, so some bombastic dumb fun never hurt anyone right? Thanks man I'm glad you enjoyed them - I had to try and get a bit creative to keep those ones interesting. I appreciate the fact people gave them a read though - I fully expected people not to bother, and post the sonic tapping his foot thing, saying WHERE'D TOMB RAIDER GO ASSCLOWN You know - and this is going to sound awful, so please don't be offended - but after reading that quote all I could picture was Cesar from San Andreas dressed as a Wizard - still with a wife beater and tatoo's though, with a full on cape and a wand instead of a Tec - 9. I like that he shared his closet nerd-ness with you though. Some people can just super catch you off guard with some of their specialised interests, from people you'd never ever expect to hear things like that from. Well I can't exactly blame you on that front - I hardly gave them a rousing endorsement did I..... Oops, that's the unfortunate downside to objectivity, sometimes you just have to tell it like it is. Man I loved those Godfather games too, as you've got a PS3 - you could snap up the second game, that's a fairly enjoyable platinum. I managed to get it for like £2.25 or something stupidly cheap, so perhaps you could too. Although I assume you played that on 360 too (I did too, I just had the urge to go back and do it all again a year or two back). Michael did not look right in that game, or sound right like you said, it's a shame, because he's part of so many key moments in the game, that it suffers because of it. II'm in the same boat as you man, I would have loved to have played that first Godfather with trophy support, the cheevo's on the Xbox were pretty fun, so it could have been real enjoyable. That's actually very accurate yeah - except Bully has more side activities and classes, which Half Blood Prince has less of. you aren't the only one that loved Bully dude - or to give it it's naffer title that we got in the UK........ Canis - Canem - Edit.... It was a very interesting game..... Even if Jimmy Hopkins is just a white version of Kearney from The Simpsons 😂 Half Blood Prince is pretty decent though, if I had to recommend just one Harry Potter game to play with trophies it'd be that one. Plenty of good harmless fun. Yeah..... That's the real kicker, I found it really interesting too as a concept, and then they do nothing with it. It should have had some sort of gameplay stakes tied to it, so that it felt more of a risk to use, or something you could only use a set number of times per encounter, or something. With a little more effort, they could have done something great with it. Or...... and hear me out here.... done to perfection with QUINA AND THEIR TASTIES!! "MUST BECOME POWERFUL GOURMAND..... I EAT!" What a cool way to implement that ability, as some actual story context- that their journey for knowledge ends up extending their powers, by eating all the weird creatures around Gaia Can you imagine...... Noel as MC Hammer.... In reality I'd be hoping that Snow would just look at him trying to get frisky with Serah - like the family dog shagging the sofa and just roars " NO, YOU CAN'T TOUCH THIS." then proceeds to hit him with a hammer. XIII-2 is definitely something - that's going to be a strange one to dissect, because I've already written a huge amount just about it's music when I wrote that university essay about the in game music and sound design years ago, so it'll be hard to detach myself from the conclusions I came to at the time. We'll see whenever XIII-2 comes up on the agenda. Pretty good thing KOTOR is getting remade then isn't it..... I've not bee so interested in a remake in a very long time - I very much trust Aspyr as well, because the ports of older Star Wars titles they've done have been pretty stellar. They clearly adore that IP and they love Star Wars so I believe they'll put their all into it.... Man I hope this post doesn't age like milk. Apart from incredibly bland trophy tiles, there isn't a whole lot to complain about with them - but if it's trophy tiles I'm complaining most about, then we're truly spoiled right? KOTOR 2 was not as good (I still bloody loved it though, despite a few of it's shortcomings) - but I still played that one a whole lot as well - I still remember parts of that very vividly. Nintendo games do seem to getting more and more valuable these days I agree. I'm tempted to sell some of them, but I'm pretty sure I'd massively regret it, if I did. Here's a secret....... When someone mentions a game you don't want to be spoiled on..... .....do that silly putting your fingers in your ears thing and going "LALALALALALALALALALALALA NOT LISTENING" it definitely works - although you'll probably get some funny looks. Worth it though right? Oh and get and watch the Rocky films by the way. Even Rocky IV..... Which I'll have you know is one of the finest musicals ever made. Thank you! I'll tag you in it or something if you want... It'll be interesting to see how much my opinion changes towards it once I've gotten the platinum. I'm hoping it doesn't ridiculously sour, like it did when I played Vampyr a couple of months back. Judging by all the previous things in this post, I'm filled with stupid suggestions and ideas tonight, so erm....... ...........Here is another........... There's a dimension out there filled with all of our lost games - somewhere your copy of Chrono Trigger has become sentient and is now probably hanging out with my now sentient copy of GTA: Liberty City Stories....... Saying, "why don't they want me man!"
  9. Been a blast reading through everyone's progress so far. It does if you are using a PC, but then on PC you can just highlight text and click on the big B to make whatever you want bold - which you might not be on PC I'm guessing... so that probably isn't helpful for you..... 😆 My bad. I actually more wanted to make this post as a way to say Congrats on those platinums - I hope you had a good time with X-Men Origins. I think that's pretty top of the tree as far as movie licensed games go, it certainly blows its movie counterpart out of the water. How did you find Lords of the Fallen by the way? I was thinking of adding that if/when I get through the ten games I've already allocated - it's not really something I had on the agenda to play any time soon, but this event has already motivated me to a play a couple of games I really wasn't planning to play anyway, so I thought that one might be worth chucking on too. Looks like you've got some really interesting games coming up too, hope you enjoy those. oh and this isn't an afterthought @YaManSmevz - I just can't seem to figure out a concrete way of quoting between pages, if you only want to highlight small bits of text..... Nonetheless, It's great to see your making a real dent in Hitman now - I hope your enjoying it, because that is such a fantastic game.
  10. Doc............ I'm glad to see this one on here...... I was actually going to request that from you at some point - just because I wanted to hear your opinion on those two - even though I already know you're fond of them, I wanted to hear it in more detail. Not that I need convincing to play a Lara Croft game with you know who (no not Voldemort, I've written about that guy far too much lately) as Lara. So I'm very much looking forward to reading that. Also pretty pumped to read about the Adventures of Ashen Faced Angry Fanny in a Loin Cloth II - Electric Boogaloo...
  11. Update #2 Agents of Mayhem (PS4) 0% Beholder 2 (PS4) 11% > 100% Darksiders III (PS4) 0% Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PS3) 0% > 100% Hue (PS4) 0% Bastion (PS4) 0% Pyre (PS4) 0% Legend of Kay: Anniversary (PS3) 0% Resident Evil 4 (PS4) 0% Oxenfree (PS4) 0% Games Completed - 2/10 Harry Potter sure was a bit of a mixed bag - I doubt I would have gotten around to this for a very long time unless I had joined this event, so I'm incredibly thankful for that actually. It was definitely an experience, so I can say that much. I don't think I'd really recommend it to anyone who isn't already a Harry Potter fan though, as it's just so unremarkable on so many levels, yet ironically never boring. It's very strange to think about really. I've got a review up of it HERE, it's not essential to read it or anything - I just thought I'd leave a link if anyone was interested in reading about some of my experiences of it. I'm rather enjoying the extra bit of focus this events given me actually. I think I'll tackle Agents of Mayhem next - it'd be nice to get that one out of the way nice and early, I don't really have any kind of expectations going into that game, so I guess it's just a case of diving in head first and seeing how I find it. There's some beastly progress people are making here too by so many of you which is great to read about. @Crispy_Oglop - I was very pleased to read you'd finally nailed Puyo Puyo, bet that's a huge monkey off your back now, good luck with the rest of Judgment too, that's a fantastic game. Damn it! The one time I desperately want to have rep points but I don't..... I'll throw you some as soon as I can though.... Congratulations on getting the platinum in Tales of Arise by the way - I was super surprised at how short it was when one of my buddies sent me a screenshot of his platinum a couple of days back. I'm really looking to eventually playing it though - even it is a little bit of a short one compared to some of the other games! As above - gutted I'm out of rep points right now - Congratulations too. You guys slayed that beast real quick. You aren't a weirdo for thinking that either by the way, at least I don't think so. I think I'd be exactly the same in wishing that there was a little bit more required. Filling out the monster and item books is usually one of my favourite things to do. Although, as you alluded to, it does make it easier for people to complete the game - which if it brings in more fans for the Tales of' series and encourages them to go and explore more of them, that can only be a good thing right.
  12. Magical New Platinum! Platinum #329 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PS3) Merlin First Class Candidate Unlock all trophies. A Few Trophy Stats Platinum Earned - 20 September 2021: 1:04:27 AM Time taken to Platinum - 2 days, 17 hours, 48 minutes Platinum Rarity - 9.68% Trophy Number - # 15866 Here we go then, time to take a crack at reviewing Harvey Pantry and the Deadly Halitosis Part 1..... Sorry, sorry I keep forgetting it’s called something else. Ahem, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, just like its filmic counterpart seems to be a pretty good example of elongating something far more than it ever needed to be, you could argue the same can be said when referring to the game. Whilst I think it works fairly well in the films favour (I think there was at least one other Harry Potter film that should have been two parts) it doesn’t work quite so well, when implemented in video game form. The problem is, there aren’t nearly enough action scenes in the film to really adapt a video game to suit it, so they ended up creating side missions, that are a bit bland, reuse a lot of assets and are seemingly only there to pad the runtime of an already short experience. When I finished this yesterday, I did two full playthroughs of this game, and I still had plenty of time left in my day to do other things, so it’s definitely on the shorter side, that’s even taking into account the fact you can’t skip cutscenes. Add to this the abundant problem that in the film that this is an adaptation of, Hogwarts is a fairly absent entity. This essentially means, they can’t rely on the very enjoyable Hogwarts sandbox – which previously would have been there to keep people entertained and engaged. This ends up putting this game in such an odd position, elements of it are implemented fairly well, but the overarching structure means almost all of your time spent in this title, involves getting funnelled down very linear corridors, dispatching dark wizards and witches as you go, but never really having the chance to stop and drink in what little atmosphere the game actually has to offer. Interesting – its stark difference between other Harry Potter titles does at least make this a fairly unique experience to play. So what is it that makes this title a little more unique? Well in this games case, it’s absolutely its gameplay. This essentially takes the forms of two different things – things which on paper you’d think wouldn’t coexist together well at all, but actually do complement each other rather well. It essentially boils down to a third person cover shooter (wander? I guess) and a first person stealth game. Neither of these gameplay elements are particularly deep, nor multi faceted, but the fact they do implement the meld of these two game types quite effectively is at the very least commendable. The third person shooter element does take a few liberties with how the spells work, some spells essentially, take the form of what would have been, machine guns, shotguns and rocket launchers, but they do all work on a fairly decent mechanical level – even if it probably is easier to use the snap aiming feature to just auto target heads for quicker stuns. I feel like there should have been a bit more effort to make the individual spells a bit more unique for some much needed gameplay variety. Deathly Hallows Part 1’s stealth mechanic, comes in the form of your invisibility cloak, invisibility literally means invisibility too. To the point where it essentially – well, breaks the game. As a result of this you can practically just equip your invisibility cloak and casually stroll through the levels unharmed. I expected it to be a case of, if people heard your footsteps you’d be found and removed from the cloak, but you can also just put it back on – some of the wizards and witches A.I might as well have had the question mark icon appear above their head from Metal Gear Solid. There’s actually a slight argument to be made, that its predecessor The Half Blood Prince, looks much better on a visual level. Nothing is truly bad looking in this game – it’s just fairly bland and colourless, even colours you’d expect to be vibrant and interesting end up looking a bit drab and lifeless. There was a very clear effort put into making most of the characters look like their filmic counterparts however - this is one of the areas that shine through an unfortunate sea of mediocrity. Remember the important thing I just mentioned, “most” of the characters, most of them except Dobby and Luna, who you do only see very briefly. Luna is not so bad; I just think it’s an unfortunate limitation on what was available to them at the time regarding animating hair. She just looks like she has a huge nest of noodles sitting atop her head. Whereas Dobby, the poor guy, he just looks like he’s had random parts of him that have been dipped in a vat of excrement, which is unfortunate as it makes a very important scene with him sort of hilarious as a result. I know I keep comparing this game to its predecessor, but it’s the only real direct comparison. Interestingly enough - this game shares some similarities with Half Blood Prince. At least in the audio department - some of the important characters like Harry and Hermione are not voiced by Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe respectively. Despite this, it’s something you only really begin to notice on maybe your second playthrough; both voice actors do a really fantastic job of mimicking their voices, in very intricate detail. That goes a long way too, as it’s one of the things I find most jarring in video game adaptations of films, when the characters sound nothing like their counterparts. There are a few less than stellar voice over’s to be found though, unfortunately Bellatrix Lestrange’s dialogue whilst delivered pretty well, doesn’t quite contain the unpredictable rage that Helena Bonham Carter’s version does. It is memorable though, because one of Bellatrix’ lines, the one where she calls Dobby a “dirty little monkey” made me laugh out loud the three separate times I played through the game. I’d argue one of the least noteworthy aspects of this game, is the soundtrack itself, for something like Harry Potter which is usually quite synonymous with its soundtrack, you just expect a little more I suppose. What you get, ends up being a fairly unremarkable and unmemorable soundtrack, that doesn’t really do anything of note at all. Add to that, the fact the sound design, could have been improved tenfold, as it gets very tiresome very quickly, the sound of spells whizzing past your head. You never quite get used to the sound of PING PING PING, as spells hit objects around you like gunfire, in truth it probably just needed a little bit of variety to spice it up a bit. In your quest for the platinum trophy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, you’ll have to do three SEPARATE playthroughs. Yep, you heard that right, three separate ones. I guess - it’s a holdover from when it was released, when it was far less frequent for games to have stacking difficulty trophies. However, as I mentioned previously, the game is very short, so it isn’t as arduous or daunting a task as it might initially seem. The difficulty itself is fairly negligible too – as you can essentially just slip your invisibility cloak on and walk past everything. You do need to do at least one fairly involved playthrough though, as you’re required to find all collectibles, as well as defeat a cumulative amount of 1000 enemies across your three playthroughs. One thing of note though, is that this has an online component, consisting of Online challenges - these involve having both you and a friend being in the top 1000 on the in game leader board for a challenge, and comparing your score to theirs. Thankfully, one of my friends had played this a very long time ago, and his score was still on the leader board, so I didn’t have to go too far out of my way with that one. But it’s worth remembering that this game has an online component, which could become unobtainable at some point in the future. I can’t exactly say that I’d recommend this game in a hurry. Not unless you already had a specific interest in it. I was always going to play it, as I want to have all of the Harry Potter games finished on my profile at some point in the future, but unless you are a fan of the Harry Potter series, I can’t exactly recommend it. It’s such a middle of the road experience, it’s not bad at all, far from it, yet it also does absolutely nothing really noteworthy to elevate it above being just fairly mediocre. It definitely isn’t boring though, I didn’t really feel frustrated in that regard across all of my three playthroughs. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What's Next? I guess - it's time to jump into Agents of Mayhem and get that played. I have no idea what to expect with that game, so like with everything I'll go into it with a pretty open mind and hope for the best. It can't be that bad surely? I'll try and get the Rise of the Tomb Raider review out tomorrow if I can, obviously the slight Harry Potter side step has derailed that a little bit, but I felt like I probably should talk about Half Blood Prince before Deathly Hallows, because I can't help but make some direct comparisons between both of those games.
  13. Platinum #329 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PS3) Merlin First Class Candidate Unlock all trophies. Here we go then, time to take a crack at reviewing Harvey Pantry and the Deadly Halitosis Part 1..... Sorry, sorry I keep forgetting it’s called something else. Ahem, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, just like its filmic counterpart seems to be a pretty good example of elongating something far more than it ever needed to be, you could argue the same can be said when referring to the game. Whilst I think it works fairly well in the films favour (I think there was at least one other Harry Potter film that should have been two parts) it doesn’t work quite so well, when implemented in video game form. The problem is, there aren’t nearly enough action scenes in the film to really adapt a video game to suit it, so they ended up creating side missions, that are a bit bland, reuse a lot of assets and are seemingly only there to pad the runtime of an already short experience. When I finished this yesterday, I did two full playthroughs of this game, and I still had plenty of time left in my day to do other things, so it’s definitely on the shorter side, that’s even taking into account the fact you can’t skip cutscenes. Add to this the abundant problem that in the film that this is an adaptation of, Hogwarts is a fairly absent entity. This essentially means, they can’t rely on the very enjoyable Hogwarts sandbox – which previously would have been there to keep people entertained and engaged. This ends up putting this game in such an odd position, elements of it are implemented fairly well, but the overarching structure means almost all of your time spent in this title, involves getting funnelled down very linear corridors, dispatching dark wizards and witches as you go, but never really having the chance to stop and drink in what little atmosphere the game actually has to offer. Interesting – its stark difference between other Harry Potter titles does at least make this a fairly unique experience to play. So what is it that makes this title a little more unique? Well in this games case, it’s absolutely its gameplay. This essentially takes the forms of two different things – things which on paper you’d think wouldn’t coexist together well at all, but actually do complement each other rather well. It essentially boils down to a third person cover shooter (wander? I guess) and a first person stealth game. Neither of these gameplay elements are particularly deep, nor multi faceted, but the fact they do implement the meld of these two game types quite effectively is at the very least commendable. The third person shooter element does take a few liberties with how the spells work, some spells essentially, take the form of what would have been, machine guns, shotguns and rocket launchers, but they do all work on a fairly decent mechanical level – even if it probably is easier to use the snap aiming feature to just auto target heads for quicker stuns. I feel like there should have been a bit more effort to make the individual spells a bit more unique for some much needed gameplay variety. Deathly Hallows Part 1’s stealth mechanic, comes in the form of your invisibility cloak, invisibility literally means invisibility too. To the point where it essentially – well, breaks the game. As a result of this you can practically just equip your invisibility cloak and casually stroll through the levels unharmed. I expected it to be a case of, if people heard your footsteps you’d be found and removed from the cloak, but you can also just put it back on – some of the wizards and witches A.I might as well have had the question mark icon appear above their head from Metal Gear Solid. There’s actually a slight argument to be made, that its predecessor The Half Blood Prince, looks much better on a visual level. Nothing is truly bad looking in this game – it’s just fairly bland and colourless, even colours you’d expect to be vibrant and interesting end up looking a bit drab and lifeless. There was a very clear effort put into making most of the characters look like their filmic counterparts however - this is one of the areas that shine through an unfortunate sea of mediocrity. Remember the important thing I just mentioned, “most” of the characters, most of them except Dobby and Luna, who you do only see very briefly. Luna is not so bad; I just think it’s an unfortunate limitation on what was available to them at the time regarding animating hair. She just looks like she has a huge nest of noodles sitting atop her head. Whereas Dobby, the poor guy, he just looks like he’s had random parts of him that have been dipped in a vat of excrement, which is unfortunate as it makes a very important scene with him sort of hilarious as a result. I know I keep comparing this game to its predecessor, but it’s the only real direct comparison. Interestingly enough - this game shares some similarities with Half Blood Prince. At least in the audio department - some of the important characters like Harry and Hermione are not voiced by Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe respectively. Despite this, it’s something you only really begin to notice on maybe your second playthrough; both voice actors do a really fantastic job of mimicking their voices, in very intricate detail. That goes a long way too, as it’s one of the things I find most jarring in video game adaptations of films, when the characters sound nothing like their counterparts. There are a few less than stellar voice over’s to be found though, unfortunately Bellatrix Lestrange’s dialogue whilst delivered pretty well, doesn’t quite contain the unpredictable rage that Helena Bonham Carter’s version does. It is memorable though, because one of Bellatrix’ lines, the one where she calls Dobby a “dirty little monkey” made me laugh out loud the three separate times I played through the game. I’d argue one of the least noteworthy aspects of this game, is the soundtrack itself, for something like Harry Potter which is usually quite synonymous with its soundtrack, you just expect a little more I suppose. What you get, ends up being a fairly unremarkable and unmemorable soundtrack, that doesn’t really do anything of note at all. Add to that, the fact the sound design, could have been improved tenfold, as it gets very tiresome very quickly, the sound of spells whizzing past your head. You never quite get used to the sound of PING PING PING, as spells hit objects around you like gunfire, in truth it probably just needed a little bit of variety to spice it up a bit. In your quest for the platinum trophy in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, you’ll have to do three SEPARATE playthroughs. Yep, you heard that right, three separate ones. I guess - it’s a holdover from when it was released, when it was far less frequent for games to have stacking difficulty trophies. However, as I mentioned previously, the game is very short, so it isn’t as arduous or daunting a task as it might initially seem. The difficulty itself is fairly negligible too – as you can essentially just slip your invisibility cloak on and walk past everything. You do need to do at least one fairly involved playthrough though, as you’re required to find all collectibles, as well as defeat a cumulative amount of 1000 enemies across your three playthroughs. One thing of note though, is that this has an online component, consisting of Online challenges - these involve having both you and a friend being in the top 1000 on the in game leader board for a challenge, and comparing your score to theirs. Thankfully, one of my friends had played this a very long time ago, and his score was still on the leader board, so I didn’t have to go too far out of my way with that one. But it’s worth remembering that this game has an online component, which could become unobtainable at some point in the future. I can’t exactly say that I’d recommend this game in a hurry. Not unless you already had a specific interest in it. I was always going to play it, as I want to have all of the Harry Potter games finished on my profile at some point in the future, but unless you are a fan of the Harry Potter series, I can’t exactly recommend it. It’s such a middle of the road experience, it’s not bad at all, far from it, yet it also does absolutely nothing really noteworthy to elevate it above being just fairly mediocre. It definitely isn’t boring though, I didn’t really feel frustrated in that regard across all of my three playthroughs.
  14. I love Blue Mages usually - but aren't his blue mage abilities tied to his overdrive too, in much the same way Quistis' ones were in VIII, which is a shame really, as it makes them both a bit obsolete. You can't use those abilities enough to really make them feel worthwhile. I'll grant you by the end of it, it's a little better. I still think Noel is projecting a lot of his insecurities and issues about his "Yeul" onto her, so it does still kind of come off a bit flat as a result. I don't know, perhaps I'm just being a bit harsh on him, but he's just not really a character I have bags of time for. I'm being kind in comparison to someone I know though - who just has a hilariously high capacity for hate towards Noel and his silly baggy trousers. I think that's the only console generation where I had all three systems. I feel like KOTOR 1 and 2 are as good a reason as any to pick up an original Xbox. I remember deliberately waking myself up at like 3 AM on a school day just so I could get in an extra few hours of KOTOR1 before school. It was just such a fantastically re-playable experience. Some of those games on the Gamecube are stupidly highly sought after now, I was so tempted to sell some of my games as I saw Pokemon Colosseum was selling for like £60-£100. Yep, I can unfortunately identify with those Xbox 360 problems myself, I had the famous red ring of death myself, and a separate different one, which was just one red one. I don't seem to have much luck with those Microsoft consoles haha ....... I can't speak for what Ethan is like in Village, but Ethan is possibly one of the blandest protagonists across the whole Resident Evil series, but I think most people just sort of let hat one slide a bit. It's everyone around him that tends to be more interesting, it's the Baker family in RE7 that are the thing that really draw you in and keep you invested in that game, whereas with Ethan I assume he's supposed to represent you as a player to some degree, because of the first person view point. I feel like they want what happens to him to feel more personal for you, as you are seeing it from his perspective, which is why they seem to really like hurting him, or cutting his limbs off. That's totally a better name! Wish I'd gone with that instead haha Even if that does sound a little bit like something you might find a in a Nando's with a particularly poor hygiene rating 😆...... Or actually just in any branch of Nando's ever. I'm glad you enjoyed reading through that one - I tried to go with a bit of a light hearted approach there, because that game is so low on actual content and things to talk about, I kind of had to think on my feet to try and make it seem a bit more interesting, so that's nice to hear. I think one of us made the right decision regarding that game though. SPOILERS It wasn't me 😂 - you sure dodged that bullet my friend. I played it so no-one else has to? Haha Thanks Doc! I didn't even mention Keeley Hawes all that much either.... Do I get a sticker? I think they deserve praise for that too.... I have seen people levelling the criticism at the recent trilogy, that it's a little too much like Uncharted though. I don't think they are all that comparable personally, there are some similarities in the way they play, sure, but they're telling very different stories with their respective characters. I think Crystal Dynamics did a really stellar job with a more overtly introspective Lara - I'd probably argue the plots are more about Lara's character arc than they really are about telling one fluid story across three games. I think you're right too, Crystal Dynamics, did do a fairly good job of sidestepping that huge bear trap that they'd laid out for themselves, they certainly did a better job of it than some game teams do on occasion. That's a bloody excellent analogy mate - until you said that I'd never even really thought about it either. But it's so true isn't it. They've even got Tomb Raider - The George Lazenby edition with Lara Croft GO, the title that nobody seems to really talk about. It's quite good that George Lazenby bond film too, it'd be much better received if a different actor had played Bond in it. The Lara Croft side games are the Timothy Dalton ones? because they are tonally a little different, and fairly unlike all of the other ones in a few ways. The TR1 - Angel of Darkness series is either Connery or Moore.... Not sure which one, maybe Moore, because he was so tired and past his sell by date as Bond by the time his last outing happened in much the same way Angel of Darkness, was pretty much the series running on fumes at that point. and so on and so forth...... I hope that doesn't mean the Keeley Hawes trilogy has to be represented by the Pierce Brosnan movies.... SAD FACE Oh man - that very much cracked me up it's so true as well....... "Bill - we'll definitely be using those, even if after this you might have to live out the rest of your days in a Sanitorium" " A sani-whaaaaaat?" " Bill, buddy, everything is going to be alright...... Now, before you go and see Mary... Do you think you could just pop downstairs, and when I say downstairs I mean really downstairs. Go and see the mole people and show them your ideas about the death animations - and make sure that the mole people can really really make the most horrific sounds possible as Lara gets impaled on a spike, or gets washed down a waterfall, we need just the right sound as she goes hurtling into the rocks and cracks several vertebrae and her skull......" I guess I should go post my latest review of Harold Pinter and the Deathly Silence between two characters Part 1 haha.... So I'll go do that now 😂
  15. Wow! thank you so much - Well then I definitely ought to say thank you too. I really do appreciate that. That's really nice to hear. The fact you know you can do it means that you WILL do it. It's just a matter of when. If 100% is what you are striving for then I hope you enjoy the ride getting there. You could give yourself a nice confidence boost by slaying Stormy Ascent? Or are you saving that for something special, because you said you grew up playing things like Crash so you might have that one put by for a special occasion. I completely understand that. It's a super daunting prospect at first. I know I wasn't the only one with a thread that felt that way too, so I know you and I aren't the only ones that felt like that. You've done the hard part now though, which is taking the plunge - so now it's time to just relax and have fun with it. The upside is (one of many) is that it can be such an uplifting and cathartic experience - which I absolutely hope that it is for you too.