realm722

RealM722's Trophy Cabinet

488 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, realm722 said:

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.

 

I really think, for me, it's not about "length" in a vacuum - it's length incongruous with narrative or style that makes a game feel bloated.

 

 

the ones that jump to mind,  @Copanele said, and I agree:

 

9 hours ago, Copanele said:

My brain did a jumble and created a mix between AC Origins and Valhalla. NOT Odyssey, as shocking as it may sound.

 

To explain, I haven't played Valhalla, but I have played Origins and Odyssey, and they're interesting in this regard. Odyssey is technically even bigger and longer, however, I really felt the length of Origins, whereas I could have taken another 50 hours of Odyssey 🤔

 

I think that fundamentally that illustrates a difference in design... Odyssey was huge and long, but the narrative and the world of the game felt large and sweeping - it felt able to support that length. The world was more varied and beautiful, but more than that, the narrative was structured in a way that it kind of allowed for a grand world filled with side content as a part of the character's story.

 

Kassandra (the main character in Odyssey,) is on a quest of discovery - that makes every side quest feel "correct" for her, as she is filling in the tapestry of the world. Byek, on the other hand (the character from Origins,) is on a quest of vengeance - and so his story felt more small and focussed and immediate.

When he would spend 10 hours doing side content, it felt antithetical to the character's motivations, whereas it felt congruous with Kassandra's. 

 

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The very next game that pops into my brain is Uncharted 1

 

Interestingly, I also though about Uncharted too!

 

Uncharted 1-3 are all in the 5-8 hour range, and I think those games work at that length. Uncharted 4 is an objectively better game mechanically (and visually,), however, it is in the 15-20 hour range, and I think that game is simply too long for the "movie blockbuster" narrative style it plays in. The whole game is top quality (there's no individual section I think is weak, or that I would obviously cut,) but I do think the narrative just has trouble supporting it, so it begins to lessen the impact of some of its own great stuff because of that. 

 

Even at 20 hours, that still makes Uncharted 4 far shorter that many other games that don't feel too long, but again, it's because the game genre and style isn't suited to the length. (It's also why I think Lost Legacy is a better game than U4 - they are both high quality mechanically, but Lost Legacy is of an appropriate length, U4 is too long for those mechanics to support it.)

 

Resident Evil 6 is similar. It's not actually that long a game by general gaming standards, however, it increased so dramatically as compared to it's previous franchise entries, without changing the mechanics or narrative style, and so it feels insanely long... I may have poured 200 hours into Tetris Effect, or 400 into Cities Skylines, or God knows how many hundreds into the Hitman trilogy... but the 40 I put into RE6 felt infinitely longer!

 

 

Interestingly though, I don't think that's an inevitability with franchises. God of War (2016) , for example, is far longer than any previous God of War, yet it is also much better than them, and doesn't feel like it. That's because they changed the narrative style and the mechanics to suit the new length. A 20 hour version of God of War 3 - with that character and those mechanics - would feel insanely over-long. God of War(2016) doesn't though.

 

 

 

 

That's all really by-the-by though, as they are (mostly) good games. Good games tend not to feel too dragging, even when they are over-long.

 

The most recent one I played where it wasn't good at all and  over-long, and felt interminable... was It Takes Two.

That game is "only" around the 20 hour mark, but holy hell, the combination of how bad the writing is, and the sparse mechanics - plus the requirement to rope a friend / loved-one in to it with you, and so having to only play when you both have time - made that one feel like water-torture!

 

Compare that to something like Personal 5, which lasts for like 100 hours, but not once did I ever feel like anything in that game was unnecessary or bloated. There's a million side activities, but the ticking clock of the calendar means it always feels like the narrative is driving the player forward, and no matter how much side stuff there is, it always feels in service of the story.

 

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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.  

 

Well, in the case of your example, I got far less time out of The Witcher 3 than I did out of Gorogoa.... Gorogoa was a great few hours, whereas The Witcher 3 only took 45 minutes to hard-lock my console, corrupt my save, and get deleted and chucked in the bin... but I get your point 😂

 

I can never really get down with folks who make the argument you are describing, because it's generally so saturated with hypocrisy that it's dripping! 😂

 

I've lost count of how many times I've heard the Time vs. Cost argument, and it almost always seems to come from folks who pare perfectly happy to play a big budget open world (Horizon / Assassin's Creed etc.) and dismiss short indie games... but would avoid rogue-likes that can take twice as long as a AAA game, or action puzzlers like Tetris or Lumines which are essentially infinite playtimes. Those games that have replayability baked in, and can offer literally hundreds of hours of gaming for a fraction of the cost of a AAA game.

 

"But that's just repeating content"... is the argument. "It's not new stuff that whole time".....

...well, sure, but that's true of most games.

Open World games often repeat busywork or mission types, shorts games and racing games are essentially made up of repeating the same game over and over... how many COD maps are there? You are repeated those games over and over too - but the games are not changing. At least in a rogue like the "map" is the same, but the build can be totally different.

 

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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. 

 

Agree on all those examples.

 

I also struggled to think of short games that felt "too short".

 

One was Hoa - that felt too short for a specific reason though: The game feels like it is so absurdly easy in the first 3 levels, and feels like it is just getting into some actual game in the fifth level... which is the last one. It felt very anti-climactic, as it felt like playing a long tutorial, then finally getting ready to play a proper game... and it never transpires.

 

That feels rare to me though. Generally, I go back to "make your game the length it wants to be, not the length you think the player wants it to be"

 

If the narrative and mechanics would work best at 10 hours, then make it 10 hours - because you can bet dollars to doughnuts that if you make it 20 hours, that will end up being 10 good hours, with 10 filler hours diluting it. 

 

Narrative and mechanics are like whisky - you only have so much in the glass.

There might be more or less of it to start...

...but whether you drink it neat from a shot glass, or put it in a pint glass and fill it up with water... you are still getting the same amount of drunk.

 

The more water you add, the longer it will last... but too much, and you'll barely even taste it 😂

 

Edited by DrBloodmoney
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On 5/1/2022 at 6:06 PM, Copanele said:

Finding a game that is too short is truly a more difficult task xD Ignoring fighting games, I think in this regard I can pinpoint only one game that made me legit want "more" in the true sense of the expression was Transistor. There was something about that game, the music, the atmosphere, the way the combat and "programs" worked that made me go "please, this can't be all!". And yes, the game HAS the right length and a coherent plot and no cut corners, BUT it was so good to me that I wanted to play more.

 

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 😂

 

On 5/1/2022 at 6:06 PM, Copanele said:

I would gladly spend the $20 for that unique indie, simply because I am sure that if the game is good, I won't resume just to the 4-hour in-game experience. If the game is that amazing then I will gladly spend more time listening to the OST, see reviews, forums, people talking about it, what was good, what was bad, speculations about the ending etc. If the game makes me think about it even after I finish it then yep I'd say the money was very well spent. And honestly that's what's valuable for me the most.

 

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!

 

On 5/1/2022 at 11:54 PM, Briste said:

I usually feel like games go on too long more than games are too short. I still like most of the games I play, but Marvel's Spider-Man was a game that felt like there was too much fetch quest-y crap to do that made it feel like it dragged a bit. Game was amazing, but was like 10 hours longer than it needed to be just from the repeated crimes and bad guy zones to clear.

 

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. 

 

On 5/2/2022 at 3:23 AM, DrBloodmoney said:

Compare that to something like Persona 5, which lasts for like 100 hours, but not once did I ever feel like anything in that game was unnecessary or bloated. There's a million side activities, but the ticking clock of the calendar means it always feels like the narrative is driving the player forward, and no matter how much side stuff there is, it always feels in service of the story.

 

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!

 

On 5/2/2022 at 3:23 AM, DrBloodmoney said:

ismiss short indie games... but would avoid rogue-likes that can take twice as long as a AAA game, or action puzzlers like Tetris or Lumines which are essentially infinite playtimes. Those games that have replayability baked in, and can offer literally hundreds of hours of gaming for a fraction of the cost of a AAA game.

 

"But that's just repeating content"... is the argument. "It's not new stuff that whole time".....

...well, sure, but that's true of most games.

Open World games often repeat busywork or mission types, shorts games and racing games are essentially made up of repeating the same game over and over... how many COD maps are there? You are repeated those games over and over too - but the games are not changing. At least in a rogue like the "map" is the same, but the build can be totally different.

 

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 :D

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Every time I look at threads like this, I can do nothing but applaud the author who put in all that hard work. I get so damn lazy in updating my own thread... but real life tends to call to me and sometimes I just want to play games.

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Holy damn this was an adventure to read xD 

Congrats for completing one of the best games out there :D Preeeetty much agreeing with everything you wrote there, this game really deserved all of its praise and accolades. Few games make you feel part of the world like Hades did.

 

And yes, Dusa was one of the best NPCs out there. That voice actress did a fantastic job!

Actually....every single voice actor did an exemplary job in this game. I never truly got the idea of ASMR until I listened to Megaera speaking xD 

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Man.

 

This, Doc's review of Life Is Strange, and Vice's write-up of The Last of Us really took the word "spoilers" and turned it into such a gargantuan cockblock for me. This review looks so good!!

 

In case I haven't told you before, I'm such a huge fan of the level of enthusiasm you bring to your writing, especially when it's a game that's mercilessly stolen your heart. I fuck with all of this, and Hades is officially on the wishlist (if only so I can read this in its entirety)!

 

Great work as always homie👊

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6 hours ago, Copanele said:

Holy damn this was an adventure to read xD 

Congrats for completing one of the best games out there :D Preeeetty much agreeing with everything you wrote there, this game really deserved all of its praise and accolades. Few games make you feel part of the world like Hades did.

 

Thanks man! :D 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 

 

5 hours ago, YaManSmevz said:

In case I haven't told you before, I'm such a huge fan of the level of enthusiasm you bring to your writing, especially when it's a game that's mercilessly stolen your heart. I fuck with all of this, and Hades is officially on the wishlist (if only so I can read this in its entirety)! Great work as always homie1f44a.png

 

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! 

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Absolutely stellar Hades write up m'dude - setting the gold standard!

 

enjoyed the entire thing, but I reckon my biggest takeaway wasn't actually about Hades, but rather was right here:

 

 

13 hours ago, realm722 said:

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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. 

 

 

...if it belongs in that lofty, esteemed company... I really need to try Going Under! 😂

 

I have now added it to my Backlog Gremlin 2022 list with your name... 😝

 

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7 hours ago, realm722 said:

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Game: FIFA 22

 

 

Hahaha what a journey!! You didn't tell me about sending messages to ur teammates before games in FUT Co-op Friendlies hahaha, or blocking the other guy spamming you with game invites haha that's some funny stuff man.

 

I'm glad you got the platinum, I really think the trophy list for this year was pretty solid, much easier and time consuming than previous years, the main problem for a trophy hunter perspective is the matchmaking system and the servers. If EA manages to get a similar trophy list for FIFA 23, then I'm all in for another FIFA platinum haha!

 

By the way, VOLTA was so fun this year man, I loved the game mode. Hope they keep up the good stuff!

 

Communication is key for team based games so I'm glad that creating a PS party was the right call. Like you said, everyone was positive and it was just a matter of time till we got our Pro Clubs trophies!

 

It's always a pleasure helping others so I'm happy that it worked out for all of us, and like I said that day, if u ever need help on any game that we both play/own, you just let me know and I'll help!

 

I laughed a lot while reading the post man, specially anything related to the FUT game mode, that damn game mode really brings the best and the worst out of most of us haha. Now that we both have the platinum trophy we can just laugh and joke about our time at the game.

 

Not all players/trophy hunters are capable of getting the plat of a sports game so it's always a great achievement to share! Peace out my man! 😎

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On 5/20/2022 at 10:43 AM, realm722 said:

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Damn this has been ONE ENJOYABLE READ! You have a special talent when it comes to reviewing sports games xD 

Granted, I haven't played a FIFA game seriously since FIFA 2008 to be honest 😂 but damn, I love reading other people's thoughts about it.

That matchmaking though...that's EA's  finest. You'd think they would make better servers given how much money they suck from players with the microfootball transactions

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On 20.05.2022 at 9:43 AM, realm722 said:

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Thanks for this write-up, I had fun reading it even though my only memory of a FIFA game is that breath-taking (at the time) intro to FIFA '98 with Blur's Song 2 on max volume 😆

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On 5/20/2022 at 3:43 AM, realm722 said:

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!

 

I feel you here. I often will try for the hardest trophy first when possible as well. I feel like it makes the rest of the game more enjoyable once you have the hard stuff done. I'd rather go into a story/game knowing the terrible grind is done and end with a positive taste in my mouth than the other way around where I liked the game all the way until that last grind. I've had more than one game I've enjoyed playing take a hit in the end because of that post-game grind.

 

Considering my recent experience in COD MP, I lol'd pretty hard at your experience 😂 You take your life in your hands every time you try online MP, but similarly to you, I've found some really cool people in my MP travels. This is online MP in a nutshell:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

apps.27124.13515009775401270.15247b3d-e8

Game: My Time at Portia

 

Analysis: I bought My Time at Portia for $7.49 back in late December 2021. I said at the beginning of my FIFA 22 review that it would be unlike any I've written myself. In that statement, I inferred it would be the exception. I lied. This freaking game has given me so many conflicting thoughts from being absolutely miserable to being genuinely impressed with some of the feats the developers pulled off. Blame @Cassylvania for the word salad. They gave me the extra push I needed to finally dive in and I've finally come back to the surface gasping for air 40 hours later.

 

Why My Time at Portia? Long before variety gaming during the PS4/5 era, and even further before my strict sports games only goblin days, my first love for video games was found in the form of "farm/town/life" simulation games. I wrote a post on here over 2 years ago (oh god) that dabbled a little bit into that history. Harvest Moon: Magical Melody may very well be my favorite game of All-Time. I think about it once a week. I'm fully convinced that if I replayed it, it'd still hold up. Viva Piñata reigned supreme during my Xbox 360 days and I wish by some miracle that it could receive a revival on all platforms. In modern times, Stardew Valley captivated my heart in 2018 as it did so many others and for a while reigned as my #2 favorite game of the current-gen Playstation era. I wrote a post over 4 years ago on the Harvest Moon subreddit asking for some help to rekindle this old flame. 3 years ago, I blasted out a bunch of ideas I had for an utterly gargantuan "full-life" Harvest Moon game that covers aspects from growing up single, finding love, raising family, and setting up passing control of the farm to your young ones. In the process of reading that post, I came up with more ideas. What if once you're married, the remaining bachelors/bachelorettes paired each other off and set up their own families? What if there were random effect chances that could lead to the sudden death over the years of certain town characters, even if they're essential to the plot/general narrative? What if there were random natural disasters that could ruin your town and force you to help rebuild once you've seemingly accomplished all there is to do? What if your actions had huge scoping consequences and you would be judged at the end of your life for how you treated others? As you can see, my mind starts racing when I think of games such as these. One day, there will be "The Harvest Moon to end all Harvest Moon" games. Stardew Valley was brilliant. It still isn't it. I can't wait for that game to arrive. I hope I'm around to play it. In the meantime, we'll settle for what we've got available to us. Hence, let's talk about My Time at Portia. 

 

My Prejudice For This Game Before Playing - I'll come right out with it. The reason I disliked and held off on playing this game for as long as it did is because I visually detest it. It looks as plastic as a Manchester City supporter post-2018. The villagers themselves are the worst offenders. I could forgive some poor house or ground textures but LOOK AT THEIR NECKS. I've taken several digs at this "plastic" look in past posts. As earlier as Nov. 2020 in the Rogue Legacy section to the very end of my Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life review and as recently as Aug. 2021 with my Armikrog critique. I understand how completely subjective this is. Your tastes may differ greatly from mine. I have no doubt some people even love this style. I was not one of them. Despite this impediment, I pressed on with finally playing it since 1) Had that farming sim itch and 2) I've enjoyed games despite their visuals plenty of times. I found Slay the Spire to be fairly offputting but was completely won over by its mechanical complexity and depth. Portia would have an uphill battle, but I could be won over. Aside from the visuals, I had also heard some negative things about the game regarding the developers but as it had been years.. I had forgotten what it was about and just had a generally negative sentiment. After some googling, think I found the reddit post that gave me those vibes and also the core issue which was the studio having some controversy over not paying the voice acting talent. Do with that what you will.

 

My Hatred For This Game AFTER Playing For 15 Hours - I did not realize this before playing but My Time at Portia is the very first "farm/life/town" simulation game that has voice acting. All prior games (HM:MM, HM:AWL, HM:StH, Spirtifarer, Stardew. Graveyard, Slime Rancher, Viva Piñata 1 & 2) did not. and WOW, I understand why they didn't. I hated the way the characters sounded early on. I soon had the sinking realization that "wow... I dislike how this game looks and I don't even like how these characters sound". I decided to start skipping through dialogue far quicker than I normally would in these types of games. It was down to gameplay to save the day for me. My first area of focus was the trophy "City Transporter" as it's pretty much only one of two missable trophies in the entire game. As I quickly tried to get things up and running on my humble abode, my frustration mounted. You need to gather everything man. This should be obvious. It's a frigging farm sim. But I think I under-estimated the grindiness of it all. You obviously need to go to the mines to get stone, copper, and bronze cooked up right away. But also don't forget to cut down a bunch of trees as that's your sole use of fuel to smelt ores with. Meanwhile, you also need to juggle completing commissions, find a way to STORE all these resources with a juggling set of chests that makes inventory management a nightmare, and all the while, I had zero inherit motivation apart from the trophies as I did not care about a single character in this village. We had reached rock bottom. I legitimately coined the term - "The Most Soulless Harvest Moon-Esque Game I've Ever Played" for My Time at Portia. It was time to change my approach. 

 

Turning My Time at Portia Into a Scientific Equation - I knew that if I ever got fed up with the game, I had an ace up my sleeve. You see, My TIme at Portia comes with an item duplication glitch. Yes, you can duplicate items in your inventory from the tens into the hundreds, and the hundreds into the thousands. I broke the emergency glass and abused the ever-living hell out of that bug. I'll describe a little bit further down what I recommend YOU do if you're trying to obtain the platinum as quickly as possible. The point is, I managed to shatter the gameplay loop by making my character, Linda (I chose a girl cuz... girls are cool), into an all-seeing mega lord of the industrial complex. Oh, McDonald, you need 10 wooden boards? I'm already handing them over to you before you can finish your sentence. Oh, Albert, you need me to go talk to Petra to get a blueprint for a water wheel? Too bad I ALREADY have all the materials I need to construct it and will have it ready within nanoseconds of having the blueprint delivered. I was an unstoppable menace. Single-handedly I solved every single villager's problems before they even knew what they needed help with. I was breaking the game in my favor and for as much as the game kept throwing at me, I always had a response with my infinite cash flow and limitless resources. I conquered. Higgins wept.

 

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Portia is the ultimate example of Mechanics vs. Polish. Can you stomach great mechanics for some lackluster polish? Is the game showing Gust marrying himself to me an introspective analysis of the game's soul searching?

 

Signs of a Soul (or the softening of my loathing) - (SPOILERS FOR THIS SECTION, I'M SORRY) In the process of being an all-seeing overlord of this little quaint town, I become to notice signs of... life. While initially disengaging completely with any notion of ever-growing fond of these characters, the more I spent time around them completing their commissions, giving them gifts, and just generally being around their presence... my stance softened. What first blew me is WOW, this game has some amazing festivals. Genuinely some of the best I've ever seen in a game of this ilk. "Day of the Bright Sun" on Spring 19 has you box out opposing villagers like you're Tristan Thompson for presents and gifts raining down from above. There's a Martial Arts Tournament in Summer where you can predict who you think will win and literally beat up other villagers in pursuit of the crown. This doesn't even include the typical fishing tournament, fall festival for crops, etc.. events. Apart from that, some of the side missions legitimately impressed me! One that stands out is Paulie (manly man vendor) counseling two quarreling school kids about real manliness is owning up to your mistakes and apologizing to one another than being stubborn. I love how each of the villagers has their own unique routine and it'll change depending on the day and time of year. One moment that really got me is when I started to pursue a romantic interest in Gust, in the Wintertime, he'll hang out by his mother's grave. You can go to him, choose to stand silently next to him, and the game will reward you for doing so. That's such a subtle, beautiful moment. Hell, once I got married to him, other townsfolk who were prime bachelors/bachelorettes started pairing each other off!! I've always wanted Harvest Moon games to do that! Arlo sought me out looking for some advice as he's focused on his career but the missionary girl who helps out at the Church, Nora, confessed to him that she had feelings for him. Your response can dictate whether that'll be pursued or drop. Albert, Gust's friend, asked me to tell Sonia (waitress at the local restaurant) to meet her by the beach to marry him. I told her to do so. SHE REJECTED HIM AT THE BEACH LMAOOOO. The fact the game actually did that had me in stitches. All of these small elements had a cumulative effect over time. I started to... care about these characters. Damn

 

Of course, for every one of these lovely elements that I found, there was always something around the corner to drag me right back down to reality. I strongly dislike the jump animation in this game. I understand how petty that sounds. But it feels so video-gamey and like they took the stock animation from a community Unity asset project. Certain things will start to glitch out if you play too long. Some quests for whatever reason weren't progressing (planter boxes with Emily, photos with Mei and the Camera) and I kept googling why. The worst of these is during the final battles, whenever I died, I respawned with half my health and half my stamina. Thank goodness I stockpiled an absurd amount of food as otherwise I would have had to restart and lose 30-40 minutes of progress. The solution is to just dashboard out and close the game, boot it back up, and things should be working properly. Some of the later zones feel wholeheartedly useless as there are only 1-2 resources and the game just needed to put a progression block as opposed to making you feel like you truly unlocked something great. I still dislike the animation and this is exposed worst of all in the cutscenes which are supposed to be the holy grail in these games. I remember getting super excited when you got a knock on your door from a villager in Magical melody or had that slow intro from fading to black in Stardew when you were about to get some lore on a character. My Time at Portia feels like it's damn near breaking when trying to load in its cutscenes. But for as negative as this paragraph has been, there are still details that impress me. Building up South Block feels legitimately satisfying as a barren desert becomes the beginnings of a bustling town. The factory unlock at the end is game-changing and solves all the crafting micromanagement complaints I could have possibly levied. The combat isn't amazing, but serviceable, and the decision to add a dodge button was delightful(damn you Dragon Quest Builders 2 you should have stolen it off of them) The point of these two paragraphs is to convey that the more time I spent with the game, I found more things to like than to dislike whereas, at the beginning, this game was destined for the hell of Dragon Quest Heroes 1 or dare I say, The Last Guardian.

 

RealM722 Gives You 5 Tips to Get the Trophies as Fast as Possible - If you're anything like me who digs this sort of genre, maybe you're willing to test it out - but aren't 100% willing to commit to the absurd 100+ hour runtime asking if you play the game normally without any shenanigans. Well, today's your lucky day! I'm here to teach you how to become the demigod of Portia and resolve everyone's problems before they even know they're gonna occur! 

 

My Final Items + Skill Tree + Relationships At Time of Platinum

 

1)  The #1 most essential item to duplicate is Data Discs. DO IT. You obtain them starting out from mining in the abandoned ruins. Once you get up to 200, go to a shop and do the duplication glitch. Save them. For me, sometimes the method in the video worked. Sometimes it didn't. So what I'd do is I'd close the game, reopen it, and the items would be properly duplicated. Do this and get several stacks of 999 discs. ALWAYS keep one in your inventory. The amazing thing about this item is EVERY shop buys it which means you can sell EVERY DAY as every shopowner in Portia is a secret gazillionaire who ALWAYS restocks their money to full the very next day. Soon, you'll rake in so much you won't even need to sell anymore. You can get the "Real Estate Tycoon" trophy in a jiffy is money is no obstacle for you anymore. This item is also super handy as you should ALWAYS talk to Petra at the research center and turn in discs until you have all blueprints unlocked. Hell, even after that, the main story will always ask you to go talk to her so it's extra convenient just to make data disc duplication your money maker. 

 

2) Use THIS guide. While the PSNProfiles guide is good for giving a cursory glance, the True Achievements guide has a step-by-step preview of every story mission and what resources you'll need. This means you can create chests with all the resources you'll need for several missions down the line and be able to complete them the second they arrive as opposed to scrambling to craft all the materials once you get the official mission. Keep an eye to duplicate certain items that are quite rare. I did this with a lot of relics or expensive to craft items later on (valves, steel frames, steel shells) as it saved me from wasting time going back to the mines. The great thing about duplication is it creates a snowball effect. You may only have 2 to start, but if you can balloon it to 8, sleep, come back the next day, ballooning it into 32 only becomes easier, and so forth. I spent very little time wasted actually gathering materials once I had a small amount thanks to this trick. 

 

3) You MUST make giving gifts to Phyllis, Gust, & Pinky a priority early. I'll tell you what I did. Days before the fishing tournament, make sure you have A LOT of caterpillars and a fishing rod. Once that day comes, go and fish to your heart's content. If you're halfway decent, you'll gain 1st or 2nd with ease. The reward for winning varies but you should get 15x Bacon Fish Roll as one of the rewards. DUPLICATE IT into the 200s. You should also have fished up a fair number of catfish. Duplicate that into the 200s. You'll give the bacon fish to Gust for the rest of the game and the catfish to Pinky. This will suffice for the remainder of your playthrough. As for Phyllis, gift her talismans as she gets +10s from them and they're super easy to make. I personally romanced Phyllis first and stopped gifting anything to Gust to fear not complicating the trophy. Once I built her hospital, I broke up with her on the spot and started dating Gust. Pinky only needs 2 hearts of affection so it shouldn't take long at all to adopt her. As for Gust, if you're worried the final mission for his proposal isn't triggering, don't sweat it. Usually takes 1 week even if you have him at 10 hearts. 

 

4) Carry lots of food for the final endgame missions. Combat takes the focal point near the end of the game. I had some things bug out on me so I recommend with your infinite wealth buying a number of Dr. Xu's items everyday just o have a bounty of +120 and +300 health items. Royal honey for stamina or meals you've collected across the game are also helpful.

 

5) Always. Craft. SOMETHING. It does not matter if you don't need it at the time or it doesn't seem relevant in one of the future story missions. You should always be at the commission's guild at 8AM to accept a commission and immediately deliver the product to the villager. This is because getting the S Rank or 17,500 cumulative points takes A WHILE even if you do one every day like I did after Spring 20 of Year 1 or so. If the petition is doable, DO IT. Especially take advantage of +360 rep points opportunities for building items on the assembly station. Craft linen rugs, large pipes, etc.. aplenty. All of these will be useful at some point or another and better to have them ready than be lazy with it. 

 

Would I recommend My Time at Portia? Only if you are a farm/life/town simulation crack addict. All of these opinions flowed out of me while writing this and somehow it only took me an hour to do so. I am ridiculous opinionated when it comes to games of this type and I acknowledge that they're far from being palatable to the gaming masses. But I've absolutely gone on quite a journey with it. I went from disliking the game before even playing it, to hating it, to slowly seeing some of its cooler elements, and now what I honestly want is for a future game developer to be inspired by so many of its elements and just beautify it in every way. The developers, Pathea Games, are actually making a sequel called My Time at Sandrock which already looks 100x more beautiful than Portia. It just came out in Early Access and I don't touch non-fully released games but it'll be one I keep an eye on. I have no doubt for some other players who didn't mind the art style or voice acting, this game is in their 9.0 tier and one of their favorites of All-Time. There's a lot to like. Sadly, my preferences prevented me from doing so. It won't come close to the heights of the others but some of the core elements here are really special and I hope one day, someone can combine the best elements of all these games to make one of my favorites for All-Time. I ultimately earned the 10.46% rarity platinum in 1 day and 1 week. 

 

Panda Score: 6.88 / 10

Panda Difficulty: 3.3 / 10

Edited by realm722
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I legitimately forgot Portia had voice acting... Shows you how quickly I muted the game.

 

Yeah, I should have mentioned how critical the duplication glitch is to enjoying the game/making the platinum much more manageable. If you ever do Graveyard Keeper, it's the same thing with the zombie DLC. Do NOT attempt the platinum without it. (You probably don't need it early on.)

 

Portia's graphics are definitely an acquired taste. I can see how the plastic look would be off-putting. I was just happy it was in 3D and looked nothing like Harvest Moon: One World, which looks truly soulless.

 

You really cranked out that platinum. Even with the glitch, that game took me like five months.

 

Sakuna is much better.

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6 hours ago, Cassylvania said:

I legitimately forgot Portia had voice acting... Shows you how quickly I muted the game.

 

Funny thing is, I intended to mute the game too for long stretches and I don't mind playing a lot of games that way, but for whatever reason, the very focused demand of the game for resources kept me from putting on a movie or podcast in the background for long stretches. 

 

6 hours ago, Cassylvania said:

Yeah, I should have mentioned how critical the duplication glitch is to enjoying the game/making the platinum much more manageable. If you ever do Graveyard Keeper, it's the same thing with the zombie DLC. Do NOT attempt the platinum without it. (You probably don't need it early on.)

 

I also forgot to type this in the review but RENT THE HORSE FROM MCDONALD after you fix his shed is also huge for life improvement and to make the game more managable once things really open up. 500 gols is nothing compared to faster move speed for a full week and I neglected it for far too long. As for Graveyard Keeper, yup 100% agree lmao. I platted it back in Nov. 2020 but will have to revisit it eventually if the DLCs ever go on sale to wrap up a full 100% completion. 

 

6 hours ago, Cassylvania said:

Portia's graphics are definitely an acquired taste. I can see how the plastic look would be off-putting. I was just happy it was in 3D and looked nothing like Harvest Moon: One World, which looks truly soulless. You really cranked out that platinum. Even with the glitch, that game took me like five months. Sakuna is much better.

 

There is something really bizarre happening with the farm/life/town sim genre which is... so many of these games are hideous. How can Natsume genuinely think THIS is acceptable? Looks like a mobile game from 2011. I've been recommended Rune Factory A LOT but man... it just looks rough and like it's still living on the Nintendo DS days. There's a market for a jaw-dropping dev with true artistic talent (Supergiant Games baby!!!) to make one of this ilk and just rake in the millions that Stardew surged on a few years ago. As for blazing thru the plat, yea lmao. I honestly thought I had a chance to crack the Top 50 Fastest Achievers but everyone there finished it in under a week which I can't even fathom. Still have Sakuna wishlisted from your glowing review! Just hope it goes on sale for $15 one day! 

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On 5/19/2022 at 9:53 PM, realm722 said:

Hades_Keyart_3840x2160.jpg

 

I came back to your Hades review and now I remember why I forgot to leave a comment the first time, I was trying to read through it while avoiding big spoilers to keep the surprise of discovery for when I decide to tackle the game 😂 As a huge Greek Mythology fan, I can't really miss this one out. I really love the fact that some aspects of the story look like they were inspired by God of War (the son of an Olympian fighting against a God's will and getting help from the others Olympian on his quest). Hades looks like it took the concept a step further with the cast and the fact that your choices affect the course of your relationships with them tho, which sounds amazing on paper 😁 I don't have much experience regarding roguelite tho so I will be on uncharted territory haha. 

 

Nevertheless, this was a fantastic read my friend, as much as I did, I tried avoiding the spoilers parts tho 😂 There is only one point with which I disagree tho : MJ is still the GOAT till this day (I assume you think the opposite when deciphering your comparison but I'm not sure tbh, the color pattern is confusing me) 😂

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Yo, you're on fire homie!

 

Portia absolutely does not look or sound like my cup of proverbial tea, so I'll happily continue to ignore it. I am, however, pleased to see you ended up getting some joy out of it! Games like that are like some douchebag dude you can't stand, but then you see him helping a lost kid find their parents or some shit, and you're like "eehhhhh okay, he's alright."

 

Fractured Minds sounds absolutely fascinating. After playing The Forgotten City I really find myself paying more attention to indie game credits and the size of their staffs, it just blows me away. And the idea of a lone teenager crafting something like that is beyond impressive. When I was seventeen I was just doing stupid shit with my friends😄 That one's goin on the radar!

 

And if A Short Hike is a short Animal Crossing, then count me in, full stop. Y'all are givin me way too much homework these days, you know that??🤣🤣

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Madden-22-Cover.png?fit=1920,1080&ssl=1

Game: Madden 22

 

Analysis: I did not buy Madden 22. Rather I paid $5 for an EA Play subscription of 1 month for June 2022 and given I played 2 games, we'll make this cost $2.50.

 

Why Madden 22? (read in Elcor voice) Hello everyone. Welcome back. I am so happy to be back to platinum Madden for a 7th consecutive year. (/end Elcor voice) We're back folks. I thought I would finally be able to break free of the Madden curse by not being tempted to play it back when it originally launched on EA Play due to hella glitchy trophies. I broke the FIFA curse by not even touching FIFA 21. Sadly, a friend wanted some help for NFS: Hot Pursuit Online trophies... I didn't have the game so I'd need to renew my subscription + I saw there was another game on the service and figured what the heck, it'd be as good a time as any to jump back on board! As it turns out, you can still not have a good time with a game even if you get it very cheaply!

 

Gameplay Focused Trophies - My strategy with the game was to get in and out as quickly as possible. We were not here to be dilly-dallying checking out any of the new features that EA is likely reintroducing from the Playstation 2 era. Hence, I made the "Momentum Stealer" trophy my #1 priority as it was the rarest trophy in the game. I don't even want to get into how idiotic the notion of momentum is. I imagine someone reading this who's a sports fan will have their jaw hit the floor at that statement. I can't express this sincere opinion I have on any other platform I use since sports fans get REALLY mad when you say "momentum doesn't exist". Like... it's a vitriolic reaction. It doesn't make any sense. In case you're willing to take a bit of a deep dive in trying to understand what I mean, you can check out this "Nomentum" article from good ol Bill Barnwell during the Grantland days as well as a more recent article on ESPN from David M. Hale. If you don't care to read those - I'll give my version. Momentum is stupid and all it really means to sports fans is "the last team to make a good play". THAT'S IT. If you think it's "a series of good plays". You're wrong. Cuz whenever a team will have a series of good plays such as the Buccaneers storming back against the Rams in the Divisional Round from 3-27 down to tie at 27-27, SOMEHOW, DESPITE HAVING ALLLLLLLL OF THE MOMENTUM, they let Cooper Kupp break free and manage to kick the game-winning field goal. How could they lose? They had ALL the momentum? Well, buddy, clearly they lost it with that big Kupp play! Basically, momentum is f***ing useless. It's just a thing sports commentators and fans to say. That's IT. Hell, I could look at Game 7 Heat vs. Celtics ECF which broke my heart and how we nearly came back and STOLE that game from Boston riding ALL of the momentum of a 11-0 run late and yet... Jimmy Butler missed the potential game-winning 3 in the final seconds. How could we lose? We had all the momentum? I could express even more. This doesn't even have anything to do with Madden but this all crossed my mind when I saw their key, earth-shattering feature for this year would be based around "momentum" and served as a kind reminder to me that these games aren't for me. They're for 12-year-olds. I was 12 once. I enjoyed it then. I'm not anymore. So I don't now

 

Where were we? Oh yea trying to get the trophy to pop. I got it here while playing as the 99OVR Jaguars roster that someone uploaded to Madden share. It took me a few attempts as you really have to make sure the opposing momentum meter is full or otherwise it won't work. It also has to be in the endzone as a pick-6 elsewhere on the field doesn't generate enough of a swing in the opposite direction. Once I had it out of the way, all the other gameplay trophies are a cakewalk with a 2nd controller. Taking care of the 3 presses with a cornerback, attaining all the sacks with various pass rush moves, and finally completing different ball carrier jukes and spins. None of them posed much of a challenge. 

 

 The Busted Online Franchise Trophies - I encountered no glitchiness with any of the gameplay trophies which was a pleasant surprise for a game I had heard so many complaints about. Then I tried to do the online league trophies. Specifically, "Bragging Rights" and "Head-to-Head". I had read there was actually a technique to get this trophy offline. Sweet! So here I go foolishly going through the elaborate process of switching accounts back and forth on my PS5, going through the horror show that is the Madden menu systems when you boot up the game for the first time (good lord man I'm sorry for being so negative but who is this for? Who wants to sort through 20+ pop-up screens explaining every nitty-gritty detail and having created a player as your avatar jammed down their throat? I wish I could input "I know who Greg Camarillo is" to prove my NFL cred and leave all the baby tutorials behind). To make a long story short, the offline method didn't work. I tried it with multiple different owner/head coach types, I tried playing a game and then SuperSimming through it, and no matter what I did, the trophy didn't pop. So I resorted to lifting my spotlight in the sky and Bat-Signal @NetoStyle to help me with some even more online sports trophies. Dude was a legend as always and even redownloaded the game to help me lead the Jaguars over the Eagles in the Super Bowl to pop both trophies. We even talked some K-Pop! For anyone going for the trophies in the future, I'd say just save yourself the time and do the trophy "legit" with a friend or boosting session partner. 

 

The Franchise Mode Trophies - Within a handful of hours I had managed to unlock the most annoying and rare trophies in the game and all I had left to accomplish were some miscellaneous ones in Franchise Mode. After taking a few days off to play another game and properly line up my Level 490 Trophy, I came back and wrapped up what I needed to get done for the platinum. This included winning ROTY, MVP, signing a 90+ OVR free agent, and unlocking a hidden dev trait. But there was one problem... the big spender trophy wasn't unlocking. I tried 3 different franchises. Nothing was working. That's weird. But rather then panic, I switched focus to taking care of ROTY+MVP by making Trey Lance a 99OVR QB and jumping in for 3-4 games during the season to pad his stats on rookie. In Week 1, I scored 120+ points on the Lions and had him throw for 12 touchdowns. I did this a handful of times to ensure his victory and was surprised to learn the game had implemented a few cool features. I got down early in a game against Chicago and all the momentum was against me. The game has a feature will the stadium will shake and if your QB is really rattled, your throwing icons of "X" "O", "RB", etc... will be hidden and you'll have to remember off memory. I thought that was pretty cool, well done EA! By the end of the year, I had won the Super Bowl and earned both awards as Lance. For whatever reason, in the offseason, I signed Terron Armstead to a huge contract and the trophy for Big Spender popped! I have literally zero idea why it worked that time around but I guess I had played enough of the actual game for EA to stop trolling me. After drafting an elite QB at the draft, the 4.48% rarity platinum popped! I had earned it in 3 days and 14 hours.

 

Would I recommend Madden 22? Only if you're a football fan or have experience platinuming past Madden games. I would not recommend this for a newbie to the series. The trophies are far too glitchy and you'll likely end up far more frustrated than you should be for such a baby-tier ultra-rare plat. Though, if you'll willing to take the challenge, the plat can legit be earned in a feasible 3-4 hours if you have a boosting partner lined up. Aside from that, I was stunned by how slow the menus were and the annoying transition screens from some of the most basic maneuvers possible. I don't believe EA employs a single person who has the slightest familiarity with basic user interface functions. The Franchise Mode is horrific in its design. I wouldn't be such a negative nelly with this game if the trophies were slightly more inspired and actually asked me to play some of the fresher game modes apart from being the same rinse-n-recycle list that they've been for the last half a decade or so. I hope one day I can play an American football video game that gets me as excited as the real product does. Until then, I guess we'll settle for this.

 

Panda Score: 6.0 / 10

Panda Difficulty: 2.1 / 10 (does glitchiness count for difficulty? If so, make it a 4/10)

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45 minutes ago, realm722 said:

Madden-22-Cover.png?fit=1920,1080&ssl=1

Game: Madden 22

 

Congratulations on the Madden 22 Platinum!! It’s always a pleasure helping a friend out so you’re welcome!  🫡🫡🫡

 

Also I hope you’re enjoying Lost in Random! that game is so fine!! you’re putting the EA Play subscription to good use I see haha

 

 

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