Arcesius

Arcesius' Pursuit of Completion

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Nice Checklist! :)

I will take a look from time to time to check your progress :)

Edited by S_y_n_e_IR_g_Y
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On 2/18/2019 at 2:19 PM, S_y_n_e_IR_g_Y said:

Nice Checklist! :)

I will take a look from time to time to check your progress :)

 

Well thanks a lot! Hope to keep the list interesting :)

 

 

Update

 

Lemme write where I stand with my ongoing games: 

 

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

We (my girlfriend and I, that is) finished the story this weekend, so the only trophy left is to complete all the challenges. I think I will need go do this solo... 😅 Though that's probably gonna be faster. 

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

I only have the multiplayer trophies left, of which I've only completed the first one (awarded for completing the intro). I think I've read that there is extra XP until the next update on February 26, so maybe it's worth doing some missions this week! I have only heard bad things about the MP in this game though, so I don't know if that's gonna happen... 

 

Darksiders 3

After defeating the seventh Sin I thought I'd be done, but I was wrong. There is still a final boss to be defeated, and she kicked my ass twice before I needed to stop playing. Otherwise I still have some collectable-related trophies left, but they shouldn't take too long. This will be my next plat, should fall tomorrow or in 2 days the latest. 

Edited by Arcesus7
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spacer.pngspacer.png40-platinum.png Platinum #44 - Darksiders III

 

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  • 100% Enjoyment: 7/10
  • 100% Challenge:  5/10

 

Seven years after following Death on his journey, seven years of waiting and uncertainty, the tale of the third Horseman, Fury, can finally be told. And while not the best entry in the series and despite its lack of polish, I'm happy that the franchise came back from the depths of bankruptcy. A much smaller game than Darksiders II, but a fun experience nonetheless. 

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

Darksiders has always been a metroidvania-style action game with simple but satisfying hack-and-slash combat to dispose of angels and demons, tons of collectibles, and cartoonish visuals. The tradition continues here to some extent.

 ☑️ Collectibles

 ☑️ Demons and Angels

 ☑️ Cartoonish Visuals

 ☑️ Metroidvania-like backtracking

 

The biggest departure from previous entries is the combat. Instead of button mashing, this entry has a more methodical approach to combat. There are invincibility frames in place, your attacks cannot be interrupted to heal or use items, and there are irrevocable wind-up animations when attacking. Sounds familiar? Yeah, a lot of titles go in this direction now a days. Personally, I enjoy this type of combat much more, but I think that a lot of the negativity in this game's reception comes from this change. And to be honest, there is the option to either enable or disable this type of combat... The old approach can instead be enabled in the options menu! 

As usual there are not many stats to be leveled up, so build variety is not a thing. But it doesn't have to be. Apart from the initial weapon Fury will get four more powers which will open up new paths in previously visited areas, leading to additional collectibles and minibosses.  

There is a lot of fun to be had with Darksiders III, if you go in without too many expectations. 

 

From a technical perspective, though, thie game is a joke. After playing games like God of War or RDR2 on my system, it is simply embarrassing to see this cartoonish-game perform the way it does. The frame rate increases and drops like a roller-coaster, and makes the game really painful to play at times. Sadly, it doesn't take much for the stuttering to begin. Then there are the freezes when moving between areas. You'll see Fury freeze in place, while enemies and textures are loaded in the area you are moving to. It looks ridiculous, and frankly when you have to go through 2 or 3 of these freezes multiple times on your way to recover your lost souls, this can get on your nerves. 

Then there are a lot of bugs. Mostly clipping through textures (I needed to reset my game a couple of times cause I was stuck in the floor only seeing my upper body sticking out) and a couple of out-of-bounds glitches. Also some floating objects, but that's minor. 

I would have happily waited another year for this title to come out if that would have guaranteed a more optimized and polished experience. 

 

 

100% Challenge

 

The trophy list is nothing out of the ordinary. You have your standard difficulty-related trophies, and playing on "Apocalyptic" - this franchise's highest difficulty setting - from the start allows to get the platinum in a single playthrough. Fortunately there are only three missable trophies, thus with a bit of research there is absolutly no need for a guide. I don't like to overlevel myself, so I played on Apocalyptic and decided against grinding out levels early. Luckily there are no areas which will swarm you with enemies, hence mastering the combat will give you an easier time. 

Most of the collectable-related trophies will come naturally during the playthrough with a bit of careful exploration, and whatever doesn't pop before the final fight (if you are like me, saving all 20 humans, for example) can be completed within a short time after the credits. 

Then there is the "Beast Mode" trophy, which requires you to kill 666 enemies in Havoc form. I didn't really use this form that much during my playthrough, so I thought I would need to grind this out for hours. Luckily I found an amazing spot, and with only 6 or 7 havoc shards I was able to get this trophy within 15 minutes 😀

Overall, an enjoyable trophy list, with a little bit of challenge due to the difficulty related trophy, but nothing too tedious. 

 

 

Edited by Arcesus7
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complete-icon.png 100% #8 - Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

 

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  • 100% Enjoyment: 5/10
  • 100% Challenge:  3/10

 

Simple little adventure game featuring the world's most famous archaeologist and three additional randoms, which has you visiting different tombs full of traps and puzzles to solve. Fun game for a couple of hours in couch-coop, but nothing out of the ordinary.  

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

This is a game to be played cooperatively. The tombs are varied enough that they don't feel repetitive. Although most of the elements involved in puzzles are the same (glowing orbs, time-bombs, spike traps, etc...), the mechanics are juuuust tweaked enough that the game stays entertaining. Not only that, but the puzzles also change depending on the number of players. This way the game really manages to make every player crucial for solving a puzzle, as everyone has to contribute some way or another. 

 

Like with most games of this type, the story is pretty much nonexistent. Some baddy has gone wild, you need to retrieve some artifacts from several tombs to stop the big baddy before it's too late. Not very imaginative, nor presented in an interesting manner, but that's OK. Sitting with your coop partners ready to go to the next tomb, the last thing you want is a 20 minute cutscene. 

 

Otherwise, and similar to games like Gauntlet, there are no RPG elements in place. Upgrades happen in form of Rings, Amulets and Weapons. In contrast again to Gauntlet, though, combat here is secondary and thus not very deep. This is where the short length of the game plays in its favor. 

 

 

100% Challenge

 

Yeah, not much to say here. All trophies but one will unlock naturally while playing through the story, and as mentioned above solving the puzzles and the shallow combat don't pose any kind of real challenge. The last trophy is then awarded for completing all of the challenges in the tombs. These always include a "score challenge" and a "speedrun challenge" and a couple of miscellaneous challenges like killing enemies in certain ways or surviving traps without taking damage. 

These challenges don't need to be all completed in the same run, and it would be impossible actually, so after the initial playthrough you are looking at completing each of the tombs twice or three more times. Still, there is nothing particularly challenging here, and playing solo makes this actually even easier. 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Update

 

Backlog: 

  • I found Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime on sale, so I added it to the backlog. 
  • I've added unreleased games that I definitely want to play to the backlog, so that I don't need to maintain a separate list on my phone. 

So, Celeste is on the wishlist... I've actually seen that game fairly often at a reduced price, but I always avoided buying it. Somehow the inclusion of the assist mode makes me not wanna play the game. I know it's stupid, but I can't help it. Any thoughts on this?

 

 

Red Dead Redemption 2: 

I try not to play too much at a time. Maybe I should have taken more advantage of the +20% XP this past week, but I got some gold buckles done, did some races and free roam missions and events, so I think I still got something out of that limited extra XP. I wished some of the easier gold buckets could be reset, but oh well. 

My storyline is stuck at 75% though, and no further story missions show up on the map, so that sucks. Plus, more often than not starting a free roam mission will not work and kill the map, forcing me to restart. That's normal for a Beta, I guess, but still. 

Otherwise I'm looking forward to whatever additional content they are putting out today! Anything to keep this interesting (which has been so far) without needing do do the same activities over and over again. 

 

 

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: 

I don't know why I waited so long to get this one. I've only played the first two missions in couch-coop with my girlfriend and man, this is one of the most fun coop experiences we've had on the PS4! It rivals Overcooked in terms of communcation needed, and is still accessible to more casual players. I'm really glad I got this one, and cannot wait to see what happens next!

Edited by Arcesus7
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Posted (edited)

Update

 

Darksiders III

About two days after I got the plat, the first DLC came out. I had no idea it was about to drop, so I needed to re-download the base game and purchased the DLC for... what, 7 moneys?? (insert your currency here, € for me). Ok, must be good then!

Not. The first DLC is a crucible, much like the one in Darksiders II. You fight 100 waves of enemies from the base game, get a recycled boss every 25 levels, and if you get to the top without dying you fight a secret final boss. Took me about an hour, never died, never dropped below 4 of my 6 healing charges. 

Seriously, the price tag for this is a bit ridiculous (but then again, so was the price tag for the base game...). I would recommend waiting for a reduced season pass or something... 

 

This also goes to show how meaningless leaderboards are here. Only because I was lucky and the DLC came out so shortly after I finished playing, I'm now 2nd on the "fastest achievers" leaderboard, surpassing all those players that had previously completed the base game in like 2 days. 

 

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

Hey, some progress!! I got the last two trophies yesterday that involve some sort of "skill" (prevent another posse from completing a free roam mission, and get 3x MVP in competitive events). The "only" trophies left require leveling up and buying stuff. But, so far I managed to do everything with the standard weapon and standard horse, so I'm not too worried about money. The leveling up, however... 

 

So, how's the first major update? Well, for me actually OK. They listened and kinda punish aggressive play now. And they added seven daily challenges. Completing one grants 200 XP which is pretty neat. Other than that, new modes have not been added yet, but should come soon, and I still cannot finish the story line as no missions show on my minimap.. At least I can do the last mission, which is pretty good for XP and kills. 

 

 

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Still loving this. We make slow progress since we're playing the game on the second highest difficulty level. Even though it's not required for any trophy, my girlfriend's all like "where's the challenge in playing on easy?!". 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Posted (edited)

Update

 

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime 

We finished the second campaign! And unlocked a new ship that we are using for the third one, "Orion". The gimmick of the new ship is that each character has its own areas (access to shield / weapons) that are not accessible to the other characters.. which means that you really need to trust in each other's abilities... The second campaign introduced impenetrable water spheres, the third one seems to be ice-themed and full of enemies with projectiles. I think the metal-beam shield will be important here! 

 

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 

Alright, I managed to get every trophy this weekend except the one for reaching rank 50. So, no more worrying about money. 🙂

Unfortunately, I'm running out of things to do to keep this entertaining! Luckily the XP-progression seems to be linear from a certain point onwards (+25XP per level, or equivalently 1 execution kill from the hip). Seriously though.. I can see myself attempting the daily challenges, replaying some missions and doing a couple of PvP series, hopefully unlocking some belt buckle rewards on the way, but man it's still a looooong way to 50! 😳

Ah, and I think I figured out that two online story missions are locked behind negative honor, which is stupid, but OK. I'm trying to lower my honor, which absolutely is not my style of play, but I want to see what the missions are all about. From there, I'm aiming at about 2-3 ranks / day, which hopefully is doable... 

 

 

Thumper

I needed a break from RD online, so I decided to start this game and I'm really liking it so far. I've only attempted the first world, which I guess is the "tutorial", so wasn't too difficult to S-rank. My strategy will be to complete each world with S-rank during my initial playthrough by resetting each sub-level until I finish it with an S-rank, since repetition is the best way to learn a rhythm. I have to be fair, I'm a drummer, so the combination of rhythm and gaming is perfect for me 😬 But I have no doubt that this is going to become really complex at some point!

Edited by Arcesus7
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Don't keep divinity 2 in that backlog for too long, one of the best games this generation in my opinion. As for crypt of the necro dancer, be prepared to spend 600+ hours if you want the platinum 😬

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, NaseemJohn said:

Don't keep divinity 2 in that backlog for too long, one of the best games this generation in my opinion. As for crypt of the necro dancer, be prepared to spend 600+ hours if you want the platinum 1f62c.png

 

I've only heard great things about that game so far.. being a fan of the setting and generally RPGs, I cannot wait to get this one started! It's probably gonna be the next couch-coop game I play with my girlfriend, so once we're done with Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime... 😬 

 

As for CotND... I know, it's probably gonna take a while. I would also be OK (... not... 😜) with it being the first game I cannot platinum, but I'll sure as hell try to complete it! I bought it about a month back and didn't start it yet because I want to get into the right mindset first (and finish RDR2). But soon! 🙂

 

Edited by Arcesus7
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@Arcesus7 

 

do you want to play CotND with keyboard or will you try it with the normal controller? :D

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3 hours ago, S_y_n_e_IR_g_Y said:

@Arcesus7 

 

do you want to play CotND with keyboard or will you try it with the normal controller? :D

 

Well, I have been looking for a way to get a cheapish Xim... Only thing is, it seems impossible here in Switzerland. I see some auctions from time to time starting at a low price, but they end up selling for 100+ €... 😂 And honestly I simply cannot justify spending so much for playing a game that cost me 15€  So it's a bit of a dilemma.. but of course I'd love to play with keyboard from the beginning.

Floriiss said he himself started playing with the normal controller and only switched to a keyboard after 150h or so... So I might do something similar.. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

spacer.pngspacer.png40-platinum.png Platinum #45 - Red Dead Redemption 2

 

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  • Story-mode 100% Enjoyment: 7/10
  • Story-mode 100% Challenge:  4/10
     
  • Online 100% Enjoyment: 3/10
  • Online 100% Challenge:  3/10

 

The return of the epic western and prequel to the iconic Red Dead Redemption. A massive and beautiful game, but also a huge commitment to platinum. 

This is going to be a longer write-up, and to be fair to the game, I decided to write about my experience with story-mode and the online part of the game separately, even though both modes are required for the platinum.

 

 

Story-Mode 100% Enjoyment

 

Let me get right to the point. If you jump into this game thinking it's the next GTA, then you're gonna have a bad time with it. It's not a flashy action movie, there's nothing exploding every two minutes, it's not gonna get your adrenaline flowing. It is a slow-paced, very realistic western. And by realistic I don't mean the graphics: Don't brush your horse? Its health will deteriorate quicker. Don't eat enough? You'll run out of stamina faster. Don't shave? Jup, your beard is gonna grow. 

Those elements, however, can also simply be ignored if you don't mind staring at a long-haired, long-bearded, stinking outlaw with the stamina of a fruit fly. It's not like it really matters in terms of gameplay anyways, so I wasn't bothered by this too much. 😊

 

Instead, the game is primarily about following the story of Arthur and his fellow outlaws, watching them struggle to adapt to civilization, doing what they can to continue forward. It is a game about survival, companionship and moral values. The narrative is extraordinary, with phenomenal, yes, phenomenal voice acting. A lot of effort went into this game, and that is made clear from the first couple of minutes.

 

So what about the times you're not doing Gang-stuff? Well, then you can go explore the massive world. On horse, of course, so it's gonna be a lot of riding around. I used that time to watch out for new animals to hunt or plants to pick, meeting strangers and lending them a hand, crafting stuff in my camp, trying to get attacked by bears, etc... 😬

 

Don't I have anything negative to say about story mode? Sure do… The epilogue is too long and uninteresting, for one. But that's just me, I'm not trying to imply that the game would be better without it. I'm sure many fans from the previous installment were super excited to get settled in Breecher's Hope, where the original Red Dead Redemption picks up the story. Apart from that, the rather negative points have to do with the trophy list, so let's move on to that.

 

 

Story-Mode 100% Challenge

 

First things first. Four missable trophies in a 50-60 hour game is not very nice, Rockstar. Luckily, reading about those four trophies in advance doesn't spoil much, so it wasn't a big problem.

Otherwise, this game is not supposed to be challenging, and it sure ain't. Sure, getting the trophies is time consuming as hell, but nothing is particularly difficult to achieve. There are three major time-eaters, which are:

 

  • Skin Deep / Zoologist: Skin / Study all animals in story mode.
    Skinning and studying all animals will largely come naturally when going for everything else. I would always shoot like a crazy person at anything new that moved I came across while playing the game naturally. Once I was done with everything else, I was only left with finding the rarest animals (Moose, Great Horned Owl, Rio Grande Turkey and some others). That took another couple of hours, but was made waaaay less tedious thanks to the amazing browser-plugin written by HusKy. Massive thanks to him. 👏
     
  • Gold Rush: Earn 70 gold medals in story missions.
    If it wasn't for this single trophy this would probably be about a 2/10 in challenge. So how does Gold Rush work? Well, after each story mission you'll either get a bronze, silver or gold medal depending on how many hidden achievements you completed during said mission. Those achievements range from finishing the mission under a certain time, not taking damage, getting a certain amount of headshots and other more mission-specific things. After my initial playthrough I had only achieved ~10 gold medals, since I played blindly and thus didn't know the requirements for gold a priori. This trophy wants you to get 70 gold medals… At least the game gives you the option to replay missions from the menu, and there are 104 missions to choose from, so you can skip the ones that seem most difficult for you.
    The only (but huge) caveat: using the replay option forces you to play the mission with a stock version of Arthur, without your upgraded equipment or better horse. That makes some gold medals more challenging to achieve, also since ALL of the requirements must be met at once! Getting to 60-65 gold medals was easy enough via mission replay, but the last 5 or so proved to be more problematic, hence the 4/10.

     
  • Best in the West: Achieve 100% completion.
    Well, I guess the devs REALLY want us to see everything there is to see… 144 cigarette cards, 20 Dreamcatchers, 30 Dinosaur Bones, 13 legendary fish and the exotics side-quest. Alone all of the above will take many, maaaany hours to complete. And they are only the collectable-related requirements for 100%. You need to complete robberies, partially complete your compendium (weapons, animals, plants, fish, equipment…), maximize your stats, take a fucking bath, go to the theatre, complete all story missions, 10 stranger mission strands, bounties, chance encounters and, worst of them all: complete all 10 challenge categories. 😳  Yes, not 5 like in Red Dead Redemption, but 10. Now, these wouldn't be so bad if requirements met for later challenges would be saved and would already count. But when you have picked up every single plant during your playthrough, the last thing you want to see when you unlock Herbalist Challenge 9 is the description "Pick one of each species of herb". Are you fucking serious right now?? 😠 I believe this is the most time-consuming part of the game. 

 

And it goes to show how good the game can be if even after pointing out how tedious it was at times to go for the platinum, I can still give it a 7/10 for enjoyment.

A game I can recommend to anyone that wants to experience it for its narrative aspect, and at the same time a game I cannot recommend to a completionist with limited gaming time like myself.

 

 

Online 100% Enjoyment

 

And here it is, the most disappointing aspect of an otherwise enjoyable experience. I will get this out of the way right now: This is NOT a Beta, even if Rockstar gave it this lable. It is as much a Beta as you could argue Fallout 76 is a Beta. It's simply an unfinished product, released way too early to push microtransactions, disguised as a Beta to excuse its lack of content.

 

At the beginning I didn't understand why people were complaining about the online. Hey, you create your character and then there's just more Red Dead Redemption 2, but with strangers now instead of solo. Well, I'm down for that! Sure, the story is not as great here, and watching cutscenes with your mute character not saying a single word was a bit irritating, but that's also understandable.

So you finish up the story missions, or at least you think so since no more missions show up on the map. But wait, why is my story progress at 75%? Turns out, 2 missions are locked behind positive honor, another 2 missions behind negative honor. OK fine, let me quickly decrease my honor and finish up the story. In the meantime, I kept doing stranger missions, which more often than not were bugged, forcing me to restart the game (and they still haven't been patched to date), went hunting a bit and so on. So far so good. 10 hours in I'm done with the story… and am still at rank 18. So you know, I anyways need to be MVP three times in PvP games, so I play some of that, try to counter a rival's posse free roam mission, and do some free roam events… But once all of that is done and you find yourself still with a rank in the low 20s you start to realize that it is still a long way to go, and there is almost nothing to do... 😶

 

The PvP is not very good here. You know how in story mode you would try to walk up a mountain and start sliding down, or fall over a rock then proceed to be the slowest person to ever get up again? Yeah, in story mode that's fine. But in a competitive multiplayer environment, which due to its time limit of about 5-10 minutes per round encourages aggressive, fast play, all of that has no place! Seriously, stop cleaning your shoes and take your fucking shotgun out!! 😫 

I cannot understand how there are rank-360+ players in Red Dead Online… There must be way better PvP games out there! I seriously have no idea what keeps them entertained for so long.

 

The updates have also been quite disappointing. By the time I started with the online, the daily challenges dropped, which provided some sort of variety with new objectives every day. But otherwise we have been getting exploit fixes (have you guys seen the pics of hundreds of duped cougars? Hilarious 😂), nerfs (killing lawman once gave decent XP, now they cut all the bonuses of headshots, killing while on a horse, etc…), they made hunting and fishing less profitable, and instead added new emotes and clothes with exorbitant prices. Ah, but wait, you can buy gold with real money, so what's the problem? 🙄

 

In total, I spent about 51 hours with Red Dead Online, doing the same thing over, and over, and over, and over again just to rank up to 50. I am not exaggerating when I say that during these hours I often would second-guess why I am completing the game. Is it really worth it? Shouldn't I just give up and just embrace an incomplete game on my profile? Instead it consumed me, and I could not wait for it to be over. It is inexplicable to me that a company like Rockstar, known for delivering quality, can release a product like Red Dead Online. What a shame.

 

 

Online 100% Challenge

 

I'll keep this short since the length of this write-up is getting out of hands. No online trophy requires you to be particularly skilled in the game. Sure, there is the trophy for getting MVP three times, but they don't have to be in a row. Playing normally I got MVP in horse races a couple of times and also in some Showdown large, and I really suck at PvP. If I can do it, it cannot be that difficult. 😬 Everything else is just a grind.

 

 

 

Oh, on a side note, I bought Pyre on sale! Looking forward to that one. 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Posted (edited)

Update

 

First things first. I am now a proud owner of PSVR! I saw a V2-system with camera for 200 bucks and couldn't resist... Only the PS Move Controllers seem to be out of stock EVERYWHERE! What the hell? Some stores told me they have been waiting for 6 months for a delivery... 😶

Also, I don't like earplugs in general, and those that come with the system are reeeeally bad. Luckily, using my own headphones works perfectly! So I'm not too bothered. 

 

[edit: I just found a pair of Move Controllers and had them reserved! 😬]

 

Anyways, that purchase has added the following games to my backlog: 

  • Déraciné, because FromSoft.
  • Beat Saber, because it looks fun as hell.
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission, because everybody is talking about how this is the best VR-game yet. 
  • Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, because... buuurp.  

 

So, what about my open games? 

 

 

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

We finished the game! And we luckily used three different ships for three different campaigns, so got that trophy out of the way too. Man, I cannot say this enough, what a fantastic game for couch-coop. 

The next steps will be to lower the difficulty to clean up the remaining trophies that we didn't unlock naturally. Killing bosses in certain ways, not using gems, etc... Shouldn't take too long I guess 😃

 

 

Thumper

I did the first three levels (resetting sub-levels until finishing with an S-rank) before getting PSVR. I now did level 4 and 5 with VR, and man, the experience is just incomparable! It's also super creepy now, being immersed in the emptyness of Thumper, taking on these grotesque and abstract creatures. Just wow. 

Towards the end of level 4 and for most of level 5 the speed is increased noticeably, but so far I didn't have too much trouble getting S-ranks. Let's see if I can keep this up.

 

Also, I just love how the time signatures match the levels.. Like everything is 3/4 in level 3, 4/4 in level 4 and 5/4 in level 5. I haven't started level 6 yet, but I guess it'll be in 6/8. If so, then level 7 should be fun 😂

I already liked the game, but playing this in VR is just so much better in every way. 

 

 

Pyre

Ok I got this one because it's Supergiant Games and I want to support their work. I'm not a big fan of visual novels nor sports games, and Pyre is a weird combo of both worlds. And weirdly enough, I really like Pyre! 😃 

I don't know how far I am in the story, but since I just won my second Liberation Rite I would guess that I'm almost at the end. The artstyle is unique, and I really like it a lot. The only complaitn I have is that the game is too easy. I'm playing on Standard difficulty and after winning my first Liberation Rite I had a look at the trophy list. One trophy asks of you to lose a Liberation Rite. I never came even close to defeat in any of the games I played, and I don't like that the game asks you to lose on purpose, but that's what I did... Not so fun. 

Sure, there's a trophy in every dark souls game for "dying for the first time", but that is at least unlocked naturally 😂 Not in Pyre. 

Edited by Arcesus7
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spacer.pngspacer.png40-platinum.png Platinum #46 - Pyre

 

La82a5d.png

 

  • 100% Enjoyment: 7/10
  • 100% Challenge:  2/10
      

Half Visual Novel, half Fantasy Basketball, Pyre is a priori a bizarre fusion of genres that isn't supposed to work out. However, Supergiant Games has, somehow, managed to fuse narrative and gameplay to an extent that I haven't seen in other games. And while the choices made during the campaign are far less impactful than one would think, this doesn't mean that you won't think twice before making a decision. 

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

I knew about this game for some time, but never actually cared to put it in my backlog, since I usually don't play Visual Novels, and generally avoid Sports Games. But it's Supergiant Games… A studio really passionate about what they do… So to support their work I decided to get this one and give it a chance. And I have to say, I'm happy that I did! 😃

 

In my opinion the main thing Pyre does right is keeping the Reader (that's your role in the game) engaged at all times, be it during Rites -- the parts with actual gameplay -- but also during the narrative bits. Pyre is very good at making you care for the characters forming the Nightwings, your triumvirate, the triumvirate against which all other triumvirates are measured in the Liberation Rites.

 

I have to admit at some point I stopped reading every single page that was unlocked in the huge book found in the caravan, detailing every aspect of each of the areas, stars and other lore items. However, I never skipped anything related to the characters and used every chance I had to interact with them to learn more about their past and their desires. It is the intimacy you gain with every single character what makes it so difficult to liberate them. Sure, you could always just liberate the weakest character, which is what I did the first time around (seriously, who keeps Hedwyn around?), but already during the second cycle I started considering factors applicable to each character individually. Who is ready to help accomplish the Plan? Who has something worthwhile here in the Downside? Who really deserves to leave this place? It wasn't always easy, and I applaud Pyre and Supergiant Games for making me care so much about my choices.

 

Additionally, this game is phenomenal from an artistic perspective as well. The artstyle is rather unique, and I really love it. Similarly, the music is spot on, and Pyre excels at making you feel what it wants you to feel via musical themes. All other triumvirates also have their own unique and fitting theme. Simply fantastic. 

An overall very enjoyable 10h experience. Glad that I gave it a chance to surprise me!

 

 

100% Challenge

 

Pyre is FULL of missable trophies, though with a bit of care they are very easy to earn. The requirements from the ones tied to specific characters are rather fair ("only" 200 Pyre damage is required with each character), so making sure that those pop before you liberate that particular character is not too difficult, and actually encourages switching up your team.

 

There is one trophy for beating another triumvirate with all 12 titan stars active at least on Standard difficulty, and one for beating a CPU opponent on the highest difficulty with 6 titan stars active. Those are probably the most difficult trophies in the game, and I still got both on my first attempt, soooo... I think it's safe to say that Pyre is not a challenging game. Berthrude and Pamitha are just OP and make every Rite a walk in the park, the third character really doesn't matter that much. 

 

Then there is one trophy that asks of you to lose one Liberation Rite, which is the last rite of a cycle where the anointed character from the winning triumvirate is sent back to the Commonwealth. This is probably the most missable trophy 😂 I never even came close to defeat (in any Rite in general), so I needed to deliberately lose before I reached the end of the game. Sure, Pyre tries its best to force you to lose one of those Rites through its narrative; for instance, Pamitha came up to me and asked me to lose against her sister's team. I like you, Pamitha, but hell no I'm not gonna lose on purpose. Seriously, I'm not gonna be that selfish and deny your other teammates the chance to earn their freedom.

 

Overall, a rather easy platinum with no particularly tedious trophies, but a bunch of missable ones.

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40-platinum.png Platinum #47 - Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

 

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  • 100% Enjoyment: 9/10
  • 100% Challenge:  2/10
      

Tiny beings lost in space, on board a weird spaceship equipped with upgradable turrets, shields and special weapons, trying to save LOVE. While this one can be played in single-player with an AI companion, it is only a fraction of the fun that it is to play this in couch-coop.

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

Yes, 9/10. This is without a doubt and maybe besides the Guacamelee and Overcooked games the most fun to be had on the PS4 in couch-coop. I played it with my girlfriend on the second highest difficulty mode. Not because it's required for any trophy, but because she didn't see the challenge in playing on Beginner. And I'm so happy that she insisted.

 

It would take us about half an hour per stage, rescuing all the trapped creatures. Half an hour of shouting, laughing and trying to survive the hordes of enemies the game would throw at us. And while you could make things easier by having one player controlling the shield at all times, none of us would have it that way and kept moving around, switching stations as we saw fit.

 

Me:  Take out the ones on the right! The right! THE OTHER RIGHT!

Her: Wait, lemme fire the big cannon!

Me:  Aaah, dammit! Didn't see that one firing missiles at us, go to the shields!

Her: Where did that meteorite come from??

 

(That would happen in Swiss-German though 😜)

 

Besides the tutorial, there are four different campaigns, composed of four stages and a boss fight each. And each of the campaigns adds a new gimmick to the game. There is the basic level, followed by one that introduces water spheres that block your shots. Then there is the ice level, where some enemies are frozen and don't take damage, so you need to shoot at nearby suns, creating solar flares that, if they hit, remove the ice shield from the enemies. The last world then introduces white dwarves, stars with a gravitational pull so strong that can only – almost only – be escaped by firing your gun at them.

 

There are also three different ships that are unlocked by rescuing the cute creatures. The standard one, one where each of the characters can only access half of the stations (turrets, shield, special weapon), and one that turns the ship when navigating, instead of only moving the propulsor around the ship. All three play differently and are super fun in their own way.  

 

Seriously, if you enjoy couch-coop, if you enjoy games like Overcooked, get this one. And do yourself a favor: Don't do your initial playthrough on Beginner😉

 

 

100% Challenge

 

As mentioned above, everything can be done on Beginner, the lowest difficulty setting available. That reduces the challenge significantly, but I'd recommend playing blind on some higher difficulty level first and only switch to this setting for cleaning up miscellaneous trophies after the four campaigns.

 

The only trophies that could require a couple of tries are the four related to killing bosses in specific ways. And while we did get three out of four on our first try, not getting punched by Ursa Major required several resets until we were successful.

 

Other than that, there is a trophy for completing an entire level without taking damage. We combined this one with our "Play through a campaign without using any gems"-trophy, which maybe made this one a bit more difficult than it should have been. Nonetheless, cleaning up after our initial playthrough didn’t take too long, and we enjoyed the game until the moment the platinum popped. 😊

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I highly recommend you play Velocity 2X. Fun game, fun platinum, and it's difficulty isn't as bad as the trophy percentages might lead you to believe. You will need to practice some of the levels because there are 50 of them and you have to 'Perfect' them. That literally means not dying once, getting all the essential collectibles and breaking every piece of glass. The DLC, particularly the Dual Core DLC, may give you some real trouble because you're controlling two ships at once. I was lucky to play it on the Vita which made it a lot easier thanks to touchscreen teleport.

 

Downwell can be tough. Mostly RNG, and the powerups are also completely random. Knife and Fork upgrade is the most important one, and Normal will prepare you for Hard Mode. If you die at any point you have to start from the very beginning, but luckily Downwell is a very short game.

 

Limbo requires you to complete with less than five deaths. There's a few YouTube videos that can help you point out where the difficult sections are. I stacked this game three times and it took three playthroughs for me to complete it while dying less than five - six times. There's a certain collectible that will require you to put your headphones on and listen to a distinctive noise, refer to a YouTube video.

 

Celeste was pretty easy. Assist Mode breaks the game and it otherwise could of been one of the most difficult platinums of last year. Has good music and a decent story to boot. Some of the collectibles can be a pain to find however.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Spaz said:

I highly recommend you play Velocity 2X.  

 

Downwell can be tough.

 

Limbo requires you to complete with less than five deaths. 

 

Celeste was pretty easy. 

 

Oh I will definitely get to at least the first two, I know that at least Downwell is only 5 bucks, but I have already a couple of games downloaded that I want to get to, so I'm still waiting for a sale. 

 

Limbo I've been tempted to get, I enjoyed Inside but wasn't as blown away as everybody else was, so I dunno... I don't mind no-death trophies, so that's definitely not a factor (not that a trophy list is in general 🙂)

 

As for Celeste.. Yeah, I would have gotten that one immediately if not for the Assist Mode. I know it's silly to name that as the reason for not playing the game, but somehow it's the only thing preventing me from buying it. I know nobody is forcing me to use Assist Mode, and I have nothing against making games accessible to everybody, but at least it should disable trophies. I dunno... Any thoughts on this?

 

 

 

Man, I'm behind with my reports! Already was a couple of days late with my write-up for Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and I've meanwhile also completed Thumper on Sunday... Will try to get the review done today! 

The next thing I'll play before I jump into Sekiro and Déraciné will be the Ardyn DLC that just released today for Final Fantasy XV. Will get that back up to 100% one last time! 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Posted (edited)

40-platinum.png Platinum #48 - Thumper

 

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  • 100% Enjoyment: 8/10
  • 100% Challenge:  6/10
      

A game about rhythm, fast reflexes and being a metallic beetle on crack. Or, as the developers describe it, a rhythm violence game. Thumper is a very simple game, with very straightforward controls and mechanics, but it is extremely satisfying to master. A recommendation to any PSVR owner, and in general to anyone with a flair for rhythm games.

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

I had put my eye on Thumper already a while ago, but I'm very happy that I waited. Why, you ask? Well, because after finally starting Thumper and playing through the first three levels, I also purchased a PSVR… And man, playing this game in VR is just so much better in every way! 😀

 

The gameplay is really simple, but that is a good thing. You are a metallic beetle on rails, confronted with different obstacles to react to. There are thumps, turns, slides, line switches, jumps and pounds which need to be overcome to the rhythm of what I would say can be described as minimalistic industrial music. And all those moves are performed with two buttons: :cross: and :l3:. That's it. The game then introduces laser rings that damage you when you miss a thumb, or enemies that simply need to be avoided by quickly switching lanes. It is also clever that not every sound is generated by pressing :cross:. For example, when keeping :cross: pressed to slide through rings on the ground or in the air, the impact also generates parts of the beat. It's phenomenal.

 

Now, as for the fun factor… Each level is composed of a number of sublevels that can range from 15 (tutorial level) to 30. The music is industrial throughout the game, but the time signatures change from level to level, and that's really well done. For example, for the most part level 3 is in 3/4, level 4 in 4/4, level 5 in 5/4 and 5/8, level 6 in 6/8, etc, with exceptions to some sub-levels. However, there is rarely a straight beat to follow. Instead, the game constantly throws syncopations, cross-accents, triplets, etc at you. It can get really complex at times, but it's the more rewarding when you perfect a sublevel. 😁

 

Later levels then don't necessarily introduce new mechanics, but instead test everything you've learned by cranking up the speed to supersonic. In total I spent about 12 hours with Thumper, give or take, and honestly, to me this was the perfect introduction to PSVR.

 

 

100% Challenge

 

Full disclosure, I'm a drummer, so naturally I'm good with complex rhythms. 😋

 

There is nothing crazy that needs to be done for the platinum, the only trophies are acquired for beating every level, and beating every level with an S-rank (maximum rank possible in NG). How do you get an overall S-rank in a level? Simple, you need to complete each sublevel with an S-rank, no exceptions.

 

Generally speaking, getting an S-rank will mostly require you to not get damaged, not miss a single thump and, in later stages, create as many bonus thumps as possible by constantly pounding everything, killing tentacles and creating x2 and x3 multipliers. It will also be necessary to make perfect turns (turn at the last possible instance) while in the air to stay airborne and hit additional rings for higher scores.

 

Instead of doing an initial playthrough to beat the game, I decided to go for the S-ranks right away. While there is no sublevel select from the menu screen, there is a handy quick-replay feature that allows you to restart the current or last sublevel. So what I would do is replay a sublevel until I got an S-rank, and only then move on. This way, it took me 1 hour on average to clear the earlier and about 1.5 hours to clear the later levels with the exception of the last one, level 9, which took me about two hours because of spoilers:

 

Spoiler

The second-to-last level was super fun, and I was literally shaking once I beat it due to the speed increase.. Like, what the fuck just happened?? 😳 But that was not the difficult one, it only sped everything up to a level not seen before. 

 

The last Boss of the game, however, has the ability to slow and speed up time. That makes it super confusing at first and threw me out for a bit. You need to learn the time manipulation patterns, and it took some attempts to finally beat it (and getting an S-rank..). Great last boss, honestly. 

 

While I didn't know if I would manage to really see it through with the strategy of getting S-ranks straight away, I managed in the end. Levels 8 and 9 were surprisingly "easy", but also two of the most fun to play. I never played a rhythm game before, but I'll sure as hell will play more after this experience!

 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Well, last night I got the last couple of trophies for the FFXV Ardyn Episode, so got that game and my profile back up to 100%. 

I have to say, even though I have my problems with FFXV, I actually enjoyed playing the first three character DLC. This last one, however, is very badly put together. One hour of really bad quality cinematics (were the cutscenes in the main game also that bad?? I don't think so..), about one hour of repetitive fights, and all of that for 10€.  Yes, 10 fucking euro! The other character episodes released for 5€ each and had way more substance! That's just ridiculous.

 

I won't even write anything longer about it, just suffices to say that I'm happy to be done with it, and to finally be able to delete the game from my system. I used to blindly buy any new Final Fantasy... After the mess that is Final Fantasy XV, I will likely be more cautious with future installments. 

 

 

Now that that's out of the way and the other games are done, it's time for Sekiro! 😁 

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Posted (edited)

40-platinum.png Platinum #49 - Déraciné

 

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  • 100% Enjoyment: 5/10
  • 100% Challenge:  1/10
      

A walking simulator, but in VR. Being a game by From Software, there was no other choice than throwing my money at Déraciné. I think that my lack of experience with VR let me enjoy this game more than I would have otherwise, as I feel that if not for the novelty and wonder of VR, this game might have been a bit too slow for my taste. It is however a nice introduction to the virtual worlds of Playstation. 

 

 

100% Enjoyment

 

I went into this game without expectations. My only previous experience with PSVR was Thumper, which I recently finished. For that game, VR adds an extra element of depth, but movement is automatic and interactions limited, so the gameplay doesn't really change. Not so with Déraciné. Already in the main menu I found myself sitting in a library, inside a virtual house… What a disorienting (not in a negative way!) experience.😀 It sat there for 5 minutes, looking around, taking in the view before properly starting the game. 

 

Then the experience started. Not very far into the game I came across a small girl which started moving, looked right in my eyes, leaned forward and started whispering in my ear 😳 I think every person will have that one moment that will mark and define their introduction to VR. This one was it for me… simply stunning! And mind you, I have done an entire escape room in VR in a VR-center we have here in my city, but being able to get that immersed in a virtual world right in my living room is simply extraordinary! 😀

 

So I started exploring the house, interacting with the residents and solving the fairly simple puzzles. And after the half point I noticed that I started losing interest. Probably the novelty of VR had worn off by that point, and the gameplay alone is not interesting enough to keep one engaged. Talking about gameplay, it's actually pretty basic. You move, turn and crouch by pressing a button, interact with the frozen children by touching (yes, for these actions you need to move your hands) glowing orbs, and can grab items in the same way. And yeah, that's basically it… you listen to whatever conversations are stored in the glowing orbs and solve related puzzles.

 

Eventually, what starts as a nice and light story turns a bit darker (this is FromSoft we are talking about), and after about four hours (I took a break at some point) you are done. I found a couple of Bloodborne references (the Doll and a Great One) that made me laugh 😅 That was nice. 

 

Do I recommend this game? Seriously, I think it is a good, slow introduction to VR. But for veterans without an interest in Walking Simulator type of games, Déraciné won't get your adrenaline flowing.

 

 

100% Challenge

 

Well, all of the trophies pop from playing the game naturally, and the puzzles are really easy and require no guide whatsoever. There is nothing to say here, really.

 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Posted (edited)

Update

 

Alright, so what did I do this weekend gaming-wise besides getting a short plat in Déraciné? I started two amazing games... 😀

 

 

Beat Saber

I mentioned after finishing Thumper that I would play more rhythm games, and deciding between Crypt of the Necrodancer and Beat Saber, I chose the latter because I just got VR and wanted to try it out a bit more. And man, this game is absolutely fantastic. I had watched videos about the gameplay, but how fun it is being the one slicing at the blocks like some sort of rhythm-Jedi is just impossible to determine from some gameplay footage. 

 

So far, I've completed 30 levels from the campaign, skipping two on the way that prove waaaaay too difficult for me at this point (I'm only 2.5 hours in or so): One level with disappearing arrows that is just way too fast, and one "one-handed" level that is also absolutely bonkers. I've also completed a couple of solo-levels, only on "hard" though - I'm leaving expert for later - trying to get S-rankings, sweating my ass off. It's great. 😁

To me, this game alone was worth purchasing PSVR. 😊

 

 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

I'm still spoiler-free, and I still don't know what people think about this game, so I'll try to also avoid spoilers when writing about this game here. What I've seen is titles of topics here on PSNProfiles like "Harder than Bloodborne" or "Better than Bloodborne"... Let's just say, it's different than Bloodborne. 😅

However, the learning curve, at least to me, is comparable. Bloodborne was my first Souls Game, and getting past Yharnam was really tough. I feel the same with this game. The initial moments, still trying to learn how the game is supposed to be played, proved quite challenging, and I feel like the difficulty is all over the place. Maybe I went the wrong way, maybe I was too early in places I wasn't supposed to be, but I died quite a lot to the two mini-bosses in Hirata Estate, then proceeded to kill the first proper boss at the Castle Gate in Ashina on my first try, and then went back to Hirata Estate and killed the boss there, needing a couple of tries. Since then, got my ass kicked repeatedly in the Ashira Reservoir by some huge spear dude until I decided to go buy some Firecrakers. 

I really like Sekiro. It's different enough from the Souls Games that it feels like the start of its own franchise, with a deep combat system and completely different setting (playing with Japanese voice is also very fitting!), but keeps many aspects that make the Soulsborne games so rewarding and interesting to play. 

The grappling hook and its usage in Sekiro is the greatest thing to happen in a while in video games 😬

 

 

So yeah, it's rare that I start two games and both turn out to be that great... 😀 

Edited by Arcesus7
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Limbo isn’t that hard. 

 

It has that creepy look to it but that’s part of the charm of this game. 

 

Getting through takes about a hour, pay attention to where you die because there are some sections where you can easily screw yourself up. 

 

You should get this done in a day or two. It’s quite short, but rewarding nonetheless. 

 

As I said before, keep your headphones on when you’re going for that gold trophy. You won’t be able to see all that much.

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Posted (edited)

Update

 

Well, I ended up buying two games, one of which was not in my backlog.... 

 

  • Limbo. I think this one is gonna be a charming and short experience. I enjoyed Inside, even though I don't understand the 10/10 scores, so after going back and forth for a while and with Spaz's encouragement, I finally got it 🙂
     
  • Trackmania Turbo. So, that happened... I mean obviously I knew about this game, but never was particularly interested.. or so I thought. I even went on record here writing that I probably never will do this one, not because I think I'm unable to, but because I don't think I would enjoy this game... 
    "Hmm let's browse the Spring sale... Uh, what's that? Trackmania Turbo? Don't even think about it.. You're not interested, so just igno... Thanks for your purchase. DAMMIT!" 
    Don't judge me. 😶

 

 

Other than that, I really didn't have time at all to play this week... so only a short update:

 

 

Beat Saber
I did a couple more S-rankings and Full Combos on hard mode in Beat Saber, which is still the greatest thing on PSVR if you ask me,.. I also went back to the Campaign and cleaned up the disappearing arrows and one-handed levels I didn't manage to get last week. 

 

 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Well, I spent ages looking for the third boss, and discovered about 3 other locations in the process... Yesterday I had an hour to play in the evening and decided to go back to a previous idol and search the area a bit more, when I finally found a passage I had missed before which lead me to an Elite dude guarding the passage to the boss area. This one wasn't too bad, though it had a surprise waiting! 😐 

After a couple of tries this boss was history, and I got a very clear description of what I need to do next to progress in the story. 

I'm really having a lot of fun with Sekiro, and I'll try to make it my next and 50th platinum :) 

Edited by Arcesus7
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I've looked at Sekiro and I decided I'm going to wait on it.

 

In ways it tries too hard to be like Bloodborne and in other ways it looks pretty fulfilling. I can't be bothered to pay $60 for it so I'll wait a few months when the hype and the gravy train for it die down and likely pick it up this coming Fall or Black Friday, which is still a ways off.

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