Together_Comic

Together_Comic's Platinum Panel and Backlog Checklist

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Nice list ! you did put some effort there. But holy mama that backlog needs some serious investment xD you have some heavy duty things there.

Also you are a fellow 2019/2020 backlog challenge - UR 2020 event, nice! :dance:

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Update 1 - 11/18/2019

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Final Fantasy XV 

 

I started Final Fantasy XV this weekend.  I've been playing through the Comrades DLC and so far it feels a lot like a monster hunter or something similar.  You fight monsters on hunts to get components (to upgrade you gear) and levels, in order to fight stronger monsters on hunts so that you can eventually unlock the map, the hunts, and finish the story of the DLC.  The Combat so far is good, if simple and I'm excited to see where it goes

 

Time Played: Approx 6 hours

Progress 6/98 - 3% 

 

On 11/14/2019 at 5:09 PM, Copanele said:

Nice list ! you did put some effort there. But holy mama that backlog needs some serious investment xD you have some heavy duty things there.

Also you are a fellow 2019/2020 backlog challenge - UR 2020 event, nice! :dance:

 

Don''t I know it.  If I only played games from the backlog (undoubtedly I won't), I would still have enough material to keep me gaming for several years.  Its why I'm thankful for events like the backlog challenge and UR 2020, they give me some motivation to get through some of this stuff.  Should be a fun ride. 

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Update 2 - 11/25/2019

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Final Fantasy XV 

 

Finished the Comrades DLC and actually really enjoyed it.  I understand why they made it its own game because it definitely felt like a full game (a short one, but a game none the less).  It would have been neat to see this when the multiplayer was functional but, what can you do.  I started the main story and have played up through chapter one.  I am enjoying it so far, but I'm not sure how I feel about hub world, collect a quest, game play.  That road is well traveled.  But we'll see what happens. 

 

Progress 24/98 - 19%

Comrades DLC rating 8/10 - 20 hours to complete. 

 

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Update 3 -12/3/2019

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Final Fantasy XV

:platinum: #35

Yup, still playing this one. I've finished all the trophies for the base game and hope to have the DLC update trophies done by the end of the week.  I will say that I am enjoying the game, but I may take a break between finishing the update trophies and doing all the episode DLCs if for no other reason than I want to play something different.  Now that I've finished the base game, I can say that the game itself has some great points.  Ardyn is a great villian, Lunafreya is one of my favorite characters in the franchise, and the combat is very good.  The story however has some pacing issues that kind of come with the territory of balancing an open world game with a overarching story.  Not every game can be the Witcher and do it perfectly and this one certainly falls into that trap. The trophies for the base game are easy enough and though you have some of the typical RPG fair (Finish the game, do some sidequests, fight the superboss) the other trophies revolve around leveling up each characters random skill (fishing, survival, cooking, and photography respectively).  Cooking and Photography go up pretty easily and aren't to bad to just kind of do as you go along.  Fishing requires 2ish hours of dedication to it, but is overall not to awful.  Survival is the worst.  You would think it would come naturally as literally all you need to do is walk around to level it up, but no it takes literal hours of walking to finish the stat.  I would recommend either a nice movie or 5 while you idly hold the two joysticks to make Noctis run around in circles, or better yet a rubberband and go ahead and go about your day, cause its going to be awhile.  Still I think the game goes in the Recommend category, with the caveat that I can change my mind if the DLCs episodes rub me one way or another. 

 

Recommend 

7.3/10

 

Goal Updates

I really want to finish one more game before the end of the year and for awhile, I thought it would be J Star Victory Vs+, but with the new event that I've joined (A-Z of unstarted games) I decided to use that as my J game, and I can't start that till January 1 at minimum.  So instead, I thought I would give one of the plus games a try.  So Titanfall 2 it is.  I have no idea what the game is, other than its a FPS which I don't typically play a lot of so its a bit out of my comfort zone, but here's hoping it will be fun.  Speaking of A-Z of Unstarted games, thats going to be an absolute doozy of an event.  This year, I've completed 18 platinums (likely 19 by the end of the year) and 4 100% titles (speaking of which do I need a section for those? Hmm..) and completed 21 games in total (again likely 23 by the end of the year)  That means that I would have to finish at minimum 3 more next year in addition to the 6 Ultra Rares I'm working on for another event, which could end up being rough.  Here's hoping I'm not stressing out about this come December of next year. 

 

~TC

Edited by Together_Comic
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11 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

Now that I've finished the base game, I will say that the game itself has some great points.  Ardyn is a great villian, Lunafreya is one of my favorite characters in the franchise, and the combat is very good. The story however has some pacing issues that kind of come with the territory of balancing an open world game with a overarching story. 

 

7.3/10

 

That's an awefully specific score 😅

 

I didn't hate the game, far from it, but I also had my issues with it. Agree with Ardyn being a good antagonist, but Lunafreya, at least when I played the game, really didn't have a big role in the game... Was a bit disappointing, but they might have added a lot of new stuff in updates over the last year. 

 

Congrats on the plat :) 

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You got a LONG way to go before you hit platinum #100.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, most of the no death runs in Super Meat Boy aren't too bad if you practice for a few hours on each. Missile Boy is when the difficulty really starts to ramp up, then it ramps up again with Demon Boy, then Zombie Boy, and finally Impossible Boy.

 

I've spent 40 - 50 hours on Impossible Boy, and I still don't have it. So if you have any plans to finish this game, be prepared to spend 100+ hours on it.

 

You do however, have Tetris Effect almost done. That is a pretty time consuming platinum, and definitely one to be proud of. I'm terrible at Tetris, so I will never get that game finished.

 

Everything else on your profile is solid. Great work so far.

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Update 4 -12/26/2019

Related image

 

:platinum: 36 Titanfall 2 is a FPS action game where you play as Jack Cooper, I rifleman in the frontier militia en route to assault the planet Typhon with his mentor Lastimosa to finally defeat the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC).  Along the way spoilery stuff happens and Jack finds himself the pilot of a titan one BT-7374.  From there, the two must complete the original mission and discover the secret that the IMC is hiding on the planet. I have a few complaints about the plot. The campaign itself is relatively short, clocking in at around 8-10 hours.  The villians that you fight all feel like they were inspired by Borderlands, but just not as interesting, and the twists are on the whole pretty predictable.  Other than that, the plot is fast paced, held my attention, and had some really unique sections.  Specifically the sections in the back half of Mission 5 are really interesting and fun (despite being a bit gimmicky).  

 

The gameplay is what really sells this game for me.  The pilot character is really fun to just move.  Most places that you can see in the game, there are ways to get to, and using the helmet collectibles often as additional platforming sections really stood out to me.  The titan feels heavy, but not in a bad way, just the way you would imagine a large robot to move and the Titan combat is a lot of fun.  Switching between the various modules each useful, but usually different was entertaining.  The pilot shooting wasn't super engaging for me, but perhaps that's just my bias against fps games.  I didn't feel like it was worse than any of the others that I have played, and I do think shooting enemies while leaping off of walls or sliding on the ground where a lot of fun.  

 

The trophies for this game were also great. There is some typical stuff: get the collectibles, finish the story, all the upgrades, all the difficulties, try out the multiplayer, but there was also some really fun miscellaneous trophies.  I particularly enjoyed "Becomes the Master." This is the only trophy that some people may find challenging as it is a pretty tight timer and requires some fast shooting and platforming combined together in a neat fast paced way Which brings me back to my complaint about the pilot shooting.  If it had been like this the majority of the time during the pilot sections it would have been excellent.  Instead they separated the platforming from the combat for the most part, which is understandable, but still seems like a missed opportunity. The thing about the other Misc. trophies that this game does that I really liked was giving you almost clear set ups for where they wanted you to do them.  For example, Kill 25 enemies in 2 seconds as the Titan in Mission 9 they give you 50 enemies and a new ability which allows you to kill them very quickly and easily.  For kill 3 enemies in a row while sliding or wall running they give you an item that makes this relatively free. Get a kill with each core? there are usually a few Titans for you to fight immediately after you get the upgrade.  Just on the whole a well designed list. 

 

Overall I think this is an enjoyable experience even if you don't usually care for FPS games, and while it isn't perfect, it certainly is one of the better PS+ titles I've played. 

 

Recommend 

7.7/10

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 5: Tetraminos

 

✅ 7: This game is a passible clone of Tetris  It is, however, definitely a spin on classic Tetris. The blocks feel heavy and are difficult to manipulate in tight spaces, and lack the fluidity of modern Tetris that you might find in Puyo, Puyo, Tetris, Tetris Effect, or a different online Tetris game. That isn't to say it feels bad, but if you are used to a modern feel, it may take a bit to get used to how rigid everything is. 

 

As one might expect its a traditional Tetris clone with three main modes.  Endless which is a traditional game of Tetris, Challenge where your goal is to clear a certain amount of lines before dropping a certain amount of blocks, and puzzle where your goal is to clear all of the blue blocks as quickly as possible using the least number of pieces.  Where it varies is that the style of the Tetraminos are different from traditional Tetris.  In Tetris, you have J,L,S,Z,T, O, and I blocks.  Here all of those are still present, but you also have a miniature L/J block that is just the turn without the bottom piece, a 1, 2, and 3, length I block and a + block.  These pieces are neat for filling out awkward spacing for the rest of your blocks but are overall not very interesting in their own right.  

 

Overall not a bad game. If you are however interested, be weary of the NA PS Now version. There is a rather annoying trophy that glitches on the NA version, which would mean you would need to buy the EU version to complete the game if you started it on now (not completely terrible since the two share a trophy list, but I don't know if I'd say the game is worth that hassle) 

 

Fun and Passable, But Don't Recommend the NA Version

6.0/10 

 

~TC 

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Update 6: 1/28/2019

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Thumper

 

:platinum: 37: Man has January been a rough month.  I haven't had a lot of time to game, but I did finally manage some free time yesterday to finish up this game.  Thumper is a weird game.  You are a metal beetle running down a never ending high way where you must overcome a large group of amorphous objects, a floating skull that gets scarier by the encounter, and a lot of treacherous terrain.  The game plays like a rhythm game, rewarding you as you mash the button on the lights or "thumps" or fly into walls at light speed and using appropriate timing to swing off of them at high speeds.  Eventually you learn to jump over things, avoid snake like creatures, and jump and come crashing down on a thump for bonus score.  That's really all there is to it.  Its a simple concept expertly crafted.  

 

What I think the game does really well is how it teaches you the game.  You start of with very simple levels.  Just mashing the thumps on tempo.  Then It shows you how to turn at the walls. Then it chains together thumps and turns in various ways.  As you progress, different mechanics are added one at a time and the speed is ramped up.  The game also does a good job adhering to patterns.  As you get to higher speeds, it becomes difficult to react to what is coming ahead, but the pattern may have been seen in a previous level to help you know what is coming.  For example, in one of the worlds there is a thump followed by a turn then a thump repeated 4 times on the 4th thump there is a second thump followed by a double turn.  Unfortunately, you cannot see the second turn from the first, but that pattern is then repeated in a later level and on that level you can anticipate the double turn.  It really is put together well.  The final boss is actually pretty interesting as well, though it is rather annoying that they throw in some brand new mechanics right at the end.  I won't spoil what they are, because looking back they are fun, but man did I dislike the devs in the moment.  

 

Overall, I liked this game a lot more than I thought I would.  I often thought I would be getting frustrated, but at the same time couldn't help but say ok 1 more attempt and then find myself still playing an hour later.  The game is difficult at times, but if that isn't the type of thing to put you off I'd definitely recommend it.  

 

Fun and Addicting, Highly Recommend

9.0/10 

 

~TC

 

 

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 7

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Mega Man 11

 

:platinum: 38. Picked this up in February as an attempt to get in the play as a robot for the monthly madness event going on here in the boards, thought I was going to get there too when all of a sudden, work attacked and suddenly I spiraled into April before I was able to finish this one up.  I will say, MM11 was a great experience.  The platforming was crisp, the power ups were interesting, and the game had all of the charm of the classic megaman series that I remember from the days of PS1.  For what its worth, the trophy experience was also really pleasant.  All of the trophies were interesting tasks that required some sort of skill or some sort of challenge to make the game a bit more difficult.  The game did require multiple playthroughs, but is short enough and fun enough that I didn't really mind.  All in all a really smooth and solid video game that interested me in potentially going back and playing more of the series.  

 

For those considering the game, I will say that the platinum is fairly challenging, certainly not impossible, but is one that among the more difficult games I've played in my trophy hunting pursuits. The two trophies I imagine people may have the most trouble with are Completing Dr. Lights Trial and the 1hr Speedrun.  I really struggled with the one hour speed run, I think I finished 2 runs at 1:05 and 1:03 respectively before I finally got a 54:30 (watching an example run really helped to find where I could save a lot of time).  Its definitely doable, but you need to be around the 4 minute pace in most levels to get there.  Dr. Light's trial isn't to bad if you are pretty good at the end game bosses.  Most of the rooms just require playing them a couple of times and developing a strategy for them and determining where to use your different abilities.  

 

Overall a really solid and fun platformer, with a bit of a challenging platinum 

 

9/10 Recommend 

 

 

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The Outer Worlds

:platinum: 39. Having finished the Outer Worlds I'm left in this weird place.  I liked the game, but for some reason that I can't put my finger on, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would early on.  The game looks great, and plays great.  Everything felt smooth and buttery and the level up system and perk system was more dynamic than most other open world games that I have played.  The story was also enjoyable, placing what felt like real decisions on the player, having an interesting twist, but ultimately a pidgeon-holed "good" ending.  I really enjoyed the initial tale of emerald vale, and what happened with the corporate policy the decision of where to divert power and the ultimate consequences of your actions. Some of the side quests also gave me a good chuckle like the Sublight Quests and the diet toothpaste castastrophe. On the flip-side, The companions all felt a bit dry, besides maybe Nyoka and Parvati and even then there isn't that much to Parvati.  Nothing as nuanced as say the Mass Effect party members.  The trophies also somewhat felt like a chore.  Specifically the do X combat related thing a certain number of times: Sneak Attacks, Plasma Weapon Kills, N-Rays, Tossball Stick, Etc.  It all amounted to about 20 minutes of just mindlessly smacking and shooting enemies until they popped. The Choice between the Iconoclast and MSI also felt lacking.  There wasn't really that much interesting to them besides the thing about Graham and even that didn't save what felt like was supposed to be the big choice in the game.  That being said, these all feel like relatively minor things in the grand scheme of things. 

 

Despite all that though, I still think I would recommend it to someone who likes things like Fallout.  There's enough here to be worth playing even if it wouldn't win any game of the year awards for me. 

 

7.1/10 Recommend to Fans of the Genre

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Update 8

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N++

 

I've been playing this game on and off for the past year, and finally decided to put a bit more effort into finally finishing it. N++ is a challenging platformer where the main objective is to get to the exit of the level. Usually this involves using switches to open locks and then using a big switch to open the door, all while avoiding a variety of hazards like mines, lasers, rockets, or other evil ninjas. The game features an extensive list of levels (like a lot a lot of levels) including solo, racing, and coop levels.  While couch coop is a pretty fun (though be careful if your SO is a bit impatient...) the majority of the time in the game for the platinum will be spent in the solo mode. 

 

The solo mode consists of 4 tiers of levels, Tutorial, Solo, Legacy, and Ultimate.  And you must complete all of solo, legacy and tutorial for a trophy.  Solo and Legacy each contain 6 rows of 20 episodes and each episode contains 5 levels and they get pretty difficult especially the last level of each episode.  The level names are also fantastic and usually give you a hint of what to do if you aren't sure how to continue.  A Couple that stood out where "On Understanding Your Limits" in the tutorial which has a large portion of the gold coins scattered throughout levels way out of reach for a novice player.  You need to understand some of the more complex interactions of the game to get them and the game encourages you to move on, you don't have to collect all of the gold.  Later when you have learned some of the techniques you can easily come back and get it.  The other I wanted to point out is "You Want Me to Do What!?"  Which was a level I initially could not see a way to the end of.  The game wants you to ride on the back of an enemy over the trip mines to get to the exit which is subtly hinted at in the title.  That's just good level design. 

 

This is one of the games though that really highlights why I like getting platinum trophies.  If I was playing this game casually, I would have put it down after maybe playing 25 or 30 episodes, and never touched it again. I would have written it off as a meh platformer.  After playing through to the end, I found myself really enjoying some of the more difficult episodes and the catharsis that comes with beating them after an hour or two jamming my head into a wall.  It was also neat to see myself slowly get better at the game.  Moves that at times would take me an hour to get once soon became routine.  And the growth as you get better and better is a reason to enjoy difficulty curves. Some of the choices the game makes also really helped this aspect as well.  Instant retries was an absolute necessity.  I don't think I could have played this game if it took longer than .5 seconds to start again after you die and was a great design choice.  There is also a feature where there is no level select within an episode.  Either you complete all 5 levels or you have to start again the next time.  I had a love hate relationship with this feature, as often I would get through a difficult middle level only to be walled for half an hour on the end level and want to take a break only to realize I'd just have to do that middle level again.  On the other, hand it did encourage me to persevere where I may have otherwise have given up to early on a level, and boy did it feel good when you saw that "submitting score" text.  

 

The trophy list is good as well.  Nothing to absurd.  If the devs wanted, they could have made this on the level of crypt of the necrodancer by requiring you to beat every possible level, get every possible secret exit, get all of the gold in the game, beat each level without dying, like a lot of the other games in this category.  But with so many levels, you could see how that could be particularly challenging. Instead they only require you to do that for 1 episode per row in the A, C, And E row respectively (i.e. the beginner, intermediate, and expert levels) die a bunch (no problem game), play some of the multiplayer coop stuff, finish all the solo content,(well not even really) etc. etc., could be a lot worse. 

 

On the whole, this game is pretty good.  I would recommend it to people who like difficult platformers or otherwise banging their head against the wall (which you can do in this game lol) 

 

Enjoyment 7/10

Difficulty 7.5-8/10   

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 9: Persona 4: Golden

BSODieG.jpg

 

Persona 4 is a story that begins when our teenage hero arrives in Inaba, a town whose only claim to fame is the large department store Junes, where he is moving in with his cop uncle and adorable cousin for a year for seemingly no explained reason what so ever (I think they mention that maybe his parents are busy with work? idk?). The trip takes a turn when a home town girl in an affair with a major politician turns up dead, followed by the girl who discovered her body. The main character and his group of high school friends find themselves at the center of the case, tracking the killer and discovering a weird power to travel inside a TV.

 

Persona 4 splits most of its time between a life simulator for the high school hero, developing relationships, social skills, reading, fishing, you name it, and a rpg dungeon crawler utilizing randomly generated dungeons and battling shadow monsters with the eponymous personas.  The former is really where the game shines, though the latter is pretty good too.  

 

Let's start with the RPG elements.  The game's system revolves around collecting different "personas" each with different abilities and weakness.  You have your typical Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock, Pokemon battle style Fire>Ice>Lighting>Wind>Fire  but some characters are Ice>Fire and you kind of get the idea. There's also Light, Dark, and Almighty, as well as Physical attacks though those all operate slightly differently.  Light/Dark are all OHKO attacks with high chances to fail depending on the level of the spell.  Physical attacks are either your basic press the x button to hit the thing or cost HP to use and Almighty is basically nonelemental magic damage.  Depending on your level, you can hold up to 12 personas and can switch between them pretty freely in battle so it allows you to cover a variety of strength's and weaknesses depending on the situation you find yourself in.  You can collect personas either randomly in battle, by buying them from the compendium of personas you've already collected or by fusing together your old persona's to get new ones, capped by your level.  One good thing about this system is that unlike a pokemon where you generally stick to your same team the entire time, the fusion of persona's encourages you to change persona's often (and is encouraged by one of the life sim elements too, but more on that later) in order to keep up with the strength of the enemies you encounter.  

 

If I were to have a gripe though, the dungeons themselves are pretty boring.  Often consisting of long hallways full of random chests and enemies strewn throughout.  On top of that they are often long too consisting of between 8-11 floors which only exacerbates the issue.  Not to mention, you are often expected to back track through old dungeons to complete some of the quests in the game. I am pretty sure that the devs intended you to do this on different in game days and explore parts of different dungeons kind of through out your playthrough which is why they decided to make them a bit long and have you back track through old areas.  It does make sense when you consider that, but in a game where you have a limitied amount of time in which to do all the things that you need to do and others that are time sensitive to a day of the week or a certain day in the year, I often found myself doing it all in one excursion which made it feel awful.  So in that regard, though it makes sense why they did it that way, It also maybe wasn't the best decision either.  Though to be honest, I'm not sure how I would fix it.  Maybe they came up with something different for persona 5?  After that, the combat itself is fine.  It's your traditional turn based RPG where you can either have your friend characters act on their own using some guidelines or take full control (for which I'm glad if I had to watch Chie cast ice on an enemy with Ice-Absorb one more time...)  Though all of the smaller enemies are pretty tame.  They have specific weaknesses that are really easy to exploit and not at all difficult.  The bosses, however, did feel a bit better.  Each with non obvious weaknesses and interesting themes that tied together with what they represented (I'll leave it there to avoid spoilers).  

 

The social sim is where this game shines though.  Going through the protagonists every day life was always fun, and thankfully makes up the majority of the games main gameplay loop.  The game has something called social links which represent the bond you have with a character and each of the main characters (besides funky student) is associated with one of the major arcana.  Each persona also has an associated arcana and having one on you when you interact with a character will make the social link increase faster and also make you change persona's quite frequently which ties into your battle prowess too its a neat system.  Each character has an interesting story to tell and the game does a great job pacing each section to make you really get hit by the gravity of what's going on.  Some of them are pretty common problems.  Whether it be a family that expects you to take over the family business, learning to be yourself, feeling lost in the shadow of your friends and wanting to take the lead, having a long-absent parent come back into your life, losing sight of why you are doing what you're doing in the first place, or even what its like to be a step-parent.  All of these and more are explored in respectful yet fulfilling ways and often hit close to home.  It makes the game believable and it's really a strength of this game.  The characters themselves also have a lot of personality, and I liked pretty much all of them.  Even the ones that I thought I was going to find annoying (I'm looking at you Teddie) were endearing and often pretty funny.  There was one major character who I didn't care for, but I'm sure for others his arc hits close, so I'm glad they included it.

 

Which leads to the narrative.  The story as briefly mentioned above centers around a group of friends who find themselves in the mist of a collection of murders in their small town which is on its on interesting enough to carry the game.  That being said the game does that traditional RPG thing where a simple idea turns into a multifaceted attempt to save humanity from some god-like evil. Many of the story beats are a bit predictable, there's a red herring that is pretty obvious as well as a twist that I feel like I predicted in the first couple of hours playing the game, but it still holds up despite this.  The characters carry it pretty heavily and I found myself looking forward to their antics as you played through several fun scenes like a ski trip, the school festival, and a trip to the beach (you're a man Kanji, let them dangle had me laughing forever) 

 

The Trophy experience was pretty good too.  It was split pretty well between the RPG side - Collect all the personas, do this thing in combat a certain number of times, defeat the superboss, do the hidden dungeon, fight the treasure chest super monster etc.  and the Sim side where it asked you to do things like - read all the books, max all the social links, catch the sea guardian, max out your social skills, win a prize at the vending machine, go to the movies etc.  There were two trophies that I found particularly annoying (but still not all that difficult) one was defeating the New game plus boss, which requires you to complete the game a second time which is just a large time sink.  The other is the notorious "Hardcore Risette Fan".  Risette is a character who acts as sort of a guide during battles, calling out enemy weaknesses, occasionally giving health or buffs, etc. Most actions in battle have a line for them and you have to collect 250 of them.  Which seems like it wouldn't be all that hard (and to be honest it isn't) and seems like something you should naturally get as you play through the game, but no.  You need to grind it.  In the end, I had to look up a list of her lines and check them off one by one and then manipulate certain situations into happening in order to get the others.  It also doesn't help that you can lock yourself out of certain lines by being to high of a level, defeating a boss too quickly, or even raising Rise's social link.  Its just a nuisance in an otherwise pretty good list.  

 

All of that said, though I have some complaints, the game kept me fully engaged and I can definitely understand the series' popularity.  

 

If you have a Vida, this is a great game to pick up, though maybe it isn't good enough to sell the vida itself?  Idk.

 

Recommend 

9/10 

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 10: Persona 5 and Yooka Laylee 

 

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I've come back with a double billing here. 

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SPOILERS BELOW: I'VE WARNED YOU

 

Platinum 42: Persona 5 - Persona 5 is a tale of teenage rebels who reject the society of lackadaisical adults and set out to change the future.  It starts as a horrible teacher who abuses his students and eventually escalates to the mafia, high profile CEOs and eventually the prime minister of japan.   Along the way they are cast as terrorist vigilantes who take the law into there own hand.  The story is begins as the protagonist is captured and is told largely en media res which does a good job at presenting the plot.  

 

Like Persona 4, Persona 5 again splits most of its time between a life simulator for the high school hero, developing relationships, social skills, reading, fishing, you name it, and a rpg dungeon crawler battling shadow monsters with the eponymous personas.  The RPG elements are largely the same using a persona's weakness to down them, but introduces a new element by allowing you to recruit these personas directly and not collecting them with cards like persona 4.  The dungeons are no longer randomly generated, and I cannot stress how much this improves the game.  Without the RNG the game is able to flesh out each of the dungeons called "palaces" to make them unique and cater directly to the type of individual that rules them.  Instead the RNG is relegated to the area "mementos" which is basically the area that holds most of the side content and end game content.   Speaking of mementos, I actually really like this area.  As you progress, you are allowed further and further inside and allows areas for you to grind, collect items, and ultimately collect all of the personas, in addition to the usual fusing of personas.  I will again comment that the dungeons are a bit long. I guess that just has to do with the idea that you are supposed to spread them out over several days, in fact, the game itself forces you to do so at certain points.  But ultimately I always feel like I'm wasting days if I don't just do it all when I can.  That being said, again the dungeons themselves are much more interesting and are very thematic so on the whole and nitpicks aside this area of the gameplay is much improved.  

 

The social aspects remain the same from persona 4.  Pick a character to spend time with or do some side content, or improve your social stats.  All of it still polished.  In general the side characters (NPCs that have arcana associated) to be as strong or stronger than there persona 4 counterparts.  I particularly enjoyed the teacher character, the kid in the video game store, and iwai the gecko.  Also for what its worth Sojiro > Dojima but Futaba < Nonako (I'm sure that's not controversial at all).  The main cast I however enjoyed significantly less.  Makoto, Haru, and Futaba are all good, but the guy characters really lack when compared to Kanji and Yosuke and Mona is well fine (to be fair, I feel about the same as Teddy). Which leaves Ann, who is just not a great character IMO.  She has some moments in the first 20% of the game and then just blends into obscurity for the rest.  

 

MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH, LAST CHANCE

 

The Akechi Twist is actually a good one in the sense that I didn't guess it, though its totally possible that others did.  I saw Adachi a mile away and didn't think it would be back to back.  It was especially smart I think to have him be a playable character and parallel him with Naoto.  I also liked what happened to him in the end.  I like that they didn't back out of what happened to him, when I fully expected it to be a fake.  The Igor twist was far more predictable, particularly if you have played a separate persona game.  Changing the voice actor was a rather large tell. The story itself is engaging (if annoying with the cell phone text conversations ever other second), and the plot points are keep me entertained, just not as engrossed as I was in P4.  So, I think the story here is a bit weaker than persona 4, but P5 is definitely good. 

 

 The trophies here are almost Identical  a split between the RPG side - Collect all the personas, do this thing in combat a certain number of times, defeat the superboss, do the hidden dungeon, fight the treasure chest super monster etc.  and the Sim side where it asked you to do things like - read all the books, max all the social links, catch the sea guardian, max out your social skills, etc.  They maintained the hear 250 navigation lines which again is the most frustrating trophy as it just slows the game down quite a bit.  One positive change is to fight the superboss you don't have to do an entire extra playthrough which is a nice quality of life improvement.  It is available basically the first time you can free roam mementos. 

 

In Conclusion, this game is good, but not perfect and if you liked persona 4 you will probably like this one even though I think it may be the slightly weaker game. 

 

8.8/10 

 

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Platinum 43: Yooka - Laylee


This game is billed as a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie which as a platformer nerd is one of my favorite games of the N64/PS1 Generation.  The Reptile / Bird Duo has to collect Pagies that have been scattered throughout the worlds and hub area and confront the CEO Capital B.  It has music from Grant Kirkhope which is always a plus and the humor is pretty spot on. 

 

The game is broken up as said into 5 worlds and a hub area.  The hub area Hivory towers (bee puns I guess this game is buzzing with them) is a neat area that gates progress by having to acquire new abilities from the resident snake trowser (which I'm pretty sure is a bowser pun, but I have no proof of that as the snake is also wearing trowsers) which you can only get by getting at least one "pagie" from the previous world (and likely another ability that you buy with quills in it) The 5 main worlds all have neat ideas and inhabitants that appear and reappear in different worlds which give you pagies for doing various tasks.  I in particular like the knights of hamalot which are exactly what they sound like.  Dr. Puzz lets you transform into different forms and get some before unobtainable pagies etc. etc. The game has good ideas, and good characters and really does shine a bit here. 

 

Why then does it sport a metacritic score of 68.  Admittedly, I started this game when I was looking for a game for the monthly madness event which is currently doing a game with a score below 70.  But as I played it I couldn't for the life of me figure out what made it "so bad".  The controls are a bit wonky for sure (which I admit for a platformer is not a small deal)  But the game has good ideas, and the worlds are neat to explore.  I think the issue here is that the game takes a lot of liberty with the phrase "spiritual successor" and is basically a full on clone of Banjo Kazooie.  The only difference is this game is not as polished and doesn't quite capture the charm of the original, instead almost blatantly ripping it off.  It almost never does it's own thing and while its not bad, It really does ride the coat tails of a better game.  

 

The trophies are typical for collectathon platformers - gather all the stuff and you basically have the platinum, all thats left is to defeat the capital b, and collect the tonics by doing miscellaneous things like kill a certain number of enemies or collecting a certain number of things or beating the game, almost all of which you will do on your path to the other trophies.  

 

Overall I think that the metacritic score sits about correct, but if you like platformers this one isn't awful

 

6.8/10

 

 

 

 

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Update 11

Uncharted 4 - Survival Multiplayer

 

I've decided at long last its time to go ahead and put in the time to finish off this monstrosity of a dlc from a greedy game developer.  Don't get me wrong, in general Naughty Dog releases games that are good and games that I like, but if my introduction to this mode is any indication, then its designed to get you to make in game purchases to even remotely have a shot.  I feel like the guns don't really do any damage and on the warlord levels, all the enemies just gang up on you so its very difficult to even remotely get close to getting the warlord under the time limit.  So far I've only managed a maximum of 2 stars and that's on moderate, I can only image what the game is like on crushing :(.  Though if I can get this done, I think I will be in good shape to keep the possibility of 100% alive. Everything else on my account I feel like, with time, I can go ahead and take out.  This is the only game left that has me relying on other players so I guess now is as good of a time as any. 

 

I've currently gone through and played every stage at least once on medium.  Currently I am level 15.  The plan is to grind to level 20 on this difficulty then switch to hard up to 40, then play some crushing to 50.  At that point hopefully I'll have everything I need and can get a boosting session together for Crushing and It.  I know its easier said than done, but if any of you experts want to carry me, I will happily not complain <3

 

Best

 

~TC

 

 

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Update 12

Uncharted 4 - Survival Multiplayer

 

I've been playing this mode quite a bit on and off this week along with trying to get a team ready for pokemon sword/shield ranked.  Currently I am level 45 and have completed levels 1-9 on the hard difficulty with 3 stars on most of them except for 8 where we were about to get three stars and the boss did some nonsense where he spawned 3 separate totems and destroyed us with all of a sliver on his health bar which bumped us down to about 3 seconds to late for 2 stars.  

 

From what I've noticed the game can be total nonsense especially on the boss levels.  There are just so many enemies that can teleport around, spawn behind you and do all sort of manner of cheap tricks.  Hard can be nearly impossible without just the right teammates with the right weapons with the right boosters, with the right timing and all the time limits are super tight, so I can only imagine how tough the game is on crushing.  Hopefully I can complete stage 10 here soon to unlock crushing and can then go back and grind for the guns that I need.  I have the level 4 pistols that I need.  I just need and I just need to get the fal for the level 4 guns that I need.  From there its on to crushing.  I'll probably set up a boosting session for that so here's hoping that I can have this done by the end of July.  If anyone else needs these trophies and have crushing unlocked.  Let me know and we can try to knock this out together :).

 

~TC

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Update 13

Uncharted 4 - Survival Multiplayer

 

So we've finished Uncharted 4's notorious multiplayer (special thanks to TXsagrada and Sajhamza for playing with me through the last part of hard and all of crushing and knowing how to cheese the bosses, couldn't have done it without them) and I can calmly and clearly say, it is notorious for a reason.  The bosses just don't really seem doable without cheese.  Especially the bosses later in the game with all of the wrath statues. 

 

That being said, the game mode is fun if not a bit dull.  The enemy waves are infinitely more doable starting from the beginning as you get money you end up being much more powerful and upgrading weapons upon completing bosses is a neat mechanic, but I doubt I'll be playing much of it anymore.  Anyone on to the me main game.  I'm in chapter 8, and the story is starting to ramp up. I am entertained to say the least, but the spoilery thing in chapter 2 kinda irked me.  I guess I understand why they did the spoilery thing in chapter 2, because otherwise you'd be wondering about spoiler through the other games, but still it seems kinda cliche.   

 

Next update should be the platinum :)

 

Best

~TC

 

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Update 14

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

 

Enjoyment 8/10

Difficulty 7/10

 

 

After more than a year, I finally got around to coming back and picking up Uncharted 4 from my backlog and I have to say... I was impressed.  The game is a lot of fun, the characters were and are very engaging, and the story to find Avery's treasure was entertaining.  The game has some great set pieces, especially being pulled along from the back of the Truck, Scotland, and without giving away to much, the city. From a gameplay perspective everything felt really smooth (other than the crash bandicoot controls, but that's nitpicking) and I rarely felt that I died because Drake didn't do what I told him too.  In fact, I often died because drake did exactly what I told him to where I'd walk to an edge with the intention of dropping down by hitting circle.  Only to walk over the ledge and immediately let go because I hit the circle button.  The game is very solid technically with few bugs and a lot of polish.  The cheats were a nice touch as well to be able to use your favorite weapons in subsequent playthroughs and also giving you a reason to go out of your way to get the treasures.  

 

If I had to nitpick, there are some sections of the game where you have to wait on your partner in order to proceed and that's kind of frustrating and again leads into the next thing I have to whine about which is the move speed.  I feel like the game desperately needed a run button.  Drake just moves soooooo slowly.  If these were the only things, the game would for sure get a 9/10, but where it loses another point is the survival multiplayer.  To be honest, I think the mode is generally entertaining which is why I didn't dock it to much, but it is obviously designed to be a pay to win situation.  In order to defeat the bosses in the set time limit almost requires one exploiting glitches (which by the way requires items that you don't naturally unlock and need to buy with either actual dollars or virtual ones at random...), requires you to have an extremely good team and get a bit lucky, or requires you to buy instant revives so that your team can keep pumping out damage.  

 

The trophies for the main game are really good.  Beat the game on the "hardest" difficulty, a speedrun which can be cheesed but  shouldn't be to bad legitimately. Several Miscellaneous things that can be done using the chapter select feature and good ol' get all the collectibles.  The difficulty again comes almost exclusively from the multiplayer, but if you get to level 50 and do the cheese for the bosses it isn't all that terrible.  If you exclude the survival mode though, I think the game goes to a 9/10 enjoyment and a 4/10 difficulty. 

 

Either way definitely worth a look.

~TC

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Update 15: The Platinum Panel and KH3 Re:Mind

 

I've implemented a rating scale for entertainment and difficulty which is loosely based on Jello Apocalypse from Youtube.  Hopefully by using this I can avoid having to repeat myself in each review XD. 

 

The Enjoyment Scale

1: An absolutely boring video game. There is no reason to play it

2. The game offers very little, but it has at least something that I found interesting.

3. The game is bad. It has some interesting ideas but they are poorly executed.

4. The game is below average.  I'm not mad that I played it, but I might be mad at how much I spent on it.

5. An average video game.  The game is entertaining but has a lot of uninteresting moments or gameplay issues.

6. An above average video game.  I am entertained throughout even if the game has some flaws.

7. A Good Video Game, one that you may recommend to others with some caveats.

8.  A very good video game, may have some minor flaws, but one that you would recommend to fans of the Genre

9. A Great video game. One that is enjoyed throughout. One that you would recommend to anyone.

10.  A phenomenal video game. One that you cannot put down for the entirety of your playtime.  One that you think is a must play.

 

A negative score: An ironically enjoyable videogame.  Think it's so bad it's good.

 

The Difficulty Scale

1. A very easy videogame.  Playing through the game is enough for the platinum and there is very little or no challenging aspects.

2. You must do a couple extra thing or there are things that may take 2 or 3 tries to get.

3. An easy video game.  You cannot get the trophies by just playing through the game normally.

4.  A below average difficulty game.  You may need to look at a trophy guide for some of the trophies.

5. An average difficulty game.  The game may require you to beat it at higher difficulties or beat extra "super bosses" etc.

6. An above average difficulty game.  There are some legitimately tough moments, but basically anyone can do it without to much trouble.

7.  A game where you will likely die or fail a bit, there a quite a few moments that are tough 

8.  A Hard video game: one where there a lot of tough moments and completing them will require you to be pretty good at the game.

9. A very hard video game.  Basically all moments are tough from the word go.  Will require a bit of perseverance to complete even if you are pretty good at the game.

10. An extremely hard video game. One where you don't quite think its possible to complete but you're going to try anyway.  Will require a lot of time and patience.

 

As for an update.  KH3 Re: Mind DLC is taking longer than I thought it would (shocker, TC literally everything takes longer than you think it will XD) but were slowly grinding through our "risk taker" playthrough.  The game is certainly a lot harder, but it feels like fake difficulty where the bosses can one shot you (not the inherent problem) and also you do so little damage that it takes 10 minutes of mashing X to finally kill a boss (the problem) I can imagine its going to get a lot more difficult when we hit fights that were tough anyway.  I know theres a way to basically grind around it, but I really don't want to spend 30 extra hours on just killing the same monsters over and over so that I can spend two hours to fight the extra bosses rather than 10. We'll see how long it ends up being.

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Update 16: Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Illusive Age

Enjoyment 9/10 

Difficulty 3/10 

 

So I haven't been updating this thread like I probably should, but I am going to try to commit to doing better on that from here on out.  I've finished Dragon Quest XI (more below :)) and have picked up super meat boy again 🙃🙃 and it will probably consume the next month or more of my gaming, but maybe I'll get lucky. 

 

*Please note that there will be minor spoilers throughout*

 

So here's the setup.  The game starts in typical RPG fashion where a Kingdom sits celebrating.  Calamity soon strikes though, as monsters attack the castle destroying the once proud kingdom, as a mother and a young girl and the baby flee the castle.  Unable to distance from the monsters the mother trusts the girl with the child, and sacrifices herself to save them.  The girl falls in the river and is washed away along with the baby.  Some time down river though a man has found the child.  Cut to scene of your character holding the orange bandana from DQ8.  Turns out today is your coming of age ceremony and you must climb the top of Sacre Tor a sacred mountain along with your childhood girlfriend Gemma.  At the top, a bird tries to make Gemma have a bad day by pushing her over the mountain, but unfortunately for him our hero is the chosen one.  An awkward conversation with you "Mother" ensues as you find out you're adopted and this legendary being of light chosen by a tree called the luminary, destined to defeat the dark one.  The town sends you on your way to meet the local king and your adventure has begun.

 

That leads into the best part of the game: the characters and story.  The game does a really good job making sure that all of the characters are appropriately developed.  Sylvando in particular is a stand out.  Without giving away to much away, Sylvando's arc is just so relatable.  He's a good person, but has some regrets in his life.  His goal is just so wholesome and the development is very good.  The other characters are also similar in the regard  The game just does such a good job and having you get to know these characters and their motivations and goals and then incorporates it all into the story.  Speaking of which, the story is really really good.  It's hard to discuss it without spoilers, so if you've played the game and want to read my thoughts see the spoiler tag, if not just trust me when I say its good.  

spoiler alert

If you're reading this, I am going to assume you've completed the game or simply don't mind being spoiled.  The fact that you are initially defeated at the tree is a great story beat.  Similar to FF6 when Kefka wins, the destruction that ensues from Mordegan having his way just speaks volumes.  As you go about the second act seeing what your failure has caused, the destruction of Nautica, the issues with Eriks sister, the Dragon terrorizing Hotto, Octogonagia being overrun, being stripped of your luminary powers, all of it just hits you.  And then the Coup de grace, Veronica is dead.  Your actions have consequences and you must face them.  Tangibly as the player.  This is such a strong moment, considering its easy to ignore random people and places, but this makes it personal.  The third act is also presents an interesting dilemma.  Whether or not you want to go back in time, and lose this reality, the love of your friends, the peace of the world, all for the possibility to make others lives better is a really interesting choice.  Its also neat that when you the player have the instinct to just immediately go, your friends stop you.  Trading your happiness for others, is not always the right choice and its pointed out here that you should consider it.  I think it works really really well.  Once you do go back, the third act is arguably the weakest, but the kinship you feel with your party isn't quite the same.  They are ever so slightly colder to you.  Its really neat.   

 

End of Spoiler

 

The combat system is another stand out (the 3D one, not the 2D one, but more on that later) The combat system of DQ has always been really interesting.  The game makes really interesting choices that really balance the game.  For example, early on you have just the hero and one other character.  The hero is given the heal spell and the other party member has no non-item methods of healing so you have to choose whether to heal or to deal more damage.  Later it's expanded.  Sylvando has one of the higher attack stats at the point of the game where you get him.  However, he's also the only one who learns Oomphe early.  So you have to decide whether you want to buff your party to be stronger and sacrifice using the high attack of the character.  There are many such clever decisions the game makes.  The damage mage having Sap is another example.  Do you boost the other party member's damage, or do you deal out magical damage on your own.  The gameplay mechanics here really add to the characterization.  Its just a good time.  I also like the idea that the battles happen turn by turn.  You don't select all your moves at the beginning (at least in 3D) round by round, character by character, you make the choices which really helps if you find you need to heal in the middle as opposed to doing something else.  

 

So the bad... yeah there is some, even after all that gushing I did.  I have a few nitpicks that I'll discuss, but what kept the game from being a 10/10 for me was Tickington.  The game has these little creatures called Tockle's.  There are 25 of them hidden throughout the world that give you "pastwords" for you to use in Tickington.  These pastwords give you access to some old gameplay segments of the older games of dq 1-10, but they almost feel like an afterthought.  For one, there is no relevance placed on them for the story (which might not be fair, considering that this was an S add on to the main game so they'd have to redo the story but still), Two the 2D combat is significantly worse than the 3D combat which makes the sections not as fun as they are largely just combat random encounters and "bosses" if you want to call reskined regular monsters with more HP bosses.  Three, the encounters are now random and the encounter rate is high.  This is a noticeable quality reduction since in the main game you can just avoid encounters all together if you want too.  And finally Four, there is basically no variation to the quests.  Its all just go fetch this thing for me, or go fight this monster.   There are some dungeons that are really neat from older games, but other that that this section was rough.  Normally though it wouldn't be an issue, you can just ignore it, but of course not us here on PSN profiles because there are of course 2 trophies locked behind it.  Alas.  

 

Otherwise I could nitpick the music.  Its fine, but not varied and not all that exciting.  The sidequest also aren't much to write home about.  There isn't anything truly spectacular like the monster arena in 8 to play around with.  There are a lot of one off quests that amount to go kill this monster in a particular way, or go fetch this item.  They aren't bad and most of them carry you to a place you might not otherwise have visited, but there isn't a lot to them contrasting them to something like the baron in the witcher 3.  Otherwise you have Tickington (see above) and the Wheel of Harma.  The wheel of harma is sort of like a challenge gauntlet of monsters and it can be interesting, but again there isn't enough to it to be super exciting. that being said, aside from Tickington these are mostly nitpicks. 

 

Overall, if you like RPGs I really recommend this game.  It has a really strong narrative, characters and gameplay.  I thoroughly enjoyed my 95% of the 125 or so hours that I dumped into this game and I think most people will too.  

 

Happy Hunting 

~TC 

 

 

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 17: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

Enjoyment 9/10 

Difficulty 4/10*

 

The Pitch: Trails of Cold Steel is a Sim/JRPG similar in style of a persona game.  It starts en media res (I'm not sure exactly why, but that's a rant for another day) where a group of teens follow an adult into what appears to be a military fortress under attack.  They wander through some hallways fight a boss (is this supposed to be the tutorial boss, because I really have no idea what I was doing at the time and the game doesn't really explain it)  and see some turrets getting fired.  I think the goal was to stop that but idk... back in time a bit the real game actually starts as the main protagonist Rean gets of the train to attend Thors Military Academy founded by some renowned general.  As he makes his way to the school for orientation, he encounters some interesting characters and boom first dungeon which will explain the games combat system, introduce the characters etc.  Completing this finishes up the prologue. 

 

The rest of the game follows a pretty simple formula.

  1.  A school day where something happens, either character moments or story stuff, etc. 
  2. A free day where you are tasked with doing things for the student council, spend time with your friends, go shopping, etc. 
  3. A combat practical where a new battle mechanic will be introduced to you (usually in the form of do this to earn extra AP). or a story development. 
  4. A field study ranging from 1-4 days where you leave the academy and go out into the world do some missions for the town folk, get some story and lore. 

You are then graded on each chapter by how much AP you collected.  You get this from doing quests or special tasks throughout the chapter.

 

Good Stuff:  So there is a lot good about this game.  The first thing I really like is the world building.  The game takes its time to set up the characters, their motivations, their conflicts, and their goals.  More than that, however, the game makes the world feel lived in.  Their are merchants arguing at the market place, there are kids playing hide and seek, and on more than one occasion someone has misplaced their wallet (I hate when that happens).  The other thing about the world is that there are no "wasted characters"  basically any character that has any screen time at all has some sort of payoff associated and usually a worth while one. The story is good as well.  Involving a plot by a group of revolutionaries/terrorist (depending on whose side you're on, not that you get to choose, but there is definitely some fault on all sides).  

 

The Combat is also one of the more interesting elements to the game.  Combat has three major things that affect it.  The Master Quartz, the Quartz, and the Link System.  The Master Quartz is sort of like a job system.  It gives a character specific abilities tied to that specific gem.  For example the "Brave" Master Quartz gives you an attack boost for a certain amount of time when you enter combat.  It also gives you another attack bonus when you hit low HP.  Meanwhile the "Canon" Master Quartz Gives you healing spells and increases the potency of your healing.  It lets you customize characters in how you want them to play.  Obviously each character is suited to a certain style, but each can be customized the way you want with the Mater Quartz. 

 

The regular let you further customize characters and operates similar to materia in FF7.  So while your master quartz may be Brave for instance, you can lean into it with your regular quartz by equiping Attack boosting Quartz.  Or maybe you think "ah, my attacking character will be in the fray more often so maybe I should give them more HP and Defense"  or you may want to equip a Magic attack to give them coverage against enemies strong against your physical attacks or maybe you want to give them a healing spell.  It really just gives you a lot of options.  

 

The Link system is the only feature I'll mention that is actually active in combat.  Each character can be linked to each other character during combat (there are a few exceptions because story).  When they are linked they will be able to perform additional follow up attacks when you stagger an enemy.  They will then acquire more abilities as the bond between those two characters grow, which feeds into the other aspect of gameplay that we'll get to in a minute.  Whether that be a revenge attack if an enemy hits your linked party member, automatically casting a heal spell on them, or blocking attacks for each other.  The other thing linking characters will do is allow you to use the burst or rush abilities.  If you've played persona, this is similar to an all out attack kind of thing.  Whenever you do a follow up you will get a point.  Spending 3 allows you to do a rush that will hit the enemy 2 additional times which means you will do 3 total attacks that turn.  Using a burst will hit all enemies with all 4 party characters.  

 

The Nitpicks:  Its worth mentioning that most everything in this section did not really effect my enjoyment of the game, but is more so some things I would like to see improved in Trails 2 when I eventually get to it.  

 

First, while the story is good, there isn't a lot of it.  Most of the overarching plot is told in tiny sporadic chunks at the end of a chapter.  That isn't to say that what you're doing in game isn't related, but its just really slow to play out.  Part of that is due to having to set up the characters and world building though.  Now with those things established hopefully part 2 will also pick up the pace a bit.  

 

2nd, Status effects in this game are absolutely busted.  Poison and burn do a bajillion health, but seal, sleep, and faint are absolutely bonkers.  Seal prevents you from acting for the turn, which in and of itself isn't to bad, but some enemies have basic attacks that can seal you for 3 or 4 turns, then while you are sealed they can hit you again and reset the counter.  It feels kind of cheap.  Sleep is similar but doesn't usually reset.  Instead every time you are hit while asleep you are crit.  Which makes sense in the lore, but it can be kind of obnoxious to be put to sleep by enemy 1 then crit by enemies 2-8 or however many there are.  Faint is only obnoxious because of how many enemies have it.  It feels in the mid-late game half of the enemies have this ability to just one shot you.  You can play around these with accessories, but its still kind of annoying to have to constantly equip and reequip your party every time you see a different type of enemy.  

 

Finally, the plot can be a bit predictable.  That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the plot, but I could see every twist (except one) coming from a mile away. 

 

*SPOILER WARNING*

For example,

It's pretty easy to guess that Rean is a noble that was adopted from the prologue - revealed in chapter 2.

Alisa R is Reinford is another easy guess as their is only one prominent R-Name in the story. - revealed in chapter 3

It's easy to guess that Phantom thief B is Blublanc given that its B and Blublanc is the only B that got screen time - revealed immediately

 

It should be easy to identify C as Crow for the same reasons as above but for whatever reason, that one got me 😂😂, at least they did a better job at fooling me than Akechi in P5... which thinking about it now is also named crow.... I'm starting to think there is some symbolism going on...

 

Even still, its hard to argue that the game perhaps didn't want you to be able to make these predictions as there were hints everywhere.  But maybe that's just hindsight.

End of Spoiler

 

The Trophies 

Ok without lying to you, some of the trophies for this game aren't very good.  There is a trophy for new game plus, which is always a pain for RPGs especially 50 hour ones.  I guess it doesn't really matter since you also aren't able to get all of the journal entries, character moments, or all of the master quartz in one playthrough either so I guess it's rather moot...  Another obnoxious one is the complete the bestiary trophy.  It isn't terrible, but having to individually scan each enemy in combat rather than it just being added after defeating it is easy to mess up.  But worst of all is the "Trails of the Couch" Trophy which is for playing the game 100 hours.  I finished my first playthrough in 48 hours and new game plus in about 30.  That means that I had to just leave the game idol for 22 hours.  There also isn't anything gained from including this into the trophy list.  It isn't as though this is another game mode to try, or something interesting and unique about the story, no it's just time gated and time wasted.  Devs if you're reading this (and I know you aren't but still) stop including this style of trophy in your games.

 

The others are typical of RPGs of this style.  Maximize your bonds with the characters, complete the game on nightmare difficulty (tough on first play or fresh file, free on NG+) complete the journal, open the treasure chests, doing all the quests, achieving max rank etc. etc.  

 

 

Summary: The game is good.  I would definitely recommend it to fans of the JRPG genre.  It has one of the more unique character customization systems I've played with in recent memory and has a great world and story.  The game isn't perfect by any means, but those are more minor distractions than anything glaringly flawed with the game.  

 

~TC 

 

*The difficulty score is if you are playing nightmare difficulty on your first playthrough.  If you play nightmare on new game plus, it's probably closer to a 2. 

 

 

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 18: :platinum: 49 - Hyper Light Drifter 

Enjoyment 8/10

Difficulty 5/10

 

The Pitch: Hyper Light Drifter belongs into one of those weird category of games that isn't quite defined well.  Its somewhere between a side scrolling shoot-em-up, a metroidvania, and that old catch all of action-adventure.  The game centers around the titular drifter as he travels into a land filled with giants, destruction, and death.  Or at least that's what I gather from the introductory cut scene.  One of the unique things about the game is that there is very little text.  You don't get much more than tutorial button prompts.  Everything else is shown through pictures and the state of the world you encounter it.  The game starts with a tutorial area where you go through, collect the basic equipment, and then pass out from a mysterious illness.  You are rescued by another drifter and after you wake up in a house in town you can set out into one of each of the four cardinal directions to collect 4 power nodes and a beacon? (not sure exactly how to describe it), which in turn unlock the way to finish the game.  

 

The Good: Its really hard to identify what makes this game so enjoyable.  That being said, the game is, for sure, enjoyable. It has this intangible property of a game that makes it feel like it has personality and that it was a passion project.  I suppose if I had to pick something the combat in this game feels really satisfying.  Its simple you have a sword that you can combo into 3 attacks and various guns that do a lot of different things.  The enemies all have telegraphed attack patterns that make them fair to fight and the difficulty is almost perfectly balanced. The bosses are especially good.  Chain dashing also feels good.  Allowing you to speedily travel through long transition screens at the cost of accuracy of movement (read as: you will probably fall into a pit or two). Besides that the game is relatively simple. I guess one of the things about making a game that is so simple is that, if you are going to do so, you had better make damn sure that the minute to minute gameplay is a good time and the devs absolutely did.  

 

The Nitpicks: Yeah, the story isn't all that engaging on first play (first play is the important note).  Normally that would be part of "the bad" instead of "the nitpicks", but the game sort of does the dark souls approach to story. What I mean by that, is that the story and lore of the world are all actually  engaging, but it is largely pushed into the background in favor of the gameplay.  It is there if you want it and care to seek it out, the game even has its own language, but it isn't what is going to draw you into this game. The game is trying to sell you on the gameplay loop and if you don't really enjoy this style of gameplay the story isn't going to keep you invested. It would be nice if the story  was just a bit more in the foreground so that you could follow the narrative of what is going on without having to either scour the entire game or go online and look it up.  The hitboxes in this game are also a bit weird.  I'm not really sure if this should count though because it may just be because I'm bad.  But there were several times when I found myself telling the game that "I disagree" where I was hit when I thought I shouldn't have been, and several times I thought I was for sure dead and the game was like "Nah.... you're fine."

 

The Trophies: The trophies for this game are pretty reasonable.  There is a collect all the stuff trophy, as well as a trophy for collecting all of each individual thing.  There is one for completing new game plus, which is usually annoying but here I like it.  Take not devs (who are for sure reading this....right!....right?), if you want to do a new game plus trophy this is how you do it.  

  1. The game is relatively short and can be completed in 2 or 3 hours
  2. New game plus adds some sort of variation or challenge (in this case you are limited to 2 health)

There are also a fair number of miscellaneous trophies, the most infamous of which is probably "The Dash Eternal" which challenges you to make 800 consecutive chain dashes.  This trophy was way more fun than it had any right to be. It took me an hour and I never once got bored with it or wanted to do something else.  Probably because of how satisfying and fun chain dashing is in this game.  The most challenging trophy according to PSN rarity is finishing the game without dying, but I didn't find it to bad.  Mostly it was just a matter of making sure that the bosses didn't kill my run.  Luckily the game has a boss rush mode where I can practice until I feel confident :).  The toughest trophy for me was actually the "contender trophy" which challenges you to complete the horde mode.  I had a lot of trouble with the southern area room where the gunners gave me a lot of trouble in combination with the guys who fire missiles at you from across the screen, but again not as bad as it could have been.  The one trophy that I hated was the "You can do it" Trophy which requires you to die 1000 times.  Which is either the devs thinking that there game is much tougher than it is, or a poorly thought out trophy.  I'd wager the latter.  Other games have similar trophies and they have been for the most part innocuous.  For example, on my list all the crash games have trophies for dying in specific ways, and N++ has a trophy for dying 5000 times.  In both of these games, these trophies where fine.  "But TC" I hear you cry "Why is it fine for N++ to have 5000 deaths, but this one is lame for having one for 1000 deaths"  I'm glad you asked engaged reader.  The difference is in N++ the time it takes from death to back into the game is under a second.  The levels are short and are designed for you to die, over and over again so you achieve the trophy naturally as you play.  Hyper Light Drifter is different.  You probably aren't going to die in your normal playthrough except in bosses and some of the enemy battle rooms.  By the end of my first playthrough I had maybe 50 deaths.  A solid 35-40 of those in the horde mode meaning that I would need to die an additional 950 times if were being generous.  Dying in this game also takes probably a full 7 or 8 seconds from death till you get back into the action.  Meaning that if we do some quick maths you will spend 116 minutes, close to 2 hours watching the death animation.... Yeah... No thanks... this looks like a job for the trusty rubber band my controller to my guy walking into a pit and AFK.  If I have to AFK your game for a trophy.. it isn't a good one.  

 

Complaining on that one trophy aside the rest of the list is really really solid.

 

Summary: On the whole, Hyper Light Drifter is a fun game with good combat and a reasonable challenge.  I recommend it, but I would 100% suggest following a guide for the collection of everything.  As a matter of fact, even with a guide, you may have to run through again to pick up something that you missed. lol.

 

~TC

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 19: :platinum: 50 - Dragon Age Origins

Enjoyment 7/10

Difficulty 2/10

 

*SPOILER WARNING*

 

The Pitch: Dragon Age Origins: is a fantasy RPG created by Bioware for the PS3. The game feature's a fairly deep character creation process and an interesting talent tree to customize each individual character and party member you meet on your campaign. In typical Bioware fashion, the game features choices; each of which have consequences and change the game in their own small way. The story follows the tale of the grey warden and there quest to end the blight, recruiting allies, defeating darkspawn, and questing to defeat the defeat the archdemon ravaging the land.

 

The Good:  The character creation in dragon age origins, is among the best I've messed around with in a long time.  Essentially you start with a race, (human, elf, dwarf) and a class (warrior, mage, rogue).  From there you can select one of the character origins based on your other choices.  For example, the mage starts in "the circle tower" the mage's school of the game.  The elf can start as either a member of the alienage or an outsider as the dalish.  Each of these origins stories also show a different arc of the narrative that arrive in the game no matter which path you choose, but give specific insight into what happened before hand.  For example, you can see why the dwarven king is dead, or why the alienage is locked down when you first enter town. All of the paths end with you becoming grey warden and it is just such a neat idea and plays into the DnD aspect of the game. 

 

The Talent tree is also pretty interesting and helps diversify your character as you move along.  For example, yes you are a warrior, but what kind of warrior.  Will you be a two-handed great axe slinging berserker?  or perhaps the sword and board templar?  It gives you a lot of leigh way and diversity in your builds.  

 

Finally the story is pretty good.  I wasn't as engrossed in this one as I have been with other RPGs, but I don't think that has a lot to do with the story.  I particularly liked the sections with the dawlish and the werewolves as the situation is truly one of those where no one is truly right and you just have to make a judgment call to see if you can work it out.  I also liked the section with the sect with the sacred ashes.  That one sort of does have a "right" answer, but Its an interesting experience none the less.  

 

The Bad and the Waxing Philosophic:  I wish I had played this game at a different time. I can tell from playing the game that it did a lot of innovative things for the genre of western RPG.  The party switch system, the aforementioned background system, the talent tree and character building, and even the story are some of the things that I really appreciate about the game.  That being said the game runs like garbage.  Load times take forever, there is lag all the time, pop in, and on the whole it just doesn't make for the best experience in the year 2021.  On one hand, It's hard to blame the game for being, not only a product of its era, but also a really ambitious product of it's era, but the same studio released Mass Effect - 2 years prior and it was much more tolerable for me than this one.  I'm just not sure what happened here, maybe I'm just stilted from nostalgia goggles when it comes to Mass Effect.    If the game didn't have this issue, I think it could easily be a strong 8.5 or 9 out of 10. Had I played this over a decade ago I think think it could easily be a strong 8.5 or 9 out of 10, but as it stands It just doesn't really hold up for me and even the good things about the game can't hold me the way that other RPGs have.  I wonder if this will happen with playstation 4 era games as we move into the playstation 5 era and the future, where I will feel that they just don't hold up technically to the new generation, or is there some base quality that will keep older games playable.  

 

The other issue I took with the game is the non-spell based combat.  For a game with such an interesting character screen, there is not all that much to the combat of the game.  For most of it, it is an autobattler as you trade auto-attacks with various enemies at a speed that varies with your weapon.  There is some interesting things to do with moving out of the way of an incoming attack, or to use one of your skills with the hot key buttons, but on the whole it grows tired pretty quickly.  The issue becomes really obvious when you encounter one of the bigger flying enemies in the game.  For example, when you battle "andraste" and some of the games bigger enemies it just kind of shows that there isn't all that much to do with your sword wielding adventurer.  As a tank you can pull aggro off of your rogues and mages or you can hit some big numbers with your warrior but at the end of the day, it's still kind of an auto battler.  The exception is spell combat which livens things up with different combinations that you can pull off like lighting grease on fire or making the storm of the ages or exploding a trap.  There's just a lot more potential to do cool things with it.  

 

The Trophies:  the trophies are kind of standard fare for what you would expect of an RPG. You get most of them for completing the main story missions.  Exploring your romance options with the characters that are available to you.  (Lelianna best girl) recruiting all the characters make choice A for a situation, then choice B.  Then some miscellaneous stuff none of which are particularly interesting, though I did enjoy the puzzling out how to get my character to hit the 250 damage.  The worst of the misc stuff is getting 1000 darkspawn kills which is particularly frustrating because it doesn't count the ones that your allies kill.  So you end up having to fight them for last hits, which is never what you want to be doing.  I ended up having to have my party stay back and walk into an ambush solo.  Kill the 65 or so darkspawn there, save the game and reload the save for about an hour.  Not the worst thing I've ever done for a trophy, but certainly not how I wanted to spend an some of my much limited gaming time. 

 

The Summary: Though it's obvious that Dragon Age Origins has its strengths and was obviously ambitious and innovative for its time, it suffers from being a product of it's time.  As I write this I am currently working my way through the DLC and we'll see if that makes any difference - but I imagine it will be tough given the limitations of the game. I say this, but I don't think this will dissuade me from picking up Dragon Age 2 at some point.  I still enjoyed the game and am optimistic for the newer game. If they ever do a remaster, a la Mass Effect Remastered I think I could recommend this game. 

 

~TC

Edited by Together_Comic
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Update 20: :platinum: 51 - Celeste

Enjoyment 9.5/10

Difficulty 5/10

 

The Pitch Celeste is a 2D platforming game with some of the best and toughest platforming in the genre.  Each level is challenging to figure out and challenging to complete with many secrets and collectibles - some of which push you to your limit to gather. It is a game about jumping and climbing, but also about mental and psychological well being.

 

There aren't many games that will sit and have two characters having a candid discussion about what depression feels like, or depict a panic attack as an overwhelming darkness with a mass of tentacles closing in on you from all sides. Juxtapose that with a pixelated platformer where Madeline spends a lot of her time running and magically dashing to collect flying strawberries and you end up with Celeste; where the two are blended together with an important and sincere story to make it a genuinely emotional game.  

 

Celeste is about many of the mental problems that people face today.  One of the chapters is a veiled metaphor about an abusive relationship, another about how people can be trapped by social media, still another about accepting the parts of you that you do not necessarily want to be a part of you.  Maybe I'm reading to much into it, because thankfully the game doesn't outright throw these things in your face, its cleverly woven into the narrative, but I would be remiss if I didn't say that some of these moments hit a little close to home, and one I'm willing to wager that many others relate to as well. Overshadowing it all, is the titular Celeste mountain which our heroin Madeline must climb both literally and figuratively on her journey.  

 

The Great: There is a lot to say here so I'll jump right in.  One of the games best feature's is just how remarkably simple that it is. The controls consist of effectively only 3 buttons and a joy stick, but it is masterful in its crafting. The control of Madeline the main character is so tight that I honestly wasn't inclined to blame the game for any of my deaths (which is unusual :P). The game features some of the best music that I have heard in gaming, has a gorgeous pixel art style, and wonderful and colorful characters. It also has a lot of end game content that can keep you playing for dozens and dozens of hours.  All of that is great and all, but it doesn't really compare to the story that is being told here.  The story as alluded to in the pitch is so well written and has such important things to say that the game deviates off of just being a great platformer and into a game that is important for people to play and a dialogue that is important to have.  

 

That being said, Celeste is nothing if not inclusive.   Though the dialogue is one of the best sections of the game, if you aren't interested in that and instead just want a back breaking platformer, that is here too.  You can skip all the dialogue and just enjoy the platforming brilliance of the game.  Especially in the B and C sections each of those is where the real challenge of the game is.  The platinum currently sits at around 30% and if assist mode wasn't a thing, I'm almost positive this would be an ultra rare.  

 

Speaking of Assist Mode...  (Yes I said it, It goes in the Great Section!): If there where one thing that was controversial about this game its the assist mode:  I won't lie to you, I initially thought that I would really dislike the assist mode feature of the game as it basically erases any semblance of challenge in the game.  For those not aware, the assist mode can make you invincible with infinite dashes and stamina or even slow down the game. Having a pretty tight timer on the game, in order to complete the game for an event (shout out Trophies for Mental Health Event")  my plan was to go through the entire main game and get all of the collectibles without using assist mode, to then use assist mode to do the B and C sides quickly as it would likely take me longer than the week or so I had to complete the game and come back and play through both of those at my leisure.  And that's what I stuck to for the most part and honestly, I think it made me enjoy the game more.  Rather than feel like I had to push through the game on the time crunch, assist mode let me just enjoy the story and not really worry about the looming difficulty of B and C side.

 

Looking at it from that perspective, and playing more platformers than most, I can start to see a lens in which I think the assist mode would help the main game.  The game is important and opens many dialogues that need to be had. For video games, that dialogue being gated behind a skill barrier is going to hinder things, and while I understand the argument that the trial and failure is central to the major themes of the games, it's still important to give people a way to view the games conversation without losing people to frustration.  If an important movie comes out, basically everyone can go see it, and if video games as art are going to be taken seriously by more people the need to be accessible.  

 

There is one argument to be had that using assist mode should disable the trophies, and yeah it probably should but on the whole I'm still glad they included it.

 

The Not as Great: I'm going to be honest guys, I sat for a long while trying to find basically any criticism that I had for the game and there were a few.  The crystal hearts can be a bit cryptic (Especially the ones in episode 1 and 7).  I wouldn't have even known to look for them If I hadn't look at the trophy list.  Very occasionally there was what seemed like a hit box issue, but that was probably just me. The order of the options on the menu, for example the retry button was somewhere in the middle,  but that's the definition of nit picky. Maybe they could have added a retry given that most of the controller wasn't used and yes maybe the assist mode could have disabled trophies.  On the whole, if you're looking for someone to say bad things about this game, you'll have to find it elsewhere, I had not major complaints.

 

The Summary:  On the whole, Celeste is a masterclass of a platfomer with excellent controls, great music and a compelling narrative.  It's about as close to a must play as I can manage to give you. I 100% recommend it to anyone. 

 

~TC

 

Edited by Together_Comic
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4 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

The platinum currently sits at around 30% and if assist mode wasn't a thing, I'm almost positive this would be an ultra rare.  

 

Speaking of Assist Mode...  (Yes I said it, It goes in the Great Section!): If there where one thing that was controversial about this game its the assist mode:  I won't lie to you, I initially thought that I would really dislike the assist mode feature of the game as it basically erases any semblance of challenge in the game.  For those not aware, the assist mode can make you invincible with infinite dashes and stamina or even slow down the game. Having a pretty tight timer on the game, in order to complete the game for an event (shout out Trophies for Mental Health Event")  my plan was to go through the entire main game and get all of the collectibles without using assist mode, to then use assist mode to do the B and C sides quickly as it would likely take me longer than the week or so I had to complete the game and come back and play through both of those at my leisure.  And that's what I stuck to for the most part and honestly, I think it made me enjoy the game more.  Rather than feel like I had to push through the game on the time crunch, assist mode let me just enjoy the story and not really worry about the looming difficulty of B and C side.

 

Hah - I think you're being generous saying it'd merely be ultra rare without Assist Mode. The game has a very dedicated community that adores it, and it only has around 15k users on PSNProfiles so it's not like it would be quite near Super Meat Boy territory, but I easily would see it in that 1.50-2% plat range given how brutal the C-sides can be.

 

As someone who doesn't love platformers and is in general pretty awful at them, I was very relieved for the Assist Mode since it made me purchase a game I prolly woulda avoided otherwise due to difficulty. Maybe that's me putting too much stock in always wanting to platinum most games I play but knowing I had that safety net allowed me just like you to enjoy the story, graphics, music, and pleasant atmosphere the game provided. 

 

But having said that - the game ended up falling in the 7.0-tier for me due to the fact that it had an "easy" button that is so unbelievably tempting(I succumbed to it very quickly) it's hard to really challenge yourself unlike other games such as Furi for example, that present an obstacle and demand you to learn it in order to conquer it. For many in 2018 it was their Game of the Year, and that's prolly cuz they spent 50-80+ hours mastering it. For me, it was a nice game for a few days that I appreciated but it didn't sink in with many compared to other games. But at the same time, if I knew the investment it would have taken, I would have never step forth in the first place? Hah, it's a weird conundrum but I still recommend it to everyone who just wants to experience a nice indie and they have the fallback of Assist Mode if they aren't loving it. 

 

As a side note - I haven't commented on your checklist before but awesome stuff man! You have a number of cool games on your list I'd love to try out. Both Lucas Pope games (I wish Papers, Please was on PS4/5), Persona 4 Golden and even Dragon Quest 11. Keep up the great work!

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