Together_Comic

Together_Comic's Platinum Panel and Backlog Checklist

54 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, realm722 said:

 

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!

 

 

Yeah, I didn't want to take a stab at actual rarity.  I think the game is in probably in the 7-8/10 difficulty range without assist mode (for reference I'd probably put meat boy at 9-9.5 but these numbers stop meaning something at a hard enough difficulty.)

 

I agree, I would probably give it a 7/10 if it was just a visual novel or something for example.  The assist mode is great for helping the game be more accessible and that temptation was certainly there.  Especially in the "summit chapter" given that it's just so so long, but it never hit a point where I got frustrated with the platforming so I was able to overcome it simply by fact  that I was enjoying myself, but I love platformers.  If you aren't into platformers I imagine that that easy button is a lot more alluring.

 

Thanks for checking me out.  I actually got the vita specifically to play Persona 4 and Papers Please. I've got some other games on there that I am playing/want to play, but that is what made me pull the trigger.  I love Lucus Pope (maybe he'll release a collection or something at some point - here's hoping), but he has basically convinced me to try at least any game with his name on it.  Dragon Quest XI was my intro to the series and if that's indicative of the quality I will definitely be playing more of it. I here 8 is great too (maybe a port for that too?). 

 

As for you, I saw your wonderful review of FF7 Remake and you really made me want to try it out.  I did download it when it was free on plus, but was hesitant given how much I love the original, but I think you convinced me to actually play it down the line.  I also admire your dedication to sports games as well, its an impressive collection and something I could never do!

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn’t realise before that you had this checklist mate - love your reviews!
 I’m picking up game recommendations here too - I need to give Hyper Light Drifter a go, as well as Celeste!

 

Keep up the good work mate 👍👍

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DrBloodmoney said:

Didn’t realise before that you had this checklist mate - love your reviews!
 I’m picking up game recommendations here too - I need to give Hyper Light Drifter a go, as well as Celeste!

 

Keep up the good work mate 1f44d.png1f44d.png

 

Thanks I appreciate it.  Yeah both of those games are all stars!  It was actually your review that convinced me to start Rayman: Origins.  I was always going to play it since I was a big fan of Rayman Legends, but the billing of scientifically proven to be better than Cuphead was a head turner. 😂😂

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

 

Thanks I appreciate it.  Yeah both of those games are all stars!  It was actually your review that convinced me to start Rayman: Origins.  I was always going to play it since I was a big fan of Rayman Legends, but the billing of scientifically proven to be better than Cuphead was a head turner. 1f602.png1f602.png


Glad to hear it mate! 
 

Yeah, Origins is a hell of a game - I liked Legends too, no doubt, and the musical levels in Legends were just 😚👌, but overall, Origins has a slight edge on Legends for me - just in terms of level design.
It’s a smidge harder, with some slightly longer sections of precision required - but on the plus side, it doesn’t have that absurd grind for the daily and weekly challenges! 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RNmmfQa.jpg

Update 21: :platinum: 52 - Rayman Origins

Enjoyment 8/10

Difficulty 4/10

 

The Pitch: The game begins with our pals hanging out in the snoozing tree.   Their incessant snoring disturbs the queen of the land of the living dead and she pours her minions forth and its up to Rayman to go save all of the imprisoned electoons and fae? pixies? idk over a series of 2-D platforming levels. This particular platformer is far removed from the complexity of celeste, but hey the original Mario just sits you there and says go right hard to fault this one for its contrivances. 😂

 

The Good: If a platformer can nail good movement and good level design its going to end up being pretty good and this one does just that. This game really shines with raymans movement.  The controls are really tight and each world unlocks new options for the character.  For example in world 1, you gain the ability to attack and in world 4 you can run on walls and each level is designed for you to catapult yourself along on a merry running and jumping spree bouncing off of enemies and making the movement feel so ridiculously good. The level design is also good.  In addition to the well placed enemies and interactable scenery, all of the theming is spot on.  The food lava level (take that odyssey looks like rayman did it first) is particularly awesome. The levels also make good use of there worlds mechanic.  The desert and the hover are a stand out there. 

 

The Not as Good but Still Largely Fine: Yeah, the story isn't all that engaging, but again I don't typically play platformers for there story.  The mosquito levels are also not that great.  Number 1: They are autoscrollers which is a big eyeroll for platformers and two I feel like there are maybe too many of them.  Like 15% of the game is this autoscroller and it felt like a weird choice for me.  Having not played the orginial rayman or rayman 2 I have to wonder if its just a holdover from the classic games?  Either way, they seem to have fixed it in legends.

 

The Trophies: The trophies for this game are pretty reasonable.  The one that is going to put a lot of people off the game are the speed run trophies, but they are extremely lenient.  Otherwise you'll get all the others for just doing all the collectibles except for the glide for an hour... Though I'm pretty sure you don't actually have to spend an hour doing it. 

 

Summary: Rayman Origins is a delightful platformer with good movement and level design.  If you dont mind the occasional autoscroller, this one is a good platformer to pick up. 

 

~TC

Edited by Together_Comic
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Together_Comic said:

RNmmfQa.jpg

Update 21: :platinum: 52 - Rayman Origins

Enjoyment 8/10

Difficulty 4/10

 

Damn, out of rep points, but well done mate 👍

 

Glad to see you enjoyed it ☺️

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you going to go back for Risk Taker in KH3? I see it in your current projects so I'd assume so

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, DrBloodmoney said:

 

Damn, out of rep points, but well done mate 1f44d.png

 

Glad to see you enjoyed it 263a.png

 

No issues! Thanks for the recommendation.

 

10 minutes ago, Deadly_Ha_Ha said:

Are you going to go back for Risk Taker in KH3? I see it in your current projects so I'd assume so

 

Yeah I go back to it occasionally.  I have everything done except for 5 - 6 of the organization members and Yazora (who hopefully won't be necessary).  I just have trouble getting motivated to do it when each boss could take me upwards of 3 or 4 hours to get through 😬.  I'll get it done for sure though.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Together_Comic said:

 

Yeah I go back to it occasionally.  I have everything done except for 5 - 6 of the organization members and Yazora (who hopefully won't be necessary).  I just have trouble getting motivated to do it when each boss could take me upwards of 3 or 4 hours to get through 1f62c.png.  I'll get it done for sure though.

I believe Re Mind saved KH3. Without that challenge I found the game to be embarrassingly easy, not to mention from the vanilla release to the dlc release the gameplay was significantly improved. Those fights are better than the data fights from KH2 imo

Edited by Deadly_Ha_Ha
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Deadly_Ha_Ha said:

I believe Re Mind saved KH3. Without that challenge I found the game to be embarrassingly easy, not to mention from the vanilla release to the dlc release the gameplay was significantly improved. Those fights are better than the data fights from KH2 imo

 

Yeah definitely glad they did something.  I think I still really enjoy 2 compared to 3, but I think the fights they added are definitely great and the second playthrough of the game for risk taker was also a fun romp. 

 

~TC

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yCDpEy4.png

Update 22: :platinum: 53 - Valfaris

Enjoyment 7/10

Difficulty 5/10

 

The Pitch: Far away in space, the planet Valfaris has suddenly popped up on the radar of Therion, our PC for the game.  He makes his way there to investigate what happened to the city and to his father the former king.  Along the way he headbangs to the metal soundtrack, and spills the pixilated guts of all of Valfaris's monsterous inhabitants.  Yeah, the plot isn't really the appeal of the game, and to be honest, I kinda yatta-yatta'd a lot of it, but it does set the tone for this neat action-platformer. The core elements of Valfaris is a run and gun shooter throughout, and it plays similar to a Mega Man game or maybe more closely Contra, but with a heavy metal flavor, and to be honest I'm here for it. 

 

The Good: Though the game does plays like Contra or Mega Man it does so with and a flavor of brutality and heavy metal and surprising variety.  There are a variety of weapons to use and you can equip a melee weapon, a pistol, and a heavy weapon.  Each one is pretty good given the right circumstances.  The starting pistol and sword are very good for a large portion of the game.  Heck the sword is still probably good through the end of the game.  The hellwraith that you pick up in the first level is really helpful to the boss of that level and for dealing with the switch puzzles. The shot gun that you get for beating the first boss is great for the second level, where you pick up the "envoy of destruction" which is good for that levels boss and you get the idea.  Eventually though I did pick favorites.  Vroll's sidearm is undoubtedly the best pistol in the game and I found I wasn't as excited to try new pistol weapons afterward so there's that.  I also liked the "bringer of mayhem" mostly because it was good for clearing out a bunch of things at range without having to mess with the finnicky aiming (more on that in the next section :()  but that was pretty late in the game so I still got to try out a bunch of other cool heavy weapons.  I ended up using the Jelly Whip for most of the game as well, though the axe is probably better.  Either way, the weapon combat is varied so what else does the game have?  Well, the boss encounters are also pretty neat.  Many of the bosses are designed to use a distinct part of the combat system.  For example, the "hell cobra" breathes fire everywhere around you so it cuts off part of the terrain making it difficult to approach so it will be tough to use your sword.  Hitting enemies with melee attacks is also what charges your heavy weapons, so you should probably be careful with those as well since you won't be able to recharge them, so it looks like the pistol is your best bet for dealing all kinds of damage to these guys.  In the same level, the "bloodstalker queen" flys around all over the place dropping bombs on you while random enemies spawn so you're able to use your heavy weapons to do damage and the random enemies to recharge it.  Later, Furrok is a honorable warrior so you're gonna get the most mileage out of your sword and parry combat. It's stuff like this that makes the combat neat and varied while remaining pretty simple.  The level design is also pretty varied.  As you trek through the planet, you go from the metal landing pad, to the ecodrome, down into the hive through catacombs and then back up into the fortress and it works surprisingly well with  interesting enemies as well.  In a game where combat is the selling point, Valfaris is pretty effective for what it does. 

 

So what else is good,  the art design of the game is great.  I really dig the pixilated graphics mixed with the hardcore violence of the game.  The aforementioned game levels are also really well put together and vibrant and help to not make everything feel samey.  You even go through the Ecodrome twice, and it's largely different both times as the second one has been cultivated by the remaining inhabitants of Valfaris.  

 

I'll also praise the games difficulty here.  The game is one of those inherently fair combat systems that isn't free. You can and will die to basic enemies in combat, even more so than bosses, since the patterns are much more sporadic and the amount of enemies can lead to you getting "combo'd" so to speak.  That being said, you have the tools to deal with every challenge in the game.  The shield is really good.  On purpose, I think so that you are able to get out of almost any bad spot with the parry.  The bosses again are very well designed, with telegraphed attacks and learnable patterns that lead to interesting challenges, but what I think is really well designed is the check point system.  Throughout the game you collect resurrection idols that can be spent to activate check points at certain places.  There are enough of these so that you can activate all of the checkpoints if you really wanted too, but some of them are really well hidden are are put behind combat challenges.  There is also a machine at the end of each level that will trade a certain amount of your idols for blood metals the games upgrade materials.  This creates a really interesting push pull about whether you want to activate the checkpoint in case you die, or do you want to hold onto the idol weapon upgrades at the end.  For trophy hunters, the game requires you to trade 15 (out of a maximum 23 (If I'm wrong please don't quote me on this number :P) I think) so you'll be skipping out, but causally its still a neat mechanic.  

 

 

The Bad:  Valfaris is largely successful at setting the vibe and flavor for what it want's to do.  That being said there are a few lowlights in the game.  For one the metal soundtrack leaves something to be desired.  None of it was particularly stand out to me, and even now, the only track I can remember is the headbanging one from when you pick up a new weapon.  That being said,  I am not an authority with what is good metal music, so your mileage/kilometerage may vary.  While the game does vary the boss encounters a lot, there is still a fair bit of recycled combat.  You fight the same two dozen our so basic enemies through the game which isn't that bad as they are good to diversify the situations, numbers, and combinations in which you encounter them.  You do the "Tomb Keeper" Boss three separate times; once solo, once in a pair, and then once as a basic enemy, and then you also do the "hell cobra" fight twice.  Again the circumstances are different with each fight, and I don't mind the "same thing but this time there are two" thing, but for a game with a lot of diversity, it felt like a little bit of the let down.  The previous two things aside, I think if I had a major complaint about the game its the aiming system.  So the game alloys you to shoot in 360 degrees in increments of 45 degree angles. The problem is that often the enemies wander into 60 degree spots and just sit there making it really tough to hit them. Normally this isn't a problem as you can just walk forward and fix the angle to get them.  However whenever there's a pit, or spikes, or acid, or electric current or what have you it is really obnoxious. Because you cant really move forward to hit the enemy because you'll die and you cant really jump forward onto whatever platform because then the enemy will hit you and you will die. Certain weapons can alleviate this, but you can only change weapons at a checkpoint so in the middle of the battle you are kind of stuck.  Another thing that was kind of annoying about the aiming system for me was that was the "run and gun" the aiming is mapped to the same stick as moving, so if you hold upright to aim up you will also walk forward... and remember the pits and stuff we were discussing.  You can hold a button that will stop you from moving while you aim, and that does mean its a nitpick for my experience rather than a major flaw, but I can't tell you how many times early on (and sometimes later on too) that I randomly walked into a pit because of this. 

 

The Trophies: Valfaris is one of those games where the trophies really add to the experience and improve the game.  Let's start with the elephant in the room,

cAgri1r.png

 

These are the two trophies that may scare off players from the game.  Firstly, though they may say different stuff, these are the same trophy.  A majority of the time consumption for this game comes from dying a lot.  The levels themselves are often not that long ranging form 5 to 15 minutes on a deathless run, and there are only 10 of them.  So if you don't spend an hour dying to a boss over and over again (looking at you Furrok, I feel like half of my first playthrough's time came from just this guy, just remember parrying is op, but no on this guy) you can get through this pretty quickly.  I missed a secret in my first playthrough (more on that in a second), but I was able to do a complete all secrets playthrough and still made it to the end of the game with about 25 minutes to fight the final boss. The timer is pretty lenient, again as long as you don't death spiral (and if you want, you can even upload to the cloud with PS+ and save scum if you want).  I'm sure that will disappoint noted speed run enthusiast @Copanele, but maybe they'll still pick up the game 😂.  

 

There are some collectables trophies for finding all the secrets and for finding all the guns.  As well as for fully upgrading one of each of all your main weapons and for upgrading 10 weapons once.  If you are doing the secrets and going for "risk vs reward" trophy then you should have plenty of blood metals for the upgrades.  Like I said early I missed a secret in my initial playthrough which surprised me because I'm usually pretty vigilant in games like this where the secrets aren't pixel hunts. The one I missed is the one in the worm tunnels.  The extremely deviously hidden one.  Without spoiling it, when you play the game, dear reader, you'll know which one it is.  Speaking of which, lets talk about collectibles here.  I love games like this where there aren't all that many secrets to find, and finding them without a guide for all of them is extremely feasible.  I wish more games would go in this direction.  Often I feel like I need to have a guide to avoid extra collectible playthroughs and games and it really slows down the pace as I scour the guide to find the collectibles for the section and it can really put me off a game (see the last of us on my profile with all of the grindy multiplayer done, but none of the single player because of the metric ton of collectible stuff.  Yes I know the game is good and that I should complete it *spoilers it'll probably be next* but still...) I really like this design.  

 

There are trophies for combat stuff that like slashing through projectiles or parrying enemy attacks that will come naturally as you play which is the best kind of combat trophies.  I particularly liked the slashing projectiles thing, because I didn't even know that was possible which I think is the purpose of trophies like that, not to make the player grind.  Take note other Devs.  The kill 1000 Enemies here was also fine, as the idea is to make sure you don't ignore combat to often.  If you do every encounter, you'll easily hit this in the 5th or 6th level.  If you skip a bunch you will probably still get it, but if you don't have it, the penultimate screen has infinite spawning enemies if you don't kill the drone producer so you can farm it there.  

 

There are also trophies for completing the games story.  Nothing new there.  But where the list really shines is these miscellaneous trophies.  These are really good and take advantage of each levels unique enemies and environments. Destroying lights is interesting as there are plenty of them and they often add little aiming challenges to hit them. Even the aim system that I complained about doesn't hurt this one to bad, because if you miss "oh well" you can just move on.  Reflecting the hive monster attacks is surprisingly tough and leads to an interesting wrinkle in your combat routine.  Destroying the sentries is also interesting because it requires you to figure out how to get to each one and encourages you to take platforming risks.  Just a really well designed list. 

 

Summary: All of that being said, Valfaris is oozing with flavor, with an interesting trophy list, and very fun run and gun combat.  It was a neat vibe and aesthetic and is successful in what the game sets out to do. The game is surprisingly varied, though it does run into some recycled content and aiming issues which detract a bit from the otherwise awesome game on display.  I don't know that I'll play Slain, just from the strength of Valfaris, but from the reviews I've read on other posts, if you like that one, I'm sure you'll like this one. 

 

Best 

 

~TC

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahahah oh no speedrunning, my only weakness xD 

Congrats for the achievement!!! I will also pick up this game, DESPITE that awful AWFUL trophy. Valfaris IS metal after all and I think if I managed to do that stupid Braid, I can do this one too.

Blessed be the horned metal god!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

TC reviews Valfaris

 

Nice review! Vroll's sidearm, eh? 🤔 Well that's a throwback to Slain... 

 

Honestly, from your description it sounds like Valfaris and Slain share a lot of similarities, with one of the main differences being in the Melee combat being swapped out for Ranged combat...  But much of what you write sounds very familiar after having played Slain. 

 

Will definitely pick this up at some point... Thanks for the nice write-up! :) 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

 

Update 22: :platinum: 53 - Valfaris

Enjoyment 7/10

Difficulty 5/10

 

Nice write up man!

 

It's funny - I'd never heard of this game, but the artwork at the top of your review for some reason gave me a heavy Blackthorne-vibe, and looking at some gameplay, I think it seems to have some artistic influence from that game (though this looks much faster paced).

 

On my radar now anyways, so cheers!

Edited by DrBloodmoney
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Copanele said:

Hahahah oh no speedrunning, my only weakness xD 

Congrats for the achievement!!! I will also pick up this game, DESPITE that awful AWFUL trophy. Valfaris IS metal after all and I think if I managed to do that stupid Braid, I can do this one too.

Blessed be the horned metal god!

 

It's really not that bad. 😄 , but when I saw it I did think of you lol.  

 

6 hours ago, Arcesius said:

 

Nice review! Vroll's sidearm, eh? 1f914.png Well that's a throwback to Slain... 

 

Honestly, from your description it sounds like Valfaris and Slain share a lot of similarities, with one of the main differences being in the Melee combat being swapped out for Ranged combat...  But much of what you write sounds very familiar after having played Slain. 

 

Will definitely pick this up at some point... Thanks for the nice write-up! :) 

 

No problem, glad you enjoyed it. No magic in this one either which seems to be a thing in the other as well, but yeah having seen both yours and Copaneles review, I figured that it would be, being made by the same studio and with very similar tones.  

 

5 hours ago, DrBloodmoney said:

 

Nice write up man!

 

It's funny - I'd never heard of this game, but the artwork at the top of your review for some reason gave me a heavy Blackthorne-vibe, and looking at some gameplay, I think it seems to have some artistic influence from that game (though this looks much faster paced).

 

On my radar now anyways, so cheers!

 

Having never heard of Blackthorne, its hard to tell.  A quick google search shows that the gameplay does look similar though.  It wasn't really on mine either, but I saw it on a sale a while back and took a chance on it for $5, it was definitely money well spent at that price point.  Thanks for reading and glad to put the game on your radar. Your scientific inquiries have definitely put me on to quite a few games so nice to return the favor :)

 

 

 

In other news, I picked up the Last of Us again last night and have played up through the point where you meet Bill. The game's story seems really solid and I am enjoying the character dynamics, but man, that weapon sway is something else... I get that it really isn't supposed to be a shooter but more of a survival horror type game but coming from Uncharted 4 earlier this year and what I remember as pretty solid multiplayer it really is off putting. I did see that there is an upgrade for it so definitely going to be putting points into that as soon as possible. 😬 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

xfXUcif.jpg

Update 23: :platinum: 54 - The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 2 

Enjoyment 8/10

Difficulty 3/10

 

*Minor Spoiler Warnings*

 

The Pitch: Remember me?  Eh probably not, but I have returned from the realm of obscurity with The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel 2.  Trails of Cold Steel 2 much like its predecessor is a Sim/JRPG involving Rean Schwarzer and the tale of the Erebonian Civil War after the events of Cold Steel 1. The game follows a three act structure where you travel through out the country influencing events along with your classmates. Act 1 sees you collect your classmates, Act 2 is the influence your group has on the war and Act 3 maintains the finale.  Of course in typical JRPG fashion, we start with a modest goal and end up with a world ending apocalypses on our hands if our teenage heroes don't stop it.  

 

The Good:  Much of what was great about the first game is returning here.  We have an excellent world built up over the course of a total of 7 games at this point with events occurring within a set of a few years and characters and stories intertwining throughout.  Part of the reason I was gone from the site for a while is that I took the time to play through some of these games on steam Trails in the Sky and watch video recaps for Trails from Zero/Azure (no official western release)  and I have to tell you the story built here is super fun to unravel.  Is it a bit generic with all of the major twists being rather predictable (except 1 but more on that later), yes, but its still a good time.  The character relationships are also really good here. The game gives weight to the main cast and while I would have liked to see more from the villains, it is still set up pretty well.

 

The Combat as always is the biggest highlight of the game.  It's just so deep.  Every character can Link with another character and will receive bonuses based on how much those two characters share a bond.  For example, at level 1 each character has a follow up attack so when you Crit an enemy or unbalance them by using basically what amounts to a super effective weapon type (its slightly different in that it isn't guaranteed like in pokemon per say but you are much more likely to crit) but as you level up depending on the character you get different abilities some of them give you a magic damage buff, others can cover and take damage, others get extra CP for abilities called crafts its a really fun system.  

 

On top of that, each character has a "Master Quartz" and 8 slots that can be filled with normal Quartz.  The master quartz gives a unique range of abilities and stats depending on which one it is.  For example the Raven master Quartz gives your attacks the ability to delay, plus an automatic magic defense raise at the start of the battle, Falco gives your character an evasion buff and makes them less likely to be affected by status.  Each also gives you a range of magic attacks to use called arts.  (cant believe I missed in the first one that the abilities in this game are Arts and Crafts which is funny to me for some reason.).  From there each character can equip Quartz that allow them to further specialize.  Quartz generally have 1 of 3 flavors.  Some of them are generic stat buffs like attack 3 which gives +50 attack stat or evade 2 which gives +10% evasion.  Some of them allow you to get specific arts on your character for example tear gives you the tear spell that heals your party or hellfire which gives you several fire based arts, or some other random effect for your character, waterfall for example gives you +10% damage for each level higher than your enemy that you are capping out at 100%.  Obviously some characters are going to be better at certain rolls than others and the game does a good job at limiting which characters can be used where or requiring that you use a specific character, but regardless of whos on the team, you'll have access to all the rolls you need through customization.  Its a strong system.

 

The Bad

 

In part 1,  I had an issue with the pacing, and part 2 largely fixed that.  I feel like I was invested almost all the way through the story and for once the dungeons in the RPG felt like they were appropriately sized and not so extremely long for the sake of being long (looking at you Persona 4, gosh those dungeons took forever), that being said the ending of the game really put a damper on the game I was otherwise enjoying as much as the first one. 

 

*Major Spoilers Ahead*

 

When I say the ending, I don't really mean the finale.  That was good.  Crow's redemption and death while predictable was good.  Osborne's being alive, though again no surprise (especially if you played the other games) was a fun reveal and Rean being his son, though while contrived, does set up the future situation well.  The character arc of Rean discovering who he is and deciding what he wants to do in this world is at its thematic low point here, They even bring in the guys from the Crossbell series to juxtapose against rean and especially after the dissolving of class 7 towards an unknown future. It's like the Devs knew that this needed to be a sad ending.  Why then did they shoehorn in the final dungeon for the epilogue.  It just narratively undermines everything that the ending was doing.   So the School House was affected by the awakening of Testa-Rosa, 3 months after the events of the finale?  The games final boss is just a reskin of the final boss from trails 1?  He even tells you that the trial doesn't mean anything, that it's hollow?  Why are these things here, because you wanted to force in a feels good moment at the end of the game? Its just so frustrating. There's also the point that Millium cries, which is a scene wasted at this particular ending and is absolutely lost on anyone who didn't see that one specific bonding event.  Its a powerful moment to be had for sure but it sure seems wasted.  Ugh.  The ending really dropped the game from a solid 9/10 to an 8 all by itself.  It already had a good ending what purpose does this extra nonsense serve.  

 

The game is still predictable, but the Thomas and Rosine reveal at the end of the NG+ playthrough was a surprise to be sure.  It begs the question though, if that is going to be a major plot point moving forward why did the game bury it in a new game + run, and not only that, but one where you had to specifically collect the black records and have them decoded.  Then backtrack out of the final dungeon and find them for a scene.  It is way to deeply hidden for something as major as it was.  It probably should have been in the main story.  Maybe it isn't as important as I'm making it out to be in future games, but  if it's not as important as I think it is, then that will have been a failing for future games.  It's a pretty big reveal.

 

 

 

*End of Spoilers*

 

The Trophies

I have to say much improved over the first game in the series.  The game still requires 2 playthroughs to get the super boss and to collect the aforementioned black records, but we don't have the arbitrary play for 100 hours trophy which is super nice and you can fast-forward through the dialogue to complete NG+ in ~5-10 hours which is not terrible for a JRPG NG+ mode.  The number of battles you have to do has decreased from 1000 down to 600 which also speeds up subsequent playthroughs.  The trophy list basically has removed the monotonous grinding from the first game.  

 

After that its basically the same list as the first game.  See the final bonding event of all the cast, fill the notebook, finish the game on the hardest difficulty (super easy if you carry over everything to NG+) use all the combat skills a certain number of times, do all the side quests, your usual JRPG stuff.

 

Summary: 

 

Its a shame that the literal last thing in the game takes away from the overall enjoyability of this game.  The game has a wonderful world and is compelling if a bit predictable.  The Combat remains very solid in the realm of JRPG and the trophies are much improved over the first game.  If you enjoyed the first game, or enjoy JRPGs in general I think you'll like this one, though obviously I recommend that you go back to at least Trails of Cold Steel 1 first, if not all the way back to Trails in the Sky (it really does add so much context to the series though it is an admittedly 6 game slog if you are just interested in this one 😂.

 

Enjoyment Score 8/10

Difficulty Score 3/10

Edited by Together_Comic
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

xDL4you.jpg  5ifxURp.jpg

Update: 24 :platinum: #55 The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel 3 and 100% #8 Abzu, and Brief Asides About Other Gaming.

 

Abzu 

 

Its really rare that I find a game that is basically an art project that turns out to be really, really, good.  I can only think of two examples on my account: Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and Abzu.  But Comic, I here you cry, aren't all games art.  Well yes fabulous reader, in a manner of speaking, but what I mean is that this game seems to solely exist as an art project.  This game isn't going to win any awards for its game play or even level design, but what it does well is tell a visually interesting narrative and explore the beauty of its surroundings through its visual design.  

 

Alright, Mr. Comic, you've sold me on the game as an art piece, but that doesn't really tell me what the game is about.  You claim that it tells an interesting narrative, well tell me about that.   The premise is that you play a little robot boy who awakens in the middle of the ocean.  You swim about and marvel at all the pretty water and fish surrounding you.  You find a robot that helps you proceed and then everyone's best boy Shark-chan decides to nom your robot friend.  What follows is an exploration of a lost civilization that resided beneath and above the waves in deep underwater caverns and the existential loss of that civilization as you follow through what happened to it.  What's cool about this is that there is nothing that outright tells you any of this..  its all presented through visuals, so your interpretation of what happened may end up being different than mine.  Its a game worth playing for sure.

 

Ok Mr. Comic, but this is a trophy website, tell us about those.   Well, the trophies are pretty simple get some collectibles, do some miscellaneous stuff, finish the game. Nothing really missable since you can get what you need in chapter select at the end.  Pretty basic stuff.

 

So anything bad about the game?  Its short.  My playthrough clocked in at around 2.5 hours and that's with going back to get the collectibles that I missed.  It was free awhile back as part of the stay at home initiative I believe and that's where I got it from. Plat Prices tells me that its currently $20 and that seems extremely costly for what this is.  

 

Do you recommend the game?  Absolutely.  The above issue aside, This game is really accessible and short and gives a lot for the small amount of investment that you have to put into the game.  I'd also recommend it to people who aren't really gamers.  Its one of those that I think most everyone can enjoy.

 

ES 8/10

DS 1/10

 

Super Meat Boy Interlude

 

Meat Boy has continued to be difficult as I make it through.  For anyone who has been following me on this journey (Shout outs to all maybe 1 or 2 of you lol)  I have been rather on and off about the game for awhile now.  I'm finally down to the last set of deathless runs and will be starting to learn the levels tonight.  I posted earlier that I was hoping to have it finished today, but that really didn't work out. 😂

 

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3

 

If you've been following the tread, by now you've read two reviews of these games, so I'm going to save you some time and skip straight to the rant at the end. Fair? Fair. The premise is the same, except our boys and girls have graduated and become the teachers, rather than the students.  The stuff that's good about the first 2 (i.e. The Combat and Characters)  remains good.  

 

Alright now, with that out of the way, on to the rant.  First of all, why would they mess with the interface, there is absolutely no reason to mess with the interface, especially when you make it worse.   The menuing has been made slower, the quartz slots have been reverted from the infinitely better system in Trails 2 to the worse system in trails 1, they swapped the item and equipment position in the menu (which doesn't really matter but my muscle memory hates the devs for this).  I just don't understand.  You had a good thing going here trails why did we mess with it?  Then there's the voice actor changes which is jarring, maybe not the devs fault on that one, but still its jarring.  

 

But Comic, that's super nitpicky I thought you promised us a Rant.  SPOILER WARNING Ok well here's the worst of it.  I've talked about games with sharks, and games with jumping in this post; However, I put off finishing this platinum because I really didn't want to talk about games that Jumped the Shark.  If you aren't familiar with that particular turn a phrase its when a series has gone to the point where it is out of fresh and original Ideas and has just gone to silly stuff to keep the plot going forward, and trails of cold steel 3 really suffers from that reality.  You remember all of those crushing moments from the first 2 games.  How Crow betrays you and then comes back to the right side and makes a heroic sacrifice to stop the evil mech from consuming the prince and thereby destroying the kingdom of erebonia and potentially the world?  Yeah we're just going to takesies backsies on that one.   You remember the whole climax of the first game where Crow kills Osborne thereby setting into motion the events of the next few games?  Yeah we're going to takesies backsies on that one too.  Remember how Alyssa's dad is dead and that death impacts the relationships that she forms and the relationship with that of her mother?  Remember how Sharon's character and her loyalty to the Reinford family is contingent on that event?  Yeah its a wholesale refund on all of that too.  Remember how George has been one of the good guys this whole time, and then he just goes and assassinates Angela?  Wait that one's actually pretty good.  Remember how Millium sacrifices herself to save her sister Altina even though they were designed to not have feelings?  Wait that one's good too, If I didn't think they were going to just take both back in the next game!  The problem with fakeouts and twists like these are that they feel cheap emotionally.  I was invested in those characters and the game made me feel about them, so when you walk it back it feels cheapened.  It also makes me less likely to believe it when you kill a different character, because I know you've walked it back in the past.  So now if you walk it back its "see I told you so!" and if you don't, well the emotional impact of the moment doesn't hit me as hard because I thought you were being flippant about it.  It really harms the story when writers do that sort of thing.  There's also the problem of making all of these things make sense in the context of the story.  Like its really hard to justify having a character die in the main characters arms, on screen, see them buried, and then have it feel plausible when they are magically alive.  Then you have to figure out how to justify the other 3 similar characters.  I mean maybe you can have one of those twists and have it work. Perhaps the one about Osborne still being alive as it sets him up to be the antagonist of the final game, but it really spoils it with all the other. 

 

END SPOILER

 

Trophies?  Well this game is easier than the first two in that regard.  Only one playthrough is required if you want to do Nightmare to start off with, and they enabled you to be able to get multiple bonding trophies at the same time with the tickets mechanic rather than just choosing one at the end.  Speaking of which the bonding events also felt phoned in so boo.  

 

Do I recommend this game?  Well it depends.  To most people, No.  To people who have already played the first 2, then probably worth it to see it through to the end (curse you sunk cost fallacy).  Hopefully they will clean everything up in the fourth installment.

 

Enjoyment 5/10

Difficulty 3/10

 

Kingdom Hearts III DLC 

So risk taker is definitely a trophy that exists.  Requiring an entire new game playthrough, most of the post game, and then a DLC replay on top of it all, I was not excited about the amount of time it's going to take me to get this one trophy.  So far, I am through the main story and have gotten to Level 99 and am currently grinding materials to upgrade the relevant keyblades to maximum.   Then its just a bit of synthesis grinding to get my stats to a serviceable level before attempting the super bosses to get the trophy.   Strangely though, I found myself enjoying the mindless grind.   It reminded me of why I really like this series which is its excellent combat and customization.  Though the story has kind of gone off the rails (talk about a series that has jumped the shark 😂).

 

~TC

 

 

Edited by Together_Comic
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Together_Comic said:

The Wrap up - Overall, I definitely recommend this game to those who love 2D platformers.  The game is best in class in control and difficulty and is seamless in its integration of the two. I would also encourage people not to avoid the game because of the difficulty of the trophies.  It is definitely possible to get them all should you feel so inclined and if you're anything like me, enjoyable all the same.  

 

Great review! The Super Meat Boy platinum in my mind is kind of like the Mt. Everest for trophy hunters. It is so widely recognized as being an iconic and difficult plat that anybody who has it in their resume automatically makes you go: "damn, that guy can probably kick ass in 99% of the video games market." It even seems like something I can enjoy since it appears to whittle away again and again at a repetitive task getting slightly better and better which is where a great amount of my enjoyment in difficulty comes from. But.... not now. At least not while I still have so many games I wanna enjoy. 

 

Keep up the splendid work and if I may offer a recommendation, I'd say get around to that FF7 Remake if you enjoy RPGs. 👀 (and for platformers - Unravel!)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, realm722 said:

 

Great review! The Super Meat Boy platinum in my mind is kind of like the Mt. Everest for trophy hunters. It is so widely recognized as being an iconic and difficult plat that anybody who has it in their resume automatically makes you go: "damn, that guy can probably kick ass in 99% of the video games market." It even seems like something I can enjoy since it appears to whittle away again and again at a repetitive task getting slightly better and better which is where a great amount of my enjoyment in difficulty comes from. But.... not now. At least not while I still have so many games I wanna enjoy. 

 

Keep up the splendid work and if I may offer a recommendation, I'd say get around to that FF7 Remake if you enjoy RPGs. 1f440.png (and for platformers - Unravel!)

 

Thank you!  I appreciate it.  That seems to always be the problem... there are just so many games to enjoy that its hard to find time to play everything.  Both Unravel and the FF7 Remake are currently in my backlog of stuff to play, but Idk when I'll get to them considering there are probably 40 other games just sitting there waiting on me to play them....  Oh well... one game at a time 😂

 

Mini Update

 

Speaking of Backlog... I bought Oxenfree and Dishonored from the sale yesterday for 99c and $5.00 respectively because I couldn't pass them up for those prices. I think I may do Oxenfree next as a break from all the super long-winded games.  @realm722 says it has a good story, and @DrBloodmoney seems high on it as well.  It doesn't really look like my style of game, but hopefully I'll enjoy it. 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2021 at 4:27 PM, Together_Comic said:

 

AfqeCYs.jpg

Update 25:  :platinum: #56 - Super Meat Boy

 

 

Niiiiice! :D You got it! Huge congrats, this one was in the works for a while! 

 

 

On 11/29/2021 at 4:27 PM, Together_Comic said:

Super Meat Boy is probably around a 5 or 6/10 difficulty...

 

*insert several brakes screetching, off screen car crashes, and frantic hammering of keyboards as people don't read the rest of the... article? think piece?... Post? (yeah I guess lets go with Post)* 

 

That is to say that completing the game Super Meat Boy to 106% completion is would register to me as approximately a 6/10 difficulty.  Super Meatboy's difficulty curve is seems to me to be one of the absolute best in genre.  It starts very simple with the first level being basically press X to jump and escalating to saws everywhere while the floor disappears out from under you where if you hold the X button just a fraction to long on your jump you will find yourself with a face full of saw and it is great. 

 

😂 Yeah that pause had its effect, that's for sure! 

 

I don't know if you remember one of my posts in my checklist about platformers, their "casual playthrough" vs. their "platinum" difficulty... I also ranked SMB pretty low, at least it came after The End is Nigh and N++, both of which are easier to platinum, but more difficult in my opinion in terms of a casual first playthrough. 

 

SMB is way more accessible as a platformer than its reputation would suggest. I absolutely agree with your assessment there. 

 

I recently (like 2 weeks ago) watched "Indie Game: The Movie", a movie that follows the development of Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Fez. It is a fantastic movie that I can recommend to anyone interested in indie games and their design / development, but that's not the point. In the movie, Edmund was talking about his approach to the level design in SMB, and man when that dude talks you just immediately understand why the difficulty curve in this game is so great, and why the game is so easy to pick up. 

 

Without quoting everything he said, there are two main things that are still in my head: He would not use a hazard unless he would find at least 5 different and interesting ways of using it (for example saws: Static, moving sideways, swinging, small saw-projectiles, etc...), and he would always repeat a new gameplay mechanic a couple of levels after it is introduced. As a player, unless you are really focusing on the game with the mindset of a game designer, you might not even notice these things, but they are what make this game as good to play as it is :)   

 

 

I guess you are going for something a bit more chill now (you mentioned Oxenfree... I hated that game 😂 I hope you don't!), but even if I'm going to sound like a broken record... someone that likes platformers as much as you do yourself NEEDS to play The End is Nigh. 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Arcesius said:

 

Niiiiice! :D You got it! Huge congrats, this one was in the works for a while! 

 

 

 

1f602.png Yeah that pause had its effect, that's for sure! 

 

I don't know if you remember one of my posts in my checklist about platformers, their "casual playthrough" vs. their "platinum" difficulty... I also ranked SMB pretty low, at least it came after The End is Nigh and N++, both of which are easier to platinum, but more difficult in my opinion in terms of a casual first playthrough. 

 

SMB is way more accessible as a platformer than its reputation would suggest. I absolutely agree with your assessment there. 

 

I recently (like 2 weeks ago) watched "Indie Game: The Movie", a movie that follows the development of Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Fez. It is a fantastic movie that I can recommend to anyone interested in indie games and their design / development, but that's not the point. In the movie, Edmund was talking about his approach to the level design in SMB, and man when that dude talks you just immediately understand why the difficulty curve in this game is so great, and why the game is so easy to pick up. 

 

Without quoting everything he said, there are two main things that are still in my head: He would not use a hazard unless he would find at least 5 different and interesting ways of using it (for example saws: Static, moving sideways, swinging, small saw-projectiles, etc...), and he would always repeat a new gameplay mechanic a couple of levels after it is introduced. As a player, unless you are really focusing on the game with the mindset of a game designer, you might not even notice these things, but they are what make this game as good to play as it is :)   

 

 

I guess you are going for something a bit more chill now (you mentioned Oxenfree... I hated that game 1f602.png I hope you don't!), but even if I'm going to sound like a broken record... someone that likes platformers as much as you do yourself NEEDS to play The End is Nigh. 

 

 

Thanks! 

 

I would agree with the assessment that N++ is a harder base game and an easier platinum and the distinction between "game difficulty" and "platinum difficulty" is a nuance that gets missed a lot on PSNProfiles where I feel like often we are so focused on the trophies that we ignore what the game has to offer just as an experience. There perhaps isn't a place where this is more exemplified than in some of the 9 or 10/10 games (unless its in the 1/10 games ironically).  A lot of people won't touch meat boy, not because they wouldn't enjoy it, but because of the trophies.  Conversely, A lot of people who have no interest in platformers at all will play it for the prestige of the trophies.  I remember a specific thread where @DrBloodmoney mentioned that they've never seen a review of Super Meat Boy where it wasn't focused purely on the difficulty and even my review harps on it extensively, but I definitely wanted to point out that the game is a good time regardless of whether or not someone gets the trophies.  

 

I'll definitely have to watch that movie.  Is it on Netflix (recognizing that your netflix may be different than mine)?  There are just certain Indy developers who don't miss, Lucus Pope for one, and if The End is Nigh is as good as Meatboy or better, then I may have to add Edmund to that list.  I've seen where SMB Forever hasn't been as well received as SMB, but I don't think Edmund was on that particular team. 

 

I suppose this commits me to "The End is Nigh" if I'm going to put this dev to the test then doesn't it. 😂  I swear, every time a hard game gets added to my back log, 9/10 times its you (I'm going to have to come up with some kind of backlog badges to give people on this site, cause yall are relentless)  It'll probably take me awhile to get around to it though.  I was going to mess with Oxenfree, but I ran into this thread for an event in 2022.  It requires a 1/10 game and Oxenfree is the only one in my entire backlog, so I'll be saving it till January at the earliest.  In the meantime I've been playing Kingdom Come Deliverance (yall get ready for the mega RPG rant on this one when it finally gets done...cause umm... I have some things to say about this one))  I'm going to try to finish it out before the end of the year, but we'll see how that goes, I may get distracted by something else.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TY776SD.jpg

Update 26: :platinum: #57 - Kingdom Come: Deliverance

 

Warning:  Spoilers for the First Hour of Kingdom Come Deliverance.

 

Introduction

 

Kingdom Come Deliverance and I have a history.  When the game released in 2018, it was what convinced me to finally pull the trigger on buying a Playstation 4 and is probably among the reasons that I am sitting here today on a trophy hunting forum typing this review of my platinum experience.  Needless to say, that my hype surrounding this game was sky high after having contributed to the kickstarter-funded development myself and was excited to see if Warhorse could deliver on all of their promises for a Hyper Realistic Medieval Knight Campaign set in early 15th century Bohemia.

 

The Premise

 

The story takes place during the reign of King Wenceslaus IV, after the death of his father Charles IV, and it turns out, Wenceslaus is not quite as good of a king as his father.  In fact, he didn’t even turn up for his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor.  Eventually he is captured by his Rival Sigismund his half-brother and forced him to advocate the throne.  He then sets out to invade Bohemia and capture territory and thus our story begins.  Enter Henry, regular peasant, and son of the blacksmith in Silver Skalitz who wakes on a morning that will change the rest of his life; when Sigismund invades his town and burns it to the ground among other things, Henry can do nothing but flee.

 

The Good

 

Boy is this game interesting. First of all, all of that really happened.  Wencelaus really did rule Bohemia.  He was kidnapped by his half-brother and forced to advocate, and Silver Skalitz was sacked in early 14th century Bohemia Was there a kid named Henry who was instrumental in the affairs during this time, No.  That part is fiction, but the game really starts out strong with the real historical context.  The Cities are also built almost exactly as they are in the real world.  Everything is meticulously set out to be as realistic as possible

 

The game also is also realistic in its gameplay as far as everything goes. For example, the first hour includes a section where you must recover the hammer and nails your father made for the town drunk, in order to buy some charcoal.  Seemed typical, an opening fetch quest to teach you a bit about how the combat works in the game, but nope!  I got beat down thoroughly and without remorse…

 

It’s in these kinds of ways that I think that the game shines the brightest.  It really sells the realist consequences of being born as a peasant during the 14th century Bohemia.  There are hunger and fatigue mechanics sure, but every aspect of your character is used to determine interaction in the game world.  How you’re dressed matters, as other NPCs are going to react differently to a Knight in full regalia and plate armor wearing the sword of St. George than they are to a filthy urchin in cheap and dirty clothes.  You’ll need to take a bath as they will react to your odor. Get your clothes repaired if they get damaged in battle, and have your clothes washed.   More than that, it also affects gameplay.  If you have dark clothes you can blend into shadows easier.  If you’re wearing plate mail and a sword, you are less likely to be attacked on the road, and if you walk into an inn with a bloody sword, people will probably not stand in your way.  It’s a really unique system that encourages a player to pay attention to the daily life sides of things during the game.  You’d think that this gets old after a while, and to be honest it can be especially on hard core with all negative perks since that makes you hunger and tire much more quickly but after building up a few perks you could basically ignore it if you really wanted too.  (more on that later). 

Having read a few reviews of the game from other people, if there’s one thing, I’ve noticed that’s really divisive about this game it’s the combat.  People tend to love it or hate it, and I’d argue that if you hate it, and I happen to fall on the side of loving it.  One thing to note is that early on, combat will be really really tough.  As the son of a blacksmith, you haven’t had a lot of reason to learn to use sword.  As a result, when you pick one up at the start of your journey, your character doesn’t know what they are doing and it shows.  Your movements are really slow, you’re easy to block, your defensive measures aren’t the best.  You can’t even chain strikes together until someone shows you how to do it.   A warfare, strength, agility, and sword skill of 1 really feel like a skill of 1.  (Shout out to Captain Bernard, who generously practiced with me for hours and hours until my skills didn’t suck) Obviously as you go along and practice you will get better, faster, stronger and late game there aren’t to many knights who will want the smoke with Henry in a one-on-one battle. 

 

That being said, Henry shouldn’t go playing the hero either.  This isn’t Dynasty Warriors or Skyrim.  You aren’t going to run into a fight against 10 guys and come out unscathed.  They are going to chop you up.   Henry will have to find some ally’s or poison their stew or pick them off in the night to even the odds a bit before going in.   One of the cool things about combat and realism combination present in this game is that for the first time in a game, sometimes the best thing to do is run away.  Not because you can’t be bothered with trash mobs, or because you wondered into the high-level area to early, but because tactically, there are to many guys for you to handle at once and it’s the right thing to do.  I don’t know that I’ve seen that in a game before. 

 

Mechanically the combat also feels good to me.  It’s heavy and slow paced.  The game feature’s a star wheel that lets you attack from one of 5 different directions.  You can chain strikes together to get around your opponent’s guard, or combo them together for more damage and a stagger.  During this time, you’ll have to manage your stamina which goes down when you get hit, swing the sword, or even block an attack.  It feels precise and its clear that a lot of time and effort went into making it seem as close to an actual sword fight (presuming you’re using the sword) as possible.

 

Speaking of Swords, while there aren’t that many weapons in the game, the game makes the different weapons feel different which is a neat difference from a lot of its contemporary’s.  For example, in KCD you can use a long sword, short sword, mace (or blunt weapon like a hammer), an axe, a pole arm, or your own fists.  For most games, the difference comes in how fast those items swing.  Otherwise, they are a number attached to a cosmetic.  That’s true in KCD as well, however they also have different effectiveness against different opponents.  For example, a mace will do more against an armored foe than a long sword.  While a long sword is more likely to draw blood when it does connect with an opponent.  There are a lot of other neat interactions like this that make weapons feel unique. 

If I had one critique of the combat, its that the mounted combat in the game seems a bit like an afterthought which is weird since the game has a lot of thought put into it otherwise and the developer is literally named War Horse… but there isn’t a lot to it.  Horses have a courage level that can cause them to bolt in combat or throw you (I’m not mad about it Pebbles, just disappointed.  That’s why I decided to buy Jenga the Warhorse), and obviously they handle better as you have more skill in horsemanship, but otherwise there isn’t much to it which is a bit of a disappointment.  That being said, I don’t know that mounted combat would come up often unless you were like me riding around looking for bandit camps to get your 200 kills trophy.  So maybe it doesn’t matter that much?

The other stand out for me is the quests.  I think Kingdom Come did something right in choosing to involve Henry in the periphery of a conflict between two brothers fighting for a throne.  This isn’t a save the world plot, so immersion isn’t broken by taking time to go off and do side things as there really isn’t all that much time pressure for most things, and if there is the game will tell you and you will fail the quests if you don’t take care of it in a timely fashion which makes sense.  For example, there’s a quest where you are trying to help some sick people, if you faf about running around towns looking for a skill book you are missing, then some of them might die (not speaking from personal experience or anything *insert meme with monkey whose eyes dart back and forth*). 

 

Like most RPGs KCD is built on the backs of its characters and the game has no shortage of great ones that really stand out.  It’s hard to really elaborate on them without spoilers but I’ll try.  Lady Stephanie is really cool, though she does exist to be a woman if you know what I mean, which does limit her.  Captain Bernard is a lovable curmudgeon who teaches you how to fight and has a really cool backstory that you explore in the “Robber Baron” quest line.  Father Godwin steals the show every time he’s on the screen.  He’s is quite the character.  At times you can catch him practicing the sword, or talking to his concubine.  He’s not your average catholic priest.  Sir Hans is a lot of fun and the relationship he builds with Henry during their time on screen together is really cool as well.  Runt is great as a primary antagonist for the first bit of the game.  I can go on and on, but you all get the idea.  Everyone you meet (who isn’t named something like “villager”)  has a personality, interests, and are a lot of fun to interact with.  

 

There are several stand out quests (some executed better than others) that really made an impression on me.  In one such quest, you have to deliver a sermon for Sunday mass inspired by contemporary Czech church reformer Jan Hus – an important predecessor to Martin Luther before he nailed up the 95 theses to the charge door – because you go on a bender with the local priest the night before and he was too hungover to do the thing himself.  I think I laughed the entire time that was going on.  (Also shout out to a game that’s willing to depict priest as just normal people, not just evil assholes, holier than thous, or fanatically devout). There’s another section where you have to infiltrate a monastery to find someone who has gone into hiding there.  It’s a really interesting combination of a mystery you have to solve with who’s the guy in hiding, and also the game makes you actually be a monk.  You have to go to Morning Prayer, work in the library transcribing books, its all really involved.  This is all a cool idea, but it is kind of obnoxious to be a monk, because if you don’t look up the answer to the mystery it can take some days to figure this out which means a lot of pretending to actually be a monk… but on the bright side, you can influence the election of the next abbot, do all sorts of side quests its almost a game within the game and is super immersive if you have the patience for it.  Another one of my favorites comes from the DLC but involves you terrorizing a village and fooling them into thinking that a ghost is haunting them all which is really cool.  (there are some extra objectives for a trophy that do kinda suck, because there is a step missing from one of the recipes in the game, but I digress). 

 

The Good TL;DR

 

Understanding that you may not have all morning to read everything above, or if you’re worried about the slight spoilers for the first hour I present the “What KCD does Good TL;DR List”

·         Skill and Stat Level Ups feel very real, it means something when you go up a point.

·         Great storytelling, characters, and quests.

·         Combat is great – if a bit polarizing and slow to pick up.

 

The Bad

With the expectation, that hopefully this section won’t be quite as long as the previous one lets get into what KCD doesn’t do quite as well as it should.

 

Let’s start with the easiest one.  Load times on base PS4 are absolutely intolerably bad.  I don’t know how I managed to sit though them the first time I played the game.  This is basically a PS5 game in my opinion, which basically eliminates this issue.

 

My first playthrough of this game was on release and man there were quite a few bugs that I found.  Some of them were really funny, like when I was galloping through the woods, got tossed of pebbles the horse and flew like 100 feet into the air and landed under the ground in a bandit camp where I was actually heading anyway.  I paused the game and laughed for like 10 minutes before I sniped them at my leisure with the bow.  It was so memorable that I still recall it to this day even though it has been three years. I wish I had saved the clip, I looked, but I couldn’t find it . Then there were the not so funny ones, where I’d get softlocked out of quests or be unable to walk up-stairs as if they were cosplaying Gandalf at the bridge of Kazadoom. That being said, Warhorse has been very methodical about releasing patches to fix all this stuff and my playthrough in 2021 was largely bug free with 2 exceptions.  The first was a bug where even though I completed the quest “At your service, My Lady.”  Johanka wouldn’t acknowledge the “sin” committed during that quest for the “full house sinner” trophy.  Since that is the only part of the game where you can commit that particular “sin” I had to do an entire other playthrough up till that point.  (SPOILERS FOR THE AT YOUR SERVICE MY LADY QUEST FROM HERE TILL THE END OF THE PARAGRAPH.  IF YOU WANT TO AVOID THEM, PLEASE SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH THAT BEGINS WITH “THE OTHER…”)  I have since figured out what the bug was.  Apparently, Lady Stephanie has strong feelings about consent (as she should) and it will not count if you have any alcohol in your system during the portion of the quest where you commit adultery with her.  Unluckily, I had drank a Cocatrice potion during my first playthrough right before talking to her, which is quite alcoholic causing me to miss the “sin” for the later quest.   

 

The other issue I encountered was right at the end of my Hardcore playthrough, during the epilogue, if you have “The Amorous Adventures of Sir Hans Capon” installed you will have to complete that DLC before you can end the game.  One of the quests requires you to get a potion called “The Musk of Infinite Allure” from one of the NPCs in the game.  There are several ways of going about acquiring it, but for some reason, no matter how I got it, the game wouldn’t update to allow me to turn in the quest to Sir Hans. This was weird, because I didn’t encounter this during my completionist playthrough when i did the quest, but I did it much earlier in the story.  Weird. This was as you can imagine super frustrating as it would mean that I couldn’t finish the game.  Feeling that frustration, I shot that particular NPC with a poison arrow, and while I was serving Jail time the NPC died and the quest updated.  Which I found largely hilarious.  Poison deaths also don’t count against the “Merciful” trophy, so this served as a fix to an otherwise game breaking bug.

 

Other than those two issues in 2021 the only other things I encountered were a bit of pop in where sometimes a deer would load right in front of me or some trees in the distance would come in, but nothing major. 

 

The perk choices in this game as you level up also leave something to be desired.  There are one’s that are straight up all around bad (never take marathon man, it literally only makes you run slower), others that are OP Clinch Master, Contemplative, Cloak and Dagger, Lasting Lock Picks, Well Worn, and Revenant all remove most of the challenge from the game.  There are the ones that make the just remove the survival stuff like Ascetic, Insomniac, and Human Trashbin, where you basically don’t have to think about it anymore. Then there are the pick either/or perks which seems like a bit of player choice, but basically there is always a clear choice.  For example, early on you can choose between Burgher or Savage.  Where they give you a +1 to Strength, Agility, and Speech when you’re in a town or the wilderness respectively.  95% of the game finds you doing stuff in a town so you’re basically always correct to take Burgher.  Another one is Highborn or Lowborn which gives you a charisma buff when talking to either nobles or peasants. Again, 99% of the people in this game are lowborn so why would you ever take the other one?  Otherwise, you get enough perk points to basically get everything else anyway so there really isn’t a lot of customization in this regard, and that’s a bit disappointing.

 

Finally, my biggest, nontrophy, gripe about this game is the saving system.  There are effectively 4 ways to save during KCD. 

 

1.) Generally Starting or Finishing a Quest - which is unreliable

2.) Fornicating with the wenches at the bathhouse – this is 40 gold at a time, invalidates “virgin” trophy (if that matters to you), and requires you to be in a town.

3.) Sleeping in an “owned” bed. – These are few and far between, basically inns, and 2 or 3 other places.

4.) Savior Schnapps – Cost about 150 gold at a time, increase your intoxication.

 

As you can see most of these methods are pretty unreliable except for the savior schnapps, which are expensive and intoxicate you (the later isn’t a huge deal, but it’s there) This means that saving in the game basically requires you to get back to a town a large portion of the time since you don’t want to waste your rare save points.  You can brew them after awhile which drastically decreases the cost (at the expensive of taking time to brew them at an alchemy station) but it is definitely a hassle, when they don’t really add much to the game from my perspective.  Effectively the game was designed this way to prevent save scumming.  However, for important moments, save scumming is still pretty easy with the system in place as it is.  So, its ineffective in what it tries to prevent.  On the other hand, the game not frequently saving means you can have a scenario like me where you spend an hour riding around gathering collectibles for a trophy, die, and have to repeat the entire hour again.  That doesn’t make for a good gameplay experience Warhorse. In addition, you can only have a certain number of Schnapp saves at a time which is also frustrating because if you encounter a bug like the one, I’m going to talk about in the trophy section, you likely won’t have a really early one as you likely deleted it to make room for a later one… I hope the remove this for KCD2, if we ever get that game as I’ve only ever had bad experiences with this. 

 

The Bad TL;DR

For the real quick TL;DR of “What KCD could do better” we have…

·         Fix the load times, or play on PS5

·         Buggy on release, has since been mostly patched.

·         More diverse perk options.

·         Remove the savior schnapp system and go to a more traditional saving system.

 

The Trophies.

 

Ok, so we have established that this game is great.  But here on PSN profiles, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the trophies associated with the game.  And they…well, they are not great.  Kingdom Come Deliverance is a 150-200 hour RPG which to just start off with, automatically requires you to play through the game a bare minimum of 2 times, Since you will need to get the don’t kill anyone trophy as well as the kill 200 people trophy.  As well as the “virgin” trophy against the “sinner” “McLovin” and “Casanova” Trophies and given how saving works in the game, you’re going to be at it almost as long if you’re trying to make diverging paths to get them.  Beyond that, the game has a ton of missables which also doesn’t bode well for a really long game.  You’ll have to be careful with the “full house sinner (which even glitched on me)”, “spoil sport”, Master Huntsman, wingman, angel of mercy, completionist, and clerics pet trophy or you may be in for another full playthrough.  Its just a lot.  I love this game, I’m going to recommend it for sure, but if you’re not careful you’re going to be playing through a long game 3 or 4 times to get all the trophies. 

 

If that were the only problem I wouldn’t be so down on the list, but basically every other nonstory trophy requires a grind.  Killing 200 people is a lot in this game.  50 headshots is a lot, 20 stealth kills (which by the way require level 5 stealth before you can even start) is a lot.  10000 herbs is a nutty amount and will take literal hours.  Pilgrim will take a while, renewing Pribislavitz for the DLC requires 46K gold which if you’re being an honest Henry is going to take a long time as well, all without being able to read, and you can see that the list isn’t doing the game any favors.

 

I will say that the trophies for doing specific quests like the aforementioned “sinner”, “master huntsman”, “spoil sport”, “bad trip” (which incidentally can also void virgin) “judas” etc.  All point to some of the more compelling quests in the game and do encourage players to go out of their way to seek out those quests which is really neat.  There are also some, that look bad, but really aren’t all that much.  Like for example do 100 combos (I had double that easily on my completionist playthrough), and bookworm which can be done as soon as you learn to read if you can find 20 books. 

 

Hardcore mode wasn’t bad either.  There is a trophy requiring you to take all 8 of the negative perks at the beginning of the game rather than the 2 hardcore normally requires, but the overpowered perks mentioned in the section above largely mitigate them.  The most obnoxious thing about hardcore is that the changes don’t really make the game harder (with a few exceptions), they just make the game more tedious.  For example, in hardcore mode, you cannot fast travel.  This doesn’t really add to the difficulty it just makes it take a lot longer to get from place to place.  The other obnoxious one is that since you take all the negative perks, your experience gain slows to a glacial crawl.  I started out training with the NPC that trains combat to get the combat abilities to survive the encounters in the game and it took me 2 hours to get to strength 12 and agility 8 which lets you use the best weapons.  For context, In that same time frame during my completionist playthrough that got me 18 str and 15 agi.  The other change that made the game a bit harder was the removal of the combat wheel, but that can be overcome by just getting used to it.  The real difficulty of the playthrough came from the “Merciful” Trophy which requires you not to kill anyone.  This can be tough in the battles section of the game, since only 2 or so characters cant be killed and if you leave them battling like 8 people they never get to get a hit in.  luckily poison doesn’t count so you can distract a few of them stab them a few times with a poison sword and eventually you can make it through.  Also pro tip for anyone wanting to play this game.  In your merciful playthrough, if you want to buy a horse better than the one the game gives you (Tulpar is the best horse for the best price) wait until after the quest called “the prey” it will save you a lot of headache.

 

The Trophies TL;DR , the Trophy list isn’t doing the game any favors, but it isn’t all that bad.  If you aren’t big on the game to begin with though, it can definitely detract from your experience to grind out all of these trophies over multiple playthroughs of the game. 

 

The Conclusion and the Verdict

 

Gripes and complaints, notwithstanding, I think that Kingdom Come gets almost everything right.  The level of detail in crafting their game world goes unmatched by almost everyone else in the genre and hits a level of detail that was previously unheard of.  It keeps the games focus on Henry and his small role in what is going on in the larger world around him which helps keep the player immersed in what was happening with its great characters and well told narrative.  The combat is great and designed well for the type of game that Kingdom Come is and wants to be and though there are some bugs and the saving system and trophies could definitely use an overhaul, KCD is probably the most unique and memorable RPGs that I’ve played in my gaming career.  It’s a game that I kickstarted, and that kickstarted me into the world of PlayStation and for that I’m definitely going to recommend it.  If it weren’t for the bugs that I encountered, I would give it a 10/10, as it is, I am going to drop the score to 9.  Still a really strong game.

 

Enjoyment Score 9/10

Difficulty Score 5/10.

 

 

Edited by Together_Comic
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huzzah, glad to hear that I could help to keep you motivated a bit! I guess sometimes just a bit of friendly encouragement can go a long way... I know others here have done the same for me! Especially when it comes to conquering a behemoth like SMB, congrats again on that hard-earned plat 👏👏👏

 

I love the all-encompassing review you did of Kingdom Come: Deliverance... You really went all out with that one, very well done my friend! Sounds interesting enough, albeit quite a bit grindy. I'm also not a huge fan of tons of missables; they stress me out and I end up focusing too much on those and tend not to enjoy the game as much because of it 😅

 

I didn't even realize you had your own checklist until now, I plan to follow along for your future endeavours as well! Best of luck to you too with your 2022 goals, looking forward to jamming along with you in the UR Clean Up once again my friend 😀

 

At any rate, cheers to you @Together_Comic and Happy New Year as well!

Edited by Joe Dubz
fixed redundant words xD
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.