Review the game you finished recently.

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by M76, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    One of my top Zelda games ever. I beat it about a week ago. Thinking about 100% it but I have such a backlog.
     
  2. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I absolutely love it, but then, I love pretty much all Zelda games including ones other people generally don't like.

    There are only a few things I'd really change. One is weapon damage. I don't even mind it as a mechanic, but I'd like the ability to repair the ones I really like, and I would make it take a lot longer to damage them. I know many people just got used to this and accepted it, (as did I because I had to) but I think the system could be a LOT better. You get used to it, and it becomes transparent, but I'm just not a fan.

    The next thing is that I'd change back to the classic dungeons, that give you a real, unique device. That was a pure Zelda core mechanic. Sure you can say the sacred beasts take the place of them, but it still doesn't feel quite the same. They could even include both. The little shrines just don't do much for me, and should be relegated to side-quests for 100%ers or something.

    Otherwise I think it's a fantastic game. Some of the locations are stunning, and very atmospheric. The Lost Woods as usual delivers in that department, for a dark, moody environment. The Kakariko village is great this time around. I love the parasail. The characters are fun. I actually grew to like the food and health system quite a bit too. (my daughters will hop in, cook a bunch of fancy things, and leave them in the inventory) When I jump back in and play I have all these high-end meals. :D

    Anyway, good game. I like Ocarina, Twilight, and Windwaker more, but this one sits fairly solidly among them.
     
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  3. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    I'm one of the few that loved Skyward Sword. :D

    The weapon damage could have been handled much better. I got used to it but hated at the start. They should have added a way to upgrade the master sword. Have a way to make it last longer and do more damage.

    I get missing the dungeons too but I felt the trials were a good substitute. Some of them were fairly large and take some thinking. it was nice to knock out one Trial in minutes and just save and quit. I don't have time like I use to. Having spend hours in a dungeon and having to start at the beginning, with doors and puzzles still solved, gets a bit annoying for this old man.

    I'm amazed how much to get game I still have to do. There are whole parts of the map I haven't even visited.
     
  4. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Never had an interest in fantasy games before (slowly trying some) so I never played the origin, even though it is probably decent and was made by Bioware when they were good. Considered DA:I but seemed like such a chore to play reading about it. Never even considered playing it. I'd like to give it a try, but I'm not sure if I can stomach so many of these games with so many similar small side quests that are required.

    It does get better, but it has many ups and downs. I suppose you can skip some regions and shrines but it will make the end game hard I'd imagine. I breezed through the final boss as I had enough hearts. First 10-12 hours were rough and I almost stopped playing. If it wasn't for the fact I just received my Pro controller and wanted to use it on a new game, I likely would've shelved it myself.
     
  5. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That makes at least 5-6 of us out there then! :D (my daughters and I have played the hell out of it, and enjoyed it a lot)
     
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  6. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The first few hours of DA:I are brilliant. I really enjoyed it. But later I got bogged down with side quests and collecting garbage that the story completely faded into the background. I might try re-playing it focusing only on the main quests. I don't know if that's even possible. Finishing the main story without boosting your skills with all the collecting and fetch quests.

    I'm one of the few people who didn't much like origins. But the story was certainly more engaging in it. Funny enough I liked DA2 the most from the series, which got the brunt of the ea hate.
     
  7. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (2016)


    sfv.jpg

    I don't know what has gotten into me, I never was into Street Fighter, going back to the early nineties I always preferred MK and it's more realistic graphics. Until MK went 3D and looked ugly af. But as my grandfather used to say: I just couldn't leave it for that price.

    And I have to admit I liked it more than I expected. The visual style is very nice. I don't think I saw any game that implemented the cartoony visual style with 3D graphics. Most games that tried "cell shading" or any other way to imitate a cartoon look with 3D graphics until now looked odd to me. It just didn't work.
    But SFV I finally looks like it was meant to be like this. And I don't experience it as a negative thing.

    I have to admit I was always rubbish with fighting games, and I'm probably even worse now. I was never able to memorize the combinations necessary to perform special moves, and even less able to perform them during a live fight. So my tactic always was and still is: bash the keys randomly and whatever comes out of it comes out of it.
    And sometimes this work relatively well, I even can get in a few special moves accidentally. But when I want to do it on purpose? Never happened. I remember even back in the day when we tried to perform fatalities in MK, my character often just ended up acting like it had some sort of seizure and nothing happened like ever.

    But that's probably just me. I have no short term memory. Hell I use a calculator not because I can't perform mathematics in my head, but because I can't remember the intermediate results for 2 seconds. And it's easier to just use a calculator than to write down the numbers. But I digress...

    What I like about the game is that even basic moves are different for each character. They have different damage even, not just different styles for the moves. So playing a different character is a different experience entirely. I didn't play all of them but tried the ones that I liked. And some I immediately dumped because I didn't like their fighting style. So here there is more to the characters than looks. Which I have to admit played a major role in my choices. And while we're talking about looks there is nothing PC about this game. And that's a good thing. Whoever wants political correctness can go to an aa meeting or something similar. If a videogame offends you, then you don't play it end of story. So back to looks, the characters all have different styles and even sizes, but strangely size doesn't matter. Even the hitboxes of large characters is the same. But the reach of characters seemed different.

    However what is a negative and related to style is that each character has only one single victory ceremony. And it is used over and over again after each fight. And since you have to do 8-10 fights in a row with the same character it really stands out. I know it costs money and time, but this is just laziness. I'd rather it only had half the characters in it but with more costumes and animations.

    And that brings us to the elephant in the room: microtransactions. And it's bad. It almost ruins an otherwise pretty well made game, almost. There is nothing to say for it, the whole game is set up to have multiple season passes, and they're selling alternate outfits for real money, you can't just unlock those by playing the game. Hell as far as I can tell, the only thing you unlock by playing the game is concept art. It's just not right. We should stand up against this rather sooner than later.

    And there is one more thing, the game is simply not playable with a keyboard. I've tried and failed. I ended up playing it with a ps4 controller, which is blasphemy, but what can the master race do, if all we get is a lazy console port?

    According to some, the game includes a rootkit in it's copy protection, well I really hope that is not true. But it sure doesn't work if there is an active antivirus. So who knows? I won't put anything past videogame publishers these days, especially japanese ones

    +

    • Graphics
    • Visual style
    • Characters
    • Not trying to be pc
    • great levels or I'd rather say backgrounds that live
    -

    • microtransactions and season passes
    • lack of proper PC controls
    • only a single victory celebration per character
    • rootkit?
    • update reset my scores and stats

    Scoring card:

    graphics/realization: 9/10
    story/atmosphere: 5/10
    gameplay/controls: 5/10

    overall impression: 6/10

    I know I said I liked it, but in comparison to other games even this is overrating it. I know you can't do an apples to apples comparison but still. This is not even mentionable on the same page as games like TLOU or Tomb Raider. There is much less value here, and if I'm honest much less effort from the developers as well. It would be like comparing a scooter to a car.
    This is excellent for what it is, but not AAA game territory. I'd be hitting myself if I purchased this for $60 but for $8 it was an OK deal. In my initial enthusiasm I even purchased the first two season character packs as well. But I regret that now. Wouldn't have missed out on much. There is one character that I actually liked from them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  8. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    In fighting games defense, how can you possibly expect a good experience using a keyboard???

    A gamepad is practically a requirement IMO.
     
  9. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was able to play every fighting game up to this point with keyboard. So the fault is definitely with this game. It can be done better, but they gave zero effort.
     
  10. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Gamepad is much better for Sleeping Dogs, Mad Max and similar. Sure mouse and keyboard work decent enough, but for games with a lot of quick tapping or incremental controls gamepads are better. No idea about this game in particular, and devs occasionally have poor animation / control syncing so I'm inclined to believe you in this instance.

    I absolutely cannot use a controller for shooting at all though. For GTA5 I did Xbox controller for vehicles, mouse / keyboard on foot.
     
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  11. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm not saying they're not better, there are many games that are better with a gamepad. But this game is absolutely unplayable without one.
     
  12. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Mortal Kombat 1-4 are perfectly suited for keyboard play.
     
  13. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I haven't played a fighting game with the keyboard since the DOS versions of Mortal Kombat 1 and Super Street Fighter 2. :D Admittedly it worked fine back then, but I've had no desire to play that way since game pads became a thing for the PC. (used to love the original Sidewinder pads for this)

    I finally bought the XInput adapters for my Dual Tank Stick setup, so I've been playing Street Fighter V and DOA5 with my kids lately on that, and it's flawless. It was worth every penny. It was already flawless with MAME, but since Capcom can't seem to provide proper input mapping across all devices (booooo) I just said to hell with it, and bought the adapters. I'm not sorry I did.

    The DLC and nickel+dime BS with SFV sucks. I think I spent less on two Star Citizen ships for fuck's sake. However, I have no time to try and build up fight money for everything. I used it for a few things (mainly stages) but just bought the Season Passes when they were on sale.

    That complaint out of the way, I actually really like the game. I've definitely gotten my money's worth as it gets played constantly. I play it alone, with my kids, and after a few drinks when we throw parties at my house. I can even get my wife to play after a couple of drinks at a party. :D She looks a bit like Laura, so I got her playing Laura, and taught her a bunch of techniques there.

    It's sad that they feel they need to nickel and dime, and build the game in such a piecemeal way, but even with those shortcomings, the game shines. Maybe not among all SF purists, but as someone who plays a bit more casually, and just among friends, it's as good as any other entry in the series IMO.
     
  14. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I've had one of these but still preferred to play with kb in the nineties.
     
  15. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'll admit, that the keyboard can be very precise. I felt like that more when KB controllers were a bit better though about how the keys were grouped. I had some keyboards that functioned flawlessly for two players on the same board with no combination issues. (I believe they were all PS2.) Since those days though, I've run into more keyboards that have issues with many key combinations, and just kind of gave up on it for anything but FPS controls. Not to mention once X360 and XBOne pads were compatible with the PC, it just simplified everything.

    I used to build my own arcade setups as well, so that just makes the most sense to me. Since I don't have the time to build them right now though, I bought the X-Arcade Dual Tank Stick with Trackball, and then added on the XInput adapters recently. It's right up there with the quality level that I'd have built myself. The only thing is, the ones I'd have built would be Direct Input / XInput in the first place, and not need extra adapters to do that. It really feels good though, and they use quality parts. So if you play old arcade games, modern arcade-style games (maybe something like Dead Cells for example) it's worth the price. It's also a familiar control style for if you have game-playing guests. I know I get a lot of requests for old Namco games for example, and being able to whip out the arcade setup always tends to impress. :D The X-Arcade setups also sell for less than it would cost me to build from scratch. Not bad.
     
  16. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't have time to write long reviews for this, so this is all I got.

    Beyond Two Souls (PS4 "Remaster")

    If you've played and liked David Cage's other "interactive movie" style games (Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human) at all, then these scores are curved for you:

    Graphics: 8/10

    Despite being a PS3 remaster, I thought the graphics and level of detail were pretty good overall and of course performance was no issue on PS4. It's still locked at 1080p/30 even on PS4 Pro, but I don't think a cinematic game like this would benefit much from 60 FPS anyways, esp. when there's literally not a dropped frame throughout the game on PS4. Character models are pretty well done and flying around and through walls as the entity looks decent as well.

    Story/Atmosphere: 7.5/10

    In brief, the story follows Jodi from birth to adulthood, who is tethered to an invisible entity who she names Aiden that you can switch to throughout the game to either help or even sabotage/tease Jodi as you see fit. The game constantly jumps around chronologically, letting you see how Aiden affects her lively hood from her foster home to Nathan's (William Defoe) paranormal agency to study her, then to the CIA who basically forces her to work for them to do crazy controversial missions with Aiden's help.

    Ellen Page and William Defoe do a great job at performing their roles here, but unfortunately (until you get near the end at least) a lot of the story just feels way too complex and tries to do too much for its own good, so most of it kind of falls flat. I appreciate its effort and understand they're trying to hit you from every angle here; emotional/melancholy to high intense action to teenage angst to betrayal to love interests etc., but it's just too much too fast and it's compounded by the way the game jumps way around chronologically (seriously - you're constantly jumping between adult, kid, and teenage Jodi/Ellen) so it's hard to understand or remember where timelines fall throughout the game. The remastered PS4 game does actually let you play the game in chronological order though, but I wanted to play it as it was originally intended upon release, so I'm reviewing it as such. But I honestly don't think playing it in chronological order would really fix any of the main story's issues.

    But I'll admit the last couple levels were pretty interesting and pulled the story together as well as it could have for what they gave us until then. I probably should have predicted some of it, but for whatever reason I didn't and it was a decent surprise at the end.

    Gameplay/Controls: 6/10

    Not much to them given this is basically an interactive movie; you move Jodi around and use your right joystick to interact with things as it prompts you to. There are some "combat" sections where you have to read which direction Jodi is moving and move your joystick in that corresponding direction, but sometimes it's hard to read and you end up hitting the wrong direction and getting hit. Fortunately (unfortunately?) it doesn't even matter if you move the right direction in these events, because you still always pulling out of it fine and the outcome is the same regardless most of the time.. you'll never die (I don't think you can die at any time actually) at least. But at least there's no QTEs like in Heavy Rain and most of your button prompts are just to make dialog or action decisions.

    Then when you press Triangle you get to switch to Jodi's entity Aiden and it's an interesting and somewhat unique mechanic (I know it's been done before, but executed differently still) and is really the only time it feels like you're playing a game when you're controlling it. Most of Aiden's actions are limited to you locking onto objects or people with L1 and either flinging your joysticks down to push/break objects, pushing them together to kill or heal people, or pull them apart to possess people and take control of them. This is all there is to playing this game.

    Overall Score: 7.5/10

    If I hadn't got it for free a few months ago through Playstation Plus, I probably would have never played this or considered buying it despite seeing a lot of mixed reviews on it and my somewhat enjoyable experience playing Heavy Rain. I think it was worth playing still, but just barely. If you've somehow already exhausted most of the AAA single player games out right now (esp. on PS4), then I'd say play it if you can get it for $10 or less and want a relatively mindless single player story based game to play. The only thing that really holds the game/story together are Ellen Page's and William Defoe's performances here, which I'm surprised they took on these roles given that the script really doesn't seem that spectacular, but maybe it did seem that way on paper and their execution just didn't fully realize it somehow.

    Damn.. I guess my abbreviated review didn't turn out to be so abbreviated. Dafuq am I even reviewing this game now for when I could have reviewed God of War or Mad Max that I played right before this game, both of which were significantly better games overall.. now I feel obligated to review them after committing so much time reviewing this slightly better than average game, lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  17. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's where you're wrong, very wrong. There are vastly different outcomes in most situations in the game depending on your performance, or what you choose to do. Yes you're not able to die most of the time, but you can mess things up so much that they affect even the endings available to you.

    That's where most of the game's mixed review's coming from actually, because people seen one way of doing things in the game, which results in one outcome for each situation, and they thought that's the only way to do those levels. But depending on what you do or don't do in certain situations, the results can be vastly different. After the game came out there were a few articles discussing this and how the gaming community is not ready for a game with seamless choices, because people are still expecting red green and blue. But of course they frown on red green and blue. But when they get real choice, they fail to see it, and give the game mixed reviews. This is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for the developers.

    I loved the game for the ability to alter every situation's outcome by choosing not to do something, or doing something different than expected of you.

    BTW: 7.5 score, but barely worth playing? Isn't that a contradiction?
     
  18. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (N64)

    lodc.jpg

    Where to begin? This was basically a repackaged Castlevania 64 with some additional characters tossed into the mix.

    Castlevania 64 being one of the most difficult N64 platformers EVER.

    ** Graphics - 7

    Well, it's Nintendo 64. So the usual caveats apply etc. Some of the texture work is ok, but overall the world is pretty typical N64 fare.

    ** Story - 5

    It's Castlevania.... Seriously, don't even bother.

    ** Gameplay / Controls - 5

    Let's get controls out of the way first. The best word I can use to describe it is: "janky". Classic bad N64/PSX 3d platformer controls.

    The camera angles, don't get me started.... A ton of the platform jumps and trap dodging is "controller hucking"-ly unfair.

    As for actual gameplay? Here's a good example: The game has a day/night cycle with a clock. In order to obtain a certain key, you have to stand around in a certain room,
    at a certain time, and the key will appear for literally only like 30 seconds.... (this information is given to you via a single cryptic hint from a book)

    There's also a terrible hedge-maze comprised of identical corridors with walls covered in shrubbery textures. (be prepared to map it out, pen 'n paper style)

    ** Overall - 7

    Why give the game a solid 7? Simple, this game's platforming is so difficult that it feels strangely rewarding.

    It was one of those games as a kid where if you heard someone complain about Mario 64's Tick-Tock-Clock level; you'd be like "STFU! Try the Clocktower in Castlevania 64 bitch!!" Etc etc.

    hqdefault.jpg
    (obviously those gears are spinning.... you fall, you Ded. Traps and other unfair "ish" everywhere. That kinda stuff)

    If you're looking for an exercise in frustration for the sake of bragging rights, this is your game.

    -- Recommended if you grew up during the N64 era.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  19. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Assassin's Creed Origins

    Let us start this off by saying fuck you to every developer who worked on this game. You're part of the problem with gaming. So, fuck you. Quit your jobs and never work on a video game again.

    Where to start with this clusterfuck of a game? The first thing to note is the game is unfinished. The controls are not functional. I didn't bother with mouse and keyboard, but they simply do not work with an Xbox 360 controller. You try to climb down, your character pulls out a sword and automatically slashes at walls for 3 seconds. And then calls a bird. Now you've blown your cover and you're being ass raped by a literal giant and 5-7 other enemies. Congratulations Ubisoft, you finally manage to make functional controls in the last entry and you blew it up all for no good reason.

    Have fun not being able to control your player doing easy things. Want to slash the guy to the right, then left with a sword? Too bad, because the game choose who you attack for you. Enjoy exposing your back to three enemies and charging off into the distance rather than sensibly finishing off the guy your spent your time cornering.

    Want to charge into someone? Too bad, because apparently your character can't turn while running. Enemies can move though, so you'll charge into a wall or air. Because you can't change direction. That is pathetic. Selecting weapons is the same chore. Want to switch from a bow to a fireball? Fuck you, bird time! Then slash away at the air. Oh, now that fireball is readied. Too bad the enemies detected you and moved. Thanks Ubisoft, you incompetent clowns.

    Lets get to the RPG-ization of the game. There are now levels for children who feel the need to be "rewarded" for doing menial tasks. Yay, a number went up. Woo-hoo, high fives all around. It ruins the flow of the game. Want to go a story mission? Fuck you, you're too low of a level. Here are some lame side quests to do to level up. I know that quest sounds interesting and builds off of the one you just finished, but lets side track you for 3 hours and ruin any semblance of story telling and cohesion there was. Oh, you forgot about that one quest that was in the corner? Too bad, now you've leveled up and you can one swipe slaughter enemies. Shitty game design. RPGs suck for that reason, and Origins sucks for it to. Balance the game and design proper missions and you won't need leveling. They look the easy way out. Ubisoft, you lazy bastards!

    The story is the worst of any Assassin Creed game out there. You're a dude in Egypt. Your son was killed by someone we don't know. You spent the game killing random bad guys. End of story. The Templar and Assassin plot is entirely gone. Well, at least 20 hours into this bloated game it has yet to rear its head. But if it takes you ~30 hours to show the plot, you've fucked up big time. You meet countless other worthless buddies and do menial tasks to help them. There are dozens, maybe even 100 side quests of low level quality. Not one has been decent. There is some diolgue, but what it amounts to is unknown. They're not fun or interesting in the slightest. This man killed my wife. Help me kill them back. That is essentially every side quest.

    The game ditches the glossary. That may have helped us keep track of what the fuck was going on because of all the distractions, leveling requirements, constant mashing the attack button on animals to upgrade and whatnot makes it hard to follow. If there was any advancement to the plot, you probably forgot it. It gets buried under the half a dozen quests you did in the meantime, all of which are practically the same. Reading interesting facts about the time era for reference, or figuring out why something is important is lost on us.

    The worst part of the game outside of the incomplete player controls is the combat no longer revolves around being an assassin. The slick slipping through a crowd and silently stabbing a guy to death as you walk by is gone. It is now a button masher. Mash the attack button, because nothing else works, until the enemies collapse. No more hanging off of ledges and pulling a guy off. The interesting takedowns from Syndicate are gone. A few generic ones return like air take downs but they're impractical in most instances due to incomplete controls. Pretty much anything related to stealthy attacks or trying to blend in is gone.

    Exceptions are the set up ones, which the game lazily throws at you. As an example, one assassination mission gave me a target in a bathhouse. This guy was one of the evil bad guys from the evil bad guy organization. All you do is climb onto a wall, run around the ceiling and then drop down for an air take down. From entering the bathhouse to killing him took around 50 seconds, literally. The awkward gibberish animus conversation took longer than the setup and kill.

    The game does look pretty. Another pretty, empty, lifeless map with literally nothing to do. Seems to be the state of single player gaming in 2018. The city of Alexandria was big enough for a good 20-30 hour game if they put it to use. Instead the map is around 20 times that size and there is nothing to do anywhere. Just running back and fourth and hoping the game gives you control of the player.


    Overall: 5/10

    Games like Origins and Breath of the Wild are making me think favorably of video game control laws. At this point I'd happily support legislation that audited each game prior to release for cohesion and gameplay flow. Games like those two would be withheld from sale until changed. If 70% of game developers go out of business, it would be funner to watch the game developers cries than play these turds at least.

    Edit: Some other issues I forgot to mention. They did include a option to scale enemy levels to be your own, so you don't have to worry about going back to quests with low level enemies. The problem is many of your abilities only work on lower level enemies. So if you spent a lot of upgrade points on cool tools like sleep darts, poisoning and whatnot, you're screwed. Another example of how the level system screwed the entire balance of the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  20. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Alpha Protocol (2010)

    Alpha-Protocol-1024x768.jpg


    What happens when you cross-breed Splinter Cell and DeusEx ? - A beautiful disaster. Aka.: Alpha Protocol.

    This game does a lot to make you hate it, but I couldn't help but like it. Even fans only dare whisper about this game, lest someone tries it based on their words.
    Why don't they want others to play it? Because they fear they'd only see the dark side in it. I mean the flaws. And honestly it's hard not to see those. But let's not get ahead too much. Start at the beginning.

    The start of the game is not that bad, but it's not good either. The game begins with your initiation into the secretive spy organization called Alpha Protocol. Hazing, and basic training if you choose to do basic training that is.
    Yes this is a game of choice as much as a game of action. First your choices seem inconsequential, but some can have very serious repercussions. This is not the type where no matter what you do you get the exact same thing.

    Many games have dialogue choice options, but none where your choices are this important. And it's important on two levels. Your every word has a direct consequence, and a secondary effect in the reputation system of the game.
    You have a reputation, and not just a measly faction based one, you have a completely separate reputation with every main character. And your standing with them can open up avenues or close them. And not necessarily by being on good terms with someone.
    But being despised can also lead to unique options. Well at least this is the marketing pitch, I only played the game once so I'm not exactly sure what are the effects of doing the opposite of what I did. But I did do the endgame twice to try out different choices.

    And I can confirm that the differences in what ending you get based on your choices are staggering. You might play the same maps, and the same action sequences, but the closure can be just as sour as it can be sweet.

    But let's turn back to the beginning of the game. At first your conversations seem inconsequential but this is where you establish your initial relationship with people, so you need to take it seriously.
    The RPG element is about as strong as in DeusEx. You can choose to begin with 4 different classes. 3 of which are your typical classes but the fourth is the interesting one called: recruit. Which IMO is the best. You don't just start as a blank slate this way, but get some unique rookie dialogue options as well. Albeit only during the training.
    But I never liked pre-arranged skills I like to spend the skill points myself and usually end up stretching myself thin over too many skills. Which happened here also. I ended up upgrading many skills, without coming anywhere near maxing out even one of them.

    But the game doesn't suffer from it, being OK at many skills does work here, you don't have to max out a skill to be effective. And the skill advancement is very gradual. For example the idea that you can acquire activated skills which can later be upgraded to passive skills is brilliant. I've never seen anything like this in any other game.
    And if we're talking RPG elements, let's talk a bit about action as well. The game plays exactly like the early splinter cell games. Especially if you choose to use a pistol as your main weapon as I did. But you can also be a tank in the game. And use sub-machine guns and shotguns, and go up close and personal.

    Unfortunately when I say the game plays like early splinter cells I mean it feels very outdated. This game could easily fool anyone into thinking that it was released in the early 2000s, and not in 2010. On a blind test I'd guess 2004-2005 tops.
    The only thing that sets it apart from early 2000s games are character's faces, that look a bit better here. But the rest of the graphics can easily pass as a 2003 game. I think the maps in Max Payne 2 look better. And that's not nostalgia speaking, I looked up gameplay of MP2 to compare.

    The best part of the game only starts to reveal it after your second mission, when you start to realize that you can make choices here that matter. It was a little hard for me to accept it, but I had no choice (pun intended)..
    You can even choose the order in which you visit the three major locations in the game. With some very clever design and a few extra recorded lines of dialogue they made it seamless and it works perfectly. As a developer I admire the simplicity of it, as a gamer I very much enjoyed the immersion in it.

    So far I mostly only spoke in praise of the game, but I did mean it is a disaster in some sense. The story and the choices and character development keeps it all together, but everything else, let's be frank is terrible.
    Beginning with the aformentioned being dated, and the level desing is very simplistic, almost every map consists of a few rooms interconnected by a few corridors and that's it. They really didn't have very good level designers.

    The combat is clumsy, the cover system works intermittently, sometimes you can't take cover behind some objects, and other times your cover obstructs your view. Or ability to target enemies. You can also get stuck behind cover.
    And the worst is close combat, when trying to use melee on enemies I often ended up punching air and it's not like second, if you miss the first hit you end up delivering an entire combo or two into thin air while the enemy shoots you.

    The weapons in the game need time to aim, while you have to be in the open, (except for the pistol after a certain skill upgrade) and if you don't wait for the crosshair to finish shrinking it's not just your aim that will be unreliable, but even if you hit, the damage will be minimal.
    Which is just stupid. Why would your bullet cause less damage if fired without aiming, huh? And it's not like 20% less damage. With the pistol if you take the time to finish aiming you can one-shoot all enemies. But if you don't it's as good as throwing paper towels at them.
    But even with the assault rifle it's better to just sit in the open and take the damage but wait for the crosshair to shrink because if you try shooting without that, you can spend all your ammo without being able to take a single enemy down.

    The dialogue choices are not just timed (sometimes you have to choose within like 2 seconds) they are similarly to mass effect are lucky dip based. You don't know what you're going to say before you choose. The only rule is that the four options represent four emotions usually.
    But that's not much help because you can tell someone to fuck off aggressively as well as professionally. So the guessworks begin. At least you immediately see if your choice gained or lost point with the npc. The only exception to the lucky dip rule are email messages, where you see exactly what you're sending before sending it.
    Why couldn't they do the same for dialogue?

    The game also has your typical minigames. hacking, lockpicking, and keypad bypass. The last two are pretty much what you'd except. But hacking is painful. You have to find two sequences of code in a jumble of flashing numbers and letters.
    I couldn't do it on the first twelve dozen tries. (not a typo) Even after upgrading the skill, it is painful to my eyes, but at least manageable in the time limit. Oh, did I mention they're all time capped? And if you fail alarms go off, which can be a game over on a few missions.
    And adding insult to injury just as you click with the mouse when you find the pattern the selection tends to slip to the next row or column. And on top of the time limit there is a secondary shorter timer which resets the location of the pattern you need to find like every 7-8 seconds.

    The enemy ai is hectic, sometimes they're very stupid, but other times they work OK. But the bad news: The game has bossfights, and quite a lot of bossfights. Some of which are very frustrating and infuriating.
    I mean I haven't used a cheat in a game in over a decade, but after I did my due diligence and finished the game once the hard way, I just had to use a trainer to try different choices in the endgame. There was just no way in hell I was doing the 5 bossfights contained in just the last mission again for real.

    +

    • Story (mostly the presentation it's not winning awards for originality)
    • Characters
    • Character development and reputation system
    • Tries to unite two of the best game series deusex and splinter cell (ultimately fails, but it is an admirable effort)
    • Choices that actually matter I mean it
    • skills are well distributed and useful, you can specialize or be a little bit good in everything
    • You can call upon characters whom you have a good standing with to help you and their help is not negligible.
    • Your words and actions have meaning based on those people can live or die. Or be your friends or arch enemies.
    • Surprisingly good voice over work, and lip-sync
    -

    • Feels terribly dated, not 2010 dated, but more like 2004
    • This graphics? Three years after Crysis?!
    • Buggy cover system.
    • Clunky combat
    • Airboxing
    • Hacking minigame
    • Frustrating bossfights

    Scoring card:

    graphics/realization: 2/10
    story/atmosphere: 10/10
    gameplay/controls: 4/10

    overall impression: 6.5/10

    This is a game that you need to experience, it might be dated, but it is still more acceptable by today's standards than the original DeusEx. So if you haven't played DeusEx at least give this a shot.
    No I'm not equating the two games, but this was clearly inspired by deusex in many ways. So it offers a similar freedom, although in different means.
    DeusEx offered different approaches to solving problems. Alpha Protocol offers the choice on the story level, while your choices in solving levels is quite limited.
     
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  21. Converge

    Converge [H]ard|Gawd

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    Dark Souls Remastered.

    Excellent

    :)
     
  22. WarriorX

    WarriorX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    Overall I really enjoyed the game. I know it had some controversy with the micro transactions, but for my gaming experience I didn't feel like the addition of them negatively affected my experience. I had plenty of Praxis points to unlock the stuff I wanted for my play style.

    Graphics were decent but not amazing. They did a great job at the details in the game though with the levels have a lot of interactive objects. Game play was classic Deus Ex with many returning augments and some new augments.

    Good voice acting for most of the characters.

    Some performance issues but mostly resolved once I went to DX11 and turned down the AA settings.

    Level design was decent, but it seemed to have fewer alternative paths than Human Revolution. Seemed like Human Revolution had way more vents lol.

    The stand alone DLC missions were fun.

    Story was entertaining but felt like alot of unanswered questions were left. Hope they do make another game of the series at some point.
     
  23. GHRTW

    GHRTW n00b

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    Mass Effect 3 finished yesterday for me. To sum up, a great game to close the trilogy. The end without being action heavy, it was great in letting you choose between 2 big changes for the galaxy and you as Shepard. Personally, I enjoyed it as much as the previous ones.

    Graphics well made for that time (7.5/10). Gameplay-handling-controls same as for Mass Effect 2, pretty good (7.5/10). Story-quests-characters-dialogues on the previous games' good standards (8.5/10). Sound-music great (8.5/10). In total a solid space-action-3rd person game that deserves an 8/10.
     
  24. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It felt as if the game ended in the middle of the story, not at the end. In every other respect it was much better than human revolution.
     
  25. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)

    shadow2.jpg

    Or a more appropriate name would've been the shadow of the terminator rambo. But 'Meh' is a pretty accurate description as well.

    After Rise of the Tomb raider was a huge leap forward in every respect compared to the first part of the reboot series, this one unfortunately is a step or two backwards in almost every respect.

    It started out pretty good, the first few levels were enjoyable, until you reach Paititi the hidden city, where things go from bad to worse very quickly. First you realize that you're not allowed to use firearms near this area, and most of your outfits that you paid for with real money are disabled as well, because the game requires you to wear specific outfits when dealing with the locals, and 90% of the game takes place in this area dealing with the locals. Also here is where you realize that this is not just a stepping stone, or the first of several areas in the game, this is the only hub area in the game. And somehow they managed to make it even duller and less interesting than Siberia was in Rise. I mean it looks better, most of the time, but hell, there is not a lot worth exploring. Interesting artifacts? Almost none. Interesting writings? Even less. At least in Rise there were dozens of logs and journals that offered insights into the legacy and the lore of the area.

    The game is much shorter than Rise as well. I completed this in 13 hours, that was 21. But the game felt even shorter than that. The scope feels tiny compared to the previous game. I don't know how they managed to make the maps feel so restrictive, that you actually feel you're walking around in a tiny constrained area each time. Every level and dungeon feels like a tiny corridor. Where there is only one path to take.

    And if the invincible aspect of Lara wasn't already overdone, then this game dials it up even further. Sometimes you literally feel like Terminator, in the previous game you just felt like Rambo. It's too much. And not even in respect of the combat, but in respect of the dives, climbs, jumps you have to complete. 98% of them are suicidal even for professional climbers, and Lara still doesn't look anything like a professional climber.

    The so called puzzles in the game are not actually puzzles, because there isn't much puzzle solving it's more jumping and climbing to reach the top. The puzzles in Rise were much better designed. They actually felt clever. These are just over designed contraptions, that offer little challenge as puzzles.

    And this is the part where I mention their botched attempt at diversifying the difficulty settings. It is completely pointless, because if I want to turn off hints in the game, that also turns off highlighting of climbable ledges and walls. Which is absolutely necessary, since there is no way to read the mind of the level designer which ledges are you supposed to use. And I know the excuse, but you have to find out for yourself, but that just brakes immersion immediately and trial and error is no fun at all. There are some places in the game where there are other obvious options to reach a rock face, that the game simply doesn't allow you to make. It only allows you to make the jump that you were intended to make. Even if it looks 100% impossible. Because if you try the "intended" jump you'll get an artificial boost mid air and can jump distances that would make a grasshopper proud. That is why the game would be nothing but frustration without the white marks. And that is why the difficulty setting system is useless as it is implemented here. I played the previous two games on the hardest difficulty, now I couldn't even try that because of said things.

    The skill tree is even more useless than in Rise. I mean most of the skills in it are completely unnecessary and useless. Rise at least had some useful ones related to melee combat. Here I already had difficulty deciding what to spend my very first skill point on, because the available options seemed so useless.
    It seems the actually useful skills in the game are now reserved almost exclusively as challenge tomb rewards. Or are tied to game progression. As is acquiring gear. Which results in something very stupid. When you first start the game you go past numerous challenge tombs and crypts that you simply cannot access because of missing equipment. Yes Rise had some of those as well, but there the story took you back to most places multiple times, when you had the opportunity to explore the missed tombs. Here you'd have to backtrack exclusively for the tombs because the story never takes you back. And in contrast to the urgency implied by the narrative, I felt going back to earlier areas for no reason but to explore, would be immersion breaking, so I decided against it.

    Quite honestly I feel the game was rushed. There are so many missed opportunities in it. Like the vestige outfits. There is only one, and you can't even wear that one while trying to do missions in paititi. You're given the first one at the very beginning of the game, and the next one at the very end. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but I didn't see any other opportunities to get more of those. And I feel that's why the game feels small as well, I suspect some of the other areas were supposed to be hub areas as well, but were cut down to save time. And the game crashes a lot, especially during cutscenes. There was one particular that I only could pass by disabling DX12.

    Another issue I had with the game is the fact that it disables weapons for no reason for certain periods of the game. You're not allowed to use firearms in paititi and during most of the main story missions. But there is one particular level, where it doesn't allow you to use anything except stealth take-downs and melee. And not because the narrative requires you to be stealthy either. Every enemy on this level has a firearm, that you could easily take, but you don't. Why? I'll spoil it for you, so lara can dramatically take up a machine gun near the end of the level and pull a Rambo. I'm not joking either, if that scene is not intentionally trolling you with that, then my name is pinky and it's not. It felt absurd.

    But the most laughable is when you reach an area where you can't use weapons. Your weapons magically disappear so you can't even see them on Lara, and when you reach the end of said segments, poof they materialize from thin air. That's a facepalm worthy bug, or double facepalm worthy feature if it is a feature.

    The story seems to be on par with Rise, no more interesting. And the ending is well, completely meaningless, and confusing. What did they actually sacrifice? I've read that they changed the ending in a day 1 patch I wonder if it was more clear before.

    The final level felt underwhelming as well. I played Rise only a few months ago, so I still have a very vivid memory of it, and it felt much better. Here you barely even have any actual fighting on the last level, until the final bossfight which is just terrible, dragged out and frustrating.

    To not just say bad things about the game, the graphics is hugely improved, and the performance is much more stable and I can actually max out graphics and still get around 100fps in 1440p with TAA.

    +

    • Graphics
    • Voiceacting
    • The jumping and climbing is still fun somewhat
    -

    • Feels rushed
    • The game world feels small in scope
    • You're not allowed to use most outfits and weapons during the majority of the game
    • Puzzles are more about platforming than actually having to think about them. Rise was much better in this, even the main story had some great puzzles in it.
    • Crashing
    • Underwhelming story
    • Most of the skill tree is useless
    • way to many ex-machina moments
    • even more overpowered than before, feels like a marvel movie where the heroes can survive anything
    • The way difficulty settings are handled
    • Ending / final bossfight makes no sense
    Scoring card:

    graphics/realization: 9/10
    story/atmosphere: 3/10
    gameplay/controls: 8/10

    overall impression: 5.5/10

    Significantly worse than Rise. I'd wait for it to be discounted to 25-30 before buying. And it's definitely not worth to get the Deluxe/Croft editions either. I doubt any later DLC would change my mind about that.
     
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  26. Pivo504

    Pivo504 2[H]4U

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    Zelda breath of the wild: the first hour I was actually like this game is so beautiful I can't wait to explore it. 2 hrs later ugh this is the same thing over and over, weapons breaking,running, climbing, same enemies, no cool bosses, no variation or dungeons, stopped playing...
    Metal gear v: PP played the intro and got to the first mission but something just feels off about it. Also my fav mg game was mgs for ps1 I didn't care for any others...
     
  27. kamxam

    kamxam [H]ard|Gawd

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    Just finished Rage. Regardless of common opinion, for the most part it was a good game. The races, some of the levels and atmosphere was decent. It did feel a little short and abrupt though when following just the main story. (As in only about 10 or so hours short, and you do a few quests and now your the savior of the wastelands) Hopefully, Rage 2 (From what i heard it's coming out) should be better.
     
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  28. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That was really my only complaint with the game. Otherwise I had a blast with it. They really should have fleshed out the end more.
     
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  29. XViper

    XViper Gawd

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    Finished Mega Man 11. It was a great game but the main hook is really the nostalgia. The game plays about the same and there are a few levels that are just annoying (ie. Bounce man stage). If you are used to the old side scrolling mega man, you know that if you die you respawn from the beginning unless you made it to some kind of middle of stage checkpoint. The end bosses are easy as you can just switch to a blaster that the boss is weak against.

    The only gripe I have about this game is that toward the end of the game, the bosses are really hard and become difficult to beat. I think I played a total of about 30 hours.
     
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  30. KickAssCop

    KickAssCop [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
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    Some new games I trashed recently.

    Shadow of Tomb Raider. 6.5/10. Quite a crappy game compared to previous ones. Virtually no combat in this one. Should have been called box opening simulator.

    Spider Man. 10/10. Only a fucking moron didn’t play this one yet.

    Forza Horizon 4. 10/10. Only a fucking moron who didn’t play spider man as well didn’t play this one yet.

    Black Ops 4. 7/10. Same old crap rehashed for more money. Worth delving if you enjoy control.

    That’s it for now. Waiting on RDR2 and working my way through some Ass Creed.
     
  31. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I haven't played Spider Man, and not really interested in it.
    As for forza 4, I've seen the videos, it could've been great, but it is terrible instead. The physics or lack thereof is appalling. It was painful just to watch, let alone play.
     
  32. kamxam

    kamxam [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'M waiting for a Spider-Pig game.....:LOL:
     
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  33. jbltecnicspro

    jbltecnicspro [H]ardness Supreme

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    Finally played the original Doom last night. Only the first episode thus far. Here's my review:

    Pretty good game. A little dated in the mechanics, but I definitely liked the fast pace of the game. Hauling ass and blowing demons up is pretty satisfying. Graphics are good too, for how old the game is. My hat's off to Adrian Carmack for the art direction. Without it, it wouldn't hold up as well as it does. Weapon balance, sounds, atmosphere... This game gets a lot right, and it's even more impressive considering how old it is.

    Now I "get" why most of the Doom fans didn't like Doom 3. The games are pretty much nothing alike, and back then, I'm sure people were expecting/hoping for more of the same but with a prettier graphics engine. Nope! I'll eventually be playing the rest of the episodes later in the week.
     
  34. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's cool - which engine are you using? ZDoom?
     
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  35. jbltecnicspro

    jbltecnicspro [H]ardness Supreme

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    GZDoom, which I think is just a newer version of ZDoom. I love it. Playing the old classics at my monitor's 120hz native is great. Soon, I would like to play LAN COOP with some of my buddies.
     
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  36. Keljian

    Keljian Limp Gawd

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    CRYSIS 3 single player.

    While I didn't play this for the story, I enjoyed it all. The mechanics were sometimes clunky but once you got used to it they all worked ok.

    Solid 8/10

    Currently playing assassin's Creed black flag.. loooordy the bugs and stutters (and I am using an 1080ti to play it on 1440p!)
     
  37. jbltecnicspro

    jbltecnicspro [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just upgrade to a 2080ti. Problem solved. /s :)
     
  38. along the way

    along the way n00b

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    I'm gonna do three games since I've just finished them all in pretty rapid succession.

    Assassin's Creed III (PS3, PC)

    I'd picked up and tried to play this one a few times since its release, but never finished it until very recently. I experienced constant bugs on both the PS3 and PC versions of the game, finally completing it on PC. The main protagonist was a bit flat and some of the missions were questionable in structure. I liked the wilderness parkour, but the less vertical cities and towns in the colonies I didn't find as compelling to run around in. Combat was fluid and satisfying and this game introduced the super fun sailing missions I'd see in the next two AC games.

    7.0/10

    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PC)

    Okay, this game is a lot of fun. The characters are pirates, you're a pirate, almost everyone is a pirate and it's awesome. The gameplay does get repetitive after dozens of hours, but until then you're plundering ships, blowing up fortresses, whale hunting, drinking rum, and reeking havoc on the high seas as your men sing pirate shanties. The story was well done with noticeable character arcs. The combat was good, but didn't seem as fluid as AC3 for some reason. Regardless, fantastic return to quality for the AC series even if the game itself is very different from previous games.

    8.7/10

    Assassin's Creed Rogue (PC)

    I just finished this game last night. It continues the sailing gameplay of AC4 and, to a lesser extent, AC3, with the boat in this game being smaller and more maneuverable. Fun story seeing the "good" guy turn into the "bad" guy with the lines between "good" and "bad" being effectively blurred by showing sometimes the good guys make mistakes and the bad guys aren't always bad for the sake of being bad. There is an odd imbalance in the very large number of collectibles on the map while the main story is very short by comparison. Gameplay is more of the same from AC4 which isn't a bad thing.

    7.4/10
     
  39. jbltecnicspro

    jbltecnicspro [H]ardness Supreme

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    Finished the three episodes on Ultra Violence. Currently playing through Episode 4 (holy shit is that hard...). Anyways - I have to say I really enjoyed myself. Best feature I never thought I'd appreciate about the game is its MIDI soundtrack. I have a Roland SC-8850 and it just sings on that soundtrack. :)

    Oh, and the gun play is almost perfect. So I take back my "dated mechanics" comment - its gunplay is better than most modern first person shooters, I'd say. All weapons have a purpose and a use. My only dislike of the game is that on the later episodes, ammo is a little sparse at first. Not sure if this was because I used the higher difficulty or what, but it was a little frustrating.
     
  40. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks for the nostalgia review. Doom did many things right, but the real deal is doom II, it's level design is so far beyond Doom that it is unbelievable. It's not just clever it is art.
     
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