Ubi definitely needs to evolve the formula beyond just swapping settings, but to say they're being lazy in game and world design is ridiculous.
As for GTA, I was thinking back on it, and they've never really done these distractions well.
I remember needing to collect packages for an extremely useful armor upgrade. But the only way to reasonably find those packages was through a guide. I sat with a guide on my lap, carefully crossing off each one I found. I had a lot more time when I was young to do crap like that.
In a similar vein, I remember having to buy certain outfits or exercise (or eat lots of burgers) for the lame dating scene in San Andreas.
And lets try to forget when the distractions became things that were less by choice and more by annoying phone calls from your cousin.
Not to say I don't think GTA is a great series. It is, of course, but I think Ubi handles these better and that they create the emergent, self-created gameplay that are what a sandbox should be. It's great to be heading off to a story mission, but seeing one collectible en route and heading off toward it, distracted by it. You could get there and just find what you're looking for sitting out in the open, letting you check the box and get back to what you were doing. Or you could get to the top of a large hill and realize the thing is not up there. It's got to be inside. How do you get in there? There's a lake on the northern edge, maybe I have to swim underneath...stupid demon fish...nope, it's not here. Let's scoot around the perimeter...hey, there's a hostage...maybe I can sneak up on his captor silently...shit! Tiger!...Hey, I can make a heavy weapons bag...where was that hill? Of course, another player may just stumble on a cave on the side of a hill and find that collectible accidentally with no real hassle at all.
These are set up to make this kind of play happen. It's intentional and crafted. Sometimes easily, other times not. But it certainly leads to the tagline: every second is a story.
Quote from: TiLT on December 02, 2014, 12:57:43 PM
Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 02, 2014, 12:42:52 PM
If you can seriously look at the wealth of gameplay and world to explore created for this game and say that Ubisoft has decided to cut corners and save money, you are insane.
Nope, not insane. I've merely played the Grand Theft Auto games, where such corners aren't cut. Those games have actual content that still satisfies the "checklist gaming itch" you're talking about, content that is both fun and satisfying at the same time. Ubisoft doesn't give a rat's ass about that. They just plop a random, useless collectible somewhere and call it a day.
They absolutely do not.
If you took out every collectible, you would still have a shit ton of content there.
And I actually miss the collectible stuff from GTA.
But they're two different styles of open world games. There's room for both.
Agreed on feeling bad for Maggie. Especially since she also didn't get to say goodbye to her dad. They've said this will be addressed in an upcoming episode (which is good, because Maggie needs some focus. She hasn't been doing enough).
As for the raping and the faux "recruiting" and the beatings, again, those are some douche bags in an otherwise functional society. Yes, they should be punished or weeded out, and yes, the powers that be seemed to be turning a blind eye and deluding themselves. But Beth was in scowly acting mode from the get-go, before she even knew any of that (including the "recruiting" bit, as she admitted she didn't know what had happened to her). Her reactions seemed unbalanced with what she was facing. She seemed too ready to kill someone. She was ready to flat out murder the doc for an action that was, frankly, a grey area. But it took rapey doll-faced cop starting in on her to bring about his death. And I'm still not sure what set her off at the end with boss cop.
Here's what I think happened with this arc, though: I think they created this complicated storyline where things weren't quite as black and white as usual, and it all hinged on being able to understand what was going on beneath the surface with Beth and the actress just wasn't up to the task. I think there were some writing missteps, too, but I'm going to chalk it up to her, basically.
Now the thing that did surprise me and gave me an emotional reaction was seeing how Rick handled the running cop at the beginning. That was brutal. I would say too brutal, but I think it was meant to be. I think Rick might not be quite as over his loopiness as he seemed to be. Or it may be, especially pairing it with Beth's murderlust, that the group is just too far down the bend now.
It'll be interesting to see how Rick deals with the news that Eugene was full of shit.
I love the collectibles. They are content. They aren't substantive content, but they are part of the game, and they are a big part of what keeps me interested. More than that, they are a key element in Ubisoft's weave of open world gaming.
They may be nothing but distractions, but they are everything because they are distractions. They feed the checklist gaming itch that these games do so well. What keeps me up at night, gaming when I should be sleeping, is spying just a couple more of those little things and thinking that if I just got those, I'll have cleared that segment of the map (and checked that off, mentally). Of course, doing so let's me see that there's another one in the next segment, and if I just just find that one...
Exploration is a big part of these games. And I love feeling like I've fully cleared every nook and cranny of a map area before moving on. Or sometimes moving on anyway, knowing that I have that waiting for me. But eventually I will conquer the map.
I don't care that every little poster isn't a story in itself. That would become laborious to me. Some of the collectibles have more weight than the others (the masks, for instance), and that works great.
All that said, in the last game, the chests weren't well balanced, and I imagine that'll be the case here, too. With a limited wallet size (even if you increased it), it frequently became pointless to open every chest. I remember buying gun paint jobs, just to clear out my wallet, but eventually, I just gave up on clearing every chest out, and that was disappointing.
Overall, though, I'm all for the collectibles. They shouldn't be the whole game, of course, and they aren't. They aren't meant to be the main course. They are a spice sprinkled over the dish. And what a dish!
If you can seriously look at the wealth of gameplay and world to explore created for this game and say that Ubisoft has decided to cut corners and save money, you are insane. The collectibles aren't a safety net. There's a ton of game in Far Cry 4 without them. They are an intentional addition, fully meant to be a distraction that keep players busy. And entertained.
The way Talking Dead went on about it in the first minutes before my DVR cut Hardwick off, I think I was supposed to feel a lot more than I did.
I guess I still don't get what was so horrible about the hospital.
I get that there were some awful, nasty people there. I even get that they used their positions for privilege or abuse. That doesn't make the place inherently evil. Hell, that makes the place a human society, with some good people and some bad people living together to make something work.
I never saw what invoked Beth's wrath so strongly. For example when she was going after the doctor a few episodes back. I get that he did something pretty awful. I get that it sucks that the people in power would likely have devalued and probably have killed him, too, which makes his actions no less icky, but way more understandable. Not sacrifice worthy in my mind, based on what I'd seen from Beth up to that point on the show.
Spoiler for Hiden:
And, what, the head cop saying "I knew you'd be back" proved, what? That she used Beth? Maybe, but didn't she also do the other things for Beth that she said she did? Wasn't it a give and take like, you know, a society? Or is it that she was being held there against her will? Forced to do not so bad work and have food, shelter and protection? I get that this is not an ideal situation, certainly not the "pay off our having fixed you up" deal they pretend it to be. I get that the bad members of the society are trapping people instead of saving them (though Beth has no real proof of this at any point). I get that the hospital is not a utopia (I don't think it pretends to be, either), but I don't get why top cop was murder worthy. She seemed like a decent person who was trying to do the best she could with the shitty hand of people she'd been dealt and was maybe a little too clueless about their behavior (probably actively fooling herself).
This whole situation and, frankly, the actress who plays Beth's performance, left me in a decided state of meh when she got shot. I was maybe even happy. Though I enjoyed her bonding time with Daryl, this character has rarely brought me any level of enjoyment.
I don't know why, but I'm crazy excited about Captain Toad. I'm just bummed I have to wait until Friday.
I will get The Crew when I can get it for free as part of the Ubisoft "Sorry about that, Chief" AssCreed deal. I had a lot of fun with the beta. Very rough around the edges but there's some cool stuff in there.
I think Secret Ponchos is a PS+ freebie, so that, too.
Quote from: Ridah on November 28, 2014, 06:10:27 PM
As accessible as these games are supposed to be there's actually a decent learning curve. I haven't played a Smash Bros game in a long time, but I was hoping my wife and I might be able to jump into this the way we did Mario Kart 8. That hasn't been the case, though, and we're both kinda turned off by it at the moment. Any advice or links to a good beginner's guide?
I just played a level that brought into stark contrast all the highs and lows of this damned game series.
This was part of the main adventure, in the second section (the swamp, I guess). There's a side mission you can do that grinds your sackthing down into multiple tiny versions of yourself. The concept here is very clever, doing more than what is expected. The graphics are charming as always and the design of the level seems quite good on the surface.
Mechanically, though, the whole thing falls apart spectacularly. The goal is to get 6 of your minisacks to the end. I played this level dozens and dozens of times to achieve that goal. Not once did my failures feel like an error on my part.
You have all these little dudes and they start clumped together. In this state, logically, they should stay clumped together unless I mistime a jump. But they do not. For some reason, they decide to run and jump at slightly different speeds. I honestly believe it's so they can look cuter, as they seem to be looking around in different directions, smiling at different things. I think it slows them down. And, damnit, they are cute.
The entire point of this level relies on you having to keep the little guys together, but the game repeatedly keeps that from being possible. There are multiple swings within, and your sackgang often make a kind of chain (but not always). This chain can often swing right into an electric fence, taking out one or two right there. There are leaps from swings to other swings, but your sacklings will grab onto that other swing in different ways (or not at all), making it impossible to swing them all over to the waiting platform. There are jumps that seem simple, but one sackguy often decides he just can't make it.
And then there's the end bit. Your sackamatronics get clumped into two groups (more or less, which is itself an issue). Before this, there have been safe walls where you could herd them together into a cohesive mass before running them and jumping them into an unwieldy sparseness. But not at this point. These two groups are meant to make a series of jumps on tiny platforms. This would be perfectly doable if the damned things stayed together, but they do not. Often, before the end of this section, I found myself with an impossible to manage third group. Other times, every thing was actually working until, once again, three of them just decided to stare adorably at the camera instead of making it across the gap. A couple of times, the camera focused on the wrong group, making it impossible to time the jump of the sackfellows in the lead.
And this doesn't even count the times I suddenly found myself in background-only limbo.
The feeling I had completing this level was one of luck finally working for me. Not that I had accomplished anything through skill.
Of course, you don't have to get all of the sackers to the end. They'll let you off just getting one there, but when the cuteness gauntlet is thrown... And it says something that I stuck it out.
As always, I want to like these games way more than I do. I look forward to them every time. The aesthetic is very appealing. I love Stephen Fry (though I have been finding myself wishing he would shut the hell up with all that tweeness). The music is generally great. The way it's put together is extremely clever. But the mechanics are just not there. They are sloppy and punish you for their sloppiness (not like, say, the Lego games, where they're sloppy, but apart from some bad races, it doesn't really matter).
The potential for this game is massive, but I think they constantly shoot themselves in the foot. It's a big release, of course, but it could be even bigger. My daughter always wants to play these games (and I try to get her to do it, if only to help me get those annoying MP collectibles (I don't like being forced to play with others to scratch my completionist itch), but she almost always gives up after one level.
Frustration should not be this big an issue in such a charming game.
I tried to upload a clip of my first rhino encounter, but PS keeps failing the load.
I was in a camp with a bunch of rebels shooting at targets when the rhino lumbered into the area. I spotted him before the repeated shouts of "Rhino! Rhino!" started, so I hightailed it to the outskirts to swoop in for some free skinning at the end. I mean, there were easily eight guys walking around with assault rifles.
10 minutes later, the rhino had hooked the last guy onto his horn and tossed him into the distance (with a near Wilhelm scream). The music settled down and the satisfied rhinoceros ambled off.
I walked up near to where he was standing, to see if I could loot a chest without being caught, when I suddenly remembered I had a grenade.
The rhino was walking up the hill as I tossed it. He stopped just as it landed at his feet and looked over at me. I swear he said, "Huh?" and then he blew up in a ball of fire and smoke.
I had to chase after his corpse as it slid down the hill.
Quote from: Glycerine on November 19, 2014, 10:20:17 AM
I botched the very first mission, got killed by the cops at least three times. After that I was a little over zealous and ended up abandoning Michael and Brad by running too far ahead. Once I finally start the first mission with Franklin I find that yet again I'm absolutely terrible at driving. This happens with every single GTA game. I start out running into anything and everything, swerving all over the road like a madman. By the time the credits roll I've got it down so good that I weave in and out of traffic with ease, rarely slowing down from max speed. Why is this not like riding a bike? I've been playing these games for awhile now, you'd think I wouldn't have to go through this learning curve each time. At any rate I barely finish the second mission, car is a smoldering heap. At least it still runs, so thankfully that was good enough. I'm also struggling a bit with the controls, after two straight Assassin's Creed games I keep hitting R2 to run. So when I'm trying to move quickly the character is instead furiously punching the air.
All of this in first person by the way. Loving the game so far, looks really fantastic but I am kind of disappointed there aren't more peds. In the trailers it showed streets filled with people, in the little bit I've played I don't really see that. Maybe it's because I'm just starting out? Really doesn't matter since I'm obviously enjoying myself. It's a surreal experience car jacking a some hapless ped at 3AM in the morning in first person mode. The looks on people's faces when you yank them out of the car is priceless.
I have been having the exact same experience with R2 and the driving. It's a shock to the system because not only have I played these GTA games before, I've played this GTA game before.
I chalk it up to the characters getting better as the game goes on, and I'm back to square one with them. It certainly isn't me...
Quote from: EddieA on November 17, 2014, 10:11:57 AM
Rollers of The Realm for PS4/Vita, a pinball RPG
Picked this up, its a fun little pinball game. Interesting elements to it. You have to level up your party, get new equipment, etc. As you take damage it wears away your flippers making it harder. It was really easy until I got to the third area. Now I am having to grind to get some money for better equipment.
Save your money for a new party member. That extra ball makes a big difference. I went with the farm boy, who seems like he may be tougher than the knight!
Not to say there aren't benefits to the equipment. This game actually makes for some good leveling choices.
What?!? Great Pumpkin holds up great. The Christmas episode, too.
Things get a little sketchier after that, though. Some are fine, but we tried to watch some Thanksgiving special a couple of years back that had the gang on the Mayflower and wowie that was awful and boring as hell.
Well, I downloaded this last night. The game glitched almost immediately in a big way.
Got through the intro of the plot, then sackboy was standing, hovering really, over a background image of roses. He could still run, but there was nothing to run on or to, though eventually a goofy guy in a box fell from the sky, inexplicably.
I was done for the night anyway, so I just thought I'd set up transferring stuff from LBP1. The game locked up hard.
Quote from: rittchard on November 17, 2014, 08:53:22 PM
I thought the "bridge" plot elements worked very well, but the "thematic" flashback stuff I felt missed the mark.
This was my take as well. The flashback stuff added very little. It didn't really fill in any gaps that weren't already mentally filled in by the viewer. And with no context at all, it felt disjointed (and would probably be quite disorienting to a casual viewer).
Even so, none of that spoiled what was otherwise a good episode.
TiLT, there's nothing else to talk about with Lego JP except that it exists at this point. We've done that. Now we're having an interesting sidebar about the value of rendered fluffy clouds. We'll get back to Lego JP in a bit.
heloder, I had a feeling you would bring up the professional vs homebrew upgrade thing, but the point is that we've had fantastic reboots that look spectacular and from that same year (btw, I'm not sure what your issue with OOT 3DS would be, it's a fantastic version. Same with Twin Snakes, actually). The point being just that, at least for me, my eyes are jaded to the point where what you showed didn't live up to the hype.
Doesn't mean I'm not interested to see it or hear your opinion, either, of course. I was just really surprised by your gushy reaction to what appeared to me at first to be the addition of some clouds to the sky.
By "stretched" I only meant "made wider" not that it's distorted.
And, yes, I can see that the hills no longer have that "paint palette left out in the rain look" but that was what I was talking about really studying those pictures. I wouldn't notice that if I wasn't studying.
I'm sure it's better in motion, and I'm glad you're enjoying it. It's just that your first sentence was such a build up to "you wouldn't believe how it looks and runs" that I was a little surprised at how similar the comparison shots were.
Quote from: Punisher on November 11, 2014, 04:03:19 PM
Quote from: rittchard on November 10, 2014, 05:51:00 PM
My memory is clouded and sometimes I get details jumbled up with what I remember from the comics. The Beth thing, I always presumed she was kidnapped away from Daryl. The Eugene thing I thought they made pretty clear he was hot for Rosita but again maybe it's just an impression. I'm glad they stuck with the same basic Eugene storyline; I thought I'd heard they were going to do something very different.
I havent seen the latest episode yet, but.. Comic spoiler
Spoiler for Hiden:
In the comic, the sarge and the girl are hooked up, but Eugene wants the girl as well and there were some voyeur scenes with him.