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  1. 2. Journey to the Savage Planet Already mentioned that I liked this a lot elsewhere. It's Metroid Prime with lots of colour and some easy laughs. The combat isn't the focus so it's mostly about getting out there and exploring, and it gets that aspect spot on. For me, it's pure comfort gaming, just looking for ways forward and hidden caves, figuring out how to traverse the environment and playing around with new tools. It's not hugely original but the open level design is very good, it looks lovely and it knows how to reward your efforts. 3. Skellboy Played for review, which is the only reason I finished it. There's a decent enough action RPG at the heart of it, but it's too slight and roughly designed to offer much satisfaction. Swapping body parts is a nice idea, but it's not used in any really interesting ways. And pixel art in 3D visual style doesn't do it any favours. It's not just ugly, it makes for very imprecise movement and combat, leading to plenty of frustration. There's some solid level design in parts, and a nicely interlinked world, but a lot of it is messy and a bit... bare bones.
  2. I don't think you ever have to hoard ammo. Whenever you need a particular type the ingredients are always lying around nearby.
  3. I don't have it anymore so can't check, but I'm sure I was changing difficulty levels while playing through it.
  4. I'm sure I did it when I played it a few years ago. Can't remember how, but the option was definitely there.
  5. In terms of content there's plenty of value. Depends how much you think you'll get into all the social links and castle activities side of things, because it can take up a lot of the time in between battles. If you want the focus of old school FE or Advance Wars, you might find there's too much other stuff to wade through.
  6. Yeah, I'd say it's a couple of chapters too long. What is good though is the way each one feels like a self-contained episode, with its own story arc, and they're all a similar length. So it suits playing one episode at a time and doesn't turn into a single long slog.
  7. I always thought Dark Souls got a bad rap for it's later stages. I mean, they aren't as good as the first half, but still mostly excellent (Demon Ruins/Izalith being the exception). I think it is a thing to varying degrees with all of these From games though. I think sometimes it's just that something which seems fresh at the start of the game feels routine later. Relying on the gate that opens from the other side trick too many times, for example.
  8. I just don't think there's much to match the level design of the opening area and the Cathedral Ward. I'm at the point now where it's either Hemwick Charnell Lane or the Forbidden Woods and neither are interesting enough to push through again. Some of the later bits are better than that, for sure, but still not up to the standard of the first part. And some other later bits - the nightmare sections and that prick Micolash - aren't much fun at all. I wouldn't mind doing the DLC again though.
  9. Carried on with this over the last week and I've been loving it. I'd forgotten how good the level design is in the first half of the game. As good as anything From's done. But now I've hit the second part of the Forbidden Forest and that's where it all starts to go a bit wrong. From what I remember, other than a couple of optional areas, it's just never as good from here.
  10. I've not watched any Fast and Furious films, but surely the appeal there lies in the action rather than the dialogue? Or if it's the dialogue it's the silly, throwaway nature of it? And isn't that waht GTA has increasingly forgotten, as it's made a bigger deal of the dialogue in each new release, putting it at the front and centre of the experience like it actually thinks it's good?
  11. Dialogue in games has the burden of needing to get to the point. In film and TV you can literally have people talking for an hour, fill it with subtlety and make it gripping. In a game, unless play is built around dialogue options (which then takes a lot of writing), there's much less space for that and players might be too distracted by what they want to do next to pay attention anyway. So games have to tell stories and communicate emotions in different ways, preferably ones that work in sync with the player's actions. And as part of that, dialogue might actually be more effective if it's kept brief and functional.
  12. Parody doesn't let it off the hook though. Parody can be very clever, and it feels like GTA V wants us to think it's being clever. It doesn't help that it makes such a big deal of its writing - forcing you to listen to it by making you drive slowly from A to B for 5 minutes at the start of a mission. It feels like they think the story is more important than what you actually get to do. They think the writing is so good that everyone will be happy to listen to it. But it also doesn't work as parody because it has nothing much to say beyond 'isn't the mdoern world shit and isn't everyone in it a dickhead?' A lot of the time it's just hitting reference points from other media that it knows are kind of popular but also still cool. It knows its audience and what buttons to press to get them onside. Other than that, a lot of it is just bad writing that, for me at least, it's hard not to cringe at. I don't think I cringe easily at game writing these days - a lot of it is fine - and I don't think it's intentional. It just isn't well written.
  13. I found the platforming fine once I got the triple jump upgrade. If you haven't, it's worth doing the experiments to unlock it. Indeed. Which one is the savage planet? Hmm? Yeah. I think while a lot of the satire is very obvious and on the nose, the way it works with the game structure makes it quite interesting in some ways.
  14. There's also the pacing of it. If the whole game is given the same treatment as the Midgar section, you'd be looking at maybe 5 full games. I can't see that ever getting finished, or sustaining interest over the years and years it'll take to make. But if they go through the rest of it quicker, it'll be weirdly lopsided, with the original tight opening episode turned into an epic and the epic journey that follows turned into just another couple of episodes.
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