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Alan Stock

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Everything posted by Alan Stock

  1. Thanks folks, just what I was looking for. It's the satisfaction of solving the final puzzles that is driving me here, especially as I have sunk so much time into them already. I'm not bothered about the ending but I do want to see through the puzzles I have just about cracked, and turns out I wasn't far off either. If I'd not done a similar thing with Fez of checking my status with others, I'd still be wandering around its game world trying to solve the final, impossible puzzle
  2. Made a little progress but finally in a spot where I think I need a wee pointer, just so I'm not spending days harping up the wrong tree. Endgame progress/help requests:
  3. I might have missed it, but why are you playing an unpatched version @Floshenbarnical? Morbid curiosity or no good net connection or something?
  4. Yeah the contrast in the environments between the realistic open world and the bright structures for Sonic to play on is so jarring. They could have just boosted the vibrancy of the environments at the very least, it's like a kid got Shadow of the Colussus and started making a Roblox game inside it!
  5. On that subject, I know its supposed to be a serious matter, but like the Rings of Power - where's the funnies? Rogue One had some great bits of humour (mainly from aforementioned droid) but it didn't hurt the tone of the show, which maybe they are afraid of in this. I know there's stuff like cereal mum but its not quite the same as that dry sarcastic humour that can work so well. I'm not saying I need it, it works fine without, but maybe a little would help and make Andor himself seem a bit less of a sourpuss
  6. I haven't really much to add that hasn't already been said, but I'm really enjoying this now. To begin with it was slow, and as suggested I watched the first 3 episodes in a row, which helped. End of episode 3 onwards have been great though, with the highlight being episode 6 which really paid off the slow buildup. To begin with, it bothered me that Andor himself wasn't very interesting as a protagonist and just moodily sat around, but it turns out that doesn't really matter with the great supporting cast as it goes on. The effects are awesome in this and the environments all have this gritty reality feel to it, like The Mandalorian nailed. Although the multiple episode arcs make the show feel somewhat disjointed, I've found it really spices things up and keeps things fresh. You never really know what's coming next, and there's just enough of a through-line with the ongoing side plots to gel it together. And on the other hand with less interesting subplots like the one at the start of the show, you only have to wait a few episodes for it to change gear again. I know this will never be as popular as mainline Star Wars fare but I'm glad it exists. Its a great example of how you can create different types of stories and tone if you have a rich universe to work in.
  7. Finally got stuck. I think there's one thing I can still do though. I don't need hints just yet, but maybe it will come to that! Progress:
  8. Just going to harp on about how great the endgame is in this (no spoilers except in the spoiler box). I've been spending hours this afternoon making more progress. The puzzles are genius, up there with the Witness, Fez and The Outer Wilds in their devious design. They're the kind where you're staring at something, clueless, and suddenly it clicks and you have that brilliant 'oh my god' moment when the clouds part and the logic shines through. Or you're doing something elsewhere, and you see something and make a mental connection to another thing from ages ago, and you think... 'hmm, what if I try this...' - and it works! Anyone who likes puzzle games owes themselves to get to the endgame of Tunic. Now some spoilers for some 'Aha!' moments I had recently (endgame spoiler warning):
  9. I saw a Youtuber who was watching Severance say that Legion (I assume meaning the one on Disney+) was a great twisty turny mystery type show that has a great first season. Anyone here seen it and if so, any thoughts?
  10. Came back to this after making it maybe half way through (I'd just done the Atoll and was stuck on the Forest Shrine boss). I'd been enjoying it but aside from the cool use of the manual it hadn't really wowed me. That changed today and the game has gone from being good to being great. I know the Fez influence was already on display but it fully embraces it as you go on and it's awesome. On top of that the game just gets more interesting in general and really tests the old brain matter. I've got the credits now and in the process of doing the crazy endgame stuff. The last boss was very tough but I decided to stop pulling my punches and start experimenting with some items I'd not used much, which just got me over the finish line. I just had a revelationary AHA! moment with one of the puzzles, just like Fez, I had a massive grin on my face. The exploration and secret hunting in this game is superb. Loving it! It took its time to get its claws into me, but it was worth the wait. My advice is that if it hasn't grabbed you yet, do stick with it if you like stuff like Fez, and don't be afraid to knock down the difficulty. Even with very respectable stats and items I found some of the bosses really hard, not Souls hard but definitely on the way to it!
  11. Yeah that's how its explained in the show at least. Today's episode:
  12. Two episodes into the new season and its been very slow and a repeat of the same old June shots, which is a bit concerning. It was always going to be challenging to carry on with the direction the show has arrived at, and so far its not really doing it for me. But it's early days yet. They did do a good job of weaving in the actress leaving the show into the story in a way that makes sense though.
  13. Ah, I was wondering about that as well, I guess that makes sense, sort of. Very cheesy if so though! The show was great though, I'm not usually into normal dramas but the kitchen and insane energy of it was so compelling. I've worked in kitchens before and they have captured briiliantly the tempo, the stress, the language and how fatgiuing it is. And of course the tight bond that you get with your co-workers in this mini warzone. It must have been pretty crazy to shoot and stage as it looks so authentic. The timing must be a nightmare with all the moving parts. I guess the only sad thing about this programme is that if things start going well for them, you lose pretty much the core of the show, the chaos and the conflict. I think I'd be happy if they just left it as it is, with hope for the future and not a descent into a culinary hellhole!
  14. Watched the first 3 episodes and I quite like it. The tech as you'd expect is really cool and they've done a great job incorporating it into a very realistic feeling near-future. Great visual effects as well. The underlying mystery and conceit is nice. I find the pacing a bit lagging though and a lot of the characters, aside from the protagonist and her brother, cold. I also don't like the very generic novel-feeling small town bad guy angle, its straight out of Stephen King, and the baddies in this in general aren't compelling. There's also some pretty heavy handed exposition where characters say stuff like 'hey, remember how I took you in and then this happened and then this happened?'. Still, I'm along for the ride and interested to see where it goes, like Gibson's other work its the imagination of the tech and mysteries that are the driving force here. The fights are also cool and the settings are great.
  15. For me its an issue of pacing. If a game is hard already and sets those expectations throughout for its bosses, its ok to have a tough final boss fight. From Software games are an example of this, although they definitely go too far at times with their final bosses, with Sekiro and Elden Ring being examples of where its too much of a jump. Although I accept the argument about Sekiro, this is where pacing comes into play. When you hit a really hard final boss that takes hours or days to beat compared to the rest of the game, it hurts the overall experience. The journey up to that point can fade into the background and you're also being denied a good flow to a conclusion. For some people its even a barrier to finishing the game and getting that satisfaction. An example: since getting stuck on the Metroid Dread final boss I just haven't gone back - I'd rather spend my gaming time on new things than spending hours repeating the same challenge, and its a big difficulty spike. An example of a hard and rewarding final boss in a demanding game, that feels fair in comparison to whats come before is the last boss in Returnal (although some of the rooms preceding it can be bullshit!). I prefer that if you want a really hard boss that its optional or put in as extra value. Take Malenia in Elden Ring, extra bosses in Hollow Knight, Weapons in FFVII and so on. Sometimes the hardest bosses are kept aside to guard 'true' endings or story DLC, but I take issue with this for the same reasons as mainline bosses. Its frustrating to me to have an almost inpenetrable wall to my conclusion of a story or journey. I've still not managed to beat the final Hollow Knight boss for the true ending, and needed co-op help to beat Bloodborne's DLC for example (at least I had the option for assistance there). Put them as side content though and I'm ok with it. I like final bosses to have a good challenge, but at a reasonable scale in the difficulty curve. Unfortunately some devs want the final boss to be the ultimate test of skill and fortitude, but if they haven't demanded this from the player beforehand it just acts as a big hurdle and frustration for those who just want to finish the game. Thankfully more games these days allow you to dodge this by letting you lower difficulty mid-game, but if done well you shouldn't have to do that. I don't like puzzle or pushover final bosses in otherwise challenging games unless its some sort of catharsis to what's come before.
  16. I also had that issue with the >>> doors and animations. One particularly annoying detail is when you decide to pick up an item, you can still be damaged in the animation of the character picking it up, which makes sense but in practice feels unfair, especially in boss fights. I do wish they had more enemy types in this, that would have definitely helped with the variety. Even Resi 1 introduces new enemies into the mix. Silent Hill did as well although lets be fair, they were mostly really frustrating but at least they were creepy. Someone said on Steam that the core devs are just a few people so that definitely explains the scope, fair play to them. I have to credit the sound design as well, I still have the Achtung voice sting and ambient noise of the game stuck in my head. They did a really good job with the sound/visual filters to nail that staticy, grounded sci-fi feel which Alien does so well. I'd say for the story, its a bit like something like Donny Darko or Mulholland Drive where a lot of it might seem like a stream of conciousness but there's room for many interpretations. It has lots of little bits to pull out and solve, and there are plenty of intentional connections. This is a lot of what the Steam discussion has focussed on. I'm fairly confident in the theory I prefer now. Its just a shame that the plot discussion is taking place in a 80+ page mega thread where its so hard to keep track of individual questions, and sometimes really good posts get swallowed in the mire. It's also a big ask for anyone to read through, and is cluttered with posts about people trying to figure out how to trigger the endings (which has now been solved). There's still one secret left to solve which a dev or someone involved in the game has left a clue about, which the community is currently trying to figure out, hopefully providing another little lore nugget to ponder. Uncovering the secret 'true' ending was quite the feat. Early footage of the game featuring the secret ending was put on Youtube by the same user who I mentioned above. This proved there was a secret ending to find and the fans went scouring the game for clues. A reddit user came up with a good idea, which led to a big revelation which blew the solution wide open. Once the Steam community learned of this they systematically went through the game using this info and within a day had discovered how to unlock the ending.
  17. Well I've gone down the story analysis rabbit hole now, and I must say its been really fun reading and coming up with theories. There is loads of great discussion and analysing going on in the Steam forums, it literally took me hours to read through the main thread. The story is actually really well crafted if you like that kind of thing, with tons to unpack, loads of hidden details and interesting themes and references. Definitely like Silent Hill where its much more satisfying after the fact, where the exploration of the story is more fun than the game itself! Re: the endings. There is some correlation narritavely with the stats and what ending you get, although its a bit tenuous.
  18. Do you have to pay off the whole debt and if its optional is it worth doing? I've had more interesting things to play recently and because I'm in that endgame slump its honestly a bit too work-like to go back to right now. I will get round to it eventually. I'm about 3/4 of the way through my ship, up to hazard level 8 I think and have encountered the spoilered ships and Gecko class.
  19. You have to play Papers Please if you haven't already. Its a very different game but excellent.
  20. In Ending news (no spoilers ahead) I've been in the Steam thread and it was only a few days ago that they cracked the secret fourth ending (called the Lily ending), as is common with these things it came down to people coming across obscure discoveries, sharing it with the community and basically it getting brute forced through a joint effort. Kudos to them. I'm curious as to whether there are any clues as to the method that haven't been discovered in the game yet as it seems fairly random, or whether its designed as a grassroots kind of puzzle. Last night some code whizzes on the Steam forums also started datamining the game to determine why it seemed so random that people with very similar stats were getting different endings. It turns out it works on an obscure formula which assigns you points based on certain stats and if your points reach a certain threshold you'll get a different ending. For example if you beat the game under 10 hours it assigns a point to one of the endings, and if you kill a certain number of enemies you'll get a point to another ending. Then it effectively uses an internal flowchart based on these points to determine which ending you get. This is why a few people were able to get a different ending just by re-doing the final boss, because one of the stats is based on healing yourself out of critical health. They must have just been on the threshold of having enough points to trigger the other ending and using their healing items differently pushed them over the edge. Noone would have figured out the exact requirements if this datamining hadn't been done. Those 3 endings aren't radically different but they do reinforce the themes of the story.
  21. Yeah, even Resi 1 had the concept of items taking up multiple slots. So to me perhaps the easiest quick fix whilst keeping the design principles would be to increase inventory slots overall, but raise how many slots certain items/weapons take up. Unfortunately the game doesn't have a gridlike inventory though, so in practice they can't do this without overhauling the code/graphics. So they'll probably just have to give you extra slots. Its an interesting design challenge because there are slight differences to Resi in that there are more enemies, more item types and more key items to worry about. But give players too many slots and they can carry too many useful items and remove the challenge. I think this is why grid inventories work quite well for this kind of game because you can easily scale up the size of powerful items and make key items really small. You can still use stack limits to prevent people having too much ammo/health on them.
  22. I agree, and people on Steam are responding similarily to how they phrased it. 90% of the time its just timewasting. I was just reading a post where someone broke down all the items. There are 13 item types just of ammo and health. Add to that 6 weapons and a number of equippable tools, plus non-stackable key items. The player will usually only have 2 or 3 free slots. Now take your 13 ammo/health types plus a bunch of key items and spread them around. Go to a new room, find 3 item types, now your inventory is full and you need to go back to the box, or push on and hope you get more of the same item so it stacks. Talking of stacking, ammo and health have max stack sizes, which are generous but still aggravate the problem. You also can't drop items on the ground or swap them, so if you accidentally get items which you can't use you are trapped with a full inventory. This even happens for one fight where you seemingly can't progress if you have a full inventory, because you can't pick up the item you need. So you just have to let yourself die. Nice. The only good inventory feature is that if your gun is empty and you come across ammo you don't have space for, she'll take a few bullets from the stack on the ground and put them in the gun.
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