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Kena: Bridge of Spirits [ PC | PS4 | PS5 ]


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8 minutes ago, CrichStand said:

Or you can just drop the difficulty down and do the same on every other game you play whenever you hit a challenge and never improve at anything. 


Not having a go at you.

Yes you are, don't be a dick. 

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18 minutes ago, Thor said:

Yes you are, don't be a dick. 


If I say I’m not having a go, then I’m not having a go.
 

If you grew up in the 80s gaming, there was no option to just “drop the difficulty down”. You had to improve and get better at stuff, and work things out for yourself. You then improved, gained skills and could then go on and beat harder and harder games. That was a major part of gaming!

 

Nowadays you can just drop the difficulty down, but by doing so you’re never going to improve and are just going to have to keep dropping the difficulty down on stuff going forwards and thus keep hitting the same brick wall over and over. And of course there will be games that don’t have a difficulty setting, so if you rely on it, you’ll be screwed and miss out on enjoying those games completely.

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I dropped the difficulty down on the second main boss. Took me the best part of an hour to do the first one and it was spoiling my enjoyment a bit. It’s not really what I was playing the game for, really.

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50 minutes ago, Strafe said:

I dropped the difficulty down on the second main boss. Took me the best part of an hour to do the first one and it was spoiling my enjoyment a bit. It’s not really what I was playing the game for, really.


For me, I love that - hitting a difficult bit and overcoming it or being stumped by a puzzle and having to spend ages figuring it out. It’s a large part of what I love about games, what hooks me in with them, and what sets them apart from other media. It’s also why I’ve enjoyed Kena so much. It’s not the most hardcore game ever, far from it, but it’s pretty old school in how it goes about a lot of stuff, yet still caters for a wide audience.
 

Sounds like you made the right choice, as the end of the game is pretty brutal with some lengthy back to back challenges that have to be completely retried if you die. 
 

 

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19 minutes ago, CrichStand said:


For me, I love that - hitting a difficult bit and overcoming it or being stumped by a puzzle and having to spend ages figuring it out. It’s a large part of what I love about games, what hooks me in with them, and what sets them apart from other media. It’s also why I’ve enjoyed Kena so much. It’s not the most hardcore game ever, far from it, but it’s pretty old school in how it goes about a lot of stuff, yet still caters for a wide audience.
 

Sounds like you made the right choice, as the end of the game is pretty brutal with some lengthy back to back challenges that have to be completely retried if you die. 
 

 


Yeah, I like hard games too - Sekiro is in my top 10 easy - but Kena just didn’t seem that sort of game to me and I was more focussed on the exploration. It’s got some big old difficulty spikes for sure.

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14 minutes ago, Strafe said:


Yeah, I like hard games too - Sekiro is in my top 10 easy - but Kena just didn’t seem that sort of game to me and I was more focussed on the exploration. It’s got some big old difficulty spikes for sure.


Ah right! What difficulty are you playing on?
 

I wonder if the difficulty spikes are more apparent on normal and lower settings. Not really come across any on Hard other than the end game stuff, and have felt the standard battles are a decent challenge too. Maybe the balance is all off on the lower difficulties!

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I don't think the combat here is good or fair enough to be as tough as it is on harder difficulties. I really don't like how some of the bosses are almost impossible to space effectively and how the solution is often to jump about loads and abuse the bow slowdown - not very satisfying at all. Makes you appreciate how good the combat is in From games, currently getting my arse handed to me in the Ringed City DLC but I rarely feel much frustration at failing - not so this.

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I haven't played this yet but @CrichStand it sounds to me like you're not really considering the respect for people's time. 

 

If a game is not adequately tuned, or people don't have time to invest - then suggesting that people "git gud" dismisses both of these realities.

 

I'm really glad about the discussion of difficulty because when I finally play - I'd rather have an enjoyable game than a needlessly difficult one. 

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I don’t think playing the whole game on easy/story mode would have worked for me and that highlights one of the issues with the difficulty tuning in that normal can be bastard hard and easy is way,way too easy. Something in between would have worked better for me.

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26 minutes ago, petrolgirls said:

I don't think the combat here is good or fair enough to be as tough as it is on harder difficulties. I really don't like how some of the bosses are almost impossible to space effectively and how the solution is often to jump about loads and abuse the bow slowdown - not very satisfying at all. Makes you appreciate how good the combat is in From games, currently getting my arse handed to me in the Ringed City DLC but I rarely feel much frustration at failing - not so this.


I’ve not found that to be the case at all. Found the visual and audio cues to be great. Been dodging everything with no problems, using parry a lot and making the most of each item/ability. You pretty much have to towards the end of the game. 
 

Certainly don’t agree about the combat in From games. Not played Sekiro yet but have played and finished Demon’s and Dark Souls, plus put a fair bit of time into the others. The combat in them is pretty simplistic and clunky and is reliant on upgrading stats and items just as much as any real skill.
 

I prefer stuff like Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden, Bayo, DMC etc, which this feels like it has more in common with. It’s more out and out action and dependent on reflexes. Classic video game stuff.

 

3 minutes ago, smithstock said:

I haven't played this yet but @CrichStand it sounds to me like you're not really considering the respect for people's time. 

 

If a game is not adequately tuned, or people don't have time to invest - then suggesting that people "git gud" dismisses both of these realities.

 

I'm really glad about the discussion of difficulty because when I finally play - I'd rather have an enjoyable game than a needlessly difficult one. 

 

If people don’t want a challenge then that’s fine, however games need to be designed for the people that do want to be challenged then adjusted accordingly with lower difficulties or hand holding etc. 

 

I’ve played Kena on hard and think the combat is excellent, as are the boss battles. The way you have to balance the Rot abilities. The use of different items etc. I haven’t encountered any difficulty spikes bar the end couple of bosses. It sounds to me like the balance may possibly be off in places on the lower difficulties though. Thing is, if you’re not looking for a challenge and are happy to notch the difficulty down, it’s not really a problem anyway.

 

 

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I imagine hard will force you to git gud, in the same way Sekiro etc does. Playing on normal and cleaving your way through the world to be greeted by comparatively rock hard bosses is a bit of a shock.

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2 hours ago, CrichStand said:

Certainly don’t agree about the combat in From games. Not played Sekiro yet but have played and finished Demon’s and Dark Souls, plus put a fair bit of time into the others. The combat in them is pretty simplistic and clunky and is reliant on upgrading stats and items just as much as any real skill.
 

I prefer stuff like Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden, Bayo, DMC etc, which this feels like it has more in common with.

 

All those games have great combat but Kena's is closer to Soulsborne - it's just not as tight. I'm not sure there's much fruitful discussion to be had here though, describing Souls combat as 'simplistic and clunky' strikes me as mindless contrarianism. 

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2 hours ago, petrolgirls said:

 

All those games have great combat but Kena's is closer to Soulsborne - it's just not as tight. I'm not sure there's much fruitful discussion to be had here though, describing Souls combat as 'simplistic and clunky' strikes me as mindless contrarianism. 


Or maybe it’s just my genuine opinion, based on the fact that I own, have played and have finished Demon’s and Dark and find the combat in them to be simplistic and clunky?
 

I have no idea how you think the action packed, fast, fluid, combat in this, that is totally reliant on skill and reflexes, is closer to Soulsborne than something like GOW, Ninja Gaiden or DMC. There’s literally a boss that’s Ninja Gaiden as all fuck!
 

I mean I’m dashing, double jumping, sprinting, comboing, throwing bombs off, shooting them with arrows, charging arrows up, dodging, parrying, slowing time, hook-shooting around, using a range of special moves and powers etc all in the blink of an eye against a variety of pretty fast moving enemies and bosses, that have Zelda style vulnerabilities. This is classic action game stuff that I’ve been playing since I was yay big. Dark Souls is more of an RPG with basic, slow paced, methodical combat, that relies on stats just as much as skill. Each to their own though!

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It’s more a time thing, I’m generally a normal difficulty kind of person, and usually enjoy a bit of challenge. This for me was a nice distraction game from flying in MSFS, and the difficulty spikes just ruin it for me - I don’t give a fuck about this “git gud” mentality, I’m playing to have fun. 
 

Anyway drop the difficulty I will. 

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16 hours ago, CrichStand said:

I have no idea how you think the action packed, fast, fluid, combat in this, that is totally reliant on skill and reflexes, is closer to Soulsborne than something like GOW, Ninja Gaiden or DMC.

 

Kena's controls are identical to From's games, R1 light attack, R2 heavy attack, L1 hold to block and tap to parry. R3 camera locks and switches target. Kena effectively has a stamina bar too - all of this is derived from the Soulsborne series and bears no real relationship to either Ninja Gaiden or DMC. Weird that you'd lump GoW in there, assuming you're referring to the recent reboot, as its mechanics are also heavily borrowed from the Souls games. You can make a limited argument that Kena's combat is faster than Demons and Dark Souls but it's no faster than Bloodborne and certainly slower than Sekiro - not that pace defines mechanics in the first place.

 

I love Ninja Gaiden but it's all about combos, abusing cancels and wall jumps along with lashings of Ninpos and Ultimate Technique - there's little to nothing there that bears much similarity to the combat in Kena.

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8 minutes ago, petrolgirls said:

 

Kena's controls are identical to From's games, R1 light attack, R2 heavy attack, L1 hold to block and tap to parry. R3 camera locks and switches target. Kena effectively has a stamina bar too - all of this is derived from the Soulsborne series and bears no real relationship to either Ninja Gaiden or DMC. Weird that you'd lump GoW in there, assuming you're referring to the recent reboot, as its mechanics are also heavily borrowed from the Souls games. You can make a limited argument that Kena's combat is faster than Demons and Dark Souls but it's no faster than Bloodborne and certainly slower than Sekiro - not that pace defines mechanics in the first place.

 

I love Ninja Gaiden but it's all about combos, abusing cancels and wall jumps along with lashings of Ninpos and Ultimate Technique - there's little to nothing there that bears much similarity to the combat in Kena.


It’s probably closer to GoW (and you can remap them controls if you like, I’ve never got used to having light and heavy attack not on the face buttons) but you’re right the combat lacks the reliance on combos of Gaiden or DMC but it’s a lot faster than Dark Souls and Kena doesn’t really have a stamina bar at all, the rot attacks charging is closer to the magic/powe charging mechanic from GoW.

 

The combat is a lot simpler than all of these games mind as it’s not really the main focus, which is why the huge difficulty spike on the bosses is a bit surprising.

 

Either way it’s navigated around by dialling down the difficulty if required and the main charm of the game is the exploration and light puzzle solving really, the combat is just there to give it a bit of fizz.

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I’m loving this. The bosses are tough, and I usually get pretty pissed off after a few tries, assuming I’m unlikely to ever beat them. But I keep chipping away, trying new approaches and eventually bring them down. So very satisfying. And I’ve beaten all the Souls games!

 

I think the difficulty took me by surprise as the cartoon look and cute pet sidekicks had me thinking this would be a lighter affair, but I’m glad they went tougher on the gameplay. Reminds me a bit of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, which I also really enjoyed.

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1 hour ago, Mystacon said:

I’m loving this. The bosses are tough, and I usually get pretty pissed off after a few tries, assuming I’m unlikely to ever beat them. But I keep chipping away, trying new approaches and eventually bring them down. So very satisfying. And I’ve beaten all the Souls games!

 

I think the difficulty took me by surprise as the cartoon look and cute pet sidekicks had me thinking this would be a lighter affair, but I’m glad they went tougher on the gameplay. Reminds me a bit of Immortals: Fenyx Rising, which I also really enjoyed.


Yeah actually the occasional difficulty spikes have a real bite to them which actually gives the game a distinctive edge given the Pixar-style theming.

 

I took down down Taro last night and it was very satisfying when he finally went down. There’s a nice mix of the Zelda boss battles and general brawling with the clear weak spots for exploitation for certain abilities combined with the parry and dodge hack and slash.

 

It has got a lot in common with Fenyx but far tighter and unlike that game it gets trickier as it goes along rather than the typical open world inverse difficulty curve.

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Just finished this and thought I should bump this topic, because this game is really good and more people should play it.  Considering it launched at less than half the price Sony are charging for their first-party games (£33), it's a real bargain.

 

It looks beautiful and sounds amazing with some lovely music.  Running in performance mode on PS5 it was silky smooth and I had no issues whatsoever.  As has been noted, it definitely cribs from a lot of places but it all comes together so well and doesn't outstay its welcome with too many map icons and collectibles.  There is a nice amount of variation in gameplay with some of the platforming sections and very light puzzles.  Once all the combat techniques have been unlocked, the different strategies you can use to take down enemies are really well implemented and it controls beautifully.  

 

If I had a criticism, it would be (again already noted) that there can be a stark difference between the difficulty of the normal enemies and the bosses.  It goes from being Zelda/Uncharted straight into a Dark Souls Boss fight.  I played on the middle difficulty level. There were a few times I got stuck for a while, but then I got myself back into the Soulsbourne mindset of learning the boss attacks and treating it like a dance and each one eventually clicked.  There are some great bosses in here.  It's also the first time I've used the PS5 hints system which in this is very helpful for all the different phases of each fight.

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Finished it this morning, having enjoyed it a lot more by knocking the difficulty down for bosses. It was pretty good overall, beautiful looking and a nice, touching little story. Astonishing really given the fact it was the studio’s first game. 
 

The boss difficulty felt like a misstep to me, story mode made them too easy but normal difficulty was too brutal for this type of game. It was really my only complaint, everything else was at least good and some of the puzzles and set pieces were genuinely very good. And I loved the size of the game, it was really refreshing to play an “open world” game that felt tight and lean rather than padded out and bloated. 
 

Would love a sequel with a bit more balance in the difficulty spikes, providing a good rather than massive challenge. 

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I still haven’t finished this. I sort of turned off once I finished the second area and went off to the third expecting 

 

Spoiler

To have a big snowy mountain to explore but instead had to go into the dark world and do way more linear progression. 


I’ll get it done, though.

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