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Metroid: Dread - October 8th


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Hard Mode 100% done & dusted.

Other than increased damage I’m not really sure what changed. No matter, ending still goes hard.

 

I might dedicate my next run to experimenting with sequence breaks. I reckon I’ll hit the 100 hour mark easily with this game, it has plenty for me to go back to.

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20 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

Good or not, they are the least interesting part of the game. 


Nope, I think they’re the freshest addition to the game and what gives this entry it’s identify. 
They’re also very likely influenced and built upon the chase sequences towards the end of Zero Mission. 

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1 minute ago, Kevvy Metal said:


Nope, I think they’re the freshest addition to the game and what gives this entry it’s identify. 
They’re also very likely influenced and built upon the chase sequences towards the end of Zero Mission. 

It's like a corridor stealth race. Totally pointless. 

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10 minutes ago, Lovelyman said:

It's like a corridor stealth race. Totally pointless. 


Literally the point is you loop round and evade them, the EMMI areas are most open for this very reason, so change your direction and lose them. 
 

Also, has everyone forgotten about the Space Pirate evasion in Zero Mission? Which is basically the same thing only less involved? 
 

Starting around 1:24:30

 

 

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6 hours ago, metallicfrodo said:

Still stuck on the final boss but there's a couple of things that I'm not liking about it

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Maybe I'm doing something wrong and there is a way to force certain attacks or if things are damaged based (which I don't think they are). Basically a couple of times I've got out of the first phase with all my health (799) and all my rockets (199) because he'll excessively use the ball attack, or the room wide blast that you avoid by going into the ball. The thing is if you avoid that attack you go straight to a parry section. I did one phase where he went, ball, generall attack, wide room, finger taunt, wide room, finger taunt and that was it. Super easy. Then other times where he never goes to the parry moves and once I ended up with 5 rockets left because he just wasn't doing anything to replenish them). The other things is because there is no health bar I really have no idea whether spamming rockets through the little animated sections is actually doing anything or if it's just wasting my rockets.

 

I've hit the final phase once, maybe I'm missing something but is there any way to gauge how much damage you've done to him in the air, it just seems to go on endlessly and then suddenly it's over. I'll be rocketing and superbombing and yet I don't have any idea how much damage I still have to deal, it makes all the attacks seem pretty weak and feeble.

 


 

Spoiler

I haven’t managed to completely finish off the final boss yet, but I’m managing to get to his last form. One thing that might help is that in the first phase, you can counter his Red charge attack just before he hits you, which goes into the sequence that lets you destroy his armour, and replenishes your ammo. It’s possible to get through the first bit much more quickly this way if you can time the counter. 

 

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I’m enjoying this much more now that I’m a little further. That beginning area was a bit shit, tbh. Too clinical.

 

I’m also playing on the TV now. The contrast is just too much on that little OLED, and everything feels too overdone. I can’t explain it, but even the low FPS particle effects are less noticeable when up on the big screen, as well as the noise filters that you notice mostly over the fog effects and natural beams of light - they’re far too sharp and contrasting, but in the TV they’re more subdued. It’s also very comforting to be playing a modern day 2D Metroid on the telly, considering the last time that happened was back in 1994.

 

No idea what I was on about with over-sexualised save pose. It’s perfectly normal. I blame the OLED for that as well.

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I like how threatening the EMMI are as it makes clear that this isn't something Samus can overcome with brute force.  You need a mix of patience, stealth & strategy & the final satisfaction of taking them down is all the sweeter for it.

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I do quite like the EMMI sections but I have to come back on what I said earlier and say that SA-X encounters in Fusion are a much better execution of the same idea. Mainly because of one little word: escalation.

 

Whilst the SA-X encounters are heavily scripted, each encounter is distinct and builds on the last encounter. The first two times you encounter her you have to hide and make sure you're not seen but by the second it goes "Oh no, a powerbomb!" just to scare the player into giving themselves away. The third time you get a chase sequence and finally the fight.

 

The EMMI never evolve beyond their first encounter save for some extra stuff put on top like the morph ball functionality or ice-beam shenanigans. It makes them obstacles rather then fearsome foes. A much better approach to the same concept would have been to introduce EMMI that didn't have a dedicated section of the map they patrolled but actually make them scower the area you're visiting. Also, making sure there were more ways then one to kill them would have been nice. The EMMI Chase/CU fight/EMMI fight structure made it too predictable. 

 

Which is a bit of a shame because Dread overall manages to surprise in ways I never expected it to. 

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5 hours ago, Fallows said:

I’m enjoying this much more now that I’m a little further. That beginning area was a bit shit, tbh. Too clinical.

 

I’m also playing on the TV now. The contrast is just too much on that little OLED, and everything feels too overdone. I can’t explain it, but even the low FPS particle effects are less noticeable when up on the big screen, as well as the noise filters that you notice mostly over the fog effects and natural beams of light - they’re far too sharp and contrasting, but in the TV they’re more subdued. It’s also very comforting to be playing a modern day 2D Metroid on the telly, considering the last time that happened was back in 1994.

 

No idea what I was on about with over-sexualised save pose. It’s perfectly normal. I blame the OLED for that as well.

I think it looks amazing, but have you tried changing the setting on your Switch from vivid (default) to standard and/or adjusting the brightness? 

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5 hours ago, Jarik said:

I like how threatening the EMMI are as it makes clear that this isn't something Samus can overcome with brute force.  You need a mix of patience, stealth & strategy & the final satisfaction of taking them down is all the sweeter for it.


They’re dull and repetitive instafail sections. They don’t move predictably, so you don’t know whether hiding in certain places will be safe or not - sometimes it will be, sometimes it won’t, so it ends up being trial and error and 9 times out of 10 you’re better off just running instead of trying to do it stealthily. 
 

All the sections end in the same tedious way, too. 

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8 hours ago, Kevvy Metal said:


Nope, I think they’re the freshest addition to the game and what gives this entry it’s identify. 
They’re also very likely influenced and built upon the chase sequences towards the end of Zero Mission. 


Both SA-X and ZM’s chases were more interesting because they had longer sequences, no checkpoints and it didn’t immediately spell game over if you made an error. They thrived in errors and gave you either your weaponry to try and hold it off or a small stun shot.

 

I find the EMMIs boring because there are no stakes. It’s win or lose and your survival is a bit RNG depending upon where they spawn. They are inflexible towards mistakes and direct encounters with them end pretty much all the same unless you want to play Extreme QTE. They also introduce an ability for it, which was innately built into the environment for both previous versions and felt more logical.
 

I really don’t get why the EMMIs have been made as they are. They’re strange interruptions and all play out the same.  On top that the concept is presented as a completely new feature while in truth it’s a decades old feature (poorly) repeated from both GBA games. 
 

Nah, I really don’t like ‘em. 

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Think I'm in the final third now, having just unlocked the 

Spoiler

Space Jump, I think it's called - the one that lets you keep on jumping endlessly.

 

I'm still enjoying it a lot and don't want to stop playing once I start, but there are some definite flaws, mostly due to the fiddly controls, especially when it comes to the platforming and grapple beam sections.

 

I'm also not that convinced by the EMMIs. What started out as tense cat and mouse chase sections have become tedious instakill bits which you're forced to solve in the way that the devs wanted you to, as opposed to coming to a solution organically. And I've killed all but one of the seven, but I still don't truly understand the mechanics around when they can and can't hear you. Most of the time I just sprint through and hope for the best until I happen to get lucky.

 

I've also encountered some slow-down here and there when it all starts kicking off, especially when you use the 

Spoiler

Radar thing,

which serves as a rude reminder that, even with dat screen, the OLED Switch is still just the same old Switch from before.

 

That said, this is still very compelling, Samus feels lovely to control (most of the time) and I'm looking forward to going back through once I've got all the main upgrades to pick up as many secrets as I can. It's definitely a game I'd recommend.

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

I think it looks amazing, but have you tried changing the setting on your Switch from vivid (default) to standard and/or adjusting the brightness? 


Yeah, it’s one of the first things I did. Sonic Mania was far too sickly on vivid.

 

To mirror the above comments I’m not a fan of E.M.M.I, either. It was scary the first time, but after you realise it’s a checkpointed rinse and repeat you can just mindlessly spam attempts while taking the piss. There’s zero threat or punishment. I’m not even using that cloaking device because it’s generally quicker to just brute-force the regular way. If I get caught it doesn’t really matter. Even though each one is a different colour they all seem to share the same behaviour and characteristics, at least the first few I’ve encountered.

 

A huge step down from the SA-X.

 

But hey, at least the rest of the game is picking up now. It’s still quite clear that it’s an outsourced jobby. I also noticed a couple more instances of grammatically poor dialogue that seemed very ‘rough draft’ that they’ve seemingly forgotten to return to.

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I enjoy avoiding the EMMI’s and I use the cloak quite often, but then I enjoy stealth games generally, and I like mapping them out. 
 

I think it’s pretty polished too, sure it’s not perfect but it’s definitely up to Nintendo production values IMO, certainly more than 99% of so called AAA software that hits the market. 

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7 hours ago, Jarik said:

I like how threatening the EMMI are as it makes clear that this isn't something Samus can overcome with brute force.  You need a mix of patience, stealth & strategy & the final satisfaction of taking them down is all the sweeter for it.


Yes completely agree, this is what I love about them, and getting from one end of the room to the other is the challenge itself, it’s far more involving and built upon the similar thing in Zero Mission, which is largely just a linear or single screen challenge. 
 

Think I’m going to bow out this thread too, as some of these bad takes are just annoying and I don’t want it to affect my enjoyment of the game. 

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I like the EMMIs mostly because they actually help to differentiate the various areas of the map. Knowing there's a big EMMI section you'll need to traverse multiple times actually helps you get the map straight in your head. Otherwise the environments are a bit too samey. Also it's very cathartic when you finally take one of the fuckers out.

 

I've been stuck on Kraid for two days now, this is getting embarrassing.

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

And I've killed all but one of the seven, but I still don't truly understand the mechanics around when they can and can't hear you.

 

I totally agree with this. I don't understand how it works at all, really. It seems that once the yellowish radar thing surrounds you, any movement causes them to come after you?

 

And I don't know whether you're meant to counter before they grab you, when they grab you but haven't stabbed you, or if they're about to stab you.

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13 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

 

I totally agree with this. I don't understand how it works at all, really. It seems that once the yellowish radar thing surrounds you, any movement causes them to come after you?

 

And I don't know whether you're meant to counter before they grab you, when they grab you but haven't stabbed you, or if they're about to stab you.

You have two chances to counter them, while it’s standing and then again when it grabs you. They sense a difference in air pressure so if you’re within their radar they’ll come after you. 

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Finally got to play this last night and initially it struggled to click with me a bit. Not entirely sure why, either - I wasn't keen on the Emmi thing and it felt a bit like information overload even though I've played Metroid games before.

 

After about an hour or so, though, something clicked and away I went. I am, I guess, probably somewhere between the first and second boss and have taken down three Emmis so far. Loving it - it definitely feels a little more challenging that Metroid games of old.

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It’d be a lot better if the EMMIs came out of their little play pens. It wouldn’t be as easy to run rings around them that way seeing as each of their zones is clearly designed to host a small game of cat and mouse. Once you have that little area in memory after a few attempts it’s party time.

 

For AIs they’re not particularly smart.


I’d have much prefered a single EMMI that can traverse the whole map, or one for each area. They could have designed traps and power ups to help ensnare it temporarily. I’m a huge fan of Resi2, Fusion, and Alien Isolation primarily because of the predatory nature of the antagonists - scripted or not. Like Resi3, however, this aspect of Dread is a bit predictable and overdone. ‘Less is more’ when it comes to being hunted.

 

I’m glad the rest of the game is picking up. The area I’m in now is great. I’m even beginning to like the soundtrack. I'm now beginning to appreciate the game for what it is instead of disliking it for what it isn't.

  

1 hour ago, Kevvy Metal said:

Think I’m going to bow out this thread too, as some of these bad takes are just annoying and I don’t want it to affect my enjoyment of the game. 

 

I hate to quote you and bring you back in pal, but if this game was so air-tight then these perfectly valid criticisms shouldn't really do anything to hamper your enjoyment in the slightest. It's exactly the same as when I hear people complain about the camera in SM64 or the framerates on Perfect Dark, games which I consider to be absolutely fucking perfect in every sense. It's entirely alright to criticise a particular segment of the game while also loving the rest of it.

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