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    Games, game development, 3d modelling and animation. Martial arts. Bit of reading - mainly educational, but the odd sci-fi/fantasy novel if its highly recommended. Play guitar in a couple of semi active bar bands.

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  1. MegaTrousers

    Tomb Raider (2013)

    Subnautica features some great honest-to-god tomb raiding (and is generally amazing), but the platforming sucks.
  2. MegaTrousers

    Tomb Raider (2013)

    Is climbing a dangerous structure the time to be chilled? Sure when you reach the top, but if the climb itself is presented as hazardous, shouldn't it be nail-biting? Climbing is a complex, intense activity people engage in in real life. It seems a waste to trivialise it. Balance is important, but there's a lot of wiggle room between modern tomb raider and QWOP. This example is absurd, but also fair I think: What if you were playing your preferred open world crime game and the driving controls consisted solely of issuing vague commands to go left, go right, speed up, slow down, stop - safe in the knowledge they would be interpreted in the optimal way for maximum cinematic impact. You'd feel disconnected, and it would feel inferior to when you used to have to drive the car yourself.
  3. MegaTrousers

    Tomb Raider (2013)

    Yeah, can't remember if the first had it but tr2 definitely does. I don't believe it was necessary to complete any levels, but made certain sections faster and might have been needed for a few secrets. Correction: its not a wall-kick in the Mario sense, but you can flip off slidey angled surfaces.
  4. MegaTrousers

    Tomb Raider (2013)

    Fair point on the video underselling the modern games mechanics, but the fact that the old game additionally had a standing jump with different properties (plus wall kicks and some other stuff) only strengthens the argument that those games required more attention. I think the general point stands that increased interaction is more engaging - were the ice-pick grabs not among the most exciting parts of rise or 2013? I don't agree that traversal wasn't a primary draw of the old games - at the time that kind of 3d movement was almost unheard of and there weren't may alternative examples showing up how clunky it was. More importantly, demanding traversal and exploration needn't be either-or. they can feed and fuel one-another. Given that tr2013 and rise have better shooting than many dedicated shooters, it doesn't seem unreasonable to want the series to to have better traversal, especially given the amount of other cruft they contain. The business numbers seem to suggest more folks prefer the new approach, and maybe what I consider better would make the game unplayable for the majority. I think why this particular one sticks in the craw is that while tr was always marketed at the mainstream, the old games were pretty hard-core.The reboot seems to put maximum breadth of appeal over all else and loses some of what made it special for the people who made it a valuable property in the first place (I AM OWED FRUSTRATING PLATFORM SECTIONS!!!!). Change and evolution was necessary, but uncharted already exists and I'd prefer an alternative to a re-skin. That was pretty old-man rambly, but there might be something of substance.
  5. MegaTrousers

    Tomb Raider (2013)

    I heard about these games with 3d jumping and climbing puzzles that are apparently quite good. Something to do with a plumber. Seriously though, much as I enjoyed rise, once I'd notice I was in a push up to view amazing action section, it pulled me out of the game and was in most cases genuinely more boring that standing looking at the nice scenery. There's always been a tension in games between the joy of movement and having your intentions translate to on-screen action in a very direct way, vs having 'you' do amazing, sophisticated things on-screen that no control scheme allows a direct mapping for. Again I really liked rise, and (although I didn't finish it) 2013 was pretty good, but tend to agree that the move toward more spectacle with less interaction since the reboot is a regression. Might've been already posted, but in the spirit of other people saying it better, Mark Brown went over this a while ago and as usual did a great job:
  6. MegaTrousers

    Worst game names ever

    Another one with an obvious superior alternative: Total War: Warhammer I dislike reading it and I dislike writing it. Just said it aloud, and its as clumsy and unpleasant as expected. Clearly it should have been Total Warhammmer.
  7. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    31/05/18 Kathy Rain: More point and click adventuring. This is a tough one to talk about without spoiling. Hopefully the nit-picking nature of the complaint help suggest how good it is overall because I really liked it. Lots of entertaining puzzles that are very well integrated with the plot. Out of all the puzzles there were only three I thought dropped the ball a bit: In a multi-part riddle, the solution to one part is less logical than several of the available interpretations. One near the end is pretty much copied entirely from fate of atlantis (but is a god puzzle if you haven't seen it). One requires you to mistreat someone in a way that leaves a bad taste - and doesn't quite fit with your character... Visually it goes for low-res old school pixel art, but aside from a few pretty backgrounds where you don't need detail, the style doesn't serve the gameplay or characterization well. The script and performances are excellent and the plot is really good too. There's little that's really unique, but the game's tone is finely balanced so you're never sure which way its going to go until the end. My only real complaint is the end leans heavily on personal revelations and psychological resolutions that aren't really earned. Its great that the exposition happens through and around the puzzles, but its a compact game, and there just isn't enough time to subtly develop the stuff that the ending relies on for drama. The big reveal about Kathy's past isn't so much foreshadowed, as signposted in neon, and her parental issues only appear to affect her when specifically mentioned. Previous:
  8. MegaTrousers

    OK, I need a chain of games.

    Killer instinct has a nice tutorial mode that explains the underlying systems. It has an optional easy execution control system, but even the default controls are easier than most fighters. There's a good free e-book online that describes street fighter's systems in a very digestible way, and would make a good companion to playing the games, but I forget what its called. Also, twitch skills aren't the only way to level-up. X-com or invisible inc are systemically sophisticated, but need little dexterity - similarly stuff like civilisation, total war, or a city builder. Those probably aren't for the first day. Card games are popular at the minute too.
  9. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    27/05/18 Subnautica: Astonishing game. Starts as a very beautiful first person survival game set on an ocean planet, but while a lapse in attention can always result in disaster, its more of an open world adventure and construction game, with a defined end goal and steps along the way. It even has a fascinating story that you can investigate or largely ignore as you please. What I enjoyed most was the ongoing sense of starting in a scary, unknown place, and gradually gaining mastery of it. What in the beginning was a terrifying cave soon became little more than the back garden. Beyond that is an empty abyss - except, its not, its a grassy plain full of life and useful resources. This loop from trepidation to comfort and back goes on for ages, with areas gated off by the equipment needed to explore them and the resources needed to build that equipment. Building is a big concern, you make tools, habitats, vehicles, gardens... The options for modular bass building go far beyond what's necessary, but its nice to feel like the planets greatest architect and builder. Also of note, is that its mostly non-violent, and where it does crop up, it feels disruptive and fraught rather than a power fantasy. On the downside - once you've had a look at the wildlife, the natural biomes don't have much to distinguish them, or to actually do, other than mine resources, but very few items are unique to one place. There's a performance issue where the longer a game goes on and the more you do, the worse performance gets, especially around bases. Toward the end, I spent as little time as possible at my main bass as it was near unplayable. I chose to take death seriously because I felt it made the game better, but really its a triviality with very little cost. I spent 99 hours reaching the end (way, way longer than average), of which about 97 were spent in VR. This is a serious killer app for vr - but only if you're already so into it that you can put up with a half-assed, totally unfinished implementation, and performance drops that demand industrial strength VR legs to avoid vomiting. If ever there was a game crying out for touch controls, its this. I'm not a fan of exclusives, but Oculus should have thrown money at this by the hat-full. Drowning in VR is suitably awful. Survival games don't appeal me in general, but anyone not terrified of the ocean should give this a try. Previous:
  10. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Fair enough. I possibly am being a bit generous with it. It mixes game-play styles in a way that I find especially interesting, but is rarely seen - probably because its so hard to do well.
  11. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    There are definitely deaths that come at you faster than I could ever react to without foreknowledge, but checkpoints are pretty frequent. I also had an instance of it saving while I was being damaged, so that can suck. Being knocked around by enemies feels harsh, but given how many are based on contact damage, it usually helps more than it hinders by giving you some space, There are a couple of parts where it makes things flat-out unfair though - the rising lava section, and the boss area with the grinder under the water and the lasers at the surface stand out. Agreed the humour doesn't really land, but I enjoyed the game references. Controls should always be remappable, but curious where you'd put jump? If the player can't jump, manoeuvre and aim at once the game loses its best feature.
  12. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    26/05/18 Rive: Platformer/twin stick/shmup hybrid. Very polished, everything looks and feels good, there's a fair amount of variety, and loads of great set pieces. Chatty protagonist would be OK - even occasionally funny, if he didn't talk quite so much - and if constant death didn't mean hearing the same lines over and over and over. The real problem is the difficulty. Given the extra modes and nods to speed-running, I assume that for more skilful gamers its very do-able, and I imagine very rewarding, but for my mediocre abilities the difficulty curve is more like a cliff face with overhangs. I was only able to get through thanks to infinite lives and plenty of checkpoints. My last completion before this was ruiner, which is also tough, but in it, I would often clear sections with high ranks, feeling like a gore crazed Neo and gaining the confidence to master the harder fights. In rive, I rarely managed more than scraping through. Also, too many enemy types just charge straight at you kamikaze style. Overall, I think enjoyment of rive is directly proportional to the player's skill level. It had its moments, but its just too tough for me to get much out of it. Previous:
  13. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    13/05/18 Rez Infinite: Got this back on the PS2. always loved it, but could never get through area 5. Had another go in VR, and between being able to look around freely, touch aiming, finally figuring out its better to one-shot big missiles instead of locking on, and a little perseverance... nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Anyway, I'm still counting it as done. Breezed through the lost area without taking a hit and it was OK. Trance mode's not what I expected at all. Gets closer to that idea of synesthesia they were always harping on about, but can't exactly say I enjoyed the experience. Area X is a thing of beauty and one of those showcase VR trips for sure, though its really more Child of Eden than Rez, and for me, the free movement worked against it. The traversable areas are so small, if you try and fly around it almost immediately starts to feel like your in a little black box rather than an infinite space. VR is transformative for the main game. As basically everyone has said, its like it was always meant to be this way. Overall a cast iron classic and now I really want Child of Eden Infinite. Which is never going to happen 20/05/18 Ruiner: Slick twin stick arena shooter with some cool extra abilities that you can switch in and out at your leisure. I thought this might be like a modern Crusader - No Remorse, but its not very similar. Extra grim with its grim-dark, it attempts to simultaneously paint your character as a callous, torturing, mega murderer and a good-guy saviour all at once. The aesthetic could be described as "I have a head-ache", but its on purpose, and apart from said having and eating of cake, everything works together to draw you into its thoroughly repugnant world. Add infinite points if you're an edgy teenager. There are annoying teleporting enemies toward the end, traversing the levels to get from each arena to the next is dull, and there's a totally pointless hub you visit a few times, but the combat has a solid rhythm - with a little tactical thinking going a long way, and a need to frequently switch between ranged and melee. Well placed checkpoints and instant restarts make the significant challenge compulsive rather than frustrating. Some cracking weapons too. Took a while to get into, but really strong by the end. Previous:
  14. MegaTrousers

    Oculus Rift (VR Headset)

    Subnautica is amazing, but the vr is totally unfinished and performance gets worse the longer you play it. I've got around 75 hours on it, most of which I loved, but the problems have taken the shine off and now I'm charging toward the finish before it becomes unplayable. Would suggest putting it on your to do list for if/when you have serious tolerance for vr jank. I'm on a 1070 with 8 core ryzen so its not really a matter of specs. In the meantime Battlezone and Rez Infinite are both excellent. Dirt Rally and Project CARS 2 are both great. I'm not normally into car games - especially sim stuff, but had so much fun in these I bough a cheap ffb wheel. Redout is pad only and good in VR. The implementation isn't 100% - I think its not actually properly stereoscopic, but its still a huge rush. Chronos is probably not the sort of experience you got a rift for, but if increased immersion in a decent enough dark souls lite sounds good, its worth a look. Lucky's Tale isn't great, but gets a similar boost from being in VR - and free. I know PCARS 2 and Redout have free demos, not sure about the others.
  15. MegaTrousers

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Not many completions lately since I relocated under the sea. 29/04/18 Thunder Wolves: Cheap and (sort-of) cheerful arcade helicopter combat game. A well executed example of an under-exploited genre. Fun power trip with no subtlety or nuance whatsoever, and much more forgiving difficulty than any real arcade game. Surprising amount of throwaway diversions such as flying guided missiles or aerial refuelling keeping things fresh. The presentation is a bit off-putting though. Its like someone really loves 80's action movies and didn't realise that Team America is a comedy. Sometimes I think it must be a piss-take - especially when the orchestra kicks in and the voice-overs start sounding like a distraught Ron Burgandy, but not sure. Still, if you can tune that out and fancy some airborne blasting with lots of cool explosions this hits the spot. 12/05/18 Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis: Old point and click adventure game. Some clever stuff with alternate paths and different solutions to the puzzles - which are often pleasingly logical. It occasionally hits an authentic Indy feel, but is too goofy, and the tech just can't sell any big moments. The interface is always in the way and all the mini-games are terrible. Doesn't stand the test of time. Previous:

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