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Alan Stock

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    Games, Photography, Travelling, Films, Clubbing, Dog's bottoms.

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  1. I had another big session last night and definitely near the end now, I've fully upgraded some of the slabs and have the means to deal with most of the Visionaries in one loop, not quite there yet though. I've spent more time focusing on trying to get some of the optional/secret stuff lately, which has been a mixed bag. In some cases it has been fun and others exposing the problem with timeloop games where you either fail or didn't get the right solution and so have to restart a day to try things in another order. I definitely agree with the criticisms above about the game shoving information in your face before you have had time to process or figure it out yourself. Stuff like conversations you didn't hear, killing Visionaries accidentally (or not even realising they are Visionaries until you killed them). Sometimes the game straight out tells you where or when Visionaries are supposed to be and you have no idea whether that's from info you learned recently or its Colts memories coming into play. The whole memories/alt-Colt thing gets confusing right from the get-go, where menus or Colts voice lines talk about Visionaries, their habits and personalities and you feel like 'was I supposed to have known this?'. Likewise the handholding of the mission list and trackers really spoils any sense of discovery, even with the trackers turned off you don't get time to digest information and figure out consequences. You get lots of moments like Colt saying 'oh, I bet 2-Bit can help me with that' when you have no idea what 2-Bit even is. Yet suddenly all the relevant info is stuffed into your trackers and you are left feeling spoonfed and a bit confused. Having said that the discoveries list and mission trackers are really nice in terms of keeping track of what info you have learned for places and times of day. I just wish they had kept the info in those as clues or suggestions rather than giving you solutions straight away. I think Treble above is probably right that they probably started dev with much less player direction but people probably got overwhelmed or annoyed with having to go through loops trying different things with no results. Its a common issue with timeloop games but as Outer Wilds showed it is possible to give out clues and information without simply railroading the player and spelling it out for them. As for the combat difficulty, I've been sticking with non-combat focussed powers/trinkets and so in the later levels it can be hard if help is summoned. The enemies tactics are overwhelming with numbers which of course is deliberate to tie into the group-focussed powers that you have, and to let the player go wild with the arsenal. I don't necessarily agree the AI has been toned down because of Invasions, its just gutter tier AI anyway. I guess that makes repeated loops easier and the focus becomes more on environmental traversal than worrying too much about enemies but it is pretty sad to see. In some cases its just broken - enemies ignoring you right next to them, ignoring guys dying in front of them, running into walls, etc. Bottle throwing is awful and I never used it beyond the tutorial (they need to add an aim line and increase the range). Like Moz I got the silenced SMG early on and it renders the nail-gun completely pointless, its able to headshot at very long range as well. Its really OP albeit satisfying. But like I keep saying, it does have issues, but for me the world, the story and the way the missions expand over the loops is what makes it a good game. There's some great imagination in the scenarios and I love digging deeper into the background of the lore.
  2. Well I don't know about that spear but I have been rocking the Winged Spear for the whole game and its ended up being the best weapon for me despite upgrading a load of other ones. I got it very early on in world 1 I think, I can't recall whether it was a drop or just found it lying around.
  3. Congrats, just a normal random Apex pack or one that you bought? I haven't got one yet but my main problem is I don't really main a character so will be racked with indecision on who to get the heirloom for! How about you, who you gonna go for?
  4. The graph is really interesting, as a FF14 player some of the side content in that game makes a lot more sense now. What it doesn't show is where staff are coming from for FF16, FF14 has always needed a bunch of staff so I'd be surprised if a ton have moved over to FF16, especially given the pandemic and a new expansion coming soon. They must have a bunch of new hires or taking a mishmash from across the company. Or maybe they just take core members for a small team and towards the end they will bring in loads of people from across Square like they did for FF14 2.0 to finish production. Talking of new hires, that's one thing the graph doesn't show. A load of staff on FF7 Remake were new hires including lead positions. Anyway in terms of hype, lets face it, the trailer hasn't been that amazing or show anything new to get worked up about, and Yoshi P decided not to show anything else until the game is nearly done to get the hype train rolling properly. What I'm hoping for is a more mature story with politics, war and all that, along the lines of FF12 and 14. They are holding back on hyping the game until its ready so I'm holding judgment until we see a lot more.
  5. I've been having a lot of fun unravelling the mysteries in this, but it's been plagued with technical issues. I've had a ton of crashes and fail states as people have mentioned above and lost quite a bit of progress as a result. I've fallen through the world a number of times near cliff edges which has led to my death and more wasted time. There are annoying things which seem like bugs, like your reload animations on rifles getting reset when you look down sights which is incredibly frustrating. The voice mix is really poor where its very hard to make out voice lines except from Colt and Julianna which has forced me to turn all subtitles on. The multiplayer invasions is a good concept, and when you are faced with a Julianna it usually works ok as you can approach it how you want and you get nice rewards if you down the other player. Playing as Julianna though is a complete clusterfuck half the time, with horrible lag - which is not only annoying but has got me literally killed by water a few times. The game design can break down too, where if the enemy Colt wants to be sneaky or just ignore you or wait you out, its boring as fuck and basically forces you to camp antennae or tunnels. One guy I spent 20 minutes hunting down, he wasn't even killing enemies and I figured he was hiding waiting for me to quit out of boredom. I finally found his hideyhole and he just disconnected. What a joke. Some Juliannas just charge you with the machete for a one shot kill, which is stupidly OP. When it does work and you have a player with no lag where you can duke it out/stalk it out, it can be very fun - unfortunately for me thats been about 20% of the time. I've started turning it off a lot as it gets tiresome, and won't be playing as Julianna until they sort out the lag problems. Thankfully despite these setbacks the game has been pretty compelling and I love the imagination in some of the scenarios, and the depth in the world building. It also gets a lot more enjoyable as you unlock more powers, weapons and perks. Its the unravelling of the environments and detective work that I like the most and I have been playing it pretty solidly, getting nearish the end I think and I will have more thoughts then. For me its not a 10/10 but I would definitely give it an 8 or 9 so far.
  6. Alan Stock


    I've been playing through Chapter 1 again tonight, because I didn't have a save backup from the last time I played (doh!). Going to try and get all the secrets this time though! Its good to catch up with the story again because I'd forgotten a lot of it, hopefully get to Chapter 2 tomorrow. Why is Chapter 2 free as well? Basically because Tony Fox is a great chap: https://kotaku.com/toby-fox-deltarune-chapter-2-is-free-because-the-world-1847702225
  7. Alan Stock


    Great news and quite a surprise. I thought they were going to release the whole thing at once, so carrying on with the release every chapter approach is quite interesting. What I'm really curious about is whether this chapter will be paid or not. I hope it is, we were completely spoiled with Chapter 1 being free. Toby has staff now as well so you'd imagine he will need some money to actually pay them (although he must still be loaded from Undertale's sales).
  8. I should have mentioned, I've also been getting the gameplay freezes on pS5. I found that going to the ps5 home menu and going back ingame might help unstuck it.
  9. Played the first few hours last night on PS5 and enjoying it so far. I really like the premise and the environments are awesome and the style is cool. The story is intriguing as well. Sadly as mentioned above the combat so far is simplistic, stealth not that engaging so far either. But I am early in and already got a glimpse of the blink-like ability and looking forward to seeing how it progresses. The structure of the game is really interesting, I am just into where it takes off the training wheels and you have multiple threads to follow. I agree the game is terrible for overloading you with info when its not needed, thankfully its all pretty straight forward and you can bring up help in the menus. Less useful are the pop up text tips which vanish far too quickly for you to read them. As I've found in other games of this type, I had to turn subtitles back on because its too hard to hear enemy conversations in the mix and when the main characters are chatting there's so much going on it can be hard to focus on what they are saying. I would recommend turning on all subtitles but turning the background opacity to zero so they dont stand out so much. First few hours are positive, hopefully the combat and stealth picks up a bit. The island is awesome, especially the big machine thing, its so cool! Looking forward to seeing how things progress.
  10. I checked a few months ago and it still hadn't been patched! I even played a bit and once again it ended up crashing after a while on about the second save. If I ever end up finishing it I will have to save regularly but the whole thought of never knowing when you might be losing progress really puts me off going back. Really bad form from the devs, presumably not enough players get that far and also spend ages like me finding out how to actually complain to the right people to make them bother with it. Tempted to get in touch with Nintendo and pointing it out to them, it surely breaks their internal QA policy.
  11. Insane reviews. I don't really like Dishonoured but I can't really ignore those scores. Come on tomorrow!
  12. Thanks, I haven't got that far yet, I did a bit of 1-4 but left as all clues were pointing it to be the endgame based on what characters were saying etc. Just cleared valley of defilement area 2 and I think the valley and the end of bolateria is the last stuff I need to do aside from soul tendancies etc. Are there any hints in the game as to what turns a world tendancy white/black? I've come very close to full white on some places but not quite all the way. Do I need to become a helping phantom or something, or is it explained somewhere? Cheers
  13. I'm getting near the end of this and I wanted to know, is there a point of no return? I want to explore the soul tendency stuff, but can I finish the game and then return to a save before the last boss? Or does it autosave and make you go into new game + when you finish it? Cheers
  14. Also out of curiosity I was wondering why most speedruns are 99.8%, then I discovered why. In the process I also found a link about this - mind completely blown - I'd always suspected something about this area but couldn't figure it out. How cool! Spoilers again! https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/253933/how-do-i-know-when-ive-100d-the-game
  15. I've been watching the Sudoku playthrough as well and Simon is a genius, cracking puzzles in seconds that took me hours to twig. Its great to watch and remember how amazing the puzzle design and progression is in this game, without having to go and re-do the whole thing (and of course you can just fast forward the vod to skip solving time). Anyway because I'd been watching that, this popped up in my Youtube recommended. Aside from the insane memory required there are some incredible long-range solves as well. Absolute insanity! Mega Spoilers!
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