NooBTooB Gaming 101 - Enslaved (July 2011)
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    Assignment: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
    Developer: Ninja Theory
    Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
    Release Date: October 5th, 2010

    Class is back in session.

    Welcome to the second episode of NooBTooB Gaming 101, a series dedicated on getting the community to talk about one game at a time. With focusing on only one game we should be able to stimulate an excellent discussion. Plus, it should help us clear out our backlogs. I will give one game out a month as an assignment. You should play it and write all your thoughts in this thread. Make sure to flesh out your ideas. If you do not like the game, explain why. If you love certain aspects of it, give us the dirt.

    This month's assignment is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. If you do not own this game, it should be relatively easy to pick up. It is on current generation consoles for fairly cheap:
    Amazon: $19.99 (New)
    Gamestop: $19.99 (New) $17.99 (Used)

    The extra credit assignment is to share with us the craziest thing that you did (or happened) in the game.

    I want a more back and forth this time, so talk with each other on what you like and do not like really explain yourselves. This is nothing like a good little debate over a game.

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  • Hoorah! Great choice! Looking forward to seeing how this month goes.
  • Yay, this I can play :D

    Gonna go through it soon and post my thoughts.
  • yaay, I have this one! :D I'm fairly far into it as well.
  • this is the problem with being slightly OCD about my gaming, is that im almost 100% sure any game you suggest ill have already played to death, gotten 1000 points in and will be unlikely to find it again.... having said that, i will keep my eyes open when i go to the store :)
  • Its been some time since i played this game but i do remember it quite well.

    WHAT I LIKED

    It looks amazing, the art style and actual use of color in a game was a very nice change from the "next-gen" standards of grey and brown. And considering that this is a game set in a post-apocalyptic future, it's a welcome change from the fallout and gears of war stylings.

    The game plays very smoothy for the most part, with the platforming being intuitive and easy to pull off. the combat is also fluid with the attacks had some weight to them and while it was nothing mind blowing, it didnt do anything to detract from the experience.

    Pigsy was a great character, he does a great job playing the third wheel and is far more interesting than either of the main characters, even if he was mainly there for comic relief.


    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE (so much)

    While the combat works well enough, there is a real lack of interesting enemies. In fact the final boss was the only one that was ever slightly interesting.

    The combat and the stealth systems work against each other. There are a few stealth sections where you have the oppertuinty to sneak past "sleeping" robots, but the combat is so easy that taking the time to sneak is pointless, even on the harder difficulties.

    The story dosn't really go anywhere, Im not askign to have every little thing explained but the ending is a bit of a let down and the "realtionship" between Monkey and Trip is very old hat and comes off as highly two dimensional

    The platforming was too easy, which isn't a huge issue and not to say that it wasnt enjoyable to watch and do, but it might as well have just been a series of quick time events in some areas.

    COOLEST THING

    Well the problem with this is that with the games platforming being very scripted, the only unique, cool things that you can do will come from the the combat which as i mentioned was rather plain. However it was always satisfiying to knock an enemy into a minefield or when i used my ranged attacks to fry half of group of robots before they had even managed to lay a finger on me.

    CONCLUSION

    Enslaved is a rather typical story, in a unique enviroment with enjoyable gameplay and a passable story. A very solid rental. Im certainly gald i played it but i get the feeling I would have been a little more dissapointed if i had payed full price for it.

    NOTE: These are my impressions from when i first played the game months ago, if i can find another copy of the game i will post some updates on if my opinions have changed :)
  • Neomaster said:
    this is the problem with being slightly OCD about my gaming, is that im almost 100% sure any game you suggest ill have already played to death, gotten 1000 points in and will be unlikely to find it again.... having said that, i will keep my eyes open when i go to the store :)


    heh, I'm sure the game store you go to would be happy to find it for you... you must be their best customer!
  • hahaha well almost got 240,000 gamerscore, so i have played quite a few games :P ill ask when i head in this evening
  • Good choice Doc, perhaps i'll finally check out the DLC.
  • Alright Enslaved - I'm already way ahead of the curve on this one as I beat the game earlier this year.

    So I picked up Enslaved a week after it was released. Amazon had discounted 10 bucks so I picked it up for $49.99. It sat on my shelf from October 12th,2010 until January 10th of this year when I first started playing it. I had first played Enslaved before it was released when there was a demo for it available on XBL. I really enjoyed the demo, the story seemed like something I would really be interested in seeing develop, and the characters were both interesting to me so I knew I would enjoy the game just based on the demo(though I have been fooled before).

    After my very initial play of the game I put the game down for a couple of weeks because I was in the middle of playing WoW. I finally beat the game a few weeks later on January 30th, I enjoyed the game and look forward to participating in the discussion here!
  • Awesome, I have this one. And I did miss that hint in the last vid. I got Enslaved a while ago (haven't gotten to it yet) for like $13 on sale at GameStop.
  • Sweet! I'll probably pick this up later this week once i get paid and finish Infamous
  • Seeing as this game is relatively cheap I'm in. Will buy sometime this week or next.
  • I...I guess I will try to participate. I lost steam about halfway through the game because I felt it was crap, but I'm all for a show of unity. Even if the game is trash, it's ok.
  • I played Enslaved on Xbox in April and jotted down some notes for Raptr-site posting.

    Enslaved: It's a cool movie, but a mediocre game. Finished it on normal in 4 sessions.
    Pros:
    + shiny graphics
    + shiny animations
    + good story and dialogue
    + there's upgrades

    Cons:
    - much framerate slowdowns
    - no freedom of movement (no choices, no exploring, can only jump in designated spots)
    - restless camera. "in this room, you can look around freely."
    - playability isn't top-notch
    - simplistic combat
    - clichéd "please wait while I hack the door"

    Overall... about 7.9/10.
    twitter.com/Tomi_Tapio
  • Sunflower said:
    I...I guess I will try to participate. I lost steam about halfway through the game because I felt it was crap, but I'm all for a show of unity. Even if the game is trash, it's ok.


    That's how I felt about Darksiders. But, as the teacher, I felt like I needed to finish the game. Some form of moral obligation I guess.
  • Unfortunately, my copy of this is sitting at a friend's house, and has been for a while now. Even more unfortunately, he leaves for a nice long vacation on Friday, and I would feel like a real dick if I invited myself over for a few hours just to get my game back. However, I remember the game pretty well, so I'll still be able to participate. By the way, I played Demon's Souls just before playing this, and decided to play Enslaved the first time through on hard, since I was feeling all tough. Anyway, here goes:

    Pros:
    -The FACES! Oh god, the faces were amazing. Not quite LA Noire level of realism, but they also never fell into the uncanny valley, so props to them for that. Plus, having all the voice actors also do mocap was a great idea. The animation of the characters, as well as their acting, were both really great.
    -The environments were also really stunning. Seeing a natural apocalypse as opposed to a post-nuclear apocalypse or a biblical apocalypse was a great change of pace for me. Most of the game looked like a level from Flower. Even the parts that were indoors were nice and bright, which is something lots of games could learn from, I think.
    -The setpieces rival Uncharted at times (there is a con to this as well which I'll get to). The first level sets the stage appropriately by having you climb on the outside of some air carrier as it explodes and plummets to the Earth. And while the game can fall into a few combat-heavy lulls, there are still a lot of very memorable setpiece moments.
    -Getting good enough at platforming to be able to swing from a set of bars without pausing. It's just satisfying, and not that hard.
    -Trip isn't useless. She might not be great at combat, but she can still be a great help in many situations with her hologram device.
    -Monkey's nimbus cloud thing, whatever it's called. Playing around on his hover disk, especially over the water, is really fun.
    -The last level. I know people might not have finished the game yet, but when you get to that last level, you're going to see some serious shit.

    Cons:
    -Weapon leveling system is kinda F'ed. Some of the things on the upgrade list should not be upgradeable but just given to you. Also, it really sucks when you decide to level up a skill that you realize you didn't really need until later in the game, especially when that means that you don't have a vital upgrade when you do need it.
    -The lack of freedom. I guess it makes sense with all of the cliff faces that you could potentially fall from, but I don't like being restricted by what the game thinks I should do. I like to explore a bit more. This also detracts from some of the bigger setpiece moments (which is the thing I was mentioning earlier). To keep the comparison with Uncharted going, the best moments of Enslaved don't feel as great as the best moments in Uncharted because you know that you're doing what the game wants you to. As long as you jump from the right ledge, you'll grab the next platform. Uncharted's action-platforming bits just feel better because you know that you're in control the entire time. You're more likely to mess up and die in Uncharted, so the sense of accomplishment is greater when you manage to hop between two moving cars just as the one you were on takes an RPG to the hood and explodes in a fiery wreck.
    -The enemies are all kinda samey. They're mostly just variations on the same robot frame. One shoots guns, one uses melee. Occasionally there's a miniboss robot with the ball-and-chain hands, that's about it as far as cannon fodder goes.
    -Combat isn't great. It's not bad, but on hard you really have to lay into those robots before you start doing any damage. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that when you play through it a second time, you keep all your upgrades. Playing through without any combat upgrades at the beginning on hard really does deserve the name, mostly because the enemies are real damage sponges.
    -I'll avoid spoilers here until people have finished the game, but the story ends very strangely. One of the most WTF endings in gaming, I think. It's just bizarre.

    Overall, I liked it and was happy to pay $40 for it. I also can't think much right now. I'll do it later.
  • For me this is just like the last assignment. I rented this game earlier for the PS3 when my xbox was broken but it was long enough ago that I can't say I remember much about it. I don't know if I will be able to get it right away, but I will try to get it later in the month.
  • I'm slowly making my way through the book (enjoyable read, just reading too many things at once to focus on it), and I've been meaning to grab this for awhile. I'm broke as hell right now, but I'll see if I can't scrounge some money together. I want to try this. :)
  • Gamestop is selling the game for $15
  • Awesome! I already beat Enslaved, playing it straight through over a period of two nights (I also beat the Pigsy's Perfect 10 DLC). I meant to replay it, but never got the chance to do so. Now, with this incentive, i'll replay it and review my pros and cons of the experience.
  • I luckily already own this game so I won't be breaking Kaidfather's challenge for this. I also already bought the Pigsy's Perfect 10 DLC awhile ago even though I haven't played the game. My parents own a 3D TV and I know the DLC adds the ability to play it in 3D so I might try that if I have time.
  • Alright class, time for a progress report. I hit chapter 5 this evening and I am digging the game so far. I really enjoy these bite size chapters. Where is everyone else?
  • ; said:

    I'm up to chapter 3 and I'm playing on hard, and its pretty fun so far. Though I do find the lack of a lock on frustrating at times, when I'm surrounded.
  • powerpc already brought up many good points, and I pretty much agree with all of them. I kinda weakly disagree with the exploration or lack thereof point, as finding those orbs was a giant pain in the arse. Some of them were really well hidden and you had to keep a careful eye out and do some searching to find them. But I guess he probably meant exploring in a more broader sense of exploring the world and finding new things, which admittedly there wasn't. It's a very linear experience.

    The one thing I will add is that while I enjoyed the 3 main characters (and loved the Pigsy DLC. I don't know if that's going to be part of this assignment so I won't go into it) what I will say about the story is that it's poorly structured. The whole game we are seeking revenge and cursing death to our enemy....but until the last 5 minutes of the game we have absolutely no idea who in blazes our enemy even is, not even a hint or whisper anywhere! We know robots are "abducting" folk, but they might be escorting them to Disneyland for all we know. We spend the whole game plowing through these robo-minions and then when we finally get to the end it's like "oh, is that what this is all about???". It's hard to feel anything for an enemy or any kind of urgency when we don't get even the slightest inkling of a hint at who our enemy is, and nor does he ever actively seek us out or otherwise try to impede our progress until the final stages of the game either.

    [SPOILER]It also doesn't help that ultimately our arch-enemy is a pathetic husk that ends up casually swatted like an elderly overweight blowfly that's been dipped in honey. [/SPOILER]

    That said I really enjoyed this game and I can see what they were trying to do with it, and I can appreciate it; but the payoff fell rather flat for me.
  • The Witcher 2 has a monopoly on the few gaming hours I can spare at the mo, but Enslaved was such an enjoyable experience I wanted to offer my thoughts as I remember them. So, I agree with Flibble with regards the games inability to deliver a satisfactory ending to an otherwise excellent experience, though the journey was fun enough that I can just about forgive Enslaved its dreadful punch line. In the gameplay stakes, Enslaved was nothing special (like Darksiders platforming was awkward and combat erred towards the monotonous as the game ambled towards its climax) but pleasing enough all things considered.

    Presentation on the other hand was first rate: Enslaved has a vibrant palate, pretty strong level design, great voice acting and exceptional motion\facial capture work. Story and characterisation was also handled well, leaving me totally invested in the struggles of Trip, Monkey and their hygienically challenged (but amusing) companion Pigsy. Err, what else? Set pieces were pretty good, I loved the design of some of the larger enemies and the game was genuinely moving in places.

    Hope you enjoy the game as much as I did – already looking forward to reading your thoughts (if you played the DLC, give us the low down).

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