Noobtoob's Week in Gaming: 12/02/18
  • This is getting silly - I completed a game about three weeks ago and still haven't written a thing about it yet, and we missed last week's WiG altogether.  Must do better.

    (PS3) The Last of Us Can't remember where I was up to at the last point I wrote some thoughts on this (pretty near the end, I'm sure) but I've now seen this all the way through to the end and have also played through the Left Behind DLC which I'd picked up for cheapsies ages ago.

    I think I'd previously made comparisons to Red Dead Redemption when talking about TLOU and, in my head, the games continue to hold a similar position in how I feel about them.  With both I felt like I was walking into something that had a very unique style to how the game was meant to feel or control and, initially at least, I couldn't get on with either of them.  John Marston had too much momentum and Joel just felt swimmy, plus aiming and shooting with L1/R1 just felt weird.

    That said, everything that I've been told over the last ten years that Naughty Dog are good at was present and correct - amazing graphics, impressive tech with strong stories and characters. From the gut-punch opening, through the tangible, evolving and believable relationship between Joel and Ellie to the ...huh ending there was always something that was pushing me forwards.  

    And that really helped as I have to admit that at times I really felt like I was banging my head against the game rather than enjoying it.  I obviously didn't help myself by playing on Hard, but I distinctly recalled hearing at the time that Hard was the way to go to get the full post-apocalypse wasteland feel to things.  I managed to get through obviously, and generally the trick was just to keep trying until you puzzled your way to the best route, but some sections (infected in the sewers, Joel trying to find Ellie in the snow) were incredibly frustrating with extremely finnicky fail states.

    ...And that ending.  Again, much like Red Dead the game gives you plenty of opportunity to ask whether you're actually playing as the Good Guy, but whereas RDR does give you that redemptive arc, TLOU ending on an unresolved conversation is at once incredibly frustrating and completely perfect.  I'd intended to leave the DLC for another time, but I couldn't not go back.

    So onto Left Behind and, to be honest, I'd have been happy if the game had been almost entirely the flashbacks.  Whilst that wouldn't have allowed for any combat/stealth sections; by playing the two back-to-back I'd had my fill of the gameplay and just wanted more story. And by focusing on Ellie, the character I was left caring about the most by the end of the game, the emotional impact of everything that happened (given you already know where it was going) was actually a little surprising to me. The delivery on the "Don't go" line was heart breaking.  Having the extra context to the stuff she says in the final conversation of the game makes the implications of it that bit more complicated.

    All done on that, I of course lapsed back to a few comfort games - (PS3) FIFA16, (360) Forza 4 and...(PS1) Front Mission 3.

    That last one probably needs some explaining - I've been watching the Giant Bomb East guys playing XCOM and that has given me a hankering for a tactics game but XCOM is almost certainly not that game.  I'd played through a little of FM3 soon after buying my PS3 but had only got far enough into the game to get the taste of the experience that I wanted and then I was done.  I've done a handful of missions lately and I'm fairly certain that the next game I'm going to play through will be Valkyria Chronicles...

    OK, that's enough text from me, what have your last few weeks looked like?
  • What makes you not want to play XCOM @Littleg?

    (PS4) Persona 5 - Getting further into Persona 5 and I've reached about halfway through the 2nd dungeon/palace. The complexity of the game is just about manageable at the moment and I hope they don't add even more mechanics in, although I think I might be in for a lot more stuff.
  • Not XCOM specifically, @amardilo just a turn-based tactical thing.  I'd always been keen to give Valkyria a go, so this is my chance.  I gave XCOM a decent run a couple of years back, but made some bad choices (apparently, I couldn't tell where I'd gone wrong) so was totally unprepared for the first Alien Base raid and even when I could get a good run at it the game kept crashing on me...
  • Dragonball FigtherZ - I'm currently ranked 'saiyan' in ranked matchmaking.  I'm learning that there's a large kind or rock, paper, scissors thing around dragon rushes, pursuits, and down-heavies.  But it still feels really good when you finally land a long-ass string that you've been working on in practice.  Arcade mode is fun but isn't really good for training for online, considering the computer reads inputs to an unreal degree and also gets damage scaling pretty bad in the harder modes.

    Bastion - I played this back when it released on xbox live arcade back 7 years ago on the 360.  It was on sale in steam for like 3 bucks.  I remember having really liked the game, so I thought I'd give it a shot (specially considering I'm very unlikely to hook up my 360 to play it again).  And the game hasn't aged a day.  The story telling aspect is still amazing and I'm surprised another game hasn't done something similar since.  The game still looks great, and the OST is still top notch.  Really glad I went through it again.

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