TOS: Alan Wake

Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
 

...aaaand were back.

"We're" back? That implies that this blog is done by more than one person.
Perhaps, I am suggesting that we as a community are finally "back"? As in there was a moment of instability, and now we are have collectively have returned to the fold, as if though everything can resume to a sense of normality. 

You might have noticed that this suggests, that it is only when I proclaim that such a sense of normalcy has returned, that such stability has the right to manifest itself.
"It's been back up for a week now! Vidiot, does that mean that the Giantbomb community only returns to itself unless you say so?"
"That's absolutely right."

"But what about..."
"Shutup."

"..."

My first blog about S-Ranks was about Beyond Good And Evil, the second concerned Final Fantasy XIII. Today, I though I would change it up a bit, and go back to the 360 (at least for me) to discuss a third person shooter that involves a lot of coffee...No, literally.

I enjoyed the hell out of Alan Wake, even with it's minor rough edges. It's such a bizarre game, and it's get's even stranger the more you read about the game's development. It was originally conceived as an open-world game, and while the final product is a strict linear-shooter, it's original design is still visible. There's driving sections, buildings and environments that look as if they were designed for something that played radically different. The actual by-the-numbers game is a strict linear affair, and in turn, gives the game environment a sense of depth and complexity that wouldn't normally be there. Everything about the idyllic vacation town of Bright Falls seems realized and fleshed out.

 Do they translate the word "flashlight" into "torch", in those other countries that speak English all weird?
This plays a bit against the experience a little later on, where certain environments seem to stretch indefinitely. Pacing is not exactly Alan Wake's strongest suit. It doesn't detract that much, but it is a bit noticeable.
Although when everything works in Alan Wake, it's defiantly a worth-while experience. It's atmosphere is thick, and it's depiction of the Pacific Northwest especially, is incredibly solid.

Remedy also worked on Max Payne, and when it comes to the enemy-to-enemy shooting mechanics, it really shows. Everything is tight and incredibly precise in it's execution, which is impressive given the lack of any real visual feedback on where you're aiming. No cross-hairs? No problem. The aim-assist overcompensates, but it doesn't detract. Toss in the combat design focused on constantly finding light-sources...Yeah, I enjoyed it.

The story? Yeah, it works. The execution might be a little spotty, and certain main characters like Barry fall flat, but it works well for a vast majority of the experience. There are some pretty neat twists, I just wished that the dialog didn't feel so stale most of the time.
...

...But what about the achievements?! Enough talking about the actual game, let's talk about what were here for.

S-Rank Synopsis

Problem: Your game is a strictly six-to-eight-hour linear action adventure game. For some reason, you thought that adding a multiplayer mode might have been, "inappropriate". This immediately limits your achievements.
Solution: Your achievements are not limited at all. The entire experience benefits from your game's precise focus, and so do your achievements.

Sadly, Alan Wake seems to overcompensate a bit from the first mentality. That being said, outside a few blemishes, Alan Wake does a valiant effort trying to think of "challenges" to do out-side of simply playing through it a bunch of times.

Collectibles: "Dude...Enough...Stop it. Holy crap, what were you thinking?!"

Paging Mr. Wake // Damn Good Cup of Coffee // Finders Keepers // Boob Tube // FBF-FM // Canary // Couch Potato // Bright Fall Aficionado // Picking Up After Yourself // Hypercaffinated // Every Nook And Cranny // Collectors Edition // Cardboard Companions // Tick Tock // Licensed Properties //

Please make sure you are siting down in a secure location, before you scroll down. 



Seriously...



Alan Wake on it's own, has 284 collectibles. Look at all those icons up there. Those are all for different achievements, dedicated to finding and picking up stuff. It's that ludicrous.
Let's break it all down shall we?

  • Coffee Thermoses= 100
  • Manuscript Pages= 91
  • Nightmare Mode Manuscripts= 15
  • TV Shows= 14
  • Signs= 11
  • Can Pyramids= 12
  • Radio Shows= 11
  • Supply Chests= 30

Then there are the multiple combat specific achievements, but were getting ahead of ourselves. Were just talking about items that sole purpose is just to pick-up and collect.
Not enough? Don't worry. There's also the two DLC episodes:
  • Alarm Clocks= 10
  • Cardboard Signs= 25
  • Video-games= 10

 The most important thing to do? Getting attacked by baddies? Psht, how about finding cardboard cut-outs.
What in gods name Remedy?!
Did you get bored? Did you think we might be so ADD, that we wouldn't find being chased down by a flood of ghostly creatures boring?
What the hell happened?
Were not talking about easy to get collectibles here. Some of the collectibles are stretched all over-the-place. Run up a mountain for three minutes?
Get comfortable, and hit the play button on your podcast buddy!

Even though the collectibles are daunting, I actually had a very difficult time wondering how hard I would complain about Alan Wake's laughable reliance on them. To it's credit, Alan Wake is incredibly forward thinking. There's an in-game menu you can access at anytime that shows stats of every action, from how many enemies you've killed with what weapon, to how many of these annoyances you have picked up so far. It's really well-done, and Remedy should be applauded for at least giving it's players, the tools they require to accomplish such an asinine task.

So while it's quite clear that the collectibles are defiantly a detriment, and a poor conception over what qualifies as "challenge", it needs to be stated here that it's only the sheer amount that will give you the most grief. It should also be noted that not all the collectibles are "pointless". Manuscript pages are actual pages of a story you can read, and anyone who remembers Max Payne is going to get a kick out of the fake TV-Shows.

That being said, enough is enough. There are collectibles, and then there is this. For every neatly written page, there is another coffee thermos that is vapid in it's contextual value. You will not be running around and hunting these yourself, you will be going back and forth with a guide. It's too bad, that too many of these achievements had to be focused on picking up junk.

Grinding: Tacked on.
Weapon specific combat kills, and an unrelenting thirst for collectibles will take a substantial amount of your play-time. While certain weapon achievements may unlock naturally, it's quite normal to complete this game a few times and still not have them all. This becomes more of an annoyance, as the later achievements force you to play through the game on higher difficulties. We will talk about how playing the game on higher difficulties will affect your experience in just a second, but one thing is for certain: You're not going to be looking for upping the amount of kills you've had on some score-counter.

I have to bring this up again, but even though this is another negative, Alan Wake's in-game menu makes this far less painful than it would have been.

Originality: Not Bad.
There are some genuinely interesting achievements on display here. Challenges involving completing a level without dieing, another involving a speed-run. Most of these can be obtained on lower difficulty levels and are easy to get while you're mopping up during another play-through. While there are a ton of uninspired kill-counter-with-said-weapon achievements, there are a few neat little ones that are hard to spot and are quite satisfying to accomplish.

Point Value: Those damn collectibles...
A normal play-through will net you roughly half of the achievements in the game. With so many point dedicated to finding collectibles, it's difficult to really take a single 50 point achievement for beating the game on Nightmare difficulty seriously.

DLC: Fun.
 The DLC is almost required regardless of achievements, but the achievements themselves are pretty interesting too.
You will have to buy the DLC if you get this game on Xbox. Platinum trophies can be obtained without DLC, because that is one achievement concept that Sony does better than Microsoft.          
See what I did there? Did I invoke a bit of personal bias? You should get upset about that. I look forward to not listening to you.

Purchasing DLC in order to get more achievements that break an S-Rank, are not usually things to applaud. The interesting about Alan Wake's case is though, that even without the achievements, the DLC is almost mandatory to the experience. Alan Wake suffers from "Ending is in the DLC" syndrome, and while you might walk away from Alan Wake's bizarre final climax that decides not to explain much of what happens, the DLC on the other hand pushes the plot in a far more satisfiable conclusion.
Not only that, but the final moments of the last DLC chapter virtually set-up the sequel: That has a premise that from a simple conceptual standpoint, you have to stand-up and applaud in terms of it's sheer creativity.

The achievements are also perhaps some of the most creative. Play-through a level without dying in one sitting? Bring it on! Each comes with it's own set of collectibles, but because of their bite-size nature, it will not be the general focus. The challenges here get a bit more creative and will genuinely put you through your paces. 

Difficulty: Satisfying.
Alan, Wake Up 
After completing the game on Normal, Nightmare difficulty unlocks. I would probably recommend playing the game the first time around on Hard. Playing Alan Wake on a
 Oh gawd, oh gawd, oh gawd, get to the light, get to the light, GET TO THE LIGHT! RUN YOU BASTARD!
higher difficulty is one of those rare instances where a higher difficulty "works" for the experience. Nightmare makes taking on multiple enemies at once, not practical, with even the most weakest of baddies becoming into semi-glorified bullet sponges.
To counter this, you really need to be constantly looking for light sources. I've never seen a game's design and mechanics force you to become this paranoid, but Alan Wake succeeds. Turning on a generator, just in time before being over-run by an army of shadowy figures is defiantly a ton of fun.

Like all higher difficulty modes, there will be moments of reloading certain saves a few times to barrel through certain choke-points. I never got the impression from other action games though, that my progress was being halted because of lazy design.
Black Ops, I'm looking at you and your ridiculous enemy re-spawn count.

Did I mention that there are certain collectibles you can only get on Nightmare difficulty?
Yeah, that never seems to end.

New Game+: Meh.
There's a well put together menu, that allows you to keep track of all the collectibles. It should also be noted that collectibles carry over in multiple play-throughs, although that has more to do with the Stacking category of this blog.
There's nothing much to it. It would have been interesting if anything else happened outside of replaying certain levels over-and-over again. When your main tasks are just finding junk, you would kinda wish something new would pop-out. If you're down with that, and have a good podcast or movie to watch, then you will enjoy yourself.

Other Positive Categories:
  • Glitches: None!
  • Stacking: Yes.
  • One Stupid Achievement: None! 

Final Grade:

Estimated Time: 25 Hours / Multiple Play-throughs.


It's a bit frustrating to see how Alan Wake flirts with having something that's "just a bit more", than your standard fare of achievements. It's commendable what Alan Wake does correctly though: Playing the game on a higher difficulty actual benefits the actual game, and doesn't punish you cheaply most of time. It's in-game menu allows you to track just about every action that works toward unlocking something. Some of the mission specific achievements are neat little challenges, that in some cases will dramatically shake-up the manner of which you play.

With a great foundation, Alan Wake then seems to attempt and overcompensate for...well...something. I'm not exactly sure what, but I've seen such shenanigans before in other games that are strict linear shooters. Alan Wake's bizarre huge lean on collectibles and weapon kill counters, give the impression of a struggle concerning trying to figure out what exactly should be emphasized as a "challenge".

The problem is that having over 200 misc things to pick up, does not equate to something challenging, it equates to tedium. In fact, I'm sure "picking up things over and over again", qualifies as a definition somewhere for tedium.
The great news is though, that Alan Wake strives to bring some stability to it's own madness. As if someone who was testing this had to pull the lead designer aside and state something to the effect of: "Hey, we need something to tell the players how close they are to killing 50 enemies with a flare-gun." Alan Wake provides this where other developers don't even bother with. Certain collectibles such as manuscript pages have a flair of quality, but you're going to tire out fast hunting every nook-and-cranny for some of the more obscure items.

Overall though: It's a good S-Rank to go after. It could have been better, but for the most part is appropriate to the context of the game.

Use guides. For collectibles RoosterTeeth's Achievement Hunter site has a great series of videos complete with commentary.
You might need a laptop+TV combo for this one.

#1 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
 

...aaaand were back.

"We're" back? That implies that this blog is done by more than one person.
Perhaps, I am suggesting that we as a community are finally "back"? As in there was a moment of instability, and now we are have collectively have returned to the fold, as if though everything can resume to a sense of normality. 

You might have noticed that this suggests, that it is only when I proclaim that such a sense of normalcy has returned, that such stability has the right to manifest itself.
"It's been back up for a week now! Vidiot, does that mean that the Giantbomb community only returns to itself unless you say so?"
"That's absolutely right."

"But what about..."
"Shutup."

"..."

My first blog about S-Ranks was about Beyond Good And Evil, the second concerned Final Fantasy XIII. Today, I though I would change it up a bit, and go back to the 360 (at least for me) to discuss a third person shooter that involves a lot of coffee...No, literally.

I enjoyed the hell out of Alan Wake, even with it's minor rough edges. It's such a bizarre game, and it's get's even stranger the more you read about the game's development. It was originally conceived as an open-world game, and while the final product is a strict linear-shooter, it's original design is still visible. There's driving sections, buildings and environments that look as if they were designed for something that played radically different. The actual by-the-numbers game is a strict linear affair, and in turn, gives the game environment a sense of depth and complexity that wouldn't normally be there. Everything about the idyllic vacation town of Bright Falls seems realized and fleshed out.

 Do they translate the word "flashlight" into "torch", in those other countries that speak English all weird?
This plays a bit against the experience a little later on, where certain environments seem to stretch indefinitely. Pacing is not exactly Alan Wake's strongest suit. It doesn't detract that much, but it is a bit noticeable.
Although when everything works in Alan Wake, it's defiantly a worth-while experience. It's atmosphere is thick, and it's depiction of the Pacific Northwest especially, is incredibly solid.

Remedy also worked on Max Payne, and when it comes to the enemy-to-enemy shooting mechanics, it really shows. Everything is tight and incredibly precise in it's execution, which is impressive given the lack of any real visual feedback on where you're aiming. No cross-hairs? No problem. The aim-assist overcompensates, but it doesn't detract. Toss in the combat design focused on constantly finding light-sources...Yeah, I enjoyed it.

The story? Yeah, it works. The execution might be a little spotty, and certain main characters like Barry fall flat, but it works well for a vast majority of the experience. There are some pretty neat twists, I just wished that the dialog didn't feel so stale most of the time.
...

...But what about the achievements?! Enough talking about the actual game, let's talk about what were here for.

S-Rank Synopsis

Problem: Your game is a strictly six-to-eight-hour linear action adventure game. For some reason, you thought that adding a multiplayer mode might have been, "inappropriate". This immediately limits your achievements.
Solution: Your achievements are not limited at all. The entire experience benefits from your game's precise focus, and so do your achievements.

Sadly, Alan Wake seems to overcompensate a bit from the first mentality. That being said, outside a few blemishes, Alan Wake does a valiant effort trying to think of "challenges" to do out-side of simply playing through it a bunch of times.

Collectibles: "Dude...Enough...Stop it. Holy crap, what were you thinking?!"

Paging Mr. Wake // Damn Good Cup of Coffee // Finders Keepers // Boob Tube // FBF-FM // Canary // Couch Potato // Bright Fall Aficionado // Picking Up After Yourself // Hypercaffinated // Every Nook And Cranny // Collectors Edition // Cardboard Companions // Tick Tock // Licensed Properties //

Please make sure you are siting down in a secure location, before you scroll down. 



Seriously...



Alan Wake on it's own, has 284 collectibles. Look at all those icons up there. Those are all for different achievements, dedicated to finding and picking up stuff. It's that ludicrous.
Let's break it all down shall we?

  • Coffee Thermoses= 100
  • Manuscript Pages= 91
  • Nightmare Mode Manuscripts= 15
  • TV Shows= 14
  • Signs= 11
  • Can Pyramids= 12
  • Radio Shows= 11
  • Supply Chests= 30

Then there are the multiple combat specific achievements, but were getting ahead of ourselves. Were just talking about items that sole purpose is just to pick-up and collect.
Not enough? Don't worry. There's also the two DLC episodes:
  • Alarm Clocks= 10
  • Cardboard Signs= 25
  • Video-games= 10

 The most important thing to do? Getting attacked by baddies? Psht, how about finding cardboard cut-outs.
What in gods name Remedy?!
Did you get bored? Did you think we might be so ADD, that we wouldn't find being chased down by a flood of ghostly creatures boring?
What the hell happened?
Were not talking about easy to get collectibles here. Some of the collectibles are stretched all over-the-place. Run up a mountain for three minutes?
Get comfortable, and hit the play button on your podcast buddy!

Even though the collectibles are daunting, I actually had a very difficult time wondering how hard I would complain about Alan Wake's laughable reliance on them. To it's credit, Alan Wake is incredibly forward thinking. There's an in-game menu you can access at anytime that shows stats of every action, from how many enemies you've killed with what weapon, to how many of these annoyances you have picked up so far. It's really well-done, and Remedy should be applauded for at least giving it's players, the tools they require to accomplish such an asinine task.

So while it's quite clear that the collectibles are defiantly a detriment, and a poor conception over what qualifies as "challenge", it needs to be stated here that it's only the sheer amount that will give you the most grief. It should also be noted that not all the collectibles are "pointless". Manuscript pages are actual pages of a story you can read, and anyone who remembers Max Payne is going to get a kick out of the fake TV-Shows.

That being said, enough is enough. There are collectibles, and then there is this. For every neatly written page, there is another coffee thermos that is vapid in it's contextual value. You will not be running around and hunting these yourself, you will be going back and forth with a guide. It's too bad, that too many of these achievements had to be focused on picking up junk.

Grinding: Tacked on.
Weapon specific combat kills, and an unrelenting thirst for collectibles will take a substantial amount of your play-time. While certain weapon achievements may unlock naturally, it's quite normal to complete this game a few times and still not have them all. This becomes more of an annoyance, as the later achievements force you to play through the game on higher difficulties. We will talk about how playing the game on higher difficulties will affect your experience in just a second, but one thing is for certain: You're not going to be looking for upping the amount of kills you've had on some score-counter.

I have to bring this up again, but even though this is another negative, Alan Wake's in-game menu makes this far less painful than it would have been.

Originality: Not Bad.
There are some genuinely interesting achievements on display here. Challenges involving completing a level without dieing, another involving a speed-run. Most of these can be obtained on lower difficulty levels and are easy to get while you're mopping up during another play-through. While there are a ton of uninspired kill-counter-with-said-weapon achievements, there are a few neat little ones that are hard to spot and are quite satisfying to accomplish.

Point Value: Those damn collectibles...
A normal play-through will net you roughly half of the achievements in the game. With so many point dedicated to finding collectibles, it's difficult to really take a single 50 point achievement for beating the game on Nightmare difficulty seriously.

DLC: Fun.
 The DLC is almost required regardless of achievements, but the achievements themselves are pretty interesting too.
You will have to buy the DLC if you get this game on Xbox. Platinum trophies can be obtained without DLC, because that is one achievement concept that Sony does better than Microsoft.          
See what I did there? Did I invoke a bit of personal bias? You should get upset about that. I look forward to not listening to you.

Purchasing DLC in order to get more achievements that break an S-Rank, are not usually things to applaud. The interesting about Alan Wake's case is though, that even without the achievements, the DLC is almost mandatory to the experience. Alan Wake suffers from "Ending is in the DLC" syndrome, and while you might walk away from Alan Wake's bizarre final climax that decides not to explain much of what happens, the DLC on the other hand pushes the plot in a far more satisfiable conclusion.
Not only that, but the final moments of the last DLC chapter virtually set-up the sequel: That has a premise that from a simple conceptual standpoint, you have to stand-up and applaud in terms of it's sheer creativity.

The achievements are also perhaps some of the most creative. Play-through a level without dying in one sitting? Bring it on! Each comes with it's own set of collectibles, but because of their bite-size nature, it will not be the general focus. The challenges here get a bit more creative and will genuinely put you through your paces. 

Difficulty: Satisfying.
Alan, Wake Up 
After completing the game on Normal, Nightmare difficulty unlocks. I would probably recommend playing the game the first time around on Hard. Playing Alan Wake on a
 Oh gawd, oh gawd, oh gawd, get to the light, get to the light, GET TO THE LIGHT! RUN YOU BASTARD!
higher difficulty is one of those rare instances where a higher difficulty "works" for the experience. Nightmare makes taking on multiple enemies at once, not practical, with even the most weakest of baddies becoming into semi-glorified bullet sponges.
To counter this, you really need to be constantly looking for light sources. I've never seen a game's design and mechanics force you to become this paranoid, but Alan Wake succeeds. Turning on a generator, just in time before being over-run by an army of shadowy figures is defiantly a ton of fun.

Like all higher difficulty modes, there will be moments of reloading certain saves a few times to barrel through certain choke-points. I never got the impression from other action games though, that my progress was being halted because of lazy design.
Black Ops, I'm looking at you and your ridiculous enemy re-spawn count.

Did I mention that there are certain collectibles you can only get on Nightmare difficulty?
Yeah, that never seems to end.

New Game+: Meh.
There's a well put together menu, that allows you to keep track of all the collectibles. It should also be noted that collectibles carry over in multiple play-throughs, although that has more to do with the Stacking category of this blog.
There's nothing much to it. It would have been interesting if anything else happened outside of replaying certain levels over-and-over again. When your main tasks are just finding junk, you would kinda wish something new would pop-out. If you're down with that, and have a good podcast or movie to watch, then you will enjoy yourself.

Other Positive Categories:
  • Glitches: None!
  • Stacking: Yes.
  • One Stupid Achievement: None! 

Final Grade:

Estimated Time: 25 Hours / Multiple Play-throughs.


It's a bit frustrating to see how Alan Wake flirts with having something that's "just a bit more", than your standard fare of achievements. It's commendable what Alan Wake does correctly though: Playing the game on a higher difficulty actual benefits the actual game, and doesn't punish you cheaply most of time. It's in-game menu allows you to track just about every action that works toward unlocking something. Some of the mission specific achievements are neat little challenges, that in some cases will dramatically shake-up the manner of which you play.

With a great foundation, Alan Wake then seems to attempt and overcompensate for...well...something. I'm not exactly sure what, but I've seen such shenanigans before in other games that are strict linear shooters. Alan Wake's bizarre huge lean on collectibles and weapon kill counters, give the impression of a struggle concerning trying to figure out what exactly should be emphasized as a "challenge".

The problem is that having over 200 misc things to pick up, does not equate to something challenging, it equates to tedium. In fact, I'm sure "picking up things over and over again", qualifies as a definition somewhere for tedium.
The great news is though, that Alan Wake strives to bring some stability to it's own madness. As if someone who was testing this had to pull the lead designer aside and state something to the effect of: "Hey, we need something to tell the players how close they are to killing 50 enemies with a flare-gun." Alan Wake provides this where other developers don't even bother with. Certain collectibles such as manuscript pages have a flair of quality, but you're going to tire out fast hunting every nook-and-cranny for some of the more obscure items.

Overall though: It's a good S-Rank to go after. It could have been better, but for the most part is appropriate to the context of the game.

Use guides. For collectibles RoosterTeeth's Achievement Hunter site has a great series of videos complete with commentary.
You might need a laptop+TV combo for this one.

#2 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

This game is almost in my cheap ass price range, a few more months and it could be mine. I will never S rank a game, pretty sure. Never say never though.

#3 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -

XD I own alan wake I'm in chapter three and it scares the piss out of me in the day time.. +_+

#4 Posted by rargy (437 posts) -

I wouldn't have a problem with collectibles if you actually got something in-game for finding them.  I remember in GTA3 you got a new weapon at your hideout for every 10 hidden packages you found.  That made it fun to hunt down every last one of them.

Also, fuck the thermoses.  Kept missing one on the top floor of the lodge because it was on a railing and i never went all the way around the corner to see it.

#5 Posted by ShaggE (6554 posts) -

This makes me want to finish my Nightmare run, but MAN, the part I'm stuck at is a bitch, and it's only going to get worse from there. ... Still, I want the rest of the manuscript... and the game is so damn fun...

Online
#6 Posted by Emperor_Jimmu (249 posts) -

I love this game more than most. It evoked in me memories of my time spent camping in Mid Wales as a kid. The childish fear of the dark that most people experience from time to time is tied so perfectly to the gameplay. Sprinting for a checkpoint often felt exactly like stretching for a light-switch in a dark room. 


I thought it was a brave decision to references some cultural touchstones the core audience were not guarantied to be familiar with. I'm a big Hitchcock and Kubrick fan and the nods to them really complemented the atmosphere and did a good job of making me feel smart for recognising them. 

I feel Alan Wake is a game that will be remembered more fondly in hindsight than is was on release. Out of the context of what it promised to be it stands alone as an experience; a beautiful chimera, both anachronistic and progressive.
#7 Posted by Ghostiet (5289 posts) -

At least they are different things to collect there. GTA4 and Far Cry 2 had the problem of having 200+ collectibles that were of one type and blended in easily. I'd take take 300 collectibles spread over 6 categories every day. I've aced San Andreas, in GTA4 I was never close with those 200 pigeones.

#8 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

I think the whole collecting idea made my gaming ineffective 'cause I spent A LOT of time trying to find every damn thing there was to find. Now I just need to finish the Nightmare run(which I've barely started on).

#9 Posted by WalkerTR77 (1380 posts) -

God I love this game, but I lost my S rank when the second DLC came out and I couldn't bring myself to reclaim it. As soon as I saw all of the nutty platforming sequences I just felt dejected and was too frustrated to try and get any of the achievements in the writer. I'm almost at the point where I'm prepared to give it a shot though.

#10 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -

I was delayed on Saturday to responding to all of you yesterday due to personal reasons, then yesterday I got sidetracked immensely.

@Claude:
I recommend it picking it up, but it bears repeating to have some money on the side for the DLC. It's a more coherent experience when you have the the ending.
How are you with shooters in general? I know it's a very strange question, but seeing how you're just finally jumping to HD gaming. At it's heart, Alan Wake is a 3rd person shooter masquerading as a survival horror game. 

@Catolf:
I would love to watch you play Fatal Frame.

@rargy:
I was really torn when reviewing the collectibles in the game. They serve no function within the game, but in some cases they do contribute to the game's presentation. In the end it all boiled down to the fact that this game has way too many collectibles, and when it comes to achievements uses them as a crutch. I applaud the game's ability to keep track of them, and the fact that there seemed to be quite a bit of thought regarding some, but then there are the thermoses... 

Really?

@ShaggE:
There are a few sticking points, but I found Nightmare difficulty more fair than a vast majority of games that incorporate a very high difficulty option. For every hurdle you can get through, there are far more any instances that death happens not by something cheap, but from legitimate challenge.

@Emperor_Jimmu:
I agree immensely.
I'm not sure how different the geography is from Wales to my home state of Washington, but they really nailed the look and feel of the northern part and forest areas of this state so well it's scary. The only thing missing is the rain. It's quite noticeable, but I think the experience would be complete with less fog and more pouring rain.
There are truly some beautiful vista's in the game, and they accurately reflect the state's geography. They really did a great job. 

As for the references, this game seems all over the place. At one point certain parts are quite subtle in their homages, and at other times I felt they were almost shouting the comparisons out-loud for you. I really would like to see this series continue as a franchise, the way it's final chapters leave off give so much room for creativity it's scary.

@Ghostiet:
I already talked about the collectibles, but again it needs to be noted that it's still too much. I too would take multiple types over a singular collectible, but when most of your achievements are focused toward this mentality the whole experience suffers. The game is accessible for multiple play-throughs, and it's achievement list would have benefited greatly with less of a drive for collectibles.  

@Vegsen:
Go for it!  

@WalkerTR77:
Load up a youtube video, and take those sequences slow. Alan Wake might be less maneuverable than Lara back in her PSX days, while in a tank, but those achievements are doable. I too had a few moments of frustration while fighting Alan's jumping controls, but those challenges can be easily accomplished if you put your mind to it. 

#11 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I'm okay with them. I've played a lot of third person shooters and never really had a problem. I guess the hardest one for me was Resident Evil 4 on the Gamecube. I actually couldn't finish that game. I found RE4 much easier on the Wii. I've grown as a gamer since then though, so I shouldn't have a problem. I loved Dead Space and it was a pretty tough third person shooter or at least I thought it was.

#12 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@vidiot:  Oh gawd... i saw some bits of that and I don't think I could play that.. alan wake and deadspace are enough to give me nightmares.
#13 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

This has made me want to play Alan Wake again and possibly get it to 100%. =] Actually, Christ, it reminds me I haven't even completed the second DLC!
#14 Posted by bybeach (4898 posts) -
@Emperor_Jimmu said:

I feel Alan Wake is a game that will be remembered more fondly in hindsight than is was on release. Out of the context of what it promised to be it stands alone as an experience; a beautiful chimera, both anachronistic and progressive.

"

 

All this poster said was good, but I particularily agree with this sentiment. Alan Wake will improve with time so to speak. Gamers will speak of odd and old games worth getting, and this will come up, much as some old games do now. I would not be suprised over the years the dev sees a cash flow fom it suprisingly better in relative terms than how it did.

#15 Posted by WatanabeKazuma (989 posts) -

Along with mutliplayer achievements, collectables are the worst kind in my opinion. Anything that creates a situation where you need to be looking at a walkthrough for the entirety of a playthrough just smacks of lazy design. The amount in that breakdown is like giving me Vietnam flashbacks to the platformers of old, so much stuff!

#16 Posted by ShaggE (6554 posts) -
@vidiot said: 
@ShaggE:
There are a few sticking points, but I found Nightmare difficulty more fair than a vast majority of games that incorporate a very high difficulty option. For every hurdle you can get through, there are far more any instances that death happens not by something cheap, but from legitimate challenge.
Yeah, I went back to it last night and fairly easily tore through that part that had me stuck... there's something to be said for stepping away from a frustrating game. I'm still not looking forward to a certain concert scene coming up, though. 
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