BigSocrates's forum posts

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#1 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

Chalk me up as another person who isn't great at this type of games but made it through the Last of Us without too much trouble. I can think of a couple spots where there was forced combat, and one particular that I had to retry a bunch, but the game just isn't that hard.

One thing that comes to mind is, if you want to go the combat rather than stealth route (because you're having trouble with the stealth) are you using explosives and molotovs to their maximum potential? Using a bottle or brick to make a noise and then following it up with an explosive or molotov is one way to clear out a bunch of enemies at once and give yourself room to operate. Also, don't be afraid to engage combat, kill a few guys, and then disengage and heal up. The game is designed in such a way that you can often run into another room and hide and while the enemies will be on full alert they won't be able to track you perfectly. Then you can set up an ambush or at least pull a couple away from the pack so you're not fighting everyone at once.

The Last of Us combat is often about managing encounters and setting them up to your advantage. If you go in guns blazing and try to just shoot everyone like it's Gears of War or Uncharted then yes, it is an extremely hard game, but if you use stealth and strategic explosives to reduce enemy numbers, and hit and run in combat, it becomes manageable, and, in my opinion, even fun.

Nothing quite like getting four guys to clump up investigating a thrown bottle only to set them on fire with a molotov and only have to mop up a few of their buddies to turn a very tough encounter into a very manageable one.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#2 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

Anyway, how's the remaster? Is it just a remaster?

From the demo it seems great. I think it might be a full remake but it's a little hard to tell. At the very least they seem to have cleaned up the textures considerably and put it into high res. I also think they did something to account for modern input lag so I imagine they dove into the code there. I got through the Chop Chop Master Onion demo part with a U Rappin' Good on my first try, and I haven't played Parappa in at least 15 years.

It seemed like everything I was hoping for.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#3 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

I think this is an interesting post, but I think it ignores something important, which is that The Last of Us was, to some degree, a reaction to the "grinning murderer" problem of Nathan Drake, the guy who quips while he slaughters hundreds. Joel was supposed to be someone who also kills a lot, but in a more brutal less action heroey way. It affects him. Same with Ellie. They kill to survive (rather than in pursuit of treasure) but they have to live with the consequences.

That's why what Joel does to the Fireflies and the lie he tells Ellie ARE essential to the narrative. And why you can't just look at their relationship outside the context of the costs. Joel knows that Ellie won't accept what he did, either saying he should have done something different or feeling guilt for the dozens of killings in her name, so he lies to her. Maybe she knows its a lie, maybe she suspects, maybe she just trusts him, it isn't entirely clear, but I think the fact that in some ways he WAS the bad guy is crucial to the message of the game, and to the reason we are controlling Ellie at that point.

I've written why I don't really like the end sequence (from the Firefly base on) of the Last of Us and how it shows the limitations of narrative in video games (since the only way we really have to interact as Joel is through killing, rather than reasoning, bargaining, even really threatening) and I think it is something of a false note in a pretty spectacular game.

I am looking forward to the Last of Us 2 and to playing more as Ellie (the long Ellie in winter sequence is arguably the best part of the first game) but I won't forget the choices Joel made or that, in a real way, he was a bad guy in the end. Maybe he's understandable, maybe he felt he didn't have a choice, but he did what he did and I hope part 2 forces him to live with the consequences in some way.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#4 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

Parappa is one of those games that represents the best aspects of the Playstation 1 era, when lots of games with moderate budgets were being made that had the professional polish of studio games but the experimental heart of modern indie. It is one of the earlier rhythm games, but also a game that really leaned into the graphical limitations of the Playstation 1 to create an art style and world that legitimately looked great, along with an unforgettable soundtrack that made full use of the space CDs provided for audio.

It is also a game that's hard to play on modern systems because of increased input lag.

I'm excited that they're making a new version that will presumably be a bit more forgiving on timing (I had no trouble clearing the demo, which definitely brought me back) and will allow a new generation to enjoy the music and fun of the game. Parappa 2 is already on PS4, and if they add Umjammer Lammy to the mix I'll be happy. I don't necessarily want a new Parappa game (not unless the music was perfect, which it probably wouldn't be) but I'm glad the old one is getting a refresh and I will happily buy a copy if it's $20 or less.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#5 Edited by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

My son, when he was 4, loved Knack and played it to completion.

Knack at least gives the older children something to play.

Not sure this lines up...

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with games for 'older children' (which I will interpret as 8-12) but as I said up-thread Sony has a lot of dormant franchises perfect for that age. They're doing a remaster of the Crash trilogy, they could do a new Crash game. They could hook up with NAMCO and put out a new Klonoa, people would be psyched about that. It's cool that your son is like the one person Knack 2 is for, and I don't begrudge him that at all (I wasn't exactly discerning as a 4-year-old either) but this decision combines low risk taking (sequel) with relatively low up-side (bland character, bland setting.)

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#6 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

@humanity said:

Why not?

Presumably this is going to cost at least $10 million. That money could be spent developing something people want to play. Or hell, they could spend it bringing a bunch more PS2 classics to PS4.

I guess they think Knack has enough name recognition that this is worth it (or maybe they're doing it to keep Cerney happy, since he built the machine that turned their company around) but this is sequelitis writ incredibly large.

Not every game needs a sequel and some ideas just don't pan out. Knack's only value was as a tech demo, and this far into the PS4's life it doesn't need another tech demo (it would have made MORE sense to launch Knack 2 alongside the PS4 Pro.) Given that we are seeing fewer and fewer "full-size" games these days it's just kind of a shame that Knack 2 is going to be one of them, over something someone could actually get excited over.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#7 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

Sony announced Knack 2 at the Playstation Experience!

I don't know why they're making this game; I actually bought Knack at launch but it is still in shrinkwrap because all I have heard about it has been negativity and sarcasm.

For people who actually played Knack...what do you want to see them do to make a game that you would actually be interested in? Is there anything they could do specifically other than "just make it better" that would make you interested in Knack 2?

This seems like a weird move. If they want a mascot platformer type game for PS4 why not just announce Ratchet & Clank 2? The first game was extremely well received. Sony has plenty of properties in this vein that they could revive (Sly Cooper 5 anyone? New Jak & Daxter in the style of the first game?) Why Knack?

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#8 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

A lot of games from gens 2 & 3 are just plain bad. Even as a kid I struggled to understand how someone could enjoy some of those games. Like the original Ghostbusters for the NES. Or the X-Men game that LJN made. Heck, even if they are classics, I also found Paperboy, Skate or Die, and Marble Madness to be frustrating as hell. Part of the reason the classics were so revered at the time is that they stood out from the waves of mediocrity.

I had better luck with the SNES, but I still ran into games like Bart's Nightmare or Animaniacs.

Paperboy, Skate or Die, and Marble Madness were all mediocre ports of arcade games (or computer games for Skate or Die.) I played the heck out of NES Paperboy as a kid, and liked Marble Madness too, but these were not great home versions and were not designed for the NES controller. They ARE hard to go back to at this point, but at the time they were cool because they brought great arcade games home (or let console players enjoy a cool PC game.)

As for the other games, well licensed trash is bad is not a huge headline.

Years from now people will be bashing Starfox Zero and Paper Mario Color Splash on the Wii U, but that won't mean the best games on the system like Mario Maker and Bayonetta 2 won't still be fun to play.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#9 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

I like old games, but one thing you need to remember is that 99% of everything is crap all the time.

Altered Beast? It looked great at the time but it was always shallow and stiff. Now it doesn't look great...

Most 2600 stuff was dire because people were just figuring out game design. The 2600 was a novelty and there are relatively few really good games for it (though some do exist. River Raid is still cool, as is Frostbite.)

Most media in general doesn't hold up, but there is a reason so many indie games copy classic design. Some old games are amazing, and a lot of the pixel art games from the 16-bit generation on still look beautiful, to say nothing of the soundtracks.

If you turn on any random TV show from the 80s or 90s, or listen to radio filler music or read a novel from that time it is likely to strike you as crap. Games are the same. You either enjoy them for nostalgia or academic purposes or you should stick to the classics and the pinnacles of their genres.

Mario 3 is still amazing and fun. R-Type and Gradius remain very playable. Day of the Tentacle is still funny and enjoyable.

I could have told you that Altered Beast sucked and Tecmo Bowl felt archaic. If you aren't interested in them intellectually you should drop the controller and move on. Nobody would suggest you watch the 24th best movie of 1989 either!

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#10 Posted by BigSocrates (1231 posts) -

I really didn't like this beta. I was very much looking forward to the game but the controls felt sluggish and unresponsive, the graphics were technically proficient but just super boring, and the challenges were lame.

The Wingsuit and parachute stuff is LITERALLY Superman 64. Fly through these rings.

I really wanted to like the game because I love snowboarding games but unless it gets rave reviews it is a hard pass for me until it is really cheap.