Sweetz's forum posts

#1 Posted by Sweetz (634 posts) -

But you'd have to re-buy the games you do still want to replay if you get a 360, yes? Wouldn't that ultimately make it the more expensive proposition?

If you have a half-decent PC, you'll probably find the best version of multi-platform games there - where it will also be cheapest to re-buy them via Steam sales and such.

I'd get the 360 only if there are 360 exclusives you feel you missed out on and want to play (which can really only be Gears of War and Halo).

#2 Edited by Sweetz (634 posts) -

So Jak 3 is a way better game. Much more reasonable level of challenge, most of the annoying padding removed or significantly streamlined.

I'm far enough along in it now that I feel confident saying that the original Jak and Daxter is still what I'd consider the best in the series, and none of them come close to beating any of the 3 main Ratchet and Clank games on PS2.

#3 Posted by Sweetz (634 posts) -

Finally beat Jak II tonight.

Most of the missions in the latter third of the game weren't so bad. I mean they were still very annoying due to a lack of reasonable check-pointing, but I never got too frustrated or stuck on something...until the last boss. I'm sure it took me over 20 tries to beat that boss and when I did, I didn't get any feeling of accomplishment, I was just glad I was done playing the game. I later found out there's an exploit that can make it really easy - wish I had known, I would have no guilt about using it.

I'm still perplexed by the direction they took the game in. Other than Ninja Gaiden, it's the hardest thing I've played from that generation and even back then it's not a game I would come to looking for that sort of challenge.

Well on to Jak 3 I guess.

#4 Posted by Sweetz (634 posts) -
@milkman said:

That's kind of my point. I like video too but the way that more and more sites seem to want to completely phase out written content is a bummer. Reading a well-written article about a game can tell me a lot more about it on a much deeper level than just a video of someone playing it for a bit.

I think seeing a game being played is waaaaay more informative than reading about - at least, if your primary concern about the game is how much it will entertain you.

If you want to talk about some BS like the philosophical implications of a game, then maybe the written word is better for that - but I don't think there are many people that care about video games on that level.

Sociopolitical/philosophical critical analysis has never been a major part of the gaming press. You look at old print magazines and they are 95% nuts-and-bolts reviews about how entertaining a game is to play, previews, and interviews - all of which work better as video content.

It's not like there was some huge, viable audience for video game think pieces that is suddenly disappearing. Only in the last few years has that sort of critical writing been viable at all, and was always destined to be a niche because most people simply don't care about an entertainment medium on that level - and I don't really blame them for it.

The people in games press that are still employed in writing only positions and write think pieces also do their fair share of top 10 lists, meme reposting, "look at this thing on YouTube" posts, and other intellectually devoid click generators to pay the bills.

#5 Edited by Sweetz (634 posts) -

I also meant how standards have changed in terms of game design, not just difficulty. The city traversal and world design, while heavily influenced by GTA3, was still pretty fresh at the time. Lack of checkpoints was always a pain, but it was pretty commonplace back then, and a lot of games got a pass with that.

Ah, ok I misunderstood; yeah to that point, I agree that some of the more egregious time sinks like the city traversal to pick up missions would have been found more forgivable at the time. However, regarding checkpoints, what's weird is that checkpoints in Jak and Daxter are very frequent and forgiving - though obviously there's quite a lot different between the two games.

@rethla: It took me a lot more than 5 tries and I ultimately beat it by using the hover board to skip all the combat - which I see oft repeated in FAQs as the most doable solution to that mission, but it doesn't seem like the intended one. There's are several things about that mission that are annoying. Like for example if you touch the water, even for a brief moment, this drone comes up and instantly kills you - which is unlike anything else in the game. They basically break the "world rules" to eliminate a freedom you would otherwise have to artificially constrain you to this very specific combat challenge. Plenty of games employ different types of temporary walls like that, but this one makes you restart the mission, and its especially noticeable and cheap feeling due to the mission being otherwise frustrating.

The only other mission so far that gave me a lot of trouble is this one where you have to pick guys some resistance guys up and drop them off somewhere. However, you're being chased and shot at by guards the whole time. First, I hate the movement of the hover cars in the game, so anything that requires driving under pressure is already a problem. Normally the fragility of the cars is offset by the availability and ease with which you can commandeer a new one, but in this case you have to wait for the AI to ever so painfully find it's way into the passenger seat and they're likely to get killed in the process. That mission very much felt like a "this isn't my fault, this is bad game design" scenario and when I finally beat that mission, it felt more like luck than anything I did. The randomness aligned just right so that I didn't have too much traffic impeding progress and it seemed like there were less guards in choke points.

While those are the only two exceptional challenges I encountered so far (there are more to come apparently), the game is still reasonably hard overall and I typically die at least 3-4 times during the course of most missions. Its not a problem moment to moment, but collectively it adds up and is wearing thin for me. I'll also admit that part of the problem is likely my own expectations, because I didn't come to the game looking for or expecting this type of challenge. I thought it would be pretty similar to the Ratchet games (which are waaaaay easier by comparison), but it's not.

#6 Edited by Sweetz (634 posts) -

@onekillwonder_ said:

The comments in this thread are definitely an indication of just how much standards have changed over time.

I don't think so. I played a ton of stuff in the PS2 era and have revisited a great deal of it via HD collections. Jak II is notably difficult in comparison to its own contemporary peers. Ninja Gaiden (the 2004 one) is the only thing I played from that era that I would roughly put on the same level and at least there the difficulty feels a bit more intentional and "even". Jak II has these spikes that feel like they just come from poor playtesting - the aforementioned dock escape being a prime example. I remember Devil May Cry (1) was considered a difficult game back in the day and having recently played that when Brad did his Breaking Brad for it, I don't think it's challenge compares to some of the more BS missions Jak II. So I disagree that standards have changed, I'm sure it was considered a difficult game (or rather a game with frustrating spikes in difficulty) in it's day too. How it got so highly praised in reviews despite its foibles, I can't say (*cough* first party title and gaming press in an era highly reliant on good publisher relations for ad revenue and exclusives...*cough* :) ).

#7 Edited by Sweetz (634 posts) -

Good to know I'm not alone in thinking the game is annoyingly difficult. I don't understand what Naughty Dog was thinking. It's difficulty level is well above and beyond pretty much any of it's contemporaries on the platform. And the thing is, I never really get a feeling of accomplishment for beating a difficult mission, more often I feel like I either got lucky - or found a way to cheese it.

What's weird is I went back and looked at reviews for the game and they're all 9s and 10s - I played plenty of PS2 games in-era and I really don't think I would have a different opinion of Jak II even when it was contemporary. Just another thing that makes one question the integrity of the mainstream games press during that period.

@jjbsterling said:

I don't think I ever did a playthrough of it where I didn't use a glitch to beat that one dock mission because I found it impossible otherwise.

Ugh, I just got past that mission last night. Was very close to giving up on the game right then and there. I ultimately cheesed it by using the hover board and flying past all the transports before they could unload dudes, which still took over a dozen tries. Apparently some people regard that as the worst mission in the game, so perhaps I'm now over the hump, but the one guide I was perusing to see how much game was left indicates my next mission is another hated thing - it sounds like it's some lame Simon Says pattern matching mini-game.

#8 Posted by Sweetz (634 posts) -

I realize I'm replying to a 5 year old thread, but it seems appropriate place to share my thoughts on the game.

I'm a huge Ratchet and Clank fan, but I skipped the Jak games back in the day. I picked up the HD versions a couple weeks ago and I'm playing them now to see what I missed - and it looks I made the right choice going with the Ratchet series.

I thought Jak and Daxter was quite good; not as good as any of the R&C games, but still fun, and I set my expectations appropriately knowing it was the origin of the engine and therefore likely to be less complex. I enjoyed it enough that I went to the trouble of "100%'ing" it, which I rarely do (though truth be told it wasn't too difficult for that game).

Jak II however, I am hating with an absolute passion. I don't care about the "attitude-ification" of the story (the original was pretty light on story and interesting characters anyway) - but man did they screw up the gameplay. Flying around in fragile and terrible handing hover cars through an unnecessarily convoluted city to get missions is such an egregiously tedious time sink. I can not fathom that anyone would think this is fun - it just artificially inflates the game length.

Once you get to a platforming/mission zone they're mostly ok, but I feel the difficulty is excessive for this type of game. I died quite a lot in Jak and Daxter as well, but the checkpoints were so generous I presume they planned for that to be the case. In Jak II, I've come across several mission task with no checkpoints at all, where you can lose upwards of 15 minutes of play time from one minor mistake. They give you an 8 segment health bar, but the overwhelming majority of damage sources take 2 segments, so I don't know why they even bothered with the charade of having 8 segments.

I'm around the half-way point of the game judging by the completion meter and it's really going to be a struggle to force myself to finish it.

#9 Posted by Sweetz (634 posts) -

I think a recent Firefox update introduced this. I've been using Firefox with Giant Bomb for years and this issue just started happening for me in the last few weeks.

#10 Edited by Sweetz (634 posts) -

@athleticshark said:

@cubidog1 said:
@nolastname said:

Have they mentioned when they're doing it? I'm really looking forward to what Dan(I believe) said is the worst Mario Party.

If Dan did say that then he is an idiot. I and several youtubers believe it is the best in the series.

Since when did "youtubers" become the authority on anything?

Yeah, but also when did Dan become the authority on anything :)

FWIW, one Mr. Ryan Davis gave the game a 7.2 / 10 or "Good" rating on GameSpot. While that is technically a lower score than it's predecessors reviewed on GameSpot, Ryan wraps up with this line:

But through incremental improvements and some subtle refinements, Hudson has kept the series going strong, and Mario Party 4 is arguably the most accomplished entry in the series yet.

The lower score therefore likely explained by increasing standards for games in general.