thatpinguino's forum posts

#1 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

@viciousreiven: Do you feel that way now that you already know the conventions of the series or do you honestly feel that the Souls games should never teach players the basics? Because accessibility literally only speaks to a games learnability and its ability to teach a new player how to properly play. The way I see it, the fun of a Souls game isn't figuring out how status effects work and how fucked the game's gotcha moments are. The fun is in knowing that the game is out to get you and succeeding anyway. Teaching a player how the game works doesn't impact the way the game actually plays.

Also if you want these games to grow in popularity, then they will need to have a better on boarding process. Otherwise you end up with an insular series that largely appeals to the same core group of people who have already internalized all of the series' baggage.

#2 Edited by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

I forgot to mention that the souls games should explain summoning to you at some point in the tutorial if you are a new player. Summoning is one of the built in tools that mitigates some of the potential frustrations that the Souls games can produce. Without explaining how to summon and how to participate in the online multiplayer, the games can unintentionally shut off a potential stress relief valve.

#3 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

A unique world to explore, a strong central plot, and some kind of menu-driven combat system. For me those are the things that matter and probably in that order if I'm being honest. The world and the sense of place (which includes npcs and monsters) are what really draw me in. A dynamic central plot then provides the driving force and most of the memorable moments. Finally an intellectually stimulating combat system that focuses on making correct choices and strategic decisions over quick reflexes.

The genre seems to be radically rejecting almost all of the things that I care about in terms of combat, with most games either leaning more towards action or MMO style automated combat (or in the case of FFXIII both at the same time). The worlds seem to somehow be getting larger, but more diluted in their iconography and memorable locales. While older games shortcut much of the navigation between major dungeons and cities by using world maps, new JRPGs seem to be erring on the side of huge worlds like the Elder Scrolls games where the quantity of the content takes precedence over the individuality of the locales. There was something useful about world maps and the shorthand they provided that set JRPGs appart, but that seems to be gone now. And from a story perspective it may be that my tolerance for Anime style storytelling has gone down or I've grown tired of the same tropes, but I haven't seen a main storyline that has grabbed me in a long time. I would love to see a story that isn't about a bunch of adolescent adventurers learning about the power of friendship and self belief in the face of some unpronouncable deity bent on world domination/destruction.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is the most fun JRPG I've played in a while and that is a really upsetting sentence to type (shoutouts to Zeboid games for at least making fun and innovative combat systems for the Penny Arcade games).

#4 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

@believer258: Sure running will leave you a little under-leveled, but I found the most enjoyment in the entirety of Kingdom Hearts during the Sephiroth fight in KH2 when I was under-leveled. I think I took that battle on when I was in the mid-40s level wise, but I was able to work and work to the point that I was able to beat one of the toughest enemies in the game through precision and item management. It was the closest thing I've felt to the emotional release that Souls players express when they beat a tough boss (at least with an action RPG). I don't enjoy the mechanics of Souls fights or the tactics that Souls bosses tend to employ, but there was something about chasing a teleporting dude with a giant sword across a giant arena and up into the sky that was really compelling. I think I just enjoy the flashy combat and the mobility in KH more than I enjoy the relatively measured pace of something like DS. Yet, by not leveling properly I was able to work a similar experience out of what many would consider a much simpler, easier, and kiddier game.

#5 Edited by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

@marokai: The Coliseum is one of my favorite levels because it is one of the only places where the FF stuff and the Disney stuff actually interact in a meaningful way. Cloud working as a mercenary for Hades and fighting Hercules is the kind of cross-over that I really appreciate. It manages to use both characters in a way that feels in line with their actual personalities without slavishly recreating the exact circumstances of the movie Hercules or the plot of FFVII. In a game that treats Square stuff and Disney stuff like oil and water for much of its run time, it was really cool to see what could happen when the two actually mix.

In terms of the combat, I thought that the glide solves a lot of the problems in terms of spacing. Once you can glide over enemies the mobs of opponents stop being a huge problem since you can always escape. It's a shame that critical ability was placed so deep into the game.

I can see that with the Souls games. When you are much more maneuverable than the enemies and groups of enemies are always in the same place, you grow to accept some of the jank. Though if I remember correctly you can run from almost all of the "random" heartless battles that occur in KH, though you can't interact with environmental puzzles while a fight is ongoing. So running past enemies that you already know how to beat is not as much of a cure-all in KH as it is in the Souls games. I do find it funny that we can have this conversation at all.

#6 Edited by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

Kingdom Hearts is a really weird game with a lot of missed opportunities. It basically retells the main story of every Disney movie in it and it barely bridges the gap between the Sora stuff and the Disney stuff. Like you said, there are entire worlds with no central plot development and then there are these giant Riku-based info dumps that use a lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing (this gets even worse in KH2 fyi). However, the combat is surprisingly solid for a game that usually is so easy. I'm not sure if you went to Olympus based on your review, but that world has a bunch of good arena fights in open areas where you can really focus on the combat. The unlockable Sephiroth fight is one of the more intense action rpg battles I've played.

The game's appeal was always about the fan service for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the combat. You can actually approach battles a number of different ways based on your abilities and I always thought that the different mobility options made the game stand out.

When you mentioned that the game felt kind of Dark Soulsy at its best, I couldn't help but notice how a lot of your criticisms could be levied at that series (and by extension Monster Hunter as well). The game does a poor job of telling you where to go, it has a poor camera that you have to fight with frequently in tight spaces, and the item descriptions are obtuse and sometimes useless. I wonder if people are just more tolerant of the nonsense now, or Dark Souls just appeals in a way that makes the jank acceptable.

KH2 is a huge step up in terms of the game focusing on what it does best: combat. However, it also goes into JRPG nonsense way more than KH1 does.

#7 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

@johaneriksson: Yeah I enjoyed the first two MGS series, but I gave up on the third. It turns out that I hate Kojima's storytelling style more than I like Endurance Runs.

#8 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

@johaneriksson: I agree with your sentiment, but I'm not sure how much of the magic is nostalgia and how much is a real fundamental change. I know that I miss things like spoilercasts, endurance runs, and other deeper looks at games. Outside of Metal Gear Scanlon most of the video content on the site is some variety of quick look or variety show with a bunch of games being effectively quick looked. I also miss the interviews that Patrick conducted since they brought more in-depth coverage of topics that the main staff don't usually broach. I certainly watch and read less content on this site than I used to, but that is also a function of how much content I now produce and my current lifestyle.

#9 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

The critical point here is to avoid engaging people based on their preconceived notions of you, or yours of them. Less so the merits of largely-fluid descriptors. Thoughtful post, @thatpinguino.

Thanks and that was deffinitely the point I was going for with my post.

@slag: You're probably right, but boo tribalism anyway.

#10 Posted by thatpinguino (1854 posts) -

Local co-op buddy mode unlocked!