The more I play of this game the more I think it's a real shame that no one on the GB staff other than Rorie is playing/talking about it. Given the lack of discussion on the boards I'm guessing not too many people here are playing it either? (Hell, I didn't even know it existed until Rorie played it on UPF). I know there are a lot of games and not everyone can play everything, but it's really great and deserves more attention imo!
More people need to play this!
I'm through the first dungeon and really loving this! I think the most surprising thing to me is just how well written and narrated it is.
How many characters have you unlocked so far? They do a really great job of making each one feel unique with their abilities and weapons that encourage a particular play style. I was a bit worried at first when I saw you have to level them all up separately because I thought it would mean I would just stick with one, but I've enjoyed trying out the new characters as they unlock and finding new ways to play.
@bakoomerang: I unlocked Joey last (not sure if there is a set order but he was my final one) and I agree. I was concerned about the sake thing, but the game feels so good and the levels don't take that long to run through, I have had zero problems replaying parts of a dungeon a few times just to level up characters. If there is one tiny quibble I have with it, it is that I am playing solo and the game feels somewhat optimized for co-op. Characters like Joey and even Lucy can be be a ittle tough on some solo runs until you get them the abilities that make them a little tougher. I thought Lucy not being able to move and shoot would be a deal break for me, but now that I leveled up her invulnerability orb thing to level 3, she has maybe passed Linda for me as my favorite (I tend to always go for that kind of character in action RPGs). Really loving the game and glad that I have off of work today to play some more.
So are people still playing this? How is everyone liking it?
I got the Switch version and have been playing it over the past few days. I really dig the narration, the backstory on the family, and the little family vignettes.
I think the devs have a hard task in balancing all the six characters/classes for both solo play and co-op play. As a solo player, I feel like some of the classes are waaaaay more viable than others. In order of my luck with them:
-Linda. Has a bow, can slowly move while shooting, this is incredibly useful against both normal enemies and especially bosses. On all bosses, you never have to figure out when it’s safe to be near them to score hits, and instead you can just run around whenever you’re scared and then take safe shots whenever the boss isn’t attacking.
-Lucy. Has magic. Like Linda, but slightly worse because she has to stop moving to shoot her ranged attack, has lower health, and her attack has to “spin up” like a Gatling gun but it’s hard to attack for more than a second or two without having to back off to avoid enemy attacks (though it gets easier to attack for longer if you get items/passive skills that slow or stun enemies).
-Mark. Kung fu man. Fun set of mechanics (auto target nearby enemies with punches, evade out of danger a lot), and good damage reduction mechanic, and I like him against mobs of normal enemies since you cast out a big stun whip that pulls enemies together, then you can just punch them for a few seconds. Unfortunately every time I get him to a boss his stun is ineffective and I think his DPS is on the low side so I tend to die before killing the boss.
-John. Has shield. I like his shield against mobs because it blocks all damage. But his shield is basically no help against bosses and stronger enemy attacks (minibosses I guess?) since it only prevents a portion of the damage, and taking any damage is really bad.
-Kevin. Has fast dual daggers, therefore almost certainly the character Jeff G would play if he touched this game. Has a “rage” meter that you lose if you don’t attack anything for a while. I might rank this character higher if I had more skill, but I don’t, which means I take too many risks in the name of maintaining his rage meter, and usually take stupid damage as a result.
-Joey. Has a big hammer, even slower attacker than John. I like that his “evade” move is a damaging shoulder charge that encourages you to evade toward enemies, and he has a decent ground slam move. My problem with him is that his primary attack has crazy long startup, and some small enemies (snakes) can get in hits on Joey during that startup, and it’s just death by a thousand cuts. I also think he doesn’t have enough damage prevention for such a slow, up-close fighter. John has shield/armour, Mark has monk armour, Kevin has 3 charges of evade I think. Joey only has 2 evade charges, and I just feel like he’s so slow that I take a bunch of small, fast hits at 100% damage and I just hate how it feels.
@frustratedlnc: The complexity stays about where you’ve seen it. You have the 4 face buttons, 1 is “acknowledge text prompts”, 1 is “primary attack”, 1 is “some kind of AoE on a cool down”, 1 is “evade”, and a left trigger is “other skill either on a cool down or uses up some kind of stamina bar.” Some of the aforementioned skills have to be unlocked, so a few characters start out with not many abilities until you level them further. But overall, all 6 characters are variations on that theme of 5 main action buttons, and then having a meter-based super move on a left trigger and having cooldown-based items on the right triggers.
It doesn’t get the skill complexity of a Diablo or Path of Exile (tho you have some minor control of your build on each character’s skill tree). It’s more like a Risk of Rain where the characters are basically fixed different play styles, and you play them trying to get good passive abilities and active abilities all while lacking Diablo’s ability to just gulp down potions to keep you alive mid-fight.
@bisonhero: I've finished it and while I definitely had the same feeling as you regarding balance between singleplayer and c-op, you do get skills for basically everyone that make them viable in both. Kevin is still probably the hardest, but characters like Lucy get a passive skill that nullifies damage up to three times as upgraded, and it regenerates over time as you aren't hit (I actually finished all three worlds without taking damage as her because of this skill). Joey is still hard to get the timing of, and REALLY not built for the fast enemies of world 2, but World 3 is a wrecking ball. Even Kevin gets a pretty quickly regenerating stealth ability that eventually comes with an attack that does crazy damage and has a huge area of effect.
I loved the game from start to finish, but in the long run as you upgrade both at home and level up the characters, the difficulty kind of falls through the floor. I beat the final boss on my first try with John without dipping below 50% health because he was just a monster at that point. I do think a big key to the game if you're having trouble is to always try to stock up on as many Grace's and Charms as possible (the Rea upgrades for gold and gems are an early must IMO), and don't be afraid to use your rage attack to get through hairy situations mid level. The meter regenerates so fast I've sometimes used the ability three times on the same boss.
@sethmode: Good to know. Early on, the difficulty has been all over the place. Died a bunch on 1-1 as John, then had an inexplicably good set of items and beat the spider without having played as Linda yet. Then tried 1-2, literally my first time playing as Linda, and cleared the entire zone and beat the goblin twins (satyrs?) on my first try. Then on 1-3 I started messing around with Kevin and Mark but got absolutely thrashed by the golem boss (I genuinely do not know how you're meant to beat that boss as a melee character). Again, switched to Linda and beat the whole thing and the golem on my first attempt as her. I believe you about the late game once you have upgrades for everyone, but holy cow, Linda is so absurdly powerful right out of the gate. I've been trying Lucy and Joey on 2-1, but with few upgrades, Joey is just constantly taking hits, while Lucy does a bit better but I have to do so much kiting. It's hard to know in a game a like this, but maybe I'm underleveled for how much gold they expect you to have farmed by the time you complete the caves?
btw, how did you fare with the absurdly small text? It's truly insane. It seems fine if you're on a PC or playing a handheld Switch that is 4" from your face, but looking at those library codex entries on a TV 6' or more away from you is nearly impossible.
Also, word of warning to others reading this thread, I just went back to watch Rorie play the game a bit, and I'd say the Switch version I'm used to seeing had to cut some things on the graphics side. Mostly "effects" sorta stuff; I'm almost positive the Switch version doesn't have blood/purple monster ichor flying off enemies as you hit them like Rorie's PC/Xbox One version did. Also, when Rorie got to the spider boss, I think it pulsates more dramatically? No idea how much memory modern pixel games like this use, but maybe they had to simplify the animations a bit for the Switch. Also the loading is a little hitchy at times, like coming out of loads instead of being a slow pan, it clearly misses a beat, then catches up to where it should be.
@bisonhero: Yeah, I honestly couldn't tell at times if I was grinding too much or not enough. Early on, I played 1-1 a bunch of times in a row, and I felt CRAZY overleveled for the rest of 1-2 and 1-3. Then 2-1 and 2-2 came along and they were a real BITCH even with some leveling. Especially with melee characters like Kevin, John and Joey (I had less of a problem with Mark because he can crowd control better right out of the gate than those 3 can). It is definitely just kind of all over the place difficulty-wise at times, and you're right, it doesn't really give you much of an indication that you're over or under leveled. Even by the end of the game, I really didn't feel like boosting damage or dodge was doing all of that much, and I had those two maxed out...however, then I went back to world 2 to clean up some achievements and could basically play any level without really paying attention. Things missed me constantly, and I killed most things in 1 or 2 hits with any character. So, it seems like world 3, while still not all that hard when fully maxed out, is set to still be somewhat of a challenge when maxed and the others less so, which makes sense...but it seems like the growth is so gradual I wasn't really noticing it as I was playing.
As to your second question the text size was infuriating. It's a trend with games I've really enjoyed lately and I hate it. Outer Worlds was tiny, a lot of Control's documents have tiny print, and yes, this game is in the same camp. I'm playing on Xbox, and admittedly am saddled with a slightly smaller TV since I live and work in Korea in an apartment where the TV is provided for me by my school and thus not that big (32 inches I believe), but it still seemed bad on all of those games, and like it would always be bad no matter the size.
@haneybd87: The game has varying text size for different purposes. For example, when you get a buff from a shrine it says like “Shrine of Fortune” in pretty big text in the middle of the screen. The character dialogue is smaller but also fine. However, if you go into the journal/text log menus, this is where the game’s font size is really at the edge of human readability. It’s like reading a whole paragraph that is the bottom-most row from an eye exam. It’s a menu that already has a scroll bar, so it’s utterly baffling that they couldn’t just increase the size a bit and have you scroll down more.
Overall, I think it’s less likely that myself, others in this thread, and several people on the GB staff all have worse vision coincidentally this year, and I find it more likely that a handful of games have shipped this year where they botched the UI scaling.
@haneybd87: I’d still be inclined to think that we’re viewing it under different conditions if you find it that easy. The font is probably fine if the reader is on a PC or handheld Switch, where it’s not too different from reading a newspaper that’s like 12 inches from your face. But at living room TV size, where you’re 6-12 feet away, I don’t think it is properly scaled for that viewing distance at all. Ultimately I can read it, but I’m having to literally infer using my intuition the difference between lowercase a/e/o since each letter is about 3 pixels different from the other. I can’t say specifically, but the font choice or some visual filter may be making it worse. Others on the Steam forums have also made the case that the absurdly small UI prevents the game from really being suitable for couch co-op:
I haven't got to play as much as I would've liked recently, but I reached the second world the other day and it feels like I've run into a major difficulty spike. I didn't exactly breeze through the first world, but it wasn't super difficult either. It felt just on the right side of challenging. But now I'm trying to get through 2-1 and just getting absolutely murdered. I've tried with all the characters but none of them feel equipped to deal with everything they throw at you. I keep finding myself completely swarmed by mobs of enemies, and that combined with all the traps is ending runs fast. I also feel like I'm not finding as many relics/runes/buffs as I did in the first world? I like the game, but I don't want to have to grind earlier levels to farm gold and xp just to get my characters leveled up enough to even be able to survive :(
@bisonhero: Hmm I never had a problem reading the text in this game, or Outer Worlds and Control like so many people do. It seems like a common complaint though so maybe a lot of people need glasses and don’t realize it?
Well, in fairness to myself, I just had my eyes tested a few months ago and I have very near perfect vision (brag! Sorry). I really just feel like a large part of it is the size of my TV.
@bakoomerang: I definitely experienced the same. I think that I said earlier in the thread too that the enemies in that particular world REALLY swarmed and gave me issues. Honestly? I find characters like Kevin and Joey were easier to level up in world 3 than in world 2, even though they were underleveled for me when I used them in world 3. I basically leaned on Lucy, Linda and John, and their combination of ability that nullifies damage, speed and range, and balance, respectively, helped me get through world 2. One thing to keep in mind...I don't THINK that you have to play 2-3. I can't remember exactly, but 2-2 is the level with the 2nd major boss, so I think you can skip 2-3 and go right to 3-1, which, again, I think is a bit easier for leveling up some characters (although is still tough at time).
@sethmode: Yeah, I saw that you said you had a similar experience. It's almost to the point where it feels a little bit broken at times. Like I ran into a huge mob of enemies plus an elite (that was spawning more enemies), and the way the level is designed there isn't a lot of room to create space so things were already rough, but then a whole bunch of corrupted also appeared and it was just like holy shit!
Like you said, it seems like the ranged characters are going to be my best bet. I finally put together a decent run with Lucy and was pretty powered up by the time I got to the boss so felt pretty good about my chances. It went right down to the wire and I was SO close to killing him on my first try. We were both down to our last bit of health, and I just needed to get one more burst of concentrated fire on him and I think I would have had it, but the fucker basically telefragged me!
I haven't got to play as much as I would've liked recently, but I reached the second world the other day and it feels like I've run into a major difficulty spike.
I like the game, but I don't want to have to grind earlier levels to farm gold and xp just to get my characters leveled up enough to even be able to survive :(
Each world is a pretty big difficulty spike, but just keep at it. Don't go back to previous worlds unless you didn't finish a little sidequest ("collects the healing herbs", etc.). Overall, the world 2 enemies seem to give quite a bit more gold and experience than in world 1, so you'll make pretty fast upgrade progress. If your damage is underpowered, then yeah, it can take forever to kill swarms of enemies at the start of a new world, so maybe prioritize a few levels in that to be less frustrated.
I finished the game, and I liked it quite a bit. I stand by my original opinions posted above. The narrative and family stories are the strongest aspect of the game. The biggest bummer is that the story has certain "phases", and since you see pretty much 1 family scene after each time you die, it seems like if you don't die a ton of times, you might advance to the next phase of the story and you won't see some of the lower stakes, early-game family scenes. I guess it's an excuse to play the game a second time.
Also, boy, once you get to the late game with some level 20 or higher characters, and a lot of the passive abilities fully bought out, you feel silly overpowered at times. Kevin and Joey are still hard as hell to play, though.
A month and a half after creating this thread and I finally got around to finishing it. Such a fantastic game. It's really a shame it went so much under the radar of everyone on staff (it looks like it didn't come up at all in the GOTY yearly recap). Big thanks to @rorie for playing it on UPF and making more people aware of it!
Played this for the first world and really enjoyed it, got to the second and it was basically the same thing so I quickly dropped it. It also didn't feel like I was reward for skill as much as grinding, which isn't great for these type of games I don't think.
The overall art and animations during cutscenes are really nice, but otherwise I just don't think this is that enjoyable to play.
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