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    Inversion

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Jun 05, 2012

    Inversion puts you in destructible, gravity-shifting environments, giving control over futuristic weapons like the Gravlink. With said weapon, players can move objects for cover, assault on enemies, or solve puzzles.

    Welp. I finished Inversion and I have nothing of interest to say about it.

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    bigsocrates

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    Edited By bigsocrates

    Inversion is a game with some resonance for me. I listed it in a blog I wrote over 5 years ago about games that I had purchased but would never actually play. This, of course, meant that it stuck in my mind enough that I would eventually get around to it. I actually started playing in November of 2020, at a time when I was trying to clear some of my backlog of physical 360 games. I got through Need For Speed: The Run (blech), Binary Domain (I liked it), and Homefront (meh) and then I decided to take my chance with Inversion. Like Binary Domain it is a Gears of War style stop ‘n pop shooter but unlike the much better regarded Sega shooter Inversion lacks an interesting story or cool environments. It’s more interested in exploring cliched broken cities and dirty labor camps and the story is so generic and forgettable that dropping back into it 14 months later I had forgotten almost everything of relevance including the relationships of the characters and the big twist at the heart of the game’s plot. I took a 4 year break after playing the first half of The Darkness and I still remembered enough to enjoy the back half of the game, so the fact that Inversion slipped my mind so thoroughly shows how little impression the game’s story makes.

    I have a better recollection of the gameplay, which is basically generic third person shooting from 2012 with the ‘twist’ of gravity powers, which are fine for what they are but not interesting enough to make the game worthwhile. You can do things like pop enemies out from behind cover to float in the air as sitting ducks or pin them down to the ground so they stay in one place while you shoot them. You can also create a shield and grab and throw certain objects or enemy corpses. It’s kind of like Psi-Ops or Second Sight in its implementation of powers, though it’s not as interesting as either of those two games. There are also zero G segments where your character floats in the air and can sort of grapple and swim from cover point to cover point and those are at least novel, if not really fun. I found Inversion surprisingly playable, but bland. Maybe it was playing it back to back with the far superior Binary Domain or maybe it’s just that Inversion is bland. It’s one of those games that’s engaging enough not to be boring but that really doesn’t offer more than that.

    Then I got to the last boss. He was tough and seemed pretty cheap. He can use the same gravity powers you can, which in theory is cool but in practice is extremely frustrating because he can pin you to the ground and throw plasma bombs at you until you explode into giblets (both the enemies and your own character can get violently dismembered, as was the style at the time.) I looked up walkthroughs of the game and they basically said “it’s a cheap, difficult, fight but it’s easier in co-op!” I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have any friends I could call on to co-op the final boss of Inversion in the year 2020 so I put the controller down and didn’t get back to it. And then kept not getting back to it. For 14 months.

    It’s not that I never thought about it during that time. In fact every time I thought about playing a game on my 360 I told myself I couldn’t because I hadn’t finished Inversion yet and I would have to finish Inversion first. And I didn’t really want to finish Inversion. Part of that is something that I plan to explore in a later blog and that requires more self-exposure than I feel comfortable making during a blog about Inversion, but part of it was just the idea of fighting a difficult, cheap, boss in an already mediocre game was not appealing. I just didn’t want to put myself through it, but I also didn’t want to just give up on the game, so I put it off. And off. And off. I played a bunch of 360 games in the meantime, but all on my Xbox Series X, and I didn’t NEED to play my 360 so I just didn’t.

    What finally got me to go back. I don’t know. I think my desire to delve into my 360 physical library overcame my aversion to finishing Inversion and I had some time and a little extra patience so I did the work to find a 360 controller, get the batteries in it, sync it to the console, re-input my password (all of which took longer than anticipated, especially because it wouldn’t take my password the first few times for some unknown reason) and at that point I was committed to finishing. As it turned out the final boss is kind of cheap, but his patterns are learnable and it probably took me about a dozen tries to learn the patterns and take him out. I watched the ending cut scene and credits, feeling a certain catharsis not because I’d finished the game’s story but because I could finally free up my 360 for other games. The ending itself was unremarkable and didn’t wrap up the game’s dangling threads, instead opting to leave open room for a sequel while also delivering what was probably supposed to be a gut punch but felt more like a ham-fisted attempt at manipulation. Maybe I would have cared more if I’d finished the game closer to when I started it and not had to say “oh yeah, that was a thing” in response to the ending cut scene’s references to its earlier plot, but I doubt it. Inversion’s story is perfunctory and manipulative and I never gave a damn about anything. Once I remembered what the big reveal actually was I remember sort of chuckling at the stupidity of it and how shallowly it is integrated into the game and its worldbuilding.

    The real question I have is why I felt the need to finish Inversion before moving on. Did it feel good to check off the achievements for completing the campaign? It felt satisfying. But I wrote last year that I needed to get past the idea that I have to finish games, and this was a prime example. Especially because it prevented me from playing stuff that I actually did want to get to.

    I don’t really know why I wrote all this. I don’t have much of value to say about Inversion. I had to reference the controls multiple times during the boss battle to remind myself what I could do, and I actually needed a tool tip in between deaths to remember that you can switch modes on your grav-link harness (which I ended up not actually needing.) I guess I just wanted to commemorate the fact that I finally got to the end of it and can move on to other things that I’ll hopefully like better.

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    BaneFireLord

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    Today I learned that Inversion and Fracture are two different games, so your accomplishment at least served that purpose if nothing else!

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    Broshmosh

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    #2  Edited By Broshmosh

    The last time I remember insisting I had to finish a game I truly wasn't enjoying was Too Human, but in the end I think the reason I had to finish that was "To say that I did, so that nobody could say 'you didn't finish it' in response to hearing how much I hate it", because that game is fucking bad.

    Any other time I've felt "meh" or "no fuckin way" towards a game in the past ten years, I've pretty much dropped it. Digimon Story: Digital Cyber Sloth (Slueth) is a great example, it's sitting at 24 hrs played, and will never go higher, because it has a dogshit story and very OK battle system with a decent visual spreadsheet manager in the form of digi/de-digivolution paths. I don't have the time or inclination to finish it, especially with how many good games have come out or gone on sale.

    At the very least, thank you for finally clearing up my decade-long confusion between Inversion and Eversion.

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    bigsocrates

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    #3  Edited By bigsocrates

    @banefirelord: Are they though? They're different SKUs for sure. But....

    A lot of people tend to confuse the two games but Fracture, for all its story genericness, had a much more ambitious concept. I only played the demo but the idea of making your own cover or altering the landscape to progress in the level had more potential to make the game interesting. It wasn't particularly well done (there's a reason I only played the demo) but it had ideas behind it.

    Inversion is just Gears of War with some pretty generic powers and not very well thought through low G areas. It is one of the most generic games I have ever played to the point where it's hard to remember anything about it.

    Fracture also has the excuse of having come out in 2008, while Inversion came out 4 years later.

    In conclusion, you need to apologize to Fracture.

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    bigsocrates

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    @broshmosh: I have definitely forced myself to finish a game I wasn't enjoying so I could complain about it. I think that's why I forced myself to complete the last bosses in Kena: Bridge of Spirits (a game I wouldn't say is objectively bad but that has problems that seem to have been overlooked by most reviewers.)

    Inversion was different because it's a game I'm kind of indifferent towards. I don't hate it, I don't even have anything remotely interesting to say about it (obviously.) I think I was just so close to the end I didn't want to leave it hanging on the final boss, which is something I tend to do because I usually don't enjoy final bosses. Or maybe it was just pigheadedness.

    Either way abandoning games you're not enjoying is a good thing. You don't get anything of value for finishing them and they almost never provide enough story or whatever to earn the extra time it takes. Sending good time after already spent money is a mug's game. I guess that makes me a mug.

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    Broshmosh

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    I think we've all been mugged one way or another by this hobby!

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    Topcyclist

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    @banefirelord: Yeah me too. Lol, forgot and was like, fracture was that cool game with a demo i played over and over but never brought. inversion is that game i look at for the cool powers in gravaty and never play cause everyone who plays it hates it so much.

    PS i think i win the I finished a game that wasn't the best award...i think im the only person in the world that beat the DORA THE EXPLORER GAME ON GBA, one afternoon. I played it and its like, i gotta see what they put, what effort goes into a kids game...since you know...by 6 a kid can play sonic 1 or mario 1. What makes this game tick. Turns out these kids games get off the hook cause no one plays or reviews them really, the game just ends randomly in the middle of nowhere, no reasoning, no nothing, i thought it was a glitch. Just walking ok done. 2 hours or so, and you know...after getting over the fact level one will be like level 10, you realize...i didn't waste 2 hours, I discovered something and that was worth it to me.

    Thus, you didnt waste hours OP as many will tell you and you will tell yourself. You discovered something about a game and didnt rely on hearsay, got your own opinion and found something in the game to at least say wow thats a decision they made. Playing good games all the time leaves people jaded. Something clever with flaws is sometimes more fun then a perfectly tested by committee game that everyone loves generally. Play fracture next another nice B game. I also think last bosses in alot of games and last levels are let downs cause by then the creators know like 30% make it that far and the beginning is what hooks someone say watching a lets play on youtube. Youtuber bored and overwhelmed in the first hour...say goodbye to nanced critic...your game is now labeled trash." See later half of dark souls 1 for example.

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    jeff

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    @bigsocrates: Thank you for taking the bullet on this one, for some reason Inversion is a game I think of from time to time in a "I should go back and see how that thing holds up" sort of way.

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