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All press is good press as they say, right?
I think the most entertainment you can get out of this one is the lparchive that keeps devolving into a more tired mentality, slowly losing sanity to the game's discombobulate mess that grasps at nostalgic straws. The game released in a very hacked together way, but the changes and patches didn't really reveal a charming core, instead something that feels almost insecure. It's dark in a 00s fanfiction edgy way, but not quite carrying that energy into some real heart or message. It's genuinely hollow, and even the worst pokemon game has a more earnest understanding of life, people, and childhood sentiments than this shit. Radioactive my ass this isotope is as inert as they come.
Arkane has made an utterly satisfying immersive sim/fps hybrid. This game is definitely more about the action, but it still lets you explore the environment and fight enemies in vastly creative ways. Once you start creating your build, and unlocking permanent upgrades and weapons, the combat becomes so exciting, and the game legitimately becomes so hard to put down. An absolute goty contender.
It's nice to think that, six games in, Ace Attorney still finds ways to surprise you with awesome twists. Granted, many of those are thanks to the absurd premise, but it just works because the game knows it.
Less absurd is the surprisingly consistent characterization, complete with satisfying arcs and development. The best thing about these games is that they're not afraid to move the story forward, something that started with Apollo Justice for the DS.
While some may find the series's growing linearity troubling, I find myself less frustrated at the broken throught process of the first 3-4 games. The price to pay is that there are fewer instances of logic thinking and the satisfaction of finding the right piece of evidence. But the benefit is just being able to sit back and enjoy this fun and bonkers story.
im extremely dissapointed in this. i've been waiting for this game since 2018 cause the game grabbed my attention with its incredible graphics and top notch pixel-art. but beyond that, there's not much remarkable about this game. I'm not invested in any of the characters (except Sam), the combat is really boring (at least for me, it reminded me a lot to 2D zeldas, which i personally dislike. I don't think they're bad they're just not my cup of tea) and also i've encountered some technical problems such as frame stutters or some minimal graphical bugs. I'm not interested in the slightest on finishing this.
Deathloop is the logical endpoint of the genre of Immersive Sim when it comes to how we tell stories using it.
Before that, we have to talk about Immersive Sims or at least one of them,
Hitman is a series of games that some would categorize as an ImSim, I say some because I know for a fact that even just stating that is going to piss some people off massively because the terminology of Immersive Sim is vague and undefined with a very niche fanbase of very dedicated people who are willing to discuss it for hours on end. Just know, I do not care. I’m mainly referring to it as such because a similar group of mechanics, ideas, and goals appear between Hitman and other ImSims
Agent 47 is literally a blank slate character, he is a person developed to just do his job and that job is sleek and quiet murder of any number of targets in a given level, so it’s interesting to note that in Hitman, you are still required to basically live up to the role of a Hitman, rather than place yourself in those shoes.
The way the narrative is signposted throughout the series and all of the surrounding elements of the games paint the player character as a silent assassin who plans every minute detail to a tee so they can slip in and out, murdering their target before anyone even realizes something has gone wrong. This is pretty much guaranteed to not be the way you actually play the game starting off.
To get to this point, you have to go through these maps multiple times, learn their secrets, their layouts, their enemy placements, and everything else before you can be the person the narrative tells you you are. This essentially makes most of the gameplay as it pertains to the story disconnected. Agent 47 as a man cannot physically turn back time, he cannot Save Scum, and he, nor anyone else in the game has any knowledge of the countless previous runs that it took to get to the point where you can actually be Agent 47. Death is an explicit fail state which has no direct place in anything outside of the gameplay.
Deathloop is different.
Deathloop, as a game, is deeply fascinating to me, because even with its own elements separated, they’re great. The Shooting is Punchy and all the weapon types have their own little quirks and feel that make them completely distinct, the level design has so many different paths to destinations and areas that can change based on your actions, that just learning to get around is a blast and the way powers intersect with combat and exploration through all of that makes a game that is so immensely satisfying to play and learn, again and again, and again.
But the real thing that makes Deathloop not just good but Transcendent is how it takes the defined rules of the games it’s inspired by and the traditional player response to those rules and exploits them.
The way it does this is through the idealization and mechanical canonization of:
THE PERFECT RUN
Colt, unlike 47, is much more of a defined character, he had a place in the world before the story and he will continue to exist once it is over. Despite this, it is much easier for a player to put themselves in Colt’s situation because the narrative and gameplay of Deathloop come together in a way that I have not seen another game with these design philosophies before (to my knowledge).
In Deathloop, Colt’s goal is learning the maps, scouting out locations, experimenting with systems, and discovering secrets, everything you do in gameplay and discover is canon within the story, putting you in Colt’s place much more directly, despite not being a self insert.
The mythologized nature of going through and beating levels, streamlining your run, and getting to a point where you can quickly and efficiently kill all of your targets is the end goal, even death in the game, while still a fail state that can halt your progress and be an effective punishment for failing, is just a reality of the game, something that in-game characters will comment on and react to.
Even in failure, the ability to make hard progress, even in runs that don’t go how you planned creates a gameplay experience that finally feels like it scratches an itch I’ve had for a good while. I’ve never been too up on ImSims previously, the stress of perfectly good runs being failed in an instant or the pinpoint accuracy needed to get through them, while not a direct criticism of the design itself, more a personal issue, scared me away from games like Dishonored or Thief because quite frankly I just wasn’t very good at them. Even the new Hitman games to a degree would have lost me if it wasn’t for the new accessibility features basically telling you exactly what you need to do to succeed but even then it never felt exactly right in the end.
Deathloop, in creating an experience where failure and learning from your mistakes are contextualized in the story as just a natural part of growth and getting towards the end, rather than a hurdle to become what the game is acting like you are, spoke to me in a way these games have never done before for me without throwing out the complexity or difficulty that ImSims are lauded for. And for that experience, I cannot be happier with the game.
TL;DR How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love Immersive Sims
Very addicting game especially playing with all crew. Nearly everything is great except for the boss stages. They would either be too braindead easy with fliers or just annoying on anyone else. Good thing the 2 best modes don't have any boss stages. Character gimmicks were great otherwise especially if you learn how to do each minigame. Shame you have to wait a full year to 100% the game.
S Tier: Ashley, Orbulon
A Tier: Dribble, 18-Volt, 5-Volt, Penny, Mike, Cricket
B Tier: Wario, Red, Mantis, Mona, Crygor, Jimmy T
C Tier: Lulu, Kat, Pyoro, 9-Volt
Anyone who says 5 volt sucks is on something.
Isometric crpgs have come a long way since Baldur's Gate 1 pioneered the genre 2 decades back and its a wonder that it still holds up in the Enhanced Edition re-release.
A design priority that sets BG apart from the rest of the genre is the focus in free form exploration and roleplaying over a strong narrative hook. Being story light, it might turn away some players but at the same time it give greater freedom to craft your own own story. There are numerous optional areas to explore and companions to find, something that offsets the companion death mechanic. Doesn't help the lack of character depth in companions though.
Is it as good as modern crpgs? In terms of narrative absolutely not, but the gameplay still works if you can get into the old D&D rules.
P.S. fans remade this game into the Neverwinter Nights 2 engine and I'd recommend playing that since I personally like the gameplay there more.
I mostly use this to send little video game souvenirs to my friends when I'm traveling. Occasionally I go on a Pokémon evolving blitz to satisfy the "number go up" part of my brain, but I don't really play the game enough to make use of those new numbers.
I wish this worked better in rural areas. Trying to find a Poké Stop in the woods is like trying to find the only other gay person within 100 miles of me.
Judgment is a great way to experience the flavor and style of the Yakuza series without the commitment to the entirety of Kiryu's tale.
Set roughly in the same time frame as Y6 and Y7, Judgment eschews a lot of the familiar faces of Kamurocho's seedy underbelly in favor of a civilian cast, starring 90s heartthrob and Howl's Moving Castle leading man Takuya Kimura.
If that means nothing to you, that's probably fine -- Kimura as detective Takayuki Yagami is a match made in heaven, so much so I can't imagine anyone else in the role anymore. He apparently liked it too, 'cause he came back for another round.
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