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One of the first games I got REALLLLLY good at was Punch Out for the Wii. I was obsessed with the game it was all me and my cousin would play often. I still play it often enough to remember like 80% of the trick by the exact frame I have to do them on. Punch Out is still one of the best games I ever played for the factor that you can easily find out the tricks or learn them by chance because of its intuitive game design. If you can see an opening there is a 90% chance you can do it, even if the trick is hard at first.
I cannot say this about Thunder Ray. Thunder Ray has a lot of good things. The movement is ok, the impacts can feel grand, and the art, well that's what most people seem to see, the art. Its pretty fucking good. Lord Worw and the Mr Mxyzptlk ass mother fucker were A1 designs. But is the game fun???? No. I sadly have to say very recently that a lot of games of been playing are almost all style no substance.
Firstly, this game has no counters. Which is a staple in like, every Punch Out game. All you can do is really dodge and sometimes with enough Punches they MAY be stunned (only say this with Evil Rico and i'm not even gonna count the Witch cause like cmon lol) Point is, its not really what its sup[posed to be a successor of in fact its something much more boring and sad than saying "its the worst game ever!", its just boring. Its so boring. Its an endurance test. You remember all their patterns and then hope the rng of where they're gonna block doesn't fuck you too bad and also hope that they aren't going to add 8 million pieces of bullshit that the boss could do.
Remember Dragon Chan? And how at first him jumping and doing kicks is like HOLY FUCK THATS WEIRD THATS SCARY but after doing it you feel like a beast for learning these new things. Or how Sandman adds new attacks and yeah they're annoying but also its intuitive they show you what they're gonna do, the game looks pleasant to look at so you know, and hell you can COUNTER them and when you dodge you are rewarded with a chance to wail on them and just beat the ever dog shit out of them.
Sorry back to talking about how Thunder Ray has the "the enemy does more shit" thing but. Nothing else. You don't get rewarded for dodging, I guess because you get a super meter instead I guess they thought counters were worthless cause of no star punches, there is no stamina even, and not even a fucking real timer there are no intermissions it is just you standing there until you fucking brute force yourself into winning eventually. And thats kinda lame LOL.
Like sorry but the fact that enemies can just eat your fucking super whenever they please it seems, the fact that there no intermission so the risk of TKO on you is always there, and hell whoever said to add that stupid fucking black and white shit should get jumped like actually.
Sorry let me explain, so when you lose a lot of health the screen zooms in and your vision goes completely black and white which is deranged like just the bosses in this fucking game who are super aliens get rewarded by beating you up more than YOU get rewarded for doing anything. Like especially when you have moves that aren't as choreographed, the fucking witch boss having COLOR CODED ATTACKS that you cannot see and the fact that two punches from theres fucker deletes your health, the black and white shit is not cool its not interesting it just sucks dick.
Look, there is a lot of passion in this game a shit ton, but also i'm sick of shit just looking nice and then just not. Being fun.
I have very complex feelings about this game. Probably the most complex feeling about a piece of art I had in a long time. I've been excited about this game ever since it got announced when I was around 19 - 20 (ironically enough I thought it was announced when I was around 17 and with this revelation it made my feelings even more complex) and now i'm 23 almost 24 in around half a year. A lot of things changed in the last 3-4 years and some stay the same.
One constant was that I was very excited for this game. Um Jammer Lammy and the original Jet Set Radio on dreamcast were some of the most formative point of my early childhood/teen years. I remember when the PS3 port came out and it gave me another chance at JSR when I was 12 since my Dreamcast was turbo dead. It is one of my favorite games ever made, hell this VERY game made me play all the way through the story again with my friends and gfs and I loved it.
This game is hard to talk about because it makes me think about other things and then I go on tangents about those things. Because this things where's its inspiration not only on its sleeves but its forehead and maybe even a tramp stamp so its inspiration can see it and get super horny and fuck it in the butt lol sorry.
My point is, this game doesn't KNOW what it wants to be. Its it own thing but also it isn't, its Jet Set Radio Future but it isn't, its a Tony Hawk game but it isn't, its fucking Grand Theft Auto but also it isn't. Now I'm not saying I want this game to perfectly ape these games at that point I'd just fucking play em instead, what I am saying is that it kinda is copying what these games did and trying to put a spin on them and with some it succeeds. Like its character design and aesthetic.
This game looks dope. If you put Red in JSR (mainly Future) I would not bat an eye. Its style is dope, when I unlocked one of the main spoiler character I was omega hyped cause I liked their design a shit ton its sick. The cities are nice too they look cool especially the oil rig area of the game it was sick I thought.
But also that pays to its detriment. It's failures. A great example is that very oil rig level. I liked how it looks, but a huge problem with a giant problem I have with these maps (especially since the fucking mini map in this game is the worst i've seen in ANY game) these maps are not intuitive. Navigating these maps are hell and while playing that very oil rig I literally said "Man this is just the oil rig from Underground but bad lol" and I don't want to think that but that's honestly most of this game.
This game has graffiti QTE but bad its even more vapid than JSRF just pressing a button and spraying. This game fixes the handling of JSR but still at times feels annoying and with the camera fucking going bananas sometimes its just as hard if not sometimes harder navigating this game than even the original JSR.
This game has GTA stars, but bad. This game tried to do what JSRF did with dealing with the pigs (cops) but the problem is with this is that they did not fix the fundamental problem of the combat of JSRF. Its still boring, you just mash buttons, the enemies have almost no variety besides sometimes they have a shield and sometimes they're a big robot or they try sniping you and at the end of the day you can ignore them for the whole game. Hell, if you're going to do combos and shit you HAVE to because even dealing with them breaks your combo and its so boring! The only saving grace is the mods and that someone made it so fighting them didn't stop your combo and multiplier which made the game 2Xs more fun LOL.
The enemies just don't have what the golden rhino had and it shows all the enemies were so samey and all the bosses were so samey besides like one and its only because you didn't tag em. Oh yeah this game is also Tony Hawk but bad. The combo system in this game is probably one of the most boring things in a game ever. All you do is hit corners and billboards and maybe a halfpipe if its there for multiplayer and then mash buttons for tricks. To my knowledge there aren't really any cool complex tricks that can be done besides boosting and doing a trick and look I don't mind people liking simple games its ok but the fact that this game looked at two games meant to be arcadey and made them so simple and boring (hell even doing a manual is just holding a button) is so lame.
This entire game is kinda just eye candy, a world I would go to in VR Chat like I'd chill and smoke in it but Its not something engaging to me. Hell even the music is just shit i'd put on a road trip just to sleep if i'm the passenger. They aren't bad but since this game isn't like JSR and doesn't diversify with levels often the same song will play like 100000 times and the only time you can really change it now is with either a music mod (pc only for now lol) and unlocking the song mixes which is like. why????
Anyways I guess my point is, is that this game gets boring fast. Its too samey. All you do is meet a new gang, tag their tags, do combo challenges or platforming challenges, do a BIG combo challenge, and then do a Mario Sunshine level, rinse repeat. And yeah there are unlockables but when even the characters are essentially just skins with like 4 voice lines, it just feels so. Vapid. Superficial.
And I hate to say that. I'm kinda a big team reptile shooter. I bought like 8 people Lethal League Blaze, I used to bring it on campus for my friends to play, I OWNED the original Lethal League, and yeah its a different game but with how that game has such diverse characters with different gameplay and hell Switch and Jet being 5 dollars fucking dlc in Bombrush, its a little sad when every characters have the same stats. The same gameplay. The same. Everything.
Look I got a super autism brain, you can tell how much I fucking typed here, but I guess i'm just sad because of what this game could of been. And its not even bad I guess its just not for me. If you're a Jet Set Radio outsider looking in, you'll like it, if you're someone into games where you don't have to fully think and its easy to sink your teeth into, this is for you, if you liked JSRF, well this may be the closet thing you have to some sort of sequel pc port. I guess to gist of it is for me is that I kinda wanted a game that was a mix of the two. and I got something that was a mix of a bunch of things I REALLY like but because of scope, size of team, and time couldn't fully get there. Hell they updated the game and added a minigame to the phone so I feel me saying "it could of cooked more" is true! Especially since its 40 bucks which is even more than Hi Fi Rush and of course they need the money but 40 bucks + 5 for essentially skins and 15 bucks for the OST is something i'd expect the Bethesda Tango Gamework game to do and not the dope azz indie product.
TLDR: I had some fun playing it especially using the mods today. But I just wish it was more complex, I wish it was as compassionate as the art, the character design, the architecture!
I don't want just Jet Set Radio, but thats what I got kinda but all the aspects I hated amplified sorta. And I guess I wanted to vent
No Star Rating cause its not fair since i'm gonna use mods, see updates (especially if there is a momentum mod since this game didn't have that and the only ways to go faster besides boosting is doing tricks and doing multiplier shit which is also something that drives me off the wall), and maybe even speedrun it since it has pretty cool tech.
Give it a chance you'll like it probably but I wanted to give I guess another perspective on this game.