11 Reviews liked by pewpewmaster1
Portal with RTX
Holy shit! There has never been something released before that I dislike yet absolutely want so badly!
To write more seriously, I was extremely surprised when Nvidia shadow-dropped on a livestream their latest technology in which they are able to implement RTX into most games that support DirectX8 and 9. For many this came out of nowhere and to a bigger surprise a playable showcase was being released; players could experience the entirety of Portal with RTX-Remix on.
From a technical standpoint, Portal with RTX is nothing more than a sublime marvel and an exciting look into the future of graphics development. The RTX part doesn't actually mess with any of the game files itself but instead acts like a wrapper. The gist is that modders with just a click of a button, RTX Remix will take all render data for textures, lighting etc. and load it into the application itself, allowing modders to change these to their hearts content. This new software seems to have no downsides, doesn't it? Except your game must have a fixed function pipeline renderer so games like New Vegas won't work. Hooray.
However, the decision to revolve the tech demo around Portal is in itself flawed and unluckily damaging to what Nvidia want to show. To put it simply, the RTX often works against Portal's art direction. When we have an environment that is supposed to be decrepit and abandoned, it no longer makes any sense to have shiny, reflective surfaces. When we are supposed to have sterile blue lighting and blue surfaces that help invoke a feeling of isolation, we are given instead a 2017 Minecraft shader pack. What we lose in this "DLC" is important details in the game itself as well. The walls are originally supposed to be made from lunar rock and now everything seems to be made out of Portal 2's metal. Albeit impressive, pushing out light reflections and HD textures seems to be losing what made Portal even special in the first place.
This isn't really Nvidia fault, he technology is there and it's impressive. If you want to replay Portal and perhaps want to check out something more refreshing then try the RTX mod (if your PC can even handle it, my 3060 struggled even with 30fps). However there is not any reason to play this over the original if it's your first time into the Portal series. It's weird how except for DirectX issues this showcase wasn't done for Portal 2, since the game deals with more open spaces and opportunities for fauna reflection. However we can only wait to see where this goes in the future...
World of Goo
Coming back to this game after so many years, I'm quite impressed still. I've rarely seen a puzzle game where every level feels so unique. You never do the same thing twice just harder. Instead, every single level has a unique twist and the developers obviously had a lot of fun coming up with crazy designs.
But that's not the only great thing about this game. The crazy world this creates which I assume is the same world as all the future Tomorrow Corporation games are set in, the fantastic music which is way too epic for a puzzle game, the whole style which is bizarre and beautiful at the same time, and the anti-corporation theme which was ultimately even embedded in the developer's name. It's just a fantastic package of goo!
So going by Simpsons season logic, this will be the last good game from this series and it will start falling apart in Picross S9. I'm wondering how they fuck it up. NFT Puzzles? Train Sim World-esque DLC? Useless annoying characters who try to strike up conversation while you're playing? Perhaps they'll come up with a way to have the Switch punch you in the groin for every three minutes you take.
Personally I'm hoping they come out with another villainous Pokemon one that asks you for your social security number and home address to send hired goons to beat the shit out of you for every second wasted, along with all the money it vacuums out of your bank account for every two puzzles you want to do.
A wonderful time to be both a picross and pokemon fan.
I wanted to like this game really badly. I had heard people did not get the game they were expecting and I thought I could appreciate it regardless since I had no expectations. Unfortunately I can't say I enjoyed most of my time with the game. This is in large part due to the gameplay in the mid section with enemies. I would enjoy the game MUCH more if the "combat" segments were gone and it was just an exploration puzzle game. They throw way too many enemies at you sometimes for how shitty the gunplay (intentionally) is. Frequently they give you ammo refills just to immediately throw enemies at you to blow it on. I never felt like there was a choice to stealth or fight, I could only blast away and hopefully not miss for the next encounter. If you die you go back to a checkpoint which can suck when the spot you're dying is after a bunch of cutscenes and mandatory interactables. The game looks great but the levels can get confusing since things look samey. I wouldn't complain about getting lost nearly as much if I wasn't dreading more shooting the whole time. This part of the game I'm complaining about weighs the game down so significantly since it makes up a lot of it. At least I found the puzzles fun.
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