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Quintus last won the day on February 27 2020

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  1. At the other end of the spectrum to Stu, here's me who, after years and years of playing countless games in pretty much most genres under the sun, has reached a point where story (or some other clever writing/characterisation device) is now the main driving factor behind my looking into new experiences to be had in the gaming pastime. I'm pretty much "all played out" with regular run-of-the-mill stuff, but I'll still make the effort with anything that is particularly standout, or seems to have very strong common word of mouth. By common I mean regular gamers constantly talking about titles on forums and other channels. I don't trust nor read professional reviews anymore. I'm currently playing something called Norco, which is a point and click suburban narrative adventure with a semi bleak near future backdrop.
  2. Been watching Chernobyl. The first couple of episodes are unreal, they're so well done! The pervading sense of looming doom is atmospheric AF. But the aftermath episodes seem to be more focused on the secondary characters and their soviet misery predicaments, and I find this content much less interesting. Maybe it picks up again in the last episode? The soundtrack is very effective, and I read the lady who composed the score got all the plaudits. Fair enough, but I bet it'd make for an absolute shit album. Overall, this "metallic throb" soundscape style is just never going to be good for the soundtrack medium.
  3. Linear story driven campaign wise I'm even quite satisfied with a really effective 5-6 hour affair. I understand when people are paying silly "next gen" premium pricing for their console games that there's an expectation for expansive long term value, but I'm coming from the angle of a PC player who rarely pays more than a tenner for stuff on Steam and other digital stores. Moreover, I never buy anything till around a year after release anyway. So yeah, a lot of the time I am actually quite grateful for the small mercies of briefer gaming experiences, especially with the size of backlogs we all seem to have piled on ourselves these days.
  4. Bridgerton... I honestly don't know how people watch that shit. What I have seen of it was agonising.
  5. I think games should be as long as they need to be.
  6. See how far you get. I think I got to the third planet. Actually, Guardians of the Galaxy isn't itself that far, far away. Everyone raves about it, yet I'm so far unconvinced. But I'll keep at it a little longer before making a call.
  7. Funny, we just cancelled our long-standing sub this morning. Using one of those dodgy Android apps on the firestick instead with a vpn, plays the absolute lot in 1080p minimum. Netflix isn't the same value for money as it was, especially after the price hike. When you think that Amazon Prime provide delivery and streaming in one package for almost half the cost, well I think that highlights just how far out whack Netflix have gone.
  8. It starts out so promising but goes nowhere I hadn't been countless times before. Didn't finish it.
  9. The video in the old OP of this says it's now set to private. Is there another link for it at all? I've completely forgotten ever listening to this, but apparently I loved it back when I heard it.
  10. For me it never doesn't have the effect of making me hoard my best kit, without ever using it. I'll keep using my lower tier stuff while saving my stronger more powerful weapons for some big tough encounter which never happens. Right now in my inventory I have swords which blow all of the other items away, and I've never used them. I think it was a bad direction for BOTW to go in, at least for me.
  11. I know what you mean but I found them to be too cumbersome on anything but rolling hills geometry and in the end more hassle than they're worth. They're also only good for the start of one's most recent expedition, since leaving them behind for a quick explore off the beaten track inevitably renders them unusable due to their player follow limitations.
  12. CEMU Emulator feels like a divine blessing from above for the prettier looking past Nintendo titles in that regard. It makes their games look brand new. Soon, I'm going to move onto Wind Waker. I hear that one is pretty special, at least after the Wii U edition quality of life improvements they brought to it. Breath of the Wild is actually the first Zelda game I've played and finished since Ocarina of Time.
  13. Nah. I'm going to take a break from this sort of thing and have a blast through Guardians of the Galaxy instead.
  14. Re: Zelda Breath of the Wild It's a smashing game, really relaxing to wind down and unload to in the evenings, I've enjoyed it a fair bit; it is exceptionally rare for me to play and complete a game of this size these days, so it clearly got a lot right. It's utterly beautiful, too, in parts: for example, I was spellbound by the visual atmosphere of the Lost Woods and the hidden little village in its centre - but one stunning locale in an enormous world choc full of rich visual style, it really is a marvel this sprawling expanse that they created, even by modern open world design standards. Very cool stuff then, and from a 2017 release on an underpowered and forgotten console system. I was thinking, it must be quite heartbreaking for the graphics artists working on these Nintendo platforms to see their originally superior high fidelity work eventually stripped of pixels in order to make the games run on underpowered hardware. I appreciate that Zelda adventures hold a degree of visual charm despite their low res, jaggie-edge final forms, but after playing Breath of the Wild in 4K OLED with nary a shimmering staircase polygonal edge in sight (picture perfect crystal clear fidelity), well it really just makes the artwork shine, a huge appreciation being felt for the talent and craft behind it. I've always loved good graphics and visual flair in games, and Breath of the Wild is probably brimming with a not insignificant amount of unnoticed polish in that regard. It's almost a shame really. Maybe one day they'll remaster it - they could literally just up the resolution and send it out and people would assume the thing had received a full overhaul. But it's not all good, and certainly isn't the greatest game ever made™, not by a long shot. I'd argue it isn't even one of the best ever. Because there are some baffling design choices going on in the background, and I of course think they're worth calling out: The Master Sword is absolutely pointless as a central quest reward, it's a crap weapon and I think an insult to the legendary weapon's status as seen in past instalments. In BOTW's disposable weapon setup, the Master Sword is redundant. This irony of the one unbreakable weapon in the game also being entirely disposable is... regrettable. Horses aren't fun and feel like an afterthought which were shoehorned in the result of there being an expectation to see them in a Zelda game, particularly an open world one. Simply, they just handle badly. I've played a Battlefield game which had better controlled and more exciting horse riding. Shame on you Nintendo! I ended up leaving mine at the stables. Combat is remarkably very sloppy. Bomb spamming isn't fun fighting mechanics, but it feels necessary in many encounters, with weapons breaking very quickly (a controversial design choice, it turns out) and slash timing that demands highly exact inputs for a broadly mainstream game of its type. Early game, being near one-shot by enemies doesn't feel like Nintendo and feels more like Bethesda or even From Software. Much time is spent pausing and unpausing the action, but more on that later. Enemy lethality early on and even later can be like a cheap, arbitrary challenge. Dodge timing is promoted as a core aspect of the melee combat, but using these attack evasion moves is not intuitive nor particularly satisfying, in fact they'll get you killed where simple turtling or circling/backflipping will keep you in the fight. I'd say that overall I didn't much enjoy the fighting in this game. That's just... bizarre? The inventory system is woefully bad. If it weren't for Skyrim before it, I'd even go as far as calling item management in BOTW an industry worst. Quickly locating and retrieving items in the UI is an absolute shitshow. Exaggerating much? I don't think I am, not when you compare this inventory system to countless other games on the market. For example, why did Nintendo feel the need to reinvent the radial wheel? We're talking about CONSTANT gameplay pauses here; just selecting healing (food) during combat is terrible for gameplay ebb and flow and I find it shocking that this happens in a Nintendo game, let alone a marquee Zelda release. Elixirs are pointless (or food is, depending on your "poison" of choice in the game). Because food and monster ingredients appear to perform the exact same function as each other and so what happens is you end up with a load of junk to endlessly scroll through, half of which essentially has no purpose but to be sold to merchants. They could have sped up inventory management by focusing on one or the other, instead of offering all this superficial choice under the guise of it being some sort of deep crafting system. It isn't, although I admit I found the cooking animation charming. In addition, inventory tabs are also very unintuitive in the way they are laid out and labelled. I was regularly pressing the wrong button in search of a particular screen. Constant rain. I see enough rain in real life and would have preferred to largely escape it in a lush world full of rolling valleys, but I frequently couldn't appreciate the sights due to it constantly pissing down and the drizzly atmosphere greatly dimming and obscuring vision, and the spectacle. It makes for a miserable mood, as open world games go. At its worst, prolonged heavy downpours have the effect of making the nighttime feel doubly as long - when it's actually 12 noon. I almost modded the rain out, but I ultimately settled for "preserve the artist's original vision", even if it intrusively sucked. Music isn't up to the legacy of the series. Lacking in variety, I found it to be tedious, with simplistic piano ruminations making up the brunt of the experience. Now don't get me wrong, there are nice cues in here, but come on they are few and far between. Yes, I get that the sparing use of music and its frugal instrumentation is intended to bring an air of "the lonely wild" to proceedings, but I don't think it worked that well. "But the heavy thematics of past titles wouldn't suit the lonely bygone derelictions of this Zelda world!" Nonsense, there are tracks that sound like those classics in this game, and when they play they suddenly bring the world alive. But they are fleeting. For my money, the musical design in BOTW is counterintuitive to the overall sense of place and journey across its vast lands. The score is oddly quite small in scope. I bet others would reword that as "more personal", which I understand but don't agree with. Blood moon is an underutilised mechanic. It literally has no effect on my behaviour or approach, I never saw or felt its influence at any point in the game. More redundancy, very strangely in a Nintendo title. And a final criticism... SHRINES ARE NO REPLACEMENT FOR DUNGEONS. God they're dull. However, the Divine Beasts were... alright. I liked how they played their part in the threadbare story's lore and the grand climax when they were ready for the final assault, that was very cool. But still, please bring back proper dungeons in the next game. I've left about thirty five shrines in BOTW unexplored, many of them discovered but left untouched on the map. I don't need the hearts and they're too boring to be bothered with now. With all that comprehensive negativity, then, how come I still played this game through to completion? Well in the end, it's the old case of the "sum of its parts" total package: the game undeniably has a sort of mystical abstract appeal that while not that difficult to pin down, is not something I'm going to bore you with further in an attempt at flowery waxing lyrical about. About how it all just seems to pull together, as a complete adventurous package, flaws and all. Ultimately, there's just something highly compelling about picking away at this massive world's delightfully playful and extremely sophisticated open world physics based sandbox. It's a chill time to be had. Sorry for distilling the experience down in a way which might seem rather soulless and technically obsessed, but my angle with finer games is you can never have the magic without a lot of nuts and bolts, and I've always been appreciative of both. After all is said and done, I think of Breath of the Wild as being a good Zelda game, but not the best in the series, or in the adventure genre at large.
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