I still love my PS Vita even as the Switch is getting all the love and time. It has such a big library of impressively big games and such a well built hardware (still amazed by the battery life, processing, and unfortunately the Switch screen is not much better in the sun… if only the screen was bigger)… I still hope for a Vita 2 as i’d rather be playing there due to the library and great Sony ecosystem with the ps+ games which have over the years accumulated for my Vita so many gems I can’t find the time to play them yet I can’t forget about.
I am however happy and impressed to see there’s a passionate community around the platforms, fans or even collectors which are now taking advantage of the lack of popularity and sales to pick up hidden gems such as the moving story around min 5 of this video:
I’m just 9 years after everybody else… but yeaayy, I finished it also! :D Played it on and off in the past year. Here’s my quick thoughts:
+ I can see why for it’s time it might’ve been technologically and in terms of gameplay quite innovative
-, + The world i find a mixed bag. It looks like there’s some visual and backstory interest, but then it’s very very skin deep and it never materializes
-, – very “box-design”, cubes and cubic stuff in all directions, all convenient for cover taking but with little thought to being visually pleasing or making sense
+ the music is at times interesting, with some orchestral elements. They didn’t quite impress but at least they tried.
-, -, – to me a very boring and annoying “go soldier, go” barking orders atmosphere and story. Nothing epic and definitely group oriented as opposed to epic hero.
+, + it’s great that the game offers splitscreen co-op and supports it so well. Also what helped me get unstuck at the end. I can imagine a lot of people in the world had fun playing it with friends
-, – i disliked the bulky soldiers and the 3rd person camera, something which combined to have an annoying “why is he blocking my screen” feeling, this was particularly bad and made even worse by the horrible sprinting mode, which has a very sickness inducing shaking on top of all that.
-, -, – very little/shallow world building/world backstory, it feels like it’s there just the bare minimum for the soldiers to keep shooting at stuff
+, -, – Mostly it felt okay in the “boss” department (I hate bosses), with doable stuff. The end boss was particularly frustrating though, and I remember a few other places where I got a bit stuck not being clear how to advance as enemies were “spawning” by digging themselves up from underground.
Overall I’d give this game a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. Good enough to finish it, possibly it would’ve gotten a bit less today but I can imagine in 2006 it might’ve been pretty cool and path opening, and even today it does decently. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I had to play it for all it is to gaming history.
Wuhuuu!!! we’re in 2018!! :D epiiiic mega legeeeendaarryy! Livin’ in the futurezzz!!!Usual rules: 3 tries per person. Winner gets to propose a gameSketch. x5 multiplier for first timers. Newcomers: you may ask for 3 freebies even if you didn’t yet guess anything. Outstanding credits: Schkan x4, Firefish x35, Jason Clark 10, Jaco x100, Marius, SebastianKErben x19, Radu x45, , 47Crows x19, Ange, PettyX90 x7, Pori x2, Tarpo x5, player347 x9, Diana x6, VideoGamesAsArt x2 , thegazer x9, BiaHawks x7, rsocu x5, Teofil S. Awaiting scenes from you guys.
This might just be the biggest ingame secret I’ve ever discovered. I’m totally impressed. There’s others that surprised and delighted, in different ways, and some even in size, for example I admire a lot the whole Wolfenstein 3d inside Wolfenstein II, however even that didn’t blow me away as much as seeing this. That felt “old tech” and doable… but this, maan, this is relatively new tech, I played it on ps2… and it even has scripted moments. Like WOOOW!!
PS: yeah, i keep playing the game. It’s sometimes “uncomfortable” to play for reasons of atmosphere and others, yet I can’t help but respect and appreciate all the work and world they put in there. It’s such a shame that it seems the game even gets better with time and gives more and more, and yet it’s easy to see how most players will never even get half way through it… and I was almost one of them… and even so far in, after multiple times thinking I was near the end new areas and secrets are revealed and it just keeps on giving. I’ve often wished games would keep better content for the end game… even while recommending they use it at the start before they lose players… this is one of those games that does it… even if it killed the devs?!?
PS2: this is so technically impressive!?! that must’ve required a whole game inside a game… and not a trivial old game either. maaan.
Happy New Year 2017 Everybody! Last gameSketch before 2018. An oldie but my favorite game for so many years around its launch with so much to explore and great hidden secret stories such as this one.
This game keeps surprising me with it’s amazing retro soundtrack and now on a holiday “january” sale I finally got the season pass i was looking forward to for long and this song just came up on the in-game radio and it totally blew me away (past the first minute especially) with it’s technical trickery and playful whimsines. Perfect and even christmasy feeling somehow. Meeery Chrismas everybody!
Finishes it yesterday, in thep ast week, here’s some thoughts while it’s still fresh:
+ looks at all times polished and even good sometimes however:
-, – , – , – was 95% of the time incredibly increeedibly bland and generic in it’s visual design/world/world building/visual language. It all was “generic mech-i sci-fi” writ large. At any moment you look you seem something that looks “cool” yet I easily found myself spacing out at just how same-same everything was. And I could also tell this based on the reactions of my wife as I would keep saying “look, this looks good” but then 2 seconds later she would look away and the thing is, i felt the same even while playing: the recipe is always the same: at any moment you look at the screen you see a) big empty mechanical surfaces without visual interest (hardly any wear and tear, planlife or life or use, even though they were supposedly houndreds/thousands/millions of years old b) on which boring visually uninteresting mechanical humanoid characters were walking and the camera was taking it’s sweet time to keep showing this. And the characters felt so bland, not just story but visuals too that:
-, -, -, I think I was like 60-70% through the game until I realized the 4 characters in my team were actually sometimes also another 4 characters, that’s how little they looked different and how bland mechanical and without personality or personal style flair they were. Only then did i have a flash of realization that the game keeps switching me between two teams of opposing 4 characters. You may laugh at me if you want, but i think this shows a huge flaw in the visual design. This is made worse by:
-, -, -, very very bland story, that I couldn’t care less about. Soldiers always talking like there’s a great urgency, like there’s not enough time, and this in EVERY mission, this has to do with:
-, – the game has very bad pacing, Like a good game I expect to have highs and lows, moments of quiet and moments of action, tension alternating with awe, this game felt like it was always trying to do tension, tension, rush, rush, rush. There’s pretty much always some big scale battle going on, and banter of “quick quick, we don’t have time…”
+ the game felt uniformly polished looking, like consistently AAA quality in the content presentation, smoothness of running and flowing things forward
+ it kept moving forward, which was good and kept me going even to the point of finishing it, too bad:
-, -, – a lot of the game felt like a series of interconnected arenas. They were not small, but there was always the feeling of “clear the enemies and the next door will open” a few times even leading to confusion or fear of bug because of some lost enemy. And this wave based fighting felt very much the opposite of any personal adventure or exploration (for some reason i keep wanting to contrast this to the now ancient aged game Unreal )
+, +, – Music is good, and now that i listen to it separately there’s even great musical moments, but little of that was to me apparent while playing the game. Maybe it was the monotony of the wave based enemies, or the annoying pointless in-between soldier-soldier dialogues, but most of the time i didn’t notice it (maybe also shows that it wasn’t used good, at the right moments & the existence of moments of breathing to notice it), except a few times when i remember thinking what a waste it is was when they overused and abused the “finish the fight” (i think Halo 3) majestic song which had tones of grand last stand but this as a completely trivial moment which meant nothing, and then again, and then again, trivializing it and being a bit lame if one thinks it was an attempt to project greatness feeling and a feeling of story and purpose in which such were missing
-, +, – The whole game and world, instead of being an excuse to see and feel alien worlds and interesting stories felt populated only by faceless fighting soldiers. I thought for a while in a mission about a mine i’ll get more of a feeling of a colony, but that was super shallow (Rage shined in contrast to this) while for the most I’d see a grand looking camera fly by some alien structures, but instead of seeing some indication of alien or even human living activity there there would be only more faceless soldiers doing nothing
-, -, – I found it incredibly embarrassing and annoying that they kept the signature halo little silly enemies and even worse they gave them some silly voices saying stupid things. This further destroyed any pretense of this being a well thought out universe with interesting participants with own motivations. I get it, it must’ve been a whole different world in 2001, 16 years ago when the first Halo game was made, and maybe back then they were meant as a little comic relief, but today, with such a big franchise, this felt just embarrassing. Even under obligations of keeping the identity I would’ve hoped modern days would at least try to minimize such enemies, make them less common and overshadow them by something more immersive.
-, – there’s this one race of robotic aliens that appears again. It was there in Halo 4, it felt there too lazy, and it does so even more in these bland environments. The weapons they drop are pretty cool looking, but their designs I find totally lazy and cheap. Sure, clean and sleek, but lazy and part of this bigger problem of the look/atmosphere of the whole game.
– the dialogues in the story I also found pretty bland and forgettable.
-, +, – I’m not a huge fan of the game always forcing you to switch weapons. It’s like it thinks it’s “game design” is more important than your fun or player choices. I get that it forces you to try different weapons, but this is even if you don’t like it, aaand it feels a little silly to in the middle of battle constantly be trying to pick a new type of weapon for ammo aaand at the beginning of new mission segment it keeps forcing you back with a selection of weapons which you’ve already many times shown the game you don’t like, but it disregards that and puts you back with them. I get it that it can be justified as “but it fits the characters”, but i still find it bad for disallowing player expression and agency.
Overall I’d give the game a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. Surprising maybe given all my complaints, but still it does feel like a AAA title, even if I was very disappointed. It did keep going forward so that I liked and is why I actually finished it.
We’re in the last 24h, last chance! If anybody still wants to join the party this year and gift & receive a game for Christmas, this is your last chance to leave a note at http://artsygamer.com/artsy-gamers-secret-santas-8th-edition/ After that entry will be closed and the random Secret Santas will be asigned.
What amazing attention to detail. My favorite was the one about that mumbling guy who turns out to be an insightful witty author of a recipe book that is actually popular.
It’s stuff like this that impresses me about the games today, they can give one experiences I’ll probably never have in my life… for example in this case just wondering arid areas, fascinating stone formations or a desert in all directions. Just fantastic! And not just the visuals, but the sounds, how they change based on what you’re stepping on, and the kind of love given, I mean i just couldn’t believe it when i started to to experience mirages. that kind of attention to detail and hidden subtletly In the past I would only expect from some elite Metal Gear Solid 3 game or something… and yet here it was. What a treat! And even the In general and technically this game in general has just mindblowing environmental detail, also greatly due to the fantastic work of Sébastien Rousseau, check out some of his amazing grounds for the game: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/Qqy0B
Another thing that I totally didn’t expect is some technical/engineering/historical thinking about the objects, in fact i was betting against it. I had expected the game to be all eye candy, instead I saw there some incredibly thought out irrigation mechanisms in Egypt, I marveled at devices to lift the water, at an ingenious system using a river power to raise the water level for another perpendicular unconnected river, irrigations for plants, and here… Aqueducts… which, in a level of delight that I often wish for in reality are in construction (just like some Pyramids) , giving the opportunity to observe and understand the method of doing. Just amazing. Simply running around in this world is to me mindblowing. And i remember seeign in one place a multi-layered set of pols of water seemingly meant strongly for function (maybe for colors or making some kind of chemical processing?). Fascinating.