is this game for me?

I am making a generic topic for this because I think it‘ll be useful - often we’ll get recommended something and just not see the fun in it for some time, and wonder if the part that'll appeal to us will open up later. Might be good to have a thread about it?

In my case, tim has been recommending God of War (2018) for a long time (probably since 2018) and I finally just started it last night. I won't ask when it "gets good" because I am sure people enjoy it from the start - the combat turned me off pretty quickly (I don't like playing the lumbering big guy very much), and I turned it down to easy to bust through it. I am eternally hitting the wrong button to use the shield vs throw the axe, and also forgetting when I've thrown my axe and no longer have it.

The main thing I want to know is when does it become _pleasant_? I assume Kratos's relationship with his son improves and be becomes nicer. But I'm an hour in and it still feels like everyone is sad and reserved and I, as the main character, am just a sour, not nice person. and gameplay-wise, it's hit some enemies, light puzzle, walk with nothing to do, repeat.

So what would "pleasant" mean for me?
1) more exploration, more action puzzles
2) kratos is nicer, story gets less dour and dire
3) the tone in general becomes less about a sad tough guy who doesn't want to fix his problems

If these things don't happen I'll probably stop! If some of these things happen soonish, I'll keep going (I'm an hour in basically, 10 mins past the "you ca~n't _hurt_ me!" boss).

@“exodus”#p71372 Been a few years since I played God of War (2018), but it left a pretty strong impression on me back in 2020 so I think I remember it well enough.

I'd lean towards Not For You. While the game world is technically explorable and it does have puzzle elements, I found myself following it more-or-less totally linearly and the puzzles remain a bit of an afterthought compared to the combat.

The character development/tonal shift that you're looking for 100% happens, but it's not really until the middle of the game that they start reconciling the gaps between Sad Kratos, Mad Kratos and Dad Kratos. There's some more fun side characters earlier than that (more fun than Sad Kratos at least, YMMV on if they're actually fun), but I think the weighty combat and pretty environments are the big draws until the plot starts moving more.

Thanks, that‘s helpful! I think I’ll give it another session (I do like looking at the environments), but the story really needs to get nicer in order to pull me through, and if that's not super soon, I might just move on to… recore!

I sold my copy after finishing it and never touched the post-game content. There are some characters I liked quite a bit, like the dwarves and Mimir, but I didn't feel very strongly toward the game. It sure is a AAA Sony game.

Also I agree with the criticism Abby Russell and Gita Jackson levelled for the game's portrayal of its two women characters (who are both mothers)—that they're more plot devices than characters.

@“exodus”#p71372 I’m surprised that the combat was a turn off for you. I think the game has pretty tight, well designed combat mechanics. Of course you gain new abilities as you progress that will definitely make it more enjoyable.

Anyway, I’m guessing you haven’t spent that much time with the game if you are frustrated with the controls. I think you should try to get a handle on that before you write off the combat entirely. It starts off somewhat simple, but gains more depth as the game goes on.

I found the story enjoyable, but I had played all of the previous God of War games, so it was probably the character of Kratos that actually carried it for me. I was already very familiar with him and was intrigued by seeing this new side of him. If it weren’t for that, I can imagine feeling like you do about the story (at least at the beginning).

@“exodus”#p71372 I had basically the same experience with this and quite a few other big games of the last generation or two (God of War, Last of Us, Uncharted 4 etc). They‘re all just so sad, boring and mechanically uninteresting. For me, they’re barely even games. Meticulously-crafted narrative experiences, sure, but shitty games. They all take themselves far too seriously and the more of these games that exist the more the self-awarded gravitas circlejerk is legitimised.

I eventually came to the realisation that none of them are 'for me' and gave up trying to make myself enjoy them. And that's ok! It leaves more time for playing _good_ games.

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Yeeeah I should give this another shot, but the ultra serious grimness of it all at the beginning was too much for me. Not that I thought it was overly effective, just corny.

Good idea for a thread. I‘ve been wondering whether Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit is for me for a while. It looks cool bur all I really know is that it’s another Metroidvania. My questions are:

  • - Does it require knowledge of the franchise? I have none.
  • - How much in the way of backtracking and figuring out where to go is there? I'm a bit sick of games that force you to frequently backtrack and prefer something more guided these days.
  • - In relation to the above - were you satisfied that the game ended when it did or were you tiring of it by the time it ended?
  • Team Ladybug‘s metroidvanias tend to be very compact and not especially dense—they’re more like longer-than-average action games with a small amount of interconnectivity between areas, and they're more commonly criticised for being too short/undercooked than anything else.

    @“Syzygy”#p71541 Awesome, thanks!

    Yeah, just to add to the deedlit thing, I was pretty disappointed. it looks like a ~vania but it‘s not really much of one (which could work in your favor), but the main thing is it’s just kinda… a bit limp! The movement doesn‘t feel good, the action isn’t tight, I played it once and just never went back to it. It's forgettable!

    I've seen and forgotten all the lodoss stuff and I didn't find that too important really. you understand it as much as you understand any castlevania story, it's barely a factor.

    I do want to try it again, but I think I shot myself in the foot by waiting for the physical release, so I got it like 5 months after its console release, and finally played it and was like... eh! It's fine I guess. I wanted more!

    @“exodus”#p71586 This is super helpful. I get wildly put off a game if it doesn‘t feel good to play, and if you’ve found it a bit limp then that‘s unlikely to want to make me finish it. Perhaps my initial ignorant impression of the game is testament to to what my informed impression might be after playing it. I dunno, I’ll probably give it a spin if I see it going for a good discount. Thanks!

    Ladybug‘s games are much more like Wonderboy-style adventures of linear stage progression, but with interconnected maps. Which, honestly, is fine! But they’re not really metroidvanias in the traditional sense of exploring a huge connected world progressively.

    It's been the same with their other games (Touhou Luna Nights, SMT Synchronicity, etc) so it's just the vibe that works for them. If you go in expecting that from them, you'll have a good time, but SotN-likes they are not. .. Even if they understand that Alucard's cape is an intensely important part of the experience.

    i‘m having a hard time liking dungeon encounters. i had a bit of a breakthrough when i (an idiot) realised that some characters have coordinates listed on the party organising screen and you have to get out there and find them. my guys were chugging along nicely for the first 12 levels or so, backtracking to heal when appropriate, but the difficulty was satisfying if not too punishing. then, i run into a guy, he’s putting out numbers in tens of thousands and my babies are in the low hundreds. can‘t run away, everyone gets OHKOd. then the game says "make a new party out of whoever’s left" and i'm not sure i want to!

    @“rootfifthoctave”#p71593 My personal recommendation is to persevere with what has happened. Everything that happens in that game is a learning experience. That very same thing happened to me - there‘s a tile that has a hexadecimal reading of something like F# and it’s there to teach you to be cautious of high level readings. They appear sporadically on later floors but the game will give you the tools to avoid them, and it adds a layer of tension to the whole game.

    With that particular encounter I used a couple of reserve members to go out and collect my dead comrades (make sure you have open spots in your party otherwise you won't be able to collect them), and that was it - lesson learned, and I alternated between my main party and my rescue party for the whole game whilst only picking up maybe one or two new characters in the entire game.

    The good thing about the game as well is that low level characters can equip powerful weapons if they have enough skill points to do so, so they can be really effective if you can level them a little bit. You will also get some real strong weapons fairly early in the game that will help carry you a couple dozen floors, and in that time you will pick up a lot more nuanced info about what you can do and the challenges that lie ahead.

    gotten back into Streets of Rage 4 lately, and the more time i spend with that game, the more i like it. sure, the art is nice to look at, and the music does indeed go hard and slap, but for me, it's just the physical crunch of every punch delivered to a bad dude. the punching just feels real good.

    i haven't found many games where the moment-to-moment dude-punching (or sword-hitting, or whatever it may be) feels _that_ good _that_ consistently.

    so here's my question: is the Scott Pilgrim game in that satisfying category? i haven't played it since it originally came out, when i was too dazzled by a video game being set in Toronto to be able to evaluate it properly.

    bonus question (though not really right for this thread): what games spring to mind for you when it comes to satisfying, crisp fighting feel?

    Anyone like Unsighted? I initially thought I loved it but then bounced off after around 2.5 hours. I still want to love it. I adore the premise, artwork, and characters. I think the whole Metroidvania/Zelda with a time limit thing is a neat twist on a genre that could use one. The combat didn't grip me as immediately as other top-down titles like Crosscode and Hades, but I thought it was decently tight and I could learn to enjoy it more. Maybe it opens up with more abilities, like usual for this kind of game.

    But maybe it's that neat time limit mechanic after all. I felt icky with how long I was taking to solve some of the puzzles and beat the boss in the first dungeon with that clock always ticking down. That unique kind of eustress the developers are clearly trying to illicit in the player starts to feel like distress and anxiety the more I dawdle and lose, and I think it's turning me off of a beautiful game. I want to love the concept and Play as the Developers Intended but maybe that's Not For Me.

    I'm not a stop and smell the roses guy with games and I tend to rush through most in a straight line, so it's not the fact that I have no time to explore.

    Anyone have any positive experiences turning the timer off? Did you feel like you missed out on what makes the game special? (I mean, it's probably not the B+/A- combat that makes it special, right?). Or should I just chill out and know that even if I'm somewhat slow and initially bad at killing things, the timer won't kill me in the end... right?

    @“whatsarobot”#p71657 I'm a huge Scott Pilgrim fan and was really into the game when it originally dropped, so I was also too dazzled to really give it an critical look over.

    To answer your question: No, SPVtW:tG is not nearly as satisfying to play as SoR4. It's honestly somehow less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately. The music, art, humor, and _vibe_ of that game are pretty special, but it kinda falls flat when it all comes together. The punching and combat don't feel all that great, and I experienced a lot of bugs that kind of ruined my sessions from time to time. Honestly, I ended up putting it down before I finished to run through River City Girls again, and I don't even like that game that much.
    At the end of the day, it's currently on sale on the Ubisoft store for $5, which is totally worth it for the shop music alone.

    As far as a game with a good fightin' feel- The Warriors (PS2) always felt great. The punches felt heavy, the sprinting felt frenetic and the big gang fights were pretty spectacular. I'd also say (sorry @exodus ) that GoW (2018) has some real good punchy kicks and fights.


    @“whatsarobot”#p71657 what games spring to mind for you when it comes

    Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors and Super Crush KO are my two favorite Bmups and have this in spades. (I would also say Dead Cells, but it is fairly outside that genre, regardless of whether the main verb is hitting freaks)