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Thread: The PlayStation Thread

  1. #8541

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiebs View Post
    Anyone playing that game Kena bridge of spirits? If so let me know how it is
    Depends. It breaks very little new ground in gameplay, has a pretty ephemeral story, and isn't very challenging.

    But it is gorgeous and sweet with a wonderful soundtrack and is pleasant just to exist in.

    So I love it, but if you're looking for innovation or challenge, may not be your cup of tea.

    [and as an added note due to my irritation at seeing blurbs from a few reviews out there, the game should be treated as a highly-polished indie title, not a lower-tier AAA game]

  2. #8542

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    All right, here's my 90% done full breakdown of Kena.

    Still think the best way to view this is like a built-from-the-ground-up current-gen tribute to the PS2 platformers of yore, and more the original Jak and Daxter/Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy/Beyond Good and Evil (there's a looot of BG&E DNA in here) than the more combat-centric Jak 2/Ratchet ones. Aesthetics are extremely good, with animation/soundtrack/graphics definitely the highlight of it all. The story is about on par with most of the forgettable stories from old platformers, though the animation really lifts up some pretty generic plotting.

    Gameplay-wise, I think Jak and Daxter is in some ways a good comparison point, in that its general ambitions are often hindered by the camera and responsiveness of the controls. Bossfights can be really cool but extremely frustrating because there's no lock-on and the camera isn't zoomed out enough to see the scads of minions attacking you. Similarly, the platforming is a lot of fun but there's some janky collision and a few jumps that just don't work the way they should. Also, for a collectathon, it doesn't give you a lot of help in grabbing the last few missing items (except for giving you a list of what's collected/available in each region).

    But at $40, I'm extremely impressed. I've seen much less content in full-price games, and while I think it's priced fairly for a game that's probably another hub short or a few mechanics shy of a full-fledged major release, it's one of the better debut performances from a small team I've seen in a long time. I don't mind at all that it doesn't do a whole lot new, since what it does do is mostly fun and all of it has that heart and attention to detail you expect from small teams who care a lot about the final product. Hope they stick around.

  3. #8543
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    That's great to hear. After sony went radio-silent regarding hyping this one I was starting to worry that it'd be a bust.
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  4. #8544

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by tatermoog View Post
    All right, here's my 90% done full breakdown of Kena.

    Still think the best way to view this is like a built-from-the-ground-up current-gen tribute to the PS2 platformers of yore, and more the original Jak and Daxter/Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy/Beyond Good and Evil (there's a looot of BG&E DNA in here) than the more combat-centric Jak 2/Ratchet ones. Aesthetics are extremely good, with animation/soundtrack/graphics definitely the highlight of it all. The story is about on par with most of the forgettable stories from old platformers, though the animation really lifts up some pretty generic plotting.

    Gameplay-wise, I think Jak and Daxter is in some ways a good comparison point, in that its general ambitions are often hindered by the camera and responsiveness of the controls. Bossfights can be really cool but extremely frustrating because there's no lock-on and the camera isn't zoomed out enough to see the scads of minions attacking you. Similarly, the platforming is a lot of fun but there's some janky collision and a few jumps that just don't work the way they should. Also, for a collectathon, it doesn't give you a lot of help in grabbing the last few missing items (except for giving you a list of what's collected/available in each region).

    But at $40, I'm extremely impressed. I've seen much less content in full-price games, and while I think it's priced fairly for a game that's probably another hub short or a few mechanics shy of a full-fledged major release, it's one of the better debut performances from a small team I've seen in a long time. I don't mind at all that it doesn't do a whole lot new, since what it does do is mostly fun and all of it has that heart and attention to detail you expect from small teams who care a lot about the final product. Hope they stick around.
    I really wanted to love this game, but honestly having trouble getting back into it. Did what feels like it was most of the first area, and it hasn't been pretty good about keeping me invested.

    At the core, I think I have two main issues:
    - The story has not been super captivating yet and I have zero investment in the main character and why she wants to do, well, anything. The game really wants me to care about this one character (taro?) but so far it's just this kid I have zero investment in despite the game telling me I care.
    - It feels like a world designed by artists and not by game designers. This means that while I find the game gorgeous and everything looks amazing, it's a huge pain to traverse the world. Particularly so in areas that are more open and have several optional paths. Everything looks the same, there's no intuitive way to sense where the golden path is until someone decides to give you a marker on your map, and since there is no mini-map then you just have to back-and-forth on the map to have a sense of where you're going.
    There's no sense when entering an area of where your interest should be, outside of the dead areas where your attention instantly goes to the thing you have to heal (and these fight-enemy areas tend to be the more fun parts of the game to me). Outside of these, the game sometimes tells you "look, this dude's house is up there", but inexplicably heading in that direction is not what works and instead you have to take a side path to get up there. Where the world-design should be directing your gaze and interest towards the right landmark and paths, instead I'm eternally confused about whether I'm on a side-path or the main path. I can tolerate this to a degree in a 2D metroidvania because in a 2D experience you cannot easily point to the distance and go "that's the way", but in a 3D semi-open world it's unacceptable. Admittedly a lot of areas are just corridors, which helps, but the last area I did was more open than that and traversing it expelled all the goodwill I had been working to maintain.
    With everything looking the same for such long periods of time it's also getting super boring. It makes the experience feel more monotonous and repetitive than it actually is.

    I have to keep going to form more of an opinion, but so far I'm super disappointed. This was one of the games I was looking forward to the most this year and it's disappointing that exploring the world just hasn't been fun.

  5. #8545

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Noqanky View Post
    I have to keep going to form more of an opinion, but so far I'm super disappointed. This was one of the games I was looking forward to the most this year and it's disappointing that exploring the world just hasn't been fun.
    Fair! Feel like a lot of the critical variance for this game is going to center on what problematic game design choices you're willing to tolerate. I'm perfectly fine with lacking signposting and middling exploration if the basic movement feels fine; again, still think my main comparison point for this game is the first Jak and Daxter or some of the other collectathons of the time, and can't say I didn't run in circles for hours looking for a final Precursor Egg. That said, I'm a little surprised you think it looks same-y and hard to navigate; honestly didn't have any issues in that until I was trying to max everything out. If anything, personally thought the visuals were good enough that I was willing to forgive some less-than-inspired map design.

    Amusingly, I was far more annoyed by combat and camera, which you didn't even mention. But 100% agreed on the shallowness of the story, one of those games that has emotional beats that don't match up at all with the level of emotional investment I think players were expected to have.

    Anyways, think noqanky and I usually have similarish tastes in games and when we don't I usually respect why, so I'd take the above as a note of caution for those looking into getting into Kena. It definitely appears to be a more polarizing game than I expected and it's the rare game where I could see going either way, so...if you do dive in, hope you enjoy.

  6. #8546

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by tatermoog View Post
    Fair! Feel like a lot of the critical variance for this game is going to center on what problematic game design choices you're willing to tolerate. I'm perfectly fine with lacking signposting and middling exploration if the basic movement feels fine; again, still think my main comparison point for this game is the first Jak and Daxter or some of the other collectathons of the time, and can't say I didn't run in circles for hours looking for a final Precursor Egg. That said, I'm a little surprised you think it looks same-y and hard to navigate; honestly didn't have any issues in that until I was trying to max everything out. If anything, personally thought the visuals were good enough that I was willing to forgive some less-than-inspired map design.

    Amusingly, I was far more annoyed by combat and camera, which you didn't even mention. But 100% agreed on the shallowness of the story, one of those games that has emotional beats that don't match up at all with the level of emotional investment I think players were expected to have.

    Anyways, think noqanky and I usually have similarish tastes in games and when we don't I usually respect why, so I'd take the above as a note of caution for those looking into getting into Kena. It definitely appears to be a more polarizing game than I expected and it's the rare game where I could see going either way, so...if you do dive in, hope you enjoy.
    Played more yesterday, completing the second area. This area had less problems for me in terms of sameyness since it moved away from the forest, and the more open area with hills made it infinitely easier to see landmarks and get an idea of where to go. I'm also starting to avoid side-paths and just heading straight to objectives, in part because I feel the extra stuff you find (hats, currency to buy hats) is just not that rewarding.

    Funny you mention combat and camera because that's the bit that super annoyed me last night lol. I was playing the game on hard and got exasperated by the amount of times I would just die because of enemy attacks catching me mid-dodge, or dodging a boss attack perfectly only to land into an attack from a random mook that was off-camera. Eventually I moved the difficulty back to the basic and.... it's still really annoying, except now at least I seem to tank more hits.
    I think this idea of having constant small enemies mixed with a boss/mini-boss is what pulls the combat from fun to annoying. The camera shifts towards them instead of the boss, so your visibility is inconsistent, and when a boss requires arrow precision to hit their weak points it's annoying to not have time to do that because there's a constant never-ending stream of baby groots coming at you. The Taro boss didn't have this, thankfully, but that one did have the issue of the boss constantly going behind the camera and causing me to run and dodge aimlessly to try and re-position to find him.

    But yea, as you say, I can see elements in the game that I understand why people like it. It's just rubbing me in the wrong way, and I am also realizing I am just not as patient as when I was a kid. I feel like younger me would have just rolled with a lot of these problems and not cared, where now as an adult it feels like I'm losing time I could spend elsewhere. Stupid adulthood?

    edit: oh yea, story-wise I really liked the long cutscenes that play when you beat a boss. I almost wish they would play those when you enter the area to get you to care about the spirits first, since otherwise I just get a brief flash of who they are but not why I care.

  7. #8547

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread


    Both Tom Holland or Mark Wahlberg seem to be playing themselves and not the characters, or is that just me?

  8. #8548

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    I honestly can’t say since I’ve seen much of Tom Holland outside of the Marvel Movies and even then still not a lot whereas the last Mark Wahlberg movie I’ve watched all the way through was the Departed.

    That aside it is interesting that they’re taking parts of seemingly the first game and parts of the second and third.
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  9. #8549

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    In the past year, two games have really surprised me with their solid gameplay and emotional depth, those games being...*checks notes*...uh, Yakuza: Like a Dragon and...wait...*checks notes again*...Guardians of the Galaxy.

    ...I'm so confused.

    Of the two, LaD is definitely the superior game primarily because it doesn't get as tedious for me in the latter stages as the other, but GotG genuinely shocked me at how it actually packed some character depth with some genuine quiet and reflective moments that it takes quite seriously. The voice acting is a bit inconsistent, but I think I prefer the game's rendition of all the characters except Gamora (mostly, and she gets some decent stuff in optional stuff and the ending!) to their cinematic counterparts.

  10. #8550

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    I'm sorry if I posted this before but is anyone interested in this?

    basically an Isekai video game

  11. #8551

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    That does look pretty neat.
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  12. #8552

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    World looks nice, plot seems to be on the "edge" side of the Square-Enix spectrum, which has not done much at all for me in recent years. I'll probably give it a shot just because I like big open fantasy worlds; maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

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