Thoughts on games: Ornstein & Smough's bromance
May 22, 2016

Quantum Break - A serviceable third person shooter that strengthened by an enjoyable story with great acting. The combat is a lot of fun thanks to all the time powers. Freezing enemies, zipping around at light speed and creating shields help break it from the standard cover-based shooter mold. The pacing is where the game falters most - way too many "walking simulator" sections with plot dump. I also wish the environments and enemies were a little more varied. The TV show aspect is forgettable at best.

Star Fox Zero - The biggest disappointment of 2016. It really shouldn't be hard to make a good Star Fox game. Instead of Arwing stages, you're stuck piloting helicopters and tanks with awkward motion controls for more than half the game. The sections with the Arwing are all too fleeting. Even just being able to use the Wii U Pro Controller would make the game better, but sometimes Nintendo seems out of touch with what their consumers want. Or maybe I'm just not their target audience anymore.

Dark Souls III - My current favorite game of 2016. I've already played through twice as a INT build and a STR build. Leagues better than Dark Souls II in design & lore and all around the best playing Souls game. I appreciate that From upped the speed and aggressiveness of the AI to something closer to Bloodborne while still making it feel like Souls. In some ways it's easier than DS1 & 2 namely because the challenge doesn't so much derive from evil level design but tough enemies in mostly open areas but with plenty of shortcuts and bonfires. The enemies can still be cheesed big time though with circle strafing and long-range options. On the other hand, the bosses are much faster and more aggressive than previous Souls games. Unfortunately it is a derivative of the older games and lore is not a good excuse for this. I'll have replay again sometime as a Pyromancy build, but first I'm halfway through my 6th character in Bloodborne because that's the best Souls game (REAL TALK).

Dark Souls - So I replayed this as a quality build and was pleasantly surprised how well it holds up. I feel like this one has the best overall level design, enemies, and lore. It does take some time to adjust to how really slow the games feels after DS3 & Bloodborne. Surprisingly the combat feels easy now compared to the later games. The enemies (especially bosses) are so slow and very obviously telegraph their attacks. On the other hand, the environments are so extremely tough thanks to fighting in so many narrow corridors and on precarious ledges. I think 90% of my deaths were from gravity and the other 10% were from Ornstein & Smough (these guys are still assholes). I played the PS3 version and I hope to never again - the framerate in Blighttown is borderline unplayable. How was this ever acceptable?

Uncharted 4 - If you're not a fan of Uncharted, this one isn't going to change your mind. It's still as scripted as can be but NaughtyDog does scripted really well. Beautiful set pieces, great dialog and acting, improved stealth mechanics, a bit more variety with vehicle sections. My biggest complaint is mostly from the story. I'm not the biggest fan of the very obvious and poorly explained retcon of Nate having an older brother and his character is probably the worst in the story. Otherwise an extremely enthralling and beautiful playable action movie.

DOOM - Probably the best FPS I've played since Bioshock Infinite. A meaty 10+ hour campaign full of 90's era fast-paced, strafing shooting with huge enemy counts and over the top gore. The levels are huge and full of secrets. The weapon upgrades are pretty cool. I could have done without the sections with platforming across bottomless pits, and it's noticeably easier than the original DOOM and DOOM II (mainly because of health and armor upgrades).

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Suskie Suskie - May 23, 2016 (12:26 AM)
I think I agree with literally everything you said here except for the Quantum Break stuff (haven't played that yet) and DS3 being my favorite game of 2016 (as much as I love it, it's too samey). Star Fox Zero is just mesmerizingly stupid, especially since they nailed this almost two decades ago.

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