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Everything posted by Xander45

  1. Thank you I would definitely not speed-run your first playthrough of Nier, if you want to optimise your platinum time that's the best way but honestly, just enjoy the game. For the new ending they've added into Replicant you need to start a new file anyway, so can speed-run that up until the point where the new content comes in and then reload it once you're done to speed through the rest. Took me just under 4 hours from that point to beat the game again. I'd suggest playing Replicant personally, it just looks and feels nicer to play. But do go out and listen to the Gestalt soundtrack!
  2. On my playthrough for Ending B of Nier Replicant. Not sure what to play after that, maybe I'll finally get around to Cyberpunk 2077!
  3. I've just heard the news, Free you'll be really missed. You were always so positive and full of encouragement, rest in peace.

  4. lol that's where the quick second playthrough comes in to blame everything on the captain
  5. It tells you every time you get 3 people correct, so if you've filled in a few people and don't get a message then you've got them wrong 😛 There's no time limit or anything, you'll get a message about leaving the ship once you've found all the corpses but you can stay for as long as you like. Once you've got them all correct it'll say there's nothing left for you to do.
  6. I get that for sure, it took me just under 4 hours to complete my first playthrough blind.
  7. I bought it so long ago when it was in a sale, didn't realise it's £19 quid! Might edit that bit at the end 😛 Definitely pick it up as and when you can, maybe it'll come onto the new PS+ service at some point.
  8. Return of the Obra Dinn This is a game that was bought a while back in a sale, I'd heard good things and knew it was made by the same guy that made Papers Please. Then it sat there, installed and ready to play whenever I wanted, but I never felt in the mood for some reason, until now! I don’t know why I waited, because this is right up my street. You play as an investigator looking into what happened on board the Obra Dinn to cause it to become the ghost ship it now is. The main aim is to find the remains of the crew members (or as many as you can) and identify who they are and how they died. To do this you’re given a notebook to jot down your findings, and a handy pocket watch that when looking at a corpse tells you the time of death and allows you to explore that moment in time. You’ll also get the final few seconds of audio the person heard for extra clues (pay attention to accents!). The first corpse you use this on will show you the unfortunate chap being blown away by a pistol shot after trying to get into the captain’s quarters. Looking around them you’ll see the person firing the gun and a terrified onlooker. One corpse down, many more to go. In your notebook you’ll be adding details after each body you find, and within it from the off is a lot of information, including a full list of the crew and a photo of them all together. There’s a glossary at the end to give you the definition of a few nautical terms, I had no idea what a Bosun was so that was very helpful! Using these and the details you get from going back in time, you need to put a name and a means of death into the book against each of the 60 crew members. Each time you get 3 correct it will let you know and lock in those answers, taking those names away from the pool of possible choices later on. After every few corpses found you’ll be allowed to explore more and more of the ship and it won’t take long before you realise there were some supernatural things going on. This is where the art direction really comes into its element. I’m not sure how to properly describe it, but I’ve seen it called 1-Bit so we’ll go with that. Everything is in black, white or a greeny colour that makes me want to break out the old Gameboy, but it’s also in full 3D and incredibly detailed. Each frozen moment is a fantastic piece of pixel art from every angle. It boggles the mind this was done by one person. I don’t want to spoil too much as I really enjoyed my few hours with this. So all I will say is if you enjoy some puzzle solving, or just have a hankering for something unique then give this one a look.
  9. I'm enjoying writing my nonsense again too, it's helpful too as I've a memory like a sieve so good to jot this down If you're going to play both I would recommend playing Nier Replicant first then Automata, as that's the proper chronology for the game's story and some moments will resonate more doing it that way round. You'll also then get the improvements in gameplay rather than feel like you're going back a step if you did it the other way round.
  10. Nier Replicant VER.1.22474487139... I bloody loved Nier, I don’t mean Automata (though I do also love that as seen HERE) but the OG 2010 PS3 game. It is one of my favourite games of that generation, with one of my favourite soundtracks ever. It was a little overlooked at the time and I remember picking it up for about a fiver a couple of years after release based on the boxart looking interesting, I miss those days… Anyways, following the success of Nier Automata bringing the series to the mainstream, they decided to release an updated version of the original Nier for the PS4 to hit that new audience. And so we come to Nier Replicant Ver. Numbers. This updates the visuals, amends some of the soundtrack and refines the combat using some of what they learned from Platinum games’ help with Automata. Now for those of you who did play the original game and are outside Japan, you will also notice one other very large difference. That being the main character is now about 20 years younger. Short history lesson, the story of Nier was originally going to play out with the dynamic between the main character and Yonah being that of a brother and sister. However, the powers that be felt that this wouldn’t go down too well with the Western market so asked for this dynamic to be changed to father and daughter, with the main character redesigned as a gruff, buff dad. The devs decided they were far enough along to keep the version they wanted to make, so rather than scrap it ended up releasing two versions of the game in Japan; Nier Gestalt for the Xbox 360 with dad, and Nier Replicant for the PS3 with brother. Outside of Japan we all got plain old Nier with the dad whether we liked it or not. Confused? Slightly perturbed? Great, you’re in the perfect mindset for this game! A handy side by side comparison to show the work they've done With all that out the way, what is Nier Replicant? Well, it’s an Action-RPG set in a distant future. You play as a young man whose sister Yonah has become ill with a sickness called the Black Scrawl and you’re determined to find a cure. But the further into the game you go, the more mindfuckery you'll experience. The game is split between talking to NPC’s in town areas to pick up missions, and heading out to the smaller open world areas to explore dungeons and kill nasties. You meet some companions that’ll join you, and they all have stuck with me over the years. One in particular is possibly the only representation of this type of person I know of in video games. There’s Grimoire Weiss (a talking floating book), Emil (the one with the moonface), and then there’s Kaine who will likely be the first voice you hear when booting the game up with their cry of “Weiss, you dumbass!”. The backstories of Emil and Kaine in particular pull on the heartstrings and just listening to their musical themes brings all the emotions flooding back. I should probably talk about the combat. You have a melee weapon that you can string together combos with, mainly swords of which you’ll find various versions of different weights that alter how they feel to wield. You can upgrade these at the one blacksmith in this world to make them more powerful with items dropped by your enemies. Then there’s Weiss who follows you around and can cast magic attacks, with different spells being unlocked as you go. The combat feels satisfying and while not at level of Automata is an improvement in comparison to the original, where things were more clunky and cumbersome. For a lot of the game you’ll be attacking shadowy yellow and black monsters called Shades, but you will also end up fighting robots, wolves, and giant monstrosities. As you are running around killing shades you will end up gathering words, these are the lost words from the book of Weiss and give a variety of buffs that you can equip to your weapons and spells. The one for better item drop rates will make your life easier later on if you’re going for the platinum! It may not be the most indepth, but a lot of cool things can still be done I mentioned this is an Action-RPG earlier but Nier Replicant doesn’t like to conform to just one genre of game. As you progress you will end up in dungeons that are full on bullet hells, along with top down hack and slash moments and parts of the game that are side scrolling. There’s even an area that turns into an old school text adventure, and a section that is basically the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil, complete with fixed camera (thankfully no tank controls!). It blends these different genres together fantastically and it’s something I hadn’t seen before at the time of the original, and is still rarely seen now. It's just a shame that with this variety in styles, the side-missions (of which there are many) are mainly fetch quests. There is also another fun trick this game plays, that being their take on new game plus. If you’ve played Automata this won’t be a surprise, but beating the game once is not really beating the game. Once you’ve finished your first playthrough you will be sent back to the halfway point of the game and can then finish it again. But this time round things are slightly different, and you’ll see additional cutscenes and dialogue that add extra context to what you're doing. It puts a different spin on things, and leads to some interesting choices once you reach the end again. As I mentioned before, the soundtrack to the original Nier is one of my favourite video game soundtracks ever. Heavy percussion, acoustic guitar, violin and piano along with unique vocals that are sang in a made up language. It’s kind of fake German and French sounding words and is hauntingly beautiful. They have tweaked some tracks for this version, in Replicant they have gone for more of an orchestral feel so the percussion has been toned right down. I’ll put down a reference below so you can get a feel. I am not saying that the new music is bad, I still really enjoy it, but I do wish that we could choose between which soundtrack we listened to as personally I miss the drums. To sum it up, this is the best way to experience this absolute gem of a game. Improved combat, graphics and with characters and moments that have stuck with me for 10 years so far and will stick with me for many more. You can blast your way just through the main story in about 15 hours and will have a great time with the variety of styles on show, but if you dive right into it you’ll be kept busy for upwards of 50. I just wish the old soundtrack was still in there somewhere, free DLC maybe, please?
  11. So I know there's only a few people that read this old thing these days (thank you @Darth_Krid!) but the directory having a ton of broken links was annoying me, so I've fixed them all so that clicking now takes you to the relevant review again! Will I go back and clean all the broken old BB code and images? Umm... probably not Next review will be coming in the next couple days!
  12. Gravity Rush 2 Can we talk about the Vita for a minute? I know Sony don't want us to, because the little handheld that could was never given a fair shake by them and dropped way too soon. One of the main selling points was that it was basically a PS4 in your pocket, and to drive that home they released a few exclusive games for the console early on that were of that home console quality, but with added handheld gimmicks (remember the back touchpad?). Sadly, they only made about 4 games of that quality before deciding they’d had enough of their new toy, but one of those 4 was Gravity Rush. Funnily enough I never properly reviewed it here, the archives show I only gave it a cursory glance in the very first post of this thread way back in 2015! It was an open world game with the unique gimmick being you had full control over gravity. This meant our Heroine of the piece, Kat, could fall with style all over the floating city of Hekseville, finding collectibles here, there and everywhere while gravity kicking monsters in their giant glowing faces. There were also few cutscenes as most of the story was told through animated comic book panels between chapters, which worked very well with the cell shaded art style. Whilst the Vita wasn’t getting much love, this game was eventually ported over to the PS4 thanks to the kings of the remaster at Bluepoint and a sequel was greenlit. This is a great video to show just how good a job Bluepoint did Which finally brings me to the game in question! I’m happy to say Gravity Rush 2 is what you’d want in a sequel, more but refined. We start with Kat having being sucked up in a gravity storm and dumped onto a mining settlement without her magical cat friend Dusty, but not for too long as within about 30 minutes you’re back to being able to fly around to your heart’s content. After a few tutorial sections getting you into the swing of things you arrive at Jirga Para Lhao, a massive city made up from dozens of skyscraper islands fit to bursting with purple crystals to collect. It’s just as satisfying as it was in the original to dash around, changing gravity and direction at will to get into all those nooks and crannies to find those crystals. These are used to power up Kat and her abilities and when I first arrived, I couldn’t resist spending an hour just flying around picking these up. One of the main problems with the combat in the first game was that the gravity kick was so powerful you didn’t really want to use any of the other powers at Kat’s disposal. But here quite early you’re introduced to fast enemies, who are more adept at dodging your long range karate kicks and are better dealt with by throwing objects via the stasis field ability. This allows you to pick up objects lying around and hurl them at your enemies, and if you have enough SP saved up from attacking you can hold the stasis button to give the projectiles some armour piercing oomph for extra damage. There are also various combat styles that you’ll gain throughout the game, each with a unique special attack to deal a huge amount of damage if you allow your SP bar to fill completely. It would be doing the game a dis-service to not mention the soundtrack. It’s for the most part really upbeat, with a lot of violin, piano and trumpets. It also updates several tracks from the original game. A couple of personal favourites being the super jazzy track for the Entertainment District and the sexy sax of Lei Havina. Now let’s dig into the negatives, the cities are huge, but so are the empty spaces between them. It’s now an even bigger open sandbox than the first game and there’s not a huge amount to actually do in that space other than find crystals. You have some side missions and challenges to complete, but I have to say a good chunk of these are more frustrating or tedious than fun. The gravity slide mechanic from the first game returns, and while a bit better is still janky. You’ll be bumping into things or going in the wrong direction pretty often. Then there’s stealth sections, which take us back to the good old original Assassin’s Creed days. You can’t use any of your cool gravity powers and instead have to slowly walk around, making sure not to be seen by guards. If you do get caught, right back to the start with you. These are annoying breaks from the fun which feel unnecessary and don’t work very well, but are mainly kept to the optional missions. There is also an obsession with the photo mode. Was 2017 when these first starting becoming a big thing in games? Whatever happened Gravity Rush went all in with it. Almost every side mission reward is a new filter or item that you can place in the photo with you. There’s a bunch of missions relating to taking pictures and even collectibles linked to doing the same. There are a lot of different customization options here though so if that is your thing then go for it, but it’s not for me. As an overall package, this is a well-deserved sequel to a game that, whilst you can’t say was under rated, was possibly overlooked by many due to its original exclusivity on the Vita. However, I feel it tries to go too big and suffers for it, while the original was a fun 10 hours or so, this is at least double that with some tedious padding. The first few hours I was having a great time, and then it felt like it was dragging it’s heels. That being said, for the music and visual style alone it’s worth a look, it’s also on PS Now and already announced as part of the new PS plus service so if you’re signed up for that then both this and the original are worth a peek.
  13. LEGO Builder’s Journey I did not know what to expect with this at all, seemed to come out of nowhere! But as a big fan of LEGO I had to jump in with both feet, and I’m glad I did. This is an isometric puzzle game where everything is (surprise) made of LEGO. When I put that down in words, why hasn’t this been done before? Flipping LEGO lends itself perfectly to this style of game. It looks fantastic as well, I was on the PS5 with ray tracing on and it was as if this was stop motion animation and I could reach out and pick up the pieces myself. The game has you follow the journey of a LEGO person and their LEGO child. They’re both made of simple LEGO blocks, no humanoid figures or faces here. When the parent is called to work, the kid makes a little robot friend and adventure begins. In terms of gameplay, it is very simple. You have a small floating area to play with on each level, and there are a certain number of LEGO bricks around that are interactable. You press X to pick up the pieces, hold X to place them, and make a path to the end point, that’s it! The character will automatically move whenever you place specific orange pieces down and they’re within jumping range, so you need to manage how you’re going to place everything you’ve got while allowing you to place the orange pieces to keep your person moving. Every few levels it’ll throw in something new in to get that grey matter working, but it’s very satisfying once you get it done. After beating the story mode you unlock creative mode, which is where you’ll have a small sandbox area to play with and can create mini-diorama’s to take pictures of. In more creative hands than mine I’m sure some fun things will be made and shared from that. It’s not a long game at all, the story will take a couple of hours at most, but it’s a really enjoyable (and quite relaxing) way to spend a couple of hours on a lazy soggy Sunday.
  14. Thought of you when I saw this news, looking forward to playing it again!
  15. Thanks guys, hope you enjoy! Long story short, I reconnected with some old friends from uni last year and turns out that they do a little gaming podcast! They asked if I wanted to join them so thought I'd give it a go. I'm still finding my feet a bit with it (and stumble a little when put on the spot 😅) so be gentle. But they've asked if I'd like to stay on, so this will be a fortnightly thing for now 😄
  16. Awesome read, congrats on all the things folks! More custom lists, more... custom... lists...
  17. Yeesh, so it's been two years since the last update when I said 2 years was a long time! This is mainly an update to say I have somehow ended up on a podcast. While we talk a lot of old bollocks, we are primarily a gaming pod so if you feel like listening to me try to explain trophies to a few folks who don't seem bothered by them it'd be lovely if you had a listen 😄 https://linktr.ee/grey_fox But I don't intend on letting this thread die, it's just having a long nap at the moment. I would like to get back to writing down my thoughts on games, I do miss it. But I need to set aside my time and really go for it, no messing around.
  18. Merry Christmas everybody! May Santa have brought you all the games you wanted this year 😁
  19. Ah got you. Glad I'm not going completely mad! But back to my thing, I guess there's no chance of exceptions to new releases? We've also got Back 4 Blood and Far Cry 6 coming in October, big coop games that only 1 could play. But if that's the point... then I either try and somehow suppress the FOMO, or ask forgiveness from my team mates when I slip!
  20. I saw that, that was what I was posting about, meaning that preorder can't be touched till Nov now or I muck up the team getting it I meant I thought I'd seen that in the OG rules only one team members completion of a game would count to the cumulative score if others completed it and rule out all other possible stacks of it counting.
  21. Ah man, this sucks! I know people in our team were really excited for new releases like Alan Wake Remastered, while they wouldn't count for the event in terms of to the score we'd now be ruled out from an award if two of us played it on release 😪 Edit: oh they would now count to the score? I swear I saw something about no stacks across the team last time I checked!
  22. 596 - Dragon Quest XI S Had to platinum this again, get that 100 hour stack but now with even more content! You can play the entire game in 2D which is a fantastic feature, and for extra contact there's 12 bonus bosses, a whole new batch of character story missions, new costumes, orchestrated music and some quality of life improvements in the menus. If you like JRPG's and somehow haven't played this yet, well worth picking this version up.
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