Hey guys, welcome to our new board software. You'll need to re-register to post.

The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Wed Aug 17, 2022 11:28 am

I started playing Blue Fire, and I’ve been somewhat liking it so far. It’s a cartoonish third person action adventure platformer that’s a mix of Mario 3D, Zelda and even a little Dark Souls. The graphics are appealing, the gameplay is tight and responsive and the levels are fairly well designed. However, I was expecting it to be a little more Zelda and a little less Mario 3D. While it has some combat and adventuring it’s primarily a 3D platformer, and a challenging one at that.

You have a dash move which you can also dash in the air with, and they make you utilize this a lot while platforming. Both your jump and dash can be shorter or longer depending on how long that you hold down their associated buttons, so this can cause jumping and dashing too short or too far. Thankfully there’s not too much of a penalty for missing a jump, you just lose a little health.

While the platforming in the levels has been somewhat challenging and will undoubtably get more challenging, the really tough platforming is in the voids. These are optional platforming obstacle courses that reward you with a heart container when you reach the end of them. Before you begin them they have a five star rating with one star being the lowest difficulty, and five stars being the highest. I did the first one star one which I felt should have been rated more like three stars based on how difficult that it was, then I did the next two star one which I felt should have been rated more like four stars based on its difficulty. It was one of the harder platforming sequences that I’ve played in a game, if they consider this a two star challenge then I don’t even want to know what a three star or higher challenge is. There’s a reason why these voids are optional, because they’re too hard for the average gamer. Heck, they’re even too hard for me and I consider myself pretty good at platformers. I only completed two of them and got two heart containers, and that might be all that I’m able to get if I have to do three star or higher voids because I’m not even going to attempt them.

The combat in the game is decent, you attack with two swords, have a dodge dash and a bubble shield. You can parry with the bubble shield which allows you to do high damage to an enemy, but the bubble shield uses stamina which depletes when it’s hit so you can only use it a few times until your stamina bar refills again. Combat definitely isn’t the highlight of the game, but it’s good enough to break up the platforming segments.

User avatar
argyle
Posts: 506
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:28 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by argyle » Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:31 pm

canedaddy wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:43 am
Phaseknox wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:42 pm
It’s a love letter to fans of 90s FPSs like Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior (which I am), and it delivered.
You're a Shadow Warrior?! :shock:
shadow warrior.gif
shadow warrior.gif (1.15 MiB) Viewed 330 times

Thanks for the impressions Phase - I'm pretty sure Ion Fury is in my backlog, and I've looked at Blue Fire before.
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

Image
User avatar
isthatallyougot
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:52 am

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by isthatallyougot » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:00 pm

I enjoyed Blue Fire phase. It has a really nice mechanical foundation with some amazing platforming, and as you noted, it has a high skill ceiling if you want to challenge yourself. It was pretty good, but could have been really good with some tweaks.
Image

Dragon kick your a$$ into the Milky Way!
User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:32 pm

argyle wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:31 pm
I'm pretty sure Ion Fury is in my backlog
If you like classic 90s FPSs like Duke Nukem 3D, then I think that you’ll dig it. I did, it will probably be in the top 5 on my game list this year.
isthatallyougot wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:00 pm
I enjoyed Blue Fire phase.
I know, your positive impressions of it here back when you were playing it are why I bought it.
isthatallyougot wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:00 pm
It has a really nice mechanical foundation with some amazing platforming, and as you noted, it has a high skill ceiling if you want to challenge yourself.
When it comes to the voids, I don’t want to challenge myself that much. :lol: I hope that the regular levels that you have to play to progress in the game never become as hard as them, because if they do then I will stop playing.
isthatallyougot wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:00 pm
It was pretty good, but could have been really good with some tweaks.
What would have made it better in your opinion?
User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Thu Aug 18, 2022 9:24 am

I stopped playing Blue Fire, while it’s good in a lot of ways there are just too many things about it that I personally dislike. For starters, the character that you play as is more of an avatar than an actual character. He’s a silent protagonist with a cute little look, but while playing him he just looks like a small roundish shape. It’s getting to the point for me now where if I’m not really digging the character that I’m playing as in a game, then I have less interest in playing it. This game basically gives you this small little avatar that you know nothing about and that doesn’t say anything, and you just start controlling them navigating through levels engaging in combat and platforming without any real motivation or reason other than you’re playing a video game. The story elements on offer are delivered exclusively by interacting with a few NPCs here and there, but the information that they provide is rather vague. It seems that it will be revealed who the character that you’re playing as is throughout the course of the game, but on the outset you have no idea.

However, none of this is really what made me stop playing the game as it’s primarily a gameplay driven action platformer. What made me stop playing it is that it’s almost a pure platformer disguised as an adventure game, and the interconnected maze-like levels became too confusing for me to figure out where to go as there’s no map. I say that it’s a platformer disguised as an adventure game because while it has an adventure game design structure, most level navigation is almost pure platforming. There’s rarely any instances where you’re not presented with some sort of platforming challenge during your travels. Levels are somewhat open with multiple areas and paths, and it’s not always obvious where you need to go. While I like exploring and figuring out where to go in games without too much handholding, sometimes it can be a little more confusing than I would like which is the case with this game. Also, the game just seems like one really big dungeon so it’s kind of claustrophobic the entire time. I like a little more environment variety in games offering both outside and inside areas.

While I acknowledge that it’s a good game, there’s just too many things about it that don’t appeal to me and made me stop playing which is a shame as I do like a lot about it. I would have preferred a bigger focus on combat and adventuring, and less on platforming.
User avatar
crimson_tide
Posts: 307
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:07 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by crimson_tide » Thu Aug 18, 2022 10:11 am

jfissel wrote:
Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:04 pm
Hey man, you tried. You'll have to let me now how the DLC turns out.
Yeah, I cranked it down to simple and finished it the other night. And judging from online responses, I am the outlier here. But I still contend the theming, characters and story are so off they wreck the game. If the idea was to tell a story about justice not being equal through the lens of bullying, fine. Do that. Tell that story. They did not. The handyman is the biggest miss here. That whole thread undermines the core of the story. Yagami is not a strong enough character to carry the story and his supporting cast is basically there to confirm his beliefs with no real challenge and go along with him. The school setting doesn't fit because the story is not about these children. It should be, but it's not. You could remove all of the school and the plot would functionally not changed at all. It all goes way off the rails and never really recovers. The story ends on such a bad note, I can't stop thinking about why they did this. It's not like RGG to whiff this badly. It's just so shocking how tone deaf and lacking empathy the game is and it's entirely intentional. This is clearly the story they wanted to tell. I was hoping for a wrap up that would justify this but nope. Extremely disappointed, this was my big summer game too. Oh well.

I need a bit of distance but I do want to get to the Kaito DLC before the end of the year. I will report in on it, j :) .
User avatar
isthatallyougot
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:52 am

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by isthatallyougot » Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:18 am

Phaseknox wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:32 pm
What would have made it better in your opinion?
The combat, while functional, was mostly an unnecessary chore, some bosses aside. It's not that it was bad, it was just very basic. The geographical navigation felt awkward and unintuitive much of the time, and there was no map to alleviate that sensation. And I thought it wore its inspirations maybe a little too blatantly and it felt like an imitation of things at times rather than its own thing.

But I did still enjoy it. It had plenty of positives as well, and a nice mechanical foundation with plenty of optional content if you were so inclined.

Edit: I see you had a similar complaint in a post after this one.
Image

Dragon kick your a$$ into the Milky Way!
User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:02 pm

isthatallyougot wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:18 am
The combat, while functional, was mostly an unnecessary chore, some bosses aside. It's not that it was bad, it was just very basic.
I agree, the combat is definitely on the basic side and not all that much fun. It’s serviceable and gives you a little more to do in the game other than navigating levels, avoiding traps and platforming, but it almost feels like an afterthought.
isthatallyougot wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:18 am
The geographical navigation felt awkward and unintuitive much of the time, and there was no map to alleviate that sensation.
This is my biggest issue with the game, and ultimately why I stopped playing it. The environments feel very video game-ish, and not like a real lived in world. That’s ok for straight-up 2D platformers, but not so much for third person action adventure games like this. I also kept getting lost, and couldn’t figure out where to go. My time felt like it was starting to be wasted, and I have too many other games that I want to play to keep running around in circles and coming to dead ends like I was doing in this game.
isthatallyougot wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:18 am
I thought it wore its inspirations maybe a little too blatantly and it felt like an imitation of things at times rather than its own thing.
I agree, it’s pretty obvious that the developers of this game are big Nintendo game and Dark Souls fans. It’s fine to borrow elements from other games, but like you said this game feels a little too blatant in what it copies from other games without including enough of its own elements to make it feel like its own thing.
User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 1246
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:38 pm

I started playing Celeste, and it’s not very good IMO. It’s another overrated indie game. But I only have myself to blame for buying it, because I never thought that it looked very appealing. But critics and gamers alike were gushing about it so much that I decided to buy it when it was on sale for cheap.

It’s a 2D side scrolling pixel art platformer that’s difficult right from the start. The pixel art graphics are extremely pixelated to the point where it’s difficult to make out what you’re even looking at which isn’t good for a game with as precise level navigation as this one demands and requires.

It doesn’t really have levels, but instead single screen platforming challenges. The only penalty for dying is starting over again at the starting point. Not only do the challenges require crazy platforming maneuvers, but they’re also like puzzles that you have to figure out how to navigate through. And that’s the game in a nutshell, navigating single screen challenges that get progressively harder and trickier as you progress.

While I can see why some people who really like 2D platformers and puzzle games would like this, I just found it to be aggravating and frustrating. I need more to do in games than strictly overcoming difficult platforming challenges, and nothing else.

User avatar
isthatallyougot
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:52 am

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 241: 8/13/22: Madden NFL 23 Edition

Post by isthatallyougot » Thu Aug 18, 2022 4:09 pm

Phaseknox wrote:
Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:38 pm
I started playing Celeste, and it’s not very good IMO. It’s another overrated indie game. But I only have myself to blame for buying it, because I never thought that it looked very appealing. But critics and gamers alike were gushing about it so much that I decided to buy it when it was on sale for cheap.

It’s a 2D side scrolling pixel art platformer that’s difficult right from the start. The pixel art graphics are extremely pixelated to the point where it’s difficult to make out what you’re even looking at which isn’t good for a game with as precise level navigation as this one demands and requires.

It doesn’t really have levels, but instead single screen platforming challenges. The only penalty for dying is starting over again at the starting point. Not only do the challenges require crazy platforming maneuvers, but they’re also like puzzles that you have to figure out how to navigate through. And that’s the game in a nutshell, navigating single screen challenges that get progressively harder and trickier as you progress.

While I can see why some people who really like 2D platformers and puzzle games would like this, I just found it to be aggravating and frustrating. I need more to do in games than strictly overcoming difficult platforming challenges, and nothing else.

Different strokes and all, but I thought Celeste was probably the best pure platformer I've ever played. I absolutely *love* it. Some of the most mechanical fun I've ever had playing a game.
Image

Dragon kick your a$$ into the Milky Way!
Post Reply