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Daniel Gillotte
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Joined: 11 October 2005
Location: United States
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Posted: 04 March 2019 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I felt great responsibility to my horses.


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Buell was my last horse and when he died at the end, i about lost it. Similar to Argo in Shadow of the Colossus
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Thomas Woods
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Joined: 09 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1356
Posted: 04 March 2019 at 1:52pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

- I free horses
- Feed and brush them even when they don't need it.
Usually feed on dismount or any event that may have
spooked him.
-I chop wood and other chores
-I stop to chat with camp members
-I walk through camp and walk almost everywhere else

All the little details add to the game a lot
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Matt Reed
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 12 March 2019 at 7:58am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Taking a break from RDR2 on-line, I decided to go in a totally different direction and thus started KINGDOM HEARTS III.  Anyone else here a fan of this series? 

It's been 14 years since the release of KINGDOM HEARTS II.  Although there have been prequels and sequels released in the intervening time, many of those were on devices I didn't own or totally slipped under my radar at the time.  As such, I've only played the two main games and, for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed them in a Manga crazy kinda way.  I do have to note that I've never played a single minute of any iteration of FINAL FANTASY from which this series gets much of its inspiration.  

Going back to this franchise after so long has been...interesting.  On the positive side, it's like revisiting old friends.  The characters themselves are warm and welcoming, the gameplay is much more fluid and responsive than previous iterations and the upgrade from PS2 (!) shows in the graphics, which are stunning.  On the negative side, the series is a narrative mess.  Names are confusing (not helped by many characters looking quite similar to one another), the larger objective is nonsensical, and none of it is helped by interminably long cutscenes.  They attempt to update players via flashback throughout, but that only serves to confuse rather than help.  Perhaps if I'd played every iteration of this series across multiple platforms I might better understand the story, but since I haven't it's just a jumble of names (and often alternate character names as many go by two depending on the their place in the story), endless encounters I have no connection to and technobabble about hearts, hearts and more hearts: the need for them or the lack of them.  

All that said, I have to put aside the narrative in order to enjoy the game. That's easy enough to do as, like games past, you visit different "Disney/Pixar" worlds populated with favorite characters and smaller, more manageable goals within each world.  It's fun to visit Toy Box, for instance, and play alongside characters from TOY STORY.  Their design is impeccable and Sora, your main character, along with Goofy and Donald, your constant traveling companions, are visually adapted to fit into the Toy world.  Certain upgrades to fights are also welcomed.  If you hit a specific enemy, for instance, you are granted the power to take on one of the iconic rides from Disney theme parks for a time.  Those are fun, exciting elements that make attaining that ability desirable as you don't know which ride will pop up next.  

I'm still utterly confused by Gummi ship construction, but that's a "me thing" as it's been confusing to me from the outset.  Gummi ships, for those unfamiliar, are the way to travel between worlds and you can update or create as many as you desire as long as you have the required elements for construction.  That said, travel between worlds is the best it's ever been in this franchise.  Although it took a bit to understand how to control the ship, the space between worlds is populated with battles, points to explore and construction material to gather for upgrades.   It's a constantly evolving space that adds more things to do the further you progress in the story.  

Finally, there are no shortage of things to do in KINGDOM HEARTS III.  There are mini games to discover, treasures to hunt, Mickey symbols to uncover and interactions with NPC that send you on a mini hunt.  All of this makes revisiting worlds a must as things are (mostly) put back together once conquered and you more than likely didn't discover everything on your first pass.

My final verdict is that KINGDOM HEARTS III is a mixed bag.  While utterly confusing from the standpoint of story, its gameplay within the story saves it.  While I don't think it would be entertaining (or welcoming!) to a player for whom this is their first experience with the franchise, it does reward even players like me whose familiarity only extends to the two major releases from 2002 and 2005.  
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Robin Taylor
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Canada
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Posted: 12 March 2019 at 2:36pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I am waiting on KH III from the library as I have never played a KH game and am super curious.

I have been playing Metro Exodus and Anthem and boy do I like Metro and not like Anthem.

ME plays like an open-world Metro game, in that the shooting is not responsive, ammo is scarce and you have to move through the world defensively instead of offensively.

Anthem is Iron Man Destiny, but with deeply unsatisfying shooting mechanics and even less content than D1 or D2 at launch. It is definitely not a traditional Bioware narrative experience.

RT

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 19 March 2019 at 7:21am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Well into KINGDOM HEARTS III and the love/frustration continues!  Cut scenes are getting longer (one yesterday clocked in at over 15 minutes!) and they're getting more convoluted as the story unfolds.  That said?  The PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN world is gorgeous and really underscores how much work was done to make the leads visually fit into each of the worlds they visit.  Ship mechanics are AC: BLACK FLAG lite, but fun nonetheless.  I can already tell, however, that it's going to be a fruitless search to get all the treasures and symbols.  Just too much area to cover and no system that helps you detect when they are near or when you've "cleared" an area, something the Lego games have perfected and would have been a welcomed addition here. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 28 March 2019 at 8:41pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

With KINGDOM HEARTS III complete, I moved onto JUST CAUSE 4.  Not a franchise that I was overly familiar with until PS+ offered JUST CAUSE 3 for free a couple years ago.  Played that game and loved it.  Not sure I can say the same about this newest iteration.  Seems as though they've gotten rid of the stuff I enjoyed (FAR CRY-like taking out enemy strongholds and calculating the "chaos damage" inflicted in specific areas) and replaced it with stuff I didn't like (more, MANY more wing suit challenges and car/truck/motorcycle speed challenges tied to specific vehicles).  The chaos damage is especially critical.  In JC3 when you entered those areas, you were given exactly how many items were there to destroy.  It was fun to try and find them given that many were well hidden.  Now chaos damage is just a number, racked up whenever and wherever you can find those objects across the world. Worse yet, after you conquered a region the enemy somehow inexplicably shows up to defend what isn't their's anymore from destruction.  Really makes no sense.  

Random missions are just OK.  They seem disconnected from the whole, take a long time to drive from point A to B, and the animation is fairly awful especially after coming off excellent visuals like RDR2 and KINGDOM HEARTS III. There are a few fun tweaks like upgrades to the grappling hook that makes it entertaining to dispose of an enemy and much of the environment, but those seem few and far between. JUST CAUSE 3 was an exercise in random storytelling, but it at least slowly revealed the map as you made upgrades, gained experience and ultimately it felt like you were working toward a singular goal.  Right now, I can only say that there's some sort of weather device in JC4 (that hasn't been seen or explored) that must be stopped, but there's very little sense of urgency nor any narrative push to explain why it's so important.

Glad I got it at a huge discount when they were running a sale at the Playstation store.  Would have been supremely disappointed to have paid full price.  If you're interested, I'd wait until it hits $19.99.  A fine time-waster if that's what you're looking for, but there are too many other great games out there to waste that time on this.  
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Michael Roberts
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12846
Posted: 14 April 2019 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

For PS4 owners and Game of Thrones fans, GoT avatars and Dynamic Theme:


You have to watch three /very short/ videos to redeem.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 14 April 2019 at 11:39pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Done!  Thanks for the tip!
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 7:17am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

20-30 hours into ASSASSIN'S CREED: ODYSSEY and it feels like I've only just dipped my toe in.  Stunning visuals coupled with the kind of compelling narrative I expect from the franchise and callbacks to old favorites (I'm looking at you, navel battles from BLACK FLAG) all coalesce into an absolutely phenomenal experience.  With this and ORIGINS it feels like the UNITY and SYNDICATE missteps are well and truly behind Ubisoft.  Excited to keep exploring to uncover the larger whole.  Highly recommended and currently available at much less than the $39.99 I spent on it!
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Robin Taylor
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 23 April 2019 at 8:40am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I couldn't agree more about ODYSSEY , I will be playing this game for the next year. Interestingly, playing Souls-like games such as Sekiro and The Surge has made me much much more capable in ODYSSEY so the combat is kind of a breeze.

I have started the Division 2 and I like it much more than the first one. While some of the fundamentals are essentially unchanged, the shooting feels better and the enemies thus far are more Mad Max/Purge style goofballs rather than the deeply disconcerting escaped prisoners and city workers from the original.

The story is a bunch of nonsense that posits only people with guns are capable of surviving despite the vast majority of survivors in the game having no weapons while they scavenge the open world. The amount of ambient encounters is higher, so the city feels less empty. After the disappointment of Anthem, D2 scratches the loot itch pretty well.

RT
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Michael Roberts
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Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12846
Posted: 27 April 2019 at 5:31pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Has anyone seen my friend Gavin?
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Matt Reed
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 30 April 2019 at 9:15am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Heh.  I encountered that guy all over the place and always made it a point to get off my horse and speak to him every single time.  From everything I've read, we never find out where Gavin is or why he's been gone so long.
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