Wednesday, December 2, 2015

0 for 3

I am going to get back to Syndicate and its cowardly ending, I promise. Right now I am freshly disappointed with three other games and I need to get the words down quickly before the ire fades.

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing appears to be a budget Diablo clone. I would be okay with that. Torchlight was a budget minded Diablo clone and it was fantastic. Van Helsing is not. It is terrible for many, many reasons. For starters, it is difficult to look at, and by that I do not mean that it is ugly (it is) but that something about the way stages are lit actually made it difficult for me to look at. Combat is divided into ranged attacks, which are useless as enemies rush you in such numbers that you are surrounded before getting off more than a shot or two, and melee attacks, which offer very little feedback as to if they hit or not. Diablo, Torchlight and my personal favorite, Titan Quest, all have a satisfying 'crunch' effect when an enemy is hit or killed. Van Helsing throws numbers into the air and sometimes an enemy explodes in slow motion for no reason. Other time you die.

But wait, I haven't even gotten to the best part: a user interface that was clearly designed to be navigated with a mouse and was not adapted at all for the console release. Menus are nested within menus. Changing equipment slots is done by rotating the right stick and there is a significant lag between the movement and the selection changing. Nearly identical pieces of equipment of the same type are shown in the order in which they were obtained, not by how good they are, making finding the best equipment quite difficult. I may have spent more time in the menus than actually playing.

Still not done. Each attack has three different buffs that can be leveled up, ranging from slowing enemies when a hit lands to extra damage. These buffs can be chosen on the fly during combat, not a bad idea, but this is done by flicking the right stick in the direction of the buff. Keep in mind that your right thumb is already on either X or A using the attack. It doesn't make sense for a controller. Maybe it worked on the PC but I do not care to investigate further. There was some mention of mapping a preset combo to a shoulder button. I figured out how to edit the buff combo but not what to do with it. Then I have up.

At least I didn't pay for the game.

Game two was Ride, played just because it is a racing game and I had to fill my queue with something while waiting for Fallout 4 or CoDBlops to show up. Ride is just motorcycles and, knowing just a little bit about how it feels to ride, I was curious as to if the game would actually capture the difference between driving a car around a corner at high speed and leaning into said corner on a bike.

It does, but that is not enough to make the game any fun. Ride does not feel like a car racing game. Due to how a bike leans when cornering the racing line is of supreme importance, more so than in a car because if you miss the apex, which I often do, you do not just bounce off the grass or wall, you fucking die. That happened a lot in my first race and I saw the one crash animation over and over. That was not a typo (as are to be expected), there is one crash animation. And it sucks.

I did get the hang of cornering long enough to notice the frame rate dip as the camera struggled to keep up. That brought more unfortunate comparisons to Forza 6, which lead to me wondering why I would send time on Ride when I didn't play as much of Forza as I should have, which led me to uninstalling the game.

Two hours, two games. Might as well try Dragon Fin Soup.

That took ten minutes. Just no.


On a more positive note, Dragon Quest Heroes looks great, has a rock solid frame rate in spite of all the insanity, and is a lot of fun to play. I didn't think I liked the Samurai Warriors archetype.

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