Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bouncing hard

I didn't really play Grand Kingdom. I mean, I tried to play it. I spent just enough time with it to realize that the game was decidedly not for me. Not bad, on the contrary it seems to be of very high quality, but much like the rest of NIS's offerings it is just not something that I can get into. My mage hitting the knight in front of her because I was not paying attention was rough enough, the healer accidentally healing an opponent with healing splash damage was just too much for me to get my head around.

A deceptively deep combat system was not enough, there is also managing several teams of allies by hiring and firing them. To be honest, I checked out before the tutorial was over. I like to see things happen when I press a button, a button fires the BFG or a button (and some other moves) throws a fireball. The reward for pressing a button in Grand Kingdom was pressing more buttons. Combat tried to keep the player involved via Super Mario RPG style timed inputs, which is nice, but that was not enough.

To be clear, I am not saying that Grand Kingdom is a bad game, just like I have never said that Dark Souls games are bad, it is just not something that I am going to enjoy.

...would it kill them to put an easy mode in Dark Souls?


On to things that I do play, or rather, that I would like to play. King of Fighters XIII was played for a criminally short amount of time due to terrible online play. KoF games are difficult in ways that Street Fighter has tried to remedy: their motion requirements are much stricter and there are a dizzying number of options for movement. It would have been worth it to learn the game if I could have played it online. I could not and it was deserted.

KoF XIV was supposed to have improved online play. It has to improve something as the move from animated sprites to late PS2/early PS3 era 3D models was doing it no favors, nor was the 50 man roster. Mechanically it is not as complex as XIII but still more demanding than Street Fighter 5. I was able to pick two characters that I wanted to learn and a third that would fill the space until I settled and actually had a good time working through challenges and in the training room.

Then I played it online.

In a world where Street Fighter 5, Killer Instinct, Guilty Gear and hell, even fucking Mortal Kombat have proven that good online play in a fighting game is not an oxymoron there is no excuse for the travesty that is KoF XIV. Online matches run at about one quarter speed. It deals with latency by slowing everything way, way down.

That is bullshit. No other way to describe it. I have read reports of some games running better but in about an hour of trying I had about half of one round that was on the good side of acceptable. If this not patched soon and I going to declare another KoF game as a failed investment and move on with my life.

It's a good thing that I have a Lego game to play, I need to calm the fuck down.

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