Far Cry 6 – Review

So I just beat Far Cry 6, well that’s not true, I did this all last December. Because I’m awesome I completed the story and got the platinum trophy for it just to show off. I was really hesitant on playing another Far Cry game, especially if Ubisoft wasn’t going to change up the formula in some drastic way. I just felt like I was tired of the formula. I was tired of these styles of story and tired of running around a big open world where I had to collect shit every 15 feet. So what changed? I guess it started when I finally decided to go back to Far Cry New Dawn a little bit ago, I started it a long time ago on PC and just stopped completely. This time I decided that I’ll just skip all cutscenes and try to liberated the bases and complete the story, that’s it. I hated the story in 6 and New Dawn, so skipping the story made me appreciate the gameplay more. It made me realize that I do love the gunplay in these games, it feels good to snipe and headshot people in video games, who would have thought?

Best way to take out an anti aircraft gun, fly in with a wingsuit, switch to your parachute, pull out your NASA rocket launcher and blow it up from on high.

So that was the start, I then had to wait for a good enough sale to even consider getting this game. Ubisoft games always go on sale soon after release and we had black Friday coming up, so it was in one of those game hauls that I got this game. I picked it up for just 35$, not bad.

This game surprised me, a lot. The biggest surprise I had was that I actually liked the story. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but I didn’t skip the cutscenes when they happened. I guess I wanted to see where things went, even if I didn’t care about a good amount of the characters and their arcs. That was a big win for me, I get really tired of the villain’s in these games, they’re made out to be such legendary characters, like Vaas was ever this great character (he wasn’t). Or let’s look at Far Cry 5 and the whole religious cult aspect, that’s a trope I just can’t stand, I don’t want to hear people preaching in real life let alone a video game.

In Far Cry 6, you start out picking a gender for your character, of course I went with female. She’s a beautiful woman named Dany Rojas that has probably murdered over a thousand people, so she’s a bit of a mass murderer. Just try not to hold that against her. After that you start getting set up on the plot and what’s going on in this world, they give you a small island, which is actually big, for you to run around and get your bearings in. You get a taste of everything the game has to offer here. Your weapons start out pretty basic and you can craft parts to customize them, starting with cheap suppressors that stop working after a few shots.

I enjoyed the introductory area of the game, but then it breaks off into the meat of this chalupa, the big island. Here is where the freedom really kicks in. The main island is broken down into three major areas, that you’re free to roam between, with each group being lead by different resistance fighters. Your job is to go to each group, help them out, and try to convince them to join Libertad to take down the big bad guy, Anton Castillo. He’s basically using the population of the country as slave labor to grow and produce a cancer medication that is only found on this island.

The world of Far Cry 6

What I actually love about this game is something that I sort of hate about this game. Now that’s something intriguing! I feel like you’re hooked now, so let me explain. Maybe a third of my way into my playthrough I had a rifle that I added different modifications to, it had a nice suppressor on it, armor piercing rounds, things like that. (Check the pic below, it’s the gun pointing at the bulls balls.) I’d mess with the scope to try out different ranges, and I’d changed the ornament that hung off the side all the time, so that was fun. The hang up is that I loved this gun so much because of what it could do. I could literally scope out a compound and headshot enemies, killing each one in a single shot to the head. It was a click-delete tool. Having armor piercing rounds, which are very easy to unlock, equipped, meant that any of the higher ranking enemies would get all the armor blown off their head in one shot and the bullet would hit their dome. There was rarely a moment when an enemy would survive a clean shot to their head. Perhaps I just needed to up the difficulty level or something, but it felt so good so stop judging!

My favorite gun looking at sum bulls balls. nothing to see here.

It’s hard to really argue with the feeling you get from head shotting people with a rifle in a Far Cry game. I’d love to see a stat on how many headshot kills I got, the ratio must be insane. I would eventually equip a nice little handgun with a suppressor and use that as a backup. I don’t like that I was able to stick to my setup for so long, it carried me all the way to the end of the game. The only things I switched out were my explosive weapons, which were critical for destroying anti aircraft guns and helping with tanks. I’d also need to pull out my heavy machine gun to deal with the annoying ass helicopters.

Early into the game you’re given what’s called a Suprimo weapon, it was a big selling point in all the media leading up to release. It’s a big ass weapon that you have strapped to your back all the time. It can do various things like launch rockets or create an EMP depending on the model you have equipped. I only really used them in the beginning of the game, before I started using a six shot grenade launcher, after I got that I really had no desire to even try my Suprimo anymore. Again, maybe on a higher difficulty setting I’d need to rely on that more. It’s not a big knock to the game, just a weird inclusion considering how inconsequential it was is to my gameplay.

Graphics

The first thing I just have to talk about in regards to the presentation of this game is that there was so much screen tearing. I don’t think I’ve seen a game tear this much in a long time, especially on console. I was playing on PS5 and it felt like it was hitting a clean 60fps at all times, I really do think it’s a rendering error on the game engine and not because the console is struggling to keep up with the frames. A lot of people are reporting this issue on all the consoles so I don’t see why Ubisoft still hasn’t patched this out, it’s not a good look. (I wonder if the VRR update fixed this issue)

What is a good look though, is the way this game looks! It’s a really pretty looking game. The vistas stretch out as far as you can see, you can hop into a helicopter, fly all the way up, jump out and glide across the map and seamlessly land in a completely different area of the island and it all looks seamless. The guns are highly detailed, the character models all look really good, the animation quality is pretty good for a Ubisoft title. It did feel like a step-up from the last game and I can’t wait to see what a proper next generation Far Cry game will bring to the table.

It’s the final countdown!

Final Score 8.8

This is not a revolutionary title in open-world shooters, it’s not even a crazy take on the Far Cry formula, but it is an enjoyable experience that gives me hope towards the future of the series. I really did like this game, something I thought was not going to be possible due to burnout on the series. I liked the character I played as, I liked taking over bases, something anyone close to the series will understand. I actually felt a connection to the weapons I customized and used for hours on end. It would have been nice to not have a bunch of collection trophies, but I was able to use a guide and fast travel around the map to clean them up relatively quickly, which was a bonus of the next gen consoles. I wish the expansions for this game weren’t based on the villains’ of the old games, that just makes me not want to play them. I would think about playing this game on a harder difficulty in coop with my brother though, that could be really fun.

Supremo weapons and a butt.

Oh! One last thing, I nearly forgot. This game has no big drug hallucination scenes in it like all the prior games. That was something I was really tired of doing and was not looking forward to. Let’s fuck up the screen and have you fight invisible animals and shit while a disenchanted voice speaks to you, fuck that. I mean, there is one point that I remember where you do have to shoot at a ghost image of a person because you got a little poisoned, but it only lasted like 20 seconds and you just run through it all. So that’s an improvement we should mention.

I Collected ALL the Cars in Gran Turismo 7 and All I Got Was…

That’s right, I collected ALL the cars in Gran Turismo 7 and all I got was the pride in knowing I got all the cars without paying a penny!

Does that sound enticing to you? It shouldn’t.

How did I do this you may or may not ask?

Well, when the game came out, people were just talking so much shit about how it’s full of anti-consumer micro transactions that it kind of stirred something in me. For context, I beat the game, did all the books, got a majority of all the trophies, and didn’t spend a dime on in-game currency. You frankly don’t need to, that’s not really what this game is all about. If you think you need to spend money for this game, I don’t think you’ve actually played it and/or know what you’re talking about. By the time I rolled credits on the game I had a few million left in the bank and about 100 cars collected already. So what happened?

Full collection 433/433.

I grew up playing Gran Turismo on PlayStation 1. I had both GT1 and 2 for that console and my brother and I would play it constantly. I kept up with the series and bought every title released, although I did drop out of racing games and only played Sport a little bit, mostly because it came with my VR headset. I don’t consider myself a racing guy and really only stick to GT and Forza Horizon these days. So I really wasn’t sure about picking up this title, especially at the marked up 70USD price tag PS5 games are going for.

I did, however, have an idea about going for the platinum trophy in this game. Prior entries in the series have ridiculously hard platinum trophies that I would never even attempt to get. This one felt doable, except for the Le Mans trophy that requires you to buy or collect (but really buy) three legendary cars from the Hagerty dealer. These cars weren’t known at the time so people were just trying to take educated guesses until they figured it out. Looking into all this caused me to stumble on some threads about AFK credit farming in the game.

So after a little bit of reading, I decided to give this a shot. I thought it would be funny to earn money in this game while they’re charging real money to consumers to buy these credits. A little “fuck you” to the developers and people in charge at Sony that thought this was a good idea in a 70USD game. My method involved using PS Remote Play and a keyboard script that would automatically control my car and navigate through the menus to constantly play one stage over and over in a car that would win a race while riding against the railing. Silly and stupid, no doubt about it, but it works and I find that hilarious.

How many people max out the money without paying a dime?

You can see that I have all 433 cars (as of this writing that’s all the cars). Some of the harder cars to get would be the ones where you need to be invited by the dealer to buy. These invites were randomly awarded to players through the legitimately unfair roulette ticket system. Where you earn tickets of varying star ratings and then get to spin a roulette wheel for your reward. This system will 9/10 times give you the worst valued item as well, you don’t want to give the player too much money or it’ll break the economy. Polyphony Digital had some issues with this and allowed users to access all these invites for a short time, so that was prime opportunity for me to go in and scoop up all those cars, one problem done and dusted.

The next issue was the biggest, the Hagerty collection. A slowly rotating group of cars that can cost up to 20 million credits each. So as I slowly amassed my fortune, I would venture into the Hagerty collection to see if there was a new car for the day, scoop it up, and then go check the used car dealer for anything new as well. Then I would systematically go through the normal dealer, one by one, buying every car they had to offer. At first this was harder to do, the max amount of money allowed in your account was just 20 million, so you could quickly run out of money and not have anything left to buy a rare Hagerty car the next day.

Take it from me, I opened all these and got shit 98% of the time. Pointless.

When I wasn’t checking the daily deals available I would have my console running non-stop. I eventually moved it from my PS5 to my old PS4 Pro. Having the PlayStation console and computer running the remote software hard wired helped with the network connection and the hotkey software, but because I have a mesh network, sometimes doing intense internet related things on other devices would cause the connection to degrade, which would mess up the hotkey application. So it had to be monitored frequently, which was annoying. I eventually got the whole setup working well, earning millions of credits for me each day. I even took a trip around Japan and would remote into my computer from my iPad to check the progress. I could restart the farming or check out the new stock in the game through this setup, a little funky doing it all through an iPad, but I really wasn’t trying to take a laptop on this trip.

I eventually got it down to only needing one car, the Ferrari F40 ’92. I had missed it the first time it was available since I wasn’t farming cars yet. So I had to just wait on Hagerty to finally rotate through all the cars so it’d be available again. 2.6 million credits later and it was mine.

This car turned into my white whale. It was a lovely sight seeing it available, pretty cheap too!

The Aftermath

If you’d played GT7 you know you get a little message as you grow your collection. This happens when you hit certain milestones, like 100 and 200 cars. I was expecting some sort of fanfare for the person that actually got every car in the game, even all the ones they release each month for free, but nothing happened. No fanfare, congratulations, or anything. I think the real congratulations is that I did this without spending a dime of real world money.

So what are the stats you ask? Here we go.

Cars Bought – 363
Credits Spent on Cars – 424,588,607
Total Distance Driven – 116,943 Miles
Total Time Driven – 652 hours
Total Fuel Consumed – 80,432 liters
Average Fuel Consumed – 5.00 MPG
Total Credits Acquired – 469,586,047

If I were to spend real money to acquire those credits it would have cost me –
212 packs of 2 Million credits = 4,240 USD

I drove around the equator 4.7 times.
Which is about halfway to the moon.

Should other people do this? It really depends on how dedicated you are to actually completing this task. It became a part of my daily routine to have to check up on these systems and to jump into the game to check the in-game store for new stock of cars. Once I actually started, part of me couldn’t really stop either, I needed to just hit my goal of getting every car. I have a bit of OCD in me, so that helped with this method, while also being a fairly pointless endeavor in the grand scheme of things. The issue now is whether I have to continue collecting cars as they’re released. I still have a little over 40 Million credits just sitting there for new cars to come out. I also kind of stopped playing the game while this was all going on. I felt like I was wasting my time playing when it could be grinding currency for me in the background. When I first hit 100 Million, which is the new cap, I felt like I could just give it all a rest since I had bought the majority of the cars by then.

This process felt like a small way of saying “fuck you” to the people in charge of implementing these mechanics into triple A games from major developers. I would rather pay for a season pass or expansion pack once a year than see inflated currencies in my games. If you feel like in-game currency that can be bought with real money has zero effect in the way pricing or payouts are handled in the game you are absolutely wrong. However, you DO NOT have to use real currency to play and enjoy this game on a daily basis, I would actually recommend not to do this and to not grind currency like I did. I don’t get that mentality from people that truly love these games. This is a game that will get updated monthly for years to come, it’s meant to be slow played. So try to take your time and enjoy it. Save up for a car and really understand the way it drives, go for the ones you’re passionate about. Perhaps they need to add a test drive function so players can have a couple laps in different cars. I took a different route, which may hinder my long term enjoyment of this title, but I like to think I’ll still enjoy it for years to come. I do have those 50 online races to go through for my trophy still.

20 million for a car I’m probably never going to drive. Insane.

Resident Evil Village – Review

I played this game a couple months ago and I’m just trying to get down some of my thoughts on the game before they leave my frail mind.

I kind of love the direction these Resident Evil games and remakes have been going lately. I just love the length of the titles. I like how the first time you play the game it takes X amount of hours, but you can get trophies for playing them over and over with different win conditions. It kind of unlocks a meta to the game that I’m not typically privy to. I’ve talked about this before, but the almost speedrun quality to the game really becomes apparent and it’s actually something that draws me into the game more.

The first time you play RE8, the story and setting really draw you into the world. It’s a continuation of the events from REVII and you play as the same character. I really felt invested in my character and his progression through this small village and the people that inhabit it. I like the mystery and sense of discovery available to you as you explore. I loved the character progression and upgrading of weapons at the Duke.

I wont try to avoid spoilers since this game has been out for a while, and I’m saying right now that I may spoil some stuff down below.

The first thing you notice about this game if you play on the PS5 is just how fast the loading times are. It’s so great to jump into a save in two seconds. From a playability standpoint, that’s an amazing feature and one I want all games to have.

I also really like the combat and the feel of the weapons as you battle the creatures of the village. It just works really well. I guess I kind of lost a lot of my nitpicky thoughts on this title, but I have to say that I was really pleased with my experience playing it.

I don’t think that’s how a shirt is cut… Just saying.

I’ve become a huge fan of these recent RE releases, including the remakes. I love slowly going through my first playthrough and looking in every corner for pickups and secrets. Then immediately playing through the story again to get a few more achievements while cutting down my time to just a couple of hours. Then going for the next run where you don’t open your item box or some shit like that. I like the fact that you can cheese those runs by unlocking overpowered weapons and the ability to turn on infinite ammo. They make it fun, they allow you to feel like you’re getting one over on the developers and tricking the system.

Let me just say that the one thing I do remember about this game is the fucking Mercenaries mode. If you’re going for that Platinum trophy you know what I’m talking about. You have to beat all the levels at increasing difficulty while S ranking the stages. It’s one of those things that when you start making attempts you just think it’s an impossible task and that you’re just going to fail, which you will. You clear the first set of challenges and have to go up a level and say “fuck it”. I would just stop the game for the night and attempt it the next day. On the highest difficulty Mercenaries challenges, I would watch YouTube videos of routing and try to follow along with them. It was a challenge, one that I ultimately came to respect, but don’t wish to attempt again. I did have fun with it but it really did make me wonder if I should continue down the trophy path.

Final Review – 9.0

I’m just a huge fan of this series and the direction the team is going with these games. They have a game engine that feels great to play around in and it looks beautiful. I can’t wait for the inevitable remake of RE4. Do you think the women will get even bigger in the next game though?

Returnal – Review

Returnal for the PS5 is a run based, rogue-like, third-person shooter from Housemarque. If you don’t know, they’re the developers that did games like Dead Nation and Resogun, which are both awesome. Returnal came out earlier this year on April 30 and I just picked it up a week ago. If you’d like to know why I waited let’s talk about the price.

Price

This was one of those Sony first-party super special sauce game where they felt like it should be a 70 USD experience, I felt differently. I’m a huge fan of Housemarque and I think their games are a blast to play, they focus on gameplay first and it really shows. I also don’t think they’ve ever created a product that I would consider paying 60-70 USD for. It’s just not what they do, all their games feel more like arcade experiences to me. Listen, if you paid full price I have no issue with you or your purchase. The only way Sony is going to learn anything is if people speak with their wallets. I found the game at my local store for 30 brand new and that’s when I bought it. I would have bought it on launch if it was going for 40, so I had to jump at it for 30. And after beating the game, that’s exactly what it is. Don’t be fooled by whatever anyone else may say. I’ll try not to harp on the whole cost analysis of this title, it’s not worth 70, they shouldn’t have priced it at that, and it felt really shitty that they did.

The Game

So what do you do in Returnal? You run around semi-random environements exploring and shooting monsters while you try to figure out what the fuck is happening to you. I say semi-random because while the next room in the map may be random, the layout of that room is predetermined. They’re just slotting in rooms in different ways and adding new ones in to make it seem interesting. Those monsters that you kill drop obelites that you can spend to buy items, power-ups, or equipment that will make your “run” potentially easier. If you die, you start back at your spaceship with none of the progression you earned from your last run, except for specific things which I won’t spoil.

When you finally do get to the end of a level, you then have to face a boss. Beat that boss and you gain an ability and get to move on to the next world. There are 6 levels in total. Enemies get stronger as you go, but so do you and your weapons. That is literally all the game is until you finish the last boss, the endgame mixes up the formula just a bit, but we’ll get to that shortly.

The game itself feels really good to play. They really have the feeling of third-person shooting spot on and you have to commend the developers for that. Running around, jumping, and aiming all feel perfect. The amount of control you have of your character in mid-air when jumping, along with the dash move you have gives you confidence in every move you make. Sometimes you have to make a long jump and dash at the end to reach the ledge, but I had no doubts in any of the jumps I attempted. It just all works and feels good. What that all means is that when you die, you probably did something wrong. The game gives you all the tools you need to survive, it just depends on your skill level.

You might get to the first boss or a tough enemy and feel like all the beams coming at you are unfair and you have no recourse to deal with any of it, but that’s just because you need more time with the game. Put in a few more hours and you’ll be dodging through beams, jumping over rings of energy, all while keeping a steady stream of bullets firing at your enemies weak point.

A big part of the game are the multitude of weapons that you unlock, but if you’re like me you’ll quickly find the few that you want. I don’t think I even fired the shotgun weapon at an enemy the whole time I played. Their were only about 2 or 3 guns that I really felt good with and wanted each time. I would end up not picking up any guns unless they were one of those. The weapons you pick up get different types of augments that change the way the they handle and even augment their special attack, all of which you’ll get used to, but you’ll definitely start to prefer some over others. I feel like that works for this type of game. As you go through this groundhog day you’re bound to find things that work for you and feel right.

This all just gets me to how confusing a lot of this game is. When you start playing you’re unlocking things, picking up purple and red items. Some things are malignant and you just have no clue what in the hell is going on. You’re leveling up adrenaline, collecting ether, gaining proficiency, and collecting all these obolites. When you die you really don’t know what carried over from your last game so you open your inventory to try and figure it out and still have no clue. I guess the developers just want you to keep playing until you figure it out. Just like the story.

The Story

Since I don’t really want to spoil Returnal maybe I’ll be a little vague on the story, or does that even matter? I mean, sure…from here on out there will be SPOILERS for this game. I personally didn’t care for the story that much, it’s not really something that kept me coming back to the game. So I think the game was a little flat on that portion.

You start out as an astronaut that crash lands on an alien planet. Your ship is destroyed and you wake up and have to explore this environement to try and find a way off the planet. The story is told through a lot of audio logs that you find in the environment along with some glyphs that you have to uncover. Every once in a while you’ll find an old house in the map that you can enter and go into first-person to get some pointless story exposition.

I’ll be honest with you, as I was playing this game the last thing I was thinking about was the story. It’s a part of why this game doesn’t feel like a big-budget thing. The story elements are all on the periphery. It’s hinted at in audio logs and these weird flashbacks you have. You get a little nugget of it and then have to run around an alien world for a few hours. It was never motivation enough for me to continue.

Endgame

Let’s just get right into the meat of this game. Again, SPOILERS.

To get to the end of the first part of the game you have to beat 5 bosses and clear 6 worlds. That took me about 10 hours to do. When that’s over, you have to start from the first world and go through each of the six biomes again searching for 6 sunface fragments, one in each world. Once you find all six, beat the last boss again and you’ll open up the last scene and finish the third and final act of the game. That wasn’t really too hard to do.

Thinking back on a lot of the social discourse of this game, a lot of podcast personalities complained about spending multiple hours on a run and then dying. They felt like all of their forward progression was lost and felt it hard to pick up and go on another four hour run to just die at a boss or something. That’s not really how this game plays. You can skip most of the levels fairly easily if you’re so inclined. You only have to beat bosses once to finish the game. It’s a lot more forgiving. You also shouldn’t be spending that many hours per run after your first one or two good ones.

I thought about getting the platinum trophy for this game and saw online how random some of these collectibles are and how much of a grind it is to get them. So I didn’t really want to do that and was kind of worried about it. I stuck with it, just getting the next trophy for getting the 3rd act ending. I decided to keep going and started doing runs of the first three levels and pretty soon got a trophy for getting all the collectibles in one of the biomes. A strategy was starting to form in my head.

I was watching the PS5 Trophies YouTube channel to see what he was saying about how he was going to get his last trophies, some random collectibles had eluded him so he was just running it over and over. What he would do is level up on the first biome and get his character build set so that he could survive the next two biomes. I decided to do something different.

I would blaze through the first world and go right to the portal I needed, either the one for biome 2 or 3. I’d avoid all the enemies and chests, wouldn’t even upgrade my gun or health. When I got to one of those biomes I’d pick up the proficiency bonus and then start looking for a gun in the level and getting upgrades. I would skip fights if possible, they don’t matter, all you’re looking for at that point are the little arrows on your map. You just need to find them and see if they are one of your missing collectibles. If it’s a map tile you’ve already seen a bunch it’s more than likely to not have anything for you. This started really helping my collectible runs in a major way. It’s not like you’re all of a sudden going to get every collectible in one run, sometimes I’d only get one item from each run, which really sucked. Sometimes the game would crash and you’d lose all your progress, which happened to me twice.

I did get that platinum though and I must say I loved almost every minute of it. This game was a blast to play. I actually got the last few trophies, netting me the platinum, faster than I wanted to. When the platinum trophy popped I was a little disappointed that it was over. It was just a fun game with a good amount of challenge that kept me wanting to come back to it.

Final Score – 8.6

I must say that I really did enjoy my time with Returnal. If I didn’t have a thing about picking up a game I already platinumed, I’d want to jump back into it again. All that’s left are daily challenges which I don’t care about. This is a great third-person shooter that actually feels good to play. Combat is fast and challenging, forcing you to keep your wits about you to survive. Pick it up on a sale and it’ll treat you right. Perhaps the story could have been a bit more engaging but that would mean it’d get more in the way of the gameplay, which would suck.

All of my juicy end-game stats.

Bluepoint Games Officially a Sony Studio

To the surprise of no one.

In what can only be referred to a as a shocking revelation, Sony has officially welcomed Bluepoint Games into the Sony family of studios.

The more interesting part of this all is that they are developing their own original IP now. Bluepoint is the studio behind the Demon Souls remake that launched with the PlayStation 5 along with the Shadow of Colossus remake for the PS4. They basically do those pretty remakes of games.

I must say that right now I’m just a little bummed that they’re making their own, original, titles for the platform. They are really good at taking an old property, sourcing out artwork and bringing it up to modern levels of graphical fidelity. You kind of knew that if they were doing a remake that it would be done to a high level of quality, and it seems like they could get them out at a pretty decent cadence.

Now, we’re going to have to wait 3-4 years for them to put out their own game. Maybe a little less because it seems like this acquisition has been in the works for some time. It was leaked out earlier this year that this was going to happen. They should have about a good year of development already done since Demon’s Souls came out as a launch title. Would it make sense for them to adapt that engine and make a Dark Souls style game? That’d be interesting.

I’m happy for the team of people at Bluepoint that want to create their own project, there’s a lot of pride and sense of accomplishment in doing something like that over remaking another teams work. So if that’s what makes them happy and get out of bed each morning, good for them. Hopefully their studio is big enough that they can have two teams working at once, that’s how I’d try to structure them. It does feel like a lot of the asset work in their remakes were done by other studios, which was a brilliant way of getting things up and running fast. Then again, that’s how a lot of studios work today, outsource the asset creation to studios in parts of the world where it labor costs are less.

It’s a little funny that everyone’s dreams of a Metal Gear Solid remake and Bloodborne have all gone out the window though. Perhaps one day!

Shenmue 2 – Review

I originally played through Shenmue 2 on the XBox when it came out in 2001, so it’s been a solid 20 years since I last checked in on Ryo Hazuki. The most interesting part of playing this game is just how small and insignificant it makes the first game feel, which I wasn’t expecting. That’s because when I remember back to playing these games I had all these great memories of playing through the first Shenmue, with it’s engrossing story and memorable scenes, with the second game being little more than a footnote in my memory.

To put all this into context, Shenmue 1 is the first chapter of the saga. Shenmue 2 covers chapters 3 to 5. The missing chapter 2 is a comic book story that covers the boat trip Ryo takes after he left Yokosuka, Japan. It makes sense when I go back to my review of Shenmue and take note of how short the story is and how it basically just feels like it’s the opening to a grander story, because that’s exactly what it is.

Shenmue 2 takes place in Hong Kong and then ventures a bit into mainland China in the final, brief, chapter of the game. This is probably where I have one of my biggest complaints about this game, the location. It feels a little odd that the game went into Hong Kong in these chapters. I feel a personal disconnect from what I felt when playing Shenmue 1, perhaps it’s my own bias towards Japanese architecture and culture.

When you get off the boat at the beginning of the game you’re in Aberdeen harbor, it’s honestly one of the ugliest locations in a video game I’ve seen in a while. The buildings are all this horribly textured red brick. The lack of geometric detail and lighting, combined with low quality texture work, just makes the whole image hard to look at. It starts to get a little better as the game progresses, but even then you’re mainly inside large buildings with repeating geometry and texture work.

A really ugly environment.

Yes, this game is pretty ugly to look at. Some of the NPCs will make you laugh because of the way they’re represented. It almost feels like the Japanese developers are kind of taking the piss out of the Chinese people in their game. You do have to take into consideration that this game is a port, not a remake. It was originally developed for the Dreamcast and Microsoft made a deal to get distribution rights for the XBox in the States, which means the game models aren’t improved or anything for this title.

I went back and forth on being impressed that a Dreamcast could render scenes in such detail, but other times I was really scratching my head at just how bad things looked back then. I can really see a remake of these games with the Dragon Engine from the Yakuza developers Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. I would personally love a complete remaster, but I don’t see a world where that would be financially viable for a studio to commit those levels of resources and money for this brand.

So let’s talk about playing the game. The map system is almost completely useless here. You first need to buy a map for each and every area you load into. The city is broken up into multiple parts, so one map will not be enough. The names of building will not be on this map, they simply give you something in the corner of your screen to orient yourself with. If you want to find a specific place, you have to ask people for directions or find a map directory in the world that you can zoom into and look for your destination. I ended up just pulling up a map on my laptop and keeping that up, way easier.

A big complaint that I had on the first game was the amount of time I waisted just sitting around killing time as I waited for the next scheduled event to take place. In this game that’s almost completely eliminated. You can fast travel in specific instances, it’ll always give you the option to wait and speed up time. If you run out the clock on a day it’ll bring you back to your resting spot, then the next morning, it’ll give you the option to continue from yesterday and warp you back. It’s nice to see the evolution and problem solving at work. If you just want the story then this is a great quality of life feature added over the first game.

The fighting is better than it is in the first game. In Shenmue I felt like I had almost no control over a fight and just smashed the same few attacks and I’d eventually win the match. There’s a bit more strategy involved in this one, especially when you get to the later parts of the game and have to do a series of street fights to progress. It’s by no means a great fighting system. You wont have fun doing it and you wont look forward to fighting at all. Just keep at it and you’ll get through it.

Let’s not even get into the QTEs and how stupid they are. You have to do button presses at various story moments and fight sequences. This is not a good mechanic that holds up to the test of time. It was meant to provide a more cinematic experience but really it just frustrates the player if they mess up. You end up not caring about what’s happening because all you’re doing is trying to input a dumb sequence of button presses so you don’t have to start the whole sequence over again. This is a slam against all instances of QTE throughout all video games, it is simply a commentary on how they were implemented in this title.

If you intend to play this game I recommend that you use a guide to get you through the story. I don’t have time in my life to play this game the way you were supposed to when it came out. I don’t want to run around asking people where to go and piece together all the clues. Modern games would just give you waypoints on your next objective, pointing you to a restaurant you’ve never been to, this game makes you figure all that out yourself. I didn’t just want to beat this game or see the story, I was aiming to get the platinum trophy for both Shenmue 1 & 2 so I followed a trophy guide. Luckily, it was a fairly straightforward platinum and doesn’t require you to have to do a bunch of extra tasks, which is really nice.

I did come to this game for the story. I wanted to play through all three titles just to see what happens at the end of the third game. I think I owed it to my younger self to experience all the Shenmue that I can and to at least get the platinum trophy in the first two games. I’ve been looking at what’s involved for the third game and I’m not sure I care that much about collecting herbs, but I’ll see what happens when I get there.

What can I really say about the story in this game? It’s slightly better than the first game. I’m simply talking about the story itself here, not the way it’s presented or anything like that. There’s a bit more action towards the end of the game that really makes you feel like you’re actually in the second act of the game. Things are happening, granted, there all happening in a 17 story building that seems to go on forever and everything looks the same. You start to learn about the mirrors and what they do. Some mystical/magical things happen with the mirror that isn’t physically possible. Lan Di is talked about a lot and you get to see him at the end battle, but he’s not involved and just hangs off a ladder attached to a helicopter. This is literaly the weirdest game ever made.

The final chapter of the game has you going into mainland China to rescue a girl in a river chasing a deer. She seems to have magical capabilities or something and keeps reciting a poem that references you coming to her. You get to run around a forest for what seems like forever. You see the Shenmue tree and use a sword and the mirror to make a sword float in mid air. What does it all mean?!

I don’t even know…

Do you see what I’m saying? I have no idea. This is what I was left with 20 years ago, an image of this. This is what all of us Shenmue fans had to go on. Then Yu Suzuki crowdfunds a sequel to this game and it gets greenlit. I hope he can wrap up this story in the sequel because I really don’t think he’s going to get another shot at it.

Final Score – 7.1

I think it’s a better game than the original. As hard as it is for me to say that it is a better game. The setting and the sheer volume of memes from the first game make it more memorable by a mile. Is this a good game that people should actually play in 2021 though? No. Only people with a soft spot for this series should even think about going back to these games. It’s fascinating to see what they were trying to do with the technology they had at the time. They were clearly overambitious and bit off more than they could chew. If you have never experienced a Shenmue game then you really need to give it a try, it’s interesting for sure.

PlayStation 5 M.2 SSD Implementation Starting to Roll Out

If you’re in the beta program for PS5 firmware, then you’re finally able to upgrade the hard drive space of you’re PlayStation 5. This is a feature touted prior to the release of the console and a great way to supplement the relatively small amount of space available on the system.

The real issue to think about now is the speed of those M.2 SSDs that are available to purchase and which ones should go into your system. For reference, these are the recommended specs from Sony.

  • Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Capacity: 250GB – 4TB
  • Cooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink. You can attach one to your M.2 SSD yourself, either in a single-sided format, or double-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have cooling structures (such as heatsinks) built in.
  • Sequential read speed: 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended 
  • Module width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)
  • Form Factor: M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.
    These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.
  • Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M) 
  • Total size including cooling structure:
    In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).
    In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).

Source : Sony

I don’t think that anyone who really cares about loading speed should settle for a 5,500MB/s M.2 drive. It doesn’t seem fast enough and we should all try to focus on the 7,000MB/s drives on the market, which there are only a few right now. Extra speed is needed to compensate for this storage solution not being as integrated into the hardware as the onboard SSD, so if you’re simply going with the lowest recommended speed you’re bound to see slower load times on the titles that utilize this feature.

They also recommend using a heatsink for your SSD, which isn’t that big of a deal. These can easily be added by the consumer, although certain drives do come with build on heatsinks. I have noticed in the days following Mark Cerny’s recommendation on the drive he bought for his PS5 that the price of that drive has gone up significantly. It seems that a lot of gamers were waiting to upgrade their storage. Although, I currently see the 1TB model, without heatsink, going for 199.99 USD, which is cheaper than the Microsoft offer (you still need the heatsink though).

I think I’m going to wait for a 2TB drive at 7,000MB/s to get around the 300$ mark or so before I invest in this. I am pretty good at finishing games and just deleting them so it’s not too much of a struggle for me now. And if I do add storage, I want it to be at least 2TB so that I don’t have to think about upgrading it again during this lifecycle.

Shadow of the Colossus (PS4) – Review

I played this game back at the end of January of this year and just needed to put some words down about it. I did play this game when it was first released on the Playstation 2, and I still have my copy locked up with my old games. It was originally released back in 2005 and fans were clamoring for a remake ever since. This version was put out for the PS4 and I ended up playing it on my PS5.

What makes this game special in my mind has a lot to do with how slight it feels. The game can be beaten in one day, easily. There is no voice acting and hardly any story at all. The bosses can be killed relatively easily. This all works together to encapsulate the feeling you get from playing this game, which is unique. A lot of modern games are just so bloated that any sort of feeling you might have is eroded away through a constant grind of game mechanics that are solely there to keep you playing.

This title respects your time and doesn’t try to do more than it has to. You quickly grow an attachment to your character and horse. It feels wrong what you’re doing to these colossi, but destroy them you must for the princess is what matters most to your character. That feeling you get from playing the game pulls you through the journey of your character and by the end of it you can honestly say that you’ve had an emotional connection to the story. Not a lot of games can make that claim.

Different quality modes present. Added resolution and shadows can be seen in the right image.

This title is special. The remaster done by BluePoint is fantastic, it’s a beautiful looking game that plays great on the PS5. The controls and camera can be frustrating at times, but if you’re grown up with this title you know exactly what you’re in for. I didn’t attempt to get the platinum trophy or anything like that, not really necessary for me to feel good about this game.

Final Score – 8.3

This is a rare style of game that draws an emotional response from the player using minimal storytelling elements. Those limitations help make it one of the more memorable titles you can play. A true classic and something all gamers should experience.

End

Days Gone – Review

This is one of those PlayStation first party games that I didn’t think I’d ever play. It’s hard getting the motivation to play open-world games, especially if you already play each new Assassin’s Creed game that comes out. Add that to the growing list of other games, like Ghost of Tsushima, Red Dead Redemption 2, etc. It’s a lot, they take up a massive amount of players time and did Sony first-party really need to dip their toes in those waters?

Ride or die.

That was until I finished up Cyberpunk 2077 and wanted to start using my PS5 again. I’m talking about a new console months after the generational shift, and I haven’t played a game on it for over a month. If you sit down with that thing it doesn’t have that many native games to play, I’ve already played Demon’s Soul and Astro Bot, what else is left? So I had to start digging into my back catalogue and see what tickled my fancy. Days gone is one of the titles included in the PlayStation Plus free game program they have with PS5 so that made my barrier to entry super easy. Going in, I had faint memories of the early E3 presentation, where they showed off the hoard at the saw mill, and I recalled something about having to find your wife, dead or alive. That’s basically all I knew about the game.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Graphics

I’ll start with graphics because why not? This game looks really nice on my PS5, even for a PS4 game that doesn’t have any real patches for next-gen. It does allow you to run the game at 60fps in resolution mode, so it feels good to move around and it’s really sharp. Honestly, playing this game and going around the open world made me give a little shout out of respect to what the PS4 was capable of, it impressed me. The frame rate will drop here and there, causing little stutters, but those honestly happen in the most random places. It probably just needs a proper patch to take advantage of all the PS5 features, since it only runs in back-compat mode those things are locked out for the game. The good thing is that I never felt any sluggishness when going up against a hoard.

The world is the shining star in graphical department. The game takes place in the mountains and lakes of Oregon. It gives the game a natural feel so you don’t get office buildings made of football fields of glass, just a lot of good old fashioned wood. It’s rendered well using the Unreal Engine, which comes as a big surprise for a first party Sony game, since they usually opt to use proprietary engines for their games. Wonder how they felt about paying a licensing fee for this title, or perhaps their investment in Epic allowed them to skirt around that issue.

Character models are really hit or miss for me. The main cast of characters are okay, with one or two standouts besides the main protagonist. Animations are also in that B tier category, they get the job done but don’t really stand out in any way. The real star of the show is the hoards.

Coming over a hill and seeing your first hoard out in the middle of nowhere is a real treat. It’s pretty rare that a game while come up with something that surprises you like this one, especially on the bigger hoards. These hoards come in all different sizes, increasing the further south you go. When you see that first large hoard, maybe you try something that you think might work, like lure them into a group and chuck a few grenades at them, that should do it. You come to find out that all you got was about 10% of the group and the rest start rushing at you as you attempt to shoot them with everything you have. Once you have the scope truly down you can start to think logically and plan out your attacks. The sheer number of enemies on screen at one time is remarkable to see. I do think the game could have stood out on it’s own with just small groups of freakers, but having these massive hoards to battle really makes it stand out in a crowded field of releases. They become the star of the show and I give them a lot of credit for doing it on the PS4.

Complaints

Deacon St. John is one of the worst characters in video games. It just needs to be said. He is one of the worst protagonists that I have ever had the privilege to control. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a disconnect with who a person is and how they represent themselves than I did with this man. It’s not that he was in a biker gang and talks about his cut (jacket) all the time, or has hands full of the most ridiculous rings imaginable. It was that his personality, or lack of, came out constantly when he tried to speak. He’s played by actor Sam Witwer, who I also am not the biggest fan of, which is all a shame because I really enjoyed the story surrounding this character. I just wish he wasn’t such an idiotic douche all the time.

This is the idiot I chose to marry.

Deacon is a biker boy who loves to ride his hog and his woman, all while treating everyone around him like they’re annoying idiots.

The game starts off, like all good fiction these days, with a zombie apocalypses. Your injured wife is placed on a helicopter with a man in a hazmat suit who promises to take her to a safe camp. You stay back with your other injured friend, Boozer, so you can help him get to the camp and meet back up with your woman. Needless to say, things happen, you don’t find her and think she’s dead, you and Boozer both survive for two full years. That’s where the gameplay part of the game picks up and you’re left to fend for yourself as you try to leave Oregon and move on with your life. Only to find that the hazmat guy is still alive and perhaps your wife, Sarah, is too.

What a nice little premise for a game. How is this hazmat guy still alive? Shit, your wife maybe alive as well? Sold!

Mysteries abound.

So the problem I had with Deacon is that he’s so stupid and annoying. Pretty simple, right? He treats everyone around him with such irreverence, he just blows everyone off. You’ll get to a camp and help them out over multiple missions, building up friendships with people that you, as the player, grow attached to. Only to have Deacon act like a 15 year old child with mood issues one second later. These people are actually nice to you, they don’t want to kill you, you’re helping them build a community, and then you just get the stinger of him being a dick. It makes so little sense, I can see how it could make sense If I inferred into his character a whole lot, but that’s not my job, the story should have conveyed that aspect to his personality. If the main character is going to act like an idiot and just treat nice people like shit all the time, give me a little more setup to why his mind works this way. Maybe something happened in the two year gap between the opening and the game. None of it is explained to any level of satisfaction so it all comes off as crass. It might also just be the way the actor chose to portray Deacon, like he had a bad take on the character.

It’s a mad mad mad world.

I get that not every person or character in a work of fiction should, or would be the most elegant of speakers and communicators. It just needs to be setup to the player in a better way. As the game went on there was just more of a disconnect between Deacon and I, he’d pull up to a camp that he had to clear out and literally yell out that it’s full of murders and rapists and shit like that, and that they all have to die, like calm down dude. I get that they’re bad, but every time you pull up to one of these camps he says the same exact thing, it’s a little comical.

That issue get’s more into the performance of Deacon, which is half of the equation I feel. The actor, Sam Witwer, is just not good in this role, or the way he was directed is off. I’ve never really been a fan of that actor and I feel like this role just does nothing for him. The vocal audio is mixed incorrectly most of the time, where characters are either speaking really softly while giving a speech to a group around a raging bonfire, or they’re just yelling at each other in a way that makes no sense for the scenario on screen. The sound design for the voices could have been handled way better.

Burn the nest to the ground!

Part of the issue comes from the type of game this is. You’re, for the most part, a lonely guy going out into this open world to kill things. Your main action in the game is to shoot bad things. You spend a lot of time with your main character, with that comes a level of connection and understanding you could say. This is what video games are all about, being a character in a foreign world, living out an experience only achievable in this form of entertainment. Dozens of hours looking at them in the center of your screen as you roam around on adventures. I just had a disconnect with how shitty I felt he was. How he’d barely answer a question, rarely ever get personal, would shut down emotionally constantly, and treated friendly people like crap. I kept wanting him to do more, say more, be more, but he was just Deacon.

What I liked

Even though I just shat all over the main character of the game, I really got into the story of this game. It starts you off in a small region of the map, doing mission after mission helping out the local camps in the region. I initially thought that this was going to be the whole game. That it was just going to take place on this, relatively small and manageable sized map, which felt oddly refreshing and quaint. Come to find out that no, you get to open up another large area and then another after that. So the game was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.

The length of the story felt a little off to me. It seems to be broken up in three parts and they are all longer than I thought they would be. I did do every mission as they came up, so perhaps I was doing a lot of side content that didn’t really matter if you only care about the main storyline. The third part is when you get to the Wizard’s Island and discover that your wife is still alive and kicking. Which is awesome! I love that you got to find out in this game and that you got to spend a good chunk of the ending focusing on your relationship with her. She even ends up being a way better character than the blunt instrument of Deacon. I was interested in the scientific research that she was still working on, which is a way to actually reverse the zombie infection, not kill it. You get to visit her old lab and see what’s come of it. Mysteries reveal themselves and new ones form. It pulls you in, if you’re hooked as I was, and really makes you want to finish the game.

Keep it going.

The thing I wasn’t expecting is that all the mysteries that surround the freakers are not resolved by the end of the game. It felt like they had so many plot threads and the game was already so long that they just cut a bunch of them so they could focus on wrapping up a handful of smaller ones. It does leave the title wide open for a sequel, which I really did not expect coming in. If you keep playing after you beat the game you’ll even get to find out what’s happening to the hazmat guy that you’ve been in contact with throughout the whole game, and why he’s still in a hazmat suit. That’s where the real intrigue comes into play and makes me want to see what will happen in the sequel, which I hope they make. It’d be really cool to see what they can do with a freaker horde running on the PS5 natively. It’s what makes this game stand out form The Last of Us, a game that doesn’t care to answer how it happened or how to fix it, the intrigue in Days Gone is the mystery behind how it happened and if it can be fixed.

I also really liked the gameplay. You get around by riding your custom motorcycle through the land while being mindful of the amount of fuel in your tank, making sure to top it of off wherever you can get some fuel. The combat and weapons felt like a nice 3rd person action game. I had favorite weapons out of the growing arsenal at my disposal that I’d keep on me at all time, turning my character into a zombie and human killing machine. You can mix up gun combat with the strategic use of remote and motion activated bombs, Molotov cocktails, and a form of napalm. You can use lures to draw in large crowds and funnel them where you wanted, then blow them all up. At the end of the game, when you’re allowed to free roam, dozens of hoards appear all over the map that you can take down. It’s just a good way to finish leveling up, go take on a hoard, earn more XP and go for that platinum trophy. Every single one of them is slightly unique and fun to do. I ended up getting the platinum since I enjoyed playing the game and it wasn’t that much of a grind.

A family affair.

Final Score – 8.2

I enjoyed this game more than I thought I would. I loved the mystery around the story and I want to know what the hell is going on with O’Brian. I just wish the main character had a personality facelift since he took me out of the game way too much. The gameplay was great, fighting humans and hordes all felt good. The progression system, from skills to weapons, kept me looking forward to the next unlock. A proper PS5 patch would be nice to see, but it’s not the one I’m hurting the most to have. If you have a PS5 and Plus, along with some time to get into a game, definitely give this game a shot.

I want the sequel.

Resident Evil 3 (remake) – Review

I ran through this game in just a couple of days and got the platinum trophy on it before Cyberpunk 2077 hit. I was able to get it for cheap in a PlayStation Sale and just had to go through it since I loved the Resident Evil 2 Remake so much.

Now, I haven’t played Resident Evil since it came out on the PlayStation 1. Most people, I suspect, have never played it. I never felt like it was one of the beloved sequels in the series, kind of like Code Veronica, so it didn’t get the rerelease treatment often. I was a kid at the time and played it at my friends house. Back then we used to play shitty Sega CD games and speed run Resident Evil: Directors Cut, but I only remember playing this game a little bit so just about everything about it was new to me.

Just before getting into this game though, I went back to my Resident Evil 2 Remake game and got the last remaining trophies and finished up the platinum on it. I was on a bit of a roll I guess you could say. I had already heard when this game was released that it was shorter than 2, but I didn’t really understand how much that was true. It’s not that it bothered me or anything, It would have if I had paid full price though (I believe it cost 60USD on release). It’s definitely not worth that release price, especially if they’re going to release little nickel-and-dime DLC to unlock extra costumes and shit like that. It’s a bit bullshit and one of the reasons I sat on the game for so long and waited for a sale.

So right off the bat I love the way the Jill character model looks in this game. I just think there is an ineffable quality about her look that is just so well done. It’s only slightly let down by some of the lighting and animation work, but the look of the model itself is great. I feel like she’s one of the more beautiful women in gaming today, there is just something about her that makes me want to keep looking at her face. The French would call it “je ne sais quoi”, it just grabs my attention more than a lot of other female protagonists in gaming. I can just respect the choice of look they went with here, it’s definitely not how I remember Jill looking in the original. In this game, she’s a complete badass that doesn’t take any bullshit from the men around her. On the other side of the coin you have Carlos and his massive head of hair, it’s insane.

The game itself is modeled closely on the remake of 2, except now you get a dodge move. You basically just have to take the 2nd game, remove almost all puzzle solving from it and make it an hour shorter and this is the game you get. It’s so streamlined it almost makes it a speed runners game. That’s exactly what I liked most about the game too. There’s something about a game with good mechanics like this where you can just blow through it in 90 minutes.

Yes, this will happen…

What that does is it forces you to learn the patterns of each level or section, so the next time you run through it you automatically know where to go and how to deal with all the enemies. Granted, that’s only if you’re going for the trophies. If you’re not you’re just getting a short little action movie of a game, which may be disappointing to some. It would have made a good rental game.

I didn’t approach the game like that at all, I watched the story the first time and skipped it every other. I was able to unlock the rocket launcher as a starter weapon, which helped me on subsequent playthroughs. I did a run without accessing the item chest which added another degree of complication to one of my speed runs. I actually just found it fun to run through the game so much. It truly felt like being a speed runner. I tend to only play a game once these days, games are getting so fucking long that you don’t get the opportunity to just play through them more than once, or for this game more than once in a day.

The trickiest thing about RE3 had to be the last boss on the hardest difficulty, that guy was a bit of a fucker. I did have a good tip that I think others should follow, which is to listen out for a particular sound to push in the charging cells. If you time it right you can skip one of his attack animations, making the fight a lot easier.

Open with a bang.

I thought the game would use a lot more of the locations from the 2 remake, but you basically just get a little bit of the police station and the street out front. It’s not like the locations really impressed me that much in this game. It was all kind of toned down in the excitement level. Nothing really stood out to me. The whole opening section around the train station and the streets surrounding it were a little forgetful. The coolest part was probably the big head above the store, but even then it didn’t wow me.

The hospital in the later portion of the game tries to complicate it up a little bit, but you can literally just blow through it with relative ease. You don’t get that Resident Evil puzzle solving, figuring out how to open doors thing. Sure, you have to get the tape player and the tape, but just open all the rooms and look around, you’re not going to miss anything. That’s all fine though, that’s not what this game is about. We got all that in the last game.

What I really liked about the story and where this game goes is when it starts interweaving into the events of the second game. It was cool to see how the timelines fit together and really make this seem like a more cohesive package with the 2nd remake.

The boss battels, I felt, weren’t really that much of a challenge (except the last on the hardest difficulty). If you play the game right, you’re going to get the rocket launcher in your chest for your other playthroughs. It doesn’t even cause your rating to decrease so you kind of need/have to use it. Except for the playthrough you do without opening the chest, which is fun. You have a dodge move which makes maneuvering the boss arenas a lot easier, if the nemesis comes at you and you’re good at timing your rolls you shouldn’t have a problem. The arenas were memorable, particularly where he’s running around in circles on the walls and the last when you finally kill it, which was awesome.

Some nice cloth, looks like someone learned Marvelous Designer.

Final Score – 8.5

There really isn’t much else to say about this game. Listen, if you liked the 2nd remake then you’ll dig this one. Just know it’s super short and try to go for the trophies because they really add to the fun and enjoyment you get out of this title. Isn’t that a weird thing to say? With most other games the trophies are a grind and don’t add to your overall enjoyment, this title is the complete opposite. If you don’t care about trophies, you’re going to want to wait for a deep discount on the PlayStation store before pulling the trigger. If you can understand and see how the trophies push you to enjoy the game in ways you might not naturally seek out, you might find that you get a nice challenge and some more time out of this game.