What are you playing?

Joined
Jul 28, 2018
I have about 60 hours in Elden Ring now
and yes, i can agree that it is a really good and interesting game. Like a 8 or 8.5/10
BUT
i still think that it has some of the same open world game problems as every other modern open world game.
And thats the 'too much land to fill' problem.
Even Elden Ring is FULL of 1:1 copy pasted ruins, towers, churches, gravestones,
village houses, statues, whole dungeons and other stuff.
And i'm not talking about the look of the setting, i'm talking about copy pasted areas, 3D models and elements.
Not kind of same looking, literally the same.

So in the first and maybe second region of the whole game its like
'woah, secret dungeon, woah, secret teleport, woah secret boss room ...'
which makes you think My god this whole game is going to be like this, surprises around every single corner!
... not, its not. All of these elements in these first 15, 20 hours are exactly the same elements
in the hours and regions later. 'Oh this optional dungeon is kind of creepy, i wonder how the rest is going to look like?'
I can tell you, most of them almost the same, some of them literally the same.
Its the exact same type of dungeon, teleport, estus upgrade, optional boss arena
and so on. The ruins of this little village that was 'just destroyed recently'
are exactly the same ruins in other areas. So you will reach a point where you can already tell
whats going on in front of you or by the shape on the map, even tho theres no help in terms of game UI on the screen.

There is 100% unique stuff, especially the areas that you have to enter because they are not part of the open world.
The really big shielded off parts. Those are great.
But everything between were you are running and riding around from one place to the next on the surface
has exactly the same amount of copy paste elements and repetition as every other modern open world game.
Same thing as Odyssey, Forbidden West, Tsushima. These game worlds are so big
that the developers can not fill them with 100% unique elements.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Location
London
I do wonder if there is a reason why developers insist on making giant open worlds and what the alternatives are. I loved Ghost of Tsushima, MGSV (Gameplay) and enjoying Cyberpunk, but I largely skipped those worlds in terms of exploring and just resorted to fast travel.

The only game recently where I really took in the world an enjoyed (for the first half of the game anyway) exploring was Red Dead Redemption 2.

Going back to MGSV, I think a perfect scenario would be having an open world like Afghanistan, but have multiple open levels (like Ground Zeroes) that serve the story.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
I think the teams just want too much. They want to impress you with the size of the world
but no team on this planet can fill a Odyssey, Valhalla, Elden Ring sized game world
with 100% unique content. Its simply not possible.
These games already need teams of 300 people and more
and some of the highest budgets on the game budget spectrum
and its still not enough to achieve these super size worlds + 100% unique fresh not re used game elements.
Imagine what team size, development time and budget they need to make all areas of each region completely unique?
Probably team size and budget x3.

It works in games with way smaller worlds (not even 1/4 the size of Odyssey) and less playtime (18-40 hours)
because theres less room to fill for the devs and with less room to fill you can make more unique stuff in those areas.
But how are you gonna fill a game world that has the size of Shenmue 1&2 x10?
Its not going to work. It will always result in some kind of copy pasted template / pattern,
copy pasted assets and so on. But that seems to be the way to go now
and i'm not a fan of that. I'm simply getting bored and tired when i start to notice that
theres no new stuff after playing for 40-50 hours. A different region is not different or unique
just because you remove the green grass and make it a red desert instead
when it still has the same re used assets, models, elements etc. Thats an illusion of uniqueness.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Even Maneater was not innocent of recycled content, but at such a short play time even for me to 100% it felt mostly fine there because they still technically had new stuff til the very end, which is why I was so impressed with it.

Breath of the Wild, similar thing, but I feel that the recycled stuff was often used more effectively with how the terrain itself was laid out and the different puzzles and solutions and more dynamic systems went a long way to making every kind of encounter and experience more unique - that and cycling through different weapons all the time.

But yeah, if it’s either this or smaller worlds, I’d prefer the latter tbh. Being bored for 80+ hours really just doesn’t seem as good of a time as maybe 10-20 having a blast. I might have thought differently way back, but now I’ve only got so much time to spend on the weekends, even without other obligations or hobbies.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue IIx
Currently playing
Ghost of Tsushima
PSN
mjqjazzbar
I'm pettier than that. My "issue" is things like the map not coming up when I hit the map/touch button on the PS5 pad and other newer open world refinements. lol. I got too used to the Kiwamis. Enjoying myself so far otherwise. It's like a visit to an old friend. I just really wish I were caught up. Yeah, I could skip ahead, but I've already bought Yakuza 3-4 twice (I own PS3 copies) and haven't even played either one once. I must persist!
So I'm enjoying myself for the most part. I'm on chapter 5. The combat is pretty annoying (everyone BLOCKS SO MUCH) and I hate the cabaret. I had hoped the cabaret experience would be similar to Yakuza 0 or the Kiwamis, but it's totally different in a bad way. I'm aware of the guide and suggested customizations, but that makes me think even less of the mini game. The stats make absolutely no sense as they relate to the accessories and clothes. Seems like those are the biggest issues other folks have, so I guess I'm doing alright otherwise.

I've got Nex Machina going on the side so I can prepare myself for Returnal. it seems like that's the DEFINITIVE PS5 game so I don't want to miss out, but I know my skills are nowhere near ready.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Hope you like it. To be fair, I’ve sunk another 3 or 4 hours into it since my post a few days ago and am enjoying the game quite a bit more now. The horror elements remain underwhelming, but some of the otherworldly distortion stuff is really cool and more than a little trippy.
What was your final thoughts on Ghostwire Tokyo?
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
I completed Ghostwire Tokyo main story. I cannot recommend it to anyone at full price. Bland story, bland combat, bland activities in general. I have no desire to explore any of the side missions after completing the story missions. There was zero emotional investment in the protagonists and the plot. The plot itself was paper thin with one basic reason for each main character as to why they're going through the experience. The antagonist was bland basic and one dimensional, very comic book feeling rather than having multiple layers of depth like a good story. There was about 10 minutes of cutscenes that were fairly good, but the rest was forgettable If you like horror games (I don't), this won't be enough for you. If you don't like horror games (I don't), this still feels a bit stagnant.

The positives on the game is that the basic premise and the atmosphere is interesting. This game feels like wasted potential, something that could be an 8/10 or 9/10 from the look of the trailers and marketing in reality is a 6/10 and lucky to maybe pass for a 7/10. If you can play this free on a game pass service, or if you can get it on a deep sale at $20 its worth the price to satisfy a curiosity, but I spent $54 on it and it isn't worth that price at all.

There's nothing bad here really, but nothing outside of the games ambition and attempt at a fresh atmosphere is anything above average to fair.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Japan
Favourite title
Shenmue II
What was your final thoughts on Ghostwire Tokyo?
It grew on me a little, but not nearly as much as I’d have liked.

I actually quite liked that it was a short game, but found the combat far too shallow to ever really be enjoyable. It’s not like I was expecting Dark Souls or anything, but the blandness definitely detracted from the overall experience.

Story wise, it definitely had potential, but I didn’t like how a lot of integral information was tied to optional collectibles that - even when collected - don’t provide the information needed unless players go out of their way to listen to or read them.

Speaking of collectibles, this is where I thought the game really fell apart. It felt like the 100+ relics, 50+ Jizo statues etc were right out of the big book of open-world game tropes and added solely to extend the game’s length. Finding them all felt like a real chore and ended up leaving a very sour taste. I’d much rather have had a good 10 hour game than a stretched out 30 hour borefest.

I ended up getting the platinum trophy for the game in the end but really regretted it afterward. The trophy descriptions implied that saving all 240,000+ spirits would provide some sort of alternate ending, but the rewards for doing so (infinite ammo and super stealth prayer beads) are effectively useless by that point.

I wouldn’t be against a sequel, but they’d need to really flesh out the combat and perhaps lean more into the investigative elements on offer to better differentiate it from all of the other open-world sandbox clones on the market. 6.5/10 from me.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
It grew on me a little, but not nearly as much as I’d have liked.

I actually quite liked that it was a short game, but found the combat far too shallow to ever really be enjoyable. It’s not like I was expecting Dark Souls or anything, but the blandness definitely detracted from the overall experience.

Story wise, it definitely had potential, but I didn’t like how a lot of integral information was tied to optional collectibles that - even when collected - don’t provide the information needed unless players go out of their way to listen to or read them.

Speaking of collectibles, this is where I thought the game really fell apart. It felt like the 100+ relics, 50+ Jizo statues etc were right out of the big book of open-world game tropes and added solely to extend the game’s length. Finding them all felt like a real chore and ended up leaving a very sour taste. I’d much rather have had a good 10 hour game than a stretched out 30 hour borefest.

I ended up getting the platinum trophy for the game in the end but really regretted it afterward. The trophy descriptions implied that saving all 240,000+ spirits would provide some sort of alternate ending, but the rewards for doing so (infinite ammo and super stealth prayer beads) are effectively useless by that point.

I wouldn’t be against a sequel, but they’d need to really flesh out the combat and perhaps lean more into the investigative elements on offer to better differentiate it from all of the other open-world sandbox clones on the market. 6.5/10 from me.
I'm on the fence between a 6.5, 6.75 or 7 for a score. The ambition, creativity and atmosphere would probably get higher than a 7, but the rest of the game in execution struggles to get a 7 from me. I was realistically expecting an 8/10 and hoping for a 9/10 experience. Oh well.

I put in about 10 hours with the story, I did zero side missions as I had no desire at all and then I started to finish clearing the torii gates, had 4 of them left to clear and said screw it and deleted the game from my PS5 lol.

I wouldn't be against a sequel either, and if it looked ambitious and interesting I'd maybe give it a try, especially if its in a different city or location. However, I wouldn't be spending more than maybe $20 on a sequel, or let it come to XB Game Pass/PS Now.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Japan
Favourite title
Shenmue II
I'm on the fence between a 6.5, 6.75 or 7 for a score. The ambition, creativity and atmosphere would probably get higher than a 7, but the rest of the game in execution struggles to get a 7 from me. I was realistically expecting an 8/10 and hoping for a 9/10 experience. Oh well.

I put in about 10 hours with the story, I did zero side missions as I had no desire at all and then I started to finish clearing the torii gates, had 4 of them left to clear and said screw it and deleted the game from my PS5 lol.

I wouldn't be against a sequel either, and if it looked ambitious and interesting I'd maybe give it a try, especially if its in a different city or location. However, I wouldn't be spending more than maybe $20 on a sequel, or let it come to XB Game Pass/PS Now.
Yeah. I’m always glad to see developers try to do something a little different as opposed to just following some generic formula, but it feels like the developers of Ghostwire: Tokyo did a little bit of both here. It’s almost as though they weren’t confident enough to just do their own thing and so tacked on a bunch of typical sandbox bullshit as a sort of safety net. Sadly, that ended up diluting what little quality there was to be found in the overall experience and weakening the narrative due to significant parts of it being locked away behind audio recordings and case files that most players will never find.

It’s kind of bummed me out a little as Ghostwire: Tokyo is probably the last new release I’ll play for quite a while given how sparse the release schedule is looking for the next few months. Of course, news of a new Tomb Raider and - better still - a new Monkey Island game with Ron Gilbert back at the helm has at least given me something else to look forward to other than the big holiday 2022 releases.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Yeah. I’m always glad to see developers try to do something a little different as opposed to just following some generic formula, but it feels like the developers of Ghostwire: Tokyo did a little bit of both here. It’s almost as though they weren’t confident enough to just do their own thing and so tacked on a bunch of typical sandbox bullshit as a sort of safety net. Sadly, that ended up diluting what little quality there was to be found in the overall experience and weakening the narrative due to significant parts of it being locked away behind audio recordings and case files that most players will never find.

It’s kind of bummed me out a little as Ghostwire: Tokyo is probably the last new release I’ll play for quite a while given how sparse the release schedule is looking for the next few months. Of course, news of a new Tomb Raider and - better still - a new Monkey Island game with Ron Gilbert back at the helm has at least given me something else to look forward to other than the big holiday 2022 releases.
I agree. First person shooters between 1994 and 2004 were mostly great in a time where it was a one man army against all odds feeling when it was simple, but all of the FPS after that struggle to entertain me the way the old ones did, and I personally for the most part am a bigger fan of modern games over older ones because I prefer heavy cutscenes, cinematics, emotions and motion captured actors for visuals, yet when it comes to FPS titles thats the one genre thats been in the toilet after the last noteworthy FPS for its time Far Cry 1 came out in 2004. Nothing feels fresh since then. When Halo 1 released I knew FPS games were going to take a dip in quality to mediocre at best, and that seems like what weve been getting for 15+ years. Halo and Call of Duty along with Battlefield have buried the genre deep in the shitter. Ghostwire Tokyo feels like Doom 2016 or Doom Eternal with a unique skin put over it. A 6 or 7/10 experience thats mostly bland like all other FPS. I agree with you too that I wish they would have taken some more chances in terms of gameplay innovations and another 2-4 hours of heavy cinematic cutscenes with feeling to give the game purpose would have beefed it up for me.

Me too, the only other release that I'm looking forward to in 2022 is 'Stray' from Annapurna. Have you heard of it? There are some Chinese Wuxia and Japanese Jidaigeki games that will eventually release that I'm interested in, but I think they're 2023/2024/2025 releases. I have zero other games that catch my interest outside of Stray so I was hoping for Ghostwire to be exceptional.

A user on here just told me about a new Tomb Raider, I cannot wait! I loved the 2013, Rise and Shadow titles as it gave Lara such depth. I'm hoping they don't give into the crying of the 90s and mid 00s era TR fans and make Lara a boring false bravado sex symbol action hero again. I would love to see a continuation of the last trilogy. What are you hoping for with the new TR?
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Japan
Favourite title
Shenmue II
I agree. First person shooters between 1994 and 2004 were mostly great in a time where it was a one man army against all odds feeling when it was simple, but all of the FPS after that struggle to entertain me the way the old ones did, and I personally for the most part am a bigger fan of modern games over older ones because I prefer heavy cutscenes, cinematics, emotions and motion captured actors for visuals, yet when it comes to FPS titles thats the one genre thats been in the toilet after the last noteworthy FPS for its time Far Cry 1 came out in 2004. Nothing feels fresh since then. When Halo 1 released I knew FPS games were going to take a dip in quality to mediocre at best, and that seems like what weve been getting for 15+ years. Halo and Call of Duty along with Battlefield have buried the genre deep in the shitter. Ghostwire Tokyo feels like Doom 2016 or Doom Eternal with a unique skin put over it. A 6 or 7/10 experience thats mostly bland like all other FPS. I agree with you too that I wish they would have taken some more chances in terms of gameplay innovations and another 2-4 hours of heavy cinematic cutscenes with feeling to give the game purpose would have beefed it up for me.

Me too, the only other release that I'm looking forward to in 2022 is 'Stray' from Annapurna. Have you heard of it? There are some Chinese Wuxia and Japanese Jidaigeki games that will eventually release that I'm interested in, but I think they're 2023/2024/2025 releases. I have zero other games that catch my interest outside of Stray so I was hoping for Ghostwire to be exceptional.

A user on here just told me about a new Tomb Raider, I cannot wait! I loved the 2013, Rise and Shadow titles as it gave Lara such depth. I'm hoping they don't give into the crying of the 90s and mid 00s era TR fans and make Lara a boring false bravado sex symbol action hero again. I would love to see a continuation of the last trilogy. What are you hoping for with the new TR?
Stray caught my eye when it was first announced, but the more time I’ve had to think about it, the less excited I am to play it. I love the concept and can imagine it leading to some unique gameplay, but worry that the idea lacks enough substance to provide more than an hour or two’s worth of genuine entertainment. I’d love to be proven wrong and will be picking it up regardless of whether my company foots the bill, but my expectations aren’t nearly as high as they once were.

With the new Tomb Raider, I’d love to see the team taking a few more risks as opposed to retreading old ground once again. The changes that TR 13 made to the Tomb Raider formula really did blow me away, but for as much as I enjoyed both of the sequels, they each felt like a continuation of their predecessors rather than an evolution. I guess for some that might not be an issue, but I’ve always been of a mind that standing still is just as bad as moving backward, particularly when it comes to artistic endeavors.

Personally, I’ve never been a massive fan of traditional FPS games, as, like you, I’m partial to a good narrative-driven experience, and, barring one or two exceptions, I usually find that story seems to play second fiddle to combat in most FPS games. With that in mind, my initial interest in Tokyo: Ghostwire stemmed more from its sandbox and exploration elements as well as the man behind the actual game (I have almost as much respect for Shinji Mikami as I do for Yu Suzuki).
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Stray caught my eye when it was first announced, but the more time I’ve had to think about it, the less excited I am to play it. I love the concept and can imagine it leading to some unique gameplay, but worry that the idea lacks enough substance to provide more than an hour or two’s worth of genuine entertainment. I’d love to be proven wrong and will be picking it up regardless of whether my company foots the bill, but my expectations aren’t nearly as high as they once were.

With the new Tomb Raider, I’d love to see the team taking a few more risks as opposed to retreading old ground once again. The changes that TR 13 made to the Tomb Raider formula really did blow me away, but for as much as I enjoyed both of the sequels, they each felt like a continuation of their predecessors rather than an evolution. I guess for some that might not be an issue, but I’ve always been of a mind that standing still is just as bad as moving backward, particularly when it comes to artistic endeavors.

Personally, I’ve never been a massive fan of traditional FPS games, as, like you, I’m partial to a good narrative-driven experience, and, barring one or two exceptions, I usually find that story seems to play second fiddle to combat in most FPS games. With that in mind, my initial interest in Tokyo: Ghostwire stemmed more from its sandbox and exploration elements as well as the man behind the actual game (I have almost as much respect for Shinji Mikami as I do for Yu Suzuki).
I have no industry insight but I can't imagine Stray being a full priced game, maybe $20-$30 less than full price? Either way, I'd be willing to spend full price on it cause I'm intrigued, but given Annapurnas previous releases all being super budget titles, I will set my expectations according to price largely. If it's a $60 full price title I would expect at least 6-8 hours of gameplay even if you're just playing as a cat lol, but if its a $20-$30 experience perhaps 2 or 3 hours would suffice. Its unique enough that I'm invested either way, though until we know more about it, I'm not going to set any expectations. Any idea on when it's going to release? Originally they said early 2022, which is over already.

I'm not against Tomb Raider going in a fresh direction or evolving off of the 2013 trilogy, I just don't want to see them going back to the garbage from the 90s or even the mid 00s. The 90s games were unplayable and the mid 00s trilogy was like a 6/10 at best. Just mindless action with very little substance and a flat main character. As long as they protect Laras character by evolving it in a progressive direction and give a good story to fill out the gameplay that will no doubt be great if its anything like the 2013 trilogy, then I'm excited with it.

Regarding FPS games(and most old games in general) the thing I don't enjoy retrospectively is that older games are paper thin on story, cinema and realism in characters that I can connect with deeply. I can't fault those games because the technology of those eras didn't allow for it, but none the less I don't enjoy most games that lack deep plot and character development with a lot of cutscenes. I actually didn't touch video games from 2007 until 2019 largely because of this. I, of course, largely through my work in 2019, 2020 and 2021 played almost everything I supposedly "missed out on" between those years and I cannot say that I missed a whole lot of high quality stuff. Maybe 10-15 titles at best out of those years. It is what it is. One thing I don't like about modern FPS is they play like the 20+ year old FPS games only minus the fun part of the combat. When Half-Life 1 released it felt amazing in its era because they were able to tell a story while the action took place through dialogue. Sure, no cutscenes which is ok for 1999, but the game for its time felt immersive. There's no way I'd connect with it deeply in 2022, but I can still appreciate its place in history and what it did to evolve games in the genre. Problem is, the newer FPS games lean too much on the Half-Life method and haven't evolved into cinematic story heavy character heavy games like 3rd person titles have.

The part of Ghostwire Tokyo that intrigued me originally was the Asian lore in general. I enjoy most Asian backdrops to a gaming experience as long as it isn't anime or RPG based. I don't like horror and I would have preferred it as a 3rd person title, but ultimately the uniqueness is what drew me in. If I'm being honest though I wouldn't have given a shit about checking it out if it was Ghostwire London or Ghostwire New York. It was all about the Asian aesthetic and Asian folklore around spirits/demons, etc.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Japan
Favourite title
Shenmue II
I have no industry insight but I can't imagine Stray being a full priced game, maybe $20-$30 less than full price? Either way, I'd be willing to spend full price on it cause I'm intrigued, but given Annapurnas previous releases all being super budget titles, I will set my expectations according to price largely. If it's a $60 full price title I would expect at least 6-8 hours of gameplay even if you're just playing as a cat lol, but if its a $20-$30 experience perhaps 2 or 3 hours would suffice. Its unique enough that I'm invested either way, though until we know more about it, I'm not going to set any expectations. Any idea on when it's going to release? Originally they said early 2022, which is over already.

I'm not against Tomb Raider going in a fresh direction or evolving off of the 2013 trilogy, I just don't want to see them going back to the garbage from the 90s or even the mid 00s. The 90s games were unplayable and the mid 00s trilogy was like a 6/10 at best. Just mindless action with very little substance and a flat main character. As long as they protect Laras character by evolving it in a progressive direction and give a good story to fill out the gameplay that will no doubt be great if its anything like the 2013 trilogy, then I'm excited with it.

Regarding FPS games(and most old games in general) the thing I don't enjoy retrospectively is that older games are paper thin on story, cinema and realism in characters that I can connect with deeply. I can't fault those games because the technology of those eras didn't allow for it, but none the less I don't enjoy most games that lack deep plot and character development with a lot of cutscenes. I actually didn't touch video games from 2007 until 2019 largely because of this. I, of course, largely through my work in 2019, 2020 and 2021 played almost everything I supposedly "missed out on" between those years and I cannot say that I missed a whole lot of high quality stuff. Maybe 10-15 titles at best out of those years. It is what it is. One thing I don't like about modern FPS is they play like the 20+ year old FPS games only minus the fun part of the combat. When Half-Life 1 released it felt amazing in its era because they were able to tell a story while the action took place through dialogue. Sure, no cutscenes which is ok for 1999, but the game for its time felt immersive. There's no way I'd connect with it deeply in 2022, but I can still appreciate its place in history and what it did to evolve games in the genre. Problem is, the newer FPS games lean too much on the Half-Life method and haven't evolved into cinematic story heavy character heavy games like 3rd person titles have.

The part of Ghostwire Tokyo that intrigued me originally was the Asian lore in general. I enjoy most Asian backdrops to a gaming experience as long as it isn't anime or RPG based. I don't like horror and I would have preferred it as a 3rd person title, but ultimately the uniqueness is what drew me in. If I'm being honest though I wouldn't have given a shit about checking it out if it was Ghostwire London or Ghostwire New York. It was all about the Asian aesthetic and Asian folklore around spirits/demons, etc.
Annapurna confirmed that the game was still on track for a 2022 release last month, but I have no information other that what’s publicly available online. If I cared more about it I could probably chase it up to get a better idea of when exactly in 2022 we can expect it, but I don’t, so I won’t. I’ve liked a lot of AP’s past offerings, but heard some pretty nasty things about the way they handled the Ken Wong / Mountains situation (allegedly, the Mountains team reached out to them for help and they responded by telling Wong that he should replace the team with a bunch of graduates to get the game made). With that in mind, I’ll probably be a lot less forgiving of Stray than I’d otherwise have been. As I say though, I’d love to be surprised!

I hated the original Tomb Raider games, due both to the horrible tank controls and the overt sexualization of OG Lara. There’s a time and a place for that sort of thing, and that just wasn’t it. Luckily, there’s no real demand for CD to go back to that, so I don’t think there’s any risk of the series going backward. Still, a more adventurous approach would be most welcomed by me.

I tend to draw a line between retro and modern games starting from the late nineties when game’s like Shenmue really started to push narrative as a driving force. I can still enjoy games that aren’t story heavy and regularly do, but, given the choice, I’d take narrative and immersion over gameplay nine times out of ten. Luckily, a lot of my favorite retro games are point and click adventures, so I can still enjoy them despite their lack of cutscenes.

Yeah, living in Japan, the prospect of a non-anime style video game adaptation of Tokyo did excite me, but, as I mentioned when giving my initial thoughts on the game, that side of things just never quite clicked for me. I found Yahtzee’s (Zero Punctuation) observation’s quite interesting, particularly him questioning how Japanese people would view the game given all of the “learn all about Japan and Japanese culture” bullshit that was thrown in there. You’d never get that in the west (ie, finding random tat lying around and being given lessons on what each item is).
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Annapurna confirmed that the game was still on track for a 2022 release last month, but I have no information other that what’s publicly available online. If I cared more about it I could probably chase it up to get a better idea of when exactly in 2022 we can expect it, but I don’t, so I won’t. I’ve liked a lot of AP’s past offerings, but heard some pretty nasty things about the way they handled the Ken Wong / Mountains situation (allegedly, the Mountains team reached out to them for help and they responded by telling Wong that he should replace the team with a bunch of graduates to get the game made). With that in mind, I’ll probably be a lot less forgiving of Stray than I’d otherwise have been. As I say though, I’d love to be surprised!

I hated the original Tomb Raider games, due both to the horrible tank controls and the overt sexualization of OG Lara. There’s a time and a place for that sort of thing, and that just wasn’t it. Luckily, there’s no real demand for CD to go back to that, so I don’t think there’s any risk of the series going backward. Still, a more adventurous approach would be most welcomed by me.

I tend to draw a line between retro and modern games starting from the late nineties when game’s like Shenmue really started to push narrative as a driving force. I can still enjoy games that aren’t story heavy and regularly do, but, given the choice, I’d take narrative and immersion over gameplay nine times out of ten. Luckily, a lot of my favorite retro games are point and click adventures, so I can still enjoy them despite their lack of cutscenes.

Yeah, living in Japan, the prospect of a non-anime style video game adaptation of Tokyo did excite me, but, as I mentioned when giving my initial thoughts on the game, that side of things just never quite clicked for me. I found Yahtzee’s (Zero Punctuation) observation’s quite interesting, particularly him questioning how Japanese people would view the game given all of the “learn all about Japan and Japanese culture” bullshit that was thrown in there. You’d never get that in the west (ie, finding random tat lying around and being given lessons on what each item is).
I agree on the sexualization of Lara, plus the false bravado. Lara never showed any real emotion until the 2013 release. I'm not into action hero comic book type of stuff, I want to feel my characters. Even if they become hardened I need to know why they ended up that way. She was way too James Bond-like for me prior to 2013. The best thing to come from the trash older TR games is cosplayers dressing up as 90s Lara and stuffing their bras with square shaped objects lol, the pixelated chest was always a good laugh. I know a lot of people complained that she isn't wearing her high cut shorts in the newer trilogy, so there does seem to be a demand for the false bravado oversexualized Lara to return, and some people prefer the puzzle solving nightmares over the action based gameplay of the 2013 trilogy, which had a decent share of minimal puzzle stuff to do. I have no issue with them bringing back Laras shorts, or even if they sexualized the character in a practical context, but not just to sell copies of the game, which is 100% what all of the previous titles before 2013 aimed at doing, and it worked.

Shenmue was truly about 15-20 years ahead of its time, that's why its my favorite game franchise of all time. I literally said when I stopped gaming in 2007 and started to travel the world full time "If Shenmue 3 ever gets made, even though it probably never will, I'll buy any console and a tv again to play it!" and so in 2015 when I saw a google trend for the highest funded kickstarter at the time I clicked on it out of curiousity and almost jumped through the ceiling with excitement seeing that Shenmue 3 was getting funded. Fast forward to 2019 where I was already dealing with the sale of video games as a large part of my work at the time (though I wasn't playing any, still didn't even own a tv yet), I took a PS4 in on trade for about $80, went to the thrift store and bought an HDTV and went to Best Buy for the first time in over a decade and picked up Shenmue 3 on release day.

I'll take immersion in story, depth, character development and a game making me feel something deep 10/10 times over gameplay. I normally don't play anything (unless its free, something that was traded in, something that fell into my lap, etc) nowadays unless it has some depth. Ghostwire didn't make the grade for me. Anything over a 9/10 for me has to either stimulate me spiritually, psychologically, philosophically or on another higher level. Stuff that ranges in the 8/10 range can be pure entertainment but may lack depth. Anything under an 8/10 doesn't make the cut for me on being something memorable. For example, GTA 5 is no doubt from a technical standpoint a 9.75 or 10/10 game, but for me I can't bring myself to give it higher than an 8.75 because while its an amazing entertainment experience when it released, and it is memorable in that way, it doesn't do anything to move me on a deep level. I'm not a professional game critic, so this influencing my ratings doesn't really make a difference, though if I were to rate professionally my scale would most likely be more nuanced, neutral and very different.

I've yet to find a better game set in Japan than Ghost of Tsushima, outside of the Shenmue franchise, of course which is still my favorite. Ghost of Tsushima was literally the first game or first new IP in over 20 years since Shenmue 1 that I felt was undeniable and magnetic in such a way that I purchased a second PS4 during peak spiked prices of covid to play lol (I still profited on it when I sold it though). I would love to see what they can do on the PS5 with a sequel.

Are you Japanese or relocated?
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Location
Japan
Favourite title
Shenmue II
I agree on the sexualization of Lara, plus the false bravado. Lara never showed any real emotion until the 2013 release. I'm not into action hero comic book type of stuff, I want to feel my characters. Even if they become hardened I need to know why they ended up that way. She was way too James Bond-like for me prior to 2013. The best thing to come from the trash older TR games is cosplayers dressing up as 90s Lara and stuffing their bras with square shaped objects lol, the pixelated chest was always a good laugh. I know a lot of people complained that she isn't wearing her high cut shorts in the newer trilogy, so there does seem to be a demand for the false bravado oversexualized Lara to return, and some people prefer the puzzle solving nightmares over the action based gameplay of the 2013 trilogy, which had a decent share of minimal puzzle stuff to do. I have no issue with them bringing back Laras shorts, or even if they sexualized the character in a practical context, but not just to sell copies of the game, which is 100% what all of the previous titles before 2013 aimed at doing, and it worked.

Shenmue was truly about 15-20 years ahead of its time, that's why its my favorite game franchise of all time. I literally said when I stopped gaming in 2007 and started to travel the world full time "If Shenmue 3 ever gets made, even though it probably never will, I'll buy any console and a tv again to play it!" and so in 2015 when I saw a google trend for the highest funded kickstarter at the time I clicked on it out of curiousity and almost jumped through the ceiling with excitement seeing that Shenmue 3 was getting funded. Fast forward to 2019 where I was already dealing with the sale of video games as a large part of my work at the time (though I wasn't playing any, still didn't even own a tv yet), I took a PS4 in on trade for about $80, went to the thrift store and bought an HDTV and went to Best Buy for the first time in over a decade and picked up Shenmue 3 on release day.

I'll take immersion in story, depth, character development and a game making me feel something deep 10/10 times over gameplay. I normally don't play anything (unless its free, something that was traded in, something that fell into my lap, etc) nowadays unless it has some depth. Ghostwire didn't make the grade for me. Anything over a 9/10 for me has to either stimulate me spiritually, psychologically, philosophically or on another higher level. Stuff that ranges in the 8/10 range can be pure entertainment but may lack depth. Anything under an 8/10 doesn't make the cut for me on being something memorable. For example, GTA 5 is no doubt from a technical standpoint a 9.75 or 10/10 game, but for me I can't bring myself to give it higher than an 8.75 because while its an amazing entertainment experience when it released, and it is memorable in that way, it doesn't do anything to move me on a deep level. I'm not a professional game critic, so this influencing my ratings doesn't really make a difference, though if I were to rate professionally my scale would most likely be more nuanced, neutral and very different.

I've yet to find a better game set in Japan than Ghost of Tsushima, outside of the Shenmue franchise, of course which is still my favorite. Ghost of Tsushima was literally the first game or first new IP in over 20 years since Shenmue 1 that I felt was undeniable and magnetic in such a way that I purchased a second PS4 during peak spiked prices of covid to play lol (I still profited on it when I sold it though). I would love to see what they can do on the PS5 with a sequel.

Are you Japanese or relocated?
Before I forget, having spoken about Stray earlier on, I’ve literally just seen that the game was recently rated in Korea, which usually suggests that a game is nearing completion or already done. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it drop this summer, which would actually make a lot of sense given how many heavy hitters will be releasing at the end of the year.

I’m not Japanese, but have been living here for just shy of five years (iirc, I arrived on April 14th). You wouldn’t think it based on my poor Japanese language skills, mind.

Like you, I also went through a period when I all but stopped playing video games. Initially, this was because I left my PS4 back in blighty when I made the move to Japan, but even after bringing it back with me following a trip back home for a friend’s wedding, I found that I never had the time nor the motivation to play it. It wasn’t until Shenmue 3 that I really got back into playing games. Of course, getting a job that involves me playing games on a near constant basis also helped to reignite that passion quite a bit.

I wouldn’t be against more puzzles in the new Tomb Raider myself, though I’ve always preferred games that made me think over ones that tested my reflexes and derive much of their difficulty through dials and sliders. To that end, I’ll take a Monkey Island over an Elden Ring every day of the week!

I was a bit late to the Ghost of Tsushima party (I played through it for the first time this January on PS5), but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Things did start to become a little repetitive towards the end and I think I probably preferred Horizon from a mechanical standpoint, but The combat and atmosphere in GoT really were top notch. It’s not often that a game makes me want to visit a location, but I’d be down to visit Tsushima if ever the opportunity presents itself (or if I can convince my wife that it will make for a fun vacation, which seems doubtful).
 
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
I ended the Cobra Kai game and was very cool imo, if you like the series, beat em ups (specially Streets of rage) is worth to give it a try.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2022
Location
The Netherlands
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
PSN
Obi-Frans-Kenobi
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

Got a bit burned out on the Lego games years ago, but this looked different enough...and so far it does not disappoint. Nice evolution of the Lego-gameplay and an awesome presentation of the saga. Almost at Episode III and I'm loving it.

Easily the most expansive SW game yet.
 

Telekill

Sega Game Gear Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Location
Hell
Currently playing
TMNT Shredder's Revenge (Switch), Deliver Us the Moon (PS5)
I'm going to be starting up Horizon Forbidden West (PS5) on my next day off. I got it from my work as a thank you and I was very surprised and thankful.

The crazy part here is I was installing it so that when I eventually have time, it's done. Takes 88GB(?) of total space once the install has completed. Then there was a large patch... so my initial install of the game required 179GB of internal space to install it. Pretty crazy. Took about an hour to install.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
I'm going to be starting up Horizon Forbidden West (PS5) on my next day off. I got it from my work as a thank you and I was very surprised and thankful.

The crazy part here is I was installing it so that when I eventually have time, it's done. Takes 88GB(?) of total space once the install has completed. Then there was a large patch... so my initial install of the game required 179GB of internal space to install it. Pretty crazy. Took about an hour to install.
Highly recommend you turn on all HUD elements to dynamic or off. It makes for a much more immersive and enjoyable experience.
 
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