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Gripe about What You're Playing 2: Bellyache-tric Boogaloo

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I am right and truly stuck in Sam & Max Hit The Road. I need to find a place called Frog Rock, yet the clues the game has given me make no sense. I’ve been stuck for a day or two now and I’m not having fun anymore driving back and forth looking for something I’ve missed. I wish these older games had some sort of hint system.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I am right and truly stuck in Sam & Max Hit The Road. I need to find a place called Frog Rock, yet the clues the game has given me make no sense. I’ve been stuck for a day or two now and I’m not having fun anymore driving back and forth looking for something I’ve missed. I wish these older games had some sort of hint system.
It actually did, but the hint system came in the form of a paper pamphlet that was included in the box. Luckily, in 2021 PDFs exist. (Only if you want to read it, of course! Click through at your discretion.)
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I may have done some things out of order, so I need to be cautious reading those hints, as to not spoil too much. Thank you for the link.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I'm enjoying Yakuza: Like a Dragon, but this game has so many sudden, seismic shifts in tone it's giving me whiplash. You'll go from the high drama of a retirement home killing its residents and cashing in on their benefits to the random bewilderment of fetish parties, public urinators, and a hero for hire who wears a Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers helmet along with a suit and tie.

Sometimes the tonal shifts actively contradict each other... there may be a candid and sobering discussion of the plight of the homeless one minute, and crass jokes about alcoholism and bad bum breath the next. One groaner was discovering that your employer, the proprietor of a "soapland," had hung himself. The scene is played straight, with the characters expressing horror and disbelief, but when the chapter ends, this message pops up:

Achievement Unlocked: Soap on a Rope

I realize that this is a game where you can use a jumbo vibrator as a weapon, but that probably wasn't the right way to lighten the mood.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I love Solitairica's main game, but every time I try Epic it's so boring. I guess 18 battles per game is about right!
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I cleared Epic once and… didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Regular
I beat it for the first time yesterday evening after I posted that (with a Monk, imo the easiest class to play in the game), and still think it's tedious and underdeveloped, so that wasn't 100% sour grapes. All they did was make you fight enemies twice rather than once, and add 1 dmg to some of their abilities.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
They do get more and more dangerous modifiers, and also cut the rewards in half, but as you said that mainly makes the game tedious and unfair instead of an absolute blast
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I prefered Epic, because it cut out the greedy guy enemy, the one that you fight third every time in Regular. This guy felt always like a crapshot, because I didn't have enpugh items and abilities, to actually offset unlucky runs.

I mean, I'm not disagreeing, Epic felt frustrating, but at least I got to the fun part of the game every time.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The trick with Lord Guppington is that he always uses the same cards in the same order every time; so you could always be prepared for him. Really took the guess work out of that fight.

AFAIK, he’s the only enemy in the game who isn’t randomized like that
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I think so too, Octo. If nothing else you know exactly when the death blow will come with ol' Guppington.

If I can get a money engine going (class or build with a green suit focus) the rest is gravy usually.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
I think I'm suffering from Yakuza: Like a Dragon burnout. I've been having fun with it, honestly! But the farther I get, the more ludicrous and unreasonable the fights become, to the point where the next chapter offers dozens of Liumang officers, knife-wielding chefs, two bosses which were already a handful the first time, and a motherfucking tiger. (Not like the tiger in my avatar, but one that could actually hurt you. And does, judging from what I've read and watched online.) What, was the construction equipment in the previous chapter not enough?

Also, I feel like it's gone on longer than absolutely necessary, thanks not only to the already lengthy mainline quest, but the many sub-stories and mini games that distract you from it. You're grinding for experience points and job points and money and Tojo crests and personality points and bonding points, and looking for cats and growing vegetables and managing a business and... holy shit, game, would you let me take a breath?
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Also, while the graphics in Yakuza LAD are typically pretty good, those moments where you strengthen your bonds with your other party members and the camera zooms way into their facial pores are kind of creepy. Some people look like people, but Eri rubs elbows with the Uncanny Valley, and it really bugs me. Damn girl, you've got this glazed over look in your eyes half the time that makes me think you came from Disney's Hall of Presidents.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
My one complaint with Unsighted, and it's kind of surprising, considering how much the game goes out of its way to be accommodating, is that there's no option to remap controls; and they are not presented in a way that makes it play like the Zelda game it otherwise clearly is.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
My one complaint with Unsighted, and it's kind of surprising, considering how much the game goes out of its way to be accommodating, is that there's no option to remap controls; and they are not presented in a way that makes it play like the Zelda game it otherwise clearly is.
I also had trouble keeping track of what was happening on the screen whenever I had to fight more than two enemies at once, which was similarly surprising. In combat like that I felt that the art style was too stylized.
 

Issun

Avarice
This isn't necessarily a gripe about the game itself, but as I play further into Kena: Bridge of Spirits the framerate is chugging more and more. It's weird that it gets worse the further I get into the game, rather than just in certain areas. Also I wonder if part of the problem is the Epic client, since I never have this problem with Steam games?
 

Issun

Avarice
This isn't necessarily a gripe about the game itself, but as I play further into Kena: Bridge of Spirits the framerate is chugging more and more. It's weird that it gets worse the further I get into the game, rather than just in certain areas. Also I wonder if part of the problem is the Epic client, since I never have this problem with Steam games?
So some other games had been stuttering, too, and it really came to a head playing Forza Horizon 4. After some googling, I found out the external SSD I had just didn't have a fast enough processor, so I got a new one and everything's running fine.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon takes a rock-solid foundation and gives it all kinds of desperately needed QoL improvements, and for that I am forever grateful.

But it’s also one of those GBA games where they really overcompensated for the original GBAs dark screen so the game is just absolutely *eye-searing*. Even at the darkest I could make the screen, every character portrait is like a Color blindness test
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Wow, I love bright colors, and even I have difficulty looking at some of these pictures. Which is really saying something.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
I want to like Lake as it's an unusual and chill premise with a middle-aged woman in tech as a protagonist but good grief is this game a buggy mess. I'm playing on Xbox, can't say if it's better on Steam or Switch.
  • About half the time when I go to take a package out of the back of the truck it doesn't work. When I press A to pick up the package the game acts like I pressed B to cancel, so I stand there opening and closing the mail truck until it magically works.
  • A few times the radio in the truck just won't turn off, which is extremely annoying as there aren't a ton of songs on the radio.
  • Halfway through my day when I'm definitely not done and ready to return to the post office, the game displays the "return to the post office" command on screen and it won't go away.
  • One time despite definitely saving multiple times after that point, the game skipped back in time when I loaded my save so I had to replay a day and a half for no reason.
  • I have yet to have the game successfully quit. It freezes every single time and I have to either go to the home Xbox menu and force it to quit, or just give up and shut down the console.
  • An amusing one that I'm sad I didn't get a screenshot of: I delivered a Yamaha synthesizer to someone and it bugged out and was just embedded vertically in the counter while we had a conversation.
I think I only have a few hours left based on the promised amount of time Meredith is temping at the postal worker job and I'm curious enough about how my choices play out that I'll finish, but I can't recommend this game (even free on Gamepass which is how I'm playing it) unless they release a pretty beefy patch for it. Which is a shame, as going through the video store seeing the 80s movie parodies is great, finding your mom's romance novels is entertaining and there are a lot of charming bits to it. It's a very small game but still seems to be more than this studio could deliver. But I'll watch for their future releases for sure.

Edit: Beat it, and right at the end when I got the photos developed that I'd been taking throughout the game... they were all black squares. Completely bugged, and I'm bummed because I had a lot of fun taking those and a few were really pretty. The hilarious bit is that despite them being a bunch of black squares the NPC still said how great they were and helped me enter one into a photography contest. Sigh.
 
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Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Bizarrely, my Wordle records have returned. including, I think, the round I played while it didn’t think I’d played before.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Just lost probably an hour of progress in Hexyz Force. Happened to take the path through the dungeon that took me to every locked door before finding the key. Once I finally got the key, I went back to the doors and picked one at random - it led to a restore point. In Hexyz Force you have to do a battle to purify restore points before you can use them, usually a little tougher than the other battles in the area. I was a bit worn down after so long in the dungeon, but ok, so I took it on. First attack from enemy did over half of max hp damage to two characters, I basically wasn’t able to recover from there. Ludicrous encounter for my current level. No option to run from fight. Afterwards I had a look at a FAQ, apparently the other door I could have taken led to a save point. Very annoyed at this.
 
So I've been playing a bunch of old games on the Series X and had gotten into Conan on the 360. It's very God of War-esque (the older ones before the 2018 one) and was fine for the most part. Until I got to the last boss and all these phases and never ending spawning of these oil/oozemen while the boss sends out alternating heights of blasts you have to either go under or jump over. After about the tenth time of getting stunlocked and watching my health bar disappear before me, I'm done with the game and this is the first time in a long time that I can remember giving up on a final boss for feeling cheap (not counting fighting games).

That fight got me to appreciate Dante's Inferno a little more.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
This is more "ambivalent about what you're playing," because Kena: Bridge of Spirits is pretty enjoyable as a puzzle platformer, but the difficulty settings could really use an intermediate option between the ones that are available. In story mode you cut through enemies like paper, and in spirit mode the encounters are incredibly brutal and unbalanced, sort of like Souls but with much less elegant combat mechanics.
 

YangusKhan

does the Underpants Dance
(He/Him/His)
This is more "ambivalent about what you're playing," because Kena: Bridge of Spirits is pretty enjoyable as a puzzle platformer, but the difficulty settings could really use an intermediate option between the ones that are available. In story mode you cut through enemies like paper, and in spirit mode the encounters are incredibly brutal and unbalanced, sort of like Souls but with much less elegant combat mechanics.
Film Crit Hulk talked about this game a bunch in a recent post he wrote about video game difficulty. He had similar frustrations with it that you do!
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
Film Crit Hulk talked about this game a bunch in a recent post he wrote about video game difficulty. He had similar frustrations with it that you do!
That's a good article, thanks for the heads up. It does seem like a case of a rookie developer not really getting what makes From's games tick.
 
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