Morning Discussion

By Alice O'Connor, Jan 31, 2011 5:00am PST Hello again, The Internet. I was away on Friday at the London indie games conference A Winter World of Love, which was quite lovely. If you eat your vegetables, do all your chores and behave with the utmost politeness, perhaps I'll tell you a little more about it.

I was tempted to join a post-conference game jam over the weekend but felt a little worse for wear so I ended up reading and writing instead. I ploughed through Heart of Darkness (some curious prequel novelisation of Far Cry 2), got well into the astonishingly astonishing BLDGBLOG Book and was delighted to discover that the stories of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' crime comics series Criminal tie into each other in small ways. Many things are enjoyable, aren't they? Oh, and I think I played a little Jade Empire but I'm not quite sure because there seemed to be bad shmup sections and that seems unlikely in a BioWare RPG--it's possible I was delirious.

Speaking of indie games, voting has opened for the 2011 Independent Games Festival Audience Award. As a member of the audience, you can vote for one of the IGF finalists to receive a special shiny prize. Hop to it, then.

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  • I hate games that through you a curve ball well before the ending. I can understand the typical difficulty boost of final boss rushes in RPGs, for example, but that's at the end where you've gotten 90% of the game down and just want to see the story complete. But games that do this at 50% are total BS.

    My case in point is Kingdom Hearts re:Coded. The game is like the original KHs - action RPG, works fine on the DS. It's got a unusual leveling system (similar to FFX's spheregrid), and new mechanics to boost your skills. The story's a tad saccarine but interesting - based on computer glitches hitting the tales collected from the first game. While you're revisiting scaled-down worlds from the first game, they through tricks at you like glitched areas and level bosses that play out as other games (like a side-scrolling platformer or a Space Harriet shooter).

    Until you get to the Hercules themed area.

    The entire area is glitched, so you don't fight like normal. NOOoooo, they turn it into a turn based RPG with reaction commands to boost attack to reduce damage (eg QTE). To make it worse, areas require you to destroy enemies and blocks to an empty level but if there are too many around, the enemies in the turn-based system have their strength doubled or even tripled.

    I have played through this one section like ten times now, being careful to heal to cast protective spells or prevent backattacks, but I always get fucked up by inconsistency of this reactive dodge command - at the level I'm at (which appears to be "right on track" given what I have access to in the char development stuff), two undodged hits kill me, and even if I can block them, three of those kill me.

    Seriously, WTF. I can appreciate the turn-based homage, but someone did not playtest player level vs hp at this point. Yes, there are ways to go back to other levels to gain more, but the way this game is set up, all these activities appear to be designed for much higher player character levels. Way to ruin a game, guys.