This is going to be a collection of thoughts about games I've played. It's not going to be particularly coherent, but somewhere I can ramble on about stuff I like or find interesting.
First off: thoughts on Tunic, Hyper Light Drifter and Soulsborne games!
Thoughts on Soulsborne games, despite never having played one. (yes, I want to play Elden Ring, I'm trying to deal with my backlog first) I feel like Soulsborn is starting to become a category like Rougelike, or has always been one? Who knows, I'm not a professional video game person.
I am defining this as a game that 1) has little in the way of direction/tutorials 2) values exploration and sticking your head in corners to see if there's secrets 3) hard, but practice-able combat (learn attacks, know what upgrades you need) I feel like Tunic and Hyper Light Drifter fit this. I finished Tunic, absolutely loved it and wanted to play something similar. I already owned Hyper Light Drifter (otherwise, yes I would have picked up Elden Ring) and had never finished it so back to that I went.
Playing these back to back I've been thinking about how community shapes a game. Tunic is specifically designed to get you to seek out help from other players. It wants you to find people to talk to who can give you tips and shortcuts.
some spoilers for the ending of Tunicthe good ending has you sharing your knowledge in the form of the guide book you assembled during the game
Whereas Hyper Light Drifter doesn't care. It doesn't have a built-in sense of go ask someone for a hint. The game itself doesn't really care what you do and it fosters more of a "git good" attitude. This doesn't make it bad, I really love this game, I just don't think the designers really considered that there would be a community larger than recommending the game to others and some achievement guides.
The "git good" really shows if you do go look for answers to questions. I played Hyper Light Drifter ages ago and had forgotten if you buy or find keys. Looking on forums to see if anyone else had asked I got variations on "you find them in hidden extra fights you idiot get better at the game" when just a "yes, hidden bosses have them" would have sufficed.
I also had a problem with walk speed. It took me defeating three area bosses to find a solution. Set the FPS to 30 not 60, it lags weirdly at 60. Every iteration of a search for "Hyper Light Drifter walk speed/sprint/movement" had gotten me people telling me to git good at using the dash. Thanks guys. This makes the game much more impenetrable and frustrating than it needs to be. It’s not particularly encouraging to see a game and only hear about how hard it is and never see anyone trying to help out new players.
There's also differences in how I felt like I was getting rewarded for finding secrets. In Tunic I feel part of the reward is going to your friends and saying "Look what I found! Did you find this! Try this! Look! I found a way to change the colour of my scarf!"
Hyper Light Drifter gives you achievements as rewards. Admittedly, this has never been something I really want to try and get and that's a personal preference. But 100%ing the game feels like a solo activity you then show off vs a show and tell your friends where you get to swap craft supplies.
Man, I love this dumb game.(Oh fuck I just refreshed the page and looked at the weird compression. Ahahahah. Yea, not bothering to fix that.)
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