This time I got the "true"(?) ending. Once you collect all the saprolings or whatever they're called, you awaken an egg (not a bad guy in the end) and you get a new ending. Basically it's a new version of the credits roll.
At this point I figured, what the heck, might as well get the platinum trophy because I was so close anyways. So I did. No regrets, it was fun and enjoyable. And relaxing.
I remember some students talking about this when it came out so I thought I'd give it a whirl.
It's not really my kind of game - but there are a few things I thought were interesting:
a. It really recreates (on purpose?) the FPS aesthetic of the 90s (early oughts too, I guess). It LOOKs old - the models, textures, and all that. BUT, the level design also feels old (not bad, necessarily) - the levels have this unreal architecture, spaces feel big and they are clearly designed to play in rather than to be playable realistic spaces. There are ramps that only make sense to allow you to go up, there are spaces that are non-navigable by "regular people", and more. It felt kind of quaint and fun - in the "oh, I remember when things were like this" sort of way. I guess it made me appreciate how much level design has changed separately from how much better/realistic things can look nowadays.
b. I was confused a lot by the levels and their order and such. I thought they were supposed to be procedurally generated, but then I played the same level a few times in a row. But then, as a pity thing?, I started over in a level that was all loot and from then on the sequence was different/new? I'm not entirely sure, but from then on things went pretty well. I think I cleared two bosses and then got tired and hope I'd die on the next level. I did, almost as soon as I spawned and that was it.
c. It took me a while to get used to the aim/fire. Again, I have more appreciation for the work Bungie does in Destiny - because it's more evident to me now when things aren't quite right or as polished as they could be.
It's been a while since I've really enjoyed playing a game free from the temptation to look up strategy for it, find out secrets and/or solutions and such. I just enjoyed exploring this game, its world and its secrets. It was surprisingly relaxing.
I think the game is best described as a pinball metroidvania (you move around an evironment that you need to unlock my completing pinball "challenges" that are embedded/a part of the game world, there are also powers you can obtain that grant access to more parts of the gameworld) and it has an interesting difficulty curve. I didn't find the game hard - at least as far as beating the final boss is concerned. However, the game has all sorts of other quests and things to discover, which is where the difficulty ramps up a bit. Curiously, the pinball side of things didn't get harder - but navigating the world did get harder, and the secret areas and things were much harder to find.
However, things always (almost) seemed possible - I could pick out areas on the map that looked like they might have secrets and you also pick up items that tell you where some things are hidden (just not how to get them necessarily). So, despite some moments of significant frustration (trying to get specific things) - I've greatly enjoyed completing additional quests and "mopping up" as it were.
Oh, there was one thing I really want to get down so I don't forget it:
In the pinball areas, when you "lose" the ball, it is represented by the ball falling through some thorns, you then lose some fruit, and you're back in business. However, at a few moments during the game - after losing a ball - it would play a cutscene of a dark area, there was a counter, and there were some spirit-like things escaping from an area. I was REALLY, REALLY, curious (and expectant) about what it all meant. Was this some sort of timer that would at some moment "blow up" in my face? I beat the final boss and nothing happened...so I was a bit disappointed. Until I discovered a secret are that was the area shown in the cut-scene! It triggered a new little quest which I did. In the end the result was less exciting or interesting that my expectation/anticipation, but it was a really interesting moment in the game for me - that built up a lot of anticipation because it was connected to my losing a ball.
Oh, another thing I thought was cool:
You collect little saplings/seeedlings over the course of the game. If you get 10 you can then activate a "wizard staff", and there's a bunch of these all over the map. Each time you activate a staff, you get a cut-scene that shows a giant monster-like creature in an egg of sorts and then a rock lights up around it. The creature is in a dark area and there are ominous figures around it with blades and stuff. It all seemed dark and "bad" - I wondered if I should actually be activating these staves or not (and I going to "wake" a terrible evil upon this world?) I figured I had to go ahead anyways and, story-wise it's all explained later...but the cool part is that this cut-scene moment was actually an area in the game that you can visit (you have to, in order to finish the game in fact) - it was nice to be able to visit the place you were curious about from the cut-scene and it was a nice surprise when I got there too.
Finished this over the weekend. I enjoyed it more than I expected, given that as I recall it received mediocre reviews. It's an interesting game, with the time-rewinding mechanic that doesn't feel punishing even though there was ONE puzzle I thought was a bit annoying.
It's the one where I had to activate three one-armed bandits in a short period of time. I felt the timing was a bit too close. I missed once by just being a little bit off, which was annoying - especially since it takes a fair amount of time to get it all done because you have to walk around the map a lot and do a few things as well in order to get into a "secret" room. So, the cost to start over was long, and the leeway allowed really short. It also doesn't help that you have to get one of the machines on the way back (you pass it on the way to the 2nd one), which makes things a little more confusing.
In all, I was able to make good progress and I enjoyed the moments of exploration when you're trying to figure out who's dying and HOW they die. The death is usually not that useful in terms of clues for how to solve the puzzle, but it was fun nonetheless. I did lose a lot of time chasing down things that had to do with future cases which was annoying. It's the problem of not knowing when something isn't possible because "it's not time yet" vs it not being possible because you haven't figure it out yet. That's pretty annoying since the (last?) mission seems like it might be available from pretty much the beginning of the game.
On a better note, the UI for the game is pretty solid - and lots of things are pretty clear (eg. what you can interact with) which was super appreciated.