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    jp's Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)

    [September 27, 2021 08:55:55 AM]
    I finished this the other day. And by finished I mean "Platinum Trophy". I wasn't really expecting that, but it's the sort of game where every little thing led me to move on to the next little thing until I got to the point where I felt like I might as well keep on going until I was done. More than tired and done, I decided to put it down, I could have kept on playing and doing little things here and there...but I also have a large drawer full of games that I still want to play so it was time.

    I had finished the campaign/main story some time before and as I "wrapped up" other stories and located collectibles I was impressed by how well the game adapted to the fact that I had already finished the main story. Lots of small minor and subtle changes to the dialogue from NPCs, a few things that were explicit and so on. It really did feel like the game "knew" I was cleaning up. I'd be surprised if was the case had I finished the campaign a lot earlier, but still.

    It was also in this endgame phase that I really leaned into some of the mechanics that I had never explored that much. I made much more liberal use of the ghost weapons and really enjoyed, say, clearing out a camp quickly rather than my usual (safer?) quiet and stealthy approach that simply takes a lot more time. It was also quite hard for me to (finally?) ignore all the scavenging once I had upgraded all the suits of armor. Of the entire game this was definitely the one aspect that brought down the experience somewhat. And yes, it's partly my fault for going all "scavengy" in the first place, but then the game's design is explicitly encouraging that sort of thing. It's all a huge waste really because it's not like I ever used more than a few of the suits of armor really (the weapons and ammo I did).
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    [June 23, 2021 04:21:09 PM]
    Bit the bullet and advanced the story by rescuing my uncle! As expected this opened up a new part of the island. Curiously it also created a bunch of new side-quests - the Khan is angry and takes it out on all the civilian villages - so I need to go back and take out the mongols.

    I kind of feel obliged to go back and do all that now instead of continuing to advance the story though....decisions!
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    [June 10, 2021 12:07:32 AM]
    I'm having a real hard time deciding to make progress. I've played a LOT, and I've mostly been doing all the side-missions and quests, and locating places in the environment, and unlocking new abilities, and so on. I think I'm ready to "storm the castle" and rescue my uncle at this point and I'm worried about what will happen in the story. I've NOT been living up to the samurai code and I imagine this will be a source of tension? (of course, this is all assuming I'm even succesfull).

    The game is still beautiful to look at and I've realized that it's not afraid to - for visual effect - making the environments impossible to look at. Depending on where you are and where the sun is in the sky (and what direction you're headed) you might not be able to see anything at all! (all white-out because you're riding into the sun, for example). It's an interesting aesthetic choice and, weirdly, I think it adds a lot to the experience.

    What I'm still having a hard time with is how suddenly the weather and time of day seem to update/change. It feels like it goes from noon to dusk in seconds...or when I enter a town. It's strange - and note that I'm not thinking of those moments where you start a mission or something like that (some missions have pre-set times of day, for example they take place at night).

    Oh, I've also started playing "Legends" mode - which was confusing at first because of how it's integrated into the main game. I thought it referred to "special super hard missions" of which there are several because there are several characters in the main game (NPCs) that are "Legends" storytellers, or something like that. Legends mode is basically the grindy progression mode that includes "zombies" and some other stuff. It's fun - but I suspect I'll get tired pretty fast unless I start playing with friends (it's also the only way to play co-op, up to 4 people AFAIK). We'll see how it goes!
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    [May 21, 2021 12:28:26 AM]
    Wow, I'm really getting into this game - enjoying the environment and doing all of the odd-little missions here and there. I don't know why exactly - I think that mostly I enjoy doing the next thing that happens to be close by?

    I have noticed that there are a LOT of little things the game does to help the player know where to go/what to do next. For example:

    a. You can explicitly select your next objective - this actives a "wind" that blows in the direction you need to go. You can even hear it gust from the speakers on the controller. I've found that I don't quite enjoy this (though it's gotten a lot of accolades) since I often end up straying or deviating and I tend to open up the map to course correct along the way.

    b. Yellow birds will often appear flying around and if you follow one it will always lead you to something - it might be a shrine or a mission - but it always takes you some place from which you can progress in the game. (even if not necesarilly the story)

    c. The game has an amazing fast travel system. Essentially any location you visit - that then appears as an icon on the map - you can fast travel to. AND, the fast travel is quite fast in terms of loading times as well. I'm very impressed with this feature, actually - you don't often see games in which every "named" location becomes a fast-travel destination.

    d. When you're asked to follow someone/walk with someone the game does some exposition (as the NPC talks about stuff). Sometimes you can respond by choosing one of two options. What's interesting about the system is that it subtly affects your movement. First, the NPC meets your pace. If you walk they walk if you start running the also run. Second, your direction subtly matches the NPC - so if they turn you automatically turn as well. But, it's quite subtle. This also works the same way when you're on horseback - so you don't have to worry about maintaining distance from the other rider. You can override the sublte directional control manipulation - but, like I said, it really smooth and well done and doesn't feel like you're controls are being messed with.

    e. If you are within a certain radius of an unknown location you'll get a notification on the screen that there's something close by.

    These are all the ones I can think of (have noticed) for now...
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    [May 14, 2021 09:03:05 PM]
    Ok, I've played my way until you finally get the "name of the game shown in the game as an opening" moment. And wow, I'm super excited to play futher! So far it's quite the action-based experience (and I need to learn how the combat system works and get better at it), but I'm curious for the progression and how open the world/game will be. I'm used to the Ubisoft-style open-world games (Assassin's Creed, etc.) and this game is (I think?) obviously NOT that. Or it won't be? So, I wonder how the overall experience will be segmented - I know there's a large "paper" map with things on it - like quests I can take on, but how much of the game will this be? How many icons will I chase down on the map? Or will the icons be fewer but will be "large" in scale/scope?
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    jp's Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 13 May, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Monday 27 September, 2021

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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