Monday, July 10, 2017

Gravity Rush: completed!

(First drafted 27 February 2017)

It was pretty straightforward from the underground section back to the top; the greatest difficulty I had was interpreting the map of the underground system, with one mission causing real problems until I realised the flower at the North of the map was actually an actual island.

I'd completed many sidequests before this point, and as a result when I got back up there was little to do except progress to the end of the game.  There was an odd bit where I was transported to some sort of virtual world, and then tying up a story where I found out that an old couple had died ...

... but my biggest concern was where all the children from underground had disappeared to.  I was expecting them all to suddenly appear at the end boss and help out, but I won't spoil what actually happened other than to remark how frustrating yet beautiful the last sections of the game were.

Maybe the extended break in the middle of the game did it some good in that I never felt the story was outstaying its welcome - there are a large number of time challenges and so on that I've not completed, but I have no desire to do so.

It does pose me with a conundrum, though.  I would (now) happily pay for this game given the amount of enjoyment I got out of it, but I doubt I would have bought it before playing it - the only reason I did get to play it was that it was given away free.  It seems I will have to work out a better way to discover games that I will like.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: speechless

My posting on here has been limited, largely due to one game.  I have completed Gravity Rush and Assassin's Creed III, I have tried once again to play Chaotix (and actually progressed a little, for a change), I have started Super Mario World on a new emulator, I have worked my way half the way through Puyo Puyo Tetris.  Each time I have come to the blog to write something about those games, I have left without publishing anything.

The problem is Zelda.  Since I got the Switch on 3 March, I have played it for over 90 hours.  It is a magnificent game and an amazing achievement, and I feel that I should be prioritising it over any other game.  But it is so expansive, and there is so much to do and write about, that it became too daunting to do so.

Daunting to write about, but daunting to play as well.  Due to life, I don't have too much time to play long story-led games at home these days; I get an hour or so in the evening from time to time, and much of that is still taken by Rocket League.  The portable nature of the Switch means that I have been able to devote much more time to Breath of the Wild, and I estimate at least 80 hours of the total have been on the train.  I don't feel rushed playing it, I don't feel constrained in needing to get any part of the game finished.  I get near my stop, press the power button, and the game sleeps until the next journey when I can continue instantly.  It's marvellous.

But yes, the game is daunting.  You start with nothing, learning the basics of combat with tree branches and a pot lid.  After the first, tutorial, section (which probably took a few hours for me because of my desire to explore), you are given few hints on where to go, and as you progress the directions become fewer and fewer.  I visited villages and then found a zora who asked me to find their kingdom.  About ten hours later I did.

It's so easy to get distracted.  Every time you come to a mountain, you feel you need to climb it so you can look around for shrines.  And then you find something interesting in the distance, so you paraglide towards it, and then see a shrine that was previously hidden so you divert to that.  Once you have completed that shrine, you intend to go and find the interesting landmark, but then you find a pile of metal stones which you're sure are a puzzle to give a korok seed.

And it's so beautiful.  There have been a number of times where I've stopped just to watch the sun go down, or see the moon's reflection on a lake.  I will stand at the top of a hill and roll bombs don into an enemy encampment for twenty minutes not just because it's safer than running in with sword drawn, but also because the fog swirls around in a very pleasing way.

I have taken hundreds of screenshots, and posted some to Twitter, but I'm aware that there are others who read this blog who wouldn't want the game spoilt for them.  And everyone should play this game; it is one of the best of all time.

I'm quite a way through it now.  I have found around 70 shines and completed 66 of them - the ones I have left have been the major tests of strength, which I don't feel ready for yet. I have completed three divine beasts (the elephant, bird and camel, in that order), have found a giant horse and a white horse, have retrieved the legendary sword, and have found three giant skeletons.  I have teleported off Eventide Island twice.  I am planning to now head to Death Mountain, but when I tried to approach it from the North East I burst into flames so I'm not sure how to get resistance to that.  I'll try approaching from the South instead.

Oh, but hang on, what's that?