Author Topic: I really think you need some way of keeping track of things behind objects  (Read 6740 times)

Offline x4000

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Do I need to have played SH1 to enjoy the sequel?

Definitely not.  I actually played SH2 as my first SH game, and then played SH1 later.  The characters and themes are entirely different, and to be honest I only sort of enjoyed SH1.  SH2 is very much a stand-alone concept and actually I think it's best as the first introduction to that series.  No other game in the series comes close to that one, though, I should warn you.  So you're starting with the best there.
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Offline zebramatt

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Do I need to have played SH1 to enjoy the sequel?

Definitely not.  I actually played SH2 as my first SH game, and then played SH1 later.  The characters and themes are entirely different, and to be honest I only sort of enjoyed SH1.  SH2 is very much a stand-alone concept and actually I think it's best as the first introduction to that series.  No other game in the series comes close to that one, though, I should warn you.  So you're starting with the best there.

Given how many games I own and how little time I spend playing (so few of) them, that sounds ideal!  :D Thanks for the recommendation!

Offline dumpsterKEEPER

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Bah, you guys are trying to make me dig out my SH2 disks aren't you?  ;)

I bought the PC release shortly after it came out and greatly enjoyed it, but never got around to finishing it.

Offline x4000

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zebramatt -- You bet!

dumpsterKEEPER -- It came out on PC!?!  Wow, I need to get that.  I hate having to have my PS2 hooked up just so I can play that game and FFXII.  Everything else is on my PS3, Wii, DS, or PC.
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Offline dumpsterKEEPER

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Yep, it did. That was before DVDs were prevalent, so it came on 5 or 6 CDs. I've read that it has problems running on Windows 7 64-bit, but I've not tried it so I have no personal experience.

Offline Nalgas

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dumpsterKEEPER -- It came out on PC!?!  Wow, I need to get that.  I hate having to have my PS2 hooked up just so I can play that game and FFXII.  Everything else is on my PS3, Wii, DS, or PC.

That's convenient, because I just checked, and it's supposedly a bit flaky in PCSX2 still.  However, FFXII appears to work perfectly in it, so between that and the PC version of SH2, that would eliminate the need for the PS2.

It's still not perfect for everything, but for the games it works for, it works really well.  I had Frequency and Disgaea running full speed with no bugs or anything in whatever version was current about a year and a half ago, even in software rendering mode doing everything entirely on the CPU (which I mostly tried just for the sake of seeing how hard I could push my new (at the time) i5 750; I was rather impressed by the result).

Offline BobTheJanitor

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I'll speak up for SH1 here. It's definitely worth playing, although I will say that it's probably going to be very aged at this point. We're talking early PS1 graphics, so it's not exactly pretty by modern standards. That said, the gameplay should still be fine, and it stands out for me as the gold standard classic of survival horror. Before this, you pretty much just had RE style monster-jump-through-window startling type scares. SH1 was the first game that actually tried to do something psychological and freak you out with the creeping, slowly approaching but never quite visible horror.

Whenever it does have startle scares, it ramps up the fear by first making you expect it, then having it not happen any time that you would expect it, so you let your guard down, THEN having it pop out later. (If you've played it, you know the lockers in the dark school, is all I'm saying.) This works amazingly well as compared to the scares in something like Dead Space. Every single vent has a monster in it. What's the scare value in that? If I see a vent, I know I just have to take 5 steps past it, turn around, and shoot the monster. Yawn. Now if every 10th or so vent had a monster in it, that would up the scare value, because you never know. Really, it would take a lot more to help Dead Space be a truly scary experience (not that it's not a fun game), but that's a digression.

It definitely uses the bad-at-combat mechanic for the hero, and you're usually better off just running if you can. You don't find enough ammo to take down all the shambling horrors anyway. But something else that it uses, which is more pertinent to the discussion I think, is odd camera angles. Sometimes you'll walk into an area and the camera will be way up near the ceiling and twisting crazily as it follows you. The whole point is to throw you off and make it so you can't see what your character would see, thereby freaking you out all the more. It has some areas where the camera won't follow your view around a corner, so you know your character can see what's over there, but all we the viewers get to see is half a broken wheelchair peeking around the corner and a vague red glow. So what's back there? We don't know, and that's much more fear-inducing than anything they could possibly show us.

So anyway, SH1 good, SH2 also good, although to be honest I never felt it was quite as scary as 1. It probably helped to play 1 first when it was at the pinnacle of gaming technology. If someone were to go into it now, I can perhaps see why they would have trouble seeing it as being quite so scary.

Offline x4000

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I first played both about 8 years ago, thereabouts, so neither was quite new even then.  The reason I like SH2 better is because of the story, honestly.  SH1, to me, was just a bit campier, regardless of whether or not it was scarier.  SH2 was my first foray into survival horror as a specific genre, although I'd always liked games like Quake II, etc, which sometimes trade in scares and such.  The voice acting in SH2 is not always the pinnacle of what can be done, but the mood and atmosphere is, and as Tycho at Penny Arcade said (to paraphrase) "it's story was poised to rip young husbands apart."  Aye, that it did.

Not that I feel like SH1 was a bad game, but like the whole RE series it was campier.  SH2... to me, that was exploring a lot of more serious, darker, and thematically scarier stuff.  Some of the ideas in that are what haunt me, rather than just stuff making me jump (though there was that, too).

But it's all a matter of taste!

(Can this thread get more off topic? ;))
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Offline BobTheJanitor

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Topics are just vague suggestions.  ;)

I'll admit that SH2 was clearly the more mature and less campy game. Some of the character motivations in SH1 honestly don't make sense by any stretch of the imagination. I mean I can accept that Harry would cross hell to find his daughter, but the way that he does it like a wooden automaton, only reacting vaguely to the insane things that are happening around him, yeah that's pretty silly. The first time the walls started turning into bleeding rusted metal, I would have gotten out of there. All that said, it definitely scared the hell out of me like no game has really managed to since. I should probably go back and play it some time and see how well it works for me now, since it has been many years since I've played any of the titles.

SH3 was pretty good too, actually. Anything beyond that though, meh. I'd like to see a new survival horror game that really touches that primal fear reaction, but nothing has done it for me lately. Amnesia is probably the closest I've seen from recent releases, but it has a few small flaws that ultimately sucked the fear factor right out of it for me, sadly.

Offline x4000

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Good points all around. :)

I actually liked SH3 pretty well, but I just don't go for the cult stuff.  I admit I didn't finish that one, as I found it too freaking scary.  I think I made it through the subway and that's it, so that's not even that far into the game, I suspect.  I still have it, and keep thinking of going back to it "some day," but the few times I have I've just had to set it aside!
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Offline HitmanN

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That said, I still go back to SH2 every so often, because the controls aren't bad... they're just not... immediate, I guess is the word.  You turn slowly, you hit slowly, it's hard to aim your weapons with huge precision, that sort of thing.

I'll pitch in my opinions here too, quickly. Staying off-topic, sorry. ;)

SH3 is the first in the series that I played. Finished it twice in fact. Then I tried SH2, and it wasn't bad, but I never finished that one. Not sure why, but I just dropped playing about halfway through, and never resumed. Probably had something more interesting to play at the time.

In any case, the series is good, but what prevented it from being awesome for me actually were the controls. Clumsy, slow and sometimes restrictive or borderline unresponsive. A game with a good atmosphere AND slick controls would've been a blessing.

Games with restrictive controls is one of my pet peeves. I hate it when I perform an action, and I cannot cancel the action half-way, even if it would realistically be possible. For instance, reloading in Fallout 3. If I press to reload a weapon, I can't access pib-boy, switch weapon or do anything but walk around until the reloading has finished. This is particularly annoying with stuff like Rocket Launchers, when it can take several seconds. At the point where I have a rocket in hand and am about to put it in the weapon, why can't I just cancel, put away the rocket and not reload the launcher, if that would allow me to switch to another weapon faster? Why do I have to wait three seconds for the rocket to go into the weapon, by which time the enemies are in melee combat already (which I was able predict, and thus wanted to cancel reloading), making the rocket launcher pointless, and I still have to switch to a safer weapon, usually costing me at least a bit of health. Even more annoying is reloading a laser pistol (or was it the rifle, anyways), when after inserting the battery, the character sometimes has to open the cartridge slot and slam the battery in again, before being able to shoot. It's a nice effect of a poor condition weapon, but I sure as hell don't want to spend an extra second looking at stuff like that when I want to be shooting the bad guys instead. Every time I die because of such an event increases the likelyhood that at some point I've had enough and just quit playing the game. Showing me visual effects and motions to enhance immersion is fine, but it should not affect my controls in gameplay-affecting way. When I lose in a game, I want to lose because the bad guys defeated me. Not because the game prevented me from fighting back or evading.

I don't mean to say that players should be able to perform anything at anytime, but if the actions are ridiculously long, include unnecessary extra actions and/or often restrict any other activities at the same time, without being able to cancel, it's just frustrating to control. This wasn't a huge problem in SH games though, I think. It was even possible to strafe while swinging melee weapons, unlike in a lot of games where a melee attack stops the player's movement. It's a been a long time since I played the SH games, and I don't remember exactly how the controls were, but I do remember that I found them lacking in finesse, sometimes lethally so (for the main character). Still, the atmosphere was so awesome that the controls weren't an enjoyment killer.

So, to me, clumsy controls do not contribute to atmosphere or immersion, but take away from enjoyment. Not saying I need to be able to perform ninja moves and jump around like a superhero or anything either. Just that restricting a character's available actions to very basic moves is much better way of adding a clumsy feel than making performing those moves a pain.

That's my opinion anyways.

Offline x4000

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I think it's telling that while I enjoyed SH2 for the way it made me feel, if I were to make a game I wouldn't be able to bear making it in quite the same fashion.  For some reason, I think that particular game (and SH1 and SH3, really) got a free pass from me where others wouldn't, because the atmosphere was so freaking compelling.  It's hard to say.

But I couldn't agree more that creating long animations that you can't get out of, etc, is really frustrating.  That bugged me in Fallout 3, too, come to think of it.  And I find FF8 to be pretty much unplayable now, since the Espers (or whatever they are called) have such incredibly long animations that can't be skipped at all.  That's a game I never finished, and I wanted to go back and give it another go last year, but I just couldn't get past that one thing.  I have better ways to spend my time.

That said, I didn't feel like anything in any of the SH games was that egregious or nearly so.  But now we're getting back into the realms of taste, heh.
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Offline HitmanN

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SH's controls weren't definitely horrible, I've seen a lot worse, but for me it was still the thing that took away that 1 point from them being a 10/10 rating game.

Oh the topic of scary games, I've also liked the Condemned series, although it was more about surprises rather than suspense. Mainly because of it focusing on melee weapons, which adds a more personal feel to the combat, unlike other similar first-person view games. My favorite event in the series is definitely in Condemned 2, the level after the plane crash, with the lodge and the huge bear.

I'm also reminded of Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth from several years back. I played the PC port and found it very atmospheric, although maybe a bit too much focused on the stealth gameplay. Still, there was constantly a feel of pressure that the whole village with its crazy folk were after you, all the while also being surrounded by the supernatural. That, and the main character pretty much going insane near scary events.

Overall, I think I slightly more prefer first-person view in games like these. It's a much more involving feeling to have the enemies come at you in first-person view, especially in chase sequences.

Offline Nalgas

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And I find FF8 to be pretty much unplayable now, since the Espers (or whatever they are called) have such incredibly long animations that can't be skipped at all.  That's a game I never finished, and I wanted to go back and give it another go last year, but I just couldn't get past that one thing.  I have better ways to spend my time.

Funny that you mention that, because my friend just loaded up his old save from that a week or so ago, and that was one of the first things I remembered about it and complained to him about when he told me he was playing it.  Not only are the animations aggravatingly long, the "boost" feature (push square to be marginally less useless!) tries to force you to sit there and pay attention through the whole thing so you can button mash at the appropriate time, instead of giving you a 30 second window to go grab a drink or check if you've gotten any important messages (which you really shouldn't have to do to pass time during a game, but at least it beats sitting there doing nothing or mashing buttons).  Giving the player something irritating to do during them is not only not the correct solution to excessively long animations being repetitive/boring, it's the polar opposite of the correct solution (which is of course to make them shorter and/or skippable).

However, much like most FF games, there's pretty much no reason to ever summon the stupid things starting fairly early in the game.  They're kind of handy at the beginning, and occasionally their abilities are useful later, but once you collect all the useful spells (either by drawing or refining them from cards), you just junction those to all your characters to pump up every stat to absurd levels, and then you destroy everything with basic attacks/abilities/spells in a tiny fraction of the time.  When it comes down to it, the most useful thing the summons do in that game is let you turn cards into spells/items/stat boosts.  Actually summoning them is just a waste of time.

Meanwhile, back in the land of scary-ish games, I liked a lot of stuff Eternal Darkness did with the sanity effects, although it's a bit more actiony and a bit less survivaly.  Still roughly 40 hojillion times more interesting than any of the RE games I played, though.  And speaking of RE, I've always thought that Ravenloftholm in HL2 was a better RE4 than RE4 was.  And then speaking of HL2, the Korsakovia mod is holycrapawesome, but I think that already came up on here recently (I want to say it was because of Bob, but I'm not 100% sure of that).  And then speaking of weird indie stuff from the past couple years, The Path also has its moments and is quite possibly as strange as Korsakovia, but in a different sort of way.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 10:37:51 AM by Nalgas »

Offline BobTheJanitor

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I never played the path, I might have to check it out. Korsakovia is great at atmosphere and horrible at gameplay. If you didn't have to noclip through half of it to keep from raging at falling off the terrible platforming levels, it would be awesome. Also I kind of get what they were trying to do with some of the sound effects, giving a real visceral feeling of noise getting into your head, but still, loud static is annoying. Overall though, definitely worth playing. You might also check out Dear Esther by the same guys. It's a guy walking around an island during the day. Nothing scary about that right? Well... try it out.  ;D

Huh just looked up Dear Esther and saw it was being remade as a commercial product. Hopefully they realize what was good about it and don't ruin it, but it seems likely that they'll want to bump it up with extra spoooooooky darkness and fog and so on. And maybe some zombie demon dog robots jumping out of a series of grates. And a machine gun. Man I hate modern commercial survival horror.

Edit: After reading this RPS article and the comments from the devs, I am no longer worried about the commercial release ruining it. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/11/remade-dear-esther-to-get-full-release/
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 02:06:59 PM by BobTheJanitor »