Impressions from an NGBlack & 2 veteran (quite long, may be spoilers)

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  3. Impressions from an NGBlack & 2 veteran (quite long, may be spoilers)

User Info: coolblackknight

2 years ago#11
Good read.

Be coherent, less obtuse.

User Info: chaosinfusion

2 years ago#12
nonexistinghero posted...
Finally got around to buying ... the Wii U version

I enjoyed reading your post - while I take issue with many of your points, I appreciate the amount of thought that went into it.

Some (definitely not all) of the technical issues you mention may have been addressed in the PS3 build. For instance, I don’t recall anything preventing me from skipping the falcon save points - the game was happy enough to oblige, albeit at the expense of a fully restored health bar.

The good:
- Combat flow is fairly smooth.
- Animation overal is superb. The hits feel like they have plenty of impact.
- Quite a few nice tracks.
- The camera can be nice... at times.
- They figured out a way to prevent UT spam for best amount of points/money.
- Chapter challenge is done well and gets rid of the story fluff.

"Combat flow" and "superb animation" are at the top of my list too, although you left out my favorite part: the kunoichi characters.

In my view, expanding their participation in challenges and trials in addition to making Kasumi playable are among the things Hayashi got right. This doesn’t mean he gets a free pass on design flaws, but I'm not exactly pining for the return of Itagaki to resolve them either. ("Kasumi... too soft..." !? What does that even mean... are we even talking about the same bad-ass nukenin? Good riddance, Itagaki-san!) I digress. :-p

The camera is in my "mixed" category - in open areas, adjusted to max speed, it can be excellent. However, near walls and in tight spaces, it can shift perspective at awkward times, to the point of unexpectedly changing the directional sense of the movement stick. There are also times when the camera insists on locking onto the wrong target. (e.g. Day 7, dual spider tanks - it is really hard to attack the armored leg of one if the camera keeps looking at the _other_ one) Hopefully, the ability to lock onto a specific target and better handling of boundary conditions are among the improvements coming to NG4.

The bad:
- Pathetically weak guard. Even guarding almost any heavy hit already does chip damage (and it's quite a bit of chip damage as well).

[getting grabbed]... Usually happens if I'm waiting for enemies to make a move.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but grabs and chip damage are the game’s not-so-subtle way of telling the player to change tactics. If you know you can’t block heavy hits without taking damage, why stand around waiting to get hit? Enemies generally have tells to help you decide whether to block or slide out of the way (and maybe right back in if they flash red on your way out). Instead of "waiting for enemies to make a move", take a page out of Harvey Dent’s playbook: make your own luck.

to be continued...

User Info: chaosinfusion

2 years ago#13
nonexistinghero posted...
The mixed:
... Character balance is pretty bad... Kasumi's ninpo is also pretty crappy for regaining health

Luring enemies to an edge of the combat zone to get them in single-file can improve its hit rate and therefore healing effects. Alternatively, her ninpo can be swept to the side at the last moment, creating a wedge shape for pretty good AOE. Experiment with the stick input and you'll see what I mean. It has the potential to take out large numbers of enemies, as evidenced by the swath of severed bodies in its wake.

Team Ninja could do a better job explaining how things work. It probably never would have occurred to me to manipulate the beam this way had it not been for a post by Zero Beat somewhere deep in the GameFAQs archive.

plsticklemeryu posted...
nonexistinghero posted...
Ayane wreck havoc in earlier chapters, but struggle with later chapters when enemies get more health
Uh Ayane has an insane delimb rate on and her cancel into charge attack has an INSANE amount of iframes. She is one of the best characters in the game next to Ryu.

Ayane is a beast. Against humanoid enemies, her Hold-Triangle can be released to start an OT without delimbing them first. This effect can be chained. So much fun. The downside is that chained OTs do not score as well as a Steel-on-Bone chain, nor do they leech back health.

nonexistinghero posted...
- Steel on Bone. While they managed to get a solution for the UT spam... they added another one instead. SoB is the most efficient way to get points,

I would agree that the scoring system has improved and also with the implication that it still needs help. How about a style or variation bonus in proportion to the number of distinct combos used in a round?

- The boobs. Can't jiggle them with a pro controller.

Are we still in the "mixed" column? This is bad, right? This would be one of the uh... technical issues that was addressed in the PS3 build. How is it possible that the Wii's waggle can't wiggle the wares?

- The suggestive grabs. Bugs munching between the legs and zombie-like bodies looking like they're about to rape...

Yeah, I have nothing against healthy doses of innuendo and titillation, but the ryona is... odd. Come to think of it, if by "forced save" you meant having to wait for the System Data file to update with no option to skip the rape/humiliation unfolding in the background, I'm with you.

The bad:
- Sluggish controls. They're not always responsive.

I don't know if this is a limitation of the game engine or the hardware on which it is running, but it is definitely a problem. I personally find it to be more of an issue with Ryu, which is one reason why he is my least favorite character to play.

It should be pointed out that the controls are sometimes non-responsive because your character is in recovery, whether stunned by an enemy or after performing a strong attack. (As a seasoned veteran, you probably already knew this, but as a novice coming into this game, it took a while before I realized that there are certain things one cannot cancel out of, and no amount of cursing or controller abuse is going to change it.) Lag and recovery are not the same thing, although both can make the game feel "sluggish."

to be continued...

User Info: chaosinfusion

2 years ago#14
plsticklemeryu posted...
nonexistinghero posted…
Most of your combat moves are useleless. Most enemies dodge a lot with no reliable way to really hit them if you're on the offensive. This pretty much encourages Steel on Bone abuse (especially since it's also the best way to get points). Stuff like flying swallow and most other moves just... aren't very useful at all. Simple, basic combos work best. Also stupid how there's those dumb moves that cost ki. Other than meditation, they're completely useless and are more likely to just get in the way instead.

Almost all of the moves are useful and along with enemies dodging moves there are specific moves for each enemy that won't be auto dodged but figuring this out comes through practice and understanding the combat/AI system.

Exactly. This game rewards aggressive play. (But punishes greed!) Simple, basic combos work... to create openings for the longer ones. Use them to put the enemy in recovery, for crowd control, or to delimb. Some can have a splash effect that momentarily stuns more than one (if bunched together); some can knock an enemy back.

nonexistinghero posted…
Flying swallow [isn’t] very useful at all.

Does "useful" mean "has a 100% chance for a one-hit-kill decapitation"? Let's have a closer look at some of the options available to Kasumi and Ayane. Parting an enemy's head from their shoulders is not the only application.

Kasumi’s Flying Swallow is excellent for repositioning and establishing sufficient distance for her next move. Her FS can decapitate, but you might need to soften the enemy first (as pointed out by plsticklemeryu). Whether or not you get the beheading, FS can create opportunity. It does not have to hit an enemy in order to be effective.

For instance, keep holding Triangle (X for Wii?) "on landing" and, depending on how the situation is unfolding,
- enemies absurdly dodging everything? go ahead and charge a level 1 UT
- red flash? release Hold-T into an SoB chain
- delimbed? release into an OT
- nothing? release to unleash her Helix attack (good delimb rate - if FS didn't decapitate, this might)

- FS blocked? start a longer combo on the recovering enemy that just blocked her
- or FS again - it does damage even though you don't see their health bar
- did someone mention Van Gelves? You know they can and will grab you from offscreen, so maybe you should just keep moving...

You have a split-second to decide. Ideally, you should be thinking several moves ahead.

Ayane’s Flying Swallow is not as good for repositioning because unlike Kasumi, she cannot glide directly into an on-landing charge. But she can do something arguably just as good: if you double- instead of single-tap Triangle, her FS can seamlessly launch an enemy near the point of impact and segue into her Lightwing Izuna. Under the right conditions, she can decapitate one enemy on her way to launching another. During the Izuna, there is a brief window during which you can use your left hand to make an obscene gesture at the Van Gelf that failed to grab her, landing innocuously in the recently vacated spot. Sadly, you won't get any points for gesticulation, but it is satisfying.

This is ONE move (and only a partial accounting at that) out of hundreds in the game. I've logged more hours than I'd care to admit, and barely scratched the surface.

The fact that it is not immediately obvious which moves are best for a given situation adds a puzzle-solving element that contributes to replay value. So I file this under the good, as in "combat moves have amazing variety."

TL;DR: At the end of the day, this game is as deep or shallow as the player holding the controller. :-)
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