Author Topic: FPS NIGHTMARES  (Read 42880 times)

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #600 on: August 31, 2020, 04:16:20 PM »
I would like to read a review of the bizarre first-person adventure game Normality. One of the fucking weirdest pieces of shit I've ever played.


PlanktonSideburns

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #601 on: August 31, 2020, 09:53:04 PM »
I would like to read a review of the bizarre first-person adventure game Normality. One of the fucking weirdest pieces of shit I've ever played.



Love that game so much

This is my review

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #602 on: August 31, 2020, 09:57:15 PM »
Knowing that you and popcorn think of that when seeing the word “normality” explains an awful lot.

Wonderful Butternut

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #603 on: August 31, 2020, 11:01:59 PM »
I tried to watch Yahtzee Crosshaw and his buddy do a let's play of that game, but I lost the will to live half way through. It just seemed like such an awful, awful game.

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #604 on: September 03, 2020, 12:37:30 AM »
Glared at the box art for nearly a full minute before realising I've actually seen Normality played on a stream. I'll mark it down on the list and give it a spin when I want to hear the outstanding voice work of Corey Feldman.

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #605 on: September 03, 2020, 12:42:58 AM »
Glared at the box art for nearly a full minute before realising I've actually seen Normality played on a stream. I'll mark it down on the list and give it a spin when I want to hear the outstanding voice work of Corey Feldman.

I just looked up some let's play and clicked to a random place and was treated to this fine example: https://youtu.be/nboSooSxM5Y?t=5730

Inspector Norse

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #606 on: September 03, 2020, 12:06:05 PM »
I read up on Corey Feldman's life story after that.

Wow.

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #607 on: September 12, 2020, 08:08:02 AM »
Going out of chronological order here, because I've been playing a bunch of games simultaneously (including the newly released Wasteland 3, which is fucking wicked) and I ended up finishing this one first.

Tresspasser (1998)





RELEASE DATE: October 28th, 1998

STORY: After a plane crash, a total loser finds herself on a desert island - with DINOSAURS! Battling both terrifying raptors and her own bizarre hand-eye coordination issues, she's got to get through hordes of lizard bastards to reach freedom.

MUSIC: Jurassic Park theme blares out at one point.

FEELS ABOUT HALF FULL: If you've heard of this game, you already know what its defining feature is, but in case you don't... essentially, the controls are fucked, and that's why people remember the game and why we're still talking about it today.

The game features a theoretically very innovative system in which the player has total control over Anne's (the aforementioned plane crash loser) right arm. You can move it around, grab things, throw things, aim your guns, press keypads, thwack dinosaurs with big heavy things, and more. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite come off, and as a result the game has been forever doomed to be essentially meme material.

In theory: you deftly grab and throw heavy objects to hurt your opponents, then effortlessly grab a gun and aim some precise headshots against the oncoming raptors. You throw your gun when it's out of ammo and quickly grab a nearby plank to parry the dinosaur's attacks, before finishing it with a hard smack to the head.

In practice: you flail uselessly, you rotate your arm very slightly and your gun just slips right out of your fucking hand, you grab it again and then a dinosaur nudges your arm and your entire clip empties uselessly into the air as a result, then you die and your head snaps downwards towards your chest, buried in your cleavage as you ragdoll down the nearest hillside. You then figure out you can do obscene far-right salutes, as seen in screenshot one, and amuse yourself with that for a while before tripping down a cliff and being killed again.

The thing is, though, that the hapless arm flailing only lasts about twenty minutes or so. After the first couple of levels, anyone with reasonable skill should have gotten to grips with the arm system, and from then on, it sort of works. It's idiosyncratic, no doubt about it, but it's a set of unique mechanics to master (which is what any good game is about, surely) and they're functional - at least, until you have to insert a keycard or enter a code on a numpad, at which point the game goes straight to fucking hell. But for the most part, it works, and when you learn to pull off reliable Desert Eagle headshots on dinosaurs, the game starts to flow smoothly.

And the odd controls really help the game. For the first time since System Shock, the controls actually make you feel as though you are the protagonist. In System Shock, flicking quickly through all your different augmentations, manually reloading guns, and frantically shutting down several of your systems to conserve power really made you feel as though you were the cyborg Hacker. In Trespasser, having to slowly and carefully manually aim your shots, being generally slow and unathletic, and getting absolutely demolished in close quarters combat really makes you feel like you're playing as Anne - in other words, an actual human with limitations, rather than a floating gun as in most FPS games. You'd better get good at shooting fairly quickly (and the game gives you a range in the first level to practice on, which is of great help), because if a dinosaur closes the gap, they will knock your weapon out of your hand. This was, I thought, an insanely cool mechanic. Raptors will ram into you, knocking your arm back. If you're quick or lucky enough, you can sometimes keep hold of your gun by making the right arm movement, but oftentimes your wrist is snapped back and your gun falls to the floor. This leads to some properly great tension as you scramble to retrieve the gun while the raptor keeps blocking you, sometimes even stepping on the gun and knocking it away.

Other great moments brought about by the physics system include dinosaurs being able to knock objects aside to reach you, knock over a car that you're hiding in, and more. Weapons have weight too, meaning that aiming a shotgun feels different from aiming a pistol, which is awesome.

The physics system is genuinely very sophisticated as well. Unlike in other physics-heavy games, such as Half-Life 2, you can really feel the weight of objects in Trespasser. Many are too heavy for you to lift, and your arm (which, again, is your primary presence in the game world) is forcefully dragged down if you pick something too heavy up, essentially removing control of your character from you. Trying to lift anything heavy will usually end in you fighting against the object's weight until you eventually drop it. The game is rife with physics puzzles, most of which are a lot of fun - seesaws, throwing objects at each other to knock them from high places, stacking objects to scale obstacles, etc. You jump pretty weirdly, which sort of undermines a couple of the puzzles, but honestly it's not that bad. If you just hit jump repeatedly, you'll end up getting caught on whatever you're trying to scale, and a few more presses will cause you to edge up onto it, letting you continue. Not great but not awful.

Even aside from the hand control scheme and the physics system, "immersion" is the order of the day for the whole game, and a lot of its ideas are interesting. Instead of a HUD, you get all your health and ammo information in the game itself. Looking down lets you see your body, and Anne has a weird heart tattoo on her chest which displays your health. This generally works, but ammo is a bit more bullshitty. When you grab a gun, Anne will say how much ammo is left in it. For pistols, this works fine because she says the exact number of bullets left, but for shotguns and SMGs she just says "it's full", "feels about half full" and "almost empty". The problem is that her estimates are fucking shit and as a result you've basically got absolutely no clue how many shots you've got left much of the time - great!

Dinosaur AI is pretty good, with raptors often attacking in pairs or more to encircle you and ambush you. Different dinosaurs also fight each other in the wild, meaning that staying undetected will sometimes let you slip by while enemies fight each other. Not all dinosaurs #NotAllDinosaurs are hostile, and if you had a dinosaur phase as a kid, you'll know on sight which ones are herbivorous (aka friendly) and which are carnivorous (aka psychotic bastards). This stealth aspect to the game isn't just window dressing, you can actually move through quite a bit of the game without aggro'ing any dinosaurs, and it's yet another cool feature Trespasser brings to the table, which many of its contemporaries don't.

Anyway, what else is there to talk about: the graphics are great and maps of very impressive size are rendered here, full of detail, plants and wildlife. Despite the game being fairly brief and set all on one island, levels are fairly distinct, and your journey takes you across thick jungles, forces you to traverse vast canyons, brings you to an abandoned village made for employees of the island, and finally up a huge mountain which was easily my favourite part of the game.

The story isn't much - I don't know if I've ever actually seen Jurassic Park, maybe when I was a kid or something, but the story to this game is as follows: there was another Jurassic Park, different from the one in the movie I guess, and this one is SITE B, an island complex. Anne is the only survivor of a plane crash and she washes up on the island, and immediately sets about complaining about the whole affair, with cool 90s cynicism. The island is abandoned and the phone lines are inoperative, so she decides to just wander around (through packs of fucking dinosaurs) until she finds a way out. Between Anne's complaining, you also get Richard Attenborough reading journal entries being like "IT HAS BEEN A YEAR SINCE I PARTOOK OF MY EXPERIMENT, AND ALAS, DINOSAURS HAVE EATEN MY STAFF". Eventually, Anne goes up a huge mountain, kills a mega t-rex, and is rescued by the military.

So not much going on there, but hey, it's an excuse to get chased around by dinosaurs, and Anne is fun enough as a protagonist, more memorable than most of the generic silent protagonists of the era. And again, the control system makes it easier to project yourself onto her, because you just know that you'd be equally shit at firing a gun, and you can't jump higher than like half a meter either.

Also, I remember the first time I played this, I was 100% convinced that when you call for help at the end and a strangely cold-sounding military guy responds that help is on the way, the military were going to open fire on you to silence you and make sure the secret of the island never got out. That's a way better ending than the actual one (which is just a fight with a shit t-rex in a stupid fenced arena) and would also have allowed players to experience a fight against armed opponents with these incredible controls, which would have been pure gaming excellence.

FINAL RATING: It aimed high and it didn't always come off, but it didn't quite fail either. At the very least, it's an ambitious game that's trying to really push the genre forward, rather than just being another shooting gallery. There's moments of greatness in here, the graphics are impressive, the ideas about "immersion" are flawed but exciting, and it's hard to really have a bad opinion of the whole thing. 3 Disastrous Keycard Insertion Attempts out of 5.


THE GAME SUMMARISED IN A BOTTOM GIF:

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #608 on: September 12, 2020, 12:56:59 PM »
I've never been massively into computer games, and am notoriously crap at first person shooters, but this is one of the best threads anywhere on the internet. Thanks for keeping it going.

Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #609 on: September 12, 2020, 01:55:08 PM »
Going out of chronological order here, because I've been playing a bunch of games simultaneously (including the newly released Wasteland 3, which is fucking wicked) and I ended up finishing this one first.

Tresspasser (1998)





RELEASE DATE: October 28th, 1998

STORY: After a plane crash, a total loser finds herself on a desert island - with DINOSAURS! Battling both terrifying raptors and her own bizarre hand-eye coordination issues, she's got to get through hordes of lizard bastards to reach freedom.

MUSIC: Jurassic Park theme blares out at one point.


Love this thread and love this post. Had the game back in the day (98/99ish) and despite its shortcomings, I loved its attempt at making a proper Jurassic Park survival game. Very glitchy - I seem to remember taming a Raptor by patting it on the head with the floaty arm - but I still loved it. As you mention, some tense moments because of the AI and physics. I remember being trapped in a house in the worker's village level, with no ammo, using my body to keep a door shut as a Raptor tried to poke its head in. Also remember watching a T Rex in the distance, fighting a Stegosaurus in a random (I'm assuming it wasn't scripted and just occurred through AI) battle. Great stuff.

I think the main character, Anne, was played by Minnie Driver...possibly.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #610 on: September 12, 2020, 03:01:10 PM »
The story isn't much - I don't know if I've ever actually seen Jurassic Park, maybe when I was a kid or something, but the story to this game is as follows: there was another Jurassic Park, different from the one in the movie I guess, and this one is SITE B, an island complex. Anne is the only survivor of a plane crash and she washes up on the island, and immediately sets about complaining about the whole affair, with cool 90s cynicism. The island is abandoned and the phone lines are inoperative, so she decides to just wander around (through packs of fucking dinosaurs) until she finds a way out.
Sounds like Isla Sorna, the island featured in The Lost World.

PlanktonSideburns

  • putting the 'rimmage' back in pilgrimage
Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #611 on: September 12, 2020, 10:40:23 PM »
This game sounds aces. Gonna get it!

Sounds like a great game for someone to update and mod a bit

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #612 on: September 12, 2020, 10:44:03 PM »
Why are you trying to shoot the brachiosaurus

Lemming

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Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #613 on: September 12, 2020, 11:14:14 PM »
I remember being trapped in a house in the worker's village level, with no ammo, using my body to keep a door shut as a Raptor tried to poke its head in.

The same thing happened to me! I started hurling boxes at the door in an attempt to keep it shut as the raptor mockingly edged through the gap. The same level had another great physics moment, where the player is tasked to build a staircase out of several boxes, and mine was so badly constructed that it started to collapse as I went up it, threatening to drop me down into two raptors who were circling right below.

Why are you trying to shoot the brachiosaurus

Simply out of pure malice.

Lemming

  • Squidgy Sleeping Bag Session
Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #614 on: September 16, 2020, 08:57:32 AM »
Montezuma's Return! (1998)





RELEASE DATE: October 27th, 1998

STORY: Treasure!

MUSIC: There wasn't any outside the menu! Don't know if my version was fucked or if that's just how it is.

100% TREASURE REQUIRED FOR BONUS ROUND ENTRY: Called "Return" because it's based off an old game from 1984 called Montezuma's Revenge, which actually comes packaged with this game, if you're up for some dank sidescrolling action.

So, first-person platforming. People generally like to complain about platforming in FPS games. While I don't agree with a lot of that (I seriously think Xen is fine, and I unironically liked climbing the radio towers in Far Cry 3), what is clear is that developers weren't really thinking about basing an ENTIRE games around first person platforming. UNTIL NOW

Yeah, 10 years before Mirror's Edge came along and gave it another shot, here's a game entirely about doing ridiculous parkour shit in first person!

In Montezuma's Return, you start in mid-air and fall arse-over-tit down into a temple, at which point the action begins. Death-defying leaps, heroic rope swings, daring acrobatic maneuvers and outfoxing enemies are what it's all about in this game, and it's great!

Except for the fact that FUCKING MOUSELOOK DOESNT WORK. What were they thinking with this? It's a game entirely about moving in every direction around a huge 3D environment, and the mouselook is FUCKING BROKEN. It's unuseable and your only choice is to play with the keyboard - left and right arrow to turn left and right, page up and page down to look up and down. Christ! It's like being back in the dark ages. This isn't a bug - the mouselook is actually just completely broken. Try the game yourself if you want to see exactly how, it's hard to explain. Basically moving the mouse at all causes your head to rotate 90 degrees, no matter how much you actually moved the mouse. The lightest tap will make you turn, so your only option is to forsake the mouse, avoid touching it under any circumstances, and use the keyboard. The one concession to sanity that the game makes regarding this is that it automatically looks downwards when you start falling from any height, so at least you can see where you're going.

Alright, now the elephant in the room is out of the way... the game is graphically great. The art direction isn't always top-of-the-range (the enemies universally look like shit) but on a technical level, the game stands up alongside the other graphical titans of the year, such as Unreal and Half-Life. Lighting is extremely impressive, textures have bump-mapping and are sharp and detailed, and enemy models - despite being stylistically shit - are relatively high-poly.

You have some control over the order you play the levels in, with the tougher ones unlocking as you go on. Level design is the game's strong point, with plenty of puzzles, deathtraps, platforming areas and the like. The influence of Tomb Raider over the gaming industry was still clearly pretty strong in 1998 (rightly so because Tomb Raider 1 and 2 are two of the BEST GAMES EVER), and this game takes its share of cues from there, but also goes off in its own direction. Unlike in Tomb Raider, levels have absolutely no logic behind them at all, so you won't be seeing anything that's meant to be a semi-believable ancient ruin, or doing puzzles with ancient door mechanisms or whatever. Instead, it's all a series of disconnected, abstract traps and ledges. There's no story or atmosphere to get sucked into, then, but of course there's nothing wrong with having a pure gameplay focus, and the devs make great use of all the tricks the game has. Levels also have moving parts, which usually result in you having to do things in a time limit. For example, one early level has a weird airship thing that, when activated, will independently sail through a long corridor full of moving elevators. After pressing the switch, you've got to race to the other end of the corridor, leaping from elevator to elevator at the right time, and beat the airship to the end so that you can grab onto it and be carried over into the next area. Most levels end with a boss fight, and they're usually pretty well-done, combining platforming and combat together. One is a lava monster that throws low-poly molten coronavirus particles at you.

Issues with controls aside, platforming is mostly smooth and functional (unless you grab onto a pole and start swinging on it, in which case all bets are off). You gain ludicrous amounts of momentum very quickly and can leap rather great distances, so levels occasionally start to feel like a 3D first person Sonic the Hedgehog. The game teaches you all the moves you'll need to know pretty early on, and then it's up to you to use your skillset in increasingly challenging ways. The levels also do a great job of chaining things together, so in the later levels you'll have to navigate jump-pads to attach to a pole, swing from it (IMPOSSIBLE) onto an elevator, then hop to another elevator but oops this one plunges down into lava and you get the picture.

While the platforming is good, the same can't really be said of the combat. You have no weapons and must punch and kick. While your fist and foot have reasonable range, they do very limited damage, so every fight turns into a stupid spectacle of you backing away, spamming 5 kicks a second like Chun-Li when the enemy gets close, then moonwalking away again. You also have a stamina meter which measures your ability to attack. This didn't impact the game at all really, especially since it recharges fast.

The game's got a ton of charm to top it all off - when you get fucked up by falling from too high a place, you start doing that weird accordion-wobbling thing they do in old cartoons. When you get killed, you get an FMV cutscene showing the exact way in which you got brutalised, and there's a unique one for every single way to possibly get killed in the whole game. Rooms also routinely explode into a rainbow of trippy colours whenever you press a switch, which is cool, and shows off the lighting effects nicely.

FINAL RATING: Great level design hampered by very dodgy controls and uninteresting combat. Still a lot of fun to do the puzzles and platforming challenges. 3 Petrifying Aztec Cat Things out of 5. If it had mouselook it'd easily be higher, but as a spoiled modern-gaming chump, I just can't fully get to grips with having to use Page Up and Page Down to look when the FUCKING MOUSE IS RIGHT THERE.



Had a run of games hovering around 3/5 recently. Will any of the year's remaining games get the VAUNTED 4/5 RATING?

THE GAME SUMMARISED IN A BOTTOM IMAGE:


Except imagine he's spinning around uncontrollably then detaches from the pole for no reason and falls to his death.

NEXT GAME: Either Extreme Paintbrawl (1998) or SiN (1998), depending on which I finish first (though I can't imagine I'll be playing Extreme Paintbrawl for longer than about 30 seconds).

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: FPS NIGHTMARES
« Reply #615 on: Yesterday at 08:39:39 AM »
Puzzles, traps and unforeseen obstacles?!?!

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