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Everything posted by BEES

  1. That's being a bit disingenuous. KotOR is a very good game and the story is well told. The characters are bland and shallow, but that doesn't change the fact that the narrative is well paced. I quite enjoyed KotOR II and it certainly had the potential to surpass the original, but in the state that it launched there is no way it was better than the first. I think you're really underplaying the quality of games that BioWare produces. They certainly don't have the same character focus, but BioWare develops the quintessential monomythic hero journey and they certainly do it well. Obsidian always takes a more personal approach to story telling and I'd hazard that if they tried to do the 'hero's journey' they wouldn't be able to tell it nearly as well as BioWare. But, there's no reason for them to since their stories and characters are good as they are now. That's just flat out wrong. We aren't conditioned to like sugary foods. That's likely an environmental adaptation developed over thousands of years of human development when sugars were hard to come by and fiber was the mainstay of the hunter/gather diet.
  2. I'd prefer if Thorton weren't the protagonist either. Maybe the antagonist/HUB character of interest for one area but I'd definitely like to see a new protagonist with a new story unrelated to Halbech. We don't need a James Bond SPECTRE bit here. I actually found the boss battles to be the highlight of the game (at least, gameplay wise). I'd rather not see them become "realistic" as that would diminish the 'cinematic' vibe that many people want in the visuals and gameplay anyway. Besides, I'd prefer a single boss that takes lots of hits over a guy who falls just as fast as a regular minion but you have to fight through waves of endlessly respawning enemies to get to him. I would like to see greater flexibility in your handlers, say completely replacing one halfway through the game. Also, it would be nice if there were characters that traveled between safehouses with you... where appropriate of course. More reactivity would be great too.
  3. The difficulty is definitely level based (odd design choice since I don't think the enemies are level dependent) and I suspect they're difficulty based as well. In my second hub on Hard, the bypass keycard mini-game had 10 fuses to disarm and I'm now up to twelve. My hacking strings are also four-five letters long, the scramble timer runs about four seconds and one mistake will basically kill all your time and set off the alarm. Which is good... if the controls weren't so sluggish on the PC. If people are having trouble on the PC version, I'd suggest they invest enough sabotage that they can just EMP grenade them. Also, I have a feeling that store prices are difficulty based because I've only been able to afford one gun and one low level armour. Can't buy mods, upgrades, and really only have enough cash for intel and a few gadgets.
  4. The story is good and the characters are exceptional. I suspect if you don't like this plot either you've had a glut of spy literature recently or you don't particularly like the genre. However, I think you'll find that there pretty much isn't an "original" story to be had anywhere. Every narrative follows a basic structure that has been used since we started telling stories in the first place. Check out The Hero with a Thousand Faces to see a comparison of the mythological hero's journey to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Plot aside (which is really well told considering the incredible elasticity from all the choices), the characters are truly top notched. I would like to hear five games that have done better characters because I'm hard pressed to think of any. Many of them you don't even interact for long and they have far more personality than any of the companions in Mass Effect. Honestly, RPGs are horrendous for producing the most stale and derivative characters and Alpha Protocol is far, far away from your average game writing. I haven't fought the boss battle in the tower, but the others I have enjoyed so far. They may not be as ingenious as other boss fights in other games, but for an action-rpg it certainly has more varied boss battles. Once again, comparing Mass Effect 2, you did not have the wildly different fights as you do here. You fight the Harbinger like ten times and it's the same fight throughout the game. The final battle is just more of the same. At least AP's bosses try different things, from the mad rushes of the mob boss in Russia to Taipei's stealth master (or even Saudi's well armoured initial boss). Honestly, the game is pretty solid and has a lot of character. The bugs and poor PC optimization are what seriously hurt it the most as the UI is clunky, the mouse erratic (until community fixes), the checkpoint system is broken and irritating...
  5. I had trouble with Brayko too, since he was the first boss I took on. I was too low level to have any really good skills and my chain shot was only at two. Here's what I did. I stayed in the cover you start in while he's on the stage. This part is pretty easy. When you knock down his armour, he starts running back and forth between the speakers. Take your time to just chip away his health at this point. Watch the damage you are taking and don't be afraid to just sit in cover and let your armour regenerate. Once you take off about a quarter of his health, he 'sniff an angel's ass' and come jumping down off the stage. Now, on PC with the erratic mouse, I was unable to run away from him as my camera would swing wildly like a drunken sailor at high seas during a hurricane. So, instead, I would duck behind the nearby pillars, activate Shadow Operative, and sneak into the side barricades in the room. Here, I waited for Shadow Operative to recharge or until Brayko had his back turned to climb the stage. I set shock traps on either speaker (this is important) and moved between the two so I could continue to snipe away his health. When he snorts again, he'll teleport beside you but this won't be a problem with the traps as he will then be stunned. Unload more bullets into his head and bail from the stage. He should be really low now that one more Chain Shot and a few assault rifle rounds will bring him down. He'll constantly be charging you with the knife, but seems to get tired and falls pretty quickly. Note - not sure if this was a bug, but if you stealth when Brayko initially leaps off the stage, the goons never seem to spawn. This is a blessing if you're ill-prepared or low level on hard mode. I found the Brayko fight to be quite enjoyable since it was so difficult. Omen Deng I was much stronger for and basically hid behind a pillar until he was close, jumped out and did a melee combo followed by an upgraded Chain Shot to the head to bring him down.
  6. I was prepared to give it an 8, but Taipei was bug city, for whatever reason. Had to reload a boss fight because the zipcord start point didn't "spawn," couldn't use the Reload last savegame at all since it never spawned the enemies, had my skills completely locked at one point... On the plus side, though, the community suggestion for the mouse problems did significantly reduce its erratic movements.
  7. Agreed, and if I'm not mistaken the ones necessary for plot advancement are usually pretty easy to hack.
  8. I hated the character until the 'like a floppy' line. Such perfect delivery...
  9. I didn't notice it either, but in Taipei, I had a couple of locks back to back that just wouldn't respond to the mouse. Until then the lockpicking had been a breeze so I'm not sure what was going on.
  10. This. As mentioned, the mini-games are pretty easy but the controls for the PC (especially the mouse) can make them incredibly frustrating. It's clear that they were designed with a controller in mind and I've noticed as the hacks become more difficult, I'm failing more because of the reduced margin of error and time that would allow me to adjust for these delayed 'text shifts'. Also, lockpicking is getting stupid with how sluggish it responds to the mouse. Had the controls been optimized, however, the mini-games would be fine.
  11. Moving the right string with the mouse is an exercise in frustration since the mouse input often doesn't respond right away and doesn't move smoothly. Nothing like placing your string over the right area only to have it shift off just as you're confirming your selection. Other than the control issue, though, it's a surprisingly easy mini-game.
  12. Alpha Protocol is far from perfect. I agree that there are some reviewers who criticism some very... bizarre things. Like the Gametrailers review that went on about how the stats control how well Thorton hits instead of player aim - even though this exact same mechanic was praised in the Fallout 3 review. However, as others have said, there are issues that are appropriately reflected in many of the scores. On the PC, it's quite obvious that AP is a port and a rather clunky one at that. The controls for the hacking game are frustrating at best. The camera is incredibly finicky and anxious. There's been a couple of times when I've 'stuck' to allies during combat even though I'm a good foot from them not to mention Thorton "freezes" for a few seconds if you enter most of your menus while moving. However, there's been a serious downplay of the story from AP. I can not accept that Mass Effect or Fallout get the same scores as Alpha Protocol. There really is no comparison... at least from the time that I've played. Maybe it suddenly takes a nosedive halfway through but for some reason I seriously doubt that.
  13. I'm thinking if you're not having fun in Saudi Arabia, it's probably not the game for you.
  14. Masterpiece is a little strong. I'm really enjoying it however, and it's certainly the most fun I've had this year. However, the technical flaws really prevent this game from being "perfect" (obviously). The PC is just littered with too many port problems from wonky cameras, horrible sensitivity in the hacking mini-game, the blocky detection of bodies that you can get stuck on, accessing your skills/gadgets/weapons while moving will often freeze you in place for a few seconds... However, the story, character and writing are absolutely superb. It really gives the illusion of choice having a strong effect on the game though whether this is true or not will certainly have to be verified in multiple playthroughs. A very good effort, nevertheless. Certainly an 80%.
  15. I disagree about the difficulty. I'm also a Recruit on Hard and am currently stuck on the Intercept Surkov mission in Moscow. Went there as my first destination (so it may be an issue that I'm too underlevel) but honestly the protect quest portion of that mission is stupid with how bad the companion AI is as well as how weak they are. The mission can literally end in fifteen seconds.
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