But before that, no chapter this week, as predicted. Moving on.
I’m not at home, so I can’t grab anymore screenshots, so… wait, I think I still have one I haven’t posted…
…Yeah. Ok. Moving on again. Before it kills me.
So, remember back when I was discussing quest levels in Horizon: Zero Dawn? I mentioned how the suggested levels for the quests, and levels in general, didn’t really mean anything in that game. Damage was determined by the type of weapon, and how it was modified; while leveling up did increase your hitcpoints, it was fairly easy in the early game to not get attacked at all, making the increase fairly meaningless. You also got one skill point per level, but it wasn’t exactly game-changing — especially since you could also receive skill points for completing quests and hunting grounds. I guess what I’m saying is, depending on how you play the game, you could take on quests well before the suggested level, and be just fine. Similar for fighting machines: if you know the method to fight them, you can take them on whenever you want.
I bring that up now, in order to contrast it with Nier:Automata, which kind of has the opposite. When you receive a side quest in Nier, there is no indication of what an appropriate level to accomplish them. Case in point: there is a quest where you have to protect a parade of peaceful machine lifeforms from hostile machine lifeforms. (Don’t ask.) Now, the normal enemies in the area are currently around level 20, as is my character. But the enemies that spawn to attack the parade are level 35.
Now, it is completely possible to defeat machines well above your own level. Depending on the machine, it might even be simple. But it is difficult to do so quickly, so in a situation like this particular quest, it becomes hard to win. Fortunately, you can repeat the quest until you succeed, but still. It would be nice to have some idea of what to expect from the quest, so I could plan efficiently.
I suspect this is a deliberate design decision, given the tone of the game; there are a lot of systems that are deliberately inefficient, and make things… not so much harder, as annoying. But we’ll see where it goes, eh?
By the by, Horizon is going to be my gold standard for comparisons to other games for the time being, so yeah. Just quick like, let’s talk about my new Switch games.
Breath of the Wild… as expected, it’s excellent. Very much an open world game, albeit with slightly more reason to follow the main quest line than Horizon had, since many abilities will only be unlocked by following the main quest a certain distance. The camera function, for example. Well, I’ve got the Sensor+ now, giving me a way to finish collection quests, although I can’t use the phrase “quickly”… well, never mind.
I’d say the one thing that bugs me in BotW, which I think Horizon did well, is bow combat. It’s kind of an obvious thing, since the bow was the main weapon in Horizon, but the controls made a sort of intuitive sense: hold down one trigger to raise your bow and begin to aim, hold down the other trigger to draw back the bow, and release that trigger to let the arrow fly. Here’s the main point: if you release the ‘aim’ trigger, even while holding the arrow fully drawn, Aloy will put down the bow without firing.
On the other hand, BotW has you draw your bow, aim, and pull back the string all by holding a single trigger, and you fire by releasing that same trigger. On the face of it, it seems more streamlined, which befits a game where you have so many options, but… to cancel a shot without firing, you have to press the B button. It’s the same button to put away your melee weapon, or cancel anything really, but… it really doesn’t feel natural like Horizon’s control scheme did. Chalk it up as a personal preference thing, or that Aloy is simply a better archer than Link is. (In exchange, her melee abilities are fairly crap. (Except stealth kills.) Take that for what it’s worth. 😉 )
Setting aside Zelda, Super Mario Odyssey. It doesn’t really compare to Horizon at all, though… except that both are very fun. So whatever. It’s fun. Let’s not overthink it. 😉
In fact… I think I’ll go play it now. Later, everyone! 😀