Zero Punctuation: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

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^Indeed. I kept dying in the ballista section like everyone else. Died like 5 times. I took out the manual, read 2 pages: the combat section and the signs sections and afterwards it was a walk in the park. I would say it became TOO EASY after realizing how powerful QUEN is. I had to bump it up to hard instead.

And I mean, sorry Yahtzee, I usually laugh off your silly complaints, but complaining that the IGNI sign is not called fireball instead is dumb. Open your journal or read the tooltip that appears when you use it and you know exactly how each magic works.

Is really expecting people to read the journal in an RPG too much? Hasn't Yahtzee himself not complained about how many games are dumb now because they play it safe and basically have a big win button? I'm sorry, I know we are not supposed to take him that seriously but many of his complaints are simply ridiculous.

Yeah, it not so much hand holding as needing some hint of where to go with some of the stuff would be nice (took me forever to work out the mutations go on your skills, since the game only tells you where you can't use things) even just a link to the PDF manual on the launcher would be nice.

These criticisms are not unfounded or unfair, it's not so much a learning curve as an 800 ft escarpment that the game waves at you from the top of.

Yahtzee lost his shine for me sadly :(

Potion before, not during combat makes you think before charging into a fight. Not being able to just hack and slash makes you actually use some tactics. Things not being explained isn't true, as there are tutorial popups and you can read them in your journal too.

Imo, the inventory is too complicated yes. And the signs should be more clear on what they do. Moving around still feels a bit sluggish like in the witcher 1, but it is improved a little. Being thrown into a mass fight was a bit overwhelming at the start. But combat actually got easier in a way. You don't need to time your clicks any more and can just bash RMB or LMB.

Basically it comes down to this: Gamers, especially console gamers are used to games being easy these days, with only a fake feel of difficulty. When a game is actually hard, and you actually need to read the manual a little bit to know some basics, they wine that it's too hard and tedious.

Recently I've learnt that there are two theories about gaming - one that focus on gameplay while treating story as an extra to help player to get around the game, and the second when it's just to happen that you have to press buttons to get your so important story.
Witcher focus on story in similar way to Final Fantasy does... guess why Yathzee didn't like it then ;)
I can't be bother neighter to play a game just to find out the ending or any plot - there are guys that will spoil it for you in 3 or 5 minutes on YouTube saving you the nightmarish experiance of playing a horrible game XD

To be really honest it's not even problem with focusing on a story - it's just that it's soo much based on a book that it doesn't translate into a game. Gerald drinks before battle because he does so in the book, but it's a irrelevant this to the story there, so next time I'd suggest to leave the whole alchemy mechanics (we didn't need to know or remember what he drinks for what monster) and maybe focus more gameplay on sex which was so much more interesting in the book XD
Less cut-scenes and more gameplay for stories XD

Khushal:

Imp Emissary:

Actually, I can't remember who (Yahtzee himself or someone else), but I think it's suppose to be taken as a critique, and not a review.

That's the thing.

Yahtzee himself has said that these are not reviews, but critiques.

The only problem is that every time he says that, he is trying to make a point about something specific...

If you look at the OP it says:

''This week Yahtzee reviews...''

I think he needs to decide for himself what he want's to do and then stick to it instead of shifting between the 2 definitions whenever it pleases him.
It does actually make a significant difference.

True. It is different, and he sometimes dose shift. However, knowing Yahtzee, he probably dose it on purpose just to confuse people, and piss some people off. I don't think he'll stop doing it until people stop talking about the whole thing.

:) But a least it all leads fun conversations. ;)

P.S. Also, I miss when the OP use to say a funny comment instead. Like the Extra Punctuation still do.

Wolcik:
Recently I've learnt that there are two theories about gaming - one that focus on gameplay while treating story as an extra to help player to get around the game, and the second when it's just to happen that you have to press buttons to get your so important story.
Witcher focus on story in similar way to Final Fantasy does... guess why Yathzee didn't like it then ;)
I can't be bother neighter to play a game just to find out the ending or any plot - there are guys that will spoil it for you in 3 or 5 minutes on YouTube saving you the nightmarish experiance of playing a horrible game XD

To be really honest it's not even problem with focusing on a story - it's just that it's soo much based on a book that it doesn't translate into a game. Gerald drinks before battle because he does so in the book, but it's a irrelevant this to the story there, so next time I'd suggest to leave the whole alchemy mechanics (we didn't need to know or remember what he drinks for what monster) and maybe focus more gameplay on sex which was so much more interesting in the book XD
Less cut-scenes and more gameplay for stories XD

The alchemy system is one of the main things I rather like about the game. I liked it a lot in the first one, and more in the second though it does need some stream lining. Like the ability to make more than 1 with out having ingredients reset to the default ones each time. After all I'm trying to use up all my extra Nekker parts.

Feriluce:

No..no it doesn't. I have yet to see a single game that tells you "Press buttan x to skip cutscene". There is a limited amount of buttons you'd expect to skip a cutscene, namely space, esc, enter and the mouse buttons. Thats about 5 buttons to go through. Apparantly thats too much for the console crowd to handle though.

Witcher 2 does, actually - if you hit a button other than right click to skip a cutscene, it pops up a little "right click: skip cutscene" sign in the right-hand part of your screen. This may have been added in in one of the patches, though, which would explain why Yahtzee didn't see it.

Mariusmssj:
This is not a review, if the reviewer can't even bother to play the game why did he even put this up?
And at the end it all just came down to mocking the pc gaming.

No, it's not a review - Yahtzee's more of a critic. And his entire point was that the game's (often pointless) dense-ness makes it very hard to approach.

Imp Emissary:
Also, NO, I don't think the game is bad. However, what Yahtzee says about it is mostly true, and he isn't the only (or even first) person to talk about it. The game could be better, but that doesn't make it a bad game.

Calm down everyone. Its all for fun. :)

^This. I'm playing the game now and so far I think it's probably one of the best I've played, period. But, I enjoyed this review and think a lot of the criticism we're seeing here is absolutely correct - the interface is needlessly complex, the difficulty curve is incredibly harsh (he should just count his lucky stars he didn't get to Letho), and the combat system, while one of the best in terms of flexibility and tactics, is also incredibly clunky, and so on. And anyone who rages at Yathzee for pointing out the flaws in what they like needs to work on their pattern recognition.

The one criticism I don't get is the potion thing. You're not going to be able to drink a potion in the middle of a fight, because that would leave you wide open. The planning ahead is not that ridiculous, given that basically every big fight with only a few exceptions at the very least lets you know you're fighting something, and more often than not lets you take your sweet time researching exactly what that something is. Really, how hard is it to say "gee, I'm fighting a giant bug, which my research tells me is poisonous. Maybe I should take a potion for health regen, a potion to protect me from poison, and a coat my blade in the oil insects are weak to." Even if you have no idea what you're fighting, you can really never go wrong with health regen :)

Yeah... so criticisms can be summed up as, what, a bad tutorial? The game really does provide the necessary abilities to survive, even without some of the easy-mode leveling upgrades. It doesn't explicitly state how to do every little thing (or anything, I suppose), but five minutes of experimentation reveals how to not die at this game.

Hell, I'll sum it up in two words: Quen Sign. If you have trouble in combat, use that. When they knock it off of you, recast it. Bam.

I get it that we like to have detailed tutorials to ease us into the world and how to survive, but does that have to make people incapable of figuring anything out on their own? The combat is *not* hard. It sucks that they don't tell you how to succeed, but it's also not very hard to figure out.

Jandau:
Worst ZP in a while. Can essentially be summed up as "I think PC gamers suck and I don't posses basic cognitive functions or an atention span longer than 5 seconds". I know ZP isn't supposed to be taken seriously, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way...

Mabey you dont feel the same way but I personally have a problem with games that try to make themselves needlessly complicated. Especially to those who are new to the series and it doesnt even try to explain anything properly. You should not have to read a short novel just so you can understand how a game works.

Danial:
Fact, Neither PC gaming nor Console is better, if you genuinely believe that you are a better human being than someone who uses a differing system than you... then... wow...

PS funny review.

I found a flaw in your arguement. It should be "if you genuinely believe that you are a better human being than someone BECAUSE they use a different system. Otherwise I could say that I am a better person then all the elitest PC assholes and foaming at the mouth 360 fanboys because I dont care what system people game on because it is not important.

Lol! Yahtzee seems very pissed at this.

Oh and FYI, the kayran cutscene can be skipped aka right mouse button. :)

EDIT: People, it's Yahtzee. The blatant pessimism really shouldn't get into you by now.

Oh and yes.. PSN hackers = African warlords.. How have I not seen this?!

synobal:

solidstatemind:
I'm surprised nobody has commented: Witcher 2 is coming to Xbox 360 at least, so place the PC snobbery aside.

My major complaint with the game was the total lack of direction-- I dunno, maybe the manual covers a lot of that, but since I got the Steam edition, the manual wasn't readily available. That, plus the difficulty curve seems absurdly uneven, particularly for a game where you can't set the difficult (I don't think).

Funny ZP tho. Best one in a while, IMHO. Particularly loved the finishing line.

Manual wasn't readily available? Every page in the steam store has a link to see the game manual and if you right click a game in your library there is typically an option to view the manual. That said I do feel your pain of having bought it on steam, I don't imagine you signed up for 9 gig patches when you bought it. I hope that's fixed soon.

Oh and you can set the difficulty at any time and it even asks you at the beginning explaining the differences between each of the settings.

Yeah you CAN read the manual, but why in this day in age should you have to. There are lots of games that do a fine (sometimes amazing) job at teaching you how to play the game through game play itself. Also I think he was saying it was hard because the game was poorly teaching him how to play.

That all said, most people say once you die a WHOLE lot and start to get it, then the game gets really fun, and I'm ok with that.

Yahtzee's complaints are legit - bad tutorial, difficulty curve and interface. Yet those things have been mentioned in every other review and they don't stop the game from being one the best RPGs in years.

Also, i'm pretty sure his experience with the game is blown out of proportion for comedic value. Somebody who's been playing on various platforms, including PC, for 20+ years wouldn't have THAT much of a difficult time finding his way around an RPG interface, or dealing with combat.

And hell, i'm not being payed to play video games all day and i have a PC that runs this on Ultra.

Just goes to show that Zero Punctuation is a comedy skit and not a review.

So... It was very funny, but... Really once again you couldn't spend more than few hours playing game because you didn't want to read manual? You didn't even mention big feature of the game which is decisions... I'm a bit dissapointed. It was unprofesional...

Anyhow, it made me laugh so i will give a B- .

Oh and making fun of gamers just because, at the end was... stupid.

I find it quite sad that Yahtzee gives up so easily. So he doesn't like the game because it doesn't hold his hand? Oh lawd. I admit that first boss fight was challenging, but it is far from impossible. Lots of gamers have just become extremely inept at any challenges after the market has been flooded with so many games that even a monkey can play.

mrhateful:

The Ultimate 2:
This is precisely why I'm a console gamer, console games don't take all day and I don't have to reduce the graphics to 1st grader quality to actually play. Good review Yahtzee you faustian king amongst us mere mortal squishies. Just remember to have fun with Brink He he he.

Nope console games comes pre-factored at lowest grade quality.

It's more that consoles ship out with relatively good hardware...from the year they ship.
As time goes on they eventually become "Lowest Grade Quality" when compared to what PCs are capable of now. And since pretty much every game is made on or using PCs...yeah. Console games start to show their age after a couple of years, when PCs keep doing their thang. Then the new consoles come out and it all starts again.

But I'm not sure how we're going to keep this cycle up with the next generation of consoles or maybe the one after. I mean have you seen how fucking powerful some of these PC components are? And how much they can cost, individually? I just cannot imagine a next-gen console being made with high-quality modern parts and still being sold at a price that makes a profit without being too expensive.

Enjoyed the episode but was a little sad - the Witcher 2's prologue was undoubtedly too hard and didn't give enough tuition, but once you got past that it was a great game with some niggles. I'm a bit disappointed Yahtzee got entirely distracted by the initial flaws and didn't go any further into the experience. The decision making and the locations were done better than any recent RPG I can think of and I found myself getting completely immersed in it.

Exterminas:
Oh well, to a lot of people figuring out how to play a game is part of the fun.
That is why I stopped playing Dwarf Fortress once I got to know all the key bindings.

I guess it is just a different approach to what makes a game challenging.

This is the same demographic that likes getting games thatt dont work and trying to rig the .ini files to get the game working in the first place. Its almost a meta game. Be that guy to get props on a forum for making the game actually work....

Doesnt sound fun for me , but I appreciate the poeple who do it!

Funny review, also liked the mention of game of thrones ;D

The Dicksucking factory. Marvellous.

One more thing about roleplaying as a Geralt:
You might think that having potions and sword skill and magic is so people can customise their experiance, but if that so it's untrue to the book where Geralt had to use all he could to do his job. I'll say one more thing - this fantastic story that I wanted to play because I loved the book so much was also the reason why I couldn't do it - amnesia and then screwing around with perfectly connected plot for the book? And especially when we could have play as Geralt from before or after the events of this book. It's so much like a StarWars game - you can play them if you'd like to be a jedi for a while, but don't make me in any way connect the prequals to the good episodes - or even worse make my action in game part ot that process.
I know that Witcher has some very attractive asspects and I argue with my friends about them all the time, but when they spent 200 hours in that game I consider that time wasted :P

Hmmm, sounds about as dull as the first game.
And incidentally I'm not a console gamer or a PC gamer, I'll play games on anything that plays games.

esliang:
I'm really not sure how seriously to take this review...Yahtzee's pretty insightful but can this game really be that tedious? I've always kind of wanted to try it.

Nope, it is quite hard, and it doesn't have any sort of hand-holding tutorial and sort of expects you to notice you have a bunch of abilities and start the game with bombs and traps and therefore figure out that you should, you know, use them without being prompted, but there's an answer for pretty much all the problems people seem to have with it: There is a setting labeled "Easy".

Which is, shockingly enough, easy - you'll still die quite a lot if you approach the game like a typical hack-and-slash, but you'll generally be able to live through one or two mistakes. A lot of which arise because the combat system doesn't work like people think it does - you can actually change directions mid-roll when evading, and the targeting is based on where you have the mouse pointed at the time, not by pressing a direction button and clicking. Once you've figured that out combat starts to flow in a way very reminiscent of Batman: Arkham Asylum, with Geralt smoothly transitioning from one foe to the next while evading attacks.

And of course there are plants and materials practically everywhere, which you can pick up and then make tons of potions and bombs. Yahtzee's complaints about the overlong "drinking potions" animation are actually spot on, and you can't use them unless you enter "meditation mode" first (there aren't quite as many steps as he suggests it takes though, that was comedic exaggeration), but the average player will have acquired so many ingredients (with plant parts being weightless so there's no reason not to pick every mushroom or flower you see) that there's no reason you should ever need to walk out of town without say... Swallow and Rook up (plus maybe a Tawny Owl). There are a lot of potion recipes and a bunch of them involve tradeoffs and can be combined in novel ways, but in general you can't really go wrong with vitality regeneration, extra damage, and faster stamina regeneration (all with no penalties).

Also, bombs - you can make tons of those things and they do AoE, and with bombs like Samum there's a chance to stun, in addition to the straight damage they deal. Stunning is great because attacks against a stunned opponent trigger an insta-kill animation that also renders Geralt invincible while it's playing, which makes the Aard sign far more useful than the knockdown and minor damage it always does would suggest. Traps can also be quite useful and come in a similarly bewildering variety of flavors, and throwing daggers do ridiculous amounts of damage - so much so that you can defeat the game's final (possible) opponent in seconds simply by tossing those at him (which is why players looking for a challenge are advised not to, heh). A lot of games teach or otherwise encourage us to hoard our inventories or avoid "cheap" tactics, but The Witcher 2 is a game that gives you this varied toolbox and expects you to actually use it; wading into a hoard of enemies and thinking you'll be able to simply hack and slash your way to victory is a sure-fire trip to the Game Over screen.

As for the complaint about the first major boss, you can skip all the cutscenes, generally simply by left clicking or pressing Space - the longer ones bring up a small "Press Right Mouse Button to skip" prompt if you do that though; right-clicking at that point then skips the cutscene like normal. If you didn't mean to click through the cutscene (and I quite frequently click the mouse accidentally while watching cutscenes), the on-screen prompt goes away after a few seconds and you don't have to reload to watch a cutscene you've accidentally skipped through, so I like that they make you "confirm" it on the longer and more elaborate scenes. Yahtzee must have either missed that prompt or chose to claim there's a 5-minute (not true) unskippable cutscene (also not true) because that sounds funnier than the reality (very true).

If you've been interested in the game I would certainly not let this critique dissuade you from playing it - a lot of people were turned off of the first one thanks to Yahtzee likening it to a single-player MMORPG only to learn that he was full of it when someone else actually convinced them to sit down and play it. Yahtzee didn't really harp on any faults that all the various review sites heaping glowing praise on the game didn't already point out in their own very favorable reviews, so it's not like everyone else is willfully overlooking those points and Mr. Sarcastic fast-talking British fellow is the only one telling it like is: he just doesn't like the game, while quite a lot of other people do.

Edit: Enhancements are actually extremely easy to figure out - the game will highlight any of the various slots (hands, feet, legs, armor, steel sword, silver sword, trophy, and a row for "pockets") when you have an item in your inventory that applies to those slots highlighted - to use enhancements you simply drag and drop them onto the armor/weapon you want to enhance (weapons and armor that can be enhanced have little empty circles indicated enhancement slots that fill up when you apply them), then say yes when it asks if you really want to do that.

Mutagens though could have been designed better - you have to be in the character progression screen and have an ability with a mutator slot highlighted before the context option to apply a mutagen appears, and since not every ability on the character screen has those slots it isn't readily apparent that you even have that option at first. Also the button only appears while the mouse is over the icon for the upgradable skill, but they put the button along the bottom side of the screen so you can't actually click it with the mouse, and will have to push the key-binding that it indicates (it defaults to Enter). I'm hoping that and a few other interface niggles (like no "junk" tab despite a junk category of inventory items, retaining useless quest items after things like the doors they unlocked are long behind you, and the absurdly slow scroll rate for recipes and crafting diagrams that makes you wait for ages to see what ingredients a recipe/diagram you don't own will require[1]) will be patched out like some of the other things they've already addressed (among them the difficulty of the prologue, supposedly they've made it easier).

canadamus_prime:
Hmmm, sounds about as dull as the first game.
And incidentally I'm not a console gamer or a PC gamer, I'll play games on anything that plays games.

Nothing could be further from the truth - obviously I was someone who actually liked the first game, so I wouldn't have called it dull to begin with, but there were definitely slower sections and parts that dragged on a bit. I could certainly understand how people approaching it with a different mindset than mine would find the whole thing tedious though.

But the sequel "dull"? Yeah, that's a load of bollocks. You may still end up not liking it, but it won't be because the game is dull - compared to the original it is ridiculously fast-paced and engaging (it's about par for the course in terms of other action RPGs); just about everything apart from the characters and setting has changed, mechanically it's an entirely different game. Yahtzee just doesn't ever really bother mentioning that fact in this pitiful attempt at a review (but extremely successful attempt at a comedy video, it was quite funny if not particularly informative).

[1] If you do have a diagram it adds an entry in the journal under the crafting tab, which displays all the relevant info on one screen, so at least it's only really aggravating while you're shopping.

Well, i think it's fair to say that he's just completely incompetent as a gamer. If you can't figure out how to use potions, you're lost.

How hard is it to click on the name of a potion? How?

Kahunaburger:

Feriluce:

No..no it doesn't. I have yet to see a single game that tells you "Press buttan x to skip cutscene". There is a limited amount of buttons you'd expect to skip a cutscene, namely space, esc, enter and the mouse buttons. Thats about 5 buttons to go through. Apparantly thats too much for the console crowd to handle though.

Witcher 2 does, actually - if you hit a button other than right click to skip a cutscene, it pops up a little "right click: skip cutscene" sign in the right-hand part of your screen. This may have been added in in one of the patches, though, which would explain why Yahtzee didn't see it.

Mariusmssj:
This is not a review, if the reviewer can't even bother to play the game why did he even put this up?
And at the end it all just came down to mocking the pc gaming.

No, it's not a review - Yahtzee's more of a critic. And his entire point was that the game's (often pointless) dense-ness makes it very hard to approach.

Imp Emissary:
Also, NO, I don't think the game is bad. However, what Yahtzee says about it is mostly true, and he isn't the only (or even first) person to talk about it. The game could be better, but that doesn't make it a bad game.

Calm down everyone. Its all for fun. :)

^This. I'm playing the game now and so far I think it's probably one of the best I've played, period. But, I enjoyed this review and think a lot of the criticism we're seeing here is absolutely correct - the interface is needlessly complex, the difficulty curve is incredibly harsh (he should just count his lucky stars he didn't get to Letho), and the combat system, while one of the best in terms of flexibility and tactics, is also incredibly clunky, and so on. And anyone who rages at Yathzee for pointing out the flaws in what they like needs to work on their pattern recognition.

The one criticism I don't get is the potion thing. You're not going to be able to drink a potion in the middle of a fight, because that would leave you wide open. The planning ahead is not that ridiculous, given that basically every big fight with only a few exceptions at the very least lets you know you're fighting something, and more often than not lets you take your sweet time researching exactly what that something is. Really, how hard is it to say "gee, I'm fighting a giant bug, which my research tells me is poisonous. Maybe I should take a potion for health regen, a potion to protect me from poison, and a coat my blade in the oil insects are weak to." Even if you have no idea what you're fighting, you can really never go wrong with health regen :)

About the Potion thing. I kind of get why he would be a bit mad, but like Yahtzee said once himself; "I exaggerate every little grip for comic effect...". However, since almost all other times in games when you take a potion its just a quick swig from some glass, I get how it can be a bit annoying to have to do it out of battle, but they did give good reasons
why(mechanical and story). Plus you and Yahtzee make good points about what to do too. You can just use health regen if you don't know whats coming, or you can save game, find out, and go back to prepare.

I do hope they bring it to the consoles. It looks pretty good. >_< I hate having to read manuals though. Ah well. You get what you pay and work for, right?

Truly loved that PC bit at the start, I also love how people are "getting rubbed the wrong way" by it..

Great review too I personally think..

Honestly, Yahtzee should stick with saints row. Otherwise, he might have to apply his brains.

Imp Emissary:

Yeah you CAN read the manual, but why in this day in age should you have to.

And this, dear friend, is precisely the problem with this review and with gamers in general.

Maybe it's just the tinting on my nostalgia glasses, but I tend to find that a good manual explaining how the game works is a hell of a lot better way to play a game than having a slow short-bus section of the game at the start where controls are explained to you one at a time, like you just picked up a controller for the first time. We're big kids now (mostly) and there was nothing wrong with reading a little bit if it meant skipping the slow tutorial mode, so why the heck do games insist on dumbing themselves down for people?

Danial:
God this will end well, will be full of PC nuts getting mad for no reason, Console nuts getting smug for no reason and the rest of humanity wishing people cared about actual important things with the same passion people seem to care about what platform you play use to conduct your hobby.

Fact, Neither PC gaming nor Console is better, if you genuinely believe that you are a better human being than someone who uses a differing system than you... then... wow...

PS funny review.

I gathered up every manner of console and computer I could find and taped them all together so that I could be the best human being of all.

gellert1984:
Yahtzee's consistancy sucks. He bitches about games that hold your hand, then bitches about games that don't, complains about games that are so oversimplified a monkey could play them but if you need more buttons than are available on a joypad he throws his toys out the pram...

Not hypocrisy, if that's what you're getting at. There's a sweet spot between all that.

Vrud:

I gathered up every manner of console and computer I could find and taped them all together so that I could be the best person of all.

That would contain a virtual boy and a Philips CDI, which makes you worse than Hitler.

"Twenty Minutes. Out front. Pufferfish."

/very_old_in_joke

Just went to 4chan /v/, and they are butthurt about the review;which caused me to laugh (Even though /v/ is always butthurt about something).

It took me all of a few minutes to get the interface down and I didn't have that much trouble figuring out which potions were useful and when to be prepared for an ambush. Also, the dodging always worked for me after a little practice. I don't know, maybe I play too many video games, maybe Yahtzee sucks at games. I don't know, I've not seen him play.

You want a game with a truly obtuse interface and lack of an obvious sense of direction? Play an Ultima game. Still fun, but damn.

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