Zero Punctuation: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

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CriticKitten:

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?

I've had a few games where I had to make a special save just so I wouldn't have to start at the tutorial each time I made a new game. Sometimes the tutorial is just duh that I can't even believe they have it, or it's game breaking like why is my character who is a bad ass suddenly being told how to use basic equipment.

So, he complained before than more games hold your hand and didn't go the Dead Rising 2 route to let you figure out things for yourself, and now he is complaining because Witcher 2 does exactly that?

Color me confused...

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.

that's slander if i've ever heard it. but honestly? yes, a game that refuses to help the player in any way is bad, and if the reviewer is not having fun with a game of COURSE it's not going to get a stellar review.

Yeah, it's funny how Yahtzee brought up how a lot of RPG games tend to be on the dark side, with everyone being rude toward one another and plenty of racists against other beings who aren't human. Anyways loved this review Yahtzee, grand job as always. A shame that the game doesn't seem fun.. I wish it would had because someday seeing you play a game and having the fun of your life will be the greatest joy to us all no sarcasm. Well we did get some of that when you played Minecraft and Duke Nukem but yeah besides that.

I never planned on getting it anyways, so I guess there's no problem. Funny review as usual.
Also, I wonder if Yahtzee's actually going to review Duke Nukem Forever, considering how he already did before it existed and whatnot.

Well, it was funny, but every complaint leveled at the game in this review left me scratching my head. Never played the Witcher and I doubt I'll play 2, but that's for the same reason I dislike the Fable series. If I want a bland fantasy world, I've got D&D.
Honestly, if anything this game sounds a little too easy, from this description.

...I'm just glad we don't have dick-sucking factories on this side of the pond.

I am wondering.. how many fanboys that will defend this trite game to death happens to be from... let's say Poland.

* FLAMESHIELD ENGAGE *

Azaraxzealot:

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.

that's slander if i've ever heard it. but honestly? yes, a game that refuses to help the player in any way is bad, and if the reviewer is not having fun with a game of COURSE it's not going to get a stellar review.

Did I get miss quoted or something, as far as I can see my comment was on graphics not on how the game should hand hold you?..

Yahtzee you really are a tosspot sometimes, but then I knew what to expect from you anyway after your witcher review... Have have to ask this though, as you so obviously despise everything that makes a PC game a PC game, Why do you bother reviewing PC games?

Reviewers ought to stick to platforms and genre that they like, otherwise we end up being subjected to drivel like this. (though admittedly funny drivel, as always)

winter2:
I am wondering.. how many fanboys that will defend this trite game to death happens to be from... let's say Poland.

* FLAMESHIELD ENGAGE *

Yes because only people from Poland likes a good RPG... duh..

(btw I am from Denmark)

I will continue to be a PC elitist, even in the face of such logic and reason. One cannot simply disregard upbringing.

CriticKitten:

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?

Why must we only have either a tutorial that treats us like fools or no help(in game) at all?!

I don't want a hand holding like I'm 5, but being slapped awake, given a sarp object, and put in a pit with angry swordsmen, and told to get to it isn't that much better.

Games can use themselfs very well to teach the player. They have done so before in interesting ways. Look at Boishock, Half Life, Portal, and more. You can have a tutorial without making the player feel like a kid.

I don't like how we are all told tutorials have to be a choice between either have the option of drowning, or being set on fire.

Worgen:
Im surprised he didnt figure out how to skip cinematics, I think its like space bar then right click, or just right click twice, its not hard

Do they explain these controls to you? if not, then complaining that yathzee wasn't psychic enough to know about these needlessly convoluted controls (why not just space-bar or escape or something common) would be silly.

Continuity:
Yahtzee you really are a tosspot sometimes, but then I knew what to expect from you anyway after your witcher review... Have have to ask this though, as you so obviously despise everything that makes a PC game a PC game, Why do you bother reviewing PC games?

Reviewers ought to stick to platforms and genre that they like, otherwise we end up being subjected to drivel like this. (though admittedly funny drivel, as always)

What makes a game an PC game? just wondering, as it's hard to hate something so incredibly vague and interchangeable.

winter2:
I am wondering.. how many fanboys that will defend this trite game to death happens to be from... let's say Poland.

* FLAMESHIELD ENGAGE *

*Deploys fire hose of RPG justice*

SPLASH!

mrhateful:

Azaraxzealot:

mrhateful:

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

that's slander if i've ever heard it. but honestly? yes, a game that refuses to help the player in any way is bad, and if the reviewer is not having fun with a game of COURSE it's not going to get a stellar review.

Did I get miss quoted or something, as far as I can see my comment was on graphics not on how the game should hand hold you?..

either way, it's slander against those who choose not to play games on a PC. so please regulate such comments in the future.

anyways, to those who are truly trying to say Yahtzee is evil because he didn't worship this game as the second coming of christ, you should remember that when someone reviews a game, they try to see if they are having fun or not, obviously he was not having fun, therefore he gave the game a bad review.

an interesting philosophy i heard once is "If you CAN'T finish a game, you're playing it wrong, if you WON'T finish a game, then it's a bad game."

I want to reiterate something Yahtzee though I love the humor in this review. I wish you would have played it to the end. As I think you went into the game hating it and thus not giving it a proper chance to impress you.

Now here is my own personal theory:

Yahtzee plays games all the time as it is his job so he no longer plays them for pleasure there-for the will to pull tough times is not there anymore, meaning its easier to take the quick way out and just say it was too hard or you didn't like the controls. Now this is nothing against Yahtzee as his reviews will still be good but they just won't have soul in it like his previous reviews had.

I don't have a preference on platform and I would not call myself a PC gamer, but I really loved the Witcher 2. I thought it was enjoyable begining to end and had a good story, though it did have its share of bugs. I'll definately be giving it another play through in the future.

I accept that it is quite hard to pick up at first as I have heard so many say the same, but in all honesty, I thought it worked quite well and didn't see any major issues my self with the combat tutorials other than they wern't on the screen for very long but if you missed one they are all viewable on the journal screen.

In all, I can see and understand all the critisisms the game has received, but I thought it was terrific anyway.

Danial:

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.

Oh. .___.

Hyper-space:

Worgen:
Im surprised he didnt figure out how to skip cinematics, I think its like space bar then right click, or just right click twice, its not hard

Do they explain these controls to you? if not, then complaining that yathzee wasn't psychic enough to know about these needlessly convoluted controls (why not just space-bar or escape or something common) would be silly.

well considering that when you press a button during a cinematic it gives you a skip prompt in the lower corner of the screen I would have thought it was obvious

MelasZepheos:
I actually defend this attitude to reviewing games (not finishing the whole thing) because it perhaps shows better what sort of game you're playing.

A good game will keep you playing to the end.

A bad game will not.

If someone criticised say Friends or Chuck or My Little Pony or some tv series they'd be allowed to after watching only a few episodes. The whole point of watching those few episodes is to give you an idea of whether you will like the series and if it is engaging enough to keep your attention until the end, but suddenly when it comes to videogames for some reason you have to play the whole thing to have a valid opinion? Sounds like more than a few people are just butthurt because their pet franchise just got insulted.

Agreed. As long as the reviewer is honest about how long he or she played (like Yahtzee always is) then I don't see a problem. There are always going to be fans that go "THE FUN PARTS COME LATER YOU NEED TO KEEP PLAYING!" but I still say nuts to that. The non-fun part is supposed to be having to install it and download patches. Once I actually launch the game, it should be fun times from thereon out. And if it's not, it's not as good a game as one that is fun as soon as you start playing. And if it's so not-fun at the start that I can't bring myself to keep playing it, I consider it a bad game.

Worgen:
Im surprised he didnt figure out how to skip cinematics, I think its like space bar then right click, or just right click twice, its not hard

Hyper-space:

Do they explain these controls to you? if not, then complaining that yathzee wasn't psychic enough to know about these needlessly convoluted controls (why not just space-bar or escape or something common) would be silly.

The most lol-tastic thing about the guy you quoted, is the control is evidently so convoluted even he cannot remember what it is: 'this, or that, or, er something else. Sheesh it isn't hard!'

If you can't remember what the key press combination is to skip a cut scene, changes are, its a freaking stupid combination.

Mr. Omega:
snip

Nice trolling bro.

winter2:
I am wondering.. how many fanboys that will defend this trite game to death happens to be from... let's say Poland.

* FLAMESHIELD ENGAGE *

Propably a lot... But consider this. In the RPG community game is god tier, and game fanbase is not only from the devs country. There is a reason for that.
Yahtzee didn't liked it... sad... But i always love how he make fun of PC glorious master race (which propably I'm). And i must tell you... i loved this game and i was waiting for him to bash it. This game have a lot of small issues which you can make fun of and i knew it would be fun. The only problem i have with this review is that some points are made up (some people already pointed them out), and that once again he didn't play full game.

loc978:
Never played the Witcher and I doubt I'll play 2, but that's for the same reason I dislike the Fable series. If I want a bland fantasy world, I've got D&D.

Witcher 2 is closer to Warhammer than to D&D. Had to mention that one...

Caramel Frappe:
snip

Sweet Avatar

Maybe one of these days Yahtzee will notice that Brink doesn't run poorly on his computer because it was "poorly optimized," but because computers are not consoles. Just because you have "a computer" does not mean it's identical to everyone else's. Especially if you bought it when the X360 came out.

Wow, I truly couldn't have said it better myself. Bravo, Yahtzee, Bravo!

In short: I hate "The Witcher 2". I thought the first one was okay, but a couple of very serious drawbacks kept me from diving into it. Drawback number one was an absolutely dreadful translation. Pretty self-explanatory, drawback number two then: I wanted to play a full mage, but it didn't unlock all the spells from the beginning.

"The Witcher 2" though is just dreadful through and through. The interface is awful. Tell me: who's bright idea was it to replace the standard cell inventory with that mess this game has? Who's brilliant plan was it to make one scroll through the spell/item list every time one had to change spells and/or items, then press another key to activate it, when there are only five spells and five off-hand item slots? Why not just map all that rubbish onto the numeric keys?

And if that wasn't bad enough: the combat is even worse. Why does Gerald roll around like a douchebag, instead of dodging like a sane person would? He was jumping over the heads of his foes in the original, why can't he do that here, or at least dodge properly, dammit? Why does every attack take so long to animate? Why does Gerald have to jump a mile onto an enemy you had no intention of attacking? Yeah, in case you didn't get it: targeting is a mess too. Offensive spells, especially the fireball thing, don't do jack at the beginning either. The only really useful spell at first is the shield thingie, which I am told breaks the game later on, so duh.

The only good thing about this game is its graphics: I'm sure you've all seen the footage on youtube or wherever, so it needs no introduction. Still, not all is well even there: animation sucks plasma balls. Another good thing might be the story and quests, but I never got that far into the game to judge and the quests I did weren't that interesting, plus the reward for performing those was laughable.

Angry Joe said that you had to use everything at your disposal to succeed in that game. That might be the case, but does that fact alone make "The Witcher 2" fun? Not for me, since even the traps take forever to set up and bombs cost a fortune to make. Screw this and screw that game.

Worgen:
well considering that when you press a button during a cinematic it gives you a skip prompt in the lower corner of the screen I would have thought it was obvious

This guy below has a point:

BunnyKillBot:

The most lol-tastic thing about the guy you quoted, is the control is evidently so convoluted even he cannot remember what it is: 'this, or that, or, er something else. Sheesh it isn't hard!'

If you can't remember what the key press combination is to skip a cut scene, changes are, its a freaking stupid combination.

True, i simply see no reason why they should not have used the escape button (or even the space-bar), seeing as its not something you might accidentally press and skip a cut-scene you didn't want to skip and most people know that escape often means skipping something.

But that's exactly the problem with this game, just obtuse-as-shit game mechanics and hardly any explanation (like telling you how to block the exact second the enemy attacks, and not even in the first fight, in the tutorial).

Ok PC exclusive rant out of the way first, where was your rage when Rockstar abandoned PC development? LA Noire was your review just last week, I heard no rant there. And why are you raging over a game that's got a scheduled Xbox 360 release anyway? If even a later release is wrong, where was the rage over AC: Brotherhood when I was sitting at my desk in November telling myself not to watch your review not to spoil the game, when it didn't even have a release date at the time (and came out in March later)? There are countless console exclusives, very few PC ones (where triple A games are concerned anyway). And this isn't even one of them.

Anyway, the review was spot on my experience. The game's control systems and UI are God awful, like "send me a picture of their kitten so I can buy a ticket to punch it every time Geralt hits a mob in front of him when there's a mob at his side and I'm holding the left button" kind of awful. The story's kinda alright, but I wasn't impressed with the deliverance, I guess that's what you get with a translated game (it's decent-ish for a translation I suppose, but that doesn't count for much when we're talking the English localization). The sword question is a good one, I understand monsters being resistant to standard weapons, but how are humans/the rest resistant to silver ones?

Anyway the game on the whole just feels really awful and I agree, just plain not fun. I wanted to play it, I really did, I sat through the bullshit for as long as I could, I came back to it a few times, but it's just not worth my nerves over the crappy combat when there's literally not been a single rewarding moment through several hours of gameplay and everything else was rage-inducing bollox.

Ishiro32:

loc978:
Never played the Witcher and I doubt I'll play 2, but that's for the same reason I dislike the Fable series. If I want a bland fantasy world, I've got D&D.

Witcher 2 is closer to Warhammer than to D&D. Had to mention that one...

...and I feel the same about Warhammer as I do about Fable, the Elder Scrolls, and the Witcher. 40K is fun, but plain ol' Warhammer is just another take on the same Tolkien fantasy world... with more Gods and sillier magic.
That, and I like the D20 system. Most other systems feel dumbed down (with the notable exception of a D10 storytelling system, but White Wolf isn't on trial here).

Wow. Now PC gamers are treated, by the gaming community, the same way all gamers were not too long ago.....

synobal:
I think part of the problem is the use of a laptop. I honestly can't imagine why he was playing a PC game on a laptop anyone who does serious gaming on a PC typically has a dedicated tower to do it on. I've always found Laptops to be inferior for gaming and typically not nearly as effective, given the small size of a keyboard and the whole issue with the heat and the fan's running full on the entire time.

He's stated before he doesn't HAVE a gaming rig to attempt most of this stuff on, the laptop is what he has at the moment.

Though it may be that it's poor (I would say different) design in that it doesn't spoonfeed you this stuff.

I felt the same way about Alpha Protocol and his review. His points are valid, but I found that most of those were valid game design choices as well (for example, checkpoints as opposed to saves cements the idea that you're committing to the path you're leading the character, rather than the "save, try this, reload, try that" pattern gamers love so much).

Haven't played Witcher 2, but I think the tutorial design was a deliberate choice to throw the player into the fire rather than have hi take baby steps. One of my complaints of the first Witcher is that you're fed an opening cut scene that makes our main character awesome, immediately followed by amnesia and supposedly making him "level up" by regaining his memory. What irked me is that he goes from an incredibly cool cinematic to flailing his sword over his head like an idiot.

Incidentally Jim Sterling hated the game on much the same lines, so now we know that Yahtzee and Sterling agree on certain things.

CriticKitten:

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?

There is nothing wrong with read the manual, but there is nothing right about it either. It's just better when a game is designed in such a way that you can just pick up and play. It's weird that people automatically think intuitive = easy, streamline = dumb, tediousness = challenging and complicated = complexity.

ph0b0s123:
Wow. Now PC gamers are treated, by the gaming community, the same way all gamers were not too long ago.....

I'm a PC Gamer, and I approve Yahtzee's review for what it is :)

Azaraxzealot:

an interesting philosophy i heard once is "If you CAN'T finish a game, you're playing it wrong, if you WON'T finish a game, then it's a bad game."

First of by that definition then Yahtzee was playing it wrong. Second people prefer different genres and some genres like RPG, just doesn't fall into the taste of everyone. Yahtzee not liking a hardcore RPG is as surprising as finding out that he needs air to breath.

Also the idea that because you won't finish a game then that is equivalent to being bad, is silly at best and stupid at worst. Lets for instance assume I don't like to play soccer then according to that philosophy then soccer is a "bad" sport. Or in video game terms lets assume I don't like Halo does that make it a bad game. No and anyone claiming that is ball faced lying.

Or to take up another truly great RPG, Baldurs Gate 2 which is probably one of the best games ever made. Yet a lot of people are having a hard time getting into to it because it requires something of the player.

Personally I think that games, you have to work for in order to enjoy is in long term much more enjoyable and repayable, then games that hand hold you through the entire thing.

ImprovizoR:
It's official, Yahtzee sucks at video games. He trashes every video game that he finds to difficult :D

Right its not just because the game was bloody awful then?

ph0b0s123:
Wow. Now PC gamers are treated, by the gaming community, the same way all gamers were not too long ago.....

There's a good reason for that. A greater percentage of PC gamers now were gamers back then as well. We may as well be the new "old guard" of gaming, much as tabletop gamers were at the dawn of video games. It doesn't always hold true, but few of the XBox generation can stomach a game which challenges you without pitting you against another player.

I really think this comes down to perceived poor design and deliberate design choices. The philosophy of throwing the player into the fire and having the player discover certain abilities must have been a choice. Some people seem to like it, it certainly hasn't detracted many gamers from learning how to play this one.

As someone stated in this thread earlier, just because something is a trope, doesn't mean that it MUST be used. The original Witcher broke away from traditional combat and RPG concepts, and it appears that the sequel followed suit by breaking away further (unlike the Mass Effect 2 idea of making something more accessible). I own the original myself, and I really could not get into it due to this, but it's obvious there are some gamers out there that the Witcher would please.

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