Zero Punctuation: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

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bang on review. Witcher 1 was the same - complex, difficult, dark, adult, sometimes engrossing - but just NOT FUN

Naeras:
Pretty much exactly the review I expected, once again. Apparently I'm psychic.

I was fairly well telegraphed from his review of the first one but I still give you some points.

mechanixis:

Vasil Bratinov:
I would actually be pissed if I took these "reviews" seriously, but hey since people with the attention span of a fly can relate with yahtzee its all good
its amazing how spiteful some people are

go back to fable

Yes, amazing. Some people can be so spiteful. When will they realize that the ability to enjoy a video game about an albino dragonslaying gigolo is a direct metric of a person's intelligence, and that that's just how it is?

Intelligence and attention span are two different things you know.

Amazing how console players always get so defensive about their "intelligence" when no one has even brought that up as a factor.

dcrane:
bang on review. Witcher 1 was the same - complex, difficult, dark, adult, sometimes engrossing - but just NOT FUN

Thats odd, because I found it to be one of the most fun games i've played in the last 2 years and i've played about 60 in that time frame.

Its a question of taste. Not everyone wants to sit down and read war and peace, in fact most would rather read comics, that doesnt make them less intelligent but it also doesn't mean that the comics are better than war and peace.

Mr. Omega:

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

No, gamers back then were treated like socially inept, shut-in, geeky losers with no life by everyone else. And certain people still try to portray them in that light.

Most gamers see PC Gamers as elitist, arrogant, snobs who look down on the rest of the gaming community. And I can probably find some very good evidence of it right here on this thread, if you want.

Keep in mind you're referring to the vocal minority, hate them, not the whole.

Ishiro32:

Mr. Omega:
snip

Nice trolling bro.

The funny thing is that he'd definitely not trolling. The PC gaming fanaticism around here is actually that bad; he's just saying so.

solidstatemind:

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.

Admittedly, it's not hard to get the manual itself, but alt-tabbing back and forth between the manual and the game is a pain in the ass. I suppose I could just print it out, but that'd be one less thing I could complain about... ;)

You can open the manual in the steam overlay if you have to.

mechanixis:

Vasil Bratinov:
I would actually be pissed if I took these "reviews" seriously, but hey since people with the attention span of a fly can relate with yahtzee its all good
its amazing how spiteful some people are

go back to fable

Yes, amazing. Some people can be so spiteful. When will they realize that the ability to enjoy a video game about an albino dragonslaying gigolo is a direct metric of a person's intelligence, and that that's just how it is?

What exactly does liking the characters and setting of the game have to do with intelligence anyway...
Did I say anything about intelligence?

mechanixis:

The funny thing is that he'd definitely not trolling. The PC gaming fanaticism around here is actually that bad; he's just saying so.

Oh noes, a guy with a 360 avatar thinks badly of PC Gamers? What are they going to do?

Funny thing that you keep defending your "intelligence" when no one brought it up. Insecure much?

Imp Emissary:

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...

He dosen't hate PC gamers. He IS one. Yahtzee said his first system was a Commodore 64. Also, when he did his Console War episode he showed the Wii, 360, and PS3 trying to get his love, and then he holds up a keyboard. He's not saying PC gamers or games are bad, but he is saying he thinks the Witcher 2 could have been better. It's not being stupid to not know how to play a game if the game dosen't tell you how to play.

You've probably already been quoted on this, but he isn't. He's stated specifically in a podcast that he's "more of a console boy myself", as well as on his IAMA. So either he's made his 5 billionth self-contradiction, or he's a console gamer. To be honest, I think the former is more likely, but whatever. :p

PC Exclusive?

It's getting ported to 360.

EDIT: Also, that cutscene is skippable.

I think my favorite part of the review was the tons of verbal abuse he gave to the elitist PC gamer crowd.
Just to elaborate before I get angry responses I know not all PC gamers are elitists.

Worgen:
well lets see, Ive seen console games that you press start during a cinematic and it just pauses it, maybe shows a thing you can go to skip it

All very logical things that rely on the common uses of the space-bar during cut-scenes. Developers know that when people want to skip a cut-scene, they first press the space-bar, so to not work upon that would be silly, yes?


Well, if you want someone to look stupid, then stooping to the lowest form of argument (if you can call it an argument) is not something that will make you come off as intelligent, but stupid.

The intelligent thing for the developer to do is having the controls be logical, not "space-bar + right or left click". But alas, you are a mad, mad fanboy that cannot even acknowledge basic faults with the game (i am a huge Oblivion fanboy, but even i admit that the combat could be more fleshed out and the voice actors were repetitive). Admitting to something so blindingly obvious won't reduce the game in any way, shape or form, you can still like the game.

So please, a more grown-up response would be appreciated next time.

I play on everything that seems to have good games. i just wanted to say this good night kids. playing deus ex now.

Although I think that he should have read the manual, Yahtzee does have a point.

The game SHOULD teach you how to play it. It shouldn't make you read the manual the whole way through just to know the basics, and likewise the game shouldn't not introduce you to mechanics when they're needed.

This process natural progressions from manuals because you learn the mechanics while actually enjoying the game, and the fact that you're gradually introduced to new mechanics means the difficulty can be curved extra well. An example of this would be Dead Space, I suppose.

While manuals are good, teaching the player the mechanics while they are playing, and more importantly introducing the mechanics as they are needed (thus giving you a prime chance to learn them, and also not sh*tting all over you progression wise) is ALWAYS better.

If I need to know something to get past a certain stage, and the game does not and never has until this point told me what that something is, then that game has failed in teaching its own mechanics and the experience is decidedly poorer.

i basically kicked the game into bin after only TRYING to play if for about 20 minutes. it was so stereotypical and bad as it was illogical and boring to play. wtf guys... wtf.

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.

Or you do what sensible people do and buy decent hardware. You know, that costs more than the box it comes in.

But seriously, unskippable cutscenes are the worst. Sins Creed 2 is particularly bad at this ~_~.

mechanixis:

Ishiro32:

Mr. Omega:
snip

Nice trolling bro.

The funny thing is that he'd definitely not trolling. The PC gaming fanaticism around here is actually that bad; he's just saying so.

It looked a bit like trolling. When you fight with fanboys and you resolve to hate language it is a bit of trolling. But to be fair you troll harder.

mechanixis:
BLUH BLUH BLUH SHUT UP YAHTZEE, PC GAMING IS THE ONE TRUE RELIGION AND THE WITCHER 2 IS THE MOST WONDERFUL GAME IN THE WORLD. HOW DARE YOU CONTRADICT MY OPINIONS.

This is even worse than W2 defense force, since they actually try to come up with someting smart.

NewYork_Comedian:
Wasnt this supposed to be his 200th episode or something? Ah well time makes fools of us all.

Good review. Honestly besides the pretty graphics it looked like every other fantasy RPG ive seen in the last 3 years.

It looks good. Flotsam is one of the prettiest creations I've seen, and the clothing/armor design is frequently gorgeous. The best part is the dialogue though. There is so much gold to be found its just....ah...what a game ^^

Hyper-space:

Worgen:
well lets see, Ive seen console games that you press start during a cinematic and it just pauses it, maybe shows a thing you can go to skip it

All very logical things that rely on the common uses of the space-bar during cut-scenes. Developers know that when people want to skip a cut-scene, they first press the space-bar, so to not work upon that would be silly, yes?


Well, if you want someone to look stupid, then stooping to the lowest form of argument (if you can call it an argument) is not something that will make you come off as intelligent, but stupid.

The intelligent thing for the developer to do is having the controls be logical, not "space-bar + right or left click". But alas, you are a mad, mad fanboy that cannot even acknowledge basic faults with the game (i am a huge Oblivion fanboy, but even i admit that the combat could be more fleshed out and the voice actors were repetitive). Admitting to something so blindingly obvious won't reduce the game in any way, shape or form, you can still like the game.

So please, a more grown-up response would be appreciated next time.

if it didnt literally show you how to skip it when you pressed a button then I might be more kind but it does, press almost any button on the keyboard and a lil icon shows up at the top corner that indicates right click to skip, no part of that is hard to figure out, I remember the exact cinematic that he was talking about and I had to skip it a few times, I have no idea how he couldnt figure it out

Anyone else find it a bit funny that people are arguing over consoles and PCs, those commercial devices that are sold for the purpose of making money?

Anywho I haven't palyed this game but not having a proper tutorial is quite the cardinal sin IMHO. People may say who it isn't immersive, but I never ageed with that. What isn't immersive is having to pause the game and leaf through a pages upon pages ot find out how you do X. It is the same as if someone complained about the Star wArs prequels having plot holes and someone else replied "God that's stupid, read the novels". You shouldn't have to, it should fit within the game.

Also I don't quite get where people are being so extreme about Yahtzee not having a set defintion of a game's difficulty. I like my food cooked, that doesn't mean burned nor raw, I expect a chief to be able to find a medium. Likewise I would say the same thing about game difficulty.

I do think it is a tad myopi that quite a few people would of been cheering on Yahtzee if this game come out on a different platform then the one they owned but meh. also this idea that he hates the PC gamer is a tadd amusing. How do you think he played it?

Mantonio:
Although I think that he should have read the manual, Yahtzee does have a point.

The game SHOULD teach you how to play it. It shouldn't make you read the manual the whole way through just to know the basics, and likewise the game shouldn't not introduce you to mechanics when they're needed.

This process natural progressions from manuals because you learn the mechanics while actually enjoying the game, and the fact that you're gradually introduced to new mechanics means the difficulty can be curved extra well. An example of this would be Dead Space, I suppose.

While manuals are good, teaching the player the mechanics while they are playing, and more importantly introducing the mechanics as they are needed (thus giving you a prime chance to learn them, and also not sh*tting all over you progression wise) is ALWAYS better.

If I need to know something to get past a certain stage, and the game does not and never has until this point told me what that something is, then that game has failed in teaching its own mechanics and the experience is decidedly poorer.

Why do all game have to tell us everything there is to know about their mechanics? some really great games dont tell you anything, they just dump you in a complex world and expect you to get on with it... and you know what? the learning and discovery process that entails is often the most engaging aspect of the game. Minecraft and X3 are two examples that spring to mind. Sometimes, a comprehensive tutorial does more harm to gameplay than good.

Now i'm not saying the witcher couldn't of done with more hand holding for those that wanted it, i'm just saying that it isn't always the case that more hand holding makes for a better game, which is what you seemed to be implying.

Continuity:

Mantonio:
Although I think that he should have read the manual, Yahtzee does have a point.

The game SHOULD teach you how to play it. It shouldn't make you read the manual the whole way through just to know the basics, and likewise the game shouldn't not introduce you to mechanics when they're needed.

This process natural progressions from manuals because you learn the mechanics while actually enjoying the game, and the fact that you're gradually introduced to new mechanics means the difficulty can be curved extra well. An example of this would be Dead Space, I suppose.

While manuals are good, teaching the player the mechanics while they are playing, and more importantly introducing the mechanics as they are needed (thus giving you a prime chance to learn them, and also not sh*tting all over you progression wise) is ALWAYS better.

If I need to know something to get past a certain stage, and the game does not and never has until this point told me what that something is, then that game has failed in teaching its own mechanics and the experience is decidedly poorer.

Why do all game have to tell us everything there is to know about their mechanics? some really great games dont tell you anything, they just dump you in a complex world and expect you to get on with it... and you know what? the learning and discovery process that entails is often the most engaging aspect of the game. Minecraft and X3 are two examples that spring to mind. Sometimes, a comprehensive tutorial does more harm to gameplay than good.

Now i'm not saying the witcher couldn't of done with more hand holding for those that wanted it, i'm just saying that it isn't always the case that more hand holding makes for a better game, which is what you seemed to be implying.

The thing with those games is that they don't have much of a story. Ones that do can teach you the mechanics in game and still be incredibly enjoyable.

Example, look at Dead Space. You remember how the game taught you to run, or how to best kill a Necromorph? If they hadn't been in the game, and instead you could only work it out by reading the manual, it would have been a decidely poorer game.

And it's not hand holding at all! They're about teaching you the mechanics in game, leading to a richer experience with a better difficulty curve. By your ridiculous definition school lessons are hand holding.

It's a little bit annoying to see him getting things flat out wrong about games sometimes, and especially when it involves difficulty too. You CAN skip cutscenes, and it has difficulty levels too. The whole PC gamer master race thing is ridiculous - most PC gamers probably own at least one console themselves if you'd actually think away from a vocal minority.

I really agree about the introduction level though. It's definitely the poorest bit of the game, and I can see how it makes people shy away from it. The story is in my humble opinion a step over the usual fluff you find in games, and the characters definitely has some charm to them. I even found myself laughing at bits!

At least Yatzee got further into the game than I did I only just finished the prologue before I had to bury it in the back of the cupboard before I did something unfortunate to it with a pair of jump leads and a battery. Hate isn't a strong enough word for what I feel for this game. And that upsets me as I enjoyed the first game :(

Also HAH! Justification is mine! Yatzee has proven that I'm not the only one with this opinion of the game. Now excuse me while I go and rub it in my friends face XD

I kinda pity the people who think this game is too difficult to get into. I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I'm generally really bad at hard or complicated games, or games that require you to do a lot of extra research outside of it. The Witcher 2 is none of those, but the fact that it's treated that way is sad. Yes, the interface is really sloppy and the game doesn't explain much up front, but that never seemed like an issue to me.

Like I said, I generally hate complicated or poorly communicated games, so I'm kinda flabbergasted that some people consider The Witcher 2 to be difficult in that regard. Deciphering a game's mechanics isn't something I'm used to, and I generally have zero patience with convoluted game design. That said, I never had to alt tab out, I never got overly confused with the UI, I never died five times trying to figure something out. I didn't understand some mechanics at first, but between the in game tutorial in your journal, and the fact that it's just a fairly simple game, everything was pretty easy to get. Am I supposed to believe that I'm simply smarter than everyone else, or have a better attention span? Because I seriously doubt that. And yet here I am dumbstruck by the amount of people upset by difficulty that I didn't even realized existed. It didn't tell me everything sure, but it in no way was too convoluted to figure out in a couple minutes.

It's a little sad that some people will pass this up because it's apparently too user unfriendly for them. The game has great writing and story, far better than any other "mature" dark fantasy out there. If someone has issues with the story, characters, combat, etc, that's totally fine. Hating a relatively simple game for being too high a barrier of entry is silly; hating a game for not simply reusing standard tropes (drinking potions before combat or the two swords) that you've grown accustomed to is silly.

I was going to write a detailed response how how ridiculous the video was, but it just doesn't seem worth it now. In the end, Yahtzee, and anyone parroting his inability to figure out fairly simple mechanics, just came out as extremely obtuse to me. I thought we were better than this, guys :(

Yahtzee give it another try! oh and use right mouse button to skip pretty much anything
and you can use runes and enhancements only on weapons/armor that have slots....
aside that queen is really useful against many enemies and so are the bombs....

Good review as always. Will you do Okamiden in the summer drought?

That cut scene before the boss fight is skipable.
Its the right mouse click.
I know this because in the left hand top of the screen a message indicating right mouse click to skip...

I guess its too hard to read..

What can be said that hasn't already been said?

Great review... Not particularly funny though; Maybe it's me.

Maybe I'm just getting used to Yahtzee's style of humor.

this is the first ZP in a while that ive actually laughed at xD ...maybe im just cheery from modding oblivion all day...

The reasons for the 2-swords are mostly for story as the game is based on a series of books.

beema:
Yes Yahtzee, it does indeed appear that console gaming has made you soft and squishy and wimpy.

I'm joking of course

kind of

maybe

It is of course a giant irony that he will complain about the overcomplexity in a PC game review, but then turn right around and complain about the lack of such complexity in a console game review.

I don't think Yahtzee (or anyone else on the planet) will ever consider difficult controls to be a good kind of complexity. Yahtzee wants complexity in the story. Controls and UI should be as streamlined as possible.

I would've said he could have eased off on the sarcasm involving elitist PC gamers a morsel. But then that would be ignoring all the crap that was wafting off a few of the PC gamers that I have seen since the announcement that The Witcher 2 is going to consoles.

Anyway I was entertained and that is what I go to Yahtzee for.

I came away with the near opposite impression - that Yahtzee actually (kinda) liked the game, not hated it. What bile? Hell, that first part was a big olive branch between PC gamers and those other, lesser, races *cough*. That video was *mild* compared to when he really get his hate on. There wasn't even one picture of a big turd on the game box, or the monitor projectile vomiting feces.

As for not taking him seriously, those TW2 fans possibly insulted by this video, Yahtzee is a game *critic*, not a reviewer. His videos are critiques, not reviews. Which means he looks for every one of the game's flaws to nitpick. He hit TW2's three biggest issues accurately, which is inventory, the difficulty curve of it's combat, and the first boss fight. Of course, those of us with a bit more patience, less ADD, or more sedation, whatever, don't mind the game's flaws. It's a beautiful game with thrilling combat, intrigue, and RPG goodness.

I remember another series of games with pain in the ass magic and steep as hell learning curve; Phantasy Star. PS1 in particular had you grinding for two hours before you could make the trek to the next town, and it's a trip the main character supposedly made on a regular basis.
It's certainly not good to see RPGs going back to THOSE roots.

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