Zero Punctuation: Borderlands 2

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BlueWalrus:
Yahtzee, ever heard of this guy?

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/09/18/game-theory-borderlands-2-fails-to-cross-ove/

Because that's exactly how your review sounded. "It's not like game X, therefore it's bad." I don't understand how you can gush about Painkiller, a game that had lots of guns, but bash the hell out of BL2, a game which had lots of guns, good writing, interesting characters and an actually cohesive plot.
The real kicker was when you defined a good sequel as "like the first one but better" and then said "Borderlands 2 is just the first one with more stuff" Really?

Looks like you misunderstood his review. I suggest you watch it again.

He doesn't enjoy Painkiller because it has lots of guns, and on the flip side he doesn't dislike BL2 because it has lots of guns. He said it has lots of guns that feel ineffective. You might want to read this Extra Punctuation of his where it explains what he means by "ineffective".

Secondly, he didn't define a good sequel as "like the first one but better". He said a good sequel takes a theme or idea from the first one and uses it as a diving board to do something new. A bad sequel wallows around in all the stuff that the original had, basically saying "Well I hope you like the first one, because the sequel is just more of the same!". And he said that BL2 fits solidly in the latter category, being that he thinks it's more of the same.

Yahtzee, I have always known you stretch the truth for comedic effect but it's not funny when you completely lie about it. I don't care if you liked a game or not but when you start knocking the game for things that don't exist, it comes off quite low.

I feel like I watched Mirror's Edge "review" all over again.

I like those pauses after making fun of the games' name.

I used to play Borderlands 1, I only played it on the day I bought it. It was boring as hell. I think Yahtzee said a while back (likely misquoting here); "If your single player game requires you to bring a friend to be fun, then you've made the wrong game."

It went something like that, I think.

fuzzy logic:

Why is there only one active skill?

The gunzerker has at least 3, including his action skill. The bottom of the red skill tree gives the Taunt skill and another skill in the red tree (I think) gives him a stronger melee attack with a cooldown during gunzerking. I'm not 100% sure the last one qualifies, but 2 > 1.
I'm only commenting on that because I'm skimming through posts and wasting valuable Borderlands 2 time.

Anywho, it sounds like a lot of people just don't know how to drive the vehicles in this game properly. I have no problems with the vehicles and I enjoy the driving controls.

So it's basically the same as the first Borderlands, only now it takes place in a snow/ice environment? Yeah, that was also my conclusion after watching a friend play it. Still doesn't seem like a bad game though, especially the art style. I don't know why, but if a game's art style is good, then that's a huge plus in my book.

Holy shit, that 'bored to tears' line at the end nearly had me out of the chair.

Loved borderlands 1, loved the art style, boss fights, characters, powers, everything. Only annoyances being the stupidly easy final boss, and the ending. And marketing of "a bazillion guns" as a few types of guns in each category with different elemental damage, stats, and colors. And to a lesser extent, the mission system, but if you're smart you can get around those efficiently I found.

Can't wait for this, going to do my first playthrough as a gunzerker I think.

What the hell was with those super-long pauses after the "sarcastic" attempts at jokes?

For some reason I just keep going back to watching all of Yahtzee's old stuff which was a million times funnier and vastly more entertaining.

In his ~10-20 latest reviews he seems to have slowed down his talking a lot...I had no issues understanding him even when he went at machine-gun rampage speed in his older videos, but now he's so much slower and not as funny.

At first I thought I was just getting desensitized to his jokes, but when I re-watch his old stuff for the 10th time I still find myself laughing my ass off at the joke and/or his delivery. Reviews like Witcher 1 & 2, FF13, Halo Reach, Sonic games, etc etc are nothing short of hilarious.

Yahtzee, atleast speed things up again!

Good review Yahtzee, but Borderlands came out October 2009, close enough though.

Yeah, this REALLY is a game you need to play with a friend. The first Borderlands (and I'm sure, the second) was boring when you played it by yourself, but for some reason, once you got a friend of yours playing it, the fun increased exponentially.

I can't be the only one that wants to see Yahtzee do an FTL review. After his DayZ review, I realized that Yahtzee is at his funniest when he's talking about his experiences with a game. Seriously, cant you hear him saying, "unfortunately my voyage was brought to a sudden halt by a random sun turning my ship into a saturday afternoon BBQ," or "then the game got bored and decided to organize an orgy between my crew and four giant mantises, and guess who was on bottom?"

Overall this review was kinda...lackluster though.

Idk.... I found part 1 of Borderlands 1 great, then it petered out quickly. Borderlands 2 is like that beginning part that had character, extended throughout the game. BL1 felt so... dead after a while. BL2 is still alive, and they've improved on BL1. Not as much as I would like, but quite a bit anyways.
Why fix what wasn't broken? I mean, there are a few broken bits left BUT the overall gameplay mechanics should be and are the same. It is just: go to point A, kill dudes, get guns, get money, kill dudes. But it does it very well.

My boyfriend- "you can tell he liked it a little bit... you know he liked it. you can tell by his voice. he had a little too much fun with that review. he liked it"

Errrrrrrr. I just could not finish this review. It just felt that he was cherry picking things to hate within mechanics that are otherwise solid. The only real legitimate complaint I got from this was that you could only track one quest at a time but otherwise he does not mention anything the game gets right. The game makes genuine efforts to set itself apart from the run of the mill silent space marine or grizzled war veteran corridor shooter with bland colours by having quirky characters that try to balance style with substance, funny dialogue, interesting environments, strong art style, and greatly varying enemies with vastly different approaches to dispatching.

I can understand someone not liking it very easily but this review felt more like "I do not like this game mechanic and thus it is objectively bad".

I played and enjoyed the first Borderlands and while I feel the unflippable vehicle mechanic really needs to be euthanised alongside obvious invisible walls I FUCKING LOVE BORDERLANDS 2! It is flawed of course but it made major improvements to the mechanics of the first one without taking anything out. I feel that given a little more polish it is a strong contender for GOTY. It is funny, it has an affable asshole villian, good voice acting, solid gunplay, and relatively fun vehicles (needs more). Most importantly of all I feel a strong compulsion to explore!

TheKasp:

UnmotivatedSlacker:
He makes it quite apparent that he doesn't play the game he 'reviews' very long. Case in point, his Monster Hunter Tri and Demon's Souls videos. Why would I use a guy like that as a source to choose what games I buy?

Unless the person in question manages to point out all the things in a game you won't like up to a point where you'll regret the purchase, no you don't have to listen to him.

But like with every reviewer and his style, you need to find someone who fits your tastes. Yahtzee might not be your fit but stop spewing that his tastes can't resonate with anyone else. There are people out there who don't need a long, detailed review, they want a short list of things that they might not like in a game.

I won't bother with a game if the first 2h are shit. I don't expect a reviewer who has the similiar taste as me to bother with it longer than that.

I expect a guy getting paid to do this to finish the games

Arcane Azmadi:
it's pretty lame that the original 4 Vault Hunters have to talk about how you're "our only hope" when they (especially Lilith) should be able to turn you inside out with minimum effort.

Lilith has been in hiding. Not to mention her extra powers come from Eridium, ostensibly the unrefined stuff. This limits her usefulness. Roland's been running a war. Mordecai is drunk off his ass. I don't think I've seen Brick yet, but these guys are not in the best position to roll Jack.

UnmotivatedSlacker:
I expect a guy getting paid to do this to finish the games

And that doesn't seem at all unreasonable, especially with the amount of time a game can last?

PsychedelicDiamond:
Will someone stop giving Yahtzee games that are supposed to be played in multiplayer? I mean, he usually plays single-player only, so he's not gonna enjoy them... we get that by now. Just let him review single player games.

Yeah... no. If a game is advertised as having a single-player mode then it should be just as interesting and fun then as it is with other people. That has been Yahtzee's gripe for a long time now and I agree with him. Some of us don't want to HAVE to play co-op in order to get the best out of a game.

1st review: OK FINE I'LL REVIEW BORDERLANDS SHEESH!

Now he's just willing. What changed?

I'll buy it eventually. Backlog of games to finish and all..

tmande2nd:
Good.

Another reason not to buy it.

Another reason besides...?

Xanadu84:

PunkRex:

I definatly agree with the Wilhelm thing though...
Roland: 'OH NOES ITS WILHELM, RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!'
*5 seconds later*
Roland: 'Oh... okay then, never mind...'

It's almost like Wilhelm was intentionally easy to beat. Like beating him would actually serve some scheme on behalf of the bad guy. But if that were the case then some subversive agent secretly acting on Handsome Jack's behalf would have had to point you in the direction of the trap, beating Wilhelm would have had to give you a plausible reason to trust the trap you were walking into, it would probably have had to of been foreshadowed, and the consequences would have to be pretty dire.

...wait...

Also, I really don't see the original 4 as weakened. Lilith gets worshiped as a god, murders countless bad guys in the mission you work on with her, and she eventually teleports an entire city. Roland beats a couple of giant robots unarmed, and then doesn't get involved directly because he is leading an entire army. Mordecai...is drunk all the time. But hey, he also is the spymaster extraordinaire, and kills plenty of guys. They arn't in the thick of battle as often, but they are hardly slouches.

Alright, easy Mr. Sarcasty-pants you might pop a vessal. The point I was making is that coincidering the set up of the character and indeed the arena sized area you fight him in it was still kind of a let down, you can argue that it was a joke, in which case, yeah it was funny but seeing how this was the thing that supposedly leveled Opportunity I was expecting a little more of an epic take down. I just laid into him whilst Gunzerking for about 10 seconds and that was it.

Funny how the other characters didn't mention it though... still, I actually agree with you about the original 4 still being badass. Lilith (as you said) is a literal demi-god while in game wise Mordecai was a life saver during the Tiny Tina missions, he sniped those Goliaths on their way in during the tea party mission making the whole thing a hell of alot easier.

I wept man tears during the main animal reserve mission...

Seems as good a time as any to say, I have watched Zeropunctuation since day 1. Thank you Yahtzee.

FallenMessiah88:
So it's basically the same as the first Borderlands, only now it takes place in a snow/ice environment? Yeah, that was also my conclusion after watching a friend play it.

That's maybe the first 5% of the game.

RJ 17:
"It's like the first game, but better" without clearly being able to define what "but better" means.

I formally take up the challenge.

The game is better because it adds onto already existing gameplay mechanics, story elements, and environments. Additionally the original quirks that defined the original game were improved rather than removed.

Time for some depth: The original game had little variation between guns and almost no variation between manufacturers beyond stats. The second one has a tremendous number of variations between how guns function, look, and handle with additional properties to certain weapons that make them one of a kind (a bazooka that spins in the air and fires all of its missiles in random directions after being reloaded when already full). Furthermore the difference between gun manufacturers is unmistakable with both appearance and performance being a dead give away. It does suffer from the issue of there being way to many guns that are completely useless throwaways but that feeling you get when you come across a unique railgun or plasma sniper rifle that fires faster than most assault rifles leaves you ecstatic. Lastly the shooting carries significantly more weight with easily discernible differences governed by their stats and manufacturer.

When it comes to enemies what can I say? There is a tremendous variation between them with many requiring vastly different strategies for dealing with.

The NPC are for the most part completely voiced with unique personalities that balance style and substance. Additionally many are not static and while very bland, they perform actions that imply they are working in some way or just outright shooting everything in sight from a high perch.

The story is always present with character disposition, environmental evolution, mounting challenges, and escalating side quests. This is complemented with solid characters and their respective development. The side quests themselves offer challenge, variation, and optional objectives that sometimes encourage exploration or adopting a different play style. Lastly the story carries weight and in turn the plot twists are all the more effective.

The environments themselves are often open, beautiful, while generating a natural compulsion to explore.

The vehicles are supposedly a challenge to use but I personally found them much more fun to use than the bricks that dominated the first game given their physics overhaul. (minus they cannot flip)

When it comes to the quirks themselves that plagued as well as defined the first game, they improved rather than removed them. There are too many to list but the most glaring issue being the poor vehicles, which are now fun albeit flawed.

Lastly, the art style not only improved but evolved and complemented the game and its atmosphere as well.

Lastly, lastly the pop culture awareness of the game gets and respects its source material given that it encompasses the developers themselves to varying degrees.

Ledan:
Idk.... I found part 1 of Borderlands 1 great, then it petered out quickly. Borderlands 2 is like that beginning part that had character, extended throughout the game. BL1 felt so... dead after a while. BL2 is still alive, and they've improved on BL1. Not as much as I would like, but quite a bit anyways.
Why fix what wasn't broken? I mean, there are a few broken bits left BUT the overall gameplay mechanics should be and are the same. It is just: go to point A, kill dudes, get guns, get money, kill dudes. But it does it very well.

I really agree with you there, the entire mid game between first leaving the starting area and reaching those alien ruins is a blur of desert, cars and bullets for me with the only real memorable bits being the occasional funny dialouge from Scooter and co across the radio and some of the bosses, especially Rak Hive and Skagzilla, but getting to them took waaaaaaaaay to long. Getting my car blown up by the ump-teenth bandit-mobile was jarring... especially after taking out all his mates... and extended family... and acquaintances...

Haha, funny review. I haven't played Borderlands 2 all that much, but it reminds me of Diablo with Guns in a way. Haven't laughed at a Zero Punctuation ibn awhile, so kudos Yahtzee. ;P

I whole Hearty disagree with Yahtzee. I love this game I personally thought Borderlands 2 vastly improved on the its predecessor. I cant honestly comprehend a concept such as "too much looting" quite honestly but too each his own. I also disagree with that assertion that classes aren't different from each other this time around for example i found that the siren's phase-lock skill is actually a valuable asset and synergies great with Dps builds.

Zachary Amaranth:

UnmotivatedSlacker:
I expect a guy getting paid to do this to finish the games

And that doesn't seem at all unreasonable, especially with the amount of time a game can last?

My Steam in-game time clocked at 42 hours for my first run-through of the game, start to finish, with plenty of dying (due to my own personal retardation), random exploring and probably 75% of the side-quests completed. If you cut out the non-essentials (like most of the side quests and exploration), you could probably cut that down to 30 hours (if not further). 10 hours to write a review and make a 5 minute video brings it to a normal 40-hour work week.

I understand that Yahtzee is a busy guy (Mana Bar and Extra Punctuation obligations as well as everything else he does), and spending 40 hours on a single game in a week is probably unreasonable. But I don't think you should make comments on a story you haven't finished. It's like reading the first two chapters of a 20-chapter book and making your judgment there. I can also understand saying something like "the gameplay was so bad I just couldn't force myself to finish the story quest," but it doesn't really make critiques on the story any more valid. Besides, if that's the case, there should be plenty of material to come up with for a critique without having to reference the story at all.

I agree with several of his points. After a while, it all started to feel really tedious, many of the guns are only slight upgrades, and hunting through a thousand boxes for ammo and money gets really boring. But while health does the standard regeneration thing as well as there being health drops, Borderlands 2's enemies don't typically drop enough ammo to keep you going. Searching for ammo in this game feels like searching for medkits in other games, it adds a level of urgency to all your actions. The inventory system is still pretty bad, though not as bad as the first one, and going through your stuff to sell it or mark it as trash still feels sticky.

The major difference I can see between Borderlands 2 and most other shooters is what you're rewarded with. With other shooters, clearing an area means moving to the next one, i.e. your reward is advancement towards the resolution. But with Borderlands 1 and 2, you're rewarded with loot to pick up, and advancement towards the resolution. You glut on the little rewards until you don't really even want the big one anymore. That's why I think I started getting bored with looting; towards the end of the game I started ignoring everything that wasn't purple or better. Borderlands 2 throws thousands of green and hundreds of blue items at you, to the point that you start seeing them like you would white items, and digging through that mountain of refuse takes FOREVER. One of the game's selling points ultimately became one of the things I didn't really like about it.

TL;DR, those who comment on stories should probably finish them, and it's not terrible but it probably won't be my game-of-the-year.

He killed everyone until a vault hunter survived, so that he had found someone good enough to be able to do

tehweave:
Team Widdlebiscuit defeated Shub-who last time?

Anyway, I expected as much from Yahtzee, yes Reddit has basically GUSHED over this game for the past week or so and it's nice to see it finally taken down a notch.

Have I ever played it? No. Will I? Eventually.

Do you need games to be loathed?

Seems like a weird thing to be breathlessly waiting for.

"People are having too much fun with someone, I wish someone would shit on the things they like. someone please...save me."

Tippy:
What the hell was with those super-long pauses after the "sarcastic" attempts at jokes?

For some reason I just keep going back to watching all of Yahtzee's old stuff which was a million times funnier and vastly more entertaining.

In his ~10-20 latest reviews he seems to have slowed down his talking a lot...I had no issues understanding him even when he went at machine-gun rampage speed in his older videos, but now he's so much slower and not as funny.

At first I thought I was just getting desensitized to his jokes, but when I re-watch his old stuff for the 10th time I still find myself laughing my ass off at the joke and/or his delivery. Reviews like Witcher 1 & 2, FF13, Halo Reach, Sonic games, etc etc are nothing short of hilarious.

Yahtzee, atleast speed things up again!

So I'm NOT the only one that thinks he's slowed down his pace.

And I think what's missing from his newer reviews is the sense of enjoyment he seemed to get from critiquing a game - whether he hated the game or not, Yahtzee just seemed more enthusiastic in the older videos.

He still has some pretty good jokes, but the tone seems much less light-hearted.

Dunno, maybe it's just me.

erttheking:
I can't be the only one that wants to see Yahtzee do an FTL review. After his DayZ review, I realized that Yahtzee is at his funniest when he's talking about his experiences with a game. Seriously, cant you hear him saying, "unfortunately my voyage was brought to a sudden halt by a random sun turning my ship into a saturday afternoon BBQ," or "then the game got bored and decided to organize an orgy between my crew and four giant mantises, and guess who was on bottom?"

Overall this review was kinda...lackluster though.

Okay that's just fucking hilarious! Have you ever considered being a comedian, or at the very least a comedy writer? I agree with you as well, Yahtzee is perhaps at his best not only when talking about his gaming experiences but when he does so at a speed any normal person would get their tongue tied. He seems to have slowed down his speech a bit lately.

OT: I love Borderlands 2, crappy vehicle controls and all. That's really all I have to say on that.

I like Borderlands 2 but it has its issues. Splitting up cash and ammo drops into 50 different crates in an area and having to manually open each and click again to loot.m Tiny amount of inventory and bank space considering the amount of guns. The online still has no lag compensation.

I'm currently at 8 million dollars in credits and the only thing it gets spent on is dieing, ammo, and slots. Item of the day just seem to be less good then last game, a common item as item of the day should happen.

But they made plenty of improvements from last game, more enemy variety, colorful environments with less "grit", having a bank available from the start, being able to share items between characters, having a plot that was much more memorable then the last, enemy ai that is much better.

Char-Nobyl:

Elamdri:
3 things I agree with:

1: The sissification of the original 4 heroes is incredibly contrived.
2: The vehicles handle awful.
3: Not being able to track multiple quests sucks

one thing I think he should have mentioned: The farming aspect, especially red chest farming or farming Sanctuary for Eridum.

Numbers 2 and 3 are valid, but thus far, everyone and their mother has called Yahtzee on number 1.

Anyone who played the game knows which boss he's referring to...and it seems like everyone who played the game until the end of the same quest where you fight that boss knows that being able to beat him where the original four Vault Hunters failed is a very, very, very big plot point.

I thought Yahtzee meant the original characters seemed weaker because they were defeated in this game after beating the big bad of the last game.

I never played the first game so going through Borderlands 2 doesn't give me that problem.

One word - very accurate! I also wish people stopped thinking that enjoying something and seeing obvious flaws in it are two mutually exclusive things. They re not! I enjoy the game, yet identify most of the flaws in it (and there are many). Blind defense of this game by some people is really unsettling!

I can say I'm ambivilent (did I spell that correctly?) about Borderlands as a series. I tried the second one hoping they would pad out the first one a bit more, and make it a bit more of an RPG, with a greater degree of depth in terms of skills and things you can do... which they really didn't.

I'll also answer Yahtzee's joking question, if nobody else has:

The Planet is not in of itself made up of borderlands, but rather is part of the borderlands of a larger universe. The idea it's on the fringes of a great intersteller civilization, where law and order have fallen apart, making planets like this right on the edge of unknown, unexplored space the new frontier, and hunting for treasure on planets like this the
equivilent of the real world gold rush. A lot of science fiction stories use similar logic. Borderlands explains a bit through it's dialogue and implication, but it's never spelled out directly... probably because it's not really aiming at an audience that cares much about lore or backstory, or how the inherant reality is justified and consistant within itself. Borderlands could thus be considered sort of a half arsed parody of western and campy sci-fi cliques, that never quite approaches the level of sophistication needed to become a full fledged Satire (falling short whenever it seems like it might get to that point).

Ah what a wonderful video to start the day with,thank you for the chuckles yet again Yahtzee.

I thoroughly enjoyed Borderlands 2 even while playing solo since all of my friends were busy playing Guild Wars 2 at that time.I didn't find any point of going back after finishing the game however.

SanAndreasSmoke:
So I'm NOT the only one that thinks he's slowed down his pace.

And I think what's missing from his newer reviews is the sense of enjoyment he seemed to get from critiquing a game - whether he hated the game or not, Yahtzee just seemed more enthusiastic in the older videos.

He still has some pretty good jokes, but the tone seems much less light-hearted.

Dunno, maybe it's just me.

It's not just you, you could feel the genuine passion in his voice (whether it be raw anger or gleeful joy) and kinda get pulled along with it. I could literally FEEL his frustration as he played through some terrible games and FEEL his joy as he played the good ones.

I don't think it's him though, it's more likely what the game industry does to a reviewer. Even the most tank-armored reviewers/critics aren't immune to getting slowly worn down by game after game.

Frankly I used to simply sit there sometimes in AWE at how Yahtzee could spend week after week dragging himself through some of the titles he's reviewed so far. Sure he was getting paid for it, but it still takes a certain kind of person to drag themselves for 10-30+ hours through games, everything cliche endlessly repeated, every plot endlessly predictable, etc etc and still look forward to next week. He may have been throwing jokes of being super-cynical, but looking at what he does it would be hard NOT to become one. Staying positive after so many years would be like a veteran heart surgeon to was still scared of seeing blood splattering everywhere.

It's literally a thousand times harder than say...a movie critic, who just has to sit there for 2 hours eating popcorn once a week (or fortnight).

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