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The Blackangel

What game had you excited and went beyond your expectations?

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I'm making this post as a 180 to the post about games that left you disappointed. We all have games that we heavily anticipate and are excited as hell for, and are counting down the minutes until their release. As already mentioned, there are often games that left a lot to be desired, and left us feeling disappointed or even cheated. But then there are games that blow our minds as to how awesome they are. More than we ever expected. For me I would have to say the number one game is a tie between Mario 64 and Zelda OoT. I knew going in that the N64 was a revolutionary piece of hardware, but the level of dynamics, not just graphics, but game capabilities, was more than I ever could have expected. I had been playing either side scrollers, or games that look down from above at your character. The 360° view of them went above and beyond.

What are the games that surpassed your expectations?

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BioShock Infinite. I expected to really like it, but at the time, I didn't believe anything would impress me as much as TLOU, and it did.  Like a year and a half or two years later, I am still completely obsessed with it.

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When one gets hyped up and exited about something, it's setting yourself up to either meet your hopes or a letdown. It's physiologically very difficult to be overly impressed by something you were exited for. So, to be honest, I can't of a game that really did that. Before the Internet, there was very little to go on to build expectations at all, so I could use games like Zelda: OOT, Mario 64 or something like that because really did make my draw drop and say "WOW", but that would honestly be cheating because I wasn't really in a place to have any real expectations at all. I think modern games journalism and social media has spoiled us, we just learn too much about upcoming titles to be that surprised any more.

 

Still, there is a game that does fit the pattern for me.

 

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This gem form Ninja Theory turned into an exception to the afore stated "spoiled by media" rule because there is no trailer or review that could really prepare for you this game. It's the most psychologically uncomfortable experience I have ever had in media, and that is its brilliance.

 

You play as Senua, a Celtic warrior suffering from severe psychosis and schizophrenia who delves literally into the Viking Hel in search of the soul of her dead lover... or is it all in her head? And yes, she carries HIS head with her.

 

First note, play the game. Second note. Wear a decent headset or set of headphones when you do. The game uses an advance form of stereo audio that, when you wear headphones, you literally feel the voices in her head. It's terrifying, but appropriate to make you understand what people in these situations go through. They actually partnered with and supported a number of mental health charities and mental health experts to make this experience as real, but respectful and informative as possible. This clearly meant a lot to the developers as seen about a year after the game out. A lot of games celebrate their acclaim with an "Accolades" trailer to show some of the awards the game has received. Well, despite winning a lot of awards, let's just say the normal "Accolades" wasn't what they had decided on...

 

 

Back to the game, It's beautiful. One of the best looking games over the last few years. Very dark, very grim in style, but also incredibly detailed. When you consider this was made on a very limited budget, that means something. Speaking of low budget, the starring voice over role, and voice over award winner that year for this role, was Melina Juergens (Also nominated was Ashley Burch for her role as Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn and Kiefer Sutherland for his role as Snake in MGS5... think about that for a moment.) and holy shit she deserves it. But who is she? A voice actress starting out, a drama student they could hire inexpensively, a non-union actor? No. She is in fact, the video editor for Ninja Theory's (Developer) public relations department. I'm not kidding, she was an in-house screen test they decided to keep, and why not, she was fantastic. They even went to the lengths to redesign the character model to suit her motion capture and physique.

 

The story is compelling, I've never felt for a character more. She's a desperate, tortured, yet fiercely determined and intelligent soul. Her goal is simple, but not simple to achieve and you're right there with her. It's almost as if you're not role-playing as her, but one of those voices in her head, encouraging her and willing her own instead of some the others that are, well, more doubtful.

 

In terms of gameplay, her mental ill health actually serves the mechanics. Between combat sections, that are simple, but satisfying and daunting and offer a fair challenge, the game is mostly broken up by puzzle sections where Senua see's patters, shapes and solutions that most people wouldn't see. It's unique, clever and very well researched. It may only be 8 hours of gameplay with little replay value, but that was reflected in the price. Even new it was half the cost of a brand-new AAA game. Still, it's 8 hours you'll never forget and everyone becomes better for it. There is another thing that piles on the pressure in combat and very brave choice the developers made. A permadeath. Die to many times and/or to quick in succession, and you have to start all over again. I'll just let that dangle there...

 

If you haven't yet, play this game. If you don't want to? Play it anyway. You need it even more than you know.

 

 

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I think graphics wise, I have seen the Assasin's Creed improvement over the years. That you can say meets most of my expectation over the years. They already had good stories i the game too. 

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@Shagger

Just.....

I don't know how to respond. That game, is so much more than a game. For those of us with those psychological issues, it's a chance for people without to see what we face on a daily basis. I'm schizophrenic, bi-polar, depression, and anxiety issues just to name the ones I can remember. I have no short term memory, and little long term memory. I don't know where I was 10 minutes ago. And after I post this response, I will most likely forget that I posted it.

But all in all, I want to say thank you. Rest assured, something will be pawned tomorrow to get the money for this game.

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7 hours ago, The Blackangel said:

@Shagger

Just.....

I don't know how to respond. That game, is so much more than a game. For those of us with those psychological issues, it's a chance for people without to see what we face on a daily basis. I'm schizophrenic, bi-polar, depression, and anxiety issues just to name the ones I can remember. I have no short term memory, and little long term memory. I don't know where I was 10 minutes ago. And after I post this response, I will most likely forget that I posted it.

But all in all, I want to say thank you. Rest assured, something will be pawned tomorrow to get the money for this game.

 

I respect you too much to lie to you, so I'll give it to you straight. You're haven't been an easy person to interact with on these forums. It does take a very deliberate amount of patience to do so. However, you are, with all due respect to our other members, the most inspiring and enjoyable person to interact with here. You're unique, amazing and witty beyond compare. You have spoken of your "demons"  before, and it was my previous experience of playing Hellbade that helped teach me to interact with people who face these challenges and regard them with a new level of respect. Still, we all carry a certain amount of ignorance and if that brought me to a point where I said something to hurt you then please accept my apology. Your amazing and wonderful, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

I don't feel right knowing you plan to pawn something to buy this game, so please DM me about that and I would be honoured to help. That's not out of sympathy, it's just what feels right for me. Consider it a “Thank You”.

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