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Shadow of the TOMB RAIDER – quick review – PS4Pro

Shadow of the Tomb Raider brings mixed emotions at the audience. Some like it, other think it is more a medioca game in the TR history. Here my opinion about the game after my playthrough.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I’m a big fan of Rise of the Tomb Raider and so I was really excited what Shadow of the TR will be. If you want to read my opionion about Rise of, click the following link:

Review Rise of the Tomb Raider [360 version]

Right away, I’m one of them who think Shadow is a more medioca game in the series. My major complain about Shadow is the passive feel of the game. The game is much more linear in leveldesign and the Storytelling is imo too much in front and takes way more time in the game in comparison to Rise of. In Shadow in most cases you don’t feel free to explore but to follow a predetermined way strictly … a bit too strictly.

Especially the first half of the game felt very restricted in case of gameplay, but to be honest, the complete mainstory. But wait there is freedom for exploration. In the second half of the game when you reach Hidden City (Paiti) and later the missionary village, there’s noticeable area you can walk freely, collect items, do sidequest, find optional tombs or murals. Yeah theres a Kiwang Yaku before, but heres the area is very small, so don’t count.

Especially the first 10% of the game I would have preferred to get it in form of a cutscene. The start was imho very boring cause of the nonexisting gameplay.

The game takes imho in generell to much focus and time onto the story. Who’s playing Tomb Raider cause of the story?? The action adventure gameplaymechanics and impressive levels in case visuals and design are for me the star of the Tomb Raider IP. But gameplay in Shadow of the TR comes a bit short in my opinion, even if the game in the second part opens a bit up.

CONCLUSION

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is in my opinion a more average game with a strong technical appearance. I had despite of that fun, but after Rise of it did not match my gameplay expectations I had at all. In Shadow I felt to often passive gameplaywise. The first half of the game and the mainquest in general is very linear in case of leveldesign and so the exporation part did not work so well like in Rise of. Some gamers praise the lack of action in Shadow of the TR and that this is the real soul of a TR game. But sorry guys I played the original Tomb Raider (PSX-version on Vita) this year twice after 20 years and in the original the action/exploration ratio is much more similar what we see in Rise of. I think this matches the traditional Tomb Raider formula in case of exploration, puzzlesolving and action much better. Maybe puzzlesolving could be more in Rise of.

Especially small shootouts (short shootings with less enemies) for variety while playing (as you can see often in TR1 (1996) and Rise of) are missing. E.g. in the original TR from 1996 you fight often small and short, they are not difficult, but this short inbeween action adds a lot to the variety gameplaywise and adds a lot of fun. Cause you have to react and do something (Shoot bat, dog, foe) … and after the intermezzo continuing the exploration/puzzlesolving part.

I had despite of that fun playing Shadow … but not overhelming much. Without the gorgeous graphics and the name Tomb Raider, I’m not sure if I would have finished it. Especially the first part of the game and the mainstory is as I mentioned very linear … and you feel to often passive. Sometimes you have the feeling you have only to press forward.

The strength of the game is for sure its visual appearance and the strong showed Maja culture, towns and people. This is really a showpeace for its own and prooves … even good graphics and atmosphere can produce fun! But also beside of that, still a good game!

Pos:

  • Great graphic – great jungle feel and athmosphere (even if very linear)
  • Phantastic presented Maja culture ‚Hidden City‘ and native people.

Con:

  • Plays mostly very linear (except the two HUB worlds).
  • You feel often very passive as a gamer
  • Boring cutscenes/story presentation takes too much time in the game. Liked it more like in Reboot and Rise of where the story was more in the backround and the gameplay in front.
  • The roleplay inspired upgradesystem makes in Shadow less sence then in the predecessors. Some make sence (detect traps, hold longer air, etc.) … and yes you upgrade your weapons. But mostly you don’t care about what you find in the skilltree. You have points and so you unlock the skills, but at all it seems a bit out of place for the gameplayconcept in Shadow. It just does not mesh properly.

RATING

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4(Pro))

Controls:                                           8.5  (I’m happy real diving is back, but feels not perfect)

Gameplay&adv./action ballance      7.0  (too linear, feels often too passive and even too less shootouts. Especially small shootouts for variety while playing as you can see often in TR1 (1996) and Rise of are missing. The first Tomb Raider 1996 and Rise of shows the perfect adventure/action ration imo)

Action:                                              8.0  (works at all good when present, the enemy arangement is o.k.)

Visual/Style:                                     9.5

Audio:                                              9.0

Technique:                                       9.2 (a real graphical showcase, but running on perfomance mode (60fps) unconsistand too stottering. I prefer the resolution mode, running not 100% perfect, but very consistant at all (30fps).

OVERALL:                                       7.8 out of 10       (rating legend, see below*)

If you want to see how I see this game in comparison to the other Tomb Raider games, follow the link to an older post of mine: Tomb Raider main series overview (in order best to worst)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

*Legend (ratings):

10/10         brilliant, really rare brilliant, has absolutely no competitors, this game defines genres and the world of games!

9/10           brilliant, really brilliant but has some competitors, not much but some, don’t defines really, but is part of the best of the best!

8/10           really good to great game, depends on tending more to 8 or 9. Among a bunch of other competitors, but great.

7/10           good to really good game, depends on tending more to 7 or 8. There are better games out there, but this game is still a good one.

6/10           really average … mostly in every way. With some real flaws. I you like the genre and your expectations are low, maybe you will have some fun with it. But not so much, this game could be so much better.

5/10           absolutely not necessary to play, it’s a waste of time. Maybe if you like to play trashgames with some friends and a couple of beers. Maybe then, it’s your decision.

4/10           see above – only even worse.

3/10           If you play this piece of shit and knowing about it … go to a doctor!

2/10           total trash – put it into the place where it belongs to. Keep the world clean!

1/10           you’re kidding? Break this cardridge immediately! Now! Show that thing what a hammerfall means! This shit shell die in pain!1

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Hori ONYX controller for PS4 – REVIEW

As I saw the ONYX Controller from Hori I thought nothing can get wrong. The analog sticks are set on the correct position like on the X-Box controller. A layout I prefer way over the Sony controller layout. The PS4 standard pad is finally a great controller (I dont like the controllers of PS1,PS2,PS3), but the left analogue stick still on the wrong place.

Hori ONYX Controller for PS4 s

So Hori is good! Right!1 Hori is quality! Hori is the holy grale of third party perephials, eh? I have a 360 arcade stick from Hori and it prooves right. This thing is the shit!1 So yeah, I have a very good vibe, when I see the Hori trademark on a box. But this is the first time for me using a Hori item which is no arcade stick. So let’s take a look on my first Hori pad/controller.

In first place I bought the Hori ONYX controller for racing games (cause of the analoge stick layout) and tested the controller in this function.

Here is my experience:

Pro: the good things:

  1. the controller has no frontlight. For me that is a good thing, I never used the function on the original controller. I have even taped the frontlight on my original PS4 controller, cause it reflects onscreen when you play a very dark passage of a game or a dark game in general.
  2. The Option-button is so tiny on the original controller, sometimes I barely meet it. The Option-button is much better to hit on the ONYX controller.
  3. The left analogue stick is on the correct position!

Con: what? No more good stuff??? It‘s a Hori item!! I‘m sorry, but the rest of this piece of hardware belongs suprisingly (for me) to the dark side:

  1. The analogsticks feel at the first sight o.k., but in comparison to the analogue sticks of the PS4 standard pad, they work much less precise. In result GT Sports or Project Cars 2 play much worse and were much less to no fun to play. If you play after that with the standard PS4 analog controller, the analogstick quality is kind of a revelation.
  2. The L and R Trigger (e.g. for eccellerate or braking), is in a weird angel positionend. Really strange, you have to press them a bit from the side.
  3. The L and R Trigger movement have much less space in comparison to the standard PS4 pad. With the standard PS4 pad you can much better controle excellerate and breake. In result you drive much more controlled as with the Hori ONYX.
  4. The buttons work fine, but the low budged material let them feel not so satisfying.
  5. Then the overall layout of the controllers. At all they mimik the X-Box pad and I love this, I think the X-Box controller layout is since years (Xbox S-controller, 360 controller and One) the untouchted king of the analogue controller layout. It is the holy grail … but even here the ONYX controller failed. It fits ergonomical simply not as good in the hand. And from both, design and material.
  6. There‘s no speaker at the ONYX pad. So if there is a funktion build in a game to use it (like in Project Cars 2 the pit talk), it is not supportet by the Hori pad.
  7. And some strange at the end. The standard PS4 controller I can easily charge with my Smartphone charger. That‘s very convenient. Strangely if I put it into the ONYX controller nothing happens. I have to stick the usb-cable onto my PS4 and connect with the ONYX controller, then the charge process works.

The digicross I havn‘t used much, so I cant say anything valuable about, but the first impression was also not so good. Far away from the digicross on the original PS4 controller which is again the far better choice.

Hori was for me a brand of quality, but holy I was suprised what I got. Hori is for me still a quality brand in case of arcade sticks. But on other perephials … I will be in the future more careful before buying.

I really cannot recommend this controller! Avoid this item. Stick with the original PS4 controller!1

Let’s do some random cover picporn vol.4

It has to be done … part 4 of my cover picporn series 😉

If you wanna look the first three parts, click the following links: cover picporn vol 3  — cover picporn vol 2cover picporn vol 1 (scroll down the rubbish ‘my hardwareretrospective’ stuff in vol 1 to see the cover scans)

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Shenmue I&II, Shadow of the TR, Marvel vs. Capcom

Shenmue 1 Remaster I have already played and I’m happy about the released remaster of Shenmue 1&2. First I thought cause I played the games back then on Dreamcast I will buy them more for my collection … but once started Shenmue I was back into it and enjoyed playing it. Yes it is a milestone from the past. But of course 3D (action) adventure games have developed so incredible fast in the last 18 years that many gameplayparts has aged. So escpecially today it is not for everone. But for them who enjoyed the games back then and want to reenter the series before playing part III of the Shenmue saga, which will be released August 2019, it’s still worth playing. For all others, especially younger gamers, it is imho the need to have a historic interest in gaming and adventure/action adventure games. It is a masterpeace and milestone from back then, when things were new … but today become a standard since years and in a much more polished way. But dispite of that, Shenmue is still today a game of its own, a unique gaming experience with its complete own character.

I heard of many bugs, but I had only minor issues. I had two bugged cutscenes (one darkscreen and the other showed the stars/sky instead the talking chars, one no importand, the other mainstory). And once I had also the first person bug. That was it, no other bug complains here. After I played Shenmue II, I will (hopefully) write a review about the games and why I still love them.

Shenmue ShadowTR Marvel vs Capcom

Shadow of the Tomb Raider just bought today and will this evening take my frist look. I did not read or watch any review. Cause the idiots spoils the shit out!! I want have the complete new experience when I press start!1

And Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. I’m not a serious Beat’em up guy, but I love to play them casualwise. I simply love the arcade feeling the games have and they are perfect for the fun inbetween.

Cyberpunk 2077 – first gameplay (explained)

After I saw this commented gameplay scenes, I’m now sure this will be the next big RPG for the upcoming years. Expected release so far end of 2019. Hopefully they will reach the gold status right in time.

Watch this vid! This is the Cyberpunk experience I was always excited for. Thx CD Projekt RED!1

Skyrim SE, Startrail, Sh. of TR, The Horde

After I recognized on E3 how long it will still need to TES VI (was happy to hear the official announcement of the game, but it will last 4 ever to come 😉 ), I decided to give Skyrim a second shot. Former played it on PC, now I play the Special Edition on PS4Pro … and man, the game is still a monster and works for me still perfect.

new games PS4Sat small

So other games has to wait. My Blade of Destiny Let’s Play will do a rest (RoA: Startrail already in *lol*) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider I wanted to play day 1 … but cause of Skyrim, will be played later. At least I have the preorder steelcase ^^

Skyrim rulz, and so I decided to create a ShowOff you can see on my YT channel. Sry, playin’ the German version, but if you familiar with the game, it’s still worth a look. The link to part one you find below … And found The Horde for the SEGA Saturn, absolutely mint condition for a good price. A really very nice game and total overlooked!1

BUG REPORT: RoA/DSA Blade of Destiny/Schicksalsklinge (REMAKE/consoleport/PS4)

Hi folks, while my ‘Lets Play’ of the remake of Realms of Arkania (Das Schwarze Auge) Blade of Destiny (Schicksalsklinge), originally a PC game, I faced some serious bug issues while playing the console port. And I thought it’s good to do a short report, regarding the bugs I recognized so far. I’m playing the PS4 version, but afaik the same counts for the XBoxOne port.

Nordlandtrilogie: Schicksalsklinge_20180102211139

BUGLIST

  • The first bug I mention is a really important one and I recommend to regard instantly at the beginning of the game. If you you go to the Hetmann in the longhouse to start the mainquest. He gives you a (first) recommendation letter to be able to go once into the house you get some weapons and amor for free to start you journey. So far o.k., do this. But after that, you have the possibility to got to the Hetman to receive a second recommendation letter. Don’t do this now, get it later if a person demand it from you. Then go back to Thorwal and get the recommendation letter. It’s a detour, but you can be sure the second recommendation latter is still available.

I did took the second letter at the beginning of the game … then need it much later in the game again to get a part of Hygelligs map a mainquest guy was asking for. In my case the game did not remember that I had already requested the second recommendation letter. I went back to Thorwal (first town) to ask for another … but the Hetman does not give you a new one. This is near game-breaking, cause you need the map-parts to have at the end the entire map to be able to finish the game.

Luckily there is a solution. First there are 9 people with map-parts in the game to find … but you need only 7 for completion. And one ontopic tipp more: I’m still in the first half of the game and at hermit-lake (near Phexcar) … and I found out that there’s a unicorn. Spare this unicorn event to the end … if you then still need a map-part, the unicorn is a joker … to bring you on map-part you missed out!!

 

  • This bug is only a minor issue and happened only in Thorwal. At the beginning of the game in Thorwal if I slept in a hostel and went up into the room, the ring menue disappeared and I couldn’t do anything anymore. The solution is to save and then load new, than the ringmenue will be work regular. And in my case, this happened only 2-3 times at the beginning of the game in Thorwal, after that it did not happen anymore

 

  • Rings: you can give rings from one char of your party to another. It’s a bug. The ring remains at the character you gave it to. But you can sell it.

 

  • I gave a witches-broom by accident to a non whitch char of my party. Now I can’t give the broom to another char, nor I can drop it, nor can sell it. This broom is stuck to the (wrong) character. Luckily it was a second broom/loot from an enemy. But if you have a witch in your group -> you will use the broom via magic-spell. Regard while taking the loot after the fight, to give the broom first to your witch to prevent a wrong giveaway.

 

  • The eat/drink bug. In the PC version properly working, in the console versions the hunger and thirst of your party members is out of balance. They need way to much resources. You need way to much proviant packages and you hunt success is to low … your party quickly crys for meat and water. As I activated this feature I tried it a while, switched it on, off, on, off … then I googled the issue … and found the confirmation that there is a huge eat/drink bug in the console port, not patched till yet. I recommend to deactivate it. That’s a bit sad, cause it has now consequences if I do a level up for my hunting character Feyaria. Now I do not use any points for hunting skills and use them while level up for other talents.

 

  • Level up bug: when you level up your chars, the games shows you via a green marked plus (+) symbol which talent can be leveled up, and which one reaches the actual maximum. If theres no green mark you know don’t to set a point into it … if you do the point is lost. So far so normal in the game … but regrettably the green plus (+) is not always correct, and despite marked as green it has reached the max. So the point you try to get in is lost. So it is usual to loose some points for nothing while leveling a char up.

You can now try it out, memorize everything and then load the previous savegame to fix it perfectly. But that’s imo very annoying. I decided to accept the loss (if it’s not too hard) and continue on.  Of course you can’t level up most efficient, so the game gets a bit more difficult … but you can’t also adjust the difficulty. So I e.g. have not activated slip-ups while fighting. And cause of the bug written above, you should also deactivate eat/drink in the difficult settings. And you can adjust other difficult settings more.

 

  • In fight I had the following bug only a couple of times. While fighting a character with long range attack abilities (e.g. char with spell or bow) suddenly had a broken ring menue and I couldn’t use their attacks or abilities in general any more. If this appears within a fight, this char is no longer usable for combat or heal till the fight ends. This did’t appear too often till now and in the next fight all worked always back to normal. Till now this bug only happened rarely.

 

  • *At the end of my buglist is a serious one. It’s breaking a sidequest. Damrosch gives you in Thorwal three sidequests at all (in the Zwingfeste). The first you can finish without any problems. The second sidequest you get later from him, you’ll face a place in the dungeon where the game normally starts a short message to let you dive deeper into the next level of the dungeon.

 

But in the console versions this not will happen, the game fails to trigger the event. The result: you can’t proceed the dungeon -> you cannot finish this sidequest.

The picture shows the place the sidequest will end for you:

Nordlandtrilogie: Schicksalsklinge_20180714160407

I recommend beside of that to explore the dungeon as far as possible. The battles gives you experience points and while exploring the dungeon you find some short informations/events (explained in texboxes) which gives you expoints as well.

The console port of the remake of Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny has a lot of bugs, but still remains playable. Beside one sidequest*. This pen&paper type of role playing game is quite unique today, especially on consoles. But I know there are some role playing gamers out there who love these puristic games.

I still enjoy it a lot playing the game! I did this list to give a better overview what to regard for all who like those oldschool RPGs and want to play the game on their console.

Happy gaming, cheers

Some pix/impressions of the game:

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