PSN Platinum Trophy Thoughts No.181 - No.190

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#181 - Neptune Re;Birth1

Difficulty: 4/10

First time playing a title in the Neptune series. It’s definitely not a perfect game, but it’s fun to watch the story and play.

+ Story and memes. That’s why I bought this;

+ Impressive character design. It seems that almost everyone around me who has played this has at least one fav character;

+ Battle system. Looks like a combination of a strategy and turn-based RPG game, although sometimes I need to use d-pad buttons to slightly adjust the character direction;

- No auto-save. In that notorious chapter 2, consecutively fighting 2 bosses without auto-save or retry is horrible. Although there are also consecutive battles in later chapters, they are not challenging as this one;

- Money grinding trophy. It’s just… frustrating.

#182 - Aer: Memories of Old

Difficulty: 2/10

Got this from the End of Year Sale. Unfortunately, the AS/HK version has “fixed” the glitch, so the trophy Hide and Seek is unlocked differently from what the guide states.

+ This game emphasizes the flying experience, which is unique, although there’s one stage that requires the player to fly through circles;

+ Details while flying, such as the effect when your character flies through clouds;

- Tedious puzzles that always ask the player to use the lantern to light something that opens a new pathway;

- Weird jumping animation frames that make me feel like wandering on the moon;

- Boring ambient music.

#183 - It Takes Two

Difficulty: 2/10

Although I could feel the creativity of this game, it still makes me wonder how did this game win the GOTY award, since it is not even perfect (or almost perfect) because of the lack of gameplay and I would only rate this game around 8~8.5/10.

+ Innovative experience delivered as a collaboration-focused game;

+ Appropriate amount of comedy atmosphere and memes;

- The puzzle-solving and platforming gameplay are not as impressive as its cinematic cutscenes. Most stages are linear and could be beaten just by running through without thinking about the strategy. The only time I and my friend got stuck was in the winter village stage;

- Camera angles. It is sometimes difficult to locate my character since he/she is too small. Besides, the camera angle sometimes also ruined my platforming experience. For example, since the camera is too far from my character while playing the Hell Tower, trees near the bottom of the tower would often block my view;

- Story ending. There’s only one “happy” ending, where Cody and May repaired their broken relationship and continued living as a family. It seems somehow “cliche” for me but it’s just my personal view.

#184 - Elden Ring

Difficulty: 5/10

Although it’s not as fascinating as DS3 (battle) or Bloodborne (story), Elden Ring is still my favorite game this year so far.

+ Well-designed dungeons such as Stormveil Castle and Miquella’s Haligtree;

+ Traveling through the open world with your mount Torrent while sightseeing is fun;

+ If you have trouble fighting against enemies, switching to another area or doing some leveling becomes a solution;

+ No stupid covenant item farming this time;

- Bad boss battle design. (1) Seems that the Tarnished is a little bit weaker than the Ashen one due to input latency of dodging and using items, but damn, all bosses in this game look like stimulant overdosing, making using melee weapons (except weapons with Frost Stomp or… Moonveil) much more challenging, since it is necessary to give them a stun-lock to prevent them from attacking, or you’ll have to attack them using spells. For example, Margit and Godrick, two early bosses in this game, fighting with them without summoning NPCs or Ashes makes the battle almost equivalent to the battle against Dancer in DS3, or even harder. (2) Some enemies such as Godskin, some Knights, and some NPC invaders read players’ input commands like a cheater. For example, during the battle, right after pressing the :square:, even before the drinking flask action starts, those enemies start to react as they’ve already known your action.

One more interesting thing, it seems that all my friends playing this game told me that their first story-related boss was Margit. However, compared to Margit, is Leonine in Castle Morne more acceptable? Or are we all deceived by Miyazaki?

#185 - Nurse Love Addiction

Difficulty: 1/10

It overall looks like a cute Yuri VN for weebs, but after reading all those BEs, it was horrifying as hell. The story has almost no relationship with Nurse Love Syndrome, so no difficulties in understanding the story background without playing the first title.

+ Full voice and awesome artwork;

+ All Good Endings (and the Normal Ending) looks fine;

- Some Bad Endings, similar to Root Letter, are too surreal;

- The medical dictionary is removed in the English version.

#186 - STEINS;GATE Senkei Kousoku no Phenogram

Difficulty: 1/10

It looks like a collection of side stories from different timelines of the original SG. Some chapters add details to the original storyline, others are some “if-story” chapters that have almost no connection with the original storyline.

+ Most stories are fun to read, although it seems that there is more than one author, which makes the quality of the text varies a lot;

+ Music;

- The email system. It does not relate to the story at all, so attempting to save/reload to collect all emails are sort of meaningless.

#187 - Senran Kagura Estival Versus (PS4)

Difficulty: 2/10

Revisiting this game 7 years later brought me some brand new experiences. Marvelous had added lots of costumes and Finisher cutscenes, which makes the “All Collectibles” trophy harder to track, but the game itself is still fun to play.

+ More characters and more stories compared to any other titles in the series;

+ Memes in those cutscene dialogs;

- Actions such as attacking and dodging are more clumsy than later titles such as Burst Renewal;

- Sometimes enemies may glitch out of the map.

#188 - Carto

Difficulty: 4/10

This might be the most astonishing game I’ve played this year so far. Ideas such as creating a puzzle by giving players fragments of a map and encouraging players to solve the puzzle by rotating and rearranging the map fragments are innovative (although I’ve seen a similar idea in a game jam demo). Playing this game even with a text guide is challenging due to plenty of combinations, but it is definitely fun and worth it.

#189 - Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD

Difficulty: 2/10

A condensed version of the original FFXV, this game concentrates on the main quests of the original game, while ditching most side quests. A good one for those who would only like to know the main story of FFXV.

+ Adorable art style;

+ Solid gameplay;

- Frustrating AP farming; (and there’s no autosave after the battle against Cactuars)

- Tedious and lengthy chapter 8. (Original chapter 13) Sorry, I’m not a fan of stealth games.

#190 - STEINS;GATE: My Darling’s Embrace

Difficulty: 1/10

As a spin-off or fandisk of STEINS;GATE, this one has a better story than Phenogram since it brings more fun and delightful experience while reading. Most characters’ routes are not related to the “gadget”, but all routes come with a romantic storyline. Moeka’s and Kurisu’s routes are my favorites, especially Moeka’s route. I never pay too much attention to her while playing STEINS;GATE, but she created a totally different impression in this fandisk.

Besides, it was the first time that I had read all text and emails in a STEINS;GATE game, and the English translation was better than I thought.