Thursday, May 14, 2015

The bridge over a river of gamers' tears

I got started with Arkham Origins not that long ago, and still haven't done the first main mission after leaving the Batcave near the beginning (because there's a crapton of side stuff you can do then, and you know how much I love me some sidequesting). And when they say this game lacks polish, they mean it. It's not terrible (at least not yet), but the problem is indeed that Arkham City exists.

But here's the dumbest thing I've seen in a game in quite a while. Let me try and make it understandable for those of you who have never played it. There are four sets of 15 optional challenges that you can do, and they give you upgrades, achievements, etc. once you progress far enough in each set. The 15th and final challenge in one of these sets involves stopping randomly spawning crimes in each of the game's nine districts. The problem is, it only starts counting once you've completed challenge 14, as you HAVE to do the challenges in order. One of the districts involved is the Gotham Pioneers Bridge, where one crime happens as a kind of pseudo-tutorial very early on. However, this is the ONLY crime that will ever happen in the area, and it's entirely impossible to have already done the first 14 challenges by that point. See where I'm going with this? By the time you reach challenge 15, no more crimes will ever happen in one of the nine districts (that being the bridge), which makes this challenge impossible in a single playthrough. You need to take care of the tutorial in New Game+ to get it. But that's horrible design, things like this should ALWAYS be doable in a single playthrough!

But wait, it gets worse. There are two ways you can bypass this stupid restriction and get this challenge on your first playthrough. One is to stop a crime elsewhere and hope a bug is triggered that makes it count as a crime that happened on the bridge. (Yes, there's actually such a bug. Holy crap. Gotta be how the testers did it, and they figured nothing needed to be changed.) The other is to go to the nearby Sheldon Park district, and when a crime spawns there kill all but one guy, start running towards the bridge, then when the game considers you're in the bridge area, kill the last guy there. And IT WORKS. I did mention this game lacked polish, right?

(On the flipside, you can fling enemies to the moon with a multi takedown if the physics engine feels like it, which is to say rather often. Can't do that in Arkham City, no siree!)

10 comments:

  1. I hate crap like that. Here, go for 100%. Just be aware that it's impossible to do in one playthrough and you'll only find out until you've done a lot of work. Or missables, missables kill me. I don't want to play through a game for the first time with a guide.

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    1. You mention that, there's another set of 15 where most of the challenges can only be done in rooms where enemies don't respawn, and some of them must be done in one room in particular because there's no other place where you can use the combination of moves required. You ABSOLUTELY need a guide if you want to do it in one playthrough, and if you don't really go out of your way to do it you can screw your file over permanently because of the way New Game+ works in the Arkham series (basically, you get a normal playthrough, ONE New Game+ playthrough, and in Origins you get a third playthrough where you have to beat the entire game without dying, else it's back to the beginning).

      The catch is that you need to do all 15 challenges to get an achievement (not to mention the one you get for finishing all four sets), and otherwise you need to do the first 10 to get an upgrade you can't 100% another game mode (good for more achievements) without.

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    2. How did this even get through quality control? There's nothing about this that's remotely good design. I can only imagine testers only played the main missions and didn't care about sidequests or anything.

      This is a real shame. I haven't played City yet, but I LOVED Asylum. Very good metroidvania-style game with plenty of exploration, nods to the series and a great combat system. I'm still very much looking forward to City, but Origins is looking less and less appealing. I do want to see what Deathstroke is like, though.

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    3. City's very different from Asylum, it's a lot more open-world and a lot less Metroidvania. You should definitely NOT go in expecting more of the same.

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  2. I don't recall how many of those I did myself. Oh, be prepared to rage once you get to Deathstroke. He's a colossal pain in the ass and a huge difficulty spike. Even the game after that all the way to the end isn't THAT hard.

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    1. And he's got an achievement for not failing a single counter or whatever. Looking at the Steam stats, not many people have that one.

      As for the whole difficulty spike thing, I remember hard mode Poison Ivy in the first game being sold as an insanely hard boss, yet I died only once on her. Joker gave me a lot more trouble, actually.

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    2. Okay, just got to Deathstroke, and I almost killed him, but reloaded because I want a shot at that achievement (and of course I can't get it if the game autosaves after the fight). Not all that tough, really, though if I didn't have all the armor upgrades I wouldn't have lasted as long.

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  3. You said Steam? Could be a difference in controllers, maybe; I was playing on the PS3. Then again, I forget what shields and blocking are half the time. For that very reason, I couldn't beat SENATOR FUCKFACE (new official name, and I won't call nanite foobaw Superman anything else) in Metal Gear Revengeance. I NEVER had to use the parry function before that fight.

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    1. I'm using a 360 controller, though.

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  4. This week is the Playboy bunny-I mean Lopunny. At least they don't sugarcoat it: Lopunny is only useful as a Mega, and it loves Aegislash being gone...

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