Average User Score: 7.3Apr 19, 2012There are two reasons this game is short of a 10/10 rating from me, and each is major enough to cut a full point away. One is the separationThere are two reasons this game is short of a 10/10 rating from me, and each is major enough to cut a full point away. One is the separation of North American and European servers. The other is the game's lack of mass appeal - it's very clear this product is targeting a specific niche, and while it offers that target market almost everything, it's not even remotely fun for most players outside that core group.
I live in New Zealand, and our local copies of the game connect us to the European servers. I'm literally on the opposite side of the world from almost everyone I've faced, and while there has been visible lag in a handful of matches (literally 4 or 5 of the DOZENS of online matches I've played), it's NEVER been severe enough to actually influence a battle. I've seen an incredibly fast-moving target teleport ALMOST the width of their mech in a worst-case scenario so far, which means literally nothing in the context of even the most precision-sensitive weapons.
As for the gameplay itself, the full freedom to reassign EVERY function in the game to a different part of the controller means that you can create your own control scheme EXACTLY the way you want. At first, I started with minor tweaks to the default controls, then adjusted a few more things as I got more in-depth into the game. Even after settling on a basic control scheme, there are a couple of tweaks I use for different builds, since each AC (the name for your mechs) handles VERY differently, and emphasises different functions.
Previous games in the series allowed players to "fly" as long as their AC's energy reserves held out, with the most recent releases, AC4 and For Answer, making "permaflight" builds a common sight. Those two games also made lightweight ACs significantly more durable than previous titles, where you had to sacrifice armour even more than firepower to get the fastest mechs. In this, and some other aspects, ACV is a return to the roots of the series. A good lightweight AC pilot can run rings around a less-skilled pilot with a heavy AC, but if you make a mistake, you go down fast and hard. LIkewise, a good pilot with a heavy AC will bring a lot of firepower against even fast-moving targets, but if they can stay out of the line of fire, it doesn't matter how big your guns are.
As every fan knows, customisation is the most important aspect of the series, and this game has done it justice. There are multiple types of arm, leg, core and head, along with generators, boosters, and FCS. In addition to all these options, up to 5 weapons can be equipped, with up to 3 available at a time. While Japan is 2 patches ahead of the rest of the world (and about to get another), there are some balance issues that need to be addressed, but there's still a lot of variety if you avoid the obvious overpowered weapons.
ACV has also expanded on the balance between physical and energy attacks, by dividing damage into 3 types, Kinetic, Chemical and Thermal Energy. Each body part on an AC provides a different amount of protection against each energy type, as well as a different amount of AP, or armour points (which are your health). High resistance to enemy attacks will reduce the amount of AP lost with each hit, so having lots of AP isn't always the most important thing. A good balance of AP and resistance to the right energy types for your opponent can be the difference between victory and defeat. I've won dedicated blade matches by bringing a KE damage physical blade when my opponent's AC was built with high TE defense in expectation of a laser blade. The same can be said of bringing a CE weapon like a Battle Rifle when the opponent thinks you'll have a Gatling Gun that deals KE damage, or vice versa.
The AI in the game can be pretty dense at times, with some of the lower-level AC pilots doing incredibly stupid things like shooting at you through walls. A few of the bosses are similar, but more often by "telegraphing" their attacks and giving the player time to find cover before firing super-powered weapons you otherwise wouldn't have a chance against. Most of the tougher enemies are less likely to do this, but they tend to be quite predictable, and once you understand an enemy's patterns, it becomes a little too easy to beat them. It would have been nice to see at least a few enemies who change their build based on your recent history, or at least react differently based on how your machine is assembled.
In addition to the less-than-impressive AI, the game's single player story is lacking - there's the groundwork for a GREAT plot, but they never really delve into it, and while there are some clever moments worthy of any mecha anime, they're usually short on the context necessary to make them work.
Overall, the game is impressive, but flawed, and it really is only suitable for players who want to focus on both building and piloting highly-customisable giant robots.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Mar 18, 2012I'm new here. While some people are claiming all the reviews are being written by people who worked on the game, I can safely say that mostI'm new here. While some people are claiming all the reviews are being written by people who worked on the game, I can safely say that most aren't. For some people, this game will fall short of expectations... not because it doesn't achieve something great, but because it doesn't follow the usual conventions of the gaming industry.
Journey is very different from most games. In spite of its mechanics and playstyle being far more akin to conventional games, in many ways, it's less of a typical game than thatgamecompany's previous titles, flOw and Flower.
The basic premise is simple - you're given an objective to reach, and little else. The controls are simple - you can walk, jump, and sing.
If that was all there was to the experience, that would be disappointing. If you're disappointed, you missed the point. The game is about emotion, connecting with a stranger, and experiencing beauty.
The user "aspentitan" has written a "5/10 Buyer Beware" review. I VERY STRONGLY recommend reading it. The game is short, but it's BEAUTIFUL. And it's not just beautiful in the sense of art style, or graphics (although those are beautiful too). It draws on the emotions of the player in ways that very few games do.
I'm rating the game 10/10. That doesn't mean 100% and doesn't mean the game is perfect. It DOES mean, however, that it's something EVERYONE should experience.
If you play the game online, and are disappointed, try again without being online. For some people, the solitary experience is more powerful. If you tried it offline first, and it didn't live up to your hopes, sign in and try again. For many, the connection with another Journeyer makes the experience worthwhile.
There's a reason I keep using the word "experience" in this review - it's because "play" doesn't fit. I've already said this game isn't your usual game. It's barely a game at all, and treating it as nothing more than a game isn't going to do it justice.… Expand