Saturday, April 7, 2012

Platinum Get - Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Last week, after grinding for my last bounties, I ran through Uncharted:  Golden Abyss on Crushing, which had been a task I worried about as I worry over every attempt at a game on its hardest difficulty.  In the best cases, they are appropriate tests of your acquired learnings from playing the game on lesser difficulties, and in the worst cases, they're a gauntlet of bullshit strung together for 4-9 hours.  Never has an Uncharted game been one of the latter cases and Golden Abyss is no exception to this in the least; in fact, I would even suggest that as far as the Uncharted games go, this has been the easiest Crushing thus far.  That's not a point against the game, of course, as I'm not the type to actually hope a game would be harder, though a little more of a challenge would have been welcomed, if that makes sense to anyone but me.  As it stands, the only section I really had troubles with was Chapter 11 which, for anyone who has played the game, knows that that's a fault of the section itself, and not the difficulty.

I might suggest that part of the ease of the game came with the extended exposure to its specific mechanics I had, however, since farming bounties essentially turned me into a rather effective killing machine.  Playing each section on Hard does have its benefits of course, and while I was only able to employ my "Nathan Drake Finesse Training" in one section (basically saying I tried to avoid cover when possible and use a lot of Iron Fists and generally dangerous methods of attack), it paid off exponentially.  By the time I made it to the respective farming sections in Crushing, they went by in a breeze which is not something to expect in a Crushing run in the least.  While I won't say they're Trial and Error sections, since that gives the wrong impression, Crushing runs generally do entail learning from one death to another until you can effectively plot out a plan of attack that will leave you as the last one standing.  The real pleasure from that is derived from when it goes right and you stand amidst the guns scattered about, lacking owners, and feel it set in that there isn't going to be anyone coming.

As I've said before and will likely say again several times in the near-to-far-future, the most time-intensive part of the Trophy Set for Golden Abyss was really only the bounty hunting.  While Golden Abyss offers a campaign that is long enough for me to say it is, in fact, 'meaty', my last play-through of the game was over the course of two days purely because I was skipping every cutscene that I could and, well, not screwing up and dying a lot.  In some ways, Bounty Hunting probably took an equal amount of time, but we gauge as much on feeling and opinion as on reality, so to say that it felt much longer than completing the campaign the three times that I did (Normal, Hard, Crushing) is certainly saying a lot.  I apologize for bringing it up so much since I realize I do, but I am just trying to hammer in the fact that it took an amount of time that I really didn't expect from an Uncharted game.

I guess it's because of that that I'm not really bemoaning the fact that Golden Abyss offers nothing outside of a Single-Player experience.  Sure, you can trade bounties over Near, but that doesn't count in the least for multiple reasons.  In a sense, I guess it would be nice if there were Co-Op offerings in the same vein as Uncharted 2 and 3's respective ones, and it's a rare day when you don't hear someone clamoring for Competitive Multiplayer in everything no matter what, but most people refer to Online methods of the above as 'padding' and really, that's all it would be here.  Golden Abyss offers a really, really great experience, a hint towards the level of quality we can expect in the future (both on par with GA and above) and, most importantly, I feel it has quite enough content to justify its existence without opening the doors to Online profiles, Multiplayer matches against people who are level 53 and the like.  That is my opinion of course, but this is coming from someone who routinely spends 100+ hours in Dynasty Warriors games just to achieve the ultimate goal of thoroughly 'completing' them; I would suggest I have a pretty good grasp on the bang:buck ratio.

Still, at the same time, directly after Platinuming Golden Abyss, I saw no real point to keeping it in my Vita and switched it out for Dynasty Warriors Next without any real intention to play it.  With access to four other games on the Vita itself (Legend of Heroes:  Trails in the Sky, Final Fantasy Tactics:  War of the Lions, Persona 3 Portable and MotorStorm RC), I don't see why I -shouldn't- have Next in on the off-chance that I get the urge to play it, but, much like most of my games, when I am done with them, I am simply done, so perhaps it's just more me than anything about GA.  At the same time, Multiplayer didn't hold my interest in Uncharted 2 or 3 for much longer after the Platinums for them were attained, so I guess I'm just more focused on Single-Player things yet.  Part of the dying breed, as it were.  At any rate, with this Platinum, I'm up to 18 and am thusly reminded that I haven't gotten one of these baubles since Drake's Deception.  I have been getting lazy, apparently.

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