Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dazed by Gravity Rush

So, because Harvest Moon's summertime has made me mad and I wanted to step away from the game for a bit, I went, "Gee, I haven't played Gravity Rush in a while" and went to remedy that.  Since I have it and all, and haven't played it for reasons that are far, far beyond my own comprehension.  Between everything I have on my Vita (and could potentially have, like the two Persona games I've yet to download) I could've picked anything, yet I decided on Gravity Rush again.  Because I like Gravity Rush.  As a whole, complete thing, I like it at least.  As a thing in practice, or rather a thing I am playing....I'm waning a little bit after today's go.  Which is a weird thing and something that I feel I need to qualify with a few things before knee-jerking begins.

I find that I'm struggling a bit with the game in terms of accepting the progress that I have made inside of the actual game itself.  Chapter-wise, I'm coming up on the end, I believe and basically just got to the point where the Special Forces DLC Pack (that I got as a pre-order bonus) could finally be used, played and enjoyed (aside from a couple challenge missions that I'd actually played before today - and provided I wasn't too thick and overlooked the story missions of the DLC entirely) and I played them.  In fact, I got the full range of the trophies for it which has a really cool effect with the trophy portraits that I admit I got entirely too much of a kick out of.  It's just really cool despite being really, really simple.  Anyways, the second mission of the DLC pack offered me a way to actually quantify one of my main problems with the game (though playing through some of the other challenge missions did that moreso) and it's a bit of an annoying thing when you think about it.

Without spoiling a whole lot, the second mission makes use of those water towers that you see scattered around roofs through the cities that, if you didn't know, you can grab up with your stasis field.  I mention this because this is, in fact, what you're doing in the mission - finding these, picking them up with stasis field and throwing them with an expected level of accuracy.  The issue is, despite the areas you need to hit being fairly large, I found myself struggling to....actually hit them in a way that the game agreed with, if the item shot the way I wanted it to go in the first place.  I saw this in a much more tangible way later on when I was throwing Gravity Kick after Gravity Kick towards one of the large, gangly dragon things that fly around and shoot projectiles at you and missing completely, despite having a fairly good level in the ability.  Anyway, the point I'm making is that accuracy is not a thing that is guaranteed in this game, even relative accuracy, and that's something of a concern really.

The other issue I touched on there is pretty much the other big issue I have - the game is entirely too reliant on the Gravity Kick move.  It is, beyond the usage of special attacks and stasis field tossing, the only offensive move you can make in mid-air and couple that with the fact that it is not all that accurate (on its own merits, and when you have a creature with 'natural' shielding, i.e. the core is placed in an area that's constantly obscured by wings or the like...) it is a bit of a problem.  Perhaps it's more a side-effect of me coming off of brawler games that I've been throwing spare hours into (Sleeping Dogs, mostly), but the combat is just shallow for me and that's a real shame.  I just do not particularly enjoy flying up in the air, hitting Square to launch at an enemy a ways away and then just watching as I sail right past them for no discernible reason.  Or hitting a non-core part of an enemy for the equal amount of no reason that I can tell.  After all, part of the upgrade to the Gravity Kick levels is lock-on accuracy increased, right?

Unfortunately, for me the actual getting around is another staggering point thought that might also be a factor of me comparing it to other things.  In this case, the total fluidity-of-movement granted by inFamous 2 was ambrosia from the Gods that I suspect might have just spoiled me for other things, such as cases like this.  inFamous 2 wasn't about free-running or anything of that sort, it was about getting where you gotta go and it did this in a way that offered variation all throughout no matter what path you went and it was glorious.  Similar to that, Gravity Rush gives you all the tools you need to get wherever the hell you wanna go, but those tools, rather the tool, is not quite as refined to allow that ease of travel.  This is a self-imposed sort of rigidity I imagine, since the game is an 'Origins' story as it were and Kat has not fully come into her powers, but that knowledge doesn't give me comfort when I try to get to Point B and hit Point C along the way because I can't move around that well without stopping and re-adjusting, or when the 'momentum' of gravity wasn't wonked in a way that prevents me from flying up the side of a building, un-shifting and landing on the roof of it as I should be able to without second and sometimes third attempts that end with me ultimately flying up, stopping and simply flying directly at the roof.

Still, I do not dislike Gravity Rush in the least and I can say with some certainty that I am still enamored with it in a very real way.  The issues, while not of my own making for once, that I have with the game are not insurmountable, and I don't have too much ire at having to do so.  I think that, after going through and gold medalling a bunch of challenges today as I did, I've reaffirmed to myself that I am quite getting the hang of the controls of the game, even Gravity Sliding (which is an abomination), and that I'm sure I will find that level of finesse required to go from passable at getting around to being actually skilled in it.  Or at the very least, I'll be able to do a little better than I am now which is still quite better than I was when I started it.  Basically what I mean is that I'm planning on getting good at the game because I like it.  And I hope that in the eventual sequel (come on, we know it and we want it) they achieve the same level of quality increase as Sucker Punch managed with inFamous to the sequel.  Which, I think we all look for that level of increase anymore for anything regardless, but it never hurts to hope.

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