Yesterday was the first day I did not play Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja) since I first tried it out. Ian has said that the big boss of this level is pertty interesting and something he had never seen before, but that means finishing the level. Which I have absolutely no desire to do.
This level was the nadir of the game (so far). I mentioned several reasons why this was true in the last post. I will add to that in this post, but, honestly, I’m pretty much done with the game. Ian has told me that the boss of this level is something he’d never seen before, so I might push through, but, it’ll be with my teeth gritted.
Side note: Speaking of teeth, I had two temporary crowns and a bridge put in on Monday. It was supposed to take 90 minutes (including breaks). I have a tiny mouth. Tiny. Even the kid’s jaw opener block thing was hard to fit into my mouth. I was not looking forward to this appointment at all. My dentist had to build up the two teeth that needed crowns (wihch means posts inside them) plus bridge them as they have one tooth between them. Each tooth on its own was not strong enough, therefore, the bridge.
I went in thinking it was going to be agony. The last time I had to have a root canal, I was in tears because of the mouth block thing. This time was 2 1/2 hours not including the breaks. We started at 2 p.m. and I walked out at 5 p.m. My jaw ached, but I did not cry at all! I consider that a success.
Anyway, back to Wo Long.
I spent two hours trying to get enough fortitude to take on the head evil mermaid. She was a 7. I would get up to 4 or 5 and then be killed by an exploding big porcupine. I cannot tell you how much I hate those big porcupine. I’ve said in the past that they remind me of the worst enemies in the 2nd DLC of Dark Souls II. Except these are totally different because they explode in fire! They’ne not made of ice. Get it??
I think my biggest complaint about this game (and believe me, I have many) is enemy placement. This is actually a problem with all Team Ninja games–they mistake enemies you can’t see jumping out at you as difficult. No, it doesn’t make the game hard (at least not in the sense they mean)–just unreaasonable. There was one giant porcupine that I still don’t know where it came at me from.
In the first two acts of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja), I was cruising along. Yes, the first boss was hard and took me forever to beat, but that was a glitch and should not have happened. Had he actually worked properly, I would have gotten him in seven or eight tries. Which, for me, isn’t that bad.
I cruised along until the Third Act. I have to say, one of the issues with this game is that the missions are sparse. In the Niohs, there were two or four sub-missions per mission. In this game, there is one sub-mission per mission. Maybe two if you’re really lucky. And only one or two main mission per act. I’m not unhappy about there being less missions over all, really, but it just feels weird. Like a stripped down version of the Niohs.
In the third act, you get to the Hidden Village and meet Hong Jing. She is….uh…No idea. But her master is missing. Who’s her master? Who knows? I think he’s her brother? And a monk? Definitely a hermit as they all are. I have not read the character directory for ages because of the frustrating auto-scroll.
At any rate, you have to go find the immortal wizard–which, again, is her brother? Her master? Both? It seems as if the step-up from the last mission to this one (the fifth) was big. Immediately, there was a tiger who was a level 10 in fortitude while you were at 0. There have always been that stronger opponent in a level, but in this level, it felt as if there were way more over-leveled enemies than ones that were at your fortitude or one level above.
This becomes an even bigger issue in the sixth mission, but I’ll get to that in a second. The boss of the fifth mission, Aoye, was a cow demon. And it hit hard. It nearly always started with a red attack that was it motoring across the whole field to hit you, and it could kill me if i completely missed my deflect. Which is bullshit. I have railed about this in From games–I hate bosses that can one-shot you. Especially when then you lose any morale buff you had before going into the fight.
This boss was…not fun. Hong Jing does lightning damage, which, fine, but she died so quickly. And if I tried to rez her, I got killed in one hit. My problem with this particular boss is that, well first of all the big red move needs to be deflected much earlier than you would think you needed to block. Basically, as soon as the red flash occurs, you have to block. Even though Aoye hasn’t moved at all yet. Then, it motors towards you at such a fast speed. By the time you actually get the deflect sound, it’s in your face.
I beat that lightning boss in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja). I don’t take much joy in it because, well, I’ll get to that in a minute. I will say that I was bitching to Ian about the boss because–and this is actually an issue I have with all Team Ninja games–the deflect is just not consistent across the enemies. I mean, to be fair, the deflect/parry box is different for different enemies in From games as well, but at least it’s consistent within an enemy group. I can’t do it well, but that’s clearly on me.
Back to the deflect. In Nioh 2, there was something it was the burst counter. There would be a red flash, and you had to hit RT+B (I think?) at the right time. It was a different time for each enemy. In this game, it’s just B. But it’s the same thing where you had to do it at the right time after the red flash. The issue in Wo Long is that they hooooooooooooooold that flashing red to an unreasonable point. In Sekiro, the red kanji flashed and then you hit the deflect. It was very precise. I was trash at it, but the windows were consistent. In Nioh 2 and now in Wo Long, they aren’t. In this game, it’s partly because the windows are more generous. I get the deflect much more often than I did in Nioh 2. However, with this boss, I hardly got it at all. he flashed red and then held it, held it, held it, and then BAM. I got the deflect once or twice but for the most part,I just tried to hit him when I could and let my buddy take most of the damage. I buffed us with our spells (to have us take less damage was one spell and us getting healt back with each hit on the enemy as another) and then just backed the fuck way off not to get hit.
I’m rolling through Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja) and feeling like a fucking badass. With a caveat. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let me start by saying, though, that I’m beyond annoyed at the automatic text-scrolling in the character encyclopedia. There is no way to pause it, and the text is very small. Yes, you can enlarge it, but it’s still small and hard to read. I quick-Googled it and there’s no way to stop the scroll. Apparently, Team Ninja is ‘aware’ of the issue. But, why the hell put it in in the first place? Again, this is from Google, but this was also something in Nioh 2 and they patched it out. Why repeat their mistake???
That’s what haunts me about it. Why put it in in the first place? It would seem the default would be no-scroll, so someone had to code in the scroll. I could be wrong. It’s very likely I’m wrong because I know nothing about games development. But it really makes it so I don’t want to read about the characters. I read fast, but not with that font. And I like to choose to progress at my own damn pace.
The second issue I have is with the morale system. I mentioned it in yesterday’s post, but only briefly. Every time you go into a new area, there is a base morale level of 10. There are marking flags and battle flags in the level (the latter are like bonfires in the Souls series), and the more you find, the higher your morale raises. Every time you kill an enemy, your morale gets a bump. You can’t go over 25 morale.
If you fight a person with less morale than you have, it’ll be easier, but your reward will be not as great as if you fight someone with a higher morale. If you die, your morale goes back to the base number–and all this info (morale level, battle flags (say, 4/5), and marking flages (also with a discrete number)) is in the upper righthand corner. So, to sum up, it’s in your interest to find all the battle flags and the marking flags.
I both like and don’t like this system. I like it because it’s a way of over-leveling without grnding. I don’t like it because going back to base morale, especially when it’s at the beginning of the level before you find the flags, feels demoralizing. Also, it makes level almost irrelevant, but that’s true of all Team Ninja games. In the Niohs, they’ll give a suggested level for each mission, and I would mentally double that number. In this game, your level matters so little in comparison to your morale. Get those battle flags and those marking flags whenever you can. You do not want to have less morale than your enemies/boss.
I beat the first boss of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Team Ninja), and I think it was glitched for me. Why? Bceause, and needless to say, there will be spoilers for the first boss in this post. In yesterday,s post, I wrote about my quick impressions. Now I need to hash out my feelings about the game.
Many of my frustrations with the Niohs are present here as well. Funky controls/buttons, yes. I know that the Souls buttons schematic is considered bad by most people. But, it wsa my first schematic for these kinds of games, which means it’s the one imprinted in my brain. RB + RT for light and heavy attacks. B for roll (always), and A for interaction. A is also jumping in the latter games. X is heal (rather, consumables) and Y is for two-handing.
On one of my Xbox controllers, the B button broke. I asked my brother how to fix it and he said to change the button to something else to roll. I reacted as if he had told me to chop off my fingers. Map it to another button? Are you kidding me? B IS ROLL. B has always been roll. B will always be roll. There is no discussion to be had here.
To be fair, B is evade/dodge in this game. But it’s also the deflect as well. And it was the same in the second Nioh. Well, RT+B was the burst counter in the last game. When the game tried to explain this, it did it very poorly. I got the impression that you had to hold down LB as you hit B, but, no. It’s just B. Or LS+B for direction deflecting. and tapping B twice has you dodging.
The imputs are not precise. If you’re not perfectly still as you hit B, you can circlce-strafe the enemy–as I found out several times fighting the boss. I’m not completely complaining because that means you won’t get hit or get hit less, but it means that you can’t count on getting the deflect if you’re moving around.
So the first boss is a wrestler-looking guy who bellows and pounds his chest as he swings a huge pinecone mace/hammer. He’s quick and seemingly has endless stamina. Drinking your estus in this game, er, Dragon’s Potion? Whatever the healing thing is called takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to drink. We’re talking Dark Souls II levels of drinking speed (which is notoriously terrible). Also, that magic I was talking about being so great in the last post? I was wrong. In bosses, it’s useless because the boss is just too relentless. It’s hard to get off an offensive spell. Also, there is a secondary thing about the spells that I did not understand until hours into the boss fight. That’s on me because it makes complete sense, but it was still frustrating.
There are five different kinds of magic. Fire, wood, water, metal, and earth. There are five different stats you can level up. Each stat corresponds with one of the elements as well. Vigor is….wood? I’m not sure, but let’s pretend it is. If you want to use a level 1 Wood spell, then, you have to have one point in Vigor. If you want to use a level 3 spell, you need three points. This makes sense, but I could not figure it out. During the frustrating boss fight, I wanted to use the spell that gives you back health for damaging the enemy (works for both you and your allies). I needed 4 in Wood Magic. I had no idea how to get to a 4 in Wood Magic until I figured out that the symbols for each level up stat corresponded to the symbols for the magicks.
I used that and the one that buffered defense during the boss fight, but neither my lightning bolt nor my fireball. I just could not get them off with the boss constantly attacking me. Zhang Liang. You have an NPC with you as you fight, the Blindfolded Boy . He is worse than useless, though. He shouts out encouragement that is blatantly false (“I’ll protect you as you heal!” Don’t fall for it. He won’t) and mostly walks around with his weapon held in front of him. The boss mostly ignores him and goes straight for me. No matter what. Unless the Blindfolded Boy throws little rocks at the boss or something. Then the boss will be diverted for a microsecond before turning back to me.
I’ve been hyped for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, a China-based Nioh by Team Ninja ever since I saw the first trailer/article for it. Ian has been playing it ahead of time and giving me his general impressions of it. I saw videos of the demo and was cautiously hyped. It looks very Team Ninja, both good and bad. If I never see another burning village again, it would be too soon, but the tutorial of the game is, of course, set in a burning village.
I love the character customization, but I always end up doing the same thing. I spend tons of time in the hair, a bit less time in the eyes, and then I do the minimum with the rest of the face. I did like that your gender choices were male, female, and other. Apparently, if you choose other, you get they/them and ‘the protagonist’ in the dialogues.
I always want to make the character look like me. It’s usually not possible because I can’t make them as fat as I want or the hair as long as I want. }I have to chuckle that hair physics still suck, but I’ve accepted that I cannot make the hair past mid-back. The exception was Code Vein (Bandai Namco Bandai) which was problematic for other reasons.
I lose interest in the content creation when I could not tell the difference between the different settings for, say, chin width. But my character looks dope and sounds dope, too. That’s all I really care about.
I will say that if you’re playing K/M, apparently, it’s hot trash. I don’t know why you would want to play these kinds of games with K/M, but fair warning. It’s one reason it’s been bomb-reviewed on Steam. Apparently, some people are having performance issues, too, but I am not. Then again, I have a really beefy desktop PC so take that with a grain of salt.
Once I jumped into the tutorial, it felt very familiar. It’s basic Ninja Theory as far as movements. I have to say, though, that the buttons are messed up. Here’s the thing. I’m so used to FromSoft buttons. RB and RT for attacks. A for interact. Y for two-handing. This is pre-Elden Ring. A is jump in Elden Ring. Wo Long, on the other hand, follows the Nioh buttons. Which, by the way, default to PlayStation buttons, even on Game Pass. You can switch so they show up in XBox, but come on.
In Team Ninja land, light attack is X. Heavy attack is Y. Dodge is B (like Souls. well, double-tap on B), but LS+B is deflect. Which, in Nioh, it’s RT-B for deflect. Or whatever it’s called in this game. It’s like the Sekiro deflect, but apparently more generous. I can’t speak to that because the tutorial was so shitty, I was confused as to how to do the deflect. And I knew how to do it because Ian had told me ahead of time! But the tutorial was so awful, I just forgot everything I knew.
I love indie games. I want to state that upfront because I’m going to delve into my frustrations, especially with a specific type of indie game. Binding of Isaac (Edmund McMillen). There. I said it. And to be clear, I adore Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I 1001%ed it, and then played a run a day (roughly an hour) for years after. I’ve put in a Northerlion-amount of time into the game, and it was my comfort gaming for quite some time.
Then, Edmund ruined it by doing what many indie devs do–he listened to the community too much and broke it beyond repair. I’ve seen this happen many times with a popular indie game. The first was Nuclear Throne by Vlambeer. I loved that game. I adored it. I played it every day. It was hard as nails for me, but I didn’t care. Much. I beat the throne twice. But then I realized that I could not do the post-throne content because it was even harder, and that’s when I reluctantly gave up on the game. This was after 700+ hours. I quit cold-turkey once I realized I had hit a wall. I went back once when there was an update of additional content including new characters. It was still way too hard for me, and I quickly gave up again.
There was one game, Streets of Rogue (Matt Dabrowski) that handled it well, I thought. You could change the way the game played for the different characters to make it easier or harder depending upon how you felt like playing it. I found the game too hard to play ‘pure’. So I put a few mods on the soldier such as unlimited ammo and had way more fun with the game. I gave that one up because I grew more uncomfortable with the politics of the game as it went on, but I appreciated the generous modding you could do in the game.
Another game that had me quitting at the end (not the real end, but the ‘end’) was Dead Cells by Motion Twin. Which, by the way, is a developer that has an egalitarian company where everyone gets paid the same and supposedly has equal say. I qualify it because I don’t know; I don’t work there. Plus, I have a hard time believing any company is truly 100% hiearchy-free.
Anyway, I loved that game. It’s a roguelike/lite that has Souls elements to it and gorgeous graphics/environments. I adored the skills and the story/lore, and the ‘one more run’ feel to it. I love the ice skills and would normally run with an ice build. It was a difficult game. But, I got better and better until I finally made it to the castle. Where, I would promptly die to the final boss (final, again, in quotes). Like in 10 seconds die. OK, not quite that quickly, but it was brutal. I had the max on damage reduction which was something like 80%, but it didn’t matter. Plus, the ice skills did not work on the final boss. He just laughed and was not frozen. At all.
So I had to scramble to find the shop in the castle and hope that I could find items that were not ice-based–and that I had enough money to buy them. And then die, anyway, wasting an hour of my life. At this ponit, I had nothing else I could buy that would stay with me from run to run because I had bought them all. So I could do a full run and have nothing to show for it because I died in two seconds on the final boss. And I did not make it there very often. Maybe once in ten runs or so.
I gave up because it wsa not fun. I was not able to see enough of the final boss’s moves to formulate even a rudimentary plan for dealing with him before he killed me. When I talked about the game on the RKG Discord much later, I found I wasn’t the only person who had the same experience. Going through the game, feeling like a god with a fantastic ice build, only to die in less than 30 seconds to the final boss.
In my last post, I was talking about how you are playing Dark Souls wrong. It doesn’t matter how you play it–you’re wrong. You’re a caster? WRONG. You’re Haveling it up? WRONG. You’re so dex, you’re rolling all over the place? WRONG. Drake sword? Wrong. Zwei? Wrong. Over-leveling? Wrong. The only right way to play it, apparently, is to one-bro it up. That is, starting as the Pyro (level one) and never leveling up. Not your character nor your armor nor your weapon. Wait. I’m not sure it’s verboten to level up your armor. Huh. At any rate, though, not your character or your weapon.
I have never done a one-bro because I need my magic tricks (literally) to get the job done. I was fighting an NPC in PvP in Elden Ring (for a quest) who drops my favorite talisman (Crepus’s Vial, muffles your footsteps) much earlier than I normally do. I did not have my powerful magicks, so it was a chore because this particular NPC (Rileigh the Idle) is a quick assassin-type who will Scarlet Rot you to death with successive jabs of their dagger. They also have a crossbow with scarlet rot bolts.
I never had a problem with them in my other playthroughs because I foughtthem near the end of the playthrough. That mean I had powerful magicks that could kill them in a few zaps. THis early on, I needed four flasks of cerulean tears along with one measly flask of crimson tears (flasks get halved when you invade) just to get them deaded. Ginstone Stars fired off with the aid of Radagon Icon, a talisman that shortens casting time. A time before the last time, I had them down to a pixel, but ran out of blue juice. I could not get one measly melee hit on them.
I called them several bad names on my way to killing them (well, actually one bad name several times), and now I have to go fetch the Hidden Body spell (called Unseen Form in this game) in order to have my beloved Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring/Hidden Body combo.
As I was looking up Dark Souls trailers, I came across the one below which I had never seen. Or at least, I don’t remember ever having seen it. It could be because I truly have not seen it, but it could also be that my brain damage wiped it from my memory. I love that I can blame everything on my brain damage! In actuality, there was very little that was actually damaged during my medical crisis–which makes it more surprising when something actually is because of it.
I like Elden Ring. A lot. There. I said it. I know it’s a outre thing to say and the voice of the minor–ok, I can’t keep this up with a straight face. Elden Ring was a huge hit and the talk of the town for at least a month after its release. FromSoft is this weird company in that while it’s definitely AAA by this point, there’s still a small company feel to them. I jokingly called them mercenaries for hire, which despcribed the industry quite nicely.
In my last post, I talked a bit about why I went from my umpteenth playthrough of SotFS back to Elden Ring. I had just fought the Old Iron King in my least-favorite area of the game thus far, the Iron Keep. Why is it my least-favorite area? For several reasons. One, it’s all aflame. As a Pyro, that is not good for me. Yes, I’m a Pyro again. I just can’t stop myself. In Elden Ring, funnily enough, I did not do Pyro much on my first playthrough. This one, I’m going to use all the Pyros.
Anyway, for whatever reason, you cannot start as a Pyro in DS II. I think it’s because it was yet another way they were trying to differentiate themselves from the original game. In the first Dark Souls, Pyro was the class chosen by people who wanted to do onebro runs. There were no stats to wield them so no need to level up. You have one attunement slot, and you start with a hand axe that does decent damage. The devs for the sequel probably thought it was a way to make the game harder, but it just made it less fun–for me, anyway.
Yes, you can get the Pyro Flame, but it’s not until you’ve beaten at least two bosses. The Dragonrider and the Flexile Sentry. That’s making a mad dash for the Pyro Flame, though, and missing all the optional content up to that point. It’s also funny that the area in which you must painfully traverse before you get the Pyro Flame has these enemies that are afraid of fire. Which, you know, I would have liked to be able to battle them with my flames.
I have to admit that I try every time to go in a different direction for the last dozen or so times I play any of the FromSoft games. It’s funn y because when I first started playing the games, all I heard was how easy it was if you were a caster, especially a Pyro. I felt bad that I was apparently taking the easy way out and was still getting my ass kicked on a regular basis.
Here’s the thing, though. All the dudes (and, yes, it was mostly dudes) who scoffed at people who used magic? Or who said it was so easy as a Pyro? They were dudes who never used magic. Or they used magic in Demon’s Souls where it really was OP (apparently). There’s a ring that regenerates mana so all you have to do is weight for your blue bar to refill before you go apeshit wild with the magicks again.
In addition, as several people have joked, there is no way to play Dark Souls to satisfy the purists. If you use the Zwei? You’re cheesing the game. If you use a shield? Pussy. Magicks is OP, but so is Haveling it up. I included a video above, starting at the point where Andy asks why everything is shameful to someone, no matter how you play the game.
It’s human nature, sadly–especially male human nature. There have been studies that show that men (and the more they hew to the ‘norm’, the more this is true) think they are the standard by which everything should be compared. They also think they are the experts in everything. This is a gross generalization, obviously, but I’ve seen it play out so many times.
Fifty women can say something and have people ignore them. Let one man say the same thing, though, and suddenly, it’s the most amazing idea since sliced bread. It’s frustrating as fuck, especially since it means in male-dominated domains (like video games), the women more often than not start behaving like the men in order to fit in. They may not think they are doing it and they may call it feminist, but it’s not really. It’s the ‘cool girl’ theory in effect, and it’s frustrating as fuck. Oh, but they stil have to look very feminine, of course. Meaning wearing makeup for no apparent reason.
When I finished Dark Souls for the first time, I hated it. I never wanted to think about it again, and I felt no pride in having finished it. But. There was a seed of something in the back of my brain, and when the second game was announced, I thought I should play the first again to prepare myself for it. This time, I had a better idea what I was doing, and I realized that I had played it all wrong. I had spread my stats instead of concentrating on two or three. I had not known the tropes of the From games so I was fighting against the game as much as I was fighting the enemies in the game.
One thing that From fans love to say is that the beginning of the game is so brilliant. Once you beat the Asylum Demon, you are taken to Firelink Shrine by a big crow. There are three paths, and two of them will kill you instantly. The third is the right way to go, but it’s also the one that is the least-intuiitve. From fans will say that it’s brilliant the way it’s laid out because the two ways you’re not supposed to go are so overtly difficult, you’ll turn away. This is retconning their first experience because it’s simply not true. Many people went the wrong way (to the cemetary or the ghost land), made no headway for hours, then gave up. As I’ve explained, the one thing most people know about Dark Souls is that it’s brutally difficult. If you’ve never played the game, then how are you supposed to have any kind of context for what is reasonable hard and what is the kind of hard you want no part of?
The PC edition I played is called the Prepare to Die edition. The one thing you hear over and over again is how you’re going to die. So ghosts you can’t hit and who can one-shot you? Sounds about right. Skellies who quickly overwhelm you and bleed you to death? Yeah, I can accept that. It’s not until you actually find the third route that you realize that hollows who take two hits to kill, but who can quickly swarm you in a mob, is the right level of difficult at this point of the game.
No idea how I got to this place because this wasn’t where I was going. I’m not unpleased that I ended up here, but I’m going to call it a die and pick up again tomorrow.
In the RKG Discord, it’s Return to Drangleic month. Drangleic is the castle in Dark Souls II (Scholar of the First Sin), and I joined in with enthusiasm. I am in the minority that I thought the game was good when I first played it. I started with SotFS; I must say atht it is far superior to the vanilla game. I tried the latter years later and did not think it was worth it. I stopped roughly a fourth of the way into the game.
I’ve maintained from the start that FromSoft had a thankless task in making the sequel. Dark Soul became a surprise hit that swept a very small niche within the gaming community. Those who were drawn to it loved it to distraction, and they had very rigid ideas of what made the game good. There was no way the sequel was going to live up to the hype. How could it? It had to have all the hallmarks that made the first one so popular and yet, it also had to innovate so it wasn’t called a carbon copy.
The few innovations they made were not well-received. One was that you lost your health by increments every time you died. Maximum health, I mean. It capped at 50% and you could get a ring that capped it at 80%, I think, but people were not a big fan of this. I didn’t like it the first time I played it, but I can understand why they did it. The first game was lauded for being so hard, so they probably felt they had to up the difficulty to make the sequel stand out.
They were also going to have a light mechanic bassed on the torch. Things were going to happen when you lit all the torches in an area, but they cut it for time. The few places they kept it, one was for receiving a certain armor set (my favorite in the game. One time, I lit all the sconces, got the invader, and she dropped her armor in a spot I couldn’t reach. I was NOT happy), but the others didn’t seem to have a tangible reason for doing it.
The one thing that they did differently that I really appreciated was that on NG+, there were differences in some of the boss fights. Like in the Flexile Sentry, they added rising water and two of the manikins. In the Lost Sinner fight, they added two Pyros. In the Freja fight, they had her come out early and if you beat her back, you could take a hunk of health off her bar. I thought that was an interesting mechanic, but you had to reach NG+ to see it.
The game also caused the enemies to despawn if you killed them 10 times in the vanilla game and 12 times in SotFS. People were so very not happy about that. There is a covenant that changes that, but it also makes the enemies much harder. It’s good for when you need to farm for the plat, though.
I think if it hadn’t been billed as a Dark Souls game, it would have been better received. It’s a good game in and of itself, but it pales in comparison to the first game. But, I enjoyed playing it more than the first game because there is fast travel from the start. I have played the first game maybe ten times. I’ve played the second game at least fifteen times if not more. The third game? Dozens. DOZENS, I tell you.