Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Hime » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:38 pm

Jezo wrote:
Hime wrote:
Jezo wrote:
Hime wrote:And I'm done. Haven't played for a couple of days so can't really remember what the last thing I did was. Just spent an hour and a half traversing the map to find to all the points on the map that showed the area wasn't complete but there is no way for me to progress in any of them. Clearly there is something I need to do somewhere that I've been but I don't know where it is. This is a poor example of a metroidvania, keep your hidden stuff hidden but the main line shouldn't be this difficult. It's a shame, I was enjoying it but the horrendous platforming and inconsistent combat don't make aimlessly wandering very appealing.

This post is so incorrect

Nope.

Hime wrote:Haha, it's just the game's fault, not mine!

I would try to engage in conversation but I've seen how aggressive you've been towards others who have had anything negative to say about this game. Obviously it's everyone else's fault

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Karl » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:12 am

@Hime: Reading your comments, I'm 100% sure all that would irritate the hell out of me too. To take some of the heat off you, on top of that I also absolutely despise this game's art style. Come at me Jezo. ;)

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Balladeer » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:06 am

Harsh words there! I think the art style of the characters and enemies is pretty cute, but the levels are washed-out and drab for the most part. So... somewhere in between?

Also the pathfinding really is bobbins. If you're the sort of person who loves going everywhere you've previously been, or keeping a hand-written map of every area, then I'm sure you'll love it. For anyone with even a modicum of impatience, a little more direction (optional perhaps?) would have been handy.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Jenuall » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:51 am

Whilst I have been loving the game more and more as I've continued through it I think there is plenty to agree with in Hime's posts.

It is often very hard to understand where you could/should be going next in order to progress and as a result there is far more backtracking in the game than is sensible. In many ways this isn't a problem providing you enjoy the platforming and combat that the game offers - because you will be repeating this a lot!

The map system doesn't help with this either, it doesn't always mark area transitions on the map with a label so it can look like you have an unexplored "doorway" to go through when actually it is somewhere you have already been. Similarly by marking a whole area on a map when you enter it it's hard to remember if it genuinely is a room that you have explored all the way through, or if there was something that prevented you from doing so. This is all then compounded by the sheer scale of the map which means it can take a long time to traverse between areas where you think you may need to go next, as well as making it much harder to remember the make up of the different areas: "I know there were a few places that some of my new abilities would help with but it's been hours since I saw those places and now I can't remember where I should be going!"

Even for someone who loves the combat, platforming and art style of the game as much as I do I think it's hard to ignore that there are some structural issues with the game.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by OrangeRKN » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:38 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:This post is so incorrect


I was quite drunk when I replied with this so apologies, although I stand by the sentiment! Here is a more invested rebuttal of some of the points made in this thread.

Hime wrote:horrendous platforming and inconsistent combat don't make aimlessly wandering very appealing.


The platforming is competent and every time you unlock an additional movement option it feels satisfying and rewarding to use. It takes a moment to get used to the jumping, and I think that is because there is no courtesy window on running off the edge of a platform - you must jump before running off the edge, not a moment afterwards (like many platformers allow). At least, that is what I think is going on. It would definitely explain how I felt when I adjusted when I started playing.

Respawning from deaths by spikes or drowning is instant and prevents frustration with the harder platforming sections. The only platforming in the game I could really complain about is the white palace because there it feels like it is trying to be a twitch platformer, but the health system is not set up to allow for repeated deaths. I got through it fine and the actual platforming was fun, I was just slowed down by having to worry about my health and how many more attempts I had before risking a game over. Luckily that part of the game is self-contained to the third ending, and the worst offending part of it (aka hardest) is entirely optional.

Inconsistent combat: The combat in Hollow Knight is incredibly consistent. The controls are tight and responsive and I can almost guarantee that you will get the same results from repeating the same actions - you can get a pretty clear demonstration of this in the arena as one easy example. The bosses are all about pattern recognition and learning, and this relies fundamentally on having consistent combat. When you die in Hollow Knight it is your fault, and once you learn an enemy or boss well enough you will be able to beat it consistently.

Hime wrote:I thought I'd look at a guide and I think I'm stuck at some bouncy mushrooms, it looks like you have to hit them to bounce higher :| . I know that it's almost the guaranteed path to critical success to have a fairly obtuse game with little to no explanation of the systems but what about that is intuitive?


I thought this was well designed to be intuitive as to what the player needs to do, and I have screenshots to prove it!

This is the room as it looks when you enter. You drop down from above so you're always coming in from this direction.

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See how there are some mushrooms on the floor just below the ledge you start on? These are perfectly positioned for you to fall onto when you run off the edge. And what happens when you drop onto them? You bounce!

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When you try to move further right there is this obvious pillar that is far too high to jump over, but you can also see past it on the screen and see that this is a way to go - and on either side there are more mushrooms at half the height of the pillar.

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The player may well have figured out what to do already, but more hints are to be found if necessary. These mushrooms are new and the player is quite likely to try attacking them (especially as there are other breakable scenery mushrooms surrounding them). Hit the ones on the ground from the side and you'll be sent skidding backwards - a direct demonstration that attacking the mushrooms bounces you off further than just colliding with them.

It is left to the player to fill in the final piece of the puzzle, that you have to do a downwards attack on the mushrooms to gain the height you need - but I think the game does a very good job of guiding the player towards the solution without telling them. Revisiting it I actually think it's a good example of how well the game is designed!

Karl wrote:To take some of the heat off you, on top of that I also absolutely despise this game's art style.


The art style is adorably dark, and the fact that they pull off such a mix deserves recognition. The animation is smooth and pleasing while also not getting in the way of the incredibly responsive gameplay and character control. This isn't a game where you get caught waiting for animations to complete and that is part of why it plays so well, and yet the player character still looks lovely in motion.

A common criticism also seems to be Hollow Knight's use of colour, as the game is largely black, grey and blue with white highlights. This muted colour palette matches the melancholic world, but it also works well as a backdrop for the bright contrasting orange that signals the infection. This makes the game very easy and intuitive to read when it comes to working out what is dangerous.

I'm glad you added the winking face at least because I can understand not being keen on the art style in general, but it should never be despised when it has objective merit ;)

Jenuall wrote:The map system doesn't help with this either, it doesn't always mark area transitions on the map with a label so it can look like you have an unexplored "doorway" to go through when actually it is somewhere you have already been. Similarly by marking a whole area on a map when you enter it it's hard to remember if it genuinely is a room that you have explored all the way through, or if there was something that prevented you from doing so. This is all then compounded by the sheer scale of the map which means it can take a long time to traverse between areas where you think you may need to go next, as well as making it much harder to remember the make up of the different areas: "I know there were a few places that some of my new abilities would help with but it's been hours since I saw those places and now I can't remember where I should be going!"


This was presumably a complaint with the game on release, because the free content updates (that the Switch version launched with) include tools made to counter this. You can buy pin sets to place on the map to mark locations you have found, and there are more than enough pins for you to mark out each type of obstacle requiring a certain power to overcome. I didn't use them because I binged the game sufficiently to not forget what I was doing and I remembered the location of places I needed to return to, but for someone playing the game more casually the tools exist within the game to make it through. The genre is about exploration and being able to reach new parts of old areas, so I think it comes with a certain expectation of the player to do this themselves. If you struggle to remember where you should be going back to, that's what the pins are for - and they are very reasonably priced so as to be accessible from almost the very beginning of the game.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Karl » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:48 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:I'm glad you added the winking face at least because I can understand not being keen on the art style in general, but it should never be despised when it has objective merit ;)

All art has merit, but you're still allowed to hate particular works. I have a friend who - even while being quite cultured and relatively 'into' art - hates Picasso. You shouldn't invest yourself in other peoples' emotional responses to art you happen to like. :P

I don't think it's technically incompetent, but I find almost every component of it a chore to look at. The repetitive colours, the often low contrast, the simplistic character designs and chunky outlines -- it's gross to me!

I see why people like it, it's just very much not my cup of tea.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by OrangeRKN » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:51 pm

Karl wrote:All art has merit


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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Karl » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:53 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Karl wrote:All art has merit


Image


100% it has some merit. It is a valid creative work. I don't like it, and I think it's technically very poor, and fails to achieve what I presume were the goals of the artist (to represent Sonic), but I will defend Sanic's right to be called "art".

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Karl » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:55 pm

P.S.
OrangeRakoon wrote:sanic.jpg

...and it will be seen and enjoyed by far more people than anything either of us will ever make, so who's the real artistic winner there? ;)

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by OrangeRKN » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:56 pm

stop ruining my joke karl :(

Looking at sanic fills me with joy and on some level that makes it better than most art in existence

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Karl » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:56 pm

No. Taking jokes too seriously is my thing. Without it I have no personality whatsoever.

(And agreed.)

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Jenuall » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:23 am

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Jenuall wrote:The map system doesn't help with this either, it doesn't always mark area transitions on the map with a label so it can look like you have an unexplored "doorway" to go through when actually it is somewhere you have already been. Similarly by marking a whole area on a map when you enter it it's hard to remember if it genuinely is a room that you have explored all the way through, or if there was something that prevented you from doing so. This is all then compounded by the sheer scale of the map which means it can take a long time to traverse between areas where you think you may need to go next, as well as making it much harder to remember the make up of the different areas: "I know there were a few places that some of my new abilities would help with but it's been hours since I saw those places and now I can't remember where I should be going!"


This was presumably a complaint with the game on release, because the free content updates (that the Switch version launched with) include tools made to counter this. You can buy pin sets to place on the map to mark locations you have found, and there are more than enough pins for you to mark out each type of obstacle requiring a certain power to overcome. I didn't use them because I binged the game sufficiently to not forget what I was doing and I remembered the location of places I needed to return to, but for someone playing the game more casually the tools exist within the game to make it through. The genre is about exploration and being able to reach new parts of old areas, so I think it comes with a certain expectation of the player to do this themselves. If you struggle to remember where you should be going back to, that's what the pins are for - and they are very reasonably priced so as to be accessible from almost the very beginning of the game.


I didn't even realise there was a pin system for the map until >50% of the way through the game, or thereabouts - I'm not finished yet!

Personally I don't have a problem with exploration at all, I love that aspect of this genre and indeed have very much enjoyed this game in particular, but I also don't think that makes it impervious to criticism. Most Metroidvanias are more linear than Hollow Knight with a more distinct main line through them and this linearity usually results in a specific sequence and cadence in which the player unlocks new skills resulting in a play experience like the following:

* traverse an area or two of not too large a space
* spot a few dead ends with obstacles that you can't traverse in some way
* find a skill that allows you to overcome those obstacles
* return to the dead ends and explore further
* most dead ends will result in small gains, one will open the next big area
* rinse and repeat

Now Hollow Knight differs in a few key areas - the map is on the larger side than the average for the genre (in my experience), the player is not overtly funnelled down a single main path, the sequence in which new skills can be uncovered is neither linear nor limited to a regular, moderate cadence. All of this comes together to result in a play experience which differs from that above as there are often more factors in play at once:

* the amount of space you have explored since discovering a new skill is much larger
* the number of dead ends you have found will therefore be greater, and potential for forgetting these is increased
* the skill you just uncovered may not have any relation to the dead ends you have encountered recently
* you may find multiple new skills at once, making it harder to keep track of which skill relates to which dead end you were tracking
* multiple skills and multiple dead ends usually results in the player opening up even more sizeable areas of the already large map and compounding the above difficulties

As I say I personally have not found this too much of a problem, but I absolutely understand why others would have. This would be particularly understandable if people aren't in love with the combat and platforming as that is what you will be spending a lot of time doing as you move back and forth between the potential spots on the map where you can make progress.

Additionally I still believe there are objective functional problems with the map such as the fact that it doesn't mark all area transitions, often just leaving what looks like a passageway to somewhere you haven't explored - so you make your way over to that place only to discover that you have been there before and it just didn't label that fact for you!

EDIT: Also I think it looks bloody stunning as well! :toot:

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by OrangeRKN » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:43 pm

Jenuall wrote:the map is on the larger side than the average for the genre (in my experience), the player is not overtly funnelled down a single main path, the sequence in which new skills can be uncovered is neither linear nor limited to a regular, moderate cadence. All of this comes together to result in a play experience which differs from that above as there are often more factors in play at once


See I would call of these positives, and mitigating them with more guidance would cheapen the player's achievement. I suppose there could be more optional guidance available - although that sort of does exist in the Elderbug in Dirtmouth and his hint dialogue.

Jenuall wrote:it doesn't mark all area transitions, often just leaving what looks like a passageway to somewhere you haven't explored


I don't actually understand what you mean by this, even after going back and looking at the map..

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Jenuall » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:01 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Jenuall wrote:the map is on the larger side than the average for the genre (in my experience), the player is not overtly funnelled down a single main path, the sequence in which new skills can be uncovered is neither linear nor limited to a regular, moderate cadence. All of this comes together to result in a play experience which differs from that above as there are often more factors in play at once


See I would call of these positives, and mitigating them with more guidance would cheapen the player's achievement. I suppose there could be more optional guidance available - although that sort of does exist in the Elderbug in Dirtmouth and his hint dialogue.


I don't necessarily disagree either, I appreciate the freedom the game offers the player in progressing, but I can see why some familiar with the genre might find this more off-putting.

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Jenuall wrote:it doesn't mark all area transitions, often just leaving what looks like a passageway to somewhere you haven't explored


I don't actually understand what you mean by this, even after going back and looking at the map..


I haven't got access to the game to take a shot right now, but essentially the map uses a white arrow followed by the name of an area to indicate when the local map hands off to another area, e.g. "---> Dirtmouth". These are placed at points on the map which would otherwise just look like rooms where you haven't yet made it through that exit. Because they don't always put these labels on the map it can be misleading and results in the player thinking there is somewhere new to explore when there isn't.

I'll try to get a shot of this later to explain better!

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Octoroc » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:03 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Karl wrote:All art has merit


Image


I like the naivety of the piece and how despite its flat, quasi-geometric structure it still captures the energy and vitality of the subject matter.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by OrangeRKN » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:05 pm

Jenuall wrote:I haven't got access to the game to take a shot right now, but essentially the map uses a white arrow followed by the name of an area to indicate when the local map hands off to another area, e.g. "---> Dirtmouth". These are placed at points on the map which would otherwise just look like rooms where you haven't yet made it through that exit. Because they don't always put these labels on the map it can be misleading and results in the player thinking there is somewhere new to explore when there isn't.


Aaah the local map! I basically forgot there was a local map as well as the full world map.

EDIT: :lol: at Octoroc

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Jenuall » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:10 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
Jenuall wrote:I haven't got access to the game to take a shot right now, but essentially the map uses a white arrow followed by the name of an area to indicate when the local map hands off to another area, e.g. "---> Dirtmouth". These are placed at points on the map which would otherwise just look like rooms where you haven't yet made it through that exit. Because they don't always put these labels on the map it can be misleading and results in the player thinking there is somewhere new to explore when there isn't.


Aaah the local map! I basically forgot there was a local map as well as the full world map.


I'm the opposite - I spend most time on the local map and keep forgetting there is a bigger one!

In many cases looking at the full map can help mitigate this problem, but from my play through so far there have been one or two situations where it still doesn't quite fit.

Right now for example there are two "exits" at the top of Crystal Peak which if I just flicked open the map for all intents and purposes look like new places I can go to explore further, whereas they are actually just areas accessed when you fall down from Hallownest's Crown.

I don't find it a big problem, but it can be frustrating when you are looking for the next place to explore and the map is giving you these "false positives".

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Monkey Man » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:56 pm

“Hollow Knight” is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch under Skybound’s new partnerships with Team Cherry, Adult Swim, and White Rabbit.

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/ex ... 202909029/

Spring 2019. Story only mentions physical editions.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Jezo » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:15 am

I keep buying great games atm which end up with physical editions. So annoying lol.

Except Brawlout. That game's just shocking.

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PostRe: Hollow Knight (Dark Souls x Castlevania x Beetles)
by Rex Kramer » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:29 am

On sale today on the e-shop, 34% off according to HotUkDeals.


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