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Grabbed by the Ghoulies

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1Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:07 am

Birdman


Moderator
Reposting from the other topic. I'll start posting more info soon.

Grabbed by the Ghoulies.

So I've wanted to play this for years. I'm enjoying it as the art style is like Luigi's Mansion and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love it.

The combat is weird though. It uses twin stick controls and you attack similarly to Death by Degrees, by pressing the right stick in the direction you want to attack. Thing is in that game you could use other buttons in combination and do tons of attacks where in Grabbed, each attack is based on the enemy type as well as some random elements I haven't determined yet. For this reason, you can't practice outside of combat. The character (Cooper) will just do an initial attack for the directional input and that's it.

For example, if an enemy is really short, like these knee high imps or spiders, Cooper will do a low stomp, like he's kicking someone in the shins. He will never do this on taller enemies.

It's actually kinda like something like Streets of Rage. I might be remembering wrong, but in that game, when you hit an enemy and kept pressing the attack button, the character would do this auto combo, culminating with a move that knocked the enemy away. Grabbed is exactly like that.

So if I start attacking a skeleton, Cooper will do a few light attacks then a heavy attack that knocks the skeleton back. Sometimes the attacks are different though. So it's basically like a light, light, light, heavy ender type string. You can't just do any of the heavy hits whenever you want.

Another thing that can change your attacks is when an enemy is in a downed state, or when they enter a kneeling or stunned state when low on HP. Like on a downed skeleton, Cooper will jump and do an elbow drop.

There's no dodging, but due to the twin stick controls you can move around while still facing the enemy. When there's a lot of them though, it seems to come down to herding them and keeping them all on front of you.

You can pick up various things to use at weapons. There's are really helpful but break after a few uses. They are far more reliable with their attacks because they don't have combos. You can still do directional swings though. Some are throwable items that have a set amount of uses, while some are single throws.

Another thing of interest is you can send enemies flying into others, or into walls to stun them.

That's all for now.

2Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:41 am

Birdman


Moderator
I'll go over the progression structure and some things that annoy me.

Basically, you go room to room, get locked in, fight enemies to leave and that's it really.

The baron of this mansion, a guy who thinks he's one of those old propeller fighter planes (yes, you read that right) somehow has the ability to randomize your life points per room. Actually, I don't think they're random because you can't freely explore the mansion. You're pretty much railroaded into a room because every other door is walled off until the game takes you to them, so the life points you get would have to be fixed.

Each room has a hidden book collectible (which unlocks rooms for challenge mode later) and various breakables which could house power ups. What is it with OG Xbox and things breaking into many pieces? Otogi is a good example. Was this some kind of show of hardware power?

Many rooms, especially the farther you get, have challenges you must complete to exit the room. Some have annoying rules like only being allowed to kill one type of enemy, not killing an enemy of the same type twice in a row, to more basic tasks like finding a key, surviving a time limit, or killing a certain amount. There are tons of them.

Some have a nasty, yet very interesting mechanical punishment for breaking the rules: Death himself shows up. He glides along, always coming at you with an extended, pointing finger. One touch and you're dead. Upside is he kills any enemy he touches instantly too. He can be hit and knocked back, but never killed.

There is an item that can dizzy him, and the freeze power up which freezes every enemy in the room, works too. Some fights have a timer before he appears and you must defeat all the enemies before it runs out. If you fail, this can be really annoying because of how slow Cooper runs. You won't be able to outdistance Death, so stopping to hit something is impossible.

In one room I had to find a monster who had the key before Death appeared. It turns out it was a spider but this one would run away and was slightly faster. This was in the wine cellar which is quite a big room so I wasted a lot of time breaking stuff like these huge wine casks, which released other enemies. Some had good power ups like freeze but my first few tries I got owned trying to find the key. When I finally found it I had a group+Death after me and couldn't do anything but run away because I had used all the weapons in the room fighting off others. On my fourth try I went straight to the cask that had the spider, picked up a nearby by barrel and lobbed it, killing the spider instantly, then strolled right on out of there.

So there's some serious trial and error in some of these rooms. I haven't had too many that bad though. When you die, you just start the room over and there appears to be zero consequence to dying.

One thing that can be an issue is not having a weapon against certain enemies. Cooper's jab starter has shit range. Like this ogre woman boss would just run up and slam her fist down instantly when in range. It was impossible to approach her. You have to run around this library picking up every weapon. Some are throwable but most are melee. Even then, because she had such long arms, you had to attack with PERFECT spacing as she ran in.

There are also these preset scare moments like a ghost or monster will pop out and you'll have to do a QTE to avoid losing health. There are also ghosts that scream at you an unleash a red AoE that, if it catches you, will limit your movement temporarily.

3Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:26 am

Birdman


Moderator
For example, if an enemy is really short, like these knee high imps or spiders, Cooper will do a low stomp, like he's kicking someone in the shins. He will never do this on taller enemies.
This is not entirely accurate. The zombies are about the same height as Cooper but in the flurry of attacks you'll see a low kick at some point. So it seems every enemy has a set string that will come out, but in the end it's still just like Streets of Rage where after the initial attack, further inputs cause a chain finishing with a heavy hit.

So far no hugely interesting enemies outside of Death and mummies. Mummies can be attacked and stunned, but can only be killed with fire. Usually, when faced with a large amount of them, there will be a source of fire like a candle, or an environmental hazard like a furnace or fire place. Knocking them into these is instant death.

Good mechanic, but makes you feel railroaded. Like with the candle, it only pops up in rooms where you'll fight mummies. This type of weapon is rechargable because you can't win without so if it broke you'd be screwed and trapped in the room for ever. There are a few other weapons like this like the fire extinguisher that only pops up when you have to fight them.

So back to the mummies, yeah, I was a disappointed with them and the method of fighting them. I first saw a little while watching videos before buying, and when I got the game, the first thing that came into my mind to test was knocking enemies into others, which worked. It made sense that I should be able to knock back a burning mummy into another and set it alight.

Sadly, this was not the case. When you set them on fire, it does a fixed amount of damage (each enemy has a number of hearts so you can see what damage you're doing) and there's no burn status. I feel this was a real missed opportunity to add more depth and wouldn't have been difficult to implement.

Same goes for the fire imps, though in this case I'm not actually sure if the extinguisher is the only way to kill them. It definitely wipes them out quickly, but throwing items might work too. Will have to test that. Thing is, it doesn't offer any unique state like freezing them.

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