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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 kind of 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. These 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.



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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 and Metal Wolf are good examples. 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 of enemies. 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 can 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 near 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 and unleash a red AoE that, if it catches you, will limit your movement temporarily.



Last edited by Birdman on Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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 fireplace. 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 it, so if it broke you'd be screwed and trapped in the room forever. There are a few other weapons like this, like the fire extinguisher that only pops up when you have to fight these flaming imps.

So back to the mummies, I was disappointed with them and the method of fighting them. I first saw a little gameplay involving them from videos I watched 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.



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:15 am; edited 2 times in total

4Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:28 am

Birdman


Moderator
This, along with some other games like Knack 2 (challenge run) and Dragon Quest Builders, are on hold due to MHW DLC. No idea when I'll get back to this.

5Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:26 am

Birdman


Moderator
Played this a little today and was going to make some notes but the weapons are too similar to each other. Their attack ranges are the only real differences, which depending on the enemy, the knowledge of what you're picking up would be useful, but right now I don't feel it warrants such an in-depth guide.

They basically fall into a few categories. Here's a few examples.

Single handed (cutlass, candle, frying pan)
Double handed (cue stick, broom, chair)
Throwing - ammo based (bottles, hamburgers, some other thing I forgot)
Throwing - single use (barrels, potted plants, boxes)
Shooting - meter cooldown type (fire extinguisher, garlic gun, water gun)

There's way more per category but they function pretty much the same. Reminds me a little of the weapon types in Dead Rising, but that had tons more variation and unique stuff.

The ammo based throwing types are piles of an item you pick up and get a set amount of uses. They cause a small hit-stun. Single use are just pick up and throw, but can smash through multiple enemies.

The shooting types have a meter that fills with continuous use. When it reaches red, you can't shoot anymore and need to wait a few seconds, but the weapons are essentially infinite.

The fire extinguisher and water gun fire in streams, where the garlic and soda can gun are single shots.

You only get these during forced segments though, which makes sense I guess because everything in this game breaks and having an unlimited weapon would seriously break the game. Usually you face enemies that can only be killed with these types of weapon, like the fire imp I mentioned. They won't take damage from anything else.

The chickens only die from the garlic gun, though I encountered a few in a room with a furnace and was able to knock them into that. Zombies take more damage from the water gun, but it does nothing to other enemies. The soda gun works on a variety of monsters that showed up in its segment.

Regarding weapon durability; it's based on number of uses. Everything has a number assigned to it.
As they wear down they actually change appearance showing the damage from impacts. I haven't been paying too much attention, but this most likely affects range too. Like I picked up a small ladder, and the first hit nearly halved the length.

I might do a write up on the enemies just for fun. Some are reasonably interesting, and I'm starting to see enemies I can't hurt like mummies interspersed among others. Most are pretty easy by themselves or in groups of the same type, but now I'm seeing mixes of many types and each of their unique abilities become more apparent.

The room by room challenges are getting more difficult too. Like one was that I couldn't break anything which is harder than it sounds because near EVERYTHING is breakable. I kicked this imp and it went flying into some chest and broke it, which summoned Death. It was a real pain because I'm trying to find as many hidden books as possible, and the one in this room was hidden in something breakable. There were also 3 medusas wandering around, and imps and spiders kept jumping out. Found it after a few deaths, which thankfully have no consequence other than repeating the room. Once I figured out where the book was, I died, then ran straight to this box and smashed it. Death appeared but I ran to the exit.

Another had a hallway, and a larger space at the end with the door. To one side was a huge group of mummies fighting each other, and on the other were some throwable barrels. The baron took my life to 1 for this room, and the mummies were completely blocking the door. What I had to do was throw a barrel to trigger a chain knockdown and slip through before they got up.

Regarding attacking enemies with Cooper's fists/feet, one thing annoys me. After you do that flurry finishing with a knockback that I mentioned way back, you can attack enemies on the ground. The problem I have is how you can only do these heavy knockback attacks, sending the enemy flying unless they're near a wall. You can keep doing this until you let them get up. I'd rather do the flurry of attacks because they add up to slightly more damage, or at least make the attacks not so automatic. The heavy attacks are slower, so they're not a great idea when there are multiple enemies around. I'll usually back off if there's a group and the knocked down enemy gets up anyway. Though you can hit more than one enemy with the knockback attack, the randomness of the animations makes me not want to risk it.

About the challenge mode that the books unlock.
These are unlocked as you find them, and you can access from the main menu any time. So far I have around 20 challenges, though I haven't looked through them yet. They have bronze, silver, and gold awards, but you are free to go for records beyond gold.

I had a go at the first 2 which were basic like killing a certain amount of skeletons, or avoiding imps without getting hit as long as you can. I don't doubt that there will be many that are absolutely bonkers, if the main game is anything to go by.

6Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:12 am

Birdman


Moderator
>but this most likely affects range too
Yep, it definitely does. Depending on the enemy, I'll just drop an almost broken weapon in favor of a fresh one if available.

Had some interesting encounters today.

First, the game is throwing way more tougher situations. I just had one that had two rules that if broken, summon Death. Thing is, these rules contradicted each other. They were 'no weapon use', 'only use weapons' and 'kill X amount'. I had no choice because as you can see, the rules covered the main forms of attacking.

There were some power ups in a crate called 'Mini-Cooper' which summon a smaller version of yourself so I had two of them running around. They don't count as breaking the rules because they are from a power up. Not a weapon, but not your own fists either. Enemies can also hurt each other but that isn't very reliable in most cases.

Ok, so the enemy type were these possessed chairs that scoot around trying to ram into you. As soon as I killed one, another would pop up and due to my attacks breaking the rule, Death would enter the room. But I figured out a neat trick.

The chairs themselves are not always enemies; they are weapon pickups too. When you see one, it's usually a weapon but sometimes they spring to life. I noticed all around this area were chairs, and they had the hand icon designating them as a pickup. But they were also coming to life later, so before killing any, I picked them up and instantly dropped them, which causes a weapon to shatter.

I ended up only having to kill a small number and was able to get to the door before Death could do anything about it.

The second situation was pretty cool. I had to run through these stables, breaking walls and walking around obstructions. It ended up being this winding path through the room. I had the fire extinguisher because there were fire imps present.

On my way back, the rule was that death would appear if you got hit, then lots of fire imps entered. I got clipped by one I thought I killed when it spat a fireball, then Death appeared at the far end from the door I needed to get to. The path there was too narrow to avoid him.

But as he approached, I noticed he got hit whenever he touched a fire imp, so I lured him to the group that was coming after me and he got stunned multiple times while I strolled right past him.

Tried the fire extinguisher on some spiders that appeared in this area and sadly it had no effect. Not even a basic hit-stun. It does have a melee strike if you tap the stick instead of holding it, so you aren't helpless when they force it on you.

While I'm enjoying the game, some of these rooms end up just annoying me though.

7Grabbed by the Ghoulies  Empty Re: Grabbed by the Ghoulies on Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:05 am

Birdman


Moderator
Got to the final boss and it annoyed me enough to not want to play it again.

In the first phase, you just attack the guy while avoiding his attacks. His bedroom is littered with weapons but you can attack with your fists if you're careful.

In phase 2, when he gets dizzy from attacks, he drops his staff. You then pick this up and use it to attack him. Weapon pickups will be long gone by this point. This is the part I can't stand to repeat because he starts running around the room, periodically flashing red for a few seconds. If you hit him when red, you do no damage but still lose weapon durability for the staff which is only 3 attacks before it's gone.

It's a huge pain because he runs a little faster than you and there's a desk in the main room and a bath in the adjacent room which he'll run around, and if you try to cut him off by going the opposite way, he goes the opposite of you.

Once the staff breaks, from attacks that did damage or not, he produces a new staff from out of nowhere and you repeat this tedious process.

In phase 3, he gets into this plane costume thing and flies around the room trying to dive bomb you. The object here is to get him to dive into something and get stuck, then you can get in some damage. I got killed because I touched his propeller while he was stuck.

Never want to do this again anyway. Horrible final boss with shit mechanics. Kind of tired of the whole game now anyway. Glad I finally got to play it after years of putting it off, and it's another removed from the backlog.

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