Pain In The Gonarch
Happy Weekend TAY!
First day of high school for the kid next week...with in-person learning. Nothing like mixing with lots of other kids who think they are invincible at that age. (☉__☉”)
Thankfully, last week’s awesome gaming announcements were a huge pick me up from the daily depressing news. That new Super Mario 3D All-Stars Collection is exciting. I was also nerding out all week looking at the stats coming out of camp Nvidia for the release of their new Ampere GPU.
On the gaming front, I played some Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes last week with the kid. Playing together has been harder to schedule as he needs to start training his body to get up earlier (by going to bed earlier)...school starts at 8am!
Without the late-night gaming sessions, we played very little of The Twin Snakes, but (so far) we are enjoying it much more than the original game. Lots of the ideas in Twin Snakes are from Metal Gear Solid 2 and these additions make for a much more enjoyable stealth game, especially with the improved enemy AI.
I’m not a fan of the new music in The Twin Snakes and the inane dialogue still makes me yell at the screen. In fact, the cutscenes are made worse by the newly recorded dialogue by mostly the same cast...minus the enthusiastic performances from the original game. Maybe they too came to the realization that the script is nonsense. :)
With the kid going to bed earlier, I’ve had some time to play some games on my own. I think it has been since March that I’ve played much of anything by myself.
I resumed my game of Black Mesa and I think I’m nearing the end...though I’m not sure how much longer they are going to drag out this new Xen ending.
The new visuals are definitely cool looking and the gameplay is fun (and challenging), but Black Mesa’s Xen feels more like Turok or Unreal instead of the action-packed OG Half-Life.
I also ran into a boss that I couldn’t beat and had to turn on God Mode to pass. The Gonarch was challenging in the original Half-Life, but this newly design confrontation is a frustrating letdown. The entire game I’ve played so far, even quite far after The Gonarch itself, has been somewhat challenging on Hard but I’d never call the difficulty frustrating.
The Gonarch boss is way past frustrating. To check I wasn’t doing something wrong (or if something was broken in the game) I went looking on the internet to discover this boss has become a new take on an old meme because of its difficulty and many players have quit playing (or cheated like me).
I like my games challenging, but I have neither the reflexes or the will to defeat The Gonarch in Black Mesa. After an hour of fighting this boss (with countless deaths and restarts) I threw in the towel and enable God Mode. Unlike most tough boss fights, I wasn’t even gaining any ground through repeated attempts.
This spike in the difficulty is miles out of step with the rest of the game and I think almost ruins what is otherwise a fantastic title. I’d still recommend Black Mesa as the definitive way to experience the original Half-Life, just have those cheat codes handy for The Gonarch. Even with God Mode enabled, I was amazed by how many shots it took to finally take it down.
Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to finish up Black Mesa this weekend, I would imagine I have very little left at this point...but I keep saying that and they keep throwing more game at me.
With this being the last weekend before school for the kid, I’d also like to see if we can get in some of The Twins Snakes before the homework begins in earnest.
So, what are you playing this weekend?