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> A Little Late to the Party, But I Just Beat It (Spoilers)
Crazy Crazy Doct...
post Sep 19 2014, 02:58 AM
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So yeah, I just beat Zeno Clash 2. I remembered it not doing so well critically, but I didn't really believe them. It just took me awhile to get around to playing it for some reason.

Anyway, I really liked it. In fact, I'd say it was an ideal sequel, one that greatly expands the scope of the original and improves on it in just about every way. I liked it so much that I got all the cubes and got enough colored moths to get into the painter's third room. Actually, I only realized where to use those moths just before I went to the Mountains.

I suspected the world of Zenozoik was in the far future, but I did not expect it to be directly stated (kind of like Adventure Time). Instead, you guys delved pretty far into it, which was impressive. In fact, I really appreciated how there seemed to be real metaphors happening with four golems. If by hurting him, they are only hurting themselves, along with how suddenly laid down law upon the land, the North Golem seemed to represent civilization.

I had a theory about the South Golem, but some time between the fight to save FatherMother and the final battle I seem to have forgotten it. Also, I don't know about the dead West or East Golems, though I suspect the East Golems power might have had something to do with the Sun-Moon Harvester, since I assume that once belonged to him (but maybe not).

And the moments where you briefly get taken somewhere else (the white room), and basically all of the area past Endworld, were brilliant. Seeing the gigantic harp on the moon was unforgettable. I really would have liked to see what the rest of the world was like now, see how the anarchy of the Zenos would clash with the rest of the world (assuming there are any more people). Honestly, the most fun I had in this game was probably exploring and solving puzzles. All of the Golem fights were really cool, and fighting people in the mountains and just kicking them off the edge was very satisfying.

That said, the times when there were a lot of enemies seemed overwhelming, since the only real way to deal with them is to try and super kick them or charging them. I also had a hard time judging the range between my fists and the enemy's face a lot, which may be fixable in the next one by having you dash forward into the enemies face if you're reasonably close to them, a little like the sword from Halo only obviously not as crazy. Also, I really liked the Golem tools in combat, they really helped with the pacing. Once I realized that I could link enemies as well as the glass spheres, I started doing that in every fight, and helped with the crowding problem I mentioned earlier. The regular items, like the hammer or guns, always made the fights easier, but didn't really have much nuance and so they didn't really feel as fun as simply punching.

The voice acting starts out seeming not great, but it all sort of fit after awhile, other than Rimat. While Ghat doesn't really have much expression, somehow this seems to fit over the course of the game. Rimat on the other hand, never quite sounded like she fit in the world. Maybe she should have been gruffer, since she's been living in a desert and fighting her whole life.

So, in short, I'd love to play a Zeno Clash game with more exploring and less, or more nuanced, fighting. If you must have fighting, more stuff that changes your abilities in the fight, like the Golem tools, would help quite a bit. Either way, I remember you guys getting pretty upset at the ratings you received on release, and honestly, while I have my complaints, I think you guys deserved to be treated a lot better. Sorry if this is a really unorganized, but I felt that I had to get my thoughts out there.

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Carlos Bordeu
post Sep 26 2014, 08:49 AM
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Thanks a lot for your lengthy post. I really appreciate when people come over here and tell us that they enjoyed playing our games.

Honestly, we still somewhat feel the sting from the mediocre critical reception of the game - something I always felt was not representative of the love and effort we put into the game. However, as time passed, more and more e-mails, posts and general feedback became proof that we had delivered a good game. We have had a lot of truly passionate fans who have written to us, and each new message has meant a lot to us.

Just recently with the new Steam update I noticed you could filter games by checking the percentage of 'thumbs up' vs 'thumbs down' and Zeno Clash 2 has a very solid 76% positive rating. This pretty much validates our work and I think is much more representative of the game's real "metascore". Why Valve, who has such an honest review system of its own (which clearly states the amount of play time per individual review), continues to use Metacritic at its front page is beyond my comprehension. Their own review system is much more honest, accurate and consumer-oriented than press reviews.
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