Definitely not gonna tell you what to feel about a game, but a large part of Night in the Woods’ impact on me was that it looked like a general “becoming an adult is hard” story and then gradually revealed it was about much more specific (and much grimmer) issues.
I flipped a coin between the two and ended up picking up Witcher 3, and I absolutely loved it. I’m glad it shook down that way because I wouldn’t have enjoyed Bloodborne had I played it then and Witcher was right up my alley. Now I have played Bloodborne it’s one of my favourite games ever.
The Deponia trilogy stands out for me. I really liked the first game, I thought it was very funny and toyed with a fun conceit (what if everybody in the world of an adventure game reacted to the protagonist as the kleptomaniac dickhole he was). Then as I played the rest of the trilogy it sort of soured for me because it went to worse and worse places as time went on (the character you abuse most horribly in the name of your own goals is the only black character in the entire series; I think after that point the sunk cost fallacy is the only reason I actually finished the game) and the series teases the protagonist’s character development but constantly yanks it away until the third game reveals as a throwaway joke that he’s literally incapable.
I turn 30 in a little over a month and NITW still resonates with me, frankly. So many things are out of my control, and I’m expected to just magically know how to deal with it constructively. Also, it turns out I’m some kind of weird psychic maybe…?
The one nice thing I’ll say about the whole thing with Fez’ alphabet is that I thought having a literal fox jumping over a dog was a cute way to communicate the hint. That said I don’t think it ever did me any good because I have this vague memory that the direction you were supposed to read text in wasn’t totally consistent, so sometimes translating it would give me garbled nonsense or come out backwards…
Top to bottom, right to left. Which people probably wouldn’t see if they were typing their translations on a text editor instead of writing them out on a grid or something.
Apologies for the super late response, but yeah, I suppose you’re right. I’d argue TW3 does a better job at easing newcomers into the game’s universe than TW2, though. 2 just feels like a total info dump for the first three hours. Plus, I think TW3’s bigger emphasis on side missions with plotlines independent of the game’s main story arc means that you don’t have to be super knowledgable of the game’s story to enjoy it.
Speaking of Witcher, I really liked TW3 the first few hours I played it, but I’m about 30 hours into it now and my opinion of it is starting to wane. The whole game reminds me of a Ubisoft game in terms of its world structure, which…ain’t really a good thing. It’s filled with map icons that all ultimately fit into the same boring formulaic cycle of “come across thing, rid thing of enemies, collect loot”. The combat itself is more intuitive than 2’s, but it’s still absurdly easy once you learn to abuse Quen and just spam dodge for virtually infinite health. Plus, as much as people compliment the writing in the game, I admittedly find it kinda boring. It’s not bad or anything, in fact it’s actually pretty decent most of the time, but I feel like it rarely pulls any particularly interesting or powerful punches. The closest it does to doing that is maybe with the Bloody Baron quest, and even then it didn’t strike me as particularly great.
Have you gotten to Skellige yet? Besides the Bloody Baron quest and the dlcs, I feel the writing and story arcs get consistently better starting there.
While I love the game, I do agree all the ?s are really really bad and tedious filler content. I’d be fine with 70% of them being cutout. Also agree with the combat. I had a major problem with the way alchemy(bombs and shit) worked, where you had to find really really useful recipes randomly in the wild. I had the worst fucking time every time a noonwraith was a forced fight because I never found the first level moondust(I think it was?) bomb recipe.
Most of what I love about W3 is the main story and characters, the only thing I really like in the side content is Geralt’s writing.