Thursday, March 1, 2018

ReCore ReVisit ReView (Xbox One)

What a difference an update makes.  In very late 2016, I reviewed ReCore, and found it fun but ultimately unfinished and unpolished.  The game has finally had its big update, which adds the missing content and then some.  It also gains a Definitive Edition to its title.

New to this update is  an entire zone (Starving Sea), the infamous tank core frame, three shot types, some dungeons, and changes to the Shifting Sands area.  The new area has some of the new dungeons, and you will need the new frame to race around the area for the keys.  It's also perpetually dark, which they explain in the glossary.  That doesn't make it easier to see, though.  The level cap has increased to level 40, and the enemies in the new area and its dungeons skew toward the higher end of that.  It's a real pain to get through since I had previously completed the game and extra stuff when the level cap was 30.  I did gain two levels when I loaded my save, but it wasn't enough.  To top it off, I encountered some bugs while trying out this new content.

The new tank (T8-NK) frame is a mixed bag.  Its mobility and utility use are good, but otherwise it's unremarkable.  It didn't feel that useful in combat.  The little face is cute, though.  Joule's new shots are notably less of a mixed bag.  In fact, I didn't like them.  They just aren't fun to use, nor more useful than the normal charge shot.  Outside of the few times you are required to use them, I had no need to, nor did I want to.  It's also not good to just cram them all together in such a small span, since you do a vast majority of the game without them.  I'd just as easily not use them at all, as they feel superfluous.

Shifting Sands now lives up to its name, as storms can appear and change the zone.  After a storm, new areas appear, leaving previous ones inaccessible for a time.  It's a cool idea, but is unfortunately bogged down by a bad timer.  It's not very long, which is good when you want to go to a certain dungeon, but bad when you just want to explore the newly opened areas and grab some collectibles.  If I was starting the game over from the beginning, this change would have been more apparent.  Until I finished the new stuff, I had no idea that the storms are what let you access the other new dungeons.  They are level-appropriate for the area, so I should have done them before the other new content.  The new traversal dungeons can be pretty frustrating, and sadly the timer glitch has been fixed.  I knew it would be, but it is still sad to see it go.

One last change was reducing the number of prismatic cores needed to get through the final area.  Now it only takes 30, where that only got you into the lowest level before.  This change doesn't affect me, since I already had 80 of them, but it is nice for newer players.  They also seem to give out more of them.  The new dungeons have more orbs as the easier prizes, and some new ones are just lying around in the openings of old ones.  I'm not sure why they bothered to add more, and make them so easy to get, since you barely need them anymore.  Just doing content you came across in the original got me over 30, the rest just feel useless.

While the price was right for the "definitive" upgrade, most of the rest doesn't seem worth it.  The game feels more finished, content-wise, but that's about it.  A few additions were nice, but most just didn't feel balanced or needed, and the game still needs polish.  I feel it all could have been done better.  Overall, the Definitive Edition soured me on the game.  If you really want to play all that ReCore has to offer, or get a few (as of now) rare achievements, then by all means dive back in.  If not, there's really nothing added that would make me recommend coming back.

The Good:
Well, the update is free, and finishes the game.

The Bad:
Sadly, the update doesn't add any polish.  The game somehow now needs even more than it previously did.

The SaHD:
One of the new story dungeons froze on me.  When attempting it again, I beat the boss but died immediately afterwards because of his annoying minion.  The minion would then not stop spawning so I could actually finish the dungeon and get my prizes.  However, I got story completion for the dungeon, and was able to move on.  It also didn't pop the achievement, so in theory I completed the story after this mandatory dungeon without completing it.  Sigh.

(ReCore was previously purchased by reviewer)

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