Polytron/Kokoromi's FEZ

Started it this afternoon. I've only played for about an hour but I feel it pulling me in for more. The levels have a weird (besides the perspective madness) feel to them that I'm really enjoying.

Tinkered with the demo a bit today. Love the atmosphere in the game.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

The more discussion I'm hearing about this game online, the more intimidated I am to try it. I just listened to a Giant Bombcast discussion about it and they're talking about how getting through it requires pen & paper note taking and how some of the puzzles are so complicated, even the Internet hasn't figured them out yet. I don't know, I'm not opposed to puzzle games but reaching a point where you have to be half-mad to progress any further doesn't sound fun to me. Is it possible to get enjoyment out of the world and the platforming without settings aside hours I don't have to crunch puzzles or is that really required to enjoy it? If so, I might either put it on the back burner or wait for what I'm assuming is an inevitable PC release.

I blame the Bombcast for my purchase.

If for your $10 you just get the first layer of the game, where you play it at face value, it's pretty darn good. Feels very Metroid-y in the sense that it has you progressing through doors to other areas while other areas, etc are still fully explorable, so I've found myself doing some decent back tracking.

It has some great puzzles, but the ones that matter to you are the ones that are directly tied to your linear progress, which (at this point) aren't impossible at all (about 22 cubes in).

This game is very much like the Matrix. You have to decide for yourself if you want to take the red pill or the blue pill, because I tell you, this rabbit hole goes pretty freakin deep for a $10 game. They're finding images in the sound files from the soundtrack...

trueheart78 wrote:

This game is very much like the Matrix. You have to decide for yourself if you want to take the red pill or the blue pill, because I tell you, this rabbit hole goes pretty freakin deep for a $10 game. They're finding images in the sound files from the soundtrack...

How deep is too deep, I wonder? The Bombcast's discussion made me realize I wasn't really playing Fez; I was just dicking around in space grabbing yellow boxes. And the level of depth talked about is intriguing, to say the least. But images in the sound files? It's like...I get it, it's deep. But sound files? Really?

Also, when I say sound files - I mean, if you open the sound files in a spectrogram, you see images in each.

Example

Story

I went back to play some more while waiting for Walking Dead to release which pretty much gave me another full evening of Fez.

Since I am absolutely not interested in all the riddle solving I simply decided to search every level and just try to get 16 cubes together to open those doors in the waterfall area.

I pretty easily ended up with 23 cubes, went back and unlocked the doors. Didn't feel very rewarding... I just know now that I'll have to collect more cubes and since I feel I searched every area pretty thoroughly already I just don't feel like doing it again.

Really disappointed with the game. Mostly due to my expectations that it would be a fun platformer but it's not really about jumping. It's mostly about exploration. I would be ok with that if it had some sort of fast travel via that useless map but memozizing which door leads down which path on the map is just too annoying for me.

Damn, really frustrated after being hyped about this on and off since 2007

I wonder what they could have done to communicate better where their efford went in making this game.

I am so into this game.

It feels like a collect-a-thon at its core but FEZ has charmed my pants off. I love the weird level designs and getting to peek around every corner. With most of the path hidden at any given time, exploration feels like a novelty in this game.

I've been crawling through, though, I figure I'm probably just at the halfway point.

Spoiler:

Someone at the office tells me there's as many riddle-cubes as normal collectibles? Did anyone start finding those by themselves?!

isosceles wrote:
Spoiler:

Someone at the office tells me there's as many riddle-cubes as normal collectibles? Did anyone start finding those by themselves?!

Yep.

Spoiler:

Not sure if spoilers are entirely necessary, but...got all the normal cubes plus a little bit more than 2/3 of the anti cubes without help.

Just got 209.4% yesterday, and I've got to say that playing through this game has been one of the most satisfying experiences I've had for a long time. The puzzles take a lot of thinking, sure, but most of them are by no means impossible. And once you figure something out, its amazing how your entire perspective of the game changes on a dime.

Discussions around this game have similarly been fascinating, but I have noticed that the only people that don't seem to like it are the ones that haven't even gotten halfway through the game (*cough* GWJ podcast *cough*).

Don't be that guy. If you are having second thoughts about Fez, just stick with it until at least 32 cubes, because I promise that things will get a whole lot more interesting from there.

jamos5 wrote:

Don't be that guy. If you are having second thoughts about Fez, just stick with it until at least 32 cubes, because I promise that things will get a whole lot more interesting from there.

I think it's arguable that having to "stick with" something is usually a sign that you're not enjoying yourself. A lot of people tend to say something like "after the first hour it gets really good," but realistically, should someone really have to not have any fun for an hour, or go play a game where the fun is instantaneous?

Perhaps some people don't like it for the same reason I've stepped back from it - after a certain point, if you're not wired the right way to figure stuff out, it begins to feel like work, and for me, that's not why I'm play games. As a platformer, I love it, and I've had a great time, but now I'm scouring levels trying to find single gold cube bits, and the charm's worn off - compounded by the insanely complex puzzles people talk about.It's a great platformer on a basic level, but deeper than that, into pen-and-paper territory, the potential demographic just isn't as big.

CY wrote:

As a platformer, I love it, and I've had a great time, but now I'm scouring levels trying to find single gold cube bits, and the charm's worn off

Pretty much how I felt after my first playsession. With the difference maybe that I was hoping for more challenging "turn the world while you are mid-air" jumping. There is some of that but altogether it just feels that the focus just isn't the platforming.

I feel like they wanted to use the platforming as "gateway drug" for the puzzling. And that just didn't work for me at all.

I wish they would have made getting the 32 cubes easier so that at least finishing the platforming part would feel less tedious. That's pretty much what turned it from "I had a great time jumping around" to "F#ck this sh*t!"

This way this is one of those games that I'll certainly never finish which leaves me unsatisfied and disappointed. Maybe the fact that currently my gaming time and budget is super short played a large role in this but it's the first game where I wished I had waited for more reviews or forum posts instead of buying it right away after playing the trial! Well, at least it was only 800 points...

CY wrote:

I think it's arguable that having to "stick with" something is usually a sign that you're not enjoying yourself. A lot of people tend to say something like "after the first hour it gets really good," but realistically, should someone really have to not have any fun for an hour, or go play a game where the fun is instantaneous?

I guess it kind of depends on your ability to delay gratification in a video game. Fez is a game where you get what you put into it. If you are unwilling to put in the time, even when things get kind of frustrating or unsatisfying, then you will never get to this game's best moments.

Other genres force this kind of unsatisfying gameplay all the time. First-person shooters require you to grind for better perks and weapons. MMOs require you to spend lots of time walking around, doing quests, and grinding to level up. Why should a puzzle game be any different?

However, as Jeff mentioned on the Giant Bombcast a couple weeks ago, if you find yourself getting stuck and ready to quit, then you should just go ahead and look at spoilers and just keep the game moving. You can still find an appreciation of the kind of craft and careful planning that Phil Fish put into this game, even if you didn't find every dumb little secret yourself.

The very idea of having to look at spoilers is a fairly major turn-off for me. What I've heard gives me some very mixed feelings about this game.

But then, I haven't played it. In the many years since it was first announced (when I was super excited about it) I've pretty much completely stopped playing console games, so I'll have to see if it comes around to the PC. I expect I will pick it up if it does, because the core concept is cool.

But I still worry—playing a game should be playing a game. It's cool if there are external easter eggs which are tangential that you can learn about that can add to the richness of things. It's not so cool if there are puzzles that are actually "really" part of the game that require logic outside that of the game. It's really not cool if a player is going to be hard-pressed to figure out if a problem they're facing is part of the game or of the meta-game.

MEATER wrote:

I wish they would have made getting the 32 cubes easier so that at least finishing the platforming part would feel less tedious. That's pretty much what turned it from "I had a great time jumping around" to "F#ck this sh*t!"

You don't need to do any puzzling for 32 of the cubes. That's kind of the whole distinction between the 2 types of cubes. Yellow ones = no puzzling, blue "anticubes" = puzzling.

Spoiler:

also, there are 3 red heart cubes which = go-look-it-up-on-gamefaqs level puzzling

edit: sorry, to be clear, by "puzzling" I mean stuff that requires decoding the glyphs and/or metagame stuff rather than just jumping, rotating, and manipulating the environment. Although I think you can get by with just the numbers and button input glyphs (i.e. don't need the letters) for all 32 anticubes. The letters, IIRC, are only necessary for one of the spoilered things above and for backstory.

juv3nal wrote:

You don't need to do any puzzling for 32 of the cubes.

True. I was referring to "scouring" of levels for more cubes. Maybe I got CY wrong there but to me going back through all levels looking for more cubes felt already tedious enough to stop playing. Even without the puzzling added on top of that to get the anti-cubes.

So I guess my problem with the game already starts with the exploration aspect of it. I can deal with that in an 3D environment but that 2D maze of doors is just too confusing to me. Gives me a headache.

MEATER wrote:
juv3nal wrote:

You don't need to do any puzzling for 32 of the cubes.

True. I was referring to "scouring" of levels for more cubes. Maybe I got CY wrong there but to me going back through all levels looking for more cubes felt already tedious enough to stop playing. Even without the puzzling added on top of that to get the anti-cubes.

No, you got me spot on - the scouring is the point at which it stops becoming fun for me. Ditto Trials Evolution - having to go back over stuff I've already seen just to get one more bit to actually access new content. I find it tiresome. I'm on... hmm, about 90%, currently. Not sure if I'll go back.

I just completed this game, using the internet for several of the more obscure puzzles. It's quite the thing, isn't it?

I played through the demo of Fez just after launch. A good clutch of people were being very positive about it so I thought I should at least play through the demo.

It seemed really interesting and pretty innovative, but there was one thing that was bugging me a little about the experience of actually playing through the game that I don't know I could deal with for several hours. Before I try to explain what it is I want to say that I bring it up more as a point of interest than a criticism. On the whole I'd much rather games like this implement interesting and innovative ideas than that they be slick gaming experiences. Of course if you can do both then you're golden (you're actually Portal); a game like this really should put the ideas in the driver's seat and by the looks of it that's what Fez does

So what is this bug of mine? It seemed to me that there were a lot of times that when moving Fez around (up a wall of vines, for example) forced the pace of the game to slow right down. Now, I don't have problems with slow paced games or experiences per se, but it seems to me that there's a difference between a slow paced game and a game in which the player is only really having a meaningful engagement with the game every so often. Sometimes it feels rather like reading a story where I'm only getting given about one word a second and I'm almost screaming at the system to just get on with it.

I'd be interested to know whether this is an experience others have had, whether it becomes less of an issue as the puzzles become more complex or whether I'm just playing it wrong.

I agree wholeheartedly. The game is not set in any sort of reality, so I wonder why the developers chose to make climbing so slow. Especially since you do a lot of climbing in the game. It does drag the game down to crawl. So much so that I chose to fly past most climbing puzzles, once I'd acquired that skill.

Made it to 187%, but I think I'm going to have to start looking for hints :/

skeletonframes wrote:

...I chose to fly past most climbing puzzles, once I'd acquired that skill.

I didn't get that there would be skills to be acquired... That sounds like it would help a lot.

Huh, just "finished" the game at 209.4% and I never got the ability to fly. I didn't find climbing to be trouble at all, though. Latch on, let go of the d-pad/stick, jump, latch on again at the top of your jump. It makes it much much faster to climb. I didn't mind the deliberate pace, either.

The rooms I was stuck on were:

Spoiler:

Furnace Room
Mordoor (Cube with a ton of doors)
Black Monolith
Alphabet Block Puzzle
Telescope
Bell

because I hadn't decoded

Spoiler:

number or alphabet glyphs

. After I looked up the keys, I honestly don't think I would have ever gotten them. The alphabet one, I can see how to decode it, although it's incredibly obscure.

Spoiler:

They should have at least non-golded that room.

The number one, I'm not even sure how you would figure it out.

Spoiler:

The only guess I have is that you could figure out 1-4 by brute forcing Mordoor.

I also have no idea how you were supposed to get the answer for the Alphabet Block Puzzle. HMM. Glad I gave up, but I'm really glad I figured out the rest for myself, too.

I thought Fez was an amazing game. The sense of exploration and discovery mirrored things that I felt when investigating large worlds like Fallout. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for Metroidvania type games. The thing about Fez, though, is that you don't progress through unlocking a weapon that blasts through a color coded door: you progress through unlocking things with your mind.

I can see it might not be for everyone, by the comments above, but I can't recommend it enough.

carrotpanic wrote:

The number one, I'm not even sure how you would figure it out.

Spoiler:

There is a room with a poster or chalkboard with the key for 1 thru 4 somewhere. You kind of have to extrapolate for the rest.

Someone mentioned flying earlier in the thread, so I decided to take a look at how to achieve it.

Spoiler:

Apparently it's an unmentioned skill you earn after your first play-through when you get the sunglasses. To fly just tap Up 4 times and hold Jump.

Luckily, I had already achieved the requirements for it so it made some of the more tedious cube hunting less painful.

Ah. I didn't look for any hints or spoilers until today, so I had no idea about that.

carrotpanic wrote:

The number one, I'm not even sure how you would figure it out.

Spoiler:

There is a room with a diagram of 0 through 3 dimensions, featuring a dot (0), a line (1), a box (2), and then two boxes superimposed on one another (3) alongside numbers for each. From here the Mordoor puzzle solves itself because the only remaining glyph you don't recognize has to be 4. What really threw me off about the whole thing was the idea that multiple glyphs could correspond to the same number; I got all mixed up and also ended up needing to use the internet to solve stuff like the bell and boiler room. The cypher to the alphabet was clever but awfully obscure; I agree that it may have been a smart design choice to embed the number/letter rosetta stone stuff alongside relevant puzzles so those rooms would have 'question marks' over them on the map.

I've been loving both the exploring and puzzles in this game. Haven't gotten into much of the "meat" yet, but hope to do so soon. I agree that some method of fast travel would make it a lot less tedious in getting from one puzzle to another, but I've got a feeling that the solutions might lie in the in-between rooms.

Sort of accidentally finished the first time through yesterday. I was about 10 cubes short of finishing it entirely at that point, somehow.

Best part so far: Deal With It.

Went through all the levels that still had cube bits or chests marked on the map yesterday and tried to gain access to those entries on the map that were still blank for me...

Still missing 5 cubes to 32. But I have to admit that the levels with the turning platforms and elements were fun! Really enjoyed that part!

But I have absolutely no idea where to look for more cubes now.

Also noticed that I have only two warp gates accessible from the hub.

Don't even know where and how to look for hints because I feel that looking for solutions for the puzzles that are marked on the map will spoil something I might be able to figure out later on after what ever revelation the 32 cube door holds...

One thing I have is a treasure map with four parts for a level that has several doors on each of its 4 dimensions and

Spoiler:

the maps mark one door on each dimension. I guess I have to go through the four doors in the right sequence but was to lazy to figure this out via trial and error last night.

Any hint how I could solve that?

Do you know what room those maps correspond to? If so

Spoiler:

the marking on each map indicates the order; the markings can be decoded by studying something in the world

. You definitely don't need to solve that puzzle now, so don't worry about it too much.