13 votes

What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?

What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.

18 comments

  1. [4]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I'm the first one in here, so I'm going to hijack this thread. This weekend is LAN weekend with the guys. Last time we LAN'd it was for Lost Ark, gacha got old pretty quickly so we've all moved on...

    I'm the first one in here, so I'm going to hijack this thread.

    This weekend is LAN weekend with the guys. Last time we LAN'd it was for Lost Ark, gacha got old pretty quickly so we've all moved on and not really played anything or had anything pop up on our radar to try out. So I'm open to/asking for suggestions of games with minimum 3 player co-op. Willing to explore games that are the three of us versus each other, but those seem rarer than co-op.

    8 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Killing Floor 1 & 2 Horde mode co-op zombie killing with very satisfying gunplay and a relatively high skill ceiling. Also, coincidentally, the source of my username here (there's a map from KF1...

      Killing Floor 1 & 2

      Horde mode co-op zombie killing with very satisfying gunplay and a relatively high skill ceiling. Also, coincidentally, the source of my username here (there's a map from KF1 called KF-Wyre).

      My friend group has put 100+ hours into each. 2 is more modern and has nice quality-of-life to it — probably the best place to start. 1 is more dated but might hit the spot if you want something with an older feel to it.

      If you do go with either of these, it might be worth looking up a beginner’s guide to the different types of zombies and how to handle them. There’s no real in-game info about damage resistances and weaknesses, for example, so knowing some baseline info going in isn’t cheating at all and will definitely help make for a more pleasant experience. Longer sessions can go for an hour or so, and nothing is more pleasant than wiping right at the end from something that was preventable.


      Raft

      Starts like a standard co-op survival game. You’re on a raft, you gather resources floating in the water, and paddle yourself to stop at islands you pass by to harvest more and better resources. Somewhat early on you find out that there are specific, non-random islands you can travel to. I don’t want to spoil anything, as the way the game unfolds was very enjoyable for my friends and I.


      Ultimate Chicken Horse

      This kind of violates your co-op requirement, but I feel obligated to mention it because it's the most in-person fun we've had in a long time. The game is basically multiplayer Mario Maker. You have a short level that everyone's trying to race through to be the first to the finish line. At the end of each round, a new set of level pieces drop, and everybody takes one and places it somewhere. The pieces include standard things like platforms but also things like traps. After those are placed, you run the level again, then get more items, then run it again -- rinse and repeat.

      There's a great tension between having to collaborate a bit just so that a level is winnable but also trying to set things up to screw over your friends and advantage yourself. It's been an instant hit every time we've had people over.

      7 votes
    2. vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Edit: Circling back, I'm just gonna keep editing periodically one game at a time. Perspective on my recommendations: Been a PC gamer since the early 90's. I generally prefer ARPG or RTS, but also...

      Edit: Circling back, I'm just gonna keep editing periodically one game at a time.
      Perspective on my recommendations: Been a PC gamer since the early 90's. I generally prefer ARPG or RTS, but also love a good shooter.

      Four players is a nice sweet spot. Trying to fit in 5/6 without going vs gets difficult. That said, there are many excellent VS titles if your group is large enough to split. I'm presuming an internet connection is available....too many modern titles just don't do regular LAN play. Going old-school is best for offline LAN generally. Most of these games go on sale for super cheap. Having a dedicated server is a good idea for games that have one.

      Here's a decent site as a starting point for co-op if you're newish..

      A/C/etc RPGs

      • Fight The Dragon

        • Kid-friendly
        • Simplistic
        • Cool community-driven content
      • Dungeon Siege

        • Old
        • Finicky to setup (requires reg hack for LAN multiplayer)
        • Control scheme sucks
        • Game will crash on you periodically. No cloud saves or dedicated servers.
        • A rare RPG that supports up to 8 player co-op. This is the main reason to play it.
      • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition

        • Old game, old game controls. Less bad than Dungeon Siege
        • The revamp helps a lot of the 'get running' problems though
        • D&D at its finest

      Shooters:

      • Left 4 Dead 2

        • 4-player co-op PvE and 4v4 verses PvP as well
        • Has Left 4 Dead 1 campaigns as well
        • Nice passive storytelling, even if just basic Zombie fare
        • Can run on potato
        • Go in blind for PvE, try to only PvP with each other
      • Portal 2

        • 2 player co-op PvE, competition speedrunning potential
        • Cheap
        • Runs on potato
        • A great introduction to FPS for newbies
      • Fortnite

        • Free
        • Can play with up to 4 players in a Battle Royal squad.
        • More players in other modes, including team battles
        • It's PvP, but has PvE elements to pass the time.
        • Very destructible environments
        • 0 build is a great introduction for people used to traditional shooters
        • Building mode has a higher difficulty curve
        • Crossplay with consoles
      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

        • Great choices of gameplay
        • Difficult
        • Free

      Survival/Builders

      A heavy focus on survival elements and crafting your buildings and equipment. Combat is almost always FPS.

      • Rust

        • Can host your own LAN server with PvE or PvP
        • Can make large teams
        • Online servers are toxic AF, should probably turn off ingame audio
        • Overall an excellent title to play with friends, but pretty horrible solo or with strangers
      • Minecraft and Minetest

        • Minetest is free but finicky to setup open source clone.
        • Minecraft Java is highly moddable
        • Minecraft Bedrock is cross-platform
        • Make your own fun
      • 7 Days to Die

        • Can be a bit grindy
        • Combat has a good feel to it
        • Destructible environments
        • Still a work in progress, though very playable.
        • Host your own server

      Simulators

      • Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

        • It's older, may be better titles in this genre now.
        • If you want to pretend to be on a Star Trek Bridge, it doesn't get much better
        • Requires a bit of setup and learning
        • Working over internet requires a bit of setup. VLAN was easiest last I tried, but it says "remote play together" so YMMV.

      Sidescroller/2D/2.5D

      Often can do both online/lan play, or 4 controllers on local machine. Great when hooked to TV.

      5 votes
    3. grahamiam
      Link Parent
      Risk of Rain 2! 4 player PVE rogue-like, tons of difficulty sliders, tons of things to try to accomplish. Really, really good for this.

      Risk of Rain 2! 4 player PVE rogue-like, tons of difficulty sliders, tons of things to try to accomplish. Really, really good for this.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    I just got my Steam Deck and so I’ve been playing anything and everything. I didn’t think that this could possibly live up to the hype that I’d been hearing but now that I actually have it, it...

    I just got my Steam Deck and so I’ve been playing anything and everything. I didn’t think that this could possibly live up to the hype that I’d been hearing but now that I actually have it, it actually seems like everything else is super limited in comparison. For one thing I realized that my gaming PC being hooked up to the bedroom tv was actually a limiting factor for how likely I was to use it because of the times when my husband wanted to play his games or watch his shows. And don’t even get me started on comparing it to the Switch.

    Like most pc gamers I have a huge backlog of Steam games I haven’t bothered to play, in some cases because I managed to get a copy of games that I already own on consoles. I’m particularly amazed at how almost all of my Sega published RPGs like Resonance of Fate and the Yakuza games are all certified to work on the Steam deck. More than anything I realized that the Steam Deck is probably going to be the best tool to play VNs on. In any case it should be a better experience than attempting to get them to work on a MacBook.

    7 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      Now that it's morning, I realize that there is actually a game that I played start-to-finish that warrants talking about. I figured it would warrant a second post, but I put it as a reply to...

      Now that it's morning, I realize that there is actually a game that I played start-to-finish that warrants talking about. I figured it would warrant a second post, but I put it as a reply to myself to keep the topic looking clean.

      The game I played was one I owned for a while; Katana Zero.

      I remember being rather excited to get this because I was a fan of AskiiSoft's previous works, and now that he had funding thanks to a publishing deal with Devolver Digital I figured this would end up being one of his best games. I did play it a little bit when I first got it but I didn't get very far in it. Something about it just didn't click for me. The gameplay does build on top of the ideas in AskiiSoft's previous games, but it's not quite the same kind of game. Beyond that, something about the overall presentation just made it feel kind of off to me; It doesn't help that the visual aesthetics of the game seem to have been made "Devolver style".

      Having played through the entire way, though, I can say for sure that it was a mistake to give up so early. It's a fairly short game, after all. The problem is that the game doesn't really start to get satisfying until it becomes difficult, and the introduction to the game is a bit long and too easy in general. You don't even get to the first boss fight until after the first third of the game, and this game has some absolutely fantastic boss fights.

      The gameplay is a bit hard to describe. It's kind of like Hotline Miami but from a side perspective and you don't use guns. You've got a one-hit death and so you don't progress until you have a 'perfect' runthrough. You're also on a timer, but on Normal you will likely never run out of time. There are some aspects of time manipulation, but depending on your level of skill you might find that the time control aspects are more important to the story than they are to the actual gameplay; canonically, every time you fail, your character goes back in time to try it again, but the only gameplay aspect you get beyond the regular checkpoint system is a button that allows you to slow down time for a short time. In trademark AskiiSoft style, when you finish a stage you watch a videotape of the action played back in 'realtime' - though to be honest this isn't quite as impressive to watch as his previous games, at least until you get to the really difficult fights (by which time the novelty of the playback would have worn off).

      One of the things that turned me off was how dialogue works in this game. You have the ability to cut people off and so part of the game will be waiting for them to stop talking and then coming up with a response. This might be a good thing if it will allow you to change things on other playthroughs, though - you can either go slow and enjoy the tragic story or you can cut off everyone and just focus on being a killing machine. I'm not sure if I'll play through a second time, though.

      The story in this game is actually really, really good, though. The most awesome thing is that it comes naturally from the core gameplay concepts; it gives a reason for you to have these time-based powers, it comes with penalties, it defines who the enemies and allies are, and it affects the player character's life down to the very way they are doomed to die. Being relayed by a questionably reliable narrator means that there's a lot of inference you'll have to make in order to understand everything which makes the story just that much more compelling. It reminds me a lot of the writing in Iconoclasts; you are told just enough for the plot to make sense, but some questions don't really get enough detail to consider them to be completely answered, which makes the world that it takes place in all the more mysterious.

      I'd consider Katana Zero to be both high quality and short, but I don't think this is a game for everyone. Realistically it's for the cross-section of people who enjoy twitch shooters and also good storytelling.

      4 votes
  3. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Songs of Syx I have actually been playing it for over a week now, but I wanted to spend some proper time with it before I wrote a review. And now, at 90 hours played, I finally feel a bit more...

    Songs of Syx

    I have actually been playing it for over a week now, but I wanted to spend some proper time with it before I wrote a review. And now, at 90 hours played, I finally feel a bit more confident in writing about it even though I still haven't experienced all the game has to offer yet.

    In short, it's basically Dwarf Fortress in a slightly more modern, far less frustrating package, and with a much gentler learning curve. Although, one of the things that sets it apart from DF is the different playable races. In DF you can only play as Dwarves (unless you mod the game), but in SoS you can select from 5 unique starting races, and it also includes two other, rarer, non-starting races. Not only that, but all of them can even somewhat peacefully coexist in your settlement if you allow them to either immigrate, or take them on as slaves (and have enough guards, courts, prisons, and executioners, to deal with the inevitable brawls and murders that will occur between the nobles, citizens, and slaves of the various species, who in some cases inherently dislike each other... or if you have enough dread to prevent everyone from stepping out of line in the first place).

    Another difference is its much much larger scale. DF starts to suffer serious performance issues when your population get into the hundreds. However, that doesn't happen in SoS. My largest settlement so far has almost 1000 population, despite only taking up a small corner of the map, and the game is still running as smoothly as it did at 20 pop, even on 4x game speed. And apparently your cities can even get into the tens of thousands in terms of population, and the game will continue to run just fine.

    And yet another thing that sets it apart from DF is the nation building and conquest mechanics in it. I haven't been able to fully explore that yet, since I am only now getting familiar enough with the basic mechanics to make a large enough, stable enough city to even attempt conquest... but apparently your faction can eventually include hundreds of settlements (either conquered, or convinced to join you), with a population in the hundreds of thousands between them.

    The battle system is also far more developed than in DF too, with an almost Total War-like gameplay to it. Although I can't really speak to that yet either, since I have only ever had to deal with raids attacking my settlement involving about a hundred participants.

    It's still in early access, so there are some slight issues (e.g. the economic balance feels off), but I still highly recommend it if you're into city builders or colony sims.

    cc: @Amarok and @hungariantoast, since I think this game might be something you also enjoy.

    4 votes
  4. circaechos
    Link
    So, like @Akir, I also (finally) got my steam deck, which I think is just going to be my "gaming PC"? I don't need super hi-res anything, I just wanted to play Outer Wilds without my 2012 mac mini...

    So, like @Akir, I also (finally) got my steam deck, which I think is just going to be my "gaming PC"? I don't need super hi-res anything, I just wanted to play Outer Wilds without my 2012 mac mini gasping for air. So, with, that, holy goodness this game is lovely. I've been wanting to play it for a while after all the recommendations from The Witness, and I've been really trying hard to not spoil anything, and somehow I've mostly succeeded!

    Details, with spoilers I think I'm comfortably mid-game at this point? I feel like each planet has a thing that I'm not quite sure how to progress beyond: getting to the Southern Observatory on Brittle to figure out Giant's Deep, getting into the Black Hole Forge, getting all the way into the comet without dying to ghost matter, getting to The Vessel in Dark Bramble without getting eaten (anglerfish are definitely headphones off, play before dark for me), getting to the sun station without dying. But, unlike The Witness, it seems like some part of the game is just "can you do this 3-D platformer/climbing challenge", which I'm ok with, it's just a different form of challenge. But wow, this game's so fun. Why can't more people make amazing concept games where the only thing you gain is knowledge? /s
    4 votes
  5. autumn
    Link
    I put batteries in my Tamagotchi from circa 2014-15, and I've been playing with that since last Friday. Now I'm really itching to buy one of the new, full-color versions they have for sale now....

    I put batteries in my Tamagotchi from circa 2014-15, and I've been playing with that since last Friday. Now I'm really itching to buy one of the new, full-color versions they have for sale now. I've read battery life is abysmal, but the new ones have so many more games and characters.

    4 votes
  6. aphoenix
    (edited )
    Link
    Wasteland 2 - Director's Cut. I had to look up how to build characters, because the first characters I made were moderately useless and didn't last very long, but it's a fun game made by a cool...

    Wasteland 2 - Director's Cut. I had to look up how to build characters, because the first characters I made were moderately useless and didn't last very long, but it's a fun game made by a cool studio. If you like post-apocalyptic squad RPGs that are turn based, then this is a great option. The story is okay thus far but I haven't gotten far at all.

    Mini Metro Motorways - a puzzle game where you have to connect houses to stores using roads. It's definitely a reductionist view of how traffic works (red houses go to red stores, make sure they can get there) but it's simple and fun. My son likes it quite a bit too. *I originally wrote "Mini Metro" but I've been playing "Mini Motorways" recently. Same developer, but Mini Metro is about trains, whereas motorways is, as I describe above, about cars and traffic.

    4 votes
  7. bkimmel
    Link
    Been working my way through Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on the Switch. It's really been a lot of fun so far. I don't love the combat system and it occasionally wanders into annoying jrpg/anime tropes,...

    Been working my way through Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on the Switch. It's really been a lot of fun so far. I don't love the combat system and it occasionally wanders into annoying jrpg/anime tropes, but these are small problems against the backdrop of an absolutely breathtaking world packed with engaging stories and characters in every corner. It almost feels too big and the main story becomes something you consider a small distraction like in Breath of the Wild. Overall, it's been really fun and it's expensive but it packs a metric ton of content.

    3 votes
  8. UntouchedWagons
    Link
    I've been playing the new Saints Row, it's got some flaws like the overly complex menu system for modifying guns, cars and the player character; also a lack of characterization for the gang...

    I've been playing the new Saints Row, it's got some flaws like the overly complex menu system for modifying guns, cars and the player character; also a lack of characterization for the gang leaders. The driving is a bit better than previous Saints Row games but the drifting is nowhere near as good as Burnout Paradise's.

    The map is large and varied and the ventures are fun, delivering trucks carrying barrels of toxic waste was neat. The city-wide LARP missions were hilarious, I'd love to see a spin-off game based around just that.

    I haven't finished the game but I think I'm near the end. The game has you start out as a group of four young adults barely making ends meet, but that gets discarded pretty quickly once you get the church.

    I haven't had too many issues, the game crashed once but I didn't lose any progress; I did have a humorous bug involving one of the small freight trains that travels through the industrial parks: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/558037078416424978/1013264810642776064/Saints_Row_--_DX12_8_27_2022_9_48_38_PM.png

    All in all it's pretty fun but not $75 CDN amounts of fun. I'll wait till it comes to Steam and drops in price a bit.

    3 votes
  9. Liru
    Link
    I picked up Oxygen Not Included on the Steam sale a while ago and I finally started playing it this past week and a half. Steam says I already logged over 50 hours, so I can safely say I'm hooked....

    I picked up Oxygen Not Included on the Steam sale a while ago and I finally started playing it this past week and a half. Steam says I already logged over 50 hours, so I can safely say I'm hooked.

    My first colony went rather okay, but after about a hundred cycles, I slowly realised that I didn't plan for everything slowly heating up. My farms started dying due to a high temperature, and eventually my dupes starved.

    My second colony fared a bit better. I got lucky with a bunch of good colonists, I managed to get some sort of cooling solution in place, found oil and a bunch of useful geysers, but then I noticed that my base layout was far suboptimal for mid to late game. It would be less of a pain to restart on this seed than to try to renovate my base to make room for extra things.

    I'm loving it so far. 8/10 game.

    3 votes
  10. [4]
    feigneddork
    Link
    So my paycheck came through last week, so I caved in and bought Saints Row. OK. So it isn't anywhere near as bad as the internet will have you believe if you've played and enjoyed SR2-4 games....

    So my paycheck came through last week, so I caved in and bought Saints Row.

    OK. So it isn't anywhere near as bad as the internet will have you believe if you've played and enjoyed SR2-4 games. However, it does have it's cringe moments - but so far it never gets as bad as Agents of Mayhem writing. I will say that the Boss you play as is entertaining, even if not as entertaining as past bosses (good enough).

    The environment goes from "OK" to "wow that's neat". Some side hustles are really enjoyable, others less so. Having to press a button 5 different times at different points to learn about a town in Santo Illeso is not fun, especially for the rewards it gives.

    The radio station is OK. It has Outrun FM, so for any synth fans you'll love it (although it has unknown artists). If you're not into that, the rap/hip hop radio is amazing. Outside of that though, I didn't really spot anything else that was "wow".

    The bugs tho. The bugs. Man, this is a buggy boi. It's bugs in all the weird corner cases, like I was browsing the uploaded bosses, and I got hit by a car which took me out of the menu. OK, not cool but not the worst. Only when I got into a side hustle (side mission) that I noticed the game changed the voide to the boss I was looking at in the menu.

    Still, it isn't so bad. However, I got to a mission and I was out of the "safe zone" which I needed to return to in 10 seconds unless I fail the mission or something. Except it never got me to fail the mission, it just hung on the loading screen.

    There's little bits and stuff like that which litter the game and ruin the presentation. If you want to play this and you are willing to look past the bugs, go for it. It isn't a bad way to spend time. For others, I would wait a few months and/or a sale.

    2 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      I honestly really don't know where the hate for this game is coming from. I guess that people just wanted another crazy zany adventure where anything could happen, and even though literally all of...

      I honestly really don't know where the hate for this game is coming from. I guess that people just wanted another crazy zany adventure where anything could happen, and even though literally all of the marketing was really clear that that wasn't going to be their vision, people are still upset about it.

      On the other hand, I guess I must be lucky because I haven't seen too many bugs; the only bug I have seen is when exiting out of a vehicle that's crashing sometimes the player model will start from the default pose, and the only time me or my husband have seen a bug that actually affected the gameplay was that guns pointed backward and refused to fire, which was fixed by simply fast-travelling to somewhere else.

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      Merry
      Link Parent
      To me, it looks like a great game once it goes on sale after the bugs are fixed. <$20 and I will bite for it. I never played SR4 but I enjoyed SR3 a lot.

      To me, it looks like a great game once it goes on sale after the bugs are fixed. <$20 and I will bite for it. I never played SR4 but I enjoyed SR3 a lot.

      3 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        SR4 is a fantastic game in many ways. SR3 was a good game but if it suffered at all, it was that it an iteration of SR2 with more polish but less stuff and wacky charm, and something of a more...

        SR4 is a fantastic game in many ways. SR3 was a good game but if it suffered at all, it was that it an iteration of SR2 with more polish but less stuff and wacky charm, and something of a more Ubisoft-style approach to the game world. SR4 is a fantastic iteration on SR3 because they take that baseline and then add in a ton of superpowers. Adding superpowers to the main character in that series in particular was such a great idea. One of the weakest parts of SR3 by that point was the floaty vehicle physics and that driving around the city was a bit dull. SR4 bypasses all that with superhuman speed and jumps. It was suddenly a lot less GTA and a lot more Crackdown.

        Saints Row 4 is more than well worth checking out if you're interested in the series.

        4 votes
  11. clone1
    Link
    Genshin Impact just released a new region. Like their monetization scheme or not, they're clearly putting a lot of the money back into the game, each region is better designed than the last. The...

    Genshin Impact just released a new region. Like their monetization scheme or not, they're clearly putting a lot of the money back into the game, each region is better designed than the last. The story this time around is a lot more interesting too.

    1 vote