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.
I just finished Disco Elysium, I know I am a little late but oh my god is it good! Cannot recommend it enough!! I think I might need to replay it which I never do.
Nice! What build did you run?
I started it on Stadia and regretfully did not finish it. I was originally going to look into transferring my save to Steam (I had around 10 hours on it, IIRC), but then I decided it was worth it to just start over again.
Haven’t caught up to where I was yet, but I’m looking forward to it. How heavily do your choices affect the story?
The story is the story. Your choices affect yourself, and who you really are.
Started Scarlet Nexus (Steam) over the weekend. It's an action JRPG set in, I assume, our far future, where some people have psychic powers such as telekinesis or pyrokinesis and the like. These psychic power play heavily into the combat mechanics. That part seems fun, even though I'm bad at it (and action games in general). There are weird aliens or beings that attack civilization. These monsters kinda remind me of creatures from the Persona series. Like one early monster is like an 8ft tall bouquet of flowers with long legs.
I'm not very far into it, but storywise, it definitely feels a little messy. Like the big starting event of the story already happened, but already there are some twists almost immediately after the kickoff event. And they're confusing and aren't really explained. Like one second all the characters seem to be on the same side, but then all of a sudden one kills the dad of the main character and then half the group is now on the "other" side (possibly enemy side? Idk yet). What just happened? Why did half of you switch sides, even though we're supposedly friends/comrades? I'm hoping it'll be explained soon, because right now I feel like I missed out some major dialog, even though I didn't.
In addition there are sidequests/sidestories that already don't feel well-integrated. One brief sidestory involved my main character meeting with a character from the other side for a casual coffee and mental check-in. Umm, you're allied with a person who killed my MC's dad and also destroyed the safety of the nation's citizens. Maybe we shouldn't meet for a little chit-chat. Also, the characters barely know each other. They acknowledge this and the whole seemingly turncoat thing in the dialog, but it's still very, "Well, let's ignore all that for now, how are you feeling? I hope you're well! Make sure to stay well-fed!"
We'll see how it goes. I'm definitely interested in finding out what the hell is going on, but with holes like this already appearing, I feel like I may not get a fulfilling story.
I have managed to finally get at least two other family members to agree to play Lords of Waterdeep which is a worker placement game set in the city of Waterdeep. Long story short, you place workers to encourage adventurers to your tavern, then send them out to complete quests for points. It's fun, the setup isn't particularly difficult, the play time isn't particularly long, and the downtime between turns isn't bad. Overall, it's quite fun.
I'm going to see if they'll go for maybe Power Grid next.
I haven't been playing many video games as I kind of got out of the habit, and I have enjoyed not being particularly locked to a screen after being done work for the day. I have done a bit of beat saber, and I have played a bit of Slay the Spire, but that's about it for right now.
A friend came over this past weekend and wanted to play something with a co-op campaign. They randomly selected this game out of my Steam library, and it wasn’t until well after we were done with it that I realized it was in my library because it’s fully free to play (no microtransactions/DLC). Based on the game’s credits that ran when we finished, where a number of professors were thanked, I get the impression that the game was a student project.
The game is a little hard to explain in words but very easy to get if you watch a quick video. Two characters are on-screen, with a line between the middle of the two separating the screen into two halves. As the characters move, the line does too, sliding and rotating to keep itself equidistant from both characters.
Likewise, while both characters are in the same level together, the platforms they have access to differ. Each character can only jump on their own platforms and, importantly, each character can only see what’s available on their side of the line.
The goal of the game is to get the dividing line between the characters to correctly line up with crystals placed in each level, but to do that the two players have to work together to not only understand the level that they can only ever see part of, but help each other navigate the parts of their “side” that they’re unable to do on their own.
It’s a genuinely novel idea for a game, and I can’t speak highly enough of the level design. The creators of the game did a great job of coming up with a simple, elegant concept, and building some solid showcases for it. The game isn’t terribly difficult, but it did have some genuine head-scratching moments throughout. It took us 2 hours to beat the campaign, which felt just right. Any less and we would have felt like they could have gone further, but any more and we would have felt like it overstayed its welcome.
The game is a little rough around the edges. It didn’t seem to support two controllers, so we had to play with one person on controller and one on keyboard. Additionally, there didn’t seem to be the option to rebind controls, and UP is the jump command. Not a huge problem on the keyboard, but moving a joystick up to jump (instead of using a separate button) feels a bit clumsy, especially on some of the more precise jumps.
Nevertheless, for a free game I’m willing to overlook minor concerns like that — especially one as smartly designed as this. I’d say this is a genuine hidden gem (only 176 reviews (96% positive) despite it being completely FREE). I’d recommend it to anyone that likes puzzle platformers and has someone to play co-op with. It would also be great for/with kids, as it’s simple, cartoony, and completely family-friendly.
I have played Age of Empires II - Definitive Edition on the Xbox (via Game Pass).
Traditionally, this kind of game does not render itself well for gamepads, but, according to reviewers, the conversion was well done. I tried it for a few minutes, but my monitor and Xbox are on my desk and I have no reason to use anything but the superior mouse + keyboard controller scheme.
Given my age, I probably should have played this game in the past. I used to love Warcraft 3 and Starcraft but never touched AoE. For a while at least, its system requirements were over my budget, and old-school Blizzard was more forgiving in that respect.
Besides, AoE always seemed a bit more involved than the other games to me, with a focus on history and long-term strategy. I couldn't see the value of dealing with any system other than the building and fighting. Now, compared to modern strategy games, it is basically Pong.
This is going to sound silly, but using mouse+keyboard on the Xbox feels magical. There are many games I would like to play this way. This would probably be badly received, but, given that the Xbox is essentially a PC, it would be great if they made games available on the Xbox that didn't necessarily support the gamepad. Just add a clearly demarcated tab to the store for keyboard/mouse games and warn before buying.
Anyway, I like the game. I'm doing the tutorial campaigns, and I can see that matches are not exactly short. That is a plus, I'm too old to care about actions-per-minute.
This game has an online component that I plan to completely ignore. AoE feels like a game and also a toy, and I don't care if I'm really good in the grand scheme of things. Older games were very efficient in making you feel badass regardless of your ability, and I prefer the illusion to the reality.
I recognize all the tropes of the RTSs of yore -- before they became over-inflated, hyper-specialized, gargantuan, soul-sucking monstrosities. Maybe that is a sign of aging -- I'll start revisiting, rewatching, rereading, and replaying more and more. Everything works as it should. In the right measure. You use every piece in the box, and there's nothing to spare. So refreshing!
I never played this game before, but it already feels like home.
Interesting to hear from someone who hasn't had AOE be a formative gaming experience. AOE was the first game that was purchased in our household, it was a big deal at the time. Plus I was a child, so there's nostalgia too. Weirdly I haven't played many other RTSs if at all, other than the series.
The Definitive Edition is a great remake, and it's vastly superior to the HD edition (which never even worked properly on my laptop and just froze all the time). I really like the aesthetic improvements such as the increased plant and tree size and density. The music has both the original and conqueror's soundtrack back to back, which is nice. The terrains are nicer especially the New England autumn one. Some of the new civs and buildings are cool too.
The DLC are expensive but they do go on sale for around 20% reduction. I have all of them except for the latest one, but they don't add significantly on the game since you get most Civs.
Do you find you have a playing style? I figured mine out pretty early - I'm hyper defensive but also OCD with my town aesthetics. Everything has to be in the right place and looking pretty. My brothers were completely different. One was purely mercantile and prioritised resource efficiency. The other was a war-monger with zero attention to building placement, so his cities would be infuriatingly unplanned and crowded out. I don't think I could play online because I'm not very good at the game (I don't memorise starts, or try too hard to be super fast). My favourite maps used to be island maps so that I didn't have to deal with allies stealing my precious trees and the AI setting meant that they never boarded, so it was easy mode.
As in life, I'm an over planner. I want an excess of units and resources. That is because I'm in the mindset of a real conflict, where I cannot predict the outcomes. If I truly believed the English were coming, I wouldn't want just enough soldiers, I'd want enough to overwhelm the enemy and reduce my odds of defeat to zero.
So I guess I'm a roleplayer, but that's also a habit coming from StarCraft.
That seems like a good strategy and as you say it's realistic. I imagine your game sessions are much longer though. Mine are too.
Yeah, I'm still doing the tutorial missions. It's averaging 1h each.
They've been lower for a while now (depending on how old the DLC is). The first two are on sale for 65% off on Humble right now.
You're right, they are much cheaper now, including 65% off on Steam also. Good to know, thanks