31 votes

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

A few of the other groups have been doing recurring topics like this, and I think we should really do it more regularly in ~games too.

So, what have you been playing lately? (Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game as well.)

69 comments

  1. [7]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I picked up FTL: Faster Than Light during the Steam Summer Sale for $2.99 or something. I just uninstalled it yesterday after realizing that my play time is around ~150 hours in the past month or...

    I picked up FTL: Faster Than Light during the Steam Summer Sale for $2.99 or something. I just uninstalled it yesterday after realizing that my play time is around ~150 hours in the past month or so.

    Needless to say, it's a good game.

    19 votes
    1. bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      I think FTL is probably my favourite game of all time. I've racked up over 1000 hours on it across various devices and platforms, and I still keep coming back to it. It's so addictive, and so...

      I think FTL is probably my favourite game of all time. I've racked up over 1000 hours on it across various devices and platforms, and I still keep coming back to it. It's so addictive, and so god-damned fun. I often lamented that it's not a co-operative experience, but my friends and I put it up on a TV at one point and played from there. Each of us took responsibility for keeping an eye on different things, and the "captain" being in charge of carrying out our instructions. Some very fond memories of that game <3

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      I will wait forever for a mobile port of FTL and it will probably be on my phone forever. There is the Humble Play version that runs on the Humble website and mobile devices that have the...

      I will wait forever for a mobile port of FTL and it will probably be on my phone forever. There is the Humble Play version that runs on the Humble website and mobile devices that have the horsepower can run it, but it requires a mouse to run. I'm sure something that can be done to moblify it, but I'm lost on where to even begin.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        FTL is already on mobile... kinda sorta... just iOS+iPad only, unfortunately. It's one of my most played iPad games (along with Civ 6). But yeah, it's a real shame the devs have stated they have...

        FTL is already on mobile... kinda sorta... just iOS+iPad only, unfortunately. It's one of my most played iPad games (along with Civ 6).

        But yeah, it's a real shame the devs have stated they have no intention of porting it to Android or iPhone, especially since the touch mechanics have already been implemented and work great. :/

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          moocow1452
          Link Parent
          On an unrelated note, would you have any recommendations for iOS emulators that run well on Android?

          On an unrelated note, would you have any recommendations for iOS emulators that run well on Android?

          2 votes
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don't actually own any android devices, and didn't realize that iOS emulation on them was even a thing, so I don't have any recs for that, sorry. Hopefully someone else can chime in if they have...

            I don't actually own any android devices, and didn't realize that iOS emulation on them was even a thing, so I don't have any recs for that, sorry. Hopefully someone else can chime in if they have a recommendation though.

            3 votes
    3. firstname
      Link Parent
      Happy to see FTL at the top as i came in, It's one of those rare games that can stay on my disk forever. I will probably never stop playing FTL.

      Happy to see FTL at the top as i came in, It's one of those rare games that can stay on my disk forever. I will probably never stop playing FTL.

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    eladnarra
    Link
    I've been putting most of my meager gaming time into Outer Wilds. I'm still not finished, but so far it's one of my favorite games ever. It's hard to talk about without spoiling too much, but I'll...

    I've been putting most of my meager gaming time into Outer Wilds. I'm still not finished, but so far it's one of my favorite games ever. It's hard to talk about without spoiling too much, but I'll do my best. (Don't read on if you'd rather play it without knowing anything - but everything I'm going to talk about in any detail is discovered in the first play session. Everything else I will make more vague.)

    I love exploration in video games, and Outer Wilds really scratches that itch for me. In it you play an alien astronaut on your first voyage. You explore the planets of your solar system, discovering many secrets left behind by a different alien species. There's a surprising number of things to uncover, and you start to piece together what happened before your time. There's strange tech, conversation logs, and bizarre and beautiful phenomena. The planets are very unique, each having its own distinct feel.

    Oh, and there's a time loop, too! I love time travel/time loop stories.

    I'm enjoying the writing, as well. It's an open world game, so there's not a set storyline that you follow, but as you explore you come to know characters, both past and present. There's a fair amount of amusing dialogue with your fellow astronauts, and also very poignant moments that have made me tear up.

    I think this is the most well-thought out open world game I've played. Granted, I still haven't got around to Breath of the Wild. But the freedom I feel exploring in Outer Wilds is amazing, and my usual penchant for going off the beaten tracks hasn't been punished by invisible walls or an event misfiring because the game didn't expect me to go to [place] before I did [thing].

    For example, there's a puzzle that requires you to know three pieces of info. My partner and I discovered the first piece, and used it to travel to the puzzle. While there, we realized we were missing two more bits of info. But we were able to figure out the second one on our own by thinking it through and experimenting, which felt much more organic than if the game had artificially kept us from progressing because we didn't have that info in our ship's log. We've also stumbled upon several different things just by accident, only later finding the logs that described how to make them work. It's hard to explain, but that "what the fuck" amazement really makes you feel like you would if you were actually exploring.

    The only downside, which probably wouldn't apply to most folks here, is that it can be difficult for me to navigate. I didn't grow up playing video games, so controllers are rather foreign to me, and I get repetitive stress injuries easily. My partner has taken over "driving" the character while we decide what to do, because with the time loop mechanic there's only a certain amount of time each cycle to get to where you'd like to go. If I was playing, we'd spend most of our time failing to make jumps. While I don't think I'd change this aspect of the game, it does make me a little sad - the focus of the game for me is exploration and discovery, so I'm not sure that platforming elements are really that necessary.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      fandegw
      Link Parent
      I felt all the platforming or even the space-ship driving mechanics with the planets were made to feel the excitement to barely make it through the challenge before needing to rewing in time. Like...

      I felt all the platforming or even the space-ship driving mechanics with the planets were made to feel the excitement to barely make it through the challenge before needing to rewing in time. Like when you learn a bit of info on one planet, that hints you to go to another one to have the following hint, and you know you have so much time to do it, so you push yourself to take the maximum risks to make it through.

      I feel that without this adrenaline, I would have had difficulty returning into the game for small sessions.

      But of course it does not take into account that it will feel disappointing or even a little cheap at some points. There could be a counter argument that this is also to push the player to the resolution of the game instead of trying to "100%" the game at the first playthrough. Because this is clearly not the most enjoyable experience for this one.

      But I hope that they will update their game to include some much needed accessibility options, maybe with the deal they have made with EGS they will have the money and time to spend on such options before they will eventually ship on steam.

      3 votes
      1. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I agree the platforming does have some function in the game - it's just that it's not an easily scalable type of difficulty, and I think it's a shame that I probably wouldn't have been able...

        Yeah, I agree the platforming does have some function in the game - it's just that it's not an easily scalable type of difficulty, and I think it's a shame that I probably wouldn't have been able to finish it on my own. Luckily the experience of playing it with my partner has been even better than a solo one. :)

        It's interesting that it was that adrenaline that helped keep you coming back. I'm not sure how much that plays a part for me; I think discovering new things and wanting to explore more to find the next clue is my main driving force. "Oh shit, next cycle we have to go to [blank]."

        I feel like any type of change that would make it more playable for folks in my position would change too much, so I don't really want to change the game in the end. A lot of that sense of discovery could be found in a point and click game, for example, but it probably wouldn't feel as emersive. There could also be ways of having certain tasks take a set amount of time, so you're still limited in what you can do per cycle, but the limitations come from distance and time to perform an action, not how fast/easily you can jump. But that's not as fluid and natural as having 22 minutes.

        3 votes
    2. Bal
      Link Parent
      That game looks absolutely lovely and I'm glad to see another set positive impressions. I look forward to playing it next year.

      That game looks absolutely lovely and I'm glad to see another set positive impressions. I look forward to playing it next year.

      2 votes
  3. [4]
    Adys
    Link
    Since I moved to Brussels I've taken up board games once more, mostly through meetup.com. Some of my favourites I ended up buying: Splendor is a great turn based resource collection game. You get...

    Since I moved to Brussels I've taken up board games once more, mostly through meetup.com.

    Some of my favourites I ended up buying:

    • Splendor is a great turn based resource collection game. You get chips (like poker chips), with those chips you buy cards, and snowball your purchasing power until you get 15 victory points. It's easy to explain and the games are about 30 mins max. Really fun.

    • I've rediscovered Carcassonne, which I also ended up buying on Switch. Carcassonne is the best in my library when it comes to being able to play with two players, while still scaling up to six players without changing how fun it is.

    • Santorini is a great chess-like strategy game which can be played 1v1, 1v1v1 or 2v2 for three very different experiences.

    • Unstable Unicorns is a Magic-lite which you can explain pretty fast and have lots of fun with. I bought most of its expansions and I really want to work on a digital version of it. Small hiccup, the two players variant is kinda lame.

    • Krom is a great French resource gathering game, fun with 3-5 players. If two players end up in the same zone they fight for the resource. There's a bit of everything and like all the other ones I've mentioned, it's very quick to explain and pick up.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      How is Carcassonne on the Switch? It's one of my favorite tabletop games but I'm hesitant to try a digital version. On the other hand, I seldom have anybody willing to play with me so it'd be nice...

      How is Carcassonne on the Switch? It's one of my favorite tabletop games but I'm hesitant to try a digital version. On the other hand, I seldom have anybody willing to play with me so it'd be nice to have a solo option. How's the AI? Is there online multiplayer available?

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        It's ugly but a good port otherwise. The AI has a lot of options such as aggressive, gambler, etc. Give it a shot!

        It's ugly but a good port otherwise. The AI has a lot of options such as aggressive, gambler, etc. Give it a shot!

        3 votes
    2. papasquat
      Link Parent
      Splendor is fantastic, one of my favorites. If you like it, a similar game is "Century: Spice road". It has the same sort of engine building mechanic as splendor, but with the added core feature...

      Splendor is fantastic, one of my favorites. If you like it, a similar game is "Century: Spice road". It has the same sort of engine building mechanic as splendor, but with the added core feature that resources can be transformed into different types using the cards. It has a few expansions that I haven't played, but I heard are pretty good as well.

      2 votes
  4. Akir
    (edited )
    Link
    I just bought two games with a $20 credit that was burning a hole in my pocket. The first one was Armello. It's been on my wishlist for a while. I don't usually buy 'board game' style video games,...

    I just bought two games with a $20 credit that was burning a hole in my pocket.

    The first one was Armello. It's been on my wishlist for a while. I don't usually buy 'board game' style video games, since I would normally want to play with the real thing (Tabletop Simulator is the only exception, since I can get something close enough to the real experience), but the presentation and art really made this game stand out. Unfortunately, it took me an hour just to pass the prologue that teaches you how to play the game, so I shelved it temporarily. It's not a terribly complicated game, it's just got a lot of rules and you have to understand them all before you start playing a real game. I think it has potential.

    On a slight side-note, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of care they expressed in their licensing documentation. It's written in plain English and it actually succeeds in making me believe that the developers are good people. Heck, it's even friendly when you open the game for the first time and it asks you if you want to accept the terms for online play, offering an option to play offline instead.

    The other game I bought was Blaster Master Zero. It's exactly what I expected, no more and no less. it's just a fun retro-inspired run-and-gun type of game. The only complaint I have at this point is that it's just too easy, especially in the overhead sections.

    One odd thing about the game is that it's got a story that they take completely serious but is also completely ridiculous. "My pet frog ran away, I better chase after him using this MFing tank I just found lying around. Woah, unconscious chick with amnesia! Come along, there's no need to go to a hospital at all."

    EDIT: How in the world did I forget Iconoclasts?

    I was honestly waiting for a topic like this to come up to talk about it. Iconoclasts is a run-and-gun style puzzle-platformer. It's got a pixelated style but I wouldn't call it retro-inspired. It's possibly one of the most polished 2D games I've played in a long time. It's got great art direction, great animation, and the overall flow and gameplay is butter-smooth. But honestly, the story is the best part of it. While simply trying to help out your friends and family, you stumble into the secrets of the world including how humanity started off on the planet. The story is full of drama and terrifying (but thankfully not gross) death scenes, and there is a lot of detail in the background designed to answer questions that would otherwise appear to be left open.

    5 votes
  5. [5]
    Deimos
    Link
    I've been jumping around a little and playing a few different things lately: My wife has been trying to get me back into Final Fantasy XIV (the MMORPG, not one of the single-player games). We...

    I've been jumping around a little and playing a few different things lately:

    My wife has been trying to get me back into Final Fantasy XIV (the MMORPG, not one of the single-player games). We played it a lot around its original (re-)release, but we quit playing somewhere around early 2016, a little while after the first expansion (Heavensward) was released. She went back and played again a fair amount after the second expansion in June 2017, but I decided to resist since I was working a fair amount on starting Tildes at the time and didn't want the constant distraction and temptation of an MMORPG.

    Now the third expansion came out last month, so she wants to play again and I'm willing this time, but I'm so far behind. FF14 has a lot of story quests, and now I'm trying to catch up on over 3 years worth of them (and the story is quite good, so I don't want to skip them). I feel like I've already put a fair amount of time in, but I'm still only on the quests from the patches between the first and second expansion. The ones I'm working on now came out in September 2016, so I still have a ton ahead of me before I'll start getting close to the actual new content. It's been pretty enjoyable overall, but it's almost all just me playing single-player doing the quests, so it's not really living up to the "let's play together again" idea yet.

    Outside of that, I've also been playing DUSK a little here and there, which is a great retro-style FPS that makes me feel like I'm back playing Quake or some of the other games from that era again.

    Over the weekend I also felt like playing a shmup for some reason, so I managed to get through Danmaku Unlimited 2 on a couple of the easier difficulties and started playing the sequel a little as well. I've always had a bit of a fascination with shmups and want to play them, but it's usually ruined by the fact that most of them are extremely hard and I'm awful at them. DU2 was actually pretty approachable, so that was fun to get through and feel like I kind of knew what I was doing sometimes. They both also have excellent djent-style soundtracks by Blankfield.

    5 votes
    1. emnii
      Link Parent
      DUSK is so good. It's like if someone made Blood in the Quake engine instead of BUILD.

      DUSK is so good. It's like if someone made Blood in the Quake engine instead of BUILD.

      2 votes
    2. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      If you find that you're wanting another shmup with a friendly difficulty level, check out Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION. Not only is accessible, it's also a ridiculously indulgent, over-the-top,...

      If you find that you're wanting another shmup with a friendly difficulty level, check out Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION. Not only is accessible, it's also a ridiculously indulgent, over-the-top, feel-good power fantasy. Outrageous guns and specials. Lots of fun.

      1 vote
      1. Deimos
        Link Parent
        Nice, thanks - I think I played it a little bit years ago, but I don't remember much about it at all. I'll have to give it another shot.

        Nice, thanks - I think I played it a little bit years ago, but I don't remember much about it at all. I'll have to give it another shot.

        1 vote
    3. hook
      Link Parent
      I am currently waiting for my Flip Grip to arrive to play Zaccaria Pinball (and Downwell) in TATE mode, but also to play some other shoot’em’ups. I haven’t installed any proper ones, but have...

      I am currently waiting for my Flip Grip to arrive to play Zaccaria Pinball (and Downwell) in TATE mode, but also to play some other shoot’em’ups.

      I haven’t installed any proper ones, but have several on my wishlist from this Starter's Guide to Shmups on Switch and AzorMX’ series of posts on Greatest Shmup of Them All. I warmly recommend both resources, if you are looking for a good overview.

      1 vote
  6. [19]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    The Witness I am, presumably, only a few puzzles away from beating it (which feels like quite a feat!). I'm in the "final exam" part of the game where Jonathan Blow is pretty much just flexing and...

    The Witness

    I am, presumably, only a few puzzles away from beating it (which feels like quite a feat!).

    I'm in the "final exam" part of the game where Jonathan Blow is pretty much just flexing and letting you know how much of a genius he is. I think the game is brilliant and incredibly well done, but I can't lie--my stamina for it is depleted and it feels like it has overstayed its welcome with me a bit. I'm going to finish it, I'm just not as eager to play it as I was mid-game, when I was completely engrossed by its cleverness.

    EDIT: I beat it. I definitely admire the ending sequence for its cleverness, but I disliked its execution. I still think the game, especially the rest of it, is amazing though. Probably the best puzzle game I've played since The Talos Principle.

    The Station

    This is a short (<2 hours) first-person narrative adventure with the usual "visit a derelict spaceship and uncover its story" plot. I saw the ending coming so it wasn't as fulfilling as I'd have liked, but I nevertheless enjoyed it. Good atmosphere.

    SIMULACRA

    This is a short (~3 hours) "found phone" horror game. You find someone else's smart phone and see a video in which the owner appears to be in danger. You then start going through the phone and communicating with her contacts in order to try to find her. I thought the interface and writing were well done for the most part, and I appreciate that the game forces you into some ethical decision making (e.g. posing as the phone's owner with contacts in an effort to get information, or telling them the truth and risking them calling the cops on you). It's not perfect, and while some of its jump scares were valid, a lot of them were just cheap. Still, it was good overall.

    House Flipper

    My husband and I bought a house several months ago and have done innumerable projects on it. House Flipper is a homeowner fantasy game where painting rooms can take you mere minutes and you don't have to use drop cloths or tape edges. You also don't have to know anything about electrical work in order to rewire outlets, and installing a bathtub is as easy as connecting some pipes! And you never have to clean up after you're done with something or make repeated runs to the hardware store mid-project! I'm not bitter!

    The game is actually nice and mindless, and it's fun to fix up a house and sell it for a profit. If you enjoyed the homemaking aspects of The Sims, this scratches that same itch. I've been playing it primarily as a side activity while my husband and I are rewatching seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, and once we finish with that it'll be a perfect game for listening to audiobooks.

    5 votes
    1. [5]
      eladnarra
      Link Parent
      My partner and I played most of The Witness together - we found it frustrating but somewhat interesting, but stopped at what I assume is the end game because of the weird visual stuff. I don't...

      but I can't lie--my stamina for it is depleted and it feels like it has overstayed its welcome with me a bit. I'm going to finish it, I'm just not as eager to play it as I was mid-game, when I was completely engrossed by its cleverness.

      My partner and I played most of The Witness together - we found it frustrating but somewhat interesting, but stopped at what I assume is the end game because of the weird visual stuff. I don't remember exactly what the issue was, but it wasn't worth the dizzying effect to continue.

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I just finished with those--they were outright nausea-inducing. I copied them onto paper and solved them that way. I then had to input them while keeping the screen in my peripheral vision. If I...

        I just finished with those--they were outright nausea-inducing. I copied them onto paper and solved them that way. I then had to input them while keeping the screen in my peripheral vision. If I looked at it directly it induced motion sickness in me. Definitely my least favorite part of the game.

        That said, I love the idea of playing through the game as a collaboration. There were definitely times where having someone to bounce ideas off of would have helped me, as it's the kind of game where it's easy to get stuck in your own head.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          eladnarra
          Link Parent
          Yeah, it was pretty fun as a collaboration! And when we both got frustrated, or annoyed that a previous "rule" got subverted, we could grouse together. :D We're long distance, so playing...

          Yeah, it was pretty fun as a collaboration! And when we both got frustrated, or annoyed that a previous "rule" got subverted, we could grouse together. :D

          We're long distance, so playing multiplayer games or screensharing singleplayer ones is a great way to hang out and have shared experiences.

          2 votes
          1. MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            My partner and I were only able to complete it as a team. I did most of the moving from place to place, but in the end she found the last secrets I was unable to find because I'd gotten too used...

            My partner and I were only able to complete it as a team. I did most of the moving from place to place, but in the end she found the last secrets I was unable to find because I'd gotten too used to hustling through the scenery on the way to the next objective. She went a-wandering and found so many things I'd missed. It was a great game.

            3 votes
          2. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            That's beautiful. I love the idea of sharing a digital space when you can't share a physical one. Also, be glad you stopped where you did. I just finished the game and the ending puzzle sequence...

            That's beautiful. I love the idea of sharing a digital space when you can't share a physical one.

            Also, be glad you stopped where you did. I just finished the game and the ending puzzle sequence was stomach-churning for me.

            2 votes
    2. [13]
      cptcobalt
      Link Parent
      I think that's exactly how everybody feels at the tail end of The Witness (or really the finale of any intense puzzle game). It's one of those games where dime and distance certainly sweeten your...

      I think that's exactly how everybody feels at the tail end of The Witness (or really the finale of any intense puzzle game). It's one of those games where dime and distance certainly sweeten your perspective on it, even if it just seems brutal right when you finish, you know? I don't know if I could really go back and do a new playthrough from scratch, but it's in my top-ten puzzle games.

      2 votes
      1. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        Hmm. I found myself just as eager for more in my last 15 hours as my first. I have a pet theory that it pretty much boils down to how familiar you are with Buddhist philosophy before you play the...

        I think that's exactly how everybody feels at the tail end of The Witness

        Hmm. I found myself just as eager for more in my last 15 hours as my first. I have a pet theory that it pretty much boils down to how familiar you are with Buddhist philosophy before you play the game. Personally, the only bit I'd consider brutal would be The Challenge, which is obviously meant to be... and maybe that door puzzle on the ship.

        3 votes
      2. [6]
        tunneljumper
        Link Parent
        I didn't really feel that way with The Talos Principle,1 possibly because there was a tangible story and plot that made me anxious to get to the end, instead of Jonathan Blow waxing philosophical....

        (or really the finale of any intense puzzle game)

        I didn't really feel that way with The Talos Principle,1 possibly because there was a tangible story and plot that made me anxious to get to the end, instead of Jonathan Blow waxing philosophical. The obscene difficulty of all the puzzles isn't what made The Witness a slog for me, it was all the hours I put into a game expecting any sort of plot and getting no payoff2 for some really freakin' hard challenges at the end is what jaded my opinion of that game.

        1. You could argue/gatekeep that TTP isn't that intense, but I think it gets pretty mind-melting at the end.

        2. I was only about seven hours in before I realized Blow was yanking my chain and that there was no plot, which didn't help.

        3 votes
        1. eladnarra
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I keep meaning to pick up The Talos Principle and then forgetting. Thanks for reminding me! (Not that you were reminding me specifically, haha.) I heard about it after playing The Witness, and it...

          I keep meaning to pick up The Talos Principle and then forgetting. Thanks for reminding me! (Not that you were reminding me specifically, haha.) I heard about it after playing The Witness, and it seemed like it might be more up my alley.

          2 votes
        2. [4]
          cptcobalt
          Link Parent
          Interesting! I am not as much of a fan of The Talos Principle, as I am The Witness. I certainly agree about the mind-melting nature of The Talos Principle, it's a real puzzle game. That said, I...

          Interesting! I am not as much of a fan of The Talos Principle, as I am The Witness. I certainly agree about the mind-melting nature of The Talos Principle, it's a real puzzle game. That said, I fell out of it several times when I was playing because the game failed to keep my engagement. The environment ultimately was what kept holding me back. It may seem reductive, but much of TTP felt like 90s era graph paper level design—it felt like they completely chose to eschew any semblance of a real environment so they could wedge their contrived puzzles into flat spaces that perform well in their engine. In contrast, The Witness was far more successful at keeping up the feeling of flow and accomplishment because you're constantly moving to new spaces and environments.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            That's an interesting impression to get. The Talos Principle is made by Croteam (the company behind the Serious Sam games), who are pretty well-known for their engines. I especially remember the...

            it felt like they completely chose to eschew any semblance of a real environment so they could wedge their contrived puzzles into flat spaces that perform well in their engine.

            That's an interesting impression to get. The Talos Principle is made by Croteam (the company behind the Serious Sam games), who are pretty well-known for their engines. I especially remember the original Serious Engine being completely amazing when it first came out—you could shoot a rocket at some far-off background element and see the tiny little explosion seconds later, which was pretty unbelievable when practically every other game at the time made things just cease to exist once they got a certain distance away.

            That is, I'm sure it was a decision to design the environments that way, because their engines are usually extremely capable. They've been talking about how Serious Sam 4 can have tens of thousands of enemies on-screen.

            1 vote
            1. cptcobalt
              Link Parent
              Yeah, you're right on that front, perhaps I blamed the engine where the fault really lies more on the baseline of puzzle design and art direction. Still, in my perspective, the puzzles and maps...

              Yeah, you're right on that front, perhaps I blamed the engine where the fault really lies more on the baseline of puzzle design and art direction. Still, in my perspective, the puzzles and maps they're on feel really flat, once you sort of step back and realize that everything that makes up the world around you are just the exact same set of walls of identical height/etc everywhere—with the exception of the striking set pieces that are so heavily featured in screenshots.

              Even the puzzles and world design of Portal, which arguably has a smaller variety of environmental options, feels more varied in puzzle and environmental design than TTP (even though its overall difficulty doesn't get anywhere close to TTP).

              3 votes
          2. tunneljumper
            Link Parent
            If I'm understanding you correctly: I'll agree that a lot of the set pieces in Talos started to feel the same after awhile, and the same variations on three old-world scenes didn't do it any...

            If I'm understanding you correctly: I'll agree that a lot of the set pieces in Talos started to feel the same after awhile, and the same variations on three old-world scenes didn't do it any favors, but I'll respectfully disagree about "new spaces and environments" in The Witness. Taking it to the most reductive extreme, you're just looking at line puzzles in different environments. Sometimes the game would interact with the environment itself, which was cool for the first few times, but after awhile it just felt the same as the puzzles on the board. To me, looking at lines and dots is the same whether you're doing it in the swamp or on the mountain.

            It's worth noting that I'm also likely biased, as TTP was the first game I streamed start-to-finish and kind of have some fond memories in that regard.

            1 vote
      3. [5]
        kfwyre
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        SPOILER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T PLAYED THE WITNESS I think part of my fatigue is that I misjudged what the "end" of the game would be. I activated all of the beacons, and the one in the...

        SPOILER WARNING FOR ANYONE WHO HASN'T PLAYED THE WITNESS

        I think part of my fatigue is that I misjudged what the "end" of the game would be. I activated all of the beacons, and the one in the little village area felt like its own "final exam" on account of having concepts from all of the other areas in it. As such, when I scaled the mountain and finally figured out how to open the hatch with the people on it (which, UGH, let me TELL you about that one), I thought I was done.

        But no, there's more! And even more puzzle cleverness!

        I actually don't know if I'm that close to the ending, but I have to assume I am. If you'd talked to me a couple of hours of gameplay back, I was jazzed to try to go for a 100% run in which I hunt down all extra stuff, but at this point I feel like I'm just limping my way through to the finish line. It's a weak way to end it, certainly, but it can't overshadow the sublime joy I had in my first 20 hours with the game. I think it's brilliant and beautiful, and it gave me that powerful "HOLY SHIT" frission moment of glorious realization that I'd heard people mention when talking about the game. The game is an absolute standout and an amazing feat of game design.

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          cptcobalt
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I didn't do the village. I kept coming to it and getting stuck. You're definitely pretty close to the classic idea of the ending, yeah. I don't want to reveal too much because you're not...

          I activated all of the beacons, and the one in the little village area felt like its own "final exam" on account of having concepts from all of the other areas in it.

          Yeah, I didn't do the village. I kept coming to it and getting stuck.

          I actually don't know if I'm that close to the ending, but I have to assume I am.

          You're definitely pretty close to the classic idea of the ending, yeah. I don't want to reveal too much because you're not there yet, but there will definitely be a point where you have that breath of relief and it feels like you've hit "the end".

          Even further spoiler warning: Then there's also a decent chunk more post-ending content. Sorry. I wouldn't feel so bad about looking it up on YouTube or something. (You might enjoy The Challenge if you did actually get all the lasers, you'll have acquired the knowledge for it. It'll certainly be more alluring than a 100% run.)

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            Alright, I finished! I stand by my assessment that I did not like the ending. Some of that is on me as a player, but a lot of it was the visual effects (the scrolling, blinking, and color cycling...

            Alright, I finished!

            I stand by my assessment that I did not like the ending. Some of that is on me as a player, but a lot of it was the visual effects (the scrolling, blinking, and color cycling puzzles). Luckily those weren't too hard, so they weren't as bad as they could have been, but the final puzzles with the columns? Blech. I'm pretty prone to motion sickness in first-person games, and spinning around the columns, sometimes rapidly if I moved my mouse too much, was deeply uncomfortable. I love the concept (adding wrap to the puzzle edges), but I hated the execution.

            That said, I don't think I'm going to go for the challenge. I might boot back into an old save to go watch some of the movies I found, and there was a part of me that was really excited to track down all the environmental lines on the pillars, but that spark is gone. Maybe if I let the game sit for a while it will come back.

            Also, based on your comment it sounds like it's possible to get into the mountain without activating all the beacons? I never really assessed the entry requirements--I just saw that the beacons were a thing and assumed I couldn't get in until I'd gotten all of them. Can you get in earlier?

            1 vote
            1. cptcobalt
              Link Parent
              Congrats on finishing the game! Yeah, I'm sorry to hear that. Those were some of my favorites. I still have a save that I have going where I'll pop in and try to do more puzzles and find more...

              Congrats on finishing the game!

              Blech. I'm pretty prone to motion sickness in first-person games, and spinning around the columns, sometimes rapidly if I moved my mouse too much, was deeply uncomfortable.

              Yeah, I'm sorry to hear that. Those were some of my favorites.

              I might boot back into an old save to go watch some of the movies I found, and there was a part of me that was really excited to track down all the environmental lines on the pillars, but that spark is gone.

              I still have a save that I have going where I'll pop in and try to do more puzzles and find more environment things, but yeah, I don't have much of a spark to be a completionist either.

              Also, based on your comment it sounds like it's possible to get into the mountain without activating all the beacons?

              Yes! You only need seven of eleven lasers. (My pet theory is that while the intent may have been to require all eleven, I think they went with seven because some puzzles have an accessibility impact that is not extremely easy to get around—the color/audio puzzles in particular. A lower required beacon count will let more people get to the ending.)

              2 votes
            2. culturedleftfoot
              Link Parent
              Ping me whenever you post your retrospective :)

              Ping me whenever you post your retrospective :)

              1 vote
  7. Bauke
    Link
    The past couple of months I've played a bunch of games I particularly enjoyed (and am still enjoying): Snakeybus (Steam) Surprisingly simple concept but also surprisingly fun. You drive a bus...

    The past couple of months I've played a bunch of games I particularly enjoyed (and am still enjoying):

    Snakeybus (Steam)

    The length of your bus grows as you pick up more people! Snake through the city streets and avoid crashing into yourself.

    Surprisingly simple concept but also surprisingly fun. You drive a bus around a map, pick passengers up and drop them off, and your bus grows. You can jump and have a boost meter to fly up in the air, similar to Rocket League. (The most recent update also added an Aerial map but I haven't played that yet) The graphics are nice and smooth and pleasant to look at, and the soundtrack is super chill that really suits the vibe. My only problem with the game is the fixed controls, not being able to change them is unfortunate in my case: I use AZERTY and when I tried changing my keyboard language the game still didn't let me use WASD. So I had to use arrow keys and not use the mouse which controls your bus midair, somewhat limiting how far I could go but I could still get some pretty high scores. Apart from that I still very much enjoyed it, it's got a bunch of maps and trying to get on the leaderboard is very fun.


    Absolute Drift (Steam)

    Absolute Drift is a racing game about becoming a master at the art of drifting.

    Have you ever wanted a drifting game where you could see the crazy lines you're taking and not just have that first-person view from your car seat? This is the one. What I really liked is that you're really supposed to be drifting and not just racing. In the beginning you'll be bumping the walls a fair bit but once you get the controls and speed down, it is sooo satisfying when you get a nice line.


    Astroneer (Steam)

    A game of aerospace industry and interplanetary exploration.

    I'm still in middle of playing this one but it's so fun, the inventory management and base-building mechanics are great and integrated into the world really well. You're not just storing your stuff in a bottomless backpack or in a chest with an arbitrary limit, it's actually there and you can see everything while you're playing. It's got beautiful scenery and comical rocket physics, what more do you need.


    Dusk (Steam, GOG)

    DUSK reintroduces you to a world where butchery and bloodshed must be mastered... if you're to survive 'til dawn. Inspired by Doom, Quake, Blood, Heretic, Hexen, Half-Life, Redneck Rampage and all your '90s favorites, while featuring a soundtrack by metal music mastermind Andrew Hulshult.

    Have you played Doom and want something to scratch that demon-killing itch because you just can't wait for Doom Eternal? Dusk will do that for you. You kill whatever's in your way, you pick up guns, and you kill some more. Every level has a bunch of secrets and plenty of stuff to discover.


    Oxygen Not Included (Steam)

    Oxygen Not Included is a space-colony simulation game. Deep inside an alien space rock your industrious crew will need to master science, overcome strange new lifeforms, and harness incredible space tech to survive, and possibly, thrive.

    I only very recently started playing but I've been thoroughly enjoying it but don't think I've gotten far enough yet to really say much about it. It recently came out of early access though and there's a 33% discount on it so if you've been thinking about getting it, now might be a good time.

    4 votes
  8. [3]
    ThyMrMan
    Link
    Been working through some games via emulation recently. First was Xenoblade Chronicles 1, and now Xenoblade Chronicles X. Xenoblade Chronicles 1 Man I really did want to love this game, oh so...

    Been working through some games via emulation recently. First was Xenoblade Chronicles 1, and now Xenoblade Chronicles X.

    Xenoblade Chronicles 1

    Man I really did want to love this game, oh so much. But an amazing story just can't cover up so many terrible stuff that it did wrong.

    Combat

    The combat just never felt very smooth or enjoyable. I was always fighting rng in every fight, hoping that my AI teammates will just do what they need to in order to finish the fight. And I would say 30% of the time they didn't, just enough to be very annoying and disruptive. I didn't feel switching between characters ever was all that useful, I found a set that worked really well and had no reason to ever change.

    Story

    This main story by far was the best part of this game. Though it did bog down a fair bit around the mid-way point with some stuff I didn't really care about. But as a whole, I was always excited to get to the next story cutscene and see where it was going. And learn about the newest twist or shocker. Now the weak part of the story was the side quests. Man were they just a waste of time for me, I didn't really feel any connection to the side characters and therefore the side quests. I found myself just doing them in order to get the xp to get to the next story quest faster. So if the main story was a 9/10, the side quests would be 4/10.

    World

    The World and Exploration in this game kinda feels lacking. I didn't feel any need to explore besides finding stuff for side quests or gaining xp. Sure it looks pretty at times, but being pretty isn't enough. It doesn't help that you end up having to kill essentially everything you see, so you are constantly in combat even if the combat is only going to give you a small amount of xp.

    Visuals

    Well it is a rather old game for a rather underpowered console, can't expect very much. Some areas I can tell would be really incredible to see when the game came out. But down it just looks old and poorly aged, the textures are super low quality, objects and distance terrain looks terrible and flat, and pop-in is all over the place.

    Audio

    I liked it, for about 70 hours I think. But eventually you reach a point that just has you doing side quests for 10 hours to level up for the next story push, and you get tired of hearing the music completely. After hearing the same soundtrack for 70+ hours anything starts getting old.

    Overall

    As a whole package, I liked the game enough to finish it. Ended up putting 93 hours total into the game in order to beat it, and that was with the wiki assisting me heavily. Doing most of the side quests in order to get more xp, though I know I missed some stuff. I feel like I would have liked the game much more if instead of a 90+ hour game it was 60 hours. Cause I reached a point around that 60 hour mark that had me wondering just why am I still doing this. I'm just grinding mobs and side quests I don't care about for hours on end.

    Score: 3/5

    Xenoblade Chronicles X

    Don't really have much to say about this game, I'm not far enough in to really say anything. Being only 7 hours into a game I know is going to be another 100 hour rpg. But what I've seen thus far, it is a much better game than XC1.

    Combat

    I haven't gotten into the meat of the combat yet, don't even have all the options available to me yet. But it feels much smoother and quicker. Playing more like they put thought into how to make everything flow together and work well. Many times better than XC1 for sure.

    Story

    Yeah I can't say anything yet. Off to a good start is really all I can say. Don't know what to think about side quests yet, they might be better than XC1. But once again not enough time put into it to make a conclusion.

    World

    Now this is the strong point of the game for me thus far. Giving me a massive map, and letting me just explore the entire thing from the start is my favorite thing in RPG's. I love that feeling of running from one side to the other, and seeing how the world changes on the trip. Overall it has so much more verticality and impressiveness factor that makes it look new and original. It really helps that every monster doesn't immediately attack you, so you can just explore without worrying so much about dying.

    Visuals

    Wow, all I can say is wow. For just a single console jump, the difference is day and night. The texture work and detail in the terrain is much better now. Characters are now much more detailed and act much more like humans. The biggest issue, and it is a large one for me is the pop-in. Man it is terrible, some of the worst I've seen in years and just takes you completely out of the game. When 20' robots just appear 5' in front of you constantly.

    Audio

    Once again I can't say much. Thus far it is really good, but I would have said the same for XC1 10 hours in. Will have to see what I think of it in 50 hours.

    Overall

    While I can't say anything about the story at all, the rest of the game is much better. It feels like they had a much larger budget to build the world and expand it, and I think that shows in every scene. So really I guess I will have to see in 70 hours what I think of it all, cause right now I just haven't played enough to really make a judgement.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      X is much better than the original in so many ways. Honestly I think it's better than 2 as well since it doesn't have the incredibly annoying characters and unexplainable accents. Just be warned...

      X is much better than the original in so many ways. Honestly I think it's better than 2 as well since it doesn't have the incredibly annoying characters and unexplainable accents. Just be warned that it is a spin-off and the ending does not answer all the questions the game brings up.

      2 votes
      1. hook
        Link Parent
        I dunno, I found the accents quite enjoyable. In fact, it always struck me a bit odd that all the people in a vast world spoke not only the same language, but also the same accent. I haven't paid...

        I dunno, I found the accents quite enjoyable. In fact, it always struck me a bit odd that all the people in a vast world spoke not only the same language, but also the same accent.

        I haven't paid too much attention, but AFAIA the accents in XC2 should be consistent with where the character came from - e.g. all Gormotti have the same heavy accent. I find that a really nice touch.

  9. [2]
    The_Fad
    Link
    I haven't been able to play much new stuff recently for multiple reasons, but here's a run down of the last month of my gaming experiences: Two Point Hospital I've only logged about five hours of...

    I haven't been able to play much new stuff recently for multiple reasons, but here's a run down of the last month of my gaming experiences:

    Two Point Hospital

    I've only logged about five hours of playtime on this bad boy but as far as management simulators go it's very enjoyable. Functionally you play the part of a medical organization and you build, staff, and manage hospitals. There's a star-rating system that functions as a sort of "mastery" indicator (you can get up to 3 stars per hospital and each new star is obtained by completing objectives focused around that level's mechanics, such as training staff or curing a particular disease).

    The music in the game is also worth note. All the music is played through an in-game radio station called Two Point Radio (Two Point being the dev company of the game, as well as various other "Two Point" game entries) complete with multiple host personalities that are as distinctive as you've come to expect from a SEGA game. The music itself is standard fare; basically just whimsical muzak, but you can also add your own songs to the playlist through the game options.

    There's some DLC as well that I unfortunately don't have and can't speak for, but my understanding is they simply iterate on top of the formula of the base game. If that's true then I have no doubt they're enjoyable, as I expect I'll be playing the base game for many, many hours to come.

    Diablo 3

    The Diablo series has always been on-again/off-again for me. I played the hell out of 2 as a youngin, and 3 was no different at release. I've picked it back up again recently because none of the other popular ARPGs really scratch the itch I'm looking for. Grim Dawn gets close but there's so much minutae that it kind of loses me. I like the simplicity of Diablo 3 because, as an adult, I find I'm less interested in pushing leaderboards and earning bragging rights and I'm more interested in being able to obliterate a pack of 50 goat people with one click of my mouse only to be rewarded with a gory shower of viscera and gold.

    Maybe I'm remembering this through rose-colored glasses (because this game is 7 years old at this point) but it feels a little more grindy at the end game than it was initially. Diablo has always been a game of grinding, of course, but there's a healthy balance a game should maintain and I think that balance is just slightly off in Diablo 3. I spend more time farming mats than I do looting anything meaningful, but such is life. It's not bad enough to put me off of the game, so ya know.

    Regions of Ruin

    As much as I hate when people describe games by using other games, there's really not a better way to explain Regions of Ruin: It's side-scrolling Skyrim. And that's a good thing! The controls are simple and (relatively) intuitive, there's base-building mechanics if you're into that sort of thing, and there's plenty of chests to loot. The writing also isn't terrible, though the story is perhaps a little simple.

    The main draw for me on this one is that it's a WONDERFUL time killer. When I've got downtime at work I just throw this on and bam, 20 minutes is gone down the drain. You can also find it relatively cheap (right now, for example, it's $1.20 on GamesPlanet). Even at base price it's only 12 bucks.

    There's a handful of other games I'm currently waiting to start (or just haven't bothered starting) for one reason or another. These include titles such as:

    • Homeworld Remastered Collection
    • Tomb Raider (2013)
    • Deux Ex: Human Revolution
    • Murdered: Soul Suspect
    • My Summer Car
    • My Time At Portia

    It's hard right now for me to focus on much with my medication changes so unfortunately sitting still for extended periods playing video games isn't really an option, but hopefully that'll change sometime soon and I can go back to my prolific playing.

    3 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      Two Point Hospital is an awesome game. I first found it when a streamer I like played it and I immediately bought it. It's a super enjoyable pipeline game. Reminds me a lot of factorio in a way.

      Two Point Hospital is an awesome game. I first found it when a streamer I like played it and I immediately bought it.

      It's a super enjoyable pipeline game. Reminds me a lot of factorio in a way.

      2 votes
  10. SantalBlush
    Link
    Risk of Rain 2 is a fast-paced roguelite that plays like an arcade game. It doesn't waste your time with a story at the beginning, it just throws you into an alien world and you start shooting....

    Risk of Rain 2 is a fast-paced roguelite that plays like an arcade game. It doesn't waste your time with a story at the beginning, it just throws you into an alien world and you start shooting. The object of each level is the same: fight your way to the teleporter to reach the next level. It starts out slow, then quickly ramps up to a neon bullet-hell that would be a pleasure to look at if you weren't struggling to survive each moment.

    It fills a niche that I didn't quite realize existed. Best game I've picked up in a while.

    3 votes
  11. emnii
    Link
    Fallout 76 - I got this through a Twitch Prime deal that made it very close to free. I know the critical response to it but I wanted to see it for myself and I know the game's got some support...

    Fallout 76 - I got this through a Twitch Prime deal that made it very close to free. I know the critical response to it but I wanted to see it for myself and I know the game's got some support from Bethesda behind it. It's not great and the world is more lifeless than usual but I don't hate it like I did Fallout 4. I've only played it for less than 5 hours though. It took 20ish hours for me to put down Fallout 4

    RAGE 2 - I liked RAGE. This is not that game. The giant head hitboxes and headshots are super satisfying, but that's about the only part I've enjoyed about the shooting. Driving around just kind of eats up time because there's little to do between two points except uncover question marks. I've been attacked on the road maybe three times in eight hours of gameplay, and all of those attacks have been trivial to defeat. It's not really that fun and it's got some bugs but I'm still playing it so it's appealing somehow. I do love the way the Phoenix car sounds.

    3 votes
  12. [4]
    KapteinB
    Link
    Game Dev Tycoon (Linux) This is one of those games I come back to now and then. It's very casual, while still offering some depth and challenge. A great game for when I don't want to get...

    Game Dev Tycoon (Linux)

    This is one of those games I come back to now and then. It's very casual, while still offering some depth and challenge. A great game for when I don't want to get frustrated, and want to put on an episode or two in the background of a show I've already watched once or twice before.

    Civilization VI (Linux)

    I've been playing this a lot after the patch that radically improved performance on Linux. I've even increased the difficulty I play on. As a veteran of the franchise (Civ4 being my favourite), I still have mixed feelings about this game though. While there's always lots of things happening on my turn, I often feel like I'm not achieving much by doing them. I'm currently trying for a cultural victory, and progress towards it is painfully slow, often even negative, as one of the AIs seem to be racking up tourists at roughly the same pace as me. Warfare in late-game is also painfully slow (especially on higher difficulties), with a city siege often lasting for dozens of turns. I very much enjoy the early game, with exploration and settling, but it tends to turn into a chore after a while. If only Civ4 ran well with Wine I'd probably be playing that instead.

    Octopath Traveler (Switch)

    This game fails to grip me. I guess maybe I just don't like JRPGs. I did really like Chrono Trigger when I played that about a decade ago, but that game sucked me in with its wacky time-travel plot and cool combo attacks. Maybe I'll force myself to keep playing Octopath until I get more than one character in my party and see if combat gets more compelling then.

    Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden (Switch)

    I've only played the pen & paper version of Mutant Year Zero once, but it was enough to get me excited in Road to Eden when it was announced. It hasn't got a Linux version yet, so I bought it on Switch, which I can't really recommend, because it comes with a significant graphics downgrade and somehow also very poor performance, plus occasional crashes. A real bummer, since I've been wanting a new tactical game on my Switch after I finished Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and discovered I didn't like Octopath Traveler.

    This game is also really hard. When starting a new game you get three difficulty options: Easy, for those who haven't played tactical games before, Hard, for those who have, and Very Hard, the intended experience. I went with Hard, but I'm struggling so much with combat that I'm considering starting a new game on Easy.

    Other than those two issues I'm really enjoying the game. The atmosphere is great, as is the voice acting and writing. Combat, despite its high difficulty, feels less frustrating than Xcom 2.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Octopath takes awhile for the combat to actually get interesting - it's after you have a full party and start working on class combinations. It has a very classic JRPG feel in that combat starts...

      Octopath takes awhile for the combat to actually get interesting - it's after you have a full party and start working on class combinations. It has a very classic JRPG feel in that combat starts out extremely bland and even basic concepts like weakness matching and class composition don't really matter until 10+ hours in and it'll likely be 30-40+ hours before you unlock the "secret" classes and start to figure out optimal classing for each character and optimal party comp.

      Mutant Year Zero - thanks for reminding me this exists, I'm always looking for more tactical games to play. It's a shame the switch version has some issues as I've been buying pretty switch heavy recently. I'll have to keep an eye on it since I'm already behind on so many other games. 😩

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        hook
        Link Parent
        So Octopath gets better afterwards? I played the demo with all the characters (except one, I think) to its max, but was let down. I found it a good turn-based JRPG, but not as great as they hyped...

        So Octopath gets better afterwards? I played the demo with all the characters (except one, I think) to its max, but was let down. I found it a good turn-based JRPG, but not as great as they hyped it up to be. In any case the fact that the party characters don’t interact much, for me is the biggest missed opportunity and mostly likely won’t buy it.

        For the turn-based JRPG fix, I’m waiting for Dragon Quest XI S (the definitive edition on Switch). Apart from being the series that defined this genre, I really dig that they offer both modern 3D and retro 2D gameplay options, as well as a way to play (in 2D only I think) through some quests in previous DQ worlds.

        2 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Compared to the most modern of turn based and jrpgs, the battle system is a bit light. But there are unique abilities and combinations that certain classes can get. Some of the harder bosses in...

          Compared to the most modern of turn based and jrpgs, the battle system is a bit light. But there are unique abilities and combinations that certain classes can get. Some of the harder bosses in the game require unique or specific strategies to work with and it absolutely can get pretty challenging (and therefore engaging).

          I'm 100% with you that I think the biggest let down of the series was a lack of interaction between the characters. They do, to an extent, start to interact with each other in later chapters, but the game was designed so that you weren't required to play it in any specific way, which I think fundamentally influenced how they designed the interaction.

          2 votes
  13. rogue_cricket
    Link
    I've been sinking a lot of time lately into Divinity: Original Sin 2. It might be one of my favourite games of all time - the battle system is fun (though not entirely without faults), it's...

    I've been sinking a lot of time lately into Divinity: Original Sin 2. It might be one of my favourite games of all time - the battle system is fun (though not entirely without faults), it's gorgeous, and the lore is interesting despite being kind of a tangle of canon.

    The best thing about it though, to me, is the co-op play: I'm playing it for the 2nd time through now with my brother, who is on his first playthrough, and it's a blast. Very few other games offer a multiplayer experience like this. I'm the kind of person who has always wanted a local/private co-op Elder Scrolls or Fallout feature, a buddy system so you can play an immersive game with a friend. This game feels like it was made to scratch that kind of itch.

    I'm hoping to have time to mess with Game Master mode soon too! It's not just a game, but also a creation tool.

    3 votes
  14. NaraVara
    Link
    Been splitting my time between Divinity Original Sin 2, Life is Strange, and Kerbal Space Program. It's really depended on my mood. I've been experiencing a lot of work related anxiety lately so...

    Been splitting my time between Divinity Original Sin 2, Life is Strange, and Kerbal Space Program.

    It's really depended on my mood. I've been experiencing a lot of work related anxiety lately so the latter two are both fairly relaxed games where I can just zone out and relax. Plus, I usually don't let myself play anything until after I've sent out some job applications, so they're good "unwinding" games after spending time poring over job descriptions and reviewing my resume.

    Divinity I've been playing on weekends when I'm more willing to focus in on something. I've had some health issues so gaming is filling in on the time I used to spend working out, so I expect I'm just going to let this drop. I'm having fun with it, but I made the mistake of getting it for the PS4 and the user interface on console just feels like going uphill all the time.

    3 votes
  15. asoftbird
    Link
    I have played Skyrim on and off since its release, modded the hell out of it and played bits of the DLCs, but never really actively did any questlines. I picked it up last week and so far have...

    I have played Skyrim on and off since its release, modded the hell out of it and played bits of the DLCs, but never really actively did any questlines. I picked it up last week and so far have completed the main questline for the first time(took just a decade to do so, lol) and doing other questlines now. I'm pretty proud I managed to finish something for once!

    It reminds me of factorio; it took a long time before I managed to gather enough motivation to actually finish a game and launch a rocket. I was well into the 900+ hours of playtime at that point. Sometimes you just don't need to finish a game to have fun.

    Other than that, modded minecraft with friends. I've been playing that game for a decade now as well, and along with Simcity 4 it's my favorite game ever. Mods keep it interesting, there's always something new to do/learn/build/discover.

    3 votes
  16. cwagner
    Link
    All links to Steam because I’m lazy and personally check the reviews there anyway even when I buy it somewhere else. Pathfinder: Kingmaker (951h) My game of the decade. Currently on a bit of a...

    All links to Steam because I’m lazy and personally check the reviews there anyway even when I buy it somewhere else.

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker (951h)

    My game of the decade. Currently on a bit of a break as I can’t find the time for it. If you like D&D style RPGs (It uses the Pathfinder 1 Rules which are based on D&D 3.5), play this. By default RTwP, but there is an absolutely amazing turnbased combat mod (that you can easily turn off via hotkey if you are fighting large trash mobs).

    Civilization V (1323h) with the Vox Populi Patch

    My most played game ever. I’m bad at it, but I like to play it while doing something else ;) The reason V is far superior to VI is the Vox Populi patch (windows only, without compiling it to dll the lua scripts would slow it down too much and the SDK was only ever released for Windows) which still gets regular updates and improves everything, from AI over balance to content.

    The Elder Scrolls: Legends (374+h)

    A CCG. I played it ages ago, but the combination of Dire Wolf sucking as a developer and Bethesda doing shit for promotion made me stop. Recently heard good things about the new company who took development over and stronger community relations made me come back to it. A nice competitive card game if you don’t want something super complex like MtG. (Playtime should be a lot higher as it wasn’t on steam when I played it most)

    Slay the Spire (592h)

    A roguelike deck-builder. Small indie team gets giant breakthrough with their first game. It was amazing in EA with the devs closely listening to the community and now it’s been released, it’s still awesome. Between reaching higher ascensions ranks and daily challenges, you probably won’t get bored soon. And if you do, there is an active modding community :)

    Honorable mentions go to Warsim: The Realm of Aslona, Stellaris, Endless Space 2, Lethis - Path of Progress and Rise to Ruins that all I want to play (again) but can’t find the time for.

    3 votes
  17. [2]
    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    Games I've been playing lately, summarised in a paragraph or three. Amid Evil This game is a legitimately good throwback to 90s first person shooters like Hexen. The levels are very well designed,...

    Games I've been playing lately, summarised in a paragraph or three.

    Amid Evil

    This game is a legitimately good throwback to 90s first person shooters like Hexen. The levels are very well designed, the difficulty is brutal but not in an unfair manner, every weapon is useful, and the graphics are beautiful despite being a relatively low spec Unreal 4 Engine game. Easily 10/10.

    Heroes of the Storm

    I actually stopped playing recently because I got slapped with a 14 day suspension for abusive chat. I don't particularly want to go back because I know the next infraction will be a permanent account ban. I don't want to continue playing that game until Blizzard admit the report system is a joke.

    Here's the problem with HotS: It used to be a great game but is dying partially because of Blizzard's haphazard policing of the game. They automated the report system across all their games, so reports won't trigger unless a player gets a large volume of reports levied against them, and even then players will get banned without any investigation. The problem is, it means legit reports are ignored and groups of players (and multiboxers) can effectively grief and bully people out of the game. Good luck appealing a suspension too, because Blizzard will uphold it even for really tame things like sarcastic remarks, shotcalling, even constructively criticising another player. These changes have been spurred partially by senior management pushing corporate cost cuts upon the rest of Blizzard, and partially by Blizzard pushing a dangerous zero tolerance agenda towards any form of remotely ego-hurting behaviour. Both of these alienate the core fanbase that made them a juggernaut of PC gaming in the first place.

    I have a theory that both HotS and Overwatch are full of smurfs, intentional feeders and trolls because these players are frustrated with the state of modern day Blizzard and are griefing other players out of spite towards Bobby Kotick. Yes, that's an immature thought process but have you even seen Blizzard's player-bases lately?

    World of Warcraft

    Admittedly, I resubbed because I'm holding out for WoW Classic, which will come out August 27th. I thought I'd give Patch 8.2 a try while waiting for the true version of WoW to come back. I'm not a Vanilla purist by any stretch of the imagination but my brief time of playing on Nostalrius was infinitely more fun than any of the game's recent expansions.

    Nazjatar bored the heck out of me before I even finished the starting quest line. I'm a ilvl 405 Guardian Druid, and my first attempt to tank a heroic this patch resulted in moronic group members overpulling mob packs on Shrine of the Storm (which is an insta-wipe because each pack contains an incredibly annoying healer that completely negates your damage if you don't interrupt every cast) then having the cheek to blame me and vote-kick me out of the dungeon. And since I didn't kill a boss, that means the game slaps me with a 30 minute Deserter debuff, as a "fuck you."

    Since then I've spent more time levelling alts. To ease the boredom I feel from the game's repetitive quests, I've sometimes soloed dungeons on my Hunter. Some are perfectly doable (e.g. Ragefire Chasm) with the right strategy while others go into outright impossible territory because of how heavily clumped some mob packs are.

    Hopefully WoW Classic eclipses the main version of the game and Blizzard realise that J Allen Brack, Celestalon, Holinka, Watcher, and everyone else responsible for the current state of WoW need to go.

    DOOM

    Until recently, I never played Doom. Watching a few Gmanlives and Civvie11 videos made me want to try it out.

    Initially I found the default MS DOS version's controls to be unworkable, so I installed GzDoom and had a blast. I stopped about halfway through Episode 2 because one of the levels kept crashing me to desktop. I definitely want to play Doom 2, Sigil and Final Doom.

    2 votes
    1. rmgr
      Link Parent
      If you're running on older hardware, you could try something like LZDoom which doesn't have all of the crazy modern features of GZDoom but supports dx9

      If you're running on older hardware, you could try something like LZDoom which doesn't have all of the crazy modern features of GZDoom but supports dx9

      1 vote
  18. moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    Hearthstone's new expansion is coming out, so I'm scrounging gold in game to try and get as many new packs as I can. I made it a goal to complete the classic set of cards, and then I'm free......

    Hearthstone's new expansion is coming out, so I'm scrounging gold in game to try and get as many new packs as I can. I made it a goal to complete the classic set of cards, and then I'm free...

    Meanwhile, I finished Outer Wilds and echo everything @eladnarra said, and I am completely satisfied with the ending. Now I'm poking around Unravel on Xbox, and just my speed. (Yes I caved and got EA's subscription, it was $30 and I can mess around with my brother in Unravel 2, Fi, A Way Out once that comes over and the Bioware titles.)

    Edit: I am using Onecast to Stream Xbox to my phone, and it's super swell. Between Steam Link, PS4 remote play, XCloud, and Stadia, it would be nice to have something like Kodi or Roku or GOG's universal library where I can sign in to all these services on my phone and stream anything anywhere from one UI.

    2 votes
  19. rmgr
    Link
    I've been busy and haven't really played a lot of games lately. I did pick up a copy of Jupiter Hell the other day. If you've played the old DoomRL it's effectively the same game, but with 3D...

    I've been busy and haven't really played a lot of games lately. I did pick up a copy of Jupiter Hell the other day. If you've played the old DoomRL it's effectively the same game, but with 3D graphics, music and a bunch of QOL stuff to make it feel more modern than the raw ascii.

    Gameplay is traditional roguelike turn based tactical combat. When you move, they move. Gunplay feels tight and the controls are pretty good. I tried it on my Steam Link and initially the game pad controls felt weird but once you get going it all starts to feel natural.

    I've seen some criticism of the art direction but I quite like it. I would like to see some sort of highlight on enemies who are in shadows though because it can be hard to spot them and then you get cleaned up by a bloke with a shotgun when you think a fire fight is over.

    Overall, if you like hard, tactical games I'd recommend it!

    2 votes
  20. spctrvl
    Link
    I had a Master of Orion 1 relapse after it got mentioned in another thread. While 2 is the more popular entry in the series, I've always preferred 1, as it's very streamlined and low on micro,...

    I had a Master of Orion 1 relapse after it got mentioned in another thread. While 2 is the more popular entry in the series, I've always preferred 1, as it's very streamlined and low on micro, without lacking depth. The art style and music are also top notch; 2's are good as well, but 1 just nails pixel art retrofuturism. The only complaint I have is that it's a bit too RNG heavy. The technologies available to research are rolled for, and bad rolls can be serious run-enders at any stage of the game. 2 doesn't have this problem unless you pick/build an uncreative race, but I don't think it's worth the significant spike in micro.

    MOO1 also has the most insanely aggressive, sociopathic, and conniving AI that I've ever seen, which helps preserve the game's longevity since it lacks network play. The AI will do anything it thinks it can get away with, up to and including breaking off an alliance during an active war, and attempting to eradicate your species with biological weapons. That's one of the reasons why you're probably screwed if you don't roll early planetary shields or bio-weapon antidotes, and alone bumps up the humans up several tiers, since they're the best in the game at shield research.

    2 votes
  21. Staross
    Link
    Dota 2 mostly, with the international starting next week I needed to get back into it a bit. I'm playing mostly Turbo these days but it's still a great game.

    Dota 2 mostly, with the international starting next week I needed to get back into it a bit. I'm playing mostly Turbo these days but it's still a great game.

    1 vote
  22. CashewGuy
    Link
    I go through whatever is on Game Pass. Over the weekend I downloaded PUBG and played a game for the first time. Despite finishing 12th, all it did was remind me that I'm not really good at...

    I go through whatever is on Game Pass. Over the weekend I downloaded PUBG and played a game for the first time. Despite finishing 12th, all it did was remind me that I'm not really good at multiplayer games that aren't named "Halo CE" or "CoD MW".

    I've also downloaded Deus Ex Mankind Divided. I played maybe the first hour of Human Revolution, but I really am not sure if I want to keep playing MD or not. I'm probably 2 hours in and it feels very heavy, I'm not sure I have the time for a game like it anymore, kind of sad.

    I think what I play most of all is Dr. Mario and the crossword. I'm anticipating the next Zelda game on switch.

    1 vote
  23. aphoenix
    Link
    Video Games The main video game I play is still World of Warcraft. I play games two to three nights per week, generally, and I do so to hang out with friends, so WoW is a pretty good not overly...

    Video Games

    The main video game I play is still World of Warcraft. I play games two to three nights per week, generally, and I do so to hang out with friends, so WoW is a pretty good not overly time consuming game. I'm in a casual raid group, and doing fairly well for our crummy server. Despite what one might read, the game is currently in a good place if you're casually into raiding; it's very easy to keep up to date with requirements, the dungeons are interesting, and the dungeon scaling is great - there's a "key" system that lets you do progressively more difficult versions of the dungeons, which basically lets you pick a difficult to play on - and the art direction for this expansion is the best it has been since Mists of Pandaria. Later this month classic comes out, which will be fun to play for nostalgia reasons, but I don't have time to put towards the endlessly monotonous grind of Classic, and neither do most of my guildmates; we're planning to try to level over the course of a year or more.

    I've also been playing Darkest Dungeon which is a delightful party based RPG. It's a hoot, with a great look, fun dungeons, great DLC, and a fun concept. I'm looking forward to DD2 coming out, though I couldn't find the release date in a casual google search. The original is still tons of fun though!

    Board Games

    Splendour is the current house favourite. It's a great game with fast setup, fast play, not a ton of luck, and multiple winning strategies. My oldest daughter (13) has been winning a ton and it's driving my uber competitive wife bananas, so we tend to play 4 or 5 games until my wife wins and we can call it a night.

    Got to play a couple of games of Anachrony in the last month, which is one of my favourite games, despite the complexity of it. It's a worker placement game with perhaps the best concept of all time: an unanticipated catastrophe happened in the past, which is the result of a meteor filled with wibbley wobbley timey wimey stuff that is about to hit the earth in the near future and end everything, and you have to evacuate by fiddling with the timeline and sending workers out to gather the resources needed to get off the planet. It's a moderately complex game (I can't play with my wife, and wouldn't even try with the kids), but for anyone into games with a thousand pieces and a lot of things going on, I recommend giving it a shot. Setup can be a bit brutal though, and you'll want to invest in a rigorous system to put everything away (I use baggies, but I've started 3d printing some piece holders).

    1 vote
  24. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I've been enjoying the prosaically titled DC Comics Deck-building Game lately. I don't normally play deck-building games, but I was attracted to this one because of its DC Comics theme (I always...

    I've been enjoying the prosaically titled DC Comics Deck-building Game lately. I don't normally play deck-building games, but I was attracted to this one because of its DC Comics theme (I always take the Wonder Woman character to play!). I've been making a commitment at my weekly board games group to try to find new games to play, rather than just recycle the old favourites. And this is in the venue's games library, so I thought I'd give it a try. And I've enjoyed it! I even won the last time I played it.

    1 vote
  25. weystrom
    Link
    I've finally gotten into Gran Turismo Sport and its online component. It's a challenging game, you definitely need to do your research on the tracks and cars to get good results, but I'm very much...

    I've finally gotten into Gran Turismo Sport and its online component.

    It's a challenging game, you definitely need to do your research on the tracks and cars to get good results, but I'm very much enjoying turning off the assists and treating it as a proper sim game.

    Skill-based games tend to bring out my competitiveness which usually lies dormant within. I like that.

    Cars and tracks are gorgeously done and the game looks awesome in HDR. Highly recommend.

    1 vote
  26. [3]
    hook
    Link
    I have a logistical question on how does this compare to the previous such topic: https://tildes.net/~games/ffw/what_games_have_you_been_playing_lately Are we doing these in (quasi-)regular...

    I have a logistical question on how does this compare to the previous such topic:
    https://tildes.net/~games/ffw/what_games_have_you_been_playing_lately

    Are we doing these in (quasi-)regular intervals by having weekly or monthly threads, or do we want one giant thread for all eternity?

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yes, we should probably have a new one every week or two. There's not really any benefit to one gigantic eternal thread.

      Yes, we should probably have a new one every week or two. There's not really any benefit to one gigantic eternal thread.

      2 votes
      1. hook
        Link Parent
        Fair enough. I see benefits of both ways, just wondering what the plan is :)

        Fair enough. I see benefits of both ways, just wondering what the plan is :)

        2 votes