What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?
I started this last week, and plan to continue posting this topic weekly.
So, 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've been playing some Metro Exodus lately, but I still haven't beat the first open level "The Volga". Not necessarily because there's a ton of stuff to explore and do (sorry), but because that's just how little time I've had to play games lately.
Still, I've enjoyed the game so far and I'm almost done with this level.
I like Exodus more than the first two Metro games, but I'm not actually sure why. I'm definitely going to put more time into this game, with its various open levels, than I did in the first two games, which are very linear, but time spent does not equate to better.
Regardless of that, I can definitely say that Exodus is as much, if not more of an immersive experience than the previous two games. Playing on the hardest difficulty with most of the HUD turned off and brutal scarcity influencing everything you do is quite an experience. Game Maker's Toolkit did a pretty good video on the subject:
Why Metro Exodus is 2019’s Most Immersive Open World Game
I previously complained about the arbitrary rules that both Metro and Dishonored enforce on the player as far as getting the "good" or "bad" endings. Again, I'm not going to spoil things, but certain events in these games occur differently depending on who the player kills and when. There are also certain things the player can do at certain points and to certain people to earn positive or negative "moral points" that also affect which ending the player gets.
Personally, I like the "moral points" system, think its neat. I don't however, like how 2033 and Last Light effectively forced players seeking the "good" endings to sneak past or non-lethally incapacitate a majority of human enemies. I mentioned that it felt to me like Metro was shucking off its excellent combat in favor of a rather vanilla stealth experience, to the detriment of the games.
Exodus still has portions of the game where killing versus sneaking will influence events, but they're very minor compared to the first two games. I like that. It gives the player more freedom to engage with the game's combat mechanics without worrying about the result (which sounds ironic, I know).
Oxygen Not Included
I also recently bought Oxygen Not Included, but I haven't really played it at all yet. The main menu looks really cool though!
I recently loaded up an old fortress that I never finished and of course had no fucking idea what was going on, but that's just an opportunity for new plans!
I quickly realized that previously, I had been attempting the construction of a moat around my fortress before the goblins arrived, but construction was nowhere near completion. Why? Because there was a bear in my dining hall! Not a cute, cuddly, nice bear, but the wild, mean, eat your face off and tear your liver kind of bear.
Indeed, it had already killed one dwarf and everyone else was freaking the fuck out, but once I realized what was going on, I drafted some miners into a military squad and ordered them on the bear. The animal killed one of the miners and a kid that was nearby, but was quickly dispatched. I wish I could say I turned the fortunes of the fortress around, but the horror that occurred in the dining hall pretty much ruined any chances of getting a wall and moat built around the fortress. The goblins arrived soon after and put everyone to the sword.
Wait, people finish forts? I only have three kinds of forts: unfinished, unfinished and suffering from framerate death, and unfinished and suffering from an excess of fun.
EDIT: Woops, this was supposed to be a reply to myself. Oh well.
So, I finished "The Volga" (the first big, open level) yesterday as well as the little chapters after that, then I completed the first two main objectives of "The Caspian" (the second big, open level) today.
It turns out that, so far, I really enjoy this combination of open levels and linear chapters in Exodus. It's a really neat way to tell a story in a game and I wish we'd get more games like this. Obviously, the post-apocalyptic setting helps, but I could very easily imagine a Fallout game working like this, with the player being taken across multiple expansive levels with little, linear chapters between.
I don't know, now that I've made it to the second expansive level, I think I'm starting to realize just how much this idea vibes with me. Like, I love the Fallout series and its open worlds, I like expansive, free roaming roleplaying games that take up a lot of my time, but sometimes I just want to sit down and chew through Nazis in Wolfenstein or whoever the baddies are in the latest Call of Duty. (That series' campaigns are my vice. Hate the multiplayer, love the singleplayer.)
I mean, wanting to sit down and go through a linear, singleplayer experience is the entire reason I finally got off my ass and started playing Metro 2033 months ago, after owning the game for years. I was planning and configuring mods for a new Fallout 4 playthrough and that was taking days so I finally broke down and just started the Metro series instead.
I think the reason I like this middle ground between freedom and linearity has to do with the same reasons behind my patterns of starting and stopping playthroughs of games.
With an expansive, open game like Fallout 4 where player choices are supposed to be the deciding factor for everything and the game is large, in that there is a lot to be done, it can feel like you're not making any progress in your playthrough, even after dumping a dozen hours into the game. I might go complete some side quests, but I typically approach my playthroughs in these games with a specific objective in mind, especially when it isn't my first playthrough. For instance, my last playthrough of Fallout 4 was centered around completing, as soon as possible, the DLC I hadn't yet started. In Fallout 4, that means reaching a certain level first, getting the right gear and items, because I like to play on a customized hardcore difficulty, and maybe securing a companion or two (if the DLC allows me to bring them along). Doing all that takes time, so I tend to have a rough plan in my head of where I'll go, what quests I'll do, and how I'll prepare. Keep in mind, I haven't even started the DLC yet. So, of course, by the time I'm even remotely near ready to start playing the DLC, I've sunk twenty, thirty, maybe even forty hours into a playthrough and end up feeling satisfied and moving on. Eventually, I'll return again, reconfigure mods, start a new playthrough, repeat, repeat, repeat.
Don't get me wrong, this process is fun on its own, which is why I keep coming back to Fallout 4, or RimWorld, or Dwarf Fortress, but having these extensive lists of possibilities can become tiresome once you've had your fill. Hence the rebound to a more linear game.
To give another example before I quit rambling, I can't explain how badly I wish Dwarf Fortress just had a "put me in a damn game already" button. Don't get me wrong, world generation is fucking amazing, picking exactly where you want your fortress to be (which is a few thousand different choices on its own) is really nice, and setting up your embark to be just perfect is an important part of the game, but holy fuck does it take forever even when you're trying to be quick about it.
Just give me a damn button that puts me somewhere with whatever seven stupid dwarves you please so I can get along with my plan to conquer the circus. It's the tedium of these games that can quickly become too much to deal with if you can't help yourself, which I can't.
But Metro Exodus, oh no, this game mixes those concepts in a way that I really like. Yes, there's some tedium in making sure I sneak through a base perfectly so I don't kill people and get bad results, but there's also that chapter later on where I literally get an achievement for removing 90 motherfuckers from this world.
Fan of the concept, to say the least.
Oxygen Not Included
lol, I still haven't tried out Oxygen Not Included, sorry.
Oh, check out this fancy guy!
Hmm, I don't like that consecutive ones end up beside each other by default and you had to separate them with the
I'll try to fix that.Should be fixed now.
Ah, hmm. Yes, it's fixable, but it will mean changing how voting works a little. Right now, when you vote, it actually replaces the whole comment with its "current state". Sometimes you can notice that a comment's been edited when you vote on it because of that—the text will change as you vote.
But because the expand/collapse for these blocks is done entirely by the browser, replacing them resets them back to whatever their default state is. I'll have to change it so that the comment doesn't get replaced when voting, and it just updates the vote button itself. That's possible and should be fine to do, it will just take a little bit of work. I'll add an issue to remember to take a look at it, thanks for pointing it out.
Oh, that's cool. Super helpful for spoilers and discussions.
It's not great to use for spoilers at this point. For example, if you collapse hungariantoast's comment, the text from inside the expandable blocks will still be shown in the "excerpt" that the collapsed comment turns into. For spoilers we'd want it to be hidden. Overall, I'm not sure if we should be using the
<details>block for spoilers, but it's definitely possible. Maybe a variant for ones specifically for spoilers, I haven't really thought about it too much yet.
I started playing Celeste over the weekend, and so far I'm really into it. I am NOT good at platformers (I'm three chapters in with over 700 deaths), but I've found this game feels good to play regardless. When I die, I can usually see how it's my fault, and the game feels fair. It's frustrating enough to feel great when I succeed, but not so much that I want to quit. I'm just getting through the chapters and only going for a handful of strawberries each time, so I also really appreciate the game itself telling me it's okay not to be completionist.
Oh man Celeste is so good. In the end it took me about 40 hours I think to finish all the steam achievments - which isn't even really still 100% of the game but it's pretty close. The most incredible thing about the game is that you get so much better at the game than when you first started it's incredible. Going through all the A-sides took me about 24 hours first time playing, but when I went through all the A-sides again - in a kind of any% speedrun - after doing all the achievments, it took me just a bit under 2 hours.
The game gets pretty hard later, but if you stick through it, it feels so rewarding! And as you said, the game doesn't really feel unfair, you always know what you did wrong. So good luck (even though the game has no RNG :D) and have fun :).
I loved this game, one of the best to come out last year. It is tough but worth it!
I'm playing the Space Exploration mod of Factorio. In Space Exploration launching a rocket is just the beginning. A normal satellite launch returns navigation data, revealing various celestial bodies. To actually get to the other bodies you have to launch a cargo rocket, which has its own rocket silo. Different bodies are rich in different resources. You can also go into orbit, where you can build space manufacturing and research facilities.
So far I've gone into orbit around Nauvis (the starting planet) and I've visited a moon and built a basic factory there. I'm on the cusp of getting some manufacturing going in Nauvis orbit. It's taking multiple trips back and forth between the planet's surface and orbit while I figure out what exactly I need to build out the manufacturing line.
I'm using Trello to keep track of what I need to do on each surface, and what supplies I need to bring with me on my trips from one surface to another.
I've been on a Slay the Spire kick the past few weeks. I've never played a card game before i picked this up last year after watching a Quill18 video and it's very addicting and fun to play. I'm stuck on Ascension 12 with Ironclad and have spent the past week trying to get past it.
I've got to the 3rd boss 3 times. 1st time i got unlucky with the final boss, i got the one where you can only play 12 cards before it ends your turn automatically and i had a deck based on playing a lot of cards to increase strength and gain block. 2nd time i got a bad draw and got no defensive cards, 3rd time i had a deck based doing damage when i gained block but the damage i was doing was randomly placed so the two minions stayed in the fight most of the battle.
It's a very fun game and learning about and building decks that work together (whats the correct term for this) is very satisfying
As someone who's played lots of card and board games, and several virtual board/card/etc. games I've been interested in slay the spire for a bit, I just haven't had the time to pick it up and play it. It's nice to hear someone who's unfamiliar with the genre is having such a fun time. That's a solid recommendation.
I can't recommend it enough. It's become my 6th most played game on steam over the past year. I'm one of those who play more by feel and intuition rather than logically thinking out the next few moves so i both play quite quick but also get punished over silly mistakes and lose quite a lot (especially now that i'm moving up the ascension levels).
That's it, thanks. I knew it was syn- something. I had synchronicity in my head but it didn't sound right.
If you (or anyone else) is thinking about picking Slay the Spire up soon, two pretty good options right now:
I'm pretty sure that once this hits mobile, I'm done with Hearthstone because my big draw to a card game is building the super degenerate "draw your whole deck and play everything" combos that would be unfair in a pvp game, and Slay the Spire's monsters aren't going to complain about Corruption/Dead Branch hax.
I've been playing Bioshock: Infinite. As far as FPS games go, it's got good gunplay and an excellent aesthetic, but the whole package feels somewhat underwhelming compared to how much talk the game had when it was new. There are also some really annoying quirks that really breaks your sense of immersion. Characters will often talk to each other but be staring at you. The HUD does not properly scale with the resolution, so playing at 4K means that you will not be able to read anything. And many of the animations are just plain badly done, especially if it's being done by a background character.
I suppose the most disappointing part of Infinate is that there is no sense of mystery like there is in the first Bioshock. Collecting the recordings doesn't seem to really be necessary to understand the world; you can just listen to people standing right in front of you.
After I finish this game (I would say if, if I weren't suspecting the plot will redeem everything at the end), I will probably be playing Ducktales Remastered or replaying The Nonary Games since I got it on sale for PC. I'm looking forward to the enhancements on the big screen.
Oh boy, this game is probably one of the most make-or-break by its ending out of all of gaming. I personally loved it after going through it but it's very divisive.
Wow, yeah. Once I got to the ending I was kinda upset about it, though that's mostly due to the nature of the story at that point just rendering everything absurdly confusing. Was a shame for me, what with how much I'd liked the game up 'til that point.
How far in are you? Even early on I didn't feel like I had a full grasp on everything (eg the Lutece twins are pretty inscrutable).
I don't have a way to answer that, but I think I am roughly halfway through. I have just been sent to shantytown to find Mr. Lin's tools.
I don't think the twins are really so much a mystery as they are wildcards at this point. It seems they are manipulating the situation, which I would imagine is part of some sort of experiment regarding controlling probability. This game tends to use foreshadowing very strongly....
I'll be interested to hear what you think once you're done with the game.
I tend to talk about media in fairly critical terms and am also very nitpicky, so my oppinion of the game is probably higher than I am making it sound. Right now it's in the upper "OK" / lower "Good" range. I highly doubt my oppinion will go down very far from here, even with an anticlimactic ending.
I don't mind if you like or dislike the game; I'm more interested in if you continue to think the story is straightforward once you get to the end. I'm just wondering if I missed a bunch of obvious foreshadowing the first time around, because I definitely didn't see most of the second and third acts coming ahead of time.
I was sick these past few days so I got a chance to breeze through the last half. Ok, so there are some twists I couldn't foresee. I must say that I am not a big fan of this style of heavy foreshadowing because it makes the things that aren't foreshadowed seem like they were artificially foreshadowed.
But overall, I liked the story. I enjoyed how it became about DeWitt and him coming to terms with him being a horrible person. I especially enjoyed the narrative mechanic of the baptism at the end.
As mentioned last week, I'm still grinding my way through story quests in Final Fantasy XIV. Last night I got through the first few sections of the quests from the previous Stormblood expansion, so I'm only about 2 years behind now!
@kfwyre recommended Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION as another not-impossible shmup, so I've been playing a decent chunk of that too. I'm working on trying to 1cc it on the "Novice" difficulty (beat the game without using a continue), and have made it to the final boss a couple of times but still die too many times during the fight to quite get it. I can get through the first 3 stages/bosses without any deaths, but I still die too much in the last two. The game has a training/practice mode, so I should probably try that out and see if I can figure out some sections well enough to shave off about 2 deaths, which should be enough to do it.
Glad to hear you're enjoying Crimzon Clover! Revisiting it last week and seeing you talking about it here makes me want to give it another go (since it's been years since I last played it). I think I might put it back in my to-play pile.
Yeah, it's really good. The Novice difficulty is at about the right point for me where I can feel like I know what I'm doing, but can't stop paying attention or I'll still end up dead. Having the 1cc feel achievable in Novice is nice since that gives me a really solid, "proper" goal. In some of the other games I've tried that are really hard, it's not as exciting to work towards "well, maybe I'll try to die less than 80 times" or "maybe I can make it to the first boss without dying".
About my only complaints are that the resolution is quite low (so it looks pretty ugly when it's upscaled on my portrait monitor), and that sometimes there's just so much stuff happening on the screen (giant explosions and streams of stars and such) that I miss seeing actual enemy bullets sometimes. That also makes it fun to have giant explosions and point items everywhere, but I've definitely died more than a few times from just completely failing to see a bullet in the middle of it.
I'll have to check out Crimzon Clover too. I really like the Touhou games, I think I finished like 5 of them on normal 1cc, so I am not too good at them and I never really got the Touhou fandom, but I always really liked bullet hell games like this. So I think something like this could be really good, especially if it is not-impossible haha.
Glad to see an FFXIV player around here! Heavensward was absolutely superb, and I'm really looking forward to Shadowbringers.
How's the Stormblood experience going for you? I'm currently going through SB myself, and so far I've been liking the music and atmosphere. I also noticed the dungeons & trials are much more merciless, which makes tanking even more satisfying.
If by any chance you're up for it, I'm down for doing some SB quests together or partying up for a dungeon sometime!
I've only just started Stormblood quests, so I haven't actually even hit the first dungeon in it yet. From a quick peek at a quest list it looks like I should get to the first one before too much longer.
I've also been playing Gunbreaker, so I don't really know what I'm doing particularly well, but they had changed all the abilities so much for all my previous jobs that I wouldn't have known how to play any of them any more either anyway.
I'm on Exodus, which world/server are you on?
It's not too far away from where you are. The first dungeon is a bump in how much damage you take, though the trials & subsequent dungeons do get a little more tricky.
Bard and Gunbreaker main here! The GNB combos are pretty fun from what I've experienced so far. Yeah, I've heard about the jobs being changed drastically in the last major patch - I can imagine things becoming pretty confusing.
I'm on Aether's Adamantoise. Seems like I can only visit other worlds which are on Aether and not Primal (which Exodus is on). Saddening times we live in.
Ah, that's too bad. Maybe someday they'll invent some kind of global network that can transfer data anywhere.
And for me, it's not even just the changes from the last major patch. I hadn't played at all in 3 years, so all my jobs had changed extensively. When I first logged in again, over half of the abilities on all my hotbars had a red X on them because they were no longer available. They've changed a ton, I've basically had to figure out how to play everything from scratch again.
They're getting there bit by bit!
Damn, that's jarring. I played FFXIV now and again for the past several years, but only since Shadowbringers' release I properly dived into it. I can only try to imagine how difficult it would be to relearn everything again like that.
I just started Master Mode in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was the first Zelda game I ever played, so I didn't experience any of the controversy that I know existed from more long-time fans, and I absolutely loved it.
Master Mode is proving to be an interesting challenge. It's forcing me to play the game very differently; being good at the combat mechanics doesn't really mean that much if all your crappy weapons break halfway through a battle. I find myself traveling back to previous areas a lot more to find weapons and other items, as well as sneaking/rushing through enemy encampments when I'm low on weapon. Most recently had to unlock a tower with a torch, an axe, and a leaf. Ran out of arrows about three enemies in and basically sprinted to the base of the tower.
I'm still working my way through Outer Wilds, but this past week I also started playing Minecraft again. A streamer I subscribe to on Twitch recently started playing for the first time ever, and she started a server that subs can join.
Last night I finally set off from spawn and headed south around a large, snowy continent. I saw my first coral reefs (having not played in the Aquatic update much before), and I think I've decided on where I want to start building. I found a Heart of the Sea in a buried treasure chest the first day I played on the server, so I've decided to make a huge tree atop an island floating in the water "held up" by a conduit, surrounded on the ocean floor by the ruins of a flooded town or temple.
Sounds kind of complex now that I type it out, haha. I don't have a lot of staying power when it comes to making things in Minecraft, so maybe if I focus on one piece at a time it'll work out better. First step: build a floating island and grow some trees for wood.
Lucio Ball is done, so my fascination with Overwatch has lessened dramatically. I love Lucio Ball (and I'm acceptably good at it) but I am pure unmitigated crap at Rocket League, so that itch will remain until the next time it's an arcade mode in Overwatch.
I grabbed the Crusader Kings 2 bundle from Humble when it was happening. I haven't quite been able to get into it yet, but I'm going to keep giving it some chances, because it seems like it's such a big, popular phenomenon.
On mobile, I have had a strange fascination with 2048 (remember 2048?) and have played it again. It's a fun time passer, and I am on ~5 days of the same game (max tile is 16384 right now).
Splendour remains the family favourite, so I'm hoping to grab Space Explorers (see this article from Ars Technica about hot new board games since I think at least 66% of my kids can handle "splendour with some differences".
I got to play a bit of Cards Against Humanity over the weekend, which is fun as long as you don't do it too much. For those who don't know, it's a relatively dirty word association game - it's definitely 18+ - similar to Apples to Apples. A good time was had by all, especially the drunker people.
In my experience, enjoying it relies very much on committing to emergent storytelling. It's technically a 4x game, but it's more fun to play it as a sort of RPG with world domination as a kind of back-of-the-mind goal. Paradox recommends having your first play through be a small duchy in Ireland and you can see where it goes. This gets you used to the game mechanics, understand how claims work, and get used to your most important obligation as a ruler: arranging favorable marriages.
Agree with everything you said but it's important to specify, a small duchy in Ireland at the 1066 start date! Its one of those quirks of the game where Ireland is generally easy at 1066 but becomes more difficult at the earlier start dates due to the vikings. Very realistic but tutorial island become raided to death island.
My free time is winding down as my summer is coming to a close, so I've had much less time to game than in previous weeks, and will have even less in the coming ones.
I did a preliminary finish of The Witness, which I talked about in great detail and with significant spoilers here. I'm going to return to it to tackle some of the post-game stuff, but I'm not going to stress myself out about completing it fully or insisting that I find/solve everything. I got what I wanted from the game, and I'll continue playing it until I'm no longer interested. It remains to be seen whether that will be in one hour or twenty.
Outside of that, I picked up and have been enjoying Drag Star, which is a text-only choose your own adventure game where you are a contestant in a reality elimination show based off of RuPaul's Drag Race. My husband and I both love the show (with some reservations, of course), and the game is a well-written send up, with plenty of references and in-jokes for fans. It's also constructed in a very inclusive way. I can't think of another game that explicitly allows your character to be nonbinary, use gender neutral pronouns, or identify as asexual and aromantic, for example. In fact, the real show could learn a thing or two about inclusivity from its own parody, as the show still has some hangups regarding gender expression that it could stand to get past.
The game is put out by a company called Choice of Games, and they have released a surprising number of titles. If anyone else has played any of their other games, I'd love to hear about them. I really like the interactive novel format and am absolutely open to recommendations.
I've played some Choice Of games, some on Linux and some on my old Android phone.
Choice of the Dragon is fun, although a bit short.
Choice of Robots I enjoyed very much. This seems to have more depth and replay value than most of their games.
The Eagle's Heir is a cool alternative history adventure.
Community College Hero reads a bit too much like fan-fiction for my tastes, but I still liked the first game a lot. Haven't played the second yet.
Choice of the Pirate I also enjoyed very much.
Those are the ones I liked enough to recommend. There's been a few I've started on that failed to keep me interested.
I've been playing Dishonored 2. I'm not a stealth master, and sometimes it's hard to play such a violent game. I must play in the morning otherwise I get terrible nightmares. But I love me some juicy, juicy violence, so I must negotiate with my psyche.
It's a bit more difficult than the first, and, like in many games, I find the
easy modetoo easy and the others too hard.
normalwas a compromise to keep my dignity. There's some unfair stuff too, like some guards randomly noticing me from vantage points on the opposite side of the level. But it's still good for the most part.
The idea of playing as Emily was enticing, but I couldn't give up the Corvo's powers I loved so much in the first game. So far, Dishonored 2 is great, but there's something missing. Sequels tend to expand on everything: the universe, the story, the mechanics, etc. That's not always a good thing. A well-made contained work of art is always a joy.
Just look at The Dark Knight vs The Dark Knight Rises. The first is a brilliant super-hero neo-noir that embodies everything we love about Detective Comics Batman. The second is a great militaristic movie with a much larger scope, which might have prescinded from Batman altogether.
But I digress: Dishonored 2 is bigger, but it's not better. It was better with smaller, richer levels, and a reasonable amount of collectibles. The stealth path is now hard enough that I kill people on a regular basis. Which is not so bad: Dishonored's violence is deeply satisfying. And its mechanics are so fucking good it's hard to play other stealth games after getting used to it.
Woah, they made it harder? I only recently tried the first game and was almost immediately put off by the fact that stealth felt annoying as hell, what with the limited stealth skillset and tedium that low chaos always seemed to involve. I kept wanting to play high chaos, but felt I couldn't because every time I tried it seemed like the game was chiding me for it, so I just couldn't get in to it.
There are some brilliant high-chaos Dishonored gameplays out there. I was kind of a high-chaos player myself. It's not very hard, you just need to specialize a little. Dishonored is very free-form, there are many build options and ways to handle the challenges. Trying to be good at everything is not a good strategy, I think.
But, at the end of the day, unless you're a highly-skilled player, Dishonored is still a stealth game, and playing it like a soldier instead of a rogue will seldom give good results.
Yeah, I should probably give it another go at some point. Just as easily as it could've been that I didn't have the patience then for constant stealth-knockouts for 80%+ guards, I also only played until you first meet Sam, so I've also no idea how much better stealth might get after.
It mostly just concerned me whenever I saw a review, it ended up talking at length about how all the fun skills were almost exclusively useful for high-chaos, but that high-chaos always seemed to be considered 'bad' by the game and felt 'wrong' as a result.
In that case, it seems like effective restrictions should have been put in place. It is not reasonable expect someone in his position to be predictable in his actions. Something like this?
Just finished up Spider-Man PS4.
Had a blast with it, easily one of the better open world games I've played in a while, and really captures the feel of Spider-Man. It's a very lovingly made game around the Spider-Man mythos, you can tell that there was a lot of passion put into it.
Really good combat system. From watching videos, I was worried it was an easier take on the Arkham combat. On the surface, it does feel similar, but it's a lot more skill based. I'd say it has more in common with the Witcher than the Arkham games. There's no counter move so that makes you have to pay attention to your dodging at all times, especially since so many enemies have guns and rocket launchers. I played on the hardest difficulty and it felt just right. At first it seemed clunky and hard but as I unlocked more combat abilities and then got into the rhythm of the fights, the game came alive and looked and felt great. They really did a great job on the animation to make it feel super cinematic even though all the inputs are manually pressed without much leeway.
The web-swinging is great. Traversing around New York City with its mechanics is an absolute blast, and it's pretty relaxing swinging around without much worry.
By no means is it a perfect game but it had so much charm, polish, and care that it's one of the few games I've played all the way through in recent years. Absolute blast.
I got a PS4/spider-man bundle last black Friday just because I heard good things about that game. It's my first console since my 360 crapped out on me seven years ago and I really enjoyed it. I can only imagine how much I would've loved it if the game had come out when I was a kid during the ps2 days though. It's everything I could've hoped for back then. The screwball challenges were incredibly frustrating but that's probably a more of a testament to my rusty gaming skills than anything else.
Shamus Young (one of my favorite gaming writers) is just finishing up a long retrospective of Spider-Man. I haven't been reading it since I haven't played the game, but you might enjoy it. Here's a link to the first article, and they should all be listed here (I'm not sure if there's a way to list only the Spider-Man ones).
Thanks, I just read through all of that only to find out the last entry comes out this week.
Most of it is about the story, which really does deserve to be torn apart a little. The moments Young focuses on were ones I was questioning too, especially some of the recurring ones.
It seems like he's coming to the same conclusion I ended up with too: not a perfect game by any means but it's so charming overall that it's hard not to enjoy it.
My wife and I just finished Detroit: Become Human... and we both thought it was hilariously awful.
I have played all of David Cage's games, and they are all-- to me-- just terrible. He can't write. Every story he creates feels like Frankenstein'd moments of Lifetime movies. The dialogue and environments have ZERO nuance, and are both as subtle as a sledgehammer. Anytime he writes the lower class, they feel like caricatures, or sideshows at a circus.
And it felt especially poor taste-- in my opinion-- for a white writer to write a civil rights movement for androids in a near 1:1 reproduction of the civil rights moment of the 1960's, down to ripping off MLK's phrases, rallying cries and the like. And because David Cage has likely never experienced racism or sexism firsthand, all of the bigotry exhibited in the game felt detached and almost hyperbolic, which robbed it of an opportunity to've communicated a more nuanced, powerful version of the message it was going for.
Couple that with their typical QTE gameplay and Jesse William's checked out performance, and it's just another flop to me.
David Cage feels like the "Chicken Boo" of writers where I'm pointing out how bad of a writer he is, and everyone else just doesn't see it to the extent that I feel like I'm going crazy. That said, I can understand why someone would like his games-- they are very ambitious, they have a great production value, and they are more of a cinematic experience than most other games, if that's your jam.
Oh, huh. Whenever he's mentioned on other gaming forums, people always bring up what a bad writer he is.
I suppose I'm admittedly basing that perception off of their healthy critical reviews and receptions on Metacritic & IMDb.
Hearthstone, still messing with dailies to stock for the next expansion. For some reason on Reddit, this expansion seems to be where the wall is being hit for a lot of people, either with Auto Chess-likes being more of a draw for that crowd, new powerful decks not doing a whole lot against the old guard, or general malaise with the formula. I guess they could start nerfing cards, since last expansion had the excitement of EVERYTHING that defined the meta being out due the yearly rotation, and pulling something like a new format out is a big ask for this game, but I am definitely getting the feeling that Nerf Day is a better feeling than New Expansion day, which probably isn't a great sign for the health of the game.
Also messing around with A Hat in Time, specifically with streaming it onto my phone with my kitbashed GeForce Now setup for Android. I had it going on the Oculus Go and wanted to try it out there, but the app only lets me have access to Gamestream, and I run AMD, so I guess I should eventually figure out Steam Link.
Also testing out Unravel 2 with my brother, and gaming is much more fun in couch co-op, and when I can just watch someone play a game on YouTube and get the general idea of how I would play it if I had the reflexes or could solve a puzzle, it adds something to have someone in the room with you to plan off of and interact with.
We have the Cadence of Hyrule demo, and I'm trying to talk him into that, as I liked Cyrpt and he likes Zelda.
Just finished Persona 5. While it's an all around fantastic game, and I'd definitely recommend it without reservation, it's also pretty awful for a game that's over 70 hours long to practically require a second playthrough to see all the content, unless you already knew exactly what you were doing from the start.
I didn't want to get spoiled, so I went in blind, and in spite of what I thought was efficient time management, missed out on more than half of the social questlines. Because apparently, being able to finish them before the game is over requires leveling up one specific, optional confidant (Fortune) that you can only pick up over a third of the way through the game, by spending nearly all of your money. And you've got to do it pretty early too. Of course, there's no way for you to know this until you've already done most of her quests, and there's not really even an indication of how close the game's end is to let you know that you're running out of time and you're doing something wrong.
I guess it wouldn't be a JRPG without arbitrary, inscrutable content gating, but god damn is this the last time I play one this long without at least skimming a completion guide. I wouldn't mind missing out on optional stuff if it's mechanical, like weapons or even bossfights, and that's usually what it is. But missing out on character development and story? C'mon! Not sure if I'm going to bother with NG+ or just look up videos of what I missed.
TL;DR: If you want to have a remote chance at finishing Persona 5 in one go, max out Temperance (Kawakami) and Fortune (Chihaya) as soon as they're available.
Yeah I spoiled Persona 5 for myself and I think it was worth it. Not sure how I'm going to play Royal, just know I'm going to.
RAGE 2 - Finished it and it was terribly disappointing. The open world driving is pointless because you rarely get attacked and there's little to see between points. Shooting is very bullet spongy except for headshots, but at least most enemies have enormous heads. They tuck away all of the cool special abilities and weapons in arks that are hidden across the map, so you can (and I did) finish the game without ever unlocking some of them. I finished it missing three weapons and two abilities. Just an overall unnecessary sequel that doesn't improve on the original in any way unless you really like driving around a big map.
As I do after I finish any game I've put some focus into, I spent the rest of the weekend flopping around between a couple different games.
Gato Roboto - Cute, fun two-tone metroidvania. It's a little bit simplified because there's no ammo counters to keep track of, but it's got very good platforming controls and it puts up a decent challenge.
Fire Pro Wrestling World - I've been sitting on this one for a bit. I jumped in without doing any of the tutorials and won a single match but I had no idea how. Then I did the tutorials and it all made a lot of sense. Fairly intuitive but pretty sharp on timing. No life meters or super meters, but your wrestler does get tired over the course of the match and big moves get easier to pull off as stuns last longer. It's almost like they made a wrestling game and not a fighting game skinned for wrestling. There is a ludicrous amount of customization and the Steam workshop is packed with recreated wrestlers. I'm going to give the NJPW visual novel/mission mode a shot.
Sinking deep into Super Mario Maker 2. At first, I thought I'm too burned out on playing the same Mario gameplay over and over, even in infinite permutations. But man, people are so creative with the editor, it's crazy. Someone built a first person dungeon crawler.
Speaking of sinking deep, I also finally installed Subnautica, which I got for free on the Epic store a couple of months ago. It's... great. Underwater worlds are beautiful (still fondly remember Abzu) and there's so many places to go and things to do. I've spent maybe 2 hours and it seems I'm just starting to see the more in-depth build options. Overall, I'm not sure yet, though. It feels a tiny bit grindy and the main loop of looking for resources and building stuff that makes looking for resources easier feels more like being designed around keeping you busy than genuinely offering varied gameplay. It's a coin toss of me becoming obsessed and putting in 100 hours or dropping it soon as I feel I've seen all the variations of fish.
I've been playing a LOT of Grim Dark lately. It hits all of the right notes as a Diablo
CloneTribute and the game's lore is actually fairly interesting. Essentially it's a Diablo CloneTribute set in a Dark Fantasy 1800's Kingdom after a supernatural apocalypse. The map is mostly static and the game doesn't seem to lose anything by not being completely procedural like most other games would strive to be. In fact I think it benefits the game to not be procedural (with the exception of some caves appearing here in there in places you thought didn't have any). Also, the map is gorgeous and the world "makes sense".
As for gameplay, I'm still diving into it. I played a gun slinging inquisitor who utilized all passive talents that essentially made every fifth shot a fire or ice grenade and combined with the demolition class he fired HEAP bullets. The character felt like an 1800s Space Marine (For the Emperor!) who could immolate and gib hordes of the damned (there are many varieties) in mere second. Though in later levels (you can reach 100 levels), I noticed that the difficulty really does spike and you need to pay attention to your gear/build optimizations.
I also have a Necromancer/Occultist character who I am in the process of building whom literally swarms the battlefield with 11 or so pets (8 skeletal warriors/archers/mages/knights, 1 flesh golem thing, a killer raven and a hellhound) and uh.. yeah kinda becomes a squad management game at that point as they do all the heavy lifting and I'll be standing off to the side of a boss fight reading through letters I found from someone's abandoned cabin. Speaking with which, difficulty modes range from Normal, Veteran, Elite, and Ultimate. The builds online go DEEP and tend to optimize for playing on Ultimate Difficulty.
Crate (the Developer) did a tremendous job with this game and the expansions are really worth it imo.
I finished Uncharted 4 a couple of weeks ago and really didn't like it. The first half of the story was bad, the second half was okay, but the gameplay was awful. Working on RDR2 right now (~15 hours in) and I'm pretty mixed on it. I love the atmosphere and it's one of those RPGs where I sometimes just follow NPCs around to see what they're going to do next, which is a very good sign! But the actual gameplay of the missions is pretty lackluster right now and it just feels pretty slow compared to other Open World-ish games I've played recently (Spider-Man, Horizon: Zero Dawn), which it kind of should, but it's hard to be like "Oh, I'm going to go do a mission on the other side of the map. It'll take me 5 minutes to get there or 15 if I get ambushed." I know fast travel gets unlocked later but, yeah.
Still playing WoW and Overwatch. 6/8H in Eternal Palace. It feels like a step down in fight quality from BoD, but I really loved the Jaina and Mekkatorque fights. Still a big step up from Uldir which I really didn't like. Balance changes in Overwatch look okay to me but I'm a filthy casul that only plays Mystery Heroes.
Mystery heroes is great to learn new/more heroes! Nothing to be ashamed about.
Overwatch. I have a love - hate Relationship with that game. I really like the machnics, the vastly different heroes and the lack of advantages for higher leveled players. It's an amazing game. But at the same time I don't agree with some of blizzards decisions and also the Fanbase is very toxic/weird.
Terraria. A Game that I love everything about. Amazing combat, amazing boss design, amazing game mechanics. Just overall an amazing game.
Anno 1800. A nice building game I play a lot and have a lot of fun with. Not too complex but not too simple either. Also has a nice touch of humor!
Also Minecraft. But Minecraft never gets old, absolute classic that you can always play no matter what age, preference or mood.
I haveve been playing a lot of Old School Runescape lately. I just can't get enough of grinding for progress. Especially when playing as an ironman (Can't trade other players) as the game really opens up and feels even larger that way. This game provides one of the most rewarding experiences when unlocking new stuff, in my opinion.
Another i have been playing is the Metal Gear legacy collection. got through MGS and am working on MGS2 now. MGS had the absolute most creative and interesting boss mechanics i have ever encountered. Do not sleep on this old PS1 game, although the controls feel quite clunky compared to a modern game.
Tried out Vermintide 2 over the weekend with the guys and found out that it was possible to build a game that meets the genre exactly and only that: hack and slash.
I don't think I've clicked so much with so little reward for doing so in ages. There's next to zero strategy involved, idiotically linear, and just terrible in almost every way.
I've been playing Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on emulator for a little while now. I'm currently stuck on the Level 2 boss -- it's super hard and frustrating. I'm playing because my fiancee said she played it a ton when she was a kid, so I thought I'd check it out.
Underlords (Dota AutoChess).
No alerts sounding. A day of mostly sitting here. Tried one day trade that took me out at b/e not worth the risk. Patience and waiting for best of best setups how I am working right now.
I'm have a hard time explaining why I'm liking it, maybe because it scratches my deck building itch but without the Play to Win of Hearthstone.
Maybe it is because the Meta is changing quick because of weekly updates. Maybe it's because of the RNG/slot machine type of mechanic at the end of each round of getting to select my squad.
In a lot of ways it reminds me of the board game Dominion
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden (Switch)
I feel like I've finally got the hang of this game! Turns out it's not actually that difficult once you learn a bit more about the mechanics and the different enemy types. A Xcom-like game set in post-apocalyptic Sweden. I now feel safe that I can recommend this game, though if you care a lot about graphics, probably not on Switch.
Civilization VI (Linux)
I got bored with my previous game and started a new one, on a more densely populated map. Playing as Norway and trying to make the most out of my coastal raid bonuses. I've built a massive fleet and been at war with someone basically at all times. Fun! Though it seems the AI is not any good at countering this strategy, so it seems to be making the game a bit easier than intended.
Mini Metro (Android)
I'm currently using my old Android phone as a daily driver, since I'm chatting with a girl on Tinder, which for some reason refuses to launch on my Sailfish phone... Found out I have this game installed, but hadn't played it in probably more than a year. Still fun! For me the perfect mobile game is one that launches in seconds and continues from exactly where you left it last time, and can be played for both short and long sessions. This game is great in that regard.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Linux)
I have a friend who likes to gift me weird games, and he gifted me this when it was on sale this weekend. I love the style, and the story seems wonderfully bizarre. Not very far into the game yet, but it seems very promising. Very text-heavy though, which I haven't really been in the mood for lately.
Mainly I've been continuing to play Tekken 7 (currently trying to learn Katarina) along with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney which is slowly turning into one of my favourite puzzle games ever!
Yesterday I downloaded Wipeout from PS Plus which is bringing back some nostalgic memories.
I spent my whole weekend continuing on with my group's campaign in Gloomhaven. It just so happened that two of us retired our starting characters on the same scenario, with a third character retiring the scenario after!
We were able to unlock the triforce; the music note; and the cthulhu classes. We are at a lot of impasses, having not decided on a number of story trees and instead just opting to continue with what we refer to as "side quests", which then unlocks deeper story that we never decide to do, but we'll get around to it.
It's honestly in my top 3 board games of all time. When I'm not playing it, my group are constantly talking about it, about rules we were doing wrong, and about when we can play again.