16 votes

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

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

44 comments

  1. [2]
    CALICO
    Link
    The Outer Worlds I've got about 7 hours under my belt so far, and I see myself playing more. I began playing at Supernova-difficulty, which was a huge mistake. I managed that for about 90 minutes...

    The Outer Worlds

    I've got about 7 hours under my belt so far, and I see myself playing more. I began playing at Supernova-difficulty, which was a huge mistake. I managed that for about 90 minutes before I had to turn it down to something reasonable: got stuck with a shitty kit and a gang of Marauders between myself and the objective. More frustrating than fun.

    Overall, it feels liker Fallout 3 (the only Fallout I've played) with far fewer bugs and far better graphics, in a fun spacey theme. That's about what I expected, and all I really wanted anyway. I really dig the setting, and the humor in both worldbuilding and dialogue. The combat isn't anything groundbreaking, and certainly nothing new for Bethesda veterans, but I like the TTD a lot more than VATS. I love that there's Ace-representation, and Parvati is a beautiful cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure. Vicar Max seems like his story-line might be interesting, I hope that keeps up. I love the aesthetics in this game too, it's gorgeous to look at. The character design and animations are not the crème de la crème, but a big improvement over FO3 and perfectly fine for a game in 2019.

    Complaints:

    • the world feels like it could be more alive
    • the apparent lack of romance options is not my favorite
    • enemy AI is predictable
    • the Skills system and how you level it is kind of stupid

    5/7

    9 votes
    1. rogue_cricket
      Link Parent
      I'm liking it so far too, around 10 hours in (although I restarted after a couple hours because I wanted to play as an idiot so my true playtime is probably closer to like 11-12 hours). I see a...

      I'm liking it so far too, around 10 hours in (although I restarted after a couple hours because I wanted to play as an idiot so my true playtime is probably closer to like 11-12 hours). I see a lot of people complaining that it's too short, which might be true, but I also suspect these folks might just be sprinting from quest objective to quest objective. I'm having a fine time just kind of plodding around the spots I've been so far, reading my emails, trying to find secrets, etc. When I find myself rushing through dialogue I know it's time to turn it off for the evening.

      I think it reminds me a bit more of Mass Effect 1/2 than it does Fallout in a lot of ways - the smaller and denser self-contained levels and the companion selection/banter come to mind as being kind of Mass Effect-y. Plus the ship hub.

      I hope they keep up with the IP because to me this game feels like a good "starting-off" point. I know the trend is generally to simplify systems over the course of the lifetime of a series, but I think it could do with a little more complexity if they do another iteration years down the line.

      5 votes
  2. [4]
    eve
    Link
    I've been off and on playing the Outer Wilds! Not to be confused with the outer worlds. I started the game not really knowing what to expect. I had asked my SO if he knew anything about it and...

    I've been off and on playing the Outer Wilds! Not to be confused with the outer worlds. I started the game not really knowing what to expect. I had asked my SO if he knew anything about it and he'd said he'd heard some things about it and generally there were pretty positive reviews for it. But again, I knew nothing about it.

    Oh boy. This game is great. I will do my absolute best not to spoil anything but things are definitely not as they seen. You play a low tech space faring alien race who's exploring the local solar system. There are many planets, anomalies, and an incredibly diverse array of environments. On top of being able to explore any planet you want, you also get to explore the ruins and technology of a seemingly long gone space faring alien race, the Nomani. They had been there millions if not billions of years ago. Some of the ruins of the things they built remain; and so does some of their technology. You get to learn and try to find out why what's happening is happening and learning about the Nomani, why they were there and what they were doing.

    This game is such a delightful surprise. There's so much to explore and you can do it more or less at your own pace. You're rewarded for exploring and hypothesizing. My SO and I have been playing together and we'll either be in the same room or chatting over the Xbox, just being in absolute wonder over everything! We've had a lot of fun talking about or own hypotheses with one another and learning whether or not we were right. I would highly, highly suggest anyone play it or at least give it a chance. Give it at least a good half hour, give or take.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      no_exit
      Link Parent
      I'm not hesitant to call it one of the greatest games ever, and I haven't even finished it yet. It's one of very few I've played since childhood that feels truly magical. My only complaint was...

      I'm not hesitant to call it one of the greatest games ever, and I haven't even finished it yet. It's one of very few I've played since childhood that feels truly magical. My only complaint was that it chugged pretty hard on my Xbox One S, but I have a good computer now so I'm just waiting for the right time to go back and finish it on that instead.

      4 votes
      1. eve
        Link Parent
        You put it better than me! Yes! The experience feels magical, that's something that not a lot of games can do for me now a days. My SO and I have been pretty lucky in that we haven't had many...

        You put it better than me! Yes! The experience feels magical, that's something that not a lot of games can do for me now a days. My SO and I have been pretty lucky in that we haven't had many performance issues. Occasionally when we first go to the stormy planet it has a moment but it's not all that often. I'm sure it'll look great on the computer!

        2 votes
    2. eladnarra
      Link Parent
      So glad to see more folks talking about this game! I also played it with my partner, which I talked about in a previous thread. It's one of my favorite games ever, I think.

      So glad to see more folks talking about this game! I also played it with my partner, which I talked about in a previous thread.

      It's one of my favorite games ever, I think.

      4 votes
  3. [2]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Last week @moocow1452 and @Deimos picked the Steam tags Cute and Great Soundtrack respectively as a way of helping me pick a game out of my backlog. I've now played two different games that each...

    Last week @moocow1452 and @Deimos picked the Steam tags Cute and Great Soundtrack respectively as a way of helping me pick a game out of my backlog. I've now played two different games that each fit both of the tags.


    I began with Figment. It's an isometric adventure game with puzzles and light combat -- think "Amanita Design does Bastion". Visually it is stunning, with a fantastical, whimsical art design straight out of children's books.

    Sountrack-wise, the game is also a standout. I was charmed when, in the first scene of the game, there was water in the scene dripping in time with the music and actually making its own percussive line. The game continues this setup, with each area featuring a base musical track that is augmented by specific additional instrument lines whenever your character is near certain objects. So, if you're walking you might see some guitar plants (they're a thing!) on one of the islands, and while your character is near them, you'll hear a guitar line added to the main theme, which will fade away after you depart from them. It's a neat setup that keeps the relatively repetitive music from playing itself out, since it dynamically changes over the course of a level.

    Also of note: the game's boss fights are actual musical numbers. You can hear an example here of a creepy, suggestive spider singing to the hero between attacks. The numbers are well-executed, fun, and high-camp (the first boss, The Plague, is 110% over the top).

    All told I think the game is excellent, but I also didn't continue playing it past two hours. Though its presentation is sublime, the gameplay didn't grab me. A big part of me wants to recommend it to younger audiences, as it would work great as a My First Puzzle Adventure game, but I hesitate to do so because it has some coarse language (the main character uses "bastards" and "damn" occasionally), dark moments (the game's inciting incident is a family in a car crash), and odd choices (there was a poorly executed vaccines cause autism joke). Nothing too egregious, but something that would definitely give me pause before wholesale recommending it to children/parents.

    I should add that my playthrough of the game was very likely negatively textured by the fact that I played it while I was very, VERY ill. As such, there's a good chance that I didn't enjoy the game much simply because I was playing it while absolutely miserable. Nevertheless, I think the game's art style, presentation, and sound design are second to none, so it's definitely not without merit, I just didn't feel compelled to finish it.


    The next game I picked up to fit the tags was Yoku's Island Express (which, if I'm not mistaken, @moocow1452 actually just finished with?).

    It's a pinball metroidvania that is way better than it has any right to be. Despite having no interest in pinball, I was completely drawn in to its gameplay and world. It's also beautiful, both visually and aurally, and it reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest, which is high praise coming from me, as I adored that game.

    The game plays like a standard metroidvania, where there's a continuous world with sections that you can't access because you lack requisite powers. As you traverse through the game, you complete different tasks which often take the form of small little pinball "tables" set within the larger context.

    I appreciate the game for giving me a better understanding of pinball. I'd only ever played pinball by mashing the flippers whenever the ball came near, but this game has taught me how to place my shots and target specific areas.

    I'm roughly halfway through the game right now, and I'm absolutely loving it. I didn't expect to be into it, but it's got me hooked. I will admit that there are moments of frustration. Navigating the island isn't painless, but I'll admit it's a lot smoother than you would expect for, well, a pinball game. Furthermore, there are plenty of times where I know what I'm supposed to do for a given table/challenge, but the timing on the flippers is so precise that I can't do it reliably, leading to a lot of repeated attempts.

    Nevertheless, I'm still loving the game. I don't think I'll have the patience to 100% it, which everyone knows is the "True Fun" of any metroidvania, but I'll definitely see it through to the end.

    5 votes
    1. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Yoku's Island Express is so good, absolutely one of my favorite games from the last few years. Most "pinball combined with <something>" games aren't great, and always give me the impression that...

      Yoku's Island Express is so good, absolutely one of my favorite games from the last few years. Most "pinball combined with <something>" games aren't great, and always give me the impression that the developers don't actually have much experience with pinball. Yoku's is one of the few that feels right, and integrates quite a few pinball elements that you'd see on real tables. It's an excellent game, I think Ori and the Blind Forest is a good comparison just in terms of how polished and enjoyable all the aspects of both games are.

      If it ends up giving you an interest in trying more pinball, I'd definitely recommend trying out Pinball FX3. The base game is free and comes with a table or two, and all the other tables are pretty reasonably priced and go on sale fairly often. I was really into it for quite a while (more FX2 than FX3), and I can recommend some good tables if you get into it.

      2 votes
  4. [8]
    aymm
    Link
    I played something new! Disco Elysium I didn't yet play a lto of it (maybe an hour or one and a half), and it's pretty good. It's quite different and has soem very interesting (in a good sense)...

    I played something new!


    Disco Elysium

    I didn't yet play a lto of it (maybe an hour or one and a half), and it's pretty good. It's quite different and has soem very interesting (in a good sense) mechanics. So far it looks like it's going towards a very dark path.


    Borderlands 3

    It's, well, more Borderlands. Considering that this is exactly what I wanted I'm happy about it!

    Some stuff I didn't like:

    • The writing doesn't resonate with me as well as the predecessors and can sometimes be more annoying than funny. They're walking a thin line between obnoxious and hilarious and sometimes cross it.
    • Other than that the boss fights started out better than in BL1, BL2, and TPS. Shiv was alright, and Mouthpiece was really fun even! I was extremely happy about that, because I don't like the boss fights of the previous games. They're all pretty bulletsponge-y. The next one was Kilovolt, who destroyed my hopes for the remaining bosses. It was frustrating, boring, and lengthy. I spent an hour last night trying to beat him, and then gave up. Guess he'll need to wait for a few more levels.
    • Human-like Lilith in her overlay looks weird, I wish they had stuck to the rendered ones from the previous games.
    • Lastly, they made a semi-big deal about my character's name in the beginning (got asked a couple times by various NPCs), but after than everyone kept referring me to some generic one (Vault Hunter, VH, whatever) so they don't need mutliple voice lines for the different characters. That's an issue which has been present since BL1 though, including "adressing the player as single charachter even though you are playin as a group" (have played BL3 only solo so far, so this could be fixed)

    And the good parts:

    • It's more Borderlands, and generally pulls the same strings. It's a great game
    • I've always liked the gameplay feel itself of all Borderlands games (with some exception for the low gravity stuff in TPS), and this one feels even a little better (could be due to a different charachter, I've played "VH who drops a companion to help" in the past games, that is: Roland, Axton, Gaige, and Wilhelm. This time I went with Amara, who is more hands-on in combat
    • The map. The map in the older games have always frustrated me, and I have wasted lots of times trying to navigate around and finding stuff. Been one of my major pain points with the predecessors. They kept improving it from BL1->BL2->TPS, but never enough. So far, the map in BL3 is a huge improvement. I still wish I could add a route to quest point on the minimap for the early game where I'm not yet familiar with the map. But at least now the full map is actually good
    5 votes
    1. [7]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      I'm greatly enjoying Disco Elysium. It's a clever blend of point-and-click adventure game and RPG, the writing is great (mostly), and it looks gorgeous.

      I'm greatly enjoying Disco Elysium. It's a clever blend of point-and-click adventure game and RPG, the writing is great (mostly), and it looks gorgeous.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        aymm
        Link Parent
        Oh I agree, it's pretty good so far! The first few minutes were pretty annoying (I died very quickly so I had to go throught the whole process in my room again) and the character moved quite...

        Oh I agree, it's pretty good so far! The first few minutes were pretty annoying (I died very quickly so I had to go throught the whole process in my room again) and the character moved quite slowly (understandable from a story point of view, but made it a bit less fun to play)

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          KapteinB
          Link Parent
          You can double-click to run! Took me a couple of hours to realise that myself... One of the first things I did in the game was to try to throw a ball in a ball game I interrupted. I failed the...

          You can double-click to run! Took me a couple of hours to realise that myself...

          One of the first things I did in the game was to try to throw a ball in a ball game I interrupted. I failed the throw, and it demoralised my character so badly that he had a mental breakdown, quit his job as a cop, and became homeless. Game over. Load latest save slot. I found it rather amusing. :-)

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            aymm
            Link Parent
            I died trying to grab the tie from the ceiling fan in the room after my character woke up. The second time I tried it again and luckily succeeded the roll :)

            I died trying to grab the tie from the ceiling fan in the room after my character woke up. The second time I tried it again and luckily succeeded the roll :)

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              eladnarra
              Link Parent
              I am very amused to learn there are multiple ways to die in the hotel room. :D

              I am very amused to learn there are multiple ways to die in the hotel room. :D

              2 votes
              1. cwagner
                Link Parent
                Don’t turn the light on with weak physical stats, it’s what killed me ;)

                Don’t turn the light on with weak physical stats, it’s what killed me ;)

                2 votes
              2. aymm
                Link Parent
                Wait, there are others? Well, amused, but not really surprised!

                Wait, there are others? Well, amused, but not really surprised!

  5. Keegan
    Link
    I've finally gotten a chance to play "The Last of Us", and I love it. Very cinema-like experience and it has the right level of difficulty for me to have a challenge but still enjoy it. I knew...

    I've finally gotten a chance to play "The Last of Us", and I love it. Very cinema-like experience and it has the right level of difficulty for me to have a challenge but still enjoy it. I knew some of the early-on main events by getting it spoiled, but have no idea how it ends, so it's going to be interesting.

    4 votes
  6. [3]
    TheJorro
    Link
    I've been playing a lot of Dragon Age Origins recently. This game is much longer than I thought it would be. I've started playing this game many times since its launch, but this is the first time...

    I've been playing a lot of Dragon Age Origins recently. This game is much longer than I thought it would be.

    I've started playing this game many times since its launch, but this is the first time I've really progressed into it enough to actually get all the Player Companions. I think the key was to give up on any visions of being a tactical genius and turn the difficulty down to Easy. The game is a lot easier to get through when you don't have to keep replaying the same fights over and over until you finally survive against a surprise Revenant.

    But I'm also far enough into the game now that I think I can turn it back to Normal and have a good time. My characters are developed enough that I have options beyond struggling and praying to RNGesus. I did download that combat rebalancer mod this time, so that's probably helping out. I remember the vanilla game's systems being a bit inscrutable at times with how damage and combat would be affected by certain stats.

    So far, I'm enjoying it. I think anyone that's interested in Dragon Age Origins has played it by now, I don't think there's anything I can really add to any conversation about it, especially since I haven't completed it yet, and it feels like I'm perhaps 40% through the game's story (including the DLCs). But the one thing I have noticed about this game in particular, among all games like it, is that it's probably the last game that Bioware made that was designed for isometric view.

    It's interesting to me because most of the footage, and likely the design of the game, is meant to be over-the-shoulder, following the vein of KOTOR, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect. But those games didn't offer a true zoomed out isometric camera, whereas this one does. I think it's interesting because it reveals a lot about Bioware's approach to level design with Dragon Age, it very much feels like Neverwinter Nights, the last game of theirs to be mainly isometric view, except with much better and more detailed level art assets.

    It makes me wonder about Mass Effect (especially the planetary "bases" that all had a similar layout) and Jade Empire, whether much of those games' levels were designed in a similarly top-down way and then a fully 3D camera gameplay was injected into it.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      DA:O is easily one of my all-time favorite cRPGs and I have completed it (and all the DLC) multiple times on Nightmare mode. Unless you know exactly which mods to get, how to build every single...

      DA:O is easily one of my all-time favorite cRPGs and I have completed it (and all the DLC) multiple times on Nightmare mode. Unless you know exactly which mods to get, how to build every single character, what spell combos to use and when, how to set up all the auto-pause & cast tactics triggers you need, and are willing to kite around tougher melee enemies... I wouldn't recommend doing that. On harder difficulties, DA:O isn't for the feint of heart. ;)

      First time through I definitely recommend playing on Normal or below, just to enjoy the story (which is fantastic). And if you ever do decide you want to play DA:O again (esp on a harder difficulty), go to Nexus and get the Skip the Fade and Advanced Tactics mods. You will thank me later. ;)

      BTW, Dragon Age 2 is garbage. It's still worth playing if you're invested in the world/characters, but it's terrible and the only DA game I have only played the once... and will likely never go back to play again.

      it's probably the last game that Bioware made that was designed for isometric view.

      Similar to DA:O, DA: Inquisition actually does a decent job at facilitating isometric during pause & play too, with the right settings. It was a true return to form IMO, and I enjoyed it a lot.

      2 votes
      1. TheJorro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Ohh, I should check out Advanced Tactics. There's this weird bug(?) I've been fighting against where my characters will simply stand still and not attack anything in the middle of combat if I...

        Ohh, I should check out Advanced Tactics. There's this weird bug(?) I've been fighting against where my characters will simply stand still and not attack anything in the middle of combat if I happen to have them selected (through the click-drag function).

        The Fade thing is interesting. I've always heard about this but never really knew what exactly it referred to, I only knew that a lot of people didn't enjoy it and always wanted to skip it. I didn't realize it was so early in the game. It's not that bad, in the end, but I can see why people would want to skip it—I'm surprised how many people do, though. It's a bit trite but I feel like I've experienced much more irritating levels in other games (Halo's Library level comes to mind).

        DA2 I never checked out but I plan to do just out of curiosity. I recall playing the demo years and years ago but I can't remember much. The world and characters are good enough that I will give it a shot, though. Noah Gervais' video sells the narrative values of DA2 very well.

        I did play quite a bit of Inquisiton before, I really enjoyed it. I'm excited to go back once i've cleared Origins and 2.

        3 votes
  7. [9]
    no_exit
    Link
    I finished The Outer Worlds last week, and found the second half as mediocre as the first. The gameplay is insufferably boring, I sprinted past every fight I could on the last planet so I didn't...

    I finished The Outer Worlds last week, and found the second half as mediocre as the first. The gameplay is insufferably boring, I sprinted past every fight I could on the last planet so I didn't have to deal with it. The narrative never has anything interesting to say whatsoever. It plays out like the writers read Le Guin's The Dispossessed and said 'how can we strip out every drop of soul and nuanced engagement with the questions of communal vs hierarchical, capitalist societies, and make it about how centrism is Good, Actually?' Just awful. At least it runs pretty well and is relatively bug-free I guess.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I didn't think it was mediocre as a whole, since I enjoyed the story, dialogue and companion interactions... but I agree about the gameplay itself getting pretty tedious by the end. When I finally...

      I didn't think it was mediocre as a whole, since I enjoyed the story, dialogue and companion interactions... but I agree about the gameplay itself getting pretty tedious by the end. When I finally got to Byzantium I cranked the difficulty down, was ignoring absolutely all the loot, most of the fights, and was just trying to progress as quickly as I could to the end to find out how everything turned out.

      My only story complaint is similar to your own as well though... it felt a bit soulless, and I really wish it wasn't so black & white / good vs evil, like it was. I wanted who you sided with to be a more difficult decision than it turned out to be.

      p.s. If I had paid the full $60-80 for it, I think I would have been pretty disappointed... but for $1 (which is what I paid for my first month of Xbox Game Pass for PC), it was well worth it. ;)

      3 votes
      1. [5]
        no_exit
        Link Parent
        the abundance of loot really made me wish that 1) there was way less, especially given the whole starving colony on the brink of total collapse thing 2) there were meaningfully different systems...

        the abundance of loot really made me wish that 1) there was way less, especially given the whole starving colony on the brink of total collapse thing 2) there were meaningfully different systems around how to use & distribute it among different factions. let me share it with the anarchist types and win their favor and access to cool shit that way, or steal from their limited supplies and potentially lose a companion.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yeah, as it was, the inhaler items were just a largely useless PITA. Only about 6 different actual effects on them, but 12 different variations in name/icon for each type so they couldn't stack...

          Yeah, as it was, the inhaler items were just a largely useless PITA. Only about 6 different actual effects on them, but 12 different variations in name/icon for each type so they couldn't stack and you had to spend a bunch of time hunting in your inventory for the ones you actually wanted to use. Same with the armor/weapons... way too little variety. But had they done what you suggest, that would have actually made looting feel worthwhile and really interesting!

          Or alternatively... While I was not a huge fan of Fallout 4, one thing they did right was the settlement management in that. I would have loved to be able to do something similar in Outer Worlds, where I could start my own settlement and equip everyone in it with all the excess gear I acquired.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            no_exit
            Link Parent
            The funny thing is that I could straight up accept this as an amusing satirical point if the management didn't suck. Prey had every bit as much but is way better about it.

            Yeah, as it was, the inhaler items were just a largely useless PITA. Only about 6 different actual effects on them, but 12 different variations in name/icon for each type so they couldn't stack and you had to spend a bunch of time hunting in your inventory for the ones you actually wanted to use.

            The funny thing is that I could straight up accept this as an amusing satirical point if the management didn't suck. Prey had every bit as much but is way better about it.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Every time someone mentions Prey I think of the nausea inducing 2006 game. :P I have yet to play the new game with the same name, but have heard good things. What did they do differently in it to...

              Every time someone mentions Prey I think of the nausea inducing 2006 game. :P I have yet to play the new game with the same name, but have heard good things. What did they do differently in it to make that amount of items manageable? Because I actually thought Outer Worlds did an okay job of it... the various sorting options were better than in most games, at least... but unless the items actually stacked I just don't see a way to make it not annoying to manage.

              2 votes
              1. no_exit
                Link Parent
                I guess I mean management in the sense that at least for the first several hours of Prey resources were actually scarce and necessary, even the multiple different health items with similar or the...

                I guess I mean management in the sense that at least for the first several hours of Prey resources were actually scarce and necessary, even the multiple different health items with similar or the same effect, and it's also more like Resident Evil's briefcase style vs weight (which was something I dealt with a grand total of once in TOW, with none of the weight perks or mods, when it was definitely more impactful in FO3 and New Vegas)

                3 votes
    2. [2]
      switchy
      Link Parent
      I'm not quite that far, but I have found that the fights seem pretty meaningless and uninteresting. It's pretty easy to see bunches of enemies from far away and just go around them.

      I sprinted past every fight I could on the last planet so I didn't have to deal with it

      I'm not quite that far, but I have found that the fights seem pretty meaningless and uninteresting. It's pretty easy to see bunches of enemies from far away and just go around them.

      2 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        You don't even have to go around them. If you get the walk speed and sprint speed perks you can literally sprint right through the groups and be gone before they get their shit together to do...

        You don't even have to go around them. If you get the walk speed and sprint speed perks you can literally sprint right through the groups and be gone before they get their shit together to do anything.

        3 votes
  8. MimicSquid
    Link
    I've been bouncing around a little this week. Some 7 Days to Die, some Caves of Qud, some Rimworld, and I just picked up Fire Emblem: Three Houses last night. 7DTD is new and fresh with A18, as...

    I've been bouncing around a little this week. Some 7 Days to Die, some Caves of Qud, some Rimworld, and I just picked up Fire Emblem: Three Houses last night.

    7DTD is new and fresh with A18, as I've mentioned in prior weeks. It's new fun, and the new mini-dungeon nature of most houses breaks up the scavenging and building nicely. You have the uncontrollable excitement of horde night coming regularly, but you also have more controlled, optional excitement anytime you enter a house.

    Caves of Qud continues to be good, but I might give it a break. I've played it plenty, to the point where if I can get a character past level 5 or so I'm good all the way through what exists of the plot. I'm hoping that the new endpoint of the plot that's coming out near the end of the year will be an actual narrative conclusion, because you currently can't bring back the McGuffin to finish the game as you might in NetHack or Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup. It's always been way more sandboxy than most other ASCII roguelikes, but I'm tired of my successful runs ending on a whimper of being too powerful to be challenged anymore.

    Rimworld is one that I'm picking up after a long hiatus, now with literally 300+ mods installed. It's the same framework underneath, but with enough new stuff my previous knowledge is only kinda applicable. It's a nice balance. I know how to play the game, but I don't know how to deal with the challenges.

    FE:TH is fun so far. It's basically "Princess Maker: Tactics", but for a whole class and without the weird sexy overtones. I'm playing on the easiest mode so that I don't permanently lose students when they run out of HP in battle. I would just be stuck in a reload loop because I can't handle that kind of permanent loss. Which is weird since I love permadeath roguelikes, but I think that permanent loss in this sort of longer narrative is just too frustrating.

    3 votes
  9. [8]
    papasquat
    Link
    Haven't been playing much in the way of videogames besides my usual Apex: Legends. That game still feels great, the shooting feels nice and punchy, it's exciting, the pacing of most games is very...

    Haven't been playing much in the way of videogames besides my usual Apex: Legends.
    That game still feels great, the shooting feels nice and punchy, it's exciting, the pacing of most games is very good. My gaming PC is starting to show its age though. I have an old ivy bridge machine with a GTX980, and the game chugs a bit.

    Besides that, I've been continuing my weekly D&D 5e game which has been going well. We're up to 11th level, and the challenge is still up there. Paladin is such a fun, versatile class in this edition.

    Other than that, I've been GMing a monthly Numenera game. I really love the setting, and the books are beautiful and fairly well laid out. One thing that sort of annoys me about the books though is that there are a few rules scattered around. There's no unified flow of what can and cannot happen during a given turn of combat, and there are instances where the authors say things like "Oh by the way, if this happens, you can do this also" in an unrelated section, which makes it very difficult to keep track of all of these little caveats.

    Also, being a "rules-light" system, there are not definite rules for some things, which I don't really mind so much, however, in some cases there are rules that don't make any sense, which people tend to defend with "Well it's rules-light". For instance, other than using ammunition, there is absolutely no mechanical reason to ever use anything other than ranged weapons. They're strictly better than an equal melee weapon. Things like that make me kinda wonder if the designers put much thought into how these rules work together. Other than that, all the other stuff about the game makes me enjoy it and I'll continue playing I think.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      I'm with you on your feelings about Numenera. Monte Cook Games makes some of the best settings in the industry, but their ability to make coherent, easily grasped mechanics is down at the bottom...

      I'm with you on your feelings about Numenera. Monte Cook Games makes some of the best settings in the industry, but their ability to make coherent, easily grasped mechanics is down at the bottom of the bin. My wife and I are playing a game of Invisible Sun (also by MCG), and while it's a wonderful game in many ways, we've needed to make a wiki to be able to figure out how to have a round of combat. Every once in a while someone finds a new rule in one of the books, and then we update the wiki and play differently from then on. It's a learning experience in a way. Not without fun, but also not without frustration.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        papasquat
        Link Parent
        My feelings exactly. I haven't gone so far as to make a wiki for mechanics, but I always feel bad telling my players some rule that makes no real sense. I'm of the firm belief that in any game...

        My feelings exactly. I haven't gone so far as to make a wiki for mechanics, but I always feel bad telling my players some rule that makes no real sense. I'm of the firm belief that in any game system, you should fully understand and maybe even master the mechanics before you start making tweaks, because the designers put a hell of a lot more diligence and thought into those mechanics than you as a player tend to, but this game has me thinking that maybe combat just isn't what Monte is interested in, so maybe he kind of included it as an afterthought. I get it, but it does kinda suck when combat eventually does break out, and the rules on it are kinda shaky.

        1 vote
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Yeah, in Invisible Sun (which was developed later) the structure is much more explicitly collaborative, so we just find a consensus on how we think it should go, and keep playing. That way we...

          Yeah, in Invisible Sun (which was developed later) the structure is much more explicitly collaborative, so we just find a consensus on how we think it should go, and keep playing. That way we don't get bogged down with the RAW, since it's often unclear.

          1 vote
    2. [4]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      I haven't tried playing all the classes yet, but of those I have played (bard/fighter/paladin/monk) I found paladin to be the most fun. Mine was a halfling with the protection fighting style,...

      Paladin is such a fun, versatile class in this edition.

      I haven't tried playing all the classes yet, but of those I have played (bard/fighter/paladin/monk) I found paladin to be the most fun. Mine was a halfling with the protection fighting style, nicknamed "The Wall". He may have just been 3 feet tall, but he didn't let anyone pass.

      Which fighting style and oath did you pick?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        papasquat
        Link Parent
        Actually somewhat similar. He's a human devotion paladin with the defense fighting style, but also with the heavy armor master, sentinel, and shield master feat. My goal was just to get his armor...

        Actually somewhat similar. He's a human devotion paladin with the defense fighting style, but also with the heavy armor master, sentinel, and shield master feat. My goal was just to get his armor class as high as possible and prevent anyone else from taking damage as much as I can. Sitting at an AC of 22 with a shield. Tons of fun!

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          KapteinB
          Link Parent
          Does that include +2 from Shield of Faith as a bonus action on the first round of combat? ;-)

          Sitting at an AC of 22 with a shield.

          Does that include +2 from Shield of Faith as a bonus action on the first round of combat? ;-)

          1. papasquat
            Link Parent
            It doesn't. I actually don't use SoF much anymore, because more of the damage I take comes from failing spell saves than it does from attacks, I think AC may be a bit of a diminishing returns type...

            It doesn't. I actually don't use SoF much anymore, because more of the damage I take comes from failing spell saves than it does from attacks, I think AC may be a bit of a diminishing returns type thing.
            The armor comes from: +1 plate armor (19), Defense fighting style (+1), Shield +2. SoF would be 24, but I usually keep my spell slots for smites and crowd control abilities like command or compelled duel.

  10. Seven
    Link
    I've been getting back into playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe again recently. It's just something that's great to play in the background when I'm watching TV or YouTube or whatever. It's super fun...

    I've been getting back into playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe again recently. It's just something that's great to play in the background when I'm watching TV or YouTube or whatever. It's super fun regardless of how much attention I give it.

    3 votes
  11. nothis
    Link
    After spreading it out over almost a year, I've finally beaten the singleplayer campaign in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The save slot says 45 hours. I think that's officially the longest time I've...

    After spreading it out over almost a year, I've finally beaten the singleplayer campaign in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The save slot says 45 hours. I think that's officially the longest time I've ever spent on a fighting game and it was a lot of fun! There's a dizzying amount of content in singleplayer (whenever I thought I've finally seen the end boss, a new part of the world opened up) and the presentation is so charming! The "spirit" fights remind me of oldschool modding communities where fans try to recreate a different game character by putting together pieces of content, modified settings and custom skins to get as close as possible. Individually, those are really "cheap" approximations of various game characters but there's literally hundreds of them (I think I've done like 500+ and skipped quite a few), making it one of the oddest type of AAA content I've ever come across. Even though it's all just custom fights, in the end, there's enough variety to never quite feel like a grind.

    Also dug up Baba Is You. Trying to do this without hints (which are essentially spoilers in a puzzle game) so it's taking a while but I think I'm close to beating all the main areas and moving on to what I assume is the end game. I'm starting to see the really weird game rules and it's quite exciting.

    3 votes
  12. cwagner
    Link
    I rushed through The Outer Worlds last week, review in last week’s thread ;) TL;DR: Meh. Since then, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. Tried my usual PF:KM but didn’t feel like playing it. Same for...

    I rushed through The Outer Worlds last week, review in last week’s thread ;) TL;DR: Meh.

    Since then, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. Tried my usual PF:KM but didn’t feel like playing it. Same for Civ V. Stellaris didn’t get reinvigorated for me with the Illithoid species pack. Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones has just too awkward and mandatory combat for me to finish it. Slay the Spires is still fun, but usually just the daily challenge which takes around 20-30 minutes. Star Traders: Frontiers couldn’t keep me.

    Maybe I should buy Atom RPG.

    3 votes
  13. emnii
    Link
    I just finished 2018's Call of Cthulhu and it was okay. It starts with investigative stuff and multiple options and skill tests, but it quickly ends up on a rail. I'm not even sure the stats...

    I just finished 2018's Call of Cthulhu and it was okay. It starts with investigative stuff and multiple options and skill tests, but it quickly ends up on a rail. I'm not even sure the stats matter in the last half of the game. And there are parts where you reconstruct scenes, but the game doesn't really do much with them. You collect clues but never have to put anything together to form a conclusion.

    It's got all the other things you expect: an asylum, a small town on an island full of mystery, a mad scientist, nightmares, deep old ones, forbidden knowledge, cultists, etc. It's also ugly. Like, 5 years on a shelf ugly, not stylistically ugly. It's not bad for a weekend game, but I'll probably never play or think about it again.

    2 votes
  14. Fierre
    Link
    I’ve been playing ring fit adventure on the switch over the past week and I just got Dragon quest xi yesterday after playing the demo. I’ve been enjoying both. Ring fit adventure has been great...

    I’ve been playing ring fit adventure on the switch over the past week and I just got Dragon quest xi yesterday after playing the demo.

    I’ve been enjoying both. Ring fit adventure has been great for getting my butt off the couch. I really like the adventure mode. The stages feel like a good mix of different types of exercise and has a decent amount of cardio (if you can count running in place as cardio). I don’t like to exercise, but using this is actually fun.

    I don’t have much to say about Dragon Quest xi yet because I’ve pretty much just started. It seems like a pretty standard jrpg with a lot of nostalgia. However, I’ve played maybe a few hours of a different dragon quest many years ago, so I feel like I’m missing out on that nostalgia factor while playing.

    2 votes
  15. spctrvl
    Link
    I played all the way through Life is Strange recently. It was really, really good, and captivating (I marathoned the whole thing in 2 sittings). I'd definitely recommend it, even at full price,...

    I played all the way through Life is Strange recently. It was really, really good, and captivating (I marathoned the whole thing in 2 sittings). I'd definitely recommend it, even at full price, the game is easily worth $20. More specific thoughts and criticism in the spoiler tag.

    Life is Strange Spoilers I thought the game kinda flubbed the landing. In episodes 4 and 5, it's made clear that basically none of the choices you made impact the big plot points of the story; for example, I basically ruined David's entire life, but he still comes swooping in to the rescue without hesitation. Yeah, there are limits imposed by dev time on making the story branch out too far, but maybe they shouldn't have played up the 'this action will have consequences' angle so much, if so many of them basically don't.

    I was also disappointed that Max's rewind ability was so... outside the narrative? Not sure how to put it exactly, but I suppose what I was expecting was that the Prescotts and Vortex club were doing some occult shit that was causing all of the supernatural happenings, and inadvertently gave Max the rewind power, or something along those lines. Instead, everything was so mundane. The Prescotts were just rich assholes, the vortex club was just a clique, the end of the world party was just a party, Jefferson was just a serial killer (I thought for sure he knew about the rewind powers when he jumped Max with a syringe), Rachel was just dead in a ditch, etc. It reminded me a bit of shows like Lost, or the later parts of GoT, where the writers are more interested in asking questions than having a coherent plan for answering them, so when the show ends, you get either no answers or unsatisfying ones.

    Maybe I missed some hints or something, but to me, the conclusion that saving Chloe is what caused all of the supernatural stuff felt like an 11th hour asspull to let the game end with a wham moment. So it's fine to use time travel powers to save Nathan, Kate, Victoria, and even Max herself, all of whom survive in the Sacrifice Chloe timeline, and die in the 'original' timeline without Jefferson being outed, but if you save Chloe, it breaks the universe?

    TL;DR: Great setting, atmosphere, characters and character development, but when it comes to endings, Steins;Gate did it better.

    Definitely picking up before the storm at some point though.

    1 vote