13 votes

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

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

37 comments

  1. [2]
    Rocket_Man
    Link
    I played a lot of Borderlands 3 with friends this weekend because it's a free play weekend on Xbox. I've played Borderlands 1 and part of the second one but didn't love the second one. The third...

    I played a lot of Borderlands 3 with friends this weekend because it's a free play weekend on Xbox. I've played Borderlands 1 and part of the second one but didn't love the second one. The third seems like they've just made another Borderlands 2. It doesn't really do anything to improve on the formula and feels a bit dated due to that. Almost everything about it is just OK, but the overwhelming amount of voice acting and sophomoric jokes really drag you down over time. I'm glad I got a chance to play it, but that will likely be the last time I play it.

    9 votes
    1. TheRtRevKaiser
      Link Parent
      Yeah I've been sticking it out with BL3, but I've been overall disappointed. I've been looking for something to scratch the Destiny 2 itch since I quit before the last expansion. I just got sick...

      Yeah I've been sticking it out with BL3, but I've been overall disappointed.

      I've been looking for something to scratch the Destiny 2 itch since I quit before the last expansion. I just got sick of the ridiculous grind which always felt really unrewarding. But it has been really hard to find anything that feels as slick as Destiny.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    rkcr
    Link
    I've been trying Overwatch again after taking about a 9-month break. I don't know when they added role queue to quickplay, but it's vastly improved my experience. (tl;dr - Instead of queueing and...

    I've been trying Overwatch again after taking about a 9-month break. I don't know when they added role queue to quickplay, but it's vastly improved my experience. (tl;dr - Instead of queueing and selecting any character, you preselect whether you're going to be a tank, damage, or support). The two main benefits for me are:

    1. I primarily play tank/support anyways, and the queue benefits those two roles the most (shortest wait times + bonuses just for picking these roles).
    2. It forces our team to do 2/2/2 tank/damage/support. While it cuts down on choice a bit, I'm glad I'm no longer forced to play support on a team of 5 damage dealers anymore!

    I'm also excited for OW2 because the coop missions are the most fun part of the game to me.

    7 votes
    1. MrEprize
      Link Parent
      I was thinking of jumping back in myself. Sounds like they streamlined it somewhat.

      I was thinking of jumping back in myself. Sounds like they streamlined it somewhat.

      3 votes
  3. deadbeef
    Link
    I recently started playing Squad, a military FPS which is really focused on cooperation and communication. I've played a fair number of multiplayer FPS-es over the years, but at some point I...

    I recently started playing Squad, a military FPS which is really focused on cooperation and communication.

    I've played a fair number of multiplayer FPS-es over the years, but at some point I didn't really have fun anymore. I was basically just grinding for unlocks and awards.

    Squad is not arcade-y. You spend a lot of time without any action, e.g., travelling between objectives, building bases, patrolling, sneaking into enemy territory and waiting for the enemy. You need to chat with your teammates to be successful at your tasks, and you have plenty of time to shoot the breeze (pun intended) in between them. Also, there is nothing to unlock. No upgrades.

    Squad has made me appreciate playing multiplayer FPS again. :-)

    7 votes
  4. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Red Dead Redemption 2, on PC The Rockstar launcher unfortunately doesn't track time played in their games, so I can't say for certain how long I have been playing so far. However, I have...

    Red Dead Redemption 2, on PC

    The Rockstar launcher unfortunately doesn't track time played in their games, so I can't say for certain how long I have been playing so far. However, I have completely finished the single-player story mode and its epilogue, and all the currently available online co-op story missions with a friend (some of them multiple times)... so I am probably around at least 100 hours played at this point. But despite that, I am still having a lot of fun doing online events and the various trader/collector/bounty missions by myself (and with a few random people I have met along the way), as well as just putting around exploring and hunting.

    Mini-review (as spoiler free as possible):

    The single-player story mode was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There were some really great moments littered throughout, with an amazing cast of characters, and the story arch for the main protagonist is fantastic... but there were also plenty of moments that really dragged on and got incredibly tedious/repetitive feeling as well. Thankfully the middle act of the game takes a really unexpected but fun turn, which reinvigorated me, however it was so short-lived, felt so rushed and was so underdeveloped that I just wound up being disappointed by it. The ending more than made up for it though... it was incredibly well done, highly emotional, and overall very satisfying.

    The epilogue was really boring to start, but once it opened up again and I could start exploring again, it was great. It was especially nice to be able to finish off exploring every nook and cranny in the map, conclude some of the "stranger" mission chains, and finally find out what happened to all the other characters you grew to know and love over the course of the main story. The very ending of the epilogue story was also very satisfying as well.

    The online co-op story missions are also great, however they are incredibly short, and Rockstar are clearly not done making them yet, since you wind up left with no real conclusion to it... which sucks.

    A++. Much like the original game, I will likely keep playing it for another 100 hours or more.

    6 votes
  5. MimicSquid
    Link
    *Project Zomboid On a technical level I'm still well inside the learning curve here, and starting to tweak the world generation options when I die. There's a remarkable degree of customization;...

    *Project Zomboid

    On a technical level I'm still well inside the learning curve here, and starting to tweak the world generation options when I die. There's a remarkable degree of customization; you can have sprinting supersoldier zombies a la 28 Days Later or weakened shambling hordes, change the likelihood of different loot types... Whatever you want. You can start from any of the presets and tweak from there, if you want something almost but not quite like one of the base modes. It's still fun, and the ability to tweak the day range when the water and power fail means you can set the general time when you suddenly have no light or refrigeration but still be surprised and devastated when it actually happens.

    This game has me caring more about my character than most survival games. Other zombie games let you get totally wrecked by zombies and then you bounce back and everything's fine in a few days. PZ is not like that. If you're exploring a house and you don't clear your path back out or fail to watch your back, you can be bitten. Once you're infected, that's it. You may walk around for another couple of days, but there's no cure. You're going to die. Giving the player some time to accept the futility of their efforts is cruel and really, really effective.

    I made a bad call clearing a house looking for books on carpentry, and a swarm of zombies piled out of the upper floor to cut me off. I got away, but I didn't get away clean. I disinfected and bandaged what I could with the limited supplies I carried with me, and piled into the car I'd been carefully babying along the broken roads. No longer time for quiet, I peeled out for home, bleeding on the seats and praying that I could get to my supplies before I bled out, but also that my screeching tires wouldn't draw a horde. Finally back at my boarded-up house I bandaged my wounds and ate the first robust meal in ages. I'd been trying to draw out my food supplies, but none of that mattered in the face of needing to heal. I changed the bandages and disinfected the wound regularly, but even as the bite slowly healed I grew hotter and hotter. It was just a matter of time, and I couldn't bear to watch her end.

    I admit, I walked away and I grieved a little bit. I had such plans! I had the start of a garden! A working car! I was just a little practice away from building rainbarrels so I didn't need to just leave out buckets and pans to catch rain! There was so much to live for... and none of it mattered in the end. A careless moment and a bite. This was how I died.

    6 votes
  6. hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    I have been playing Pillars of Eternity for at least a month now, but I am not ready to talk about it yet, hence why I have not been participating in these topics. However, I have been playing two...

    I have been playing Pillars of Eternity for at least a month now, but I am not ready to talk about it yet, hence why I have not been participating in these topics.

    However, I have been playing two other games recently, so I guess now is as good a time as any to talk about those.

    Dwarf Fortress

    I have been playing a bit of Dwarf Fortress lately. A few of my forts have not done well and this latest fort is no exception. Maybe I'm just a bit rusty from not playing for a while? No matter. This current fortress is going to come back from the brink, I can feel it.

    It all started with world generation. I had already generated a few different worlds, but was trying to find one where the dwarves were actively at war with the goblins. A few worlds had been like that, but those dwarven civilizations were already depopulated and thus wouldn't provide very many migrant waves or off-site holdings. No, I needed a world where the dwarves were actively at war and in good shape. Eventually, I found the right world and started setting up my embark.

    I chose a location halfway between a white sand desert and some badlands, very close to the cluster of goblin settlements that I was at war with and very far away from my civilization's mountainhome.

    The embark setup was relatively simple. A few pickaxes, an anvil, a couple of battle axes, warhammers, crossbows, as well as some food and drink. The remainder of the embark points were spent on a luxurious amount of animals.

    The embark site itself presented some challenges. The surface was entirely covered in sand and clay, with no trees or vegetation at all. This would cause problems down the line, but did provide an infinite source of sand and clay from which glass and ceramic goods could be produced. If I could locate magma to power furnaces and kilns, our industry wouldn't require any fuel and I could produce an endless amount of wealth.

    Back on the surface though, the only other feature aside from the sand and clay that's worth mentioning is the river that bisects the map into northern and southern halves. My fortress occupied the southern half.

    Thankfully, there were two soil layers beneath the sand and clay which my dwarves could set up farms on. The third layer and beyond however, was stone. This setup was workable. The dwarves struck the earth immediately, carving out a home for themselves, spitting in the face of our goblin neighbors.

    This dwarven civilization was one of three in this world and it was by far the most battered and ragged. Though, as far as worlds go, this one was relatively peaceful. The humans and elves regularly waged war with each other, but their civilizations were mostly isolated on the eastern side of the map. With the world's ocean to their east and a vast mountain range to their west, the paths around the mountain range that connected the humans and elves to the rest of the world were only a few tiles wide. On the western side of the mountain range, opposite the side of the humans and elves, were the three dwarven civilizations of the world. The first had claimed the northern portion of the mountain range, as well as the passes that connected the humans and elves to everyone else. The second had claimed the southern portion and were situated in a tight pocket where the mountain range gave way to a small valley. They controlled the southern passes to the humans and elves.

    The third dwarven civilization, the one that I chose to play as, made its home in the center of the western side of the mountain range. Its fortresses lined the edge of the mountains, expanding slightly north and south of the mountainhome, but the bulk of the civilization's population and sites were actually hillocks. These small villages and towns expanded even further westward, almost to the western edge of the world. They would eventually become the perfect targets for the goblin armies.

    The goblins were the most populous race by a large margin, despite the fact that only two of their three civilizations had survived to the year 250, in which our game began.

    The first goblin civilization was destroyed when a plains titan came to their dark fortress over a dozen times in the first few years of the world, slaughtering them to the last. The second goblin civilization was located to the extreme north. They occupied and bent to their will the evil, frozen glaciers and tundras of the far north. Had it not been for several necromancer towers that also dotted the far north and hemmed the goblins up, I have no doubt they would have warred upon the dwarves at the north of the mountain range, who they were only slightly west of.

    The third goblin civilization, the sworn enemy of my civilization, were located at the extreme west of the world, slightly more towards the north. They occupied the cold, harsh deserts there. The environments were not evil like the far north, but they were cold, barren, rugged places. Traveling east from these goblins, the desert would eventually give way to badlands, which eventually became savannas and forests, where my dwarves lived and worked.

    It was early in this world's history, when my civilization and the western goblins had only just started their expansion, that these civilizations would clash for the first time. A dozen wars and hundreds of battles would be fought over the next century and thousands of lives would be lost. Eventually though, the goblin armies, lead by the iguana demon Konos Astdegël, would find their way to my civilization's mountainhome, the capital and seat of the monarchy.

    A vicious siege would be waged and thousands of dwarves and goblins would perish. In the end though, a lowly fisherdwarf named Urist Ducimmûthkat would duel the iguana demon and, by only a miracle, slay the wretched creature.

    The goblins, with the loss of their deity and leader, were quickly routed and peace reigned for several decades as the dwarves rebuilt.

    It would not last. Only three years prior to the start of our game, the goblins would renew their war against the dwarves by attacking and pillaging three hillocks close to their dark fortress. Only two years before the start of our game, a dwarven army sent to sack a goblin site would encounter a goblin army in the field. A pitched battle would erupt, but the dwarves would lose, taking hundreds more losses than the goblins and being forced to retreat.

    And that is where our game begins, with seven brave dwarves from a desperate civilization attempting to establish a frontier outpost. From this place, attacks could be launched directly into the heart of the goblin civilization, but this fortress must first stand.

    Knowing what was coming for us, I immediately ordered the dwarves to begin carving out an underground home, converting the boulders created by their mining into blocks, and constructing a stone wall on the surface, around the entrance of our fortress and the pasture for our animals. The work went quickly. All of these dwarves were competent miners, builders, and masons, each with only one specialized, auxiliary skill. The craftsdwarves, jewelers, and rangers would have to come from migrants.

    Things progressed smoothly. The dwarves continued to carve out the necessary spaces for life, routinely planted and harvested their crops, and eventually got to work on various necessary industries. One thing we could not find however, was magma.

    If I couldn't find magma to power my forges, furnaces, and kilns, then our industrial operations would instead have to be powered by fuel, which would come from what little coal we could mine and wood we could burn. There were no trees here.

    So, I prepared to have to trade for wood and set one dwarf to immediately begin constructing crafts and trinkets while another started cutting gems. Neither of these dwarves were particularly skilled in these tasks, but they would have to do until we found magma. The digging continued.

    At one point, a giant cave spider found its way into the fortress from the caverns, but was quickly dispatched by a miner and a dog. I had to divert resources and time to plugging any holes into the fortress from below.

    It was shortly after the last block was in place, securing the fortress from the caverns, that I discovered I had made a major mistake.

    The embark for this fortress included dozens of animals, which were sitting on the surface in an enclosed pasture where they could graze. Except, there is no grass here, only sand and clay. The animals began to starve.

    I quickly deconstructed one wall of the pasture's enclosure and expanded it into a larger area. I then ordered the dwarves to quickly channel out the surface layer of sand and clay, exposing the soil underneath. In Dwarf Fortress, soil exposed to sunlight will start to grow grass, fungus, and other food for grazing animals. If I channeled out a large enough area and grass grew fast enough in that area, my grazing animals would have something to eat and would not starve.

    The work was tedious. The pathfinding for channelling isn't that great, so I had to manually manage a lot of the digging, but the dwarves dug out a sizable area fast enough to save most of the animals from starvation. Only a few cavies starved. They were promptly butchered and stored in a stockpile.

    With that minor disaster prevented, the dwarves continued digging, building, and working. A few migrant waves arrived, a trade depot was constructed, and traders from the mountainhome came with a decent supply of wood, but we had yet to find magma, even after a year-and-a-half of searching.

    Throughout this time I had also been training a few select dwarves into dedicated militia squads. These dwarves would spend most of their time training and patrolling. I needed strong soldiers to withstand what was coming.

    My final preparation for this fortress was the expansion and construction of an outer defense wall and a moat. I had built up a wall against the edge of the river that bisected the map. Except in the winter, when the river is frozen, the combination of the fast moving water and the stone wall would be sufficient to block all but the flying invaders.

    As for the sides of the fortress that were not against the river, I planned on channeling out a moat during the winter, that the river would promptly fill when it thawed. The outer wall was complete and most of the moat had been dug out. I was just waiting for winter to finish the construction of the defenses. At this point, there were only three spots where attackers could enter the fortress on the surface. The first point was the drawbridge that crossed the river and connected each side of the map, but that drawbridge was linked to a lever and could be raised at any time. The other two points were spots where the trench I dug ceased, just before getting to the river, leaving a single tile where attackers could walk between the trench, between the river, and climb the walls.

    It would just so happen that, while waiting for winter to come so that I could complete my defenses, the first goblin siege arrived.

    Fifty-six goblins, thirteen beakdogs, and four trolls entered the map on its northern edge. They immediately charged towards my fortress. I ordered the three militia squads to the surface, the first melee squad to the first weak point where the walls could be climbed, the second melee squad to the second point, and the crossbow squad in reserve. I also ordered a dwarf to immediately pull the lever that would raise the drawbridge. With the drawbridge raised, the only points of access for the goblins would be two single-tile-wide spots where the goblins could climb the wall and be picked off one by one. An easy victory. Finally, I ordered every other dwarf in the fortress into ramshackle militia squads and assigned what few bits of weapons and armor remained.

    With all the dwarves having been assigned orders and the children assigned to burrows, I unpaused the game.

    My militia squads immediately followed their orders and proceeded to their positions. My civilians did the same, moving just inside the fortress entrance to be held in reserve.

    However, the lever for the drawbridge remained unpulled. I made a rookie mistake. The dwarf I assigned to pull the lever had also been assigned to a militia squad. In his confusion, he opted to arm himself rather than to pull the lever. I did my best to correct my mistake, but it was too late, the goblins would shortly arrive.

    Slightly panicking, I ordered the melee squads to instead move to the bridge, where I hoped they could hold off the assault. The bridge was five spaces wide, not narrow by any means, and I only had ten melee dwarves of dubious skill and condition against more than seventy enemies, but I was hopeful. The crossbow squad was already within range of the drawbridge. They would hopefully blunt the goblin assault with a volley of bolts.

    Unpausing the game, I watched in dismay as several goblins reached the drawbridge much quicker than my militia squads. Thankfully though, the crossbow dwarves' training paid off and they easily picked off these few advanced goblin lashers, allowing my melee squads to not only reach the bridge ahead of the main assault, but position themselves as well.

    And then came the main assault. With a charge led by the four trolls, the goblins crashed into my melee squad amidst another volley of bolts. The fighting was chaotic, but I could see that the dwarves were holding their ground and inflicting casualties. The crossbow dwarves continued to fire into the fray, scoring a few kills.

    Eventually though, the melee dwarves started falling. One dwarf struck down, then another, and soon an entire squad was gone. Sensing the tide turning, I ordered the crossbow dwarves into the fray to plug the gap. We couldn't let the goblins through and into the fortress, they had to be held here, in this corridor.

    Crossbows make surprisingly effective melee weapons in Dwarf Fortress, and many goblin heads were pulped by blunt strikes from my crossbow dwarves, but the battle still hung in the balance.

    I didn't want this fortress to end this way. I didn't want all this planning to be in vain. I ordered the civilians forward.

    Over sixty civilian dwarves, some without weapons and most without armor, rushed through my fortress' entrance and charged the goblins, just as the militia squads began to retreat. The ferocity and vigor of the civilian dwarves must have surprised the goblins, as they were completely overwhelmed. As the last troll fell and most of the goblins and beakdogs had been killed, the invaders sounded their retreat. My dwarves chased them to the very end of the map, slaughtering those who couldn't get away in time. The final kill came from a crossbow dwarf, one of two left alive, as he expertly sent a bolt through a goblin's brain before it could disappear off the edge of the map.

    It was a victory, but a costly one. Of the ten melee dwarves, three survived. Of the five crossbow dwarves, only two remained. Eight civilians, including a mother of a newborn, also perished.

    The dwarf that failed to pull the lever survived.

    The process of scavenging the goblin corpses began immediately. The weapons, armor, clothing, and other resources left behind would prove valuable when the next caravan arrived. I also had coffins, memorial slabs, and tombs constructed as well.

    Soon after, a new militia captain would be promoted and a training program for the entire civilian population would begin. Winter would finally arrive, the fortress' defenses would be completed.

    It is now spring of the year after the first siege and three militia squads of five dwarves each are about to set out to raid a nearby goblin settlement.

    6 votes
  7. [5]
    Icarus
    (edited )
    Link
    My gaming for the past week has been pretty basic: Bastion: beat this on the story mode. I didn't enjoy it as much I probably would have back when it releases. I played it on story mode just so I...

    My gaming for the past week has been pretty basic:

    • Bastion: beat this on the story mode. I didn't enjoy it as much I probably would have back when it releases. I played it on story mode just so I could get through it and not have to think about it anymore in my back log.

    • Madden 20: unusually play this throughout the NFL season. Currently running a few franchises with different teams.

    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: I bought this a few weeks ago and have been probably putting in ~5 hours a week since around launch. I am not too crazy about it. Every time I launch the game I have to wait several minutes for "shaders to install". Then I notice that after every match is concluded, I have to go through matchmaking and am placed in a new lobby. It drives up the wait time for a game that has pretty quick matches. It feels like I spend more time waiting to play the game than I do actually getting to play it.

    • Pokemon Go: I missed out on the craze several years ago but it's better late than never! This has completely caught me by surprise. I went for a 15 mile bike ride yesterday to all the pokestops and gyms. I managed to get to level 15 this weekend.

    Edit (2019/11/26): Pokemon Go is consuming my life. I have spent all day thinking about going to pokestops, gyms, and raids all day while I have been at work. The plus side is that in addition to the 15 mile bike ride I did on Sunday, I am averaging over 10,000 steps a day since Saturday. That's over double my daily average. I think I am going to get really fit with all the additional walking and biking I am doing. Another bonus is that I am eager to get out of the house and in densely populated places, my significant other is thrilled.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I agree with you there. I played through Transistor first by Supergiant Games and absolutely loved that game so much that as soon as I beat it I played it through two more times to platinum...

      Bastion: beat this on the story mode. I didn't enjoy it as much I probably would have back when it releases. I played it on story mode just so I could get through it and not have to think about it anymore in my back log.

      Yeah, I agree with you there. I played through Transistor first by Supergiant Games and absolutely loved that game so much that as soon as I beat it I played it through two more times to platinum it. I tried going from Transistor to Bastion and it felt like a pretty big step back. I think I dropped it just 2/3rd of the way through. The gameplay just never really hooked me and I was not interested in the story.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        The opposite for me; I absolutely loved Bastion, but Transistor never really clicked for me. I've tried twice to play through it, and both times I've lost interest. I do think the combat system in...

        The opposite for me; I absolutely loved Bastion, but Transistor never really clicked for me. I've tried twice to play through it, and both times I've lost interest. I do think the combat system in Transistor is more interesting, in theory, but for me it doesn't flow as well as I feel it should. And I spent waaaaaay too much time trying to optimise my abilities instead of just playing the game, but that's my own fault I guess.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          If you're ever willing to give Transistor a second go, see if you can beat it and go for the second run through. There, when you're injured you temporarily lose access to some of your abilities....

          If you're ever willing to give Transistor a second go, see if you can beat it and go for the second run through. There, when you're injured you temporarily lose access to some of your abilities. It turns it from rewarding the absolute optimum build to rewarding the ability to find new synergies in a limited set, and makes you use more of the abilities you normally ignored because the abilities you might have locked are the ones you were using when you were knocked out.

          3 votes
          1. KapteinB
            Link Parent
            That sounds a lot more challenging and interesting! Maybe I can find a save game online from someone who has beaten the game, because I don't think I can motivate myself to finish it on regular...

            That sounds a lot more challenging and interesting! Maybe I can find a save game online from someone who has beaten the game, because I don't think I can motivate myself to finish it on regular mode, and I tend to enjoy games a lot less on the second playthrough. Having that experience on the first playthruogh would be much preferrable.

            Actually, when you mention it, I think I remember Yahtzee complaining about that feature in his Zero Punctuation review. I guess they got too many complaints about it and patched it out, but kept it for new game plus.

            4 votes
  8. [3]
    Weldawadyathink
    Link
    I am currently way into Zelda botw. I bought it when I bought my switch in spring of this year. I played just a bit out first. I think I was to kakuriku village and had 2 or 3 extra stamina pieces...

    I am currently way into Zelda botw. I bought it when I bought my switch in spring of this year. I played just a bit out first. I think I was to kakuriku village and had 2 or 3 extra stamina pieces (no hearts). It just never hooked me at first. I went back to it for some reason I can't remember last week and it hooked me completely this time. I don't think there is anything I dislike about this game, including the weapon durability. Weapons are tools to be used. As you progress, you have to get better at the combat, you don't just bet bigger weapons. It truly is a wonderful game.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      The only thing that really bugged me about Breath of the Wild was just how small and simple the big boss dungeons were. I just wish that they had more depth and that there were more of them. I...

      The only thing that really bugged me about Breath of the Wild was just how small and simple the big boss dungeons were. I just wish that they had more depth and that there were more of them. I know there are a hundred of the one-shot temples littered around, but I wish they had maybe reduced those some and incorporated them into the dungeons or something.

      5 votes
      1. grahamiam
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah the dungeons were definitely the weak point imo, but the shrines were varied enough to make up for it. In my experience, it was the opposite of Wind Waker, where I loved the dungeons and...

        Yeah the dungeons were definitely the weak point imo, but the shrines were varied enough to make up for it. In my experience, it was the opposite of Wind Waker, where I loved the dungeons and hated the rest of the game.

        4 votes
  9. [6]
    KapteinB
    Link
    Civilization VI I won a game on the hardest difficulty, and I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. I don't read strategy guides either, finding it much more fun to come up with my own. In...

    Civilization VI

    I won a game on the hardest difficulty, and I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. I don't read strategy guides either, finding it much more fun to come up with my own. In case you're interested though; here's how I did it:

    Tiny map, with as many AIs as it can fit. This gives them less room to expand before they start antagonising each other, diminishing the impact of their massive production bonuses. I played as Saladin, which ensured me a religion, something which is otherwise almost impossible on Deity if you add the maximum number of AIs. At one point one of the other AIs had enough apostles and missionaries inside my borders to threaten the existence of my own religion. I declared war on him, so I could kill his religious units with my military units. There was an ocean between us, so I didn't have much reason to fear his military, and he was willing to negotiate peace after I'd destroyed most of his army with ranged attacks. Then I just waited it out until the two other AIs with religions had changed their governments from theocracy to something more modern, and sent in my own apostles to convert their cities.

    Disco Elysium

    I'm really impressed with the depth of dialogue in this game. Of course, that's easier to achieve when you don't voice act every single line, as big budget games tend to do. Less cinematic, sure, but the depth draws me into the game and makes it feel more real than any big budget RPG I can think of.

    I thought I'd solved the murder mystery, but the game had a twist in store for me. Honestly I have no idea how close to the ending I am.

    Dungeons & Dragons

    Tonight my players are likely to encounter a group of failed entertainers pretending to be vampires. I'm going to ham it up something fierce. If I was better at writing lyrics I'd do a musical number. Should be fun in any case! Also, there's a battle with three manticores that I'm looking forward to running. The rogue likes climbing the roof with his slippers of spider climb to be able to use his sneak attack from a safe distance, but that's not going to work against flying enemies.

    Trackmania 2: Canyon

    Been playing online, not a lot, but now and then. It's lots of fun. There's some real creativity and ingenuity among the map makers around the world. I never win, bus as long as I don't finish last I usually get some ladder points.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      Which edition are you playing? Also: it's always fun to throw flying enemies against players who think they're safe from melee! Just remember that your rogue is a glass cannon and will crumple,...

      Dungeons & Dragons

      Tonight my players are likely to encounter a group of failed entertainers pretending to be vampires. I'm going to ham it up something fierce. If I was better at writing lyrics I'd do a musical number. Should be fun in any case! Also, there's a battle with three manticores that I'm looking forward to running. The rogue likes climbing the roof with his slippers of spider climb to be able to use his sneak attack from a safe distance, but that's not going to work against flying enemies.

      Which edition are you playing? Also: it's always fun to throw flying enemies against players who think they're safe from melee! Just remember that your rogue is a glass cannon and will crumple, especially against a few manticores.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        KapteinB
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        5e, which is very forgiving. Even if the rogue strays from the pack and gets downed by the manticores, he probably won't be in any danger of dying before the cleric has a chance to revive him.

        5e, which is very forgiving. Even if the rogue strays from the pack and gets downed by the manticores, he probably won't be in any danger of dying before the cleric has a chance to revive him.

        3 votes
        1. anahata
          Link Parent
          ... sort of. By the time you're facing manticores, yes, it is a bit forgiving, but those first couple levels are rough.

          5e, which is very forgiving.

          ... sort of. By the time you're facing manticores, yes, it is a bit forgiving, but those first couple levels are rough.

          3 votes
    2. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      What are you currently busy with, in-game? I've played through. If you're interested, I can hint, without spoiling anything, at where you are on the plotline.

      I thought I'd solved the murder mystery, but the game had a twist in store for me. Honestly I have no idea how close to the ending I am.

      What are you currently busy with, in-game? I've played through. If you're interested, I can hint, without spoiling anything, at where you are on the plotline.

      2 votes
      1. KapteinB
        Link Parent
        Thanks, but I think I'd prefer not to know. :-) spoilers I'm currently trying to find the three possible locations for the shooter (other than the balcony). Found and cleared one of them already....

        Thanks, but I think I'd prefer not to know. :-)

        spoilers I'm currently trying to find the three possible locations for the shooter (other than the balcony). Found and cleared one of them already. Also trying to find the lady with the worn shoe sole, whom I suspect for being the mastermind behind the drug smuggling operation.
        4 votes
  10. zigzagzig
    Link
    I'm playing Zelda Link to the Past on SNES for the first time (on switch) - wow, this game is quite amazing. In the first dungeon of the dark world right now.

    I'm playing Zelda Link to the Past on SNES for the first time (on switch) - wow, this game is quite amazing. In the first dungeon of the dark world right now.

    6 votes
  11. VoidOutput
    Link
    Insurgency: Sandstorm was not a game that was on my mind. However, I gave it a try and it's the perfect mix of half hour sessions combined with near mil-sim gameplay that hooked me. I love the...

    Insurgency: Sandstorm was not a game that was on my mind. However, I gave it a try and it's the perfect mix of half hour sessions combined with near mil-sim gameplay that hooked me. I love the feel of gunfights in this game, the sound design is either awe inspiring (A-10 fire is no joke) or nerve-shattering. It could be the sudden but subtle sound of a grenade rolling on a concrete floor or the phone ring preceding a suicide attack.

    5 votes
  12. Voiceofkane
    Link
    I've been really busy lately, but most of my gaming has been Hitman 2, Battlefront 2, and Eternal Card Game. The maps in Hitman are so insanely detailed. There are hundreds of ways to complete any...

    I've been really busy lately, but most of my gaming has been Hitman 2, Battlefront 2, and Eternal Card Game.

    The maps in Hitman are so insanely detailed. There are hundreds of ways to complete any objective in that game and it can be so overwhelming, but I like that they've included even more structured paths in this one to give you an in to the story of each level. I love this game, but I've barely discovered 10% of what it has to offer.

    Battlefront 2 had a really harsh reception when it first came out, but I honestly think that over the last two years it's grown into my favourite team FPS. And I am addicted to the new co-op mode. Finally, I get to play as a hero and not get killed in two minutes!

    Eternal isn't nearly as big as Hearthstone, but it's so much better, in my opinion. Basically picture Magic the Gathering, if it was designed specifically to be played digitally with mechanics that are only possible on a console/computer/smartphone. And it's actually free-to-play. A lot of FTP games make you feel like you need to spend money to not suck or even just to play the game, but I've been playing this game for over two years and the only money I've spent on it was because I felt like I owed the devs money for having played the game so much.

    5 votes
  13. cwagner
    Link
    Playing my Top 3 most played games: Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Slay the Spire, and Civ V ;) Planning to eventually get around to playing Atom RPG and Disco Elysium, but as I’m still having fun with...

    Playing my Top 3 most played games: Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Slay the Spire, and Civ V ;)

    Planning to eventually get around to playing Atom RPG and Disco Elysium, but as I’m still having fun with the aforementioned games I might as well wait on a juicy sale ;)

    4 votes
  14. Bullmaestro
    Link
    Undertale - Did a pacifist run all the way to the best ending. I didn't bother with the genocide path this time because I felt like it was a missed opportunity with only two challenging bosses and...
    • Undertale - Did a pacifist run all the way to the best ending. I didn't bother with the genocide path this time because I felt like it was a missed opportunity with only two challenging bosses and a cop-out ending the first time around.

    • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Since I swore off of Blizzard due to the recent Hong Kong controversy, I picked this up to cleanse my pallet of SC2. It annoys me that so few people are playing this version of AOE2 because it truly is the best one. Aside from the obvious graphical overhaul, they fixed all the lag problems present in previous game versions while making much needed balance changes. It's a shame that the AOE2 community is fragmented across DE, Steam, Gameranger and Voobly.

    • Citystate - I have a love-hate relationship with that game. It's a bit like SimCity but buggier, with more performance issues and with an emphasis on making political decisions that impact your economy. Thing is, it feels like there's only one right way to play the game without either neutering your city's growth potential and/or going bust. I would not recommend it, especially since the sole dev has stopped development on the game to work on a sequel.

    • League of Legends - I absolutely hate the 2020 prepatch. Elemental drakes give overpowered permanent buffs which snowball the game in favour of your team while the Elder Dragon gives you a buff that deals true damage over time to any enemy heroes you attack and instakills them when they drop below 20% HP. They also nerfed mana regen on support items and completely neutered the role. Then there's Twisted Treeline, which they removed in favour of keeping their Dota auto chess clone...

    4 votes
  15. [3]
    Nivlak
    Link
    Pokémon Shield has been amazing. I am thoroughly hooked. This is truly the first mainline Pokémon game I have ever played. I never owned a gameboy but would occasionally play on a friend's. There...

    Pokémon Shield has been amazing. I am thoroughly hooked. This is truly the first mainline Pokémon game I have ever played. I never owned a gameboy but would occasionally play on a friend's. There is quite a bit to do in the game and there seems to be a lot of knowledge required to truly unlock the games potential.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Icarus
      Link Parent
      Are you playing with any other people? I always found I enjoyed pokemon most when my friends would play along with me so we could trade and battle throughout the game.

      Are you playing with any other people? I always found I enjoyed pokemon most when my friends would play along with me so we could trade and battle throughout the game.

      4 votes
      1. Nivlak
        Link Parent
        Yes! A good friend of mine is playing Sword and we’ve been swapping items and pokes. The online features go deep. There’s a lot to do even with just strangers you meet online.

        Yes! A good friend of mine is playing Sword and we’ve been swapping items and pokes. The online features go deep. There’s a lot to do even with just strangers you meet online.

        5 votes
  16. MrEprize
    Link
    This week has been Rage 2 and Bad North. Both games are new to me and pretty fun. Rage 2 was a big surprise, it reminds me of Borderlands 2 somewhat in the play style. Story is good, action is...

    This week has been Rage 2 and Bad North. Both games are new to me and pretty fun. Rage 2 was a big surprise, it reminds me of Borderlands 2 somewhat in the play style. Story is good, action is good and very satisfying.

    Bad North is a pretty fun time killer, easy to play and different from other RTS type games.

    4 votes
  17. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    I've been too busy to focus on any particular video game this week. I did, however, reinstall Game Dev Story on my phone at the end of last week and it took a lot of my free time then. Luckally I...

    I've been too busy to focus on any particular video game this week. I did, however, reinstall Game Dev Story on my phone at the end of last week and it took a lot of my free time then. Luckally I was able to stop after one playthrough. For the unfamiliar, it's basically a combination of a game developer simulation and an idle game.

    And now there are a bunch of PC game sales and I am somewhat lost about what I am going to play next. I'm pretty sure it will be Atelier Sophia, though.

    For those who have never played an Atellier game before, I would strongly recommend picking up one of the ones on sale now. The series is basically made up of a bunch of lighthearted relaxing RPGs that are focused on creating items through Alchemy. For some reason the series never seems to go on sale and doesn't seem to sell enough physical sales for the console versions to drop in price very dramatically.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      The Atelier series is one that I've always been vaguely interested in but have never actually played. Is there a particular game that you think would be best to start with, or just the newest one...

      The Atelier series is one that I've always been vaguely interested in but have never actually played. Is there a particular game that you think would be best to start with, or just the newest one (Ryza)? It's a little overwhelming how many of them there are.

      2 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I haven't played Ryza, but the series is generally very consistent in terms of quality. The only one I don't recommend starting with is the Mana Khemia spinoff series. The Arland series (Rorona,...

        I haven't played Ryza, but the series is generally very consistent in terms of quality. The only one I don't recommend starting with is the Mana Khemia spinoff series. The Arland series (Rorona, Totori, Meruru) is when it started to finally get attention in the west, so it might not be a bad idea to start there.

        3 votes
  18. [3]
    kfwyre
    Link
    In my last post, @TheJorro and @ThyMrMan selected Steam tags as a way of picking a game for me to play, which prompted me to choose Layers of Fear as my next game. Unfortunately, I'm here to...

    In my last post, @TheJorro and @ThyMrMan selected Steam tags as a way of picking a game for me to play, which prompted me to choose Layers of Fear as my next game. Unfortunately, I'm here to mention that I have yet to follow through on that promise. Sorry you two!

    I haven't had much time to game, and when I have, I've wanted to spend it on something mindless rather than something substantive. As such, I've been sinking a good amount of time into Tesla vs. Lovecraft as a simple destresser and background stimulus for listening to audiobooks.

    If you've played any other of the 10tons shooters (e.g. Crimsonland, Neon Chrome), then you know what to expect. It's a twin-stick shooter that's repetitive yet replayable, familiar yet dynamic, and grindy in a good way. I actually feel like Tesla vs. Lovecraft stands alongside JYDGE as the best iteration of their formula yet. They expanded out the grind so that it has several different layers, and it feels integrated into the game with the level progression they pulled from Crimsonland, rather than just throwing yourself against the procedurally generated wall over and over again like in Neon Chrome. Though JYDGE is certainly the better game overall, TvL is still good fun.

    If the idea of grindy twin-stick shooters sounds good to you, both JYDGE (which is like a cyberpunk Hotline Miami) and Tesla vs. Lovecraft can be had over in the Fanatical Staff Picks Fall 2019 Bundle for cheap. I picked up TvL for $1.00 and have gotten far more than a buck's worth of play out of it.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      I put 7 hours into Tesla vs. Lovecraft before I got tired of it. It's decent, but it doesn't evolve much from where it starts. Unlocking further upgrades was turning into an insane grind (I can't...

      I put 7 hours into Tesla vs. Lovecraft before I got tired of it. It's decent, but it doesn't evolve much from where it starts. Unlocking further upgrades was turning into an insane grind (I can't even imagine how long it would take to fully unlock everything), and the levels were starting to get hard enough that it required luck for getting the right drops to even have a chance. I still enjoyed it overall and it was definitely worth the cheap price I paid for it, but I probably wouldn't recommend that anyone particularly go out of their way to play it.

      If you haven't played either of them, for similar-ish twin-stick shooters, my top two recommendations are probably Assault Android Cactus and Nex Machina. They're both extremely good.

      3 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I thoroughly enjoyed Assault Android Cactus, but I haven't played Nex Machina. It looks great! I'm at the seven hour mark myself, though if I weren't using it as background for audiobooks I doubt...

        I thoroughly enjoyed Assault Android Cactus, but I haven't played Nex Machina. It looks great!

        I'm at the seven hour mark myself, though if I weren't using it as background for audiobooks I doubt I would have put in that much time. I am starting to get bothered by the grind, but only because they time-gated most of it behind a completely unnecessary "daily mission" system. Those are the largest source of crystals by far, but because you have to wait for a new one to generate every 24 hours, it pretty much punishes you for playing longer sessions. As soon as I clear the daily, my grinding becomes suboptimal until the next daily opens -- not ideal for what I want, which is to just zone out for two hours and get through a quarter of a book.

        That said, I'm going to keep playing it for now, as I haven't hit a difficulty wall yet and I'm still enjoying what I'm playing. I really like the addition of the teleport mechanic, and I enjoy the minor amount of strategy that goes into optimizing your run based on which perks you get over time. I'm maybe 15 levels away from the end of the game at this point, and I suspect I'll stop there unless I decide to pick up the DLC when I'm done.

        3 votes