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.

17 comments

  1. [3]
    aphoenix
    Link
    I reinstalled Witcher 3 after binge watching the Witcher on Netflix. I have barely started, but I'm still struck by how much Henry Cavill nailed being Geralt. The other games I've been playing...

    I reinstalled Witcher 3 after binge watching the Witcher on Netflix. I have barely started, but I'm still struck by how much Henry Cavill nailed being Geralt.

    The other games I've been playing recently:

    • Elite Dangerous - still a delightful space exploration game. A couple of friends have created a huge battlecruiser (he spent a billion credits so far on customizing it) with the intention of just going around and killing whatever we see, so that's fun. I have mostly been focusing my personal Elite Dangerous time on exploration and trade.
    • Hearthstone - I ran into Ben Thompson at BlizzCon and he was so passionate about Hearthstone that I ended up reinstalling and trying it out. I had a big backlog of PvE things to work through, which I have enjoyed, and I've enjoyed playing some Holy Wrath paladin on the ladder, though I haven't really pushed very far (rank 20 life!). The current state of Hearthstone feels pretty good to me, but I had a huge amount of gold to purchase packs, so maybe that's why I felt like it was in a good place.
    • WoW - Still playing WoW, mostly trying to get as close to ilvl 450 as possible before the next raid tier starts. I think I'm switching from tank to DPS, so I'm trying to be less crap at that. I also have to prep the planning for the next tier because due to a series of events I'm the raid leader.

    I've also been playing some switch and WiiU with my kids when possible.

    It sounds like I'm playing a ton of games, but... I played about 4 hours of games last week. I guess the time requirement for games has really gone down.

    9 votes
    1. [2]
      Wes
      Link Parent
      Out of curiosity, which ship is it? I feel like the Federal Corvette is the closest to a battlecruiser right now.

      A couple of friends have created a huge battlecruiser

      Out of curiosity, which ship is it? I feel like the Federal Corvette is the closest to a battlecruiser right now.

      3 votes
      1. aphoenix
        Link Parent
        It is indeed a Federal Corvette.

        It is indeed a Federal Corvette.

        2 votes
  2. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    MechWarrior 5 In a word: Meh. I'm an old school tabletop classic BattleTech and giant fighting robot (Robot Jox is the best bad movie) nerd. I've played every tabletop and video game version of...

    MechWarrior 5

    In a word: Meh.

    I'm an old school tabletop classic BattleTech and giant fighting robot (Robot Jox is the best bad movie) nerd. I've played every tabletop and video game version of BattleTech and MechWarrior. Someone gifted me this as I was just going to wait until modding was available and it was on Steam as I don't support Epic's pilfering of games, but a free game is a free game.

    Ultimately it's MechWarrior Online with a HBS BattleTech copied travel system and dumb AI enemies. For AI it appears the devs watched a few MWO matches, saw that circle strafing works against the unprepared and newbies, so just coded all of the enemy mechs to do that. Tanks will bull rush you fire, then move back at a 45 degree angle they attacked from until weapon cooldown is done and they can fire again. Helicopters just bull rush and fire, they are extremely squishy so I just have a macro on my keyboard to target them and command the sidekicks you have to target them for easy kills. They can be pretty annoying and deadly if you don't deal with them though and the sheer number of them in every stage makes me think this is what the devs are using to bump up the difficulty. Mechs bee line to you until they are about double the average range of their weapons and then they start a circle strafing spiral towards you until behind you where they will happily sit. So it's obvious their only priority is to attack rear armor. This behavior continues regardless of the tonnage of the enemy mech so it's humorous watching a slow heavy or even an Urbie try to circle strafe and instead just get toasted. No working together, no concentrating fire on a specific area/legs. Just get behind you and fire. So it's become repetitive as you just soften them up prior to them getting close enough to strafe or once they are close you just hit reverse and deny them rear armor. This is of course assuming the enemy AI pathing hasn't been caught on a hill or something and become stuck.

    The game isn't challenging in the gear department either as you can both acquire new pilots and mechs very quickly at little cost, so you're fielding a full lance in no time, the enemies don't seem to scale up much with bringing more firepower to the fray, and the AI on your team isn't much better than enemy AI. They are always stuck to you unless you direct them elsewhere and even then they take their dear sweet time getting there. So just makes enemies die faster as having another 3 mechs surrounding you at all times just concentrates fire. There is also little reason to give your pilots anything other than short range weaponry as they don't seem to understand that the LR in LRM stands for long range, so they just stick with you and fire as they can, but quickly close the gap to under the minimum needed to fire. This makes even piloting an LRM boat yourself pointless as your team is too dumb to go ahead without you. If you've got a mech with more than one missile slot just toss in an LRM5 to pop pesky helicopters at range and otherwise ignore the rest of the LRM options.

    Perhaps it's a good thing, perhaps not, but the loot system is kinda broken as well. You can already acquire/buy mechs that exceed what the enemy will throw at you far too early, but should you encounter a heavier mech that you want any attempts to preserve it by taking out the legs only to get the weapons and shell for scrap is useless as it will only let you have that mech via scrap when it decides it wants to. So you're given medium mechs while your enemies are still only fielding lights and you can't get the fun mechs until you encounter them in the story somehow. So it's a drag of pointless easy missions outgunning your opponents with no good salvage to speak of. So I just put the negotiation points into damage coverage and increased payout unless it's a story mission.

    The UI between missions is also lacking and there's an unnecessary component of walking around your ship to talk to one of the two people you ever talk to for story progression. Why they have you in first person to walk around a ship to get to one of two places in it I do not know. Did I mention you also walk extremely slow? Because you do! And yet they decided to go ahead and have a "sprint" function where you hold down shift to go from walking slowly to walking briskly. The story progression happens on the bridge, after every mission you're dumped downstairs in the mechbay. So if there's a story bit to discuss you need to walk from one end of the ship to the other and up three flights of stairs to do so. Mods will fix this, but I doubt I'll still be playing it at that point. While I haven't explored the entire map, missions are in "conflict zones" and markets are in "industrial areas" so the vast majority of the inner sphere are planets that exist only to make jumps to your actual stop and hold no value, market, or mission. You also can't just go exploring as the game limits how far you can jump by saying areas outside of where they want you to go are not in range.

    The story, without spoilers, so far is "Some bad guys killed my father and someone powerful is behind it all."

    I've thus far only been surprised once when a mission I just rushed through to get finished and didn't worry about surviving or limiting damage ended up having a surprise drop of extra enemy mechs when I was pretty badly beaten up. The game needs a difficulty slider, less payouts, or both. When I start it up later today I'll probably start going in missions with only half the allowed tonnage in hopes the enemies aren't scaled down as well so there will be more of a challenge.

    7 votes
  3. rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    A bit loose on the definition of "game" here but I've been messing around a lot with AI Dungeon 2. Maybe more of a "toy" than a game, but I'd argue it's a bit like a tabletop game in the sense of...

    A bit loose on the definition of "game" here but I've been messing around a lot with AI Dungeon 2. Maybe more of a "toy" than a game, but I'd argue it's a bit like a tabletop game in the sense of the goal being to just have an interesting experience. Also, your DM is an unstable amnesiac and you're roleplaying one of your own fever dreams.

    I find I can be sitting there losing my shit over something like this and my fiancee thinks I'm bonkers. But my DM brother thought it was brilliant when I showed him. So I think a lot of the humour and interest depends on subverting what would happen in a "normal" adventure game or roleplaying game.

    I'm interested to see it develop in the future. I feel like I'd love to see a lot of support for mods and plugins and custom clients and so on.


    In terms of a more traditional game, I've picked up Pokemon Sword. I am playing it pretty casually and enjoying the experience overall. I don't mind the missing Pokemon - in fact, I wish they'd started cutting Pokemon between games sooner so people would be more used to it by now because I think it was bound to happen eventually. I'm also one of the few people who didn't care for Megas.

    One thing I kind of miss is your rival being a jerk to you, I feel like it's been a while since we've had someone it was satisfying to beat. I also liked the max raid battles at first, but the more I played them, the more I was baffled by the mechanics choices... so many of their mechanics are dedicated to basically making buffs/debuffs or status moves a waste of time. You can't debuff them while they have shields up. They can remove your buffs at any time. Even if you buff your attack, there are stopping points where they stop taking damage. When they have their shields up, every (non-Max) attack does one charge of damage no matter what its strength is and there's a turn limit so a turn not spent taking down a shield is wasted.... so the best strategy is to just use the same move over and over again.

    I was hoping there'd be some strategy elements, even if it's just something simple like timing a "protect" or "fly" type move to avoid damage.

    6 votes
  4. hamstergeddon
    Link
    Started a replay of KOTOR over the weekend. I tried to install a mod to skip Taris, but it didn't work and I couldn't be bothered to figure out why. Taris isn't quite as bad as I remember though,...

    Started a replay of KOTOR over the weekend. I tried to install a mod to skip Taris, but it didn't work and I couldn't be bothered to figure out why. Taris isn't quite as bad as I remember though, because I'm only doing the necessary stuff. Avoiding side quests, Pazaak, etc. so I can get to Dantooine ASAP and get my lightsaber. Planning to be evil and rock a double-bladed saber (probably yellow blade).

    It's a shame we never got a proper sequel to the games. SWTOR comes very close, and is certainly a great game in its own right, but it's still a micro-transaction-filled MMO and I'm pretty done with those.

    6 votes
  5. ThyMrMan
    Link
    Keeping up with Dragon Age Origins slowly over time, slowly finishing this game. But also I have a small, ok not soooo small rant on Star Wars The Force Unleashed. So here it is, all my various...

    Keeping up with Dragon Age Origins slowly over time, slowly finishing this game. But also I have a small, ok not soooo small rant on Star Wars The Force Unleashed. So here it is, all my various complaints on how much I dislike this game.


    This game is an exercise in frustration; with incredibly janky and finicky controls, a terrible story, and a horrendous camera setup. The controls for movement, combat, and force abilities never make you feel in control. Instead you are constantly fighting against them to just let you move where you want to, or through an object at the person you want to. Because half the time your force ability gets used on some random unrelated object instead of your target at random with no control from you to change that.

    The story is incredibly rushed and confusing. You go from place to place trying to achieve your goal, and in between missions you have a short cutscene dialogue. But most of these make no sense, referencing things you never do or see happen. It feels like your watching a tv show, but only watching every 4th episode. You have a rough understanding of what your doing, but don’t understand it fully at all. Also, you somehow have a romantic relationship with your pilot but only share a half dozen lines of dialogue total with her via cutscenes the entire game.

    With the camera, you only really have a vague control over how it moves around most the time. Trying to keep your enemies in view, while also fighting the terrible combat system makes it feels like everything in the game is fighting against the player to even be able to play.

    Now for combat itself, you gain access to a whole bunch of enjoyable abilities. But that enjoyment quickly wears thin the more you fight the controls and camera to let you enjoy yourself. Add on many enemies that are just pure bullet sponges, with massive health pools and no real weakness you can waste 2+ minutes just slowly wearing down an enemy. Hoping that you don’t get randomly killed by a glitch or get stuck in a constant knock down loop. Which is one of the most frustrating things ever, you get knocked down, try to get up, and get knocked down again and again and again till your dead and you could do nothing to stop it.

    After your dead you have to deal with the next issue, a horrible auto save system. Sometimes it saves super frequently and you only loose a minute of progress or so. But most of the times you will lose 20+ minutes of progress and have to essentially do the entire level again and hope you don’t die to something out of your control.

    Boss fights in this game I never enjoyed, it was less enjoyable and more frustrating as well. Their weaknesses aren’t telegraphed at all, so you don’t have a clue what you need to use to kill them faster. So, you just spam all your abilities randomly and hope you notice the one that works the best, then proceed to spam that ability a bunch of times till the QTE pops up and you win.

    The PC Port for this game is also terrible, but I guess it works? There isn’t a settings menu at all, you have just a single option in the launcher to do high quality mode. And you can change your resolution and controller, but as bare bones as it can possibly be. It is also locked to 30 fps unless you use a patch, but it may cause issues with physics, so I didn’t use it and ran at 30 fps. And the audio is broken for the last 2 levels and requires a patch as well. Both of these can be found over at the PCGamingWiki of course.

    Honestly, I’m incredibly disappointed in this game. I remember enjoying the game when I was a kid, put many hours into it just using force abilities and enjoying myself. And I relived those memories for about the first 3 hours or so. But that is when it when from fun to frustrating. When I realized no matter how much time I put into the game, I wasn’t able to figure out how to make the camera and controls to work right. I finally gave up on the final mission, after wasting nearly and hour trying to clear the final room and dying repeatedly and being forced to replay the entire room and decided I don’t feel like wasting any more time with this game.

    5 votes
  6. peetezaah
    Link
    Very close to finishing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It's a fantastic game, both in combat and the story. But I have been taking a really long time to go through it, mostly because I don't enjoy...

    Very close to finishing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It's a fantastic game, both in combat and the story. But I have been taking a really long time to go through it, mostly because I don't enjoy 2+ hours of gaming anymore.
    Actually the same happened with another game "I'm almost done with", Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. I'm only 25, am I getting old?

    4 votes
  7. HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    Control. I havent been huge on recently released games, but I thought I would give this one a shot. I have to say, I do like it. Im not sure what it is, but it seems to work. Despite Jessse's...

    Control. I havent been huge on recently released games, but I thought I would give this one a shot.

    I have to say, I do like it. Im not sure what it is, but it seems to work. Despite Jessse's total lack of reaction to walking into a place full of strange shit and being made the head of the place. "Yeah I guess I do have super powers now, I guess that's pretty neat".

    The combat is also very fun, ya just throw things at people, quite satisfying.

    It runs very well under wine with lutris.

    (And I havent finished it yet so no spoilers)

    (And no I did not install or use the epic launcher, nor did I give money to epic). If it ever does come out on another pc platform, ill buy it there.

    4 votes
  8. [3]
    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    Having mixed views on the Age of Empires II Definitive Edition update that popped a few days ago. On the plus side, Cumans and Steppe Lancers have been nerfed, quite substantially too. Cumans were...

    Having mixed views on the Age of Empires II Definitive Edition update that popped a few days ago.

    On the plus side, Cumans and Steppe Lancers have been nerfed, quite substantially too. Cumans were so overpowered because:

    1. They were the only civ that could have two Town Centres in the Feudal Age, doubling their worker production entire minutes earlier than other civs. This Town Centre now takes 50 seconds longer to build.
    2. They were one of two civs (Tatars being the other) that had Steppe Lancers, an overpowered unit that could outperform even Paladins in large numbers because of their ranged lance attack. Put it this way, Steppe Lancers are so broken that everybody was playing Cumans and massing this one unit from Castle Age onwards. Steppe Lancers received a massive nerf, their collision box has been doubled, their damage has received around a 33% nerf and their gold cost has been increased by 40%.
    3. Their unique unit, the Kipchak, was a cavalry archer that could fire arrows in volleys of 4. They were like the cavalry archer equivalent of the Chu Ko Nu, the Chinese archer unique unit. The Kipchak also got nerfed, has lower stats and only fires volleys of 3 arrows.
    4. And if this wasn't enough, they had an unique tech in the Castle Age called Steppe Husbandry which increased the production speed of light cavalry and cavalry archers (this includes the Kipchak and Steppe Lancer) by 80%. They were basically like cavalry Goths except they had full access to Blacksmith upgrades. This wasn't nerfed, but the overall speed of their cavalry has been nerfed.

    On the negative side, a lot of underrepresented civs still lack meaningful balance changes to make them more viable. Also, the ranked map pool has somehow been made worse. A lot of diverse map options were removed in favour of adding Black Forest (a closed map which shuts down most aggression builds), Gold Rush (which nobody plays) and Team Islands (need I say more about why a map with no land attack path is awful) to the map rotation, along with just one single ban.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      hamstergeddon
      Link Parent
      It's a shame that they removed maps, but I remember Black Forest being a lot of fun (against the AI, anyway. I never played online). Lots of choke points, which I always enjoyed because I found...

      It's a shame that they removed maps, but I remember Black Forest being a lot of fun (against the AI, anyway. I never played online). Lots of choke points, which I always enjoyed because I found defense to be more fun than offense in RTS games.

      3 votes
      1. Bullmaestro
        Link Parent
        Personally, the AOE2 competitive map meta is even more stale than Super Smash Bros Melee's stage meta. The vast majority of games on Voobly are played on Arabia (about 80%) while the remaining 20%...

        Personally, the AOE2 competitive map meta is even more stale than Super Smash Bros Melee's stage meta. The vast majority of games on Voobly are played on Arabia (about 80%) while the remaining 20% are on Black Forest. Comparatively, SSBM has six tournament legal stages with the vast majority of options banned for competitive play due to various stage layout and hazard issues.

        Arabia is a standard open map which favours early game aggression while Black Forest is the complete opposite. It has too many choke points which can easily shut down early game aggression. It lends itself to the boring 20 min no rush games.

        The maps they added in the December update are simply too oddball to allow in the meta. Even Cenotes, Rivers, Oasis and Scandinavia were better choices than Team Islands, Gold Rush and Nomad.

        2 votes
  9. Litmus2336
    Link
    Reinstalled Tropico 5, and have been doing a few RP runthroughs. The capitalist and communist runs have been good, but the theocracy run went up in flames. I've been having a good time. I kinda...

    Reinstalled Tropico 5, and have been doing a few RP runthroughs. The capitalist and communist runs have been good, but the theocracy run went up in flames. I've been having a good time.

    I kinda want to get 6, but all Tropicos are sort of the same, and I might just wait until it goes even more on sale.

    3 votes
  10. Blam
    Link
    I've been really enjoying Halo on PC. The keyboard input feels a little delayed/floaty, so hopefully they can fix that, but that might just be Halo. Can't wait for them the add the rest of the titles.

    I've been really enjoying Halo on PC. The keyboard input feels a little delayed/floaty, so hopefully they can fix that, but that might just be Halo. Can't wait for them the add the rest of the titles.

    3 votes
  11. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    Not entirely unrelated to the Netflix show based on the same books, I decided to start playing The Witcher. It started as me just trying to get it running in GOG Galaxy via Lutris on my Arch...

    Not entirely unrelated to the Netflix show based on the same books, I decided to start playing The Witcher. It started as me just trying to get it running in GOG Galaxy via Lutris on my Arch install on my gaming rig, but I wound up buying the whole series for $14 on steam (+ a Wild hunt DLC for $9), and am committedly working my way through the game. I played something like five hours yesterday, probably the same today, on the easiest difficulty. It has its quirks, like the "Working Girls" mission glitched out, leaving me with a lone assassin to kill rather than a prostitute being roughed up to defend (the quest required you to save three sex workers throughout a city, I technically only saved two), and a golemy gobliny thingy in a cave I couldn't get until I walked towards the exit and back tracked.

    I was trying to get back into RPGs with Morrowind, on OpenMW in Windows, but it didn't draw me in like The Witcher did. The characters you can all have sex with are now funny to me, whereas I felt it was gratuitous on my first try, but I'm actually invested and interested in the story this time around, and... Actively trying to have sex with any character who'll permit me to because I want those dang cards.

    I had gotten critically stuck on the first chapter, when you need 5 of that one herb from Abigail, but didn't train my skills properly to get Herbalism up enough, and actually am enjoying this time working through the game.

    I'm working my way, slowly, through Duke Nukem 3d, and found that's better on Linux. Specifically the Nightdive Studios "Megaton Edition," because their port works really well through Steam on Linux, and it's a fun game. I can't beat level 2 of the first campaign, I keep dying right at the end. I don't know why Megaton Edition doesn't seem to save settings in Windows, but that's the case. eduke32 does a solid job, though.

    A note: If you loved Morrowind and somehow don't know about OpenMW, they're like 99.9% done on the engine, and it performs spectacularly. They're a handful of inconsistencies away from a gold release, which they're defining as full feature/bug parity with the main engine.

    2 votes
  12. Diet_Coke
    (edited )
    Link
    I saw this game in the PS store and thought it sounded interesting. Ancestors starts you off as a chimp-like primate in Africa 10,000,000 years ago. I honestly haven't even gotten past the...

    I saw this game in the PS store and thought it sounded interesting. Ancestors starts you off as a chimp-like primate in Africa 10,000,000 years ago. I honestly haven't even gotten past the tutorial stage because I keep restarting because it is a very unforgiving game. They also don't give you a lot to work with, you have to figure most things out yourself. It is really satisfying to figure out how to eat a coconut though, or run away from danger and swing through the trees. Looking forward to getting further with it.

    It has elements from games that I've always found tedious like requiring you to eat, drink, and sleep or not having manual saves. However for this game it really works with the concept.

    1 vote
  13. nothis
    Link
    So I saw that Katamari Damacy creator Kaita Takahashi had a new game come out a couple of days ago and since Katamari is one of my favorite games ever, I just had to buy it. It's called Wattam and...

    So I saw that Katamari Damacy creator Kaita Takahashi had a new game come out a couple of days ago and since Katamari is one of my favorite games ever, I just had to buy it. It's called Wattam and it's... hmm.

    I like a certain amount of quirky randomness but it has to be held together by something. Honestly, I don't understand what this game is supposed to be. You run around on a big, grass covered square, possessing a variety of everyday objects with legs and arms. You can hold hands with them, make a circle and spin around and for some reason, there's a button that drops a bomb and blows everyone up. I think the goal is to summon a larger and larger variety of objects by performing specific tasks that, given the game's "verbs", is holding hands, running in circles and blowing everything up – which isn't a whole lot. Plus everyone seems to constantly giggle, making for an insane teletubbies soundscape, which destroys any chance of meditative peace to set in.

    Maybe the game opens up a little more later. But I'm worried. It reminds me a bit of Little Inferno, a game by the developers who made World of Goo (which also happens to be a favorite of mine). It also felt like too high concept an idea for ultimately quite repetitive gameplay, coming after a game with near-perfect mechanics. I guess it wasn't coincidence Wattam was released at a weird time with close to no marketing.

    1 vote