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. TheJorro
    Link
    I've finally checked out Red Dead Redemption 2. It's sucked me in so totally, I've put int 50+ hours in less than a week. It's all I've played this Christmas break. It's pretty good. I can...

    I've finally checked out Red Dead Redemption 2. It's sucked me in so totally, I've put int 50+ hours in less than a week. It's all I've played this Christmas break.

    It's pretty good. I can understand all the mixed reception I've been seeing over the last year now. There's a deep, uncompromising beauty to this game in terms of creating a living, breathing Western world but there's also something so artificial and manufactured about it. It's both the most convincing open world I've ever seen, and one of the least convincing open world experiences I've had.

    Let's just get the graphics out of the way: this game is drop-dead gorgeous. Especially in certain lighting conditions in certain environments in the world. Unbelievable. The first time I rolled into Saint Denis after crossing a bayou with low-hanging fog as the sun set and the shadows got longer, and the lights of the city started to come alive, cutting through the fog with diffusive lighting.... just incredible. Some of the models and textures aren't actually a huge improvement over even GTAV but the overall scope and detail of things are significantly improved. This is one of the most visually lush games I've played, and it goes a long way to making this world feel so convincingly alive. If you have a reasonably good PC, this should be one of your show-off titles.

    One of the more controversial choices with the game was the idea of it being "slow". Arthur does not move like a video game character, he's more deliberate and has weight and momentum. Same with your horse. And, really, same with your guns. Nothing feels particularly "game-y" when it comes to your base interaction with the world. Therein lies the rub, as that extends even to looting the bodies after a firefight. It can take entire periods of minutes to go around and collect your winnings from the corpses and item boxes around a campsite. When you do something like loot a body, skin an animal, play a round of poker, or open a chest the game must play a long, detailed, realistic animation of Arthur doing the thing. Even where the first game took shortcuts by showing John Marston doing it off-screen, RDR2 show it all to you and takes exactly the amount of time that it needs to to show you what you're doing. The only time the game ever seems to fast-foward an animation is when you skin a particularly large animal and it would take way too long to show how to clean a bison.

    But this slowness isn't bad by itself, not at all. The animations in this game are incredible to watch and always exciting. It's relentlessly cinematic. What's especially interesting is that despite much of it being pre-recorded animation, much of it is in real-time gameplay. Whereas picking flowers or skinning an animal in the first game activated a small cutscene, RDR2 keeps as much of it in the moment-to-moment gameplay as much as possible. This translates over into the NPC interactions as well, in a big way. Whereas previous GTA games would hold entire conversations between two characters in a cutscene, RDR2 instead puts it into the world like a Half-Life game would. You walk around while the character speaks to you, and you can even choose when to engage and respond, or simply walk away. This goes a long way to bringing the world alive. Standing in your gang's camp watching the NPCs chat, fight, argue, play, sing, laugh, joke, and cry together in convincing ways that aren't rote, repetitive animations is incredible. Stumbling across NPCs in the world on their various adventures, misdeeds, and leisures is also a treat—you'll never really know what you're getting into until you take a closer look at the situation, to some interesting results.

    I had heard from many people that one of their favourite parts of the game is simply wandering around their camp, chatting with people. Now I understand why. Yesterday, I watched a sequence where a dog wandered into camp and the young Jack Marston befriended it, while Dutch supervised him and named the dog. The entire thing could have been a cutscene in any game that you'd watch, but instead I, as Arthur, watched it happen from a distance, walked closer, and then gave advice to young Jack about taking care of the dog. Then Dutch and Arthur watched as Jack and the dog ran off together, and Arthur turned to Dutch to ask about taking care of another mouth to feed. None of this was a cutscene, and all of Arthur's interactions were ones I decided to have. Pseudo-cutscene or not, it was an incredible moment of immersion.

    Things like this is why I've sunk 50+ hours into this game in a week. I didn't think I was doing much at all, but everytime I check the time it seems like 3 hours have passed by while I did a couple of things. But those couple of things usually lead to other things which lead to other things, and suddenly its hours later.

    One thing I am absolutely loving is the volume and variety of the flora and fauna in the world. This place is alive. There are so many animals everywhere, so many plants. There are hundreds of species of each, and they respond to their environments all differently too! Some animals come out at certain times, or in certain weathers, and always in biomes that make sense. I got tricked by a possum playing possum! The game even gave me the "Kill or Skin" menu to convince me! I loved that, I loved that a lot.

    But through all this effort and production gone into creating an immersive open world, there's a clear artifice to it all. And they pop up whenever you do a Rockstar Studios Thing. You can feel Rockstar's many distinctive design elements that have been refined over and over since they started in GTA3 throughout, and they often feel at odds to the rest of this game. For example, there are a couple of missions where you herd animals, just as in the first game. But those mechanics for herding exist only in that mission—you can't heard a pack of wild horses the same in just free-roam. When a mission asks you to take a wagon and leave it somewhere, you have to leave it in the exact spot the game wants you to otherwise it won't let you continue. I still find myself going on missions that teach you a particular mechanic that I've had access to for the last 20 hours because I explored the world instead of rushing through the story. I'm on Chapter 3, after 40 hours, and only now did a mission introduce me to the concept of sniper rifles... I've owned one since early Chapter 2.

    Additionally, there are a lot of weirdly gamey aspects to things in the game that aren't part of the world. There are challenges you accomplish to level up certain gameplay aspects, e.g. Sharpshooter Lv2: Get 3 throwing knife kills in 10 seconds. Store an arsenal of weaponry on your horse, to the point where you can pull out multiple different long guns out of thin air. Change outfits immediately on your horse before you enter town so people won't recognize you. There's a necessitate to use the radar frequently for missions as well.

    This doesn't bother me much, nor my sense of immersion, until they all crash together in some incongruous moments. For example, the game has a weird tendency to unequip your weapons at every opportunity. When you're on your horse, Arthur will automatically put any long arms into his horse's gun holsters on the saddles. If you get off your horse and leave it, you will not have any of your weapons. You have to go to your horse who has all your guns and pull them off, then leave it behind. Okay, so that's fairly realistic I suppose... but then why is your horse carrying your entire arsenal? The game has the same problem as GTAV: I don't want to have all my guns available at once. When I get some nicer weapons, I don't want to have to always cycle past the older obsolete ones. If the game is already pushing me to realism in terms of taking weapons of my horse, why then does it not go all the way and also make me manage what guns I take on my horse in the first place?

    Something else that's annoyingly immersion-defeating is the approach to controls. I had heard they were inconsistent and messy but I wasn't sure what that meant. After all, previous Rockstar games had some odd and involved control schemes but they made sense in the end. RDR2 goes in a strange direction in a few ways. Firstly, you have to focus on any NPC you want to interact with. The mechanics of interaction are contingent upon entering an interaction state in the first place. You can't simply press a button to talk to someone, and you can't simply point a gun at them to rob them. You instead of have to select them as submenu items after bringing up the interaction menu through focusing on them. Why?

    Sure, interacting with NPCs may need to be more considered. But they also did this with using weapons, and that's when things break down badly. Firstly, you need to enter into a weapon state. This is first done by equipping a weapon (the game frequently unequips your weaponry), and then pressing the Aim/Focus button to aim the weapon. In most games, and by most expectations, you can select a weapon and keep it holstered until you aim to bring it up, or fire to shoot it from the hip. Not in this game. It's a two-stage process, and even firing from the hip requires use of the aim button—but it's a matter of timing, you must aim and then fire in quick succession for it to count as a hipfire. There are so many problems that arise from this gameplay mechanic setup:

    • In most games, you can holster your weapon but it it still equipped. This allows you to bring it out at a moment's notice when you need to. In this game, if your weapon is unequipped, you cannot simply press Aim to bring the last used weapon you. You will instead focus on the enemy NPC for interaction while he shoots you. Instead, you have to bring up the weapon wheel, select a weapon, then enter into Aim mode. All in the span of microseconds.
    • The game frequently unequips your weaponry. FREQUENTLY. You can clear a camp with your gun and then as soon as you loot a body, Arthur has for some reason forgotten about the gun in his holster. When an enemy rounds the corner and you panick, you could die very easily simply because you've forgotten to re-equip the gun you just had equipped!
    • If you do have a gun equipped and speak to an NPC, an accidental slip of the fire button when all you're trying to do is aim it at them or talk to them results in Arthur shooting this poor NPC immediately thanks to the game's crazy auto-aim.
    • The game always unequips your weaponry off of Arthur and puts them back on the horse for some inexplicable reason, so if you're not careful, you may leave your necessary weaponry behind. This is especially aggravating on missions where you may not have access to your horse or its inventory at all! There's no reason to do this either, it's not like pulling the gun off the saddle gun holster is faster than Arthur taking it off of his back.

    The actual gunplay itself is great but these weird "states" that you must enter into before certain interactions, especially the weapon one, is just plain bad. It's overdesigned, for no clear purpose. I can understand the purpose of the interaction state but that they had to mix gunplay into it to create these weird hybrid system is nothing short of annoying. I am 50 hours in and I am still making basic mechanics mistakes thanks to this intangible, inconsistent system.

    So ultimately, I feel both immersed and then not immersed at all. I can't help but think of Westworld, and not because of the easy analogue of cowboys to cowboys. It feels like I'm exploring a big, real world but with theme park rules peppered throughout. I can just pretend I'm a cowboy exploring the land and it's super immersive. Or I can take on a mission and be tossed into a guided adventure with mechanics and abilities that are only provided in that moment, with rules I must follow or else I enter a fail state that isn't death (you left the mission area!). I feel like I'm in the world when I'm crouching in the forest, tracking a deer and moving slowly and from downwind so it can't smell or hear me coming. But then I feel outside of the world when I have to kill it with a very specific weapon so that I don't somehow ruin the integrity of the pelt, and then have to futz through my menus to find that weapon.

    it's very back and forth on how immersive it wants to be. I appreciate that they didn't go full realism, even with all the many survival-esque mechanics included (health and stamina cores, you have to eat food, you have to dress for the weather), but they completely abandoned realism at odd moments too.

    Lastly, I really like the characters in the game. Sure, the storyline and sidequests so far have that overdone Sam Houser feel to it but if there's one thing this game excels at, it's building up a cast of characters you develop strong feelings for immediately. The conceit to this game's story is that you play as a memeber of Dutch van der Linde's gang, the infamous big bad of the first game. A younger John Marston is one of your erstwhile companions throughout, as are Abigail, Jack, and Uncle. You finally get to see that life John spoke about so often in the first game and it's everything you could have imagined. Dutch's gang is fleeing Blackwater after something goes wrong, and your camp roves across the West, evading the law. But the world is changing and people, as much as they love Dutch, are starting to wonder about him. Listening, learning from, speaking to all the characters around the camp and on missions is honestly one of the best parts of the game. They're all extremely well acted, well written, and give compelling performances. Even the young boy Jack carries a significant weight here, as you and your camp actively try to make things seem fine to the only real innocent around. Simply sitting around the camp, listening, watching, and participating in conversation and activities with everyone really is one of the best parts of this game. It feels a lot like a much more refined Bioware approach—think like the first Dragon Age Origin's idea of a camp hub, but evolved. Going out to explore, or do missions, and then coming to a hub to debrief with your crew... it feels familiar and, somehow, much less artificial or forced than Bioware's approach, even though RDR2 itself is full of many artificial elements.

    So, Read Dead Redemption 2. Very good game but it's probably not for everyone. I'd highly recommend this to anyone looking to immerse themselves into a world, especially one that feels so alive and living. But if anyone is interested in simply playing a fun rootin' tootin' shooter, look elsewhere. This won't be it.

    12 votes
  2. [3]
    VoidOutput
    Link
    I have been playing a lot lately as I'm off from work. I've got to say, it is really nice actually using my gaming rig to play, I was afraid that it was going to end up an expensive box gathering...

    I have been playing a lot lately as I'm off from work. I've got to say, it is really nice actually using my gaming rig to play, I was afraid that it was going to end up an expensive box gathering dust, staying unused. Might have something to do that this is the first proper desktop computer I've had in three years and that it is the first slightly overkill build I've had ever. Now however the Switch is getting underused, haven't played on it for some months. I think I've had enough of the type of games you can find on the Switch and have been lacking core PC titles ie. simulation, management, FPS, etc. Animal Crossing better be real good, because it's the last game I'm actually hyped for. If it's not, I may sell the console.

    Now onto actual games that I played.

    Forza Horizon 4 and more specifically, the new Battle Royale mode that was released lately: the Eliminator. In classic BR fashion, you have an open map with a shrinking zone. You start with a Mini which here is a level 1 car. The levels go up to 10. You can upgrade your car by either finding a drop whilst driving around or by winning a duel against another player. If you lose you are eliminated. Once there are 12 players or less remaining, a random point on the map is selected and all players race towards it. Winner of that is the Eliminator.

    This is the BR I've had the most fun with by far. Yes, there are a lot of random elements so expect Mario Kart shenanigans. But overall each race is a thrill, considering where to cut, whether to stick to the road, etc. It might sound weird to have a BR in a racing game but you should really try it if you have FH4, it's a free update to the game.

    Project CARS 2. There was a steam sale and the price for the GOTY edition dropped to 20 bucks so I took a chance. Well, I'm having a great time so far. Granted I've only played the Formula Rookie campaign, so 5% of the content? The simulation aspect is drawing me in as I'm watching more and more sim racing content on YouTube on the side. I gradually turned more and more elements on: full damage, manual transmission, etc. I'm still bad at driving so I set the AI to 30% difficulty on order to not get overwhelmed. What gets me is the feeling of achievement. Getting last place in the qualifiers yet fighting your way through 5 laps in the actual race to get first place by a few milliseconds is incredibly elating.

    I don't have a wheel so I started using my dusty Steam Controller since it has motion controls and back buttons. I rotate it like a wheel and use the back buttons to change gears, which is super intuitive. Only downside is that the triggers are not analog but binary, which means FULL ACCELERATION or NOTHING. It's jarring sometimes. Combine that with the low "resolution" of my virtual wheel and it's making me seriously consider buying an actual wheel. I think I should wait a bit to see if this is just a phase, because simracing equipment gets expensive real fast. Or maybe not having a wheel is why I cannot go faster. I don't know. I feel like I'm going to get weak and buy one anyway. Fuck it, I bought one while writing this, I'll tell y'all whether it was a good purchase next week.

    Now for additional games that I played on the side.

    Killing Floor 2, a game I've had for some time, and played quite a lot in the past. I know it's full of gore, but it's a nice game to unwind, solo or with friends. I'm a bit disturbed by how I can find such violence relaxing honestly. I've been exclusively playing Sharpshooter, a habit I got from the original Killing Floor. Nothing comes close to the satisfaction of that Winchester lever action rifle and quick headshots. Plus they've added a way to upgrade weapons instead of just switching to another more powerful one, so I just ride the Winchester all the way to the boss!

    Tetris Effect, originally a PSVR exclusive now on PC. It's beautiful, I'm just sad I don't have a VR headset to experience it fully. Not sure I'm in love with all the songs but the way your actions are in sync with the soundtrack makes it hard not to like. I definitely love the first stage soundtrack. Side note: I think I'm missing something because there's a gauge filling up that gets to max and nothing happens. Might have missed a tutorial.

    Here's to more gaming this week!

    11 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Killing Floor absolutely nailed its gunplay. The game makes shooting feel fantastic! I have many fond memories of playing sharpshooter on Mountain Pass, which is the perfect map for practicing...

      I'm a bit disturbed by how I can find such violence relaxing honestly. I've been exclusively playing Sharpshooter, a habit I got from the original Killing Floor. Nothing comes close to the satisfaction of that Winchester lever action rifle and quick headshots.

      Killing Floor absolutely nailed its gunplay. The game makes shooting feel fantastic! I have many fond memories of playing sharpshooter on Mountain Pass, which is the perfect map for practicing low-stress sniping.

      I, like you, had some existential angst about my affinity for such a grotesque game, as I'm a thoroughly non-violent person and generally don't enjoy gore in any form. I don't even enjoy most other first-person shooters! After playing the original for hundreds of hours, I realized that what I like about Killing Floor is that it allows you to fight entropy in a really gratifying way. Yes, the visual metaphor for this is killing zombies, but what you're really doing in the game is restoring order to each round. Each round starts as a tranquil, empty space which is then invaded by agents of chaos. It's you and your mates' job to put things back to the way they were.

      Killing Floor is, at heart, a game of cooperative clean-up. It just so happens that the tools and targets the game gives you to do so are viscerally satisfying to use. Don't feel bad for liking it, or even finding it relaxing. I feel the same way!

      5 votes
    2. balooga
      Link Parent
      Tetris Effect is so good. That gauge filling up lets you enter "the zone" which you can do by pressing the R1 trigger. It slows time and unlocks the potential for some really high scores. It's...

      Tetris Effect is so good. That gauge filling up lets you enter "the zone" which you can do by pressing the R1 trigger. It slows time and unlocks the potential for some really high scores. It's only available in journey mode though, and I usually play effects mode so I tend to forget it exists.

      Most of the music in the game has grown on me. The first stage definitely has one of the best tracks but I also really like (off the top of my head) Aurora Peak, Metamorphosis, Stratosphere, Starfall, and Mermaid Cove. Honorable Mention to Ritual Passion for its sheer intensity. I don't have PSVR either but I'd love to play Tetris Effect on it.

      My only complaint is that journey mode is so hard. Maybe I just suck at Tetris? I was able to beat the game on the easiest difficulty and completed most of the stages in normal difficulty, but it just gets so fast that it loses me. In my opinion the game is at its best when it's moody and meditative, but it can also get extremely stressful.

      4 votes
  3. [5]
    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    Picked up Final Fantasy XIII on a Steam sale this week. I'm six chapters in and already hating the direction the game has gone in. This is coming from someone who loved many of the previous Final...

    Picked up Final Fantasy XIII on a Steam sale this week. I'm six chapters in and already hating the direction the game has gone in. This is coming from someone who loved many of the previous Final Fantasy games and who is a JRPG fan in general.

    The characters introduced so far are the most unlikeable and dysfunctional cast yet. Lightning is incredibly stuck up, Snow is incredibly hotheaded to the point where his actions will make you facepalm, Hope's name is an oxymoron because he is an incredibly weak character both in terms of stats and personality, Serah made the stupid decision to become a Pulse l'Cie knowing that she would become an enemy of Cocoon and either turn to crystal or become a mutant depending on whether she completed her Focus or not, Sazh is just downright incompetent and feels out of place even amongst this misfit cast, and I haven't gone far enough to figure out what Fang's problem is yet. Vanille so far seems like the only likeable character, and even then the obnoxious amount of optimism and obliviousness in her behaviour, plus her squeaky voice are grating.

    But the biggest elephant in the room is the gameplay. To sum up why I think the gameplay is horrible in FFXIII:

    • The game definitely earns the nickname 'Final Hallway XIII' because most of the game is incredibly linear in terms of progression and world design. Apparently this linearity continues until Chapter 11 when the game opens up a bit with sidequests.
    • Enemy placement and patrols are often so bad that 95% of the time you won't be able to sneak up and land an ambush without using Deceptisol to cloak yourself.
    • You will often switch between multiple locations and characters within the same chapter. It makes the narrative feel disjointed and hard to follow. It also means you will very rarely have a full party.
    • Until later in the game (I don't know when but I assume by Chapter 11), you will have zero control over your group formation, meaning you will be stuck with certain characters in your party, and leading with specific characters.
    • The Auto Attack/Heal/Support commands remove all strategy from the game, because it's often more efficient to choose this option than to manually select abilities. This is compounded by the fact that this option will select the most optimal moves for that enemy type after you've casted Libra once. The only time I've actually used manual abilities so far was during an Eidolon fight where the Gestalt bar had to be filled by lightning moves that Auto Attack wasn't spamming despite me using Libra.
    • Why the hell do I unlock a character's Eidolon as they're being captured and have to wait several chapters before I'm able to control them again?
    • If the party leader dies, it's an instant game over, regardless of whether your other party members are alive. Even though a game over doesn't have much consequence and will allow you to restart right before the previous fight, it's still frustrating. If you're forced into controlling a weak character like Hope, prepare to throw your controller at the screen against certain mobs like the Vespid that can chip away over 80% of your max HP in a single attack. If you aren't fully healed by the time you take that hit, you're screwed.
    • Some of the bosses are incredibly overtuned, like the Aster Protoflorian at the end of Chapter 5. Even with your skill trees maxed out as far as they can go at this point and max levelled equipment, you will struggle with this boss because of the sheer amount of damage it does and how bad Hope's HP pool is. Even with that I had to use ten Phoenix Downs just to get past this boss because the moment I'd revive and have everyone buffed, it would just 2-shot Hope.
    • The paradigm system is terrible because it forces you to constantly change your whole party's strategy on a whim. It's not like the Gambit system from FFXII where you can program a party member to cast Cure when a party member is below 50% health. Instead you constantly have to switch your team in and out of job roles.
    • All health is restored and status effects (even death) are cured post-battle. This means items are only meant to be used in a pinch. This understandably removes a huge element of strategy and resource management that traditional RPGs are known for. When this element of your game is being dumbed down harder than even recent Pokémon titles, you know something is seriously wrong.
    • Why are Phoenix Downs so expensive? Given how inconsequential death is and how minimal gil drops from mobs are, it doesn't make sense for them to cost 1000 gil.

    In short, FFXIII feels like a Fisher Price My First RPG™ in terms of how much the gameplay has been dumbed down for the lowest common denominator.

    10 votes
    1. [4]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      Honestly, just put it down now unless you have to see it through to the end like I did. It doesn't get better in any way, except that perhaps you'll like Sazh. It's the only JRPG I've beaten by...

      Honestly, just put it down now unless you have to see it through to the end like I did. It doesn't get better in any way, except that perhaps you'll like Sazh. It's the only JRPG I've beaten by accident. I didn't even realize I was finishing the game. The idea of "when the game opens up..." doesn't apply here, or at least not in the ways or scale or scope you'd expect from a JRPG, letalone a Final Fantasy. FFX felt more open to me in the end, and that game is literally nothing but hallways, rooms, and one small open field.

      The characters don't have good plot arcs that are worth sticking around for either, except for maybe Sazh. Sazh is definitely a misfit but it's because he's the only one with an actual storyline, background, and motivation that makes sense. He's clumsily sold as the comedic relief from the start (because this game is just so badly written) but he's literally the only one with a convincing stake in any of it.

      The other two FFXIII games are much better, especially Lightning Returns. That one felt like what FFXIII should have been.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Bullmaestro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        What has improved about the later games? I mean, I remember FFX being linear until the world map opens up near the end, but at least it felt like the world had some life to it. Also, would I be...

        What has improved about the later games?

        I mean, I remember FFX being linear until the world map opens up near the end, but at least it felt like the world had some life to it.

        Also, would I be lost if I dropped FFXIII and went straight to the sequels. It's my understanding that they're set hundreds of years apart from each other?

        1 vote
        1. TheJorro
          Link Parent
          It's been a bit so I don't recall all the details off-hand but they basically iterated and improved on FFXIII's various systems and gameplay design. More open worlds, I believe XIII-2 goes back to...

          It's been a bit so I don't recall all the details off-hand but they basically iterated and improved on FFXIII's various systems and gameplay design. More open worlds, I believe XIII-2 goes back to random battles instead of in-world monsters, and big changes to the Paradigm system. XIII-2 has a Persona-like monster capturing feature to its core gameplay, whereas Lightning Returns is Lightning-only but focuses on different outfits that provide different abilities. LR also has a time mechanic akin to Majora's Mask, where time is always progressing in the last few days before the apocalypse. They're both far more interesting and fun than XIII at the very least.

          FFXIII-2 takes places a couple of years after the events of FFXIII, and LR is set centuries after that (but it's a time skip from just after FFXIII-2). If I would go back, I'd just look up the events of FFXIII on YT and then jump into XIII-2 and LR to play. The other characters from XIII just don't seem to matter at all, only Lightning and Serah, and Serah is basically not in XIII much at all.

          I can't promise you'll enjoy them but they're definitely the better XIII entries than the base game, which is just bad and underwhelming.

          4 votes
        2. brews_hairy_cats
          Link Parent
          Setting expectations low, I would actually stick with FF13. I enjoyed the character arcs, which are intentionally written to be unlikable at the beginning and to grow on you as the story...

          Setting expectations low, I would actually stick with FF13. I enjoyed the character arcs, which are intentionally written to be unlikable at the beginning and to grow on you as the story progresses. Gameplay wise I completely agree with @TheJorro in that the later two entries are superior. However the original was still better than I expected; again keeping expectations low for a mainline Final Fantasy. On the flip side, in some ways the two sequels did not completely satisfy me story- and character-development-wise, but were good in gameplay.

          1 vote
  4. balooga
    Link
    I got Shenmue 3 for Christmas. I had the first game for Dreamcast when it came out, and later got the sequel for Xbox. Both games were fantastic for their time and I have a lot of nostalgia for...

    I got Shenmue 3 for Christmas. I had the first game for Dreamcast when it came out, and later got the sequel for Xbox. Both games were fantastic for their time and I have a lot of nostalgia for them... they don't hold up very well by modern conventions though.

    In the original games, the English dialog is especially rough. It's poorly translated from Japanese and delivered in bizarrely wooden vocal performances. Characters often speak to each other in monotone (or weirdly inflected and cartoonish) non sequiturs. The character designs are detailed, but have been crudely animated like puppets. NPCs regularly materialize inches away from you, the most egregious case of render pop-in I can think of in any game. The controls are also frustrating, with the main character steering like a tank and prone to spinning 180° when you're just trying to look at something in front of you. Also, Shenmue is the franchise that invented QTEs, probably another blemish worth mentioning.

    These are all problems that have become more apparent over time, as the game industry has matured, but I still have fond memories of both games. The story is a good one, with both titles feature lots of exciting moments (particularly Shenmue 2). Visually they were ahead of their time and looked nearly photorealistic— it was the most immersive virtual world I'd ever experienced. The sheer volume of spoken dialog, novel in its day, made the quality of it less of an issue. You could talk to anyone! We didn't have twin analog stick controllers back then, so a lot of control schemes of that era were more experimental, with mixed results. Combat used a modified Virtua Fighter engine, which felt really responsive and satisfying.

    Anyway, it's 18 years later and Shenmue 3 for some reason has many of the same problems as the old games, and some new ones.

    Let's start with the visuals. The game runs at a high widescreen resolution and at first glance looks really nice. Textures are crisp. Then you notice the NPCs popping in, inches in front of you. Exactly as they did in the old games. Why is this still happening on modern hardware, in a game using Unreal Engine 4? It makes no sense.

    Characters still move like puppets, but the character design makes some major missteps. Where the old games leaned into (lightly stylized) photorealism, Shenmue 3 can't make its mind up. Some of the characters fit well into the established style, but others are cartoonish and bizarre, with grotesquely exaggerated features that seem completely out of place.

    Controls are a bit better thanks to twin analog sticks, but walk speed isn't tied to that at all. Just like the old games, you have one walking speed, and you can hold down a trigger to run. By the way, running now depletes your energy, and quickly. In the old games I could run from one side of town to the other without problem, but now it looks like I'll be walking everywhere. This is a new issue that didn't previously exist.

    The classic Virtua Fighter combat is gone. Now the camera is positioned behind your character. Controls aren't explained; there's a help dialog that, instead of instructing how to play, literally says "Just try pressing ▵□○X". I laughed out loud when I saw this, the game tutorial is actually telling you to button mash. Okay.

    Dialogue is as bad as it's ever been. SO MANY conversations don't make any sense at all.

    The older games had a lot of lengthy load screens. This is one thing that has been corrected. Shenmue 3 features a much larger continuous area with no transitions when entering buildings or rounding a corner in a path. I do appreciate that and need to mention it so my post isn't entirely negative.

    I've written a lot of words but I've barely gotten far into the game at all. Hoping it gets better as it goes. I'm also trying to keep in mind that the original Shenmue was at the time the most expensive game ever made; and by comparison Shenmue 3 is a low-budget indie game funded by Kickstarter. So it's really not fair to expect AAA production levels. Still, I'm pretty astonished by some of the design decisions here, which seem to have learned nothing from 18 years of industry evolution. It plays like a bad B-movie. Really not enjoying things much so far, but I'll stick with it.

    10 votes
  5. [5]
    Akir
    Link
    Since I missed the last one somehow, I'll start off what I was playing last week since there were so many games I was jumping between. And yes, they'll all be from this month's Humble Choice: My...

    Since I missed the last one somehow, I'll start off what I was playing last week since there were so many games I was jumping between. And yes, they'll all be from this month's Humble Choice:

    • My Time at Portia: I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I honestly should be spending more time with it than I have been, but I've been a bit overwhelmed by choice lately. To describe the gameplay, it's like a cross between Harvest Moon and an Atelier game. Except instead of farming, you're usually mining, and combat is realtime. The art style matches everything else about the game: it's very cheesy, but also very endearing.

    • Chasm: I really enjoyed playing this game. The random dungeon aspect was supposed to be a selling point, but the game is long and simple enough that it doesn't really make it much of an asset. The art looks great, though the pixelated style may turn off some. I really enjoy just about every aspect of this game, except sometime in the jungle-themed stage there is a boss who is so overpowered that he's essentially unbeatable.

    • Blasphemous: I was really happy to get this game because I really dig the style and imagry. I'm a bit annoyed to hear people describe the gameplay as "souls-like" because it's far closer to Castlevania. While I wouldn't say the game is excessively punishing, it was just a touch too difficult to continue since I had so many other choices to go over. It plays very closely to Chasm, but since it was easier to progress in Chasm I tended to choose that game over this one the majority of the time.

    • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: There is something about Tomb Rader that makes me absurdly uninterested in it. At one time I would have said the oversexualization of the main character was the reason for it, but now that Lara is a realistically-proportioned reasonably-dressed and realistic character, I'm not sure exactly what it is. In any case, I liked this game way better than any other game in the franchise. I especially loved how much effort they put into the acting and animation. Somewhat early on in the game, you leave a friend behind to talk to a new character, and you can just stick around and listen to get a little bit more of her backstory. I can't explain how much I love that detail.

    And now for this week:

    • Resident Evil 2 Remake: I did not have the money to buy this but I really wanted it and the Winter Sale had brought it down to such a good price that I couldn't resist buying it. To be frank, it feels less of a remake of it's namesake but more like a combination of RE4's gameplay with RE2's scenario. And it works really, really well; I almost wish that RE7 was this game.

    • Control: I got this one for Christmas. I wish that it was the PC version, but beggars can't be choosers; in any case, the PS4 version still looks amazing. I have no idea how Remedy manages to make their games so good every time. The gameplay may be a bit derivitive (it's shooting plus superpowers - something that has been done many times before), but it's so well implemented and satisfying that it doesn't really matter much. But the real star of this game is the story and lore (even though that's technically derivitive as well - the FBC is basically the same as SCP). You'll want to collect every record in the game. I finished this game in no time flat, but I really regret not listening to every conversation with Dyllan because they were so creepy and interesting.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider a while ago, and I have to say that it's my least favourite of the modern Tomb Raider trilogy. I actually order them best to worst in release order. (2013, Rise,...

      I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider a while ago, and I have to say that it's my least favourite of the modern Tomb Raider trilogy. I actually order them best to worst in release order. (2013, Rise, Shadow).

      2013 and to some extent Rise feel very Lara-ey and very Tomb Raider-ey. It's something I can't really describe properly. Shadow just didn't feel that way. I think the part that really pointed this out is when

      Spoilers for modern Tomb Raider games Lara gets quite cross (I think after she thinks someone close to her died? (It's been too long I don't remember clearly) and she goes on a murderous rampage in order to get revenge. There is fire and explosions.

      To me, that feels nothing like Lara or Tomb Raider. It feels like I'm playing Call of Duty or some other brainless shooter. Lara is supposed to have at least some level of empathy in her. In 2013 she actually freaks out after she kills someone for the first time (and then unfortunately that idea never comes back as the player uses her to ruthlessly kill). She is at least somewhat sensitive to the fact that she is killing. And a murderous, revenge-driven rampage just does not seem like her or something she would do.

      Also for some reason I cannot make proper paragraph breaks in the <details> box

      There is also the plot of the games. 2013 and Rise had believable stories. Of course they were fantasy, but they fit the game and were believable within the game world (especially 2013). Shadow just took it too far. The story seemed too over the top and like it was trying too hard? I'm not really sure.

      I think I still enjoyed Shadow, but just not as much as the others. It felt less like a Tomb Raider game. At least to me.

      6 votes
      1. balooga
        Link Parent
        The only classic Tomb Raider game I completed was the first one. Most of the enemies in that were non-human: bats, wolves, bears, lions, crocodiles, ancient deathtrap devices. Also (SPOILERS)...

        The only classic Tomb Raider game I completed was the first one. Most of the enemies in that were non-human: bats, wolves, bears, lions, crocodiles, ancient deathtrap devices. Also (SPOILERS) dinosaurs and freaky skinless, exploding Atlantean monster things. Encounters with other humans were rare. I beat the first two of the new trilogy and both had Lara slaughtering literal armies of heavily armed soldiers. The first of these lampshaded it a bit, with enemies toward the end whispering to each other about the "young girl" wreaking havoc before running away from you in terror.

        These newer games were fun to play, and more believable in some ways than the original, but the ludonarrative dissonance was too much. In cutscenes Lara is played as vulnerable and scared, desperately trying to survive. But the actual gameplay has you murdering hundreds of people. It doesn't match up. It's the same problem the Uncharted games have: Nathan Drake is a lovable rogue with a heart of gold, who leaves in his wake a body count the size of a small town's population. I love those games too, by the way, but you have to suspend your disbelief pretty hard to make the story work.

        I'd be interested in playing a game where reluctance to kill and lasting trauma for doing so are mechanics. Enemies would be harder to kill, maybe like in The Last Of Us. They would plead for their lives and give you opportunities to spare them. If you don't relent, the storyline diverges to show the effects guilt is having on your decision-making and relationships. You would always begin the game innocent, and either remain that way throughout, or take a darker path and become a hardened killer. There could also be some PTSD/panic gameplay modifiers like jitters, shortness of breath, reduced perception, etc. that compound after every kill (or until the character is numb to it). And there could be in-game consequences for murder, like increased enemy response or negative police/bystander attention. That could result in a completely different experience for violent vs. non-violent playthroughs, similar to how the Dishonored games feature high- and low-chaos paths.

        I like the idea that completing such a game would not necessarily mean "beating" it. If in the course of the story you become such a monster that you undermine your own goals and are no longer the hero, the end state could be quite tragic. You got what you wanted, but at what cost? Everyone hates you and you'll be spending the rest of your life in prison. Roll credits.

        5 votes
    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      I know exactly what part you are talking about. Around that time there's a Star Wars easter egg as well in the dialogue of the random citizens on the deck beneath where Jonah is sitting.

      Somewhat early on in the game, you leave a friend behind to talk to a new character, and you can just stick around and listen to get a little bit more of her backstory. I can't explain how much I love that detail.

      I know exactly what part you are talking about. Around that time there's a Star Wars easter egg as well in the dialogue of the random citizens on the deck beneath where Jonah is sitting.

      2 votes
    3. brews_hairy_cats
      Link Parent
      I'm loving it too! I'm almost done with Claire's B route. I only played the beginning sequence of the original a long time ago, and so happy they remade it so I had an excuse to finally experience...

      Resident Evil 2 Remake

      I'm loving it too! I'm almost done with Claire's B route. I only played the beginning sequence of the original a long time ago, and so happy they remade it so I had an excuse to finally experience the full story. I was worried about playing through the game twice, as Leon then Claire, but finding they changed enough between the two routes that it's a lot more palatable than I expected. I really love the pacing and how there's almost no filler aside from a few optional collectibles, everything feels like one big main quest.

      2 votes
  6. [3]
    LukeZaz
    Link
    I've been playing Mindustry for a while now after finding it on Steam's Interactive Recommender, and I've been having a blast. It's primarily a tower defense-factory builder hybrid game – which I...

    I've been playing Mindustry for a while now after finding it on Steam's Interactive Recommender, and I've been having a blast. It's primarily a tower defense-factory builder hybrid game – which I have also loved – but I've been having some of the most fun in PvP.

    The number one thing I usually found myself wanting when playing an RTS was less micromanagement of units, and this has been delivering in spades. Not only do you not need to control your units, but you actively can't, with the only available options being three simplistic "retreat", "rally" and "attack"commands (which have no options by the way) only available once an expensive Command Center building is built.

    What this generally ends up meaning is that while your units tend to be pretty dull-minded (e.g. ground units rush the enemy core, attack while moving, and ... that's it. Air units are better, however), PvP maps still tend to have some pretty interesting fights going on constantly. Combine this with constant opportunities for an improved economy by way of the variety of resources available, as well as the fact that you can join the battle yourself via a variety of mechs, and things get really interesting.

    7 votes
    1. shortorlong
      Link Parent
      Have you seen factorio? If you like Mindustry you will love it!

      Have you seen factorio? If you like Mindustry you will love it!

      3 votes
    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      Great game. It's rare to see an open source game it seems nowadays. Xisuma (mostly known as a Minecraft YouTuber) plays this on occasion on live streams. Very laid back and chill person to watch....

      Great game. It's rare to see an open source game it seems nowadays. Xisuma (mostly known as a Minecraft YouTuber) plays this on occasion on live streams. Very laid back and chill person to watch.

      https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBLNA4ujCozLKghLCHfHHiD6emEsb1JgC

      2 votes
  7. [2]
    no_exit
    (edited )
    Link
    still really digging Hunt Showdown. I've been playing solo only and the gunfights are so hilariously hectic and satisfying to come out alive from, enough so to not mind the games where you get...

    still really digging Hunt Showdown. I've been playing solo only and the gunfights are so hilariously hectic and satisfying to come out alive from, enough so to not mind the games where you get headshot out of nowhere, or accidentally get mauled by zombie dogs while you're trying to be sneaky. I love that the PvE mobs are real threats and something you actually have to play around in terms of your loadout and movement around the map, even while PvP is happening. I don't know if Crytek hasn't been promoting it much or if I just missed all of the hype (possible, since the free weekend I picked it up on was apparently the last of several this past year), but I'm surprised it wasn't on my radar at all for its entire early access period and release. definitely getting my money's worth out of it.

    otherwise I've mostly been playing Magic Arena

    Eldraine has been my first real experience with MTG and it's been pretty fun. I made it to Diamond (second highest rank) during the last ranked season, which I was happy about since I'm a noob. I didn't feel like grinding that this month so I've been chilling in unranked to finish my battle pass and start saving gold for the next set release. I'm planning to draft a lot when it comes out in the hopes of improving as I absolutely suck ass at that format.

    6 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      Errrgh, I'm kicking myself for not picking up Hunt Shodown on its sale, but it gets discounted so often, maybe I'll come around the next time. Your description is exactly what I want from a game,...

      Errrgh, I'm kicking myself for not picking up Hunt Shodown on its sale, but it gets discounted so often, maybe I'll come around the next time. Your description is exactly what I want from a game, so I'm getting less excuses to not pick it up.

      1 vote
  8. [5]
    ThyMrMan
    Link
    Lot of long well thought out discussions/reviews this week. Personally I've just been chipping away at Dragon Age Origins still, will finish it eventually. Also decided to get back into the JRPGs...

    Lot of long well thought out discussions/reviews this week. Personally I've just been chipping away at Dragon Age Origins still, will finish it eventually. Also decided to get back into the JRPGs recently again, and start working through my plan to play list starting with 1 I grabbed from the Steam Sale, and one as a gift.


    Ni no Kuni II which I graciously got from Nubs via the Not-So-Secret Santa. 4 hours in, IDK what to think yet. It isn't grabbing me exactly yet, the story isn't off to a very interesting start and the combat just feels slightly boring. Thus far I would describe it as a bit bland, gonna put another 6ish hours into it before I really make a decision.

    Also grabbed Tales of Zestiria, which I've been planning on playing since finishing Tales of Berseria. Around 3 hours in now, and definitely feeling like the story is a ton worse than ToB. It has a real generic jrpg fantasy story vibe going on, great evil sweeping the land and slightly clueless kid decides to be the hero and save the world. Biggest issue I really have with ToZ is the PC Port, locked to 30fps unless you use the mod but even with the mod I can't hold a steady 60. Don't understand why, guess the engine is just really poorly designed even compared to ToB. Visually it looks just as terrible as ToB did so no real surprises. Only bright spot with both games visuals was the really good animated sections, Ufotable can't do any wrongs by me. Also going to do another 8 hours to hit that 10 hour mark before really making a final decision to stick with it or not.

    Even if those two don't work out, got a pretty long list of JRPGs to work through. Digimon Cyber Sleuth (already got 30 hours in, but really slow), Bravely Default (emulated via Citra), Radiant Historia (emulated via Citra), Persona 3 FES (emulated via PCSX2), Persona 4 (emulated via PCSX2) or Persona 4 Golden through Playstation TV (not sure which yet), The Caligula Effect (11 hours in, not sure if I'll pick up again), Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (waiting for Yuzu or Ryujinx to get updated enough to be playable), Pokemon Sword/Shield (really don't know about this one, real on the fence), and Breath of the Wild (want to play it at 60fps, but my current PC can't handle it consistently). Outside of JRPGs I still have the rest of Dragon Age games to play, KOTOR 1 to play, Divinity Original Sin, and whatever else comes along. So hopefully throughout 2020 I'll have some reviews of more games and my experiences with various emulators.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Aw, that sucks. Sorry to hear that you're not enjoying the game (I'm Nubs BTW). I dunno if you can refund a gift on Steam, or how that works exactly, but I won't be insulted if you do that... and...

      Ni no Kuni II which I graciously got from Nubs via the Not-So-Secret Santa. 4 hours in, IDK what to think yet. It isn't grabbing me exactly yet, the story isn't off to a very interesting start and the combat just feels slightly boring. Thus far I would describe it as a bit bland, gonna put another 6ish hours into it before I really make a decision.

      Aw, that sucks. Sorry to hear that you're not enjoying the game (I'm Nubs BTW). I dunno if you can refund a gift on Steam, or how that works exactly, but I won't be insulted if you do that... and if the money goes back to me I will gladly buy you another game of equal value.

      Edit: Apparently you can't get a refund if you have played more than 2 hours. :(

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        ThyMrMan
        Link Parent
        Thanks for it regardless, now put 6 hours into it. Most likely I'll still end up finishing it, don't really like leaving games unfinished. It is more of a question of if I rush through it quickly,...

        Thanks for it regardless, now put 6 hours into it. Most likely I'll still end up finishing it, don't really like leaving games unfinished. It is more of a question of if I rush through it quickly, or slowly pick it up for an hour here or there.

        It really does give those Studio Ghibli vibes, but I'm worried that it will take too long to get going. I've just gotten the kingdom started, and it still isn't opening up any yet. It just frustrates me in games when I keep gathering more and more materials for crafting or building, but don't have a clue why I'm gathering all of this cause none of those systems are unlocked yet.

        2 votes
        1. cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Heh, I am experiencing similar playing Pillars of Eternity 2 right now. My inventory is filling up with so much crap but I only have the vaguest idea of what it all does so far and no idea what...

          I keep gathering more and more materials for crafting or building, but don't have a clue why I'm gathering all of this cause none of those systems are unlocked yet.

          Heh, I am experiencing similar playing Pillars of Eternity 2 right now. My inventory is filling up with so much crap but I only have the vaguest idea of what it all does so far and no idea what any of it is worth... so I am kinda forced to keep it all until I figure it out, even though my character is currently broke and could really use the money!

    2. Douglas
      Link Parent
      I had the same opinion of Ni No Kuni, which is a damn shame 'cause the game is so damn beautiful-- that combat just didn't hook me at all and was a bit boring.

      I had the same opinion of Ni No Kuni, which is a damn shame 'cause the game is so damn beautiful-- that combat just didn't hook me at all and was a bit boring.

  9. moocow1452
    Link
    Played a little game called Sea of Solitude I got on a sale. Fun for an afternoon, pretty heavy though. Not quite the most effective game at making me feel things that I ever played, but it was...

    Played a little game called Sea of Solitude I got on a sale. Fun for an afternoon, pretty heavy though. Not quite the most effective game at making me feel things that I ever played, but it was good for what it was.

    4 votes
  10. Thrabalen
    Link
    I've been pretty heavily invested in Interstellar Space Genesis as of late, and it has not disappointed. It's the best 4X game I've played in a good while, and a total love letter to the Master of...

    I've been pretty heavily invested in Interstellar Space Genesis as of late, and it has not disappointed. It's the best 4X game I've played in a good while, and a total love letter to the Master of Orion series. It even managed to make sense of MOO3's planetary management system, a Herculean and Sisyphean task for any game.

    4 votes
  11. [2]
    joplin
    (edited )
    Link
    I do all my gaming on iOS and macOS. While I play the occasional FPS or AAA title, I like to find quirky less-well-known titles. I tend to like dark worlds that offer an adventure-style of game...

    I do all my gaming on iOS and macOS. While I play the occasional FPS or AAA title, I like to find quirky less-well-known titles. I tend to like dark worlds that offer an adventure-style of game play. As such I've played the following:

    Inside - Really enjoyed this! You play a young man running from... something. It's not really explained what, but it's like "the man," the government, society, adulthood, or the grind, ultimately. The puzzles were challenging enough to be engaging, but not so hard that I ever had to look it up on the internet to get past it.

    The same company also made Limbo. It's a very similar game to Inside, but also very fun to play.

    Stela - I've just started playing this. It seems really cool. Your character is a woman who wakes up in some sort of dark ancient world full of demons, and mystical creatures. It's not clear what your goal in the game is, other than avoid the many perils around you and keep running. The art direction is quite nice and the puzzles are challenging.

    The Bradwell Conspiracy - A buggy, lame mashup of BioShock and Half-Life. The main mechanic of the game is instantly 3D printing items you need to solve puzzles. Unfortunately, 90% of the time, the game doesn't understand what you're trying to print and won't let you print it there, anyway. I was having a really hard time with the 2nd-to-last puzzle because it's very poorly designed, so I looked it up on YouTube and found that even people who make gaming videos for a living were really frustrated with it!

    I also played through a number of very easy, but very pretty iPhone games like Fracter, Monument Valley 2, Gorogoa, and Old Man. All were fun, but they were hardly what I'd call challenging.

    Oh, and I also "played" (if you can call it that), Beginner's Guide. It's not really a game, but more of an interactive story. It left a bad taste in my mouth. It felt very self-indulgent.

    4 votes
    1. Douglas
      Link Parent
      I loved Inside as well! And Beginner's Guide was indeed kinda "meh" -- points for trying something new, but ultimately I didn't care for it.

      I loved Inside as well! And Beginner's Guide was indeed kinda "meh" -- points for trying something new, but ultimately I didn't care for it.

      1 vote
  12. [8]
    vegai
    Link
    Insurgency: Sandstorm for a few weeks now, almost exclusively. In fact so much that I started to get worried that it's taking my time too much, and it was time to uninstall and hide the game. The...

    Insurgency: Sandstorm for a few weeks now, almost exclusively. In fact so much that I started to get worried that it's taking my time too much, and it was time to uninstall and hide the game.

    The game feels pretty great. It's less arcady than Insurgency, which might or might not work for you. It looks and especially sounds amazing. Perhaps this is standard for FPS games these days, but I was quite blown away how well the sounds travel in the game.

    I should get into some more story-rich games now that I've banned myself from this one. Got plenty of them waiting.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      Keegan
      Link Parent
      Are the framerate issues taken care of now? I was wanting to buy it for a while but their subreddit was always complaining about poor performance with very good hardware.

      Are the framerate issues taken care of now? I was wanting to buy it for a while but their subreddit was always complaining about poor performance with very good hardware.

      3 votes
      1. vegai
        Link Parent
        Not sure. I have a year old Ryzen + Vega 54 combo which seems to work well enough. Sometimes a bit janky, but for the most time quite playable. The release notes of their latest version mentioned...

        Not sure. I have a year old Ryzen + Vega 54 combo which seems to work well enough. Sometimes a bit janky, but for the most time quite playable.

        The release notes of their latest version mentioned optimizations.

        2 votes
      2. no_exit
        Link Parent
        when I bought it in August I was having persistent stutter issues even though my FPS was good, but for me those seem to have been resolved sometime in October iirc, so hopefully it's even better now

        when I bought it in August I was having persistent stutter issues even though my FPS was good, but for me those seem to have been resolved sometime in October iirc, so hopefully it's even better now

        2 votes
      3. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        They've improved performance considerably over the lifespan of the game. I've never really had issues on good hardware. It's a lot less stuttery and I get anywhere between 70 and 144 FPS with a...

        They've improved performance considerably over the lifespan of the game. I've never really had issues on good hardware. It's a lot less stuttery and I get anywhere between 70 and 144 FPS with a GTX1070, mostly maxed out.

        1 vote
    2. [3]
      no_exit
      Link Parent
      great game despite having to mute the entire server every other round, the community really loves spamming the n-word :\

      great game despite having to mute the entire server every other round, the community really loves spamming the n-word :\

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        Haven't heard that happen in my 26 hours of playtime. I play on European and Russian servers. Sometimes there's some horsing around, but it has been mostly fun. And the muting is quite easy and...

        Haven't heard that happen in my 26 hours of playtime. I play on European and Russian servers. Sometimes there's some horsing around, but it has been mostly fun. And the muting is quite easy and fast to do if that's needed.

        2 votes
        1. no_exit
          Link Parent
          yeah it seems to be mostly a US East thing for whatever reason

          yeah it seems to be mostly a US East thing for whatever reason

          1 vote
  13. [3]
    alexandre9099
    Link
    First of all i only play games on linux (well, except VR, which i am kinda obligated to play on a windows VM [i barely play because of this] cause facebook is a dumbass and dropped linux support,...

    First of all i only play games on linux (well, except VR, which i am kinda obligated to play on a windows VM [i barely play because of this] cause facebook is a dumbass and dropped linux support, anyway, hopefully openhmd will be stable on positional tracking and i can drop windows once and for all). So all (or almost every) games I play have native support, which is a quite strong factor for me to buy a game.

    If i want to break my brain i play The Talos Principle. It's an amazing game in every aspect, graphics, level design, narration, well... everything. It is basically a 3d puzzle game where you have to finish levels to get "tetris" pieces so you can unlock doors and progress on the game.

    Sometimes i play Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Triology (got it on humble bundle, so can't really complain for it not being native, it works pretty well with proton) when i want to get that nostalgia from the ps1

    And really rarely CS GO and league of legends cause friends

    So yeah, i don't play that much, i could play more (i have lots and lots of games), but it kinda bores me sometimes to play, so i just browse tildes or reddit

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      I loved Talos Principle! Very fun puzzle game and I really liked that most of it was set in very open, very bright settings. While I do tend to like games set in dark worlds, it was very...

      I loved Talos Principle! Very fun puzzle game and I really liked that most of it was set in very open, very bright settings. While I do tend to like games set in dark worlds, it was very refreshing to play something that was the opposite. I tell people that if you liked Portal, you'll probably like the puzzles in Talos Principle.

      1. alexandre9099
        Link Parent
        yeah, same, i really like portal (2), but talos principle is even better (imo) than portal ;)

        yeah, same, i really like portal (2), but talos principle is even better (imo) than portal ;)

  14. emnii
    Link
    I recently finished Darksiders Genesis, which is the best Darksiders since the first one. It looks like Diablo but it's more like the first Darksiders with coop and a pulled back perspective. I...

    I recently finished Darksiders Genesis, which is the best Darksiders since the first one. It looks like Diablo but it's more like the first Darksiders with coop and a pulled back perspective. I had a lot of fun with it and I played the whole game solo without issue. If anything, it was a little easy.

    After that, I fired up Terminator: Resistance and it's okay. Someone (probably on Giant Bomb) called it Terminator: Metro and it's not quite as good as Metro but a competent FPS in the Terminator universe. Post Judgment Day and requires a bit of stealth or opportunistic fighting rather than outright run and gun. All of the characters are cardboard cutouts of people, but I'm having some fun with it.

    Intend on picking up Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order before the Steam sale ends, among a handful of other games, but might give Disco Elysium another go after Terminator.

    2 votes
  15. HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    I came across a small, free game on steam called missed messages. I figured, hey, why not? I'm bored, the artwork looks amazing (so pretty!), it'll download in under 30 seconds and the reviews are...

    I came across a small, free game on steam called missed messages.

    I figured, hey, why not? I'm bored, the artwork looks amazing (so pretty!), it'll download in under 30 seconds and the reviews are "Overwhelmingly positive".

    Note that this game contains mentions of suicide and self harm so perhaps don't read on if that isn't something you would like to experience. Also I won't spoil anything here (because I want you to go play it if you feel up to it).

    You start off in your room. There are things to click on and read. You should read them. You get a message on your computer, from 'goth gf'. You have the choice to accept or decline. What do you choose?

    It goes on from there. I don't want to give anything more away. But the experience can certainly be described as thought provoking (or cringey if that's the way it strikes you).

    Because I'm... me... I found this game more relatable (and therefore enjoyable) than perhaps others will. I had a friend describe the game as having "lots of you vibes" (and I'm not sure that that's a good thing). But I still believe others should play it. I feel some people could probably learn something from it. But I can also see some problems with this... Why you might not like it.

    This game falls into the "14 year old edgy quirky tumblr girl stereotype" a bit. It represents complex issues in a way that is probably overly simplistic. It's quite short and doesn't take much time to really flesh out the issues it deals with (I completed the whole game, all 4 endings in about 40 minutes). But I still like it. "Short and sweet", perhaps.

    idk where else to put this, but this game gives off an air of Life is Strange (the game, not the sentence "life is strange"). It's probably the female main characters, the artwork style or perhaps the edgy 14 year old stereotype I mentioned earlier.

    To conclude my mess of a review, if you feel up to the task, just play it. It's so short and costs nothing. I'd like to hear your opinions!

    2 votes
  16. Crespyl
    Link
    I recently finished playing "Aporia: Beyond the Valley", an indie first-person puzzle game from a few years back. It got some buzz on release for its CryEngine-based visuals and storytelling, but...

    I recently finished playing "Aporia: Beyond the Valley", an indie first-person puzzle game from a few years back. It got some buzz on release for its CryEngine-based visuals and storytelling, but I never got around to playing it until this last week.

    These days it actually feels a little weird to be playing a puzzle game in this "walking-sim" style that also allows the player to jump and sprint as if it was an FPS. The extra mobility does come in handy later on, when the game brings in a bit of light stealth/horror gameplay in an unexpected change of pace.

    Some of the lighting effects and design seemed maybe a little over-done and distracting in some scenes, but overall the game was beautiful and it was really fun to explore the world and try to piece together the story from the little hints and slide-shows left behind.

    There were a couple of odd hiccups or possible bugs with one particular (essential) game mechanic near the end; I couldn't seem to pick up a certain type of item unless I had already used up all of the "oil" resource I was carrying, so it took me a while to first realize that picking up was intended to be an option, and then to collect the items and oil I needed to finish the section. There were a few other rough edges here and there, but overall the game was just a very pleasantly quiet and enjoyable experience.

    1 vote
  17. Autoxidation
    Link
    I picked up Mechwarrior 5 over the holiday and have been more or less enjoying it. I'm probably 30 hours or so into the game and it's starting to feel rather repetitive, and generally the game...

    I picked up Mechwarrior 5 over the holiday and have been more or less enjoying it. I'm probably 30 hours or so into the game and it's starting to feel rather repetitive, and generally the game feels... Unfinished. Mechanics shown in the tutorial mission are nowhere to be found after, which just looks like cut corners to me. In the higher difficulty missions later in the campaign, the AI is rather rudimentary and the game just throws so many units at you it feels rather exhausting and sometimes completely impossible with your lance of 4 mechs. Regardless, it's nice to get back into the cockpit of a mech. The core gameplay loop is satisfying, as it was in Mechwarrior Online. The mechs are fun to pilot and the weapons are fun and satisfying to use. The combat is great.

    There's really just no other game that satisfies that itch, unfortunately. So I'll probably play it through til the end. Hopefully the devs work out some of the issues and flesh the game out more, even if it has to be additional content.

    1 vote