19 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.

39 comments

  1. [8]
    Whom
    Link
    I've been grinding out a lot of Devil Daggers and Dark Souls (doing an SL1), but otherwise: Date Title Creator Format Comments 1/3/20 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Nintendo Nintendo Switch...

    I've been grinding out a lot of Devil Daggers and Dark Souls (doing an SL1), but otherwise:

    Date Title Creator Format Comments
    1/3/20 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Nintendo Nintendo Switch Cartridge Really shockingly short and the levels feel like they're designed to be played much more slowly than your typical Mario game. Despite that, it's a good time and it seems like there's enough bonus stuff to make it worthwhile even though I don't think I'll be diving into that.
    1/2/20 Amid Evil Indefatigable Digital PC Game One of the best games ever, and certainly the best FPS I've ever touched. Where DUSK is what you play if you want a new fps that's exactly in the style of the classics, this is what you play if you want to see that classic style rocketed into the future. Holy fucking shit. I actually cannot believe this is real.
    12/29/19 Shantae and the Pirate's Curse WayForward Technologies Digital PC Game A really really good time. For the most part I echo BestGuyEver's video on Shantae, the movement in this is immensely satisfying and I love how it builds on itself. I did the 100% dark magic route and got past where the standard ending would stop the game (even got the achievement), but to be completely honest the 3rd phase in the 100% fight is a giant pain in the ass and I don't plan on doing that. Still, great game.
    12/27/19 Pokemon Shield Game Freak Nintendo Switch Cartridge There's so many creative little NPC stories and stuff all over the place, the region feels so varied and just fucking cool, so many little ways to play with your Pokemon and otherwise feel like they're your friends, so many unique animations for each Pokemon...I love this one. Maybe even my favorite. It's so lovingly crafted and reminds me why I love Pokemon. Not having all old Pokemon was a bad move, sure, but it really doesn't bother me that much. I wanna play this forever.
    12/21/19 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Nintendo Digital SNES Game I'm not as much of a fan as I used to be, but it's still a good game. Joyfully free for its time in console gaming, combat is tighter and puzzles are more involved than 3D Zelda ever was brave enough to be, and everything just feels GOOD. Thing is, once you get to the last 2-3 dungeons, they get far too long and tedious...honestly at a certain point I was like "I get it" and pulled out a walkthrough + used rewind to rush to the end. I normally don't like to do that, but it was getting to be a bit dull.
    11/25/19 Super Mario 64 Nintendo Nintendo 64 Cartridge I hadn't played this in a while, and most of my experience was with the DS version. Luckily, it had faded so much in my memory that while every environment felt familiar and comfortable, there were new things to find and secrets to figure out in each level. I'm not finished playing around in it (I managed to teach myself to backwards long jump in around a minute of trying things out, finishing at 50 stars and feeling very satisfied), but I beat the game and am marking it as "complete" in my head. My complaints are the same as ever, mostly focused around the controls being pretty awful at times and the camera having a mind of its own, but it's an overwhelmingly pleasant game to just walk around and enjoy. Wonderful.
    8 votes
    1. [5]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      What's your best time in Devil Daggers? I got pretty into it for a week or two (and vaguely intend to go back to it someday), but never managed to get particularly far. It's such a pure, great...

      What's your best time in Devil Daggers?

      I got pretty into it for a week or two (and vaguely intend to go back to it someday), but never managed to get particularly far. It's such a pure, great game. I keep hoping the developer will show up with a new game someday, but I don't think I've seen any indication that they're working on anything new.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Whom
        Link Parent
        I'm not very good yet, I'm at 203 seconds. The two users above me on my friends leaderboard are both on here...@Bauke has 250 and @Cleb has 437. It's a brilliant game, for sure.

        I'm not very good yet, I'm at 203 seconds.

        The two users above me on my friends leaderboard are both on here...@Bauke has 250 and @Cleb has 437. It's a brilliant game, for sure.

        4 votes
        1. Deimos
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Just started the game up to check what I ended up with and my best score was 217 seconds, so you're doing almost exactly as well as I ever managed.

          Just started the game up to check what I ended up with and my best score was 217 seconds, so you're doing almost exactly as well as I ever managed.

          3 votes
      2. [2]
        Cleb
        Link Parent
        Just wanted to say that I believe Matt & the other guys behind it are working on something or intend to. At some point they rebranded their tumblr site to be @sorathdev instead of @devildaggers,...

        Just wanted to say that I believe Matt & the other guys behind it are working on something or intend to. At some point they rebranded their tumblr site to be @sorathdev instead of @devildaggers, though the domain for it is still devildaggers.com. I believe someone in a devil daggers discord also talks to Matt sometimes and mentioned that they weren't planning on being a one and done deal. Matt also still keeps up with the leaderboards of the game and removes cheated runs, which is great. No concrete evidence on me, but even if they don't do something under Sorath again, I'd be really surprised and disappointed if Matt didn't go on to do more.

        I love the game by the way, I've been grinding really hard to try and get past the barrier I'm currently at (consistently get to ~300-350 seconds, have trouble clearing the arena for one of the biggest obstacles after that) and what keeps me coming back is that the game is just very mechanically satisfying. With enough ability in movement, aim, and awareness, you can get a very respectable time.

        The disparity in rankings and times is quite incredible in this game, and I just wanted to touch on that if anyone reads this and doesn't know. The best run in the world right now is, I believe, 1114 seconds. Only the top ~260 players have a time of 500 seconds or greater, and I believe somewhere between 20 and 30 of the accounts in there are alts or gimmick accounts (Sojk has an account w/ a 500+ second time using a ps4 controller in there). I have a time of 437 and that puts me at around 494, just inside the top 500 globally. It's a very tough but very rewarding timesink, to me at least.

        2 votes
        1. Deimos
          Link Parent
          Yeah, it's such an excellent game. I like to compare it to classic arcade games: there's no "level 2", no checkpoints, no continues. You play until you die, and then you start over from the very...

          Yeah, it's such an excellent game. I like to compare it to classic arcade games: there's no "level 2", no checkpoints, no continues. You play until you die, and then you start over from the very beginning, every time.

          The only progression is in your own skill. You have to gain a better understanding of the game's patterns and mechanics and how to deal with them consistently.

          2 votes
    2. [2]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I always love your formatting, as well as the breadth of your media diet! Can you talk a bit more about what makes Amid Evil so good? It's been on my radar for a while, but I just assumed...

      I always love your formatting, as well as the breadth of your media diet!

      Can you talk a bit more about what makes Amid Evil so good? It's been on my radar for a while, but I just assumed (incorrectly, it would appear) that the game was a standard, well-executed Hexen/Heretic throwback.

      2 votes
      1. Whom
        Link Parent
        Yes! So Amid Evil definitely has those games in its DNA (see: icantbelieveitsnothexen.com) and appeals to retro fps sensibilities, but it has its eyes on the future. All the subtle changes to the...

        Yes! So Amid Evil definitely has those games in its DNA (see: icantbelieveitsnothexen.com) and appeals to retro fps sensibilities, but it has its eyes on the future. All the subtle changes to the formula as well as the awesome new ideas make me feel like every fps in the future needs to use this as a blueprint.

        The enemies are dynamic and some of the tougher ones require thinking and execution beyond just choosing the right weapon and pointing + clicking, you actually sometimes need to poke at them and learn their patterns and pathing in a way that's deeply satisfying. This is maybe a silly buzzword to apply to a FPS, but I feel like it's a bit "soulsy" at times. Maybe that's just me, but I feel a connection there that I don't with a lot of retro fpses and modern throwbacks. It sounds like such a simple thing, but I find that most retro-style games in this subgenre are so focused on replicating RIP AND TEAR that they forget to throw enemies at the player where it's suboptimal to just throw bullets at them. Finding out what weapons work best on what is a good start (and Amid Evil certainly has that), but at this point we can shake things up without slowing the game down to a crawl or betraying the spirit of the classics. This is the main thing for me: it's keeping the spirit and the loose structure of classic fps, but going in its own direction. Environments are fresh and new. Most of the bosses are fresh and new. Levels feel big...like, we don't need to be tied down to the cramped interiors of Quake! Those were great, but deviation from that has been treated as a betrayal (what, did we all just forget about Unreal?) up until now. I've been firmly convinced that that can and should change.

        It's also just incredibly high effort. Each world has completely unique theming and enemies and I can't emphasize enough how wonderful and refreshing these are. It contains some of the most alien environments I've ever seen in a video game as well as some more grounded ones which are gorgeous in their own right. The breathtaking industrial environments of one of them is a contender for the most beautiful thing I've seen in a video game...it reminds me of my mind melting when I saw Blade Runner 2049.

        The game is also very well-routed in a way that the games it's inspired by were not always perfect with. There's keys and doors, but you almost never run into those moments where you press a button and are like "uh...what did that open?" It feels like you're charging into the unknown and just wandering, but it's mapped out so well and nudges you in the right directions so you end up in the right place. All the little annoying tendencies of the genre have been smoothed out into the ultimate version of what you always knew they could be.

        I'm willing to admit that it may feel like a particularly radical shift to me because I'm looking closely at this subgenre and I have a deep love for it. It might feel like a well-done throwback to some, but I see the future in this thing.

        Also, thanks! It's been fun keeping an art diary and sharing it here.

        4 votes
  2. [3]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    I recently purchased Red Dead Redemption 2 during the last Steam sale. It is the first game I have returned on Steam. Honestly, I am just really disappointed. The game performed way too poorly on...

    I recently purchased Red Dead Redemption 2 during the last Steam sale.

    It is the first game I have returned on Steam.

    Honestly, I am just really disappointed. The game performed way too poorly on my computer, which exceeded the "recommended" specifications set by Rockstar, so I returned Red Dead Redemption 2 and instead bought another game.

    Kingdom Come: Deliverance

    It probably was not a good idea to buy another fifty-hour role-playing game just before my next semester starts, but here we are.

    For those that do not know, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a first-person role-playing game set in 1403 Bohemia. You play as Henry, a blacksmith's son/peasant, and you suck at everything, including reading.

    No, really, if you open up a book in the game prior to learning how to read, you are presented with this:

    Which is hilarious. After you learn to read though, you get this:

    The important things to know about this game:

    • Your character, Henry, sucks. He is literally a peasant.
    • There is a very "old school role-playing game" vibe to KC:D, and you will be doing a lot of grinding throughout the game to make Henry not suck.
    • Some quests actually have time limits or other time-related restraints. (In the beginning of the game, you are given the task of fetching some ale and bringing it back while it is still cold. If you get the ale, but fuck around for too long before delivering it, the ale will be warm and there will be hell to pay. If a character tells you to meet them at a certain time, like midnight or morning, you best be there at that time.)
    • The game has a lot of "survival" mechanics, such as Henry requiring food and sleep.

    I have only played the game for about three hours and just finished the game's opening sequences and got access to the open world, but I have really enjoyed the game so far. The combat system is interesting, but challenging, especially when you are just starting out and your character knows barely anything about sword fighting, archery, etc.

    The game is also absolutely immersed in the history and time period of its setting, so if you are into that sort of thing (I am), then you will get a kick out of that. (Also, the game's "codex" of information about the time period is so incredibly interesting, I will probably spend hours reading through the entire thing as I play the game.)

    So, I think Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a very peculiar game. It is not a widely accessible game like Skyrim, it has a much more "hardcore" or "old-school" style of gameplay. I quite like it, to be honest.

    That is about all I can say about the game so far though. Below is the list of mods I am using in this playthrough:

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      rogue_cricket
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      You are in for a good time with Kingdom Come! It's one of my favourite games and clearly made by people who have a lot of love and respect for the source material. I don't think you make a game...

      You are in for a good time with Kingdom Come! It's one of my favourite games and clearly made by people who have a lot of love and respect for the source material. I don't think you make a game about 1400s Bohemia without at least someone involved having a passion for history.

      You're picking it up at a good time too... it was notoriously buggy on release but honestly I haven't had an issue with it since a few patches in. I only have some minor quibbles really, mainly with a few combat mechanics not being made clear - I really struggled with the combat until I was informed on the Internet that a few combat maneuvers (that turned out to make the combat 100% more enjoyable) are hard-locked behind some optional training. :/

      Also I understand the desire for unlimited saving, but I think a benefit to the vanilla system is that it pushes you into alchemy earlier than if it wasn't there. So don't forget to check out alchemy, and don't overlook it just because you don't need Saviour Schnapps! I actually enjoy the alchemy system a lot, really immersive.

      4 votes
      1. cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I hit a completely game-breaking bug about 40 hours into it that locked me out of making any further progress in any quests, and even going back to my earlier saves wouldn't fix the issue. :( I...

        it was notoriously buggy on release

        I hit a completely game-breaking bug about 40 hours into it that locked me out of making any further progress in any quests, and even going back to my earlier saves wouldn't fix the issue. :( I still haven't gone back to finish it yet, though I fully intend to at some point (once I forget all the story and can restart without feeling like I am retreading ground). But despite that major annoyance I still picked it for GOTY in 2018... so that should tell you something about how much I enjoyed the 40 hours that I actually got to play of it before I hit the brick wall. :P

        4 votes
  3. ovo
    Link
    I played A Short Hike. It's the most relaxing game I've ever played, I count this game as one of my favorites even though I finished the story in 2 hours. It reminds me of Animal Crossing with the...

    I played A Short Hike. It's the most relaxing game I've ever played, I count this game as one of my favorites even though I finished the story in 2 hours. It reminds me of Animal Crossing with the game-play of a 3d platform. You jump, explore, collect and talk to animals who are fulfilling their own hobbies. I'm quickly stressed so this non violent game is in my opinion, a great escape from the harsh reality.

    7 votes
  4. Eabryt
    Link
    I've fallen back in to my Football Manager hole that I suspect will last a couple more weeks. I usually pick up a save for a few weeks and play through, then get bored and switch to something else...

    I've fallen back in to my Football Manager hole that I suspect will last a couple more weeks. I usually pick up a save for a few weeks and play through, then get bored and switch to something else before coming back.

    Also, I tried messing around with X-Plane 11 which is a flight sim and looks pretty cool, but either it's super buggy or my computer just can't handle it because I could not fly smoothly to save my life.

    5 votes
  5. [3]
    VoidOutput
    (edited )
    Link
    So. About that wheel. I like the wheel. The wheel is nice. It's just that I'm crap at driving it turns out. I've restarted the Project CARS 2 campaign and it really is so much easier to drive with...

    So. About that wheel. I like the wheel. The wheel is nice. It's just that I'm crap at driving it turns out.

    I've restarted the Project CARS 2 campaign and it really is so much easier to drive with a dedicated wheel. You can have so much precision. Force feedback is also good to understand how the car is handling, you can just sense when the car is unstable. Then I thought it'd be a good idea to pick up iRacing at its discounted holiday price.

    Thanks to the wheel, I'm a bit better at doing individual lap times but as a beginner I'm still super inconsistent. I'll spin every other lap and crash every five. I know that I'm doing something wrong, but even watching video guides I can't seem to apply anything and I have a strong feeling that I'm learning "wrong". Inevitably that means that during online races, I'll lose. My iRating has gone down from its initial rookie rating. That was a bit depressing to be honest.

    I've got a problem with motivation and winning. It seems that I need to feel that I can be on the podium to even be interested in participating. So I'll just do AI races and slowly adjust the difficulty upwards until I can hold my own online. I feel sad because it seemed like I had found a new hobby but I feel like I lost that by burning myself out 5 days in the new year.

    Apart from that I stopped playing NationStates (a browser game) because my nation was basically where I wanted it to be, and any new dilemma was just a risk at this point. And finally, while waiting for the new Animal Crossing game on the Switch, I've downloaded the DS game on my phone, which will take the place of NationStates as my 10-minutes-to-kill game.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      I just want to say thanks for writing these comments about sim racing. You reminded me that I own the original Project Cars and all its DLC, I recently bought a Steam Controller, and I just...

      I just want to say thanks for writing these comments about sim racing. You reminded me that I own the original Project Cars and all its DLC, I recently bought a Steam Controller, and I just learned about the controller's motion controls by reading your comments.

      So, I think I am going to give Project Cars another try pretty soon. (I tried it previously with my Xbox 360 controller and it was alright, but hopefully the Steam Controller's motion controls make for a better experience.)

      Because sim racing is something I can imagine myself getting sucked into, I would like to just go ahead and ask, what wheel did you buy? Is it just a steering wheel? Does it have paddles or an actual shifter for changing gears? Does it come with pedals?

      5 votes
      1. VoidOutput
        Link Parent
        Oh man, honestly the Steam Controller motion controls are really not that bad, and I bet if I'd spent more time setting it up I would have had even better results. That apart, using the undergrip...

        Oh man, honestly the Steam Controller motion controls are really not that bad, and I bet if I'd spent more time setting it up I would have had even better results. That apart, using the undergrip buttons to shift gear is especially satisfying. Overall I'd say the experience is more immersive than with a regular controller, do tell me what you think of it!

        As to the wheel, I've read the /r/simracing wiki and for beginners they recommend two budget wheels: the Thrustmaster TMX, Thrustmaster T150. There's another one that you'll find in there that doesn't seem to be sold anymore. I went for the T150 for no other reason than it was the only one available in stores near me.

        It does comes with pedals, but there is no shifter, although it seems to be possible to buy one later down the line. But if I had the choice, I'd have gone for the TMX for the simple reason that it's recognized as an Xbox controller as opposed to a PlayStation controller for the T150. So for instance in Forza Horizon 4 I am met with prompts to push the "4" button - and of course the buttons aren't labelled.

        4 votes
  6. Icarus
    Link
    I have been going heavy into Killer Queen Black on PC and Switch. I joined the community discord and overall it's been a breath of fresh air to play in a tight knit community. I haven't had nearly...

    I have been going heavy into Killer Queen Black on PC and Switch. I joined the community discord and overall it's been a breath of fresh air to play in a tight knit community. I haven't had nearly as many moments of tense adrenaline as I have had in other games when playing as the Queen in that game. Played with some of the top players in the US over the weekend and it was just mind blowing how good they were.

    Other than that, I have been playing Battlefront 2 through my origin premier sub. Have really enjoyed it as it's pretty casual and has its moments of feeling like a Star Wars battle every now and then.

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    brews_hairy_cats
    Link
    Continuing Yakuza 0 after picking it up and putting it down several times over the past several months. For a while it felt like it should be called Minigames, Fetch Quests and Collectibles, The...

    Continuing Yakuza 0 after picking it up and putting it down several times over the past several months. For a while it felt like it should be called Minigames, Fetch Quests and Collectibles, The Game. So of course I was surprised when stuff started actually happening and mattering, a few chapters and a dozen hours into the game. All of a sudden I feel invested and want to push forward with the story, and feel like I've gotten a taste of why the series might be so popular.

    4 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      I think it says a lot that so many people do get wrapped up in the sidequests too. A lot of the best writing is in there, with some true comedic gold. The dominatrix one, the vending machine, and...

      I think it says a lot that so many people do get wrapped up in the sidequests too. A lot of the best writing is in there, with some true comedic gold. The dominatrix one, the vending machine, and the hungry foreigner ones are all some of the funniest writing I've seen in video games in years.

      3 votes
  8. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    For Christmas I got a $20 steam gift card. Thanks to the Steam winter sale and the extra $5 discount you could unlock, I was able to purchase the entire Dishonored series. So right now I am...

    For Christmas I got a $20 steam gift card. Thanks to the Steam winter sale and the extra $5 discount you could unlock, I was able to purchase the entire Dishonored series. So right now I am playing through the first one.

    I honestly don't have much to say about it except perhaps there isn't enough focus on stealth. It seems like the game wants you to play it as a shooter, but the layout and level design all want you to use stealth. If you favor one over the other you will quickly run out of powerups for that category. It's surprisingly short; I'm pretty sure I'm at the last mission right now.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      If you have not completed Dishonored yet and do not know about how the game's endings work, you might consider this comment a spoiler, since it mentions how the game's endings are decided (as in,...

      If you have not completed Dishonored yet and do not know about how the game's endings work, you might consider this comment a spoiler, since it mentions how the game's endings are decided (as in, which ending you, the player, will receive).

      If you do not care about learning how the game decides that, then read on. This comment does not contain any other spoilers for any of the games.


      I also have been playing Dishonored lately and I honestly do not know how I feel about it. The game gives you all these incredible combat mechanics, what with the various powers, weapons, and how those things mix well together... but then it locks the game's "good" endings behind a stealthy, low chaos playstyle.

      So, if you, like most players, are trying to get the "good" ending, then you are going to be penalized for fighting and killing enemies. By design, Dishonored goes out of its way to lock most players out from its best mechanics.

      I really just feel like Dishonored (and the Metro games even) have really shot themselves in the foot with this stupid tying-in of the game's morality system with its gameplay.

      Like, no. If I want to try to get a specific ending in the game, whether it be good or bad, just give me some goddamn choices throughout the campaign/quests to choose from and decide that way. Don't tie the game's ending and storyline directly into my desire to play a certain way.

      I understand that tying gameplay into the story maybe makes for a more "artsy" or "realistic" storytelling experience, but more often than not it just ends up tainting my time with the game, because no matter what, I am going to strive to get the ending I desire at the expense of fun.

      And yes, I get that also puts the blame on me for not ignoring the endings and not just playing how I want to, but fundamentally this is a problem with the game's design, not the player. I just think tying the storyline into the gameplay, and not just giving the players choices at key moments, is a bad practice.

      /rant

      Anyways, I hope you are enjoying the game.

      3 votes
      1. TheJorro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        As a reply to you and @Akir: When the game was new, a lot of people were confused about the gameplay mechanics and design of the game because it doesn't quite follow the usual tropes of the games...

        As a reply to you and @Akir:

        When the game was new, a lot of people were confused about the gameplay mechanics and design of the game because it doesn't quite follow the usual tropes of the games or genres or even styles that inspired it. SuperBunnyHop even had a video where he refused to review it over similar sentiments (of which I have some fundamental problems with putting that out as a work, though not with the viewpoint). I have played through the game multiple times so perhaps it is something about when you finally get through the experience that it all comes together.

        I think the key is in the narrative purpose of the mechanics, not functional. Yes, you can be lethal very easily and a lot of the mechanics lend to that... but should you? If you do, you'd be exactly what the propaganda is describing you as. If you do, you're but another agent of decay in this dying world. It's so very easy to be lethal, and in this game many are (it's the instigating plot point too!) that the challenge is fighting against that nature. Oddly, the most similar game I've seen to offering a wide variety of non-stealth but the idea to be stealthy as much as possible like Dishonored is the Metal Gear Solid series. Other stealth games are either 100% stealth focused, or offer equal of both.

        I found the game doesn't encourage stealth through the base mechanics but instead through the world. Running and slashing your way through levels will mean you miss out on a lot of the game, as you miss many side conversations, hidden bits of information overheard by guards, hidden secret caches strewn throughout, and even a few NPC's. The game is a lot harder to play in stealth than lethal, but it is also much more rewarding for playing stealthily.

        One of the big rewards is access to the lore. Dishonored's world is very detailed and has some deep lore behind it but almost none of it is explicitly told up front. It's discovered through conversations, logs, and observing the world. As you go through the game, it becomes especially more obvious that there's something much larger and more abstract happening beyond the initial conceit.

        Dishonored's approach to A or B morality choices is also pretty unique compared to most other ones. It's more lenient than most in terms of getting the good ending. In Bioshock, for example, if you consumed even one Little Sister, you were locked away from the good ending. In Dishonored, you can be a bit lethal if you like. You won't get the bad ending for having to kill a few people here and there. In fact, the game even tempts you into doing it in a few places. More importantly is what you choose to do with your main targets, all of whom are chief architects of the decay. I found that of all the A or B morality games, Dishonored was the one I had to worry about mechanics with the least, unlike Metro or even many Bioware type games where I get so anxious about consequences that will affect me for the rest of my playthrough that I end up looking them up on a wiki. I never have that problem with Dishonored because it's much simpler: either I'm too lethal or I'm not and the world changes to let you know as you get through it so you have time to adjust before the penny drops.

        Anyway, that all said, Dishonored's DLC are what are considered to be the better part of the first game, thanks to a refined design and a more interesting character situation to play through, along with a world that shows other aspects to really flesh it out, and less of a focus on morality choices since, well, you see the results in the base game.

        6 votes
  9. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    To finish my MW5 review now that I've finished the game. In the last 20% of the game the difficulty skyrockets quickly with it finally needing actual strategy to beat. Previously if you went into...

    To finish my MW5 review now that I've finished the game.

    In the last 20% of the game the difficulty skyrockets quickly with it finally needing actual strategy to beat. Previously if you went into a mission with even 75% of the allowed tonnage you could just walk through blasting everything in your path with near abandon (assuming you know how to properly equip and min/max mechs and aren't just using standard builds). The last 20% of the game seems like they just programmed it so that if difficulty rating is above 75 replace Locust with random assault mech. The final 3-4 missions are long, with little to no respite and against the most well equipped enemy in the Inner Sphere so they're more an exercise in frustration than a feeling of accomplishment as your four assault mechs (which you'll have to field for these) go up against 20-30+ heavy and assault mechs in wide open near zero cover areas per mission.

    Game is finished and immediately uninstalled, unlike HBS BattleTech I find zero replayability here.

    3 votes
  10. balooga
    Link
    I installed Ordinary Puzzles on my phone after I saw it on Hacker News recently. I like that it's a FOSS game and contains no ads or malware. The design is nice and the puzzles are challenging. I...

    I installed Ordinary Puzzles on my phone after I saw it on Hacker News recently. I like that it's a FOSS game and contains no ads or malware. The design is nice and the puzzles are challenging.

    I wish the tutorial had gone a bit farther to explain the logic behind solving these. It'll show you what the win condition is, but not how to arrive at it. Fortunately after brute-forcing a few through guesswork something clicked and I figured out some good strategies. A number of the methods I use for Picross are also applicable here. Most (but not all) of the puzzles I've done since realizing that were fully solvable without guessing, which is very important for my long-term enjoyment of games like this.

    There are a couple unfortunate UI issues. One is that in the situations where you have to guess a move, there is no way to backtrack if your guess was wrong. There should be undo/redo functionality. I've taken to screenshotting the puzzle state before making a guess, so I can reset and manually restore it if I need to. Not ideal. Also, there is no way to choose a puzzle. I think the "new puzzle" is chosen randomly and I'm pretty sure it's not taking into consideration if you've already completed a puzzle or not. I think I've done some repeats. But since the puzzles are not numbered, and only have gibberish names, it's hard to keep track. I wish there was a way to know how many I've completed, how many remain, and a way to revisit old ones intentionally.

    3 votes
  11. LlamaGlama
    Link
    I bought a few games to enjoy over the holiday season: Horizon Zero Dawn, Prey and Hitman 2. Horizon Zero Dawn was amazing to play and may be one of my all time favourites, Prey was good but felt...

    I bought a few games to enjoy over the holiday season: Horizon Zero Dawn, Prey and Hitman 2. Horizon Zero Dawn was amazing to play and may be one of my all time favourites, Prey was good but felt like it was aimed at a different audience than me, and now I have recently started playing Hitman 2, which appears to be very enjoyable, finding all the different ways I could assassinate someone, despite not playing all the maps yet.

    3 votes
  12. nothis
    Link
    I bought Ori and the Blind Forest on the Switch. Beautiful game. I played through Super Metroid on the SNES Online thing before and found myself hardened for that feeling of getting utterly lost...

    I bought Ori and the Blind Forest on the Switch. Beautiful game. I played through Super Metroid on the SNES Online thing before and found myself hardened for that feeling of getting utterly lost in a metroidvania. The hand-drawn visuals are beautiful, the music lulls you in nicely and the story is rather sweet. It's a very classic videogame but I can appreciate the sheer level of polish that went into it. Reminds me a bit of Dust: An Elysian Tail but with slightly less story and a slightly less deviant-art-anime drawing style. Some of the platforming is surprisingly hard, almost Celeste-like, which I sorta enjoyed since it's a break from the usual metroidvania gameplay that mostly revolves around remembering where the door is.

    3 votes
  13. [7]
    eve
    Link
    I might be like 6 to 7 years late, but Grand Theft Auto 5! And boy howdy, it sure shows its age. Not only in the cut scenes and the modeling and whatever, but like the whole menu system is a...

    I might be like 6 to 7 years late, but Grand Theft Auto 5! And boy howdy, it sure shows its age. Not only in the cut scenes and the modeling and whatever, but like the whole menu system is a fucking mess and trying to play stuff online with my SO and it's been super frustrating and hard. There are so, so many loading screens and even then it took us the better part of like an hour to finally find a way for us to play a mode together. Even then, HE was the one who figured it out and I have no clue how to do it lol. I'm so surprised they never fixed it despite the fact that the online has been going so strong for so many years. Ridiculous.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      The menus were an issue even when the game was new. Rockstar seems to have some serious interface issues these days, RDR2 has some weird ones in other ways. FYI, in the pause menu, there's a tab...

      The menus were an issue even when the game was new. Rockstar seems to have some serious interface issues these days, RDR2 has some weird ones in other ways.

      FYI, in the pause menu, there's a tab for Online where you can choose to start activities and missions immediately and then you can invite each other.

      However, if you want to have your own private open world, you have to be in single player first, and then there's an option in the Online menu there to start your own invite-only, clan, or friends only session.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        eve
        Link Parent
        huh see I thought we did that but then when we tried to play one of the games on the map, it made us load with randos and was having a hard time putting us together. I dunno maybe it was just user...

        huh see I thought we did that but then when we tried to play one of the games on the map, it made us load with randos and was having a hard time putting us together. I dunno maybe it was just user error but either way I'll try that way the next time we play, thank you!

        As to your other point, why do they have such issues with this? Like it's a weird thing to get wrong with a game since it's so important. Maybe I'm just missing info on how rockstar runs but someone needs to nuke their menus.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          TheJorro
          Link Parent
          You have to do it through the offline single player to get your own private one. It's not available if you're already in the online mode for some reason. Perhaps that's the discrepancy? As for the...

          You have to do it through the offline single player to get your own private one. It's not available if you're already in the online mode for some reason. Perhaps that's the discrepancy?

          As for the menus, I feel like it's an artifact of GTAV originally being single-player focused. In the single player campaign, you never really need to use menus except for the pause menu for the map, as one would expect. For the online, they added a quick menu to access some multiplayer-based features and commands, such as pacifist mode. Putting things into an Online menu was probably designed more as a shortcut, so one did not have to go to a specific point on the map to access a game mode. But as they expanded the online over all these years, so did they expand the menus. I suppose jumping in now would be a challenging prospect now that the menus are overly stuffed with things.

          2 votes
          1. eve
            Link Parent
            Yeah the menus definitely are an issue for me, as someone who is just now coming to the game. But you make excellent points. Of course the menu was never a focus in any of the other GTA games, but...

            Yeah the menus definitely are an issue for me, as someone who is just now coming to the game. But you make excellent points. Of course the menu was never a focus in any of the other GTA games, but now with multiplayer they have to have the options there to get you to it. It would have been nice if they tried to update it but the cash money was and still is flowing too hard. It's really obvious how bad the menus are as a new player. I'm sure over time I'll get used to them but it's a big detractor.

            As for the online thing, I think that was one of our problems, we didn't start offline and in our own thing, I think we just joined up. Hopefully that'll make it easier. Thanks for letting me know!

            1 vote
    2. [2]
      VoidOutput
      Link Parent
      They never fixed it because the online has been going so strong for so many years, why fix something when the game still sells like crazy? I really don't like GTA V for all the reasons you listed....

      they never fixed it despite the fact that the online has been going so strong for so many years

      They never fixed it because the online has been going so strong for so many years, why fix something when the game still sells like crazy?

      I really don't like GTA V for all the reasons you listed. In fact it was while playing that game that I came to dislike Rockstar's modern games in general, be it GTA IV, V or RDR2. There's a trend to control how people play that NakeyJakey explained better than I could.

      1 vote
      1. eve
        Link Parent
        Love me some nakey jakey. And I should have chosen my words more carefully. My SO and I talked about it and I know it's because it's been doing so well for so long that they haven't fixed it which...

        Love me some nakey jakey. And I should have chosen my words more carefully. My SO and I talked about it and I know it's because it's been doing so well for so long that they haven't fixed it which is bs. I'll have to give the nakey jakey video a look when I have more time, it's a good topic!

        1 vote
  14. vegai
    Link
    After I got rid of my Insurgency: Sandstorm purchase to prevent any more binging on that wonderful game, I bought Interstellar Space Genesis. It's a rather faithful Master of Orion clone with some...

    After I got rid of my Insurgency: Sandstorm purchase to prevent any more binging on that wonderful game, I bought Interstellar Space Genesis. It's a rather faithful Master of Orion clone with some improvements. Nice little game, with some promise.

    Waiting for a Death Stranding PC port...

    3 votes
  15. joplin
    Link
    I signed up for Apple Arcade a couple weeks ago so have been trying out a bunch of different games on my iPhone and AppleTV. Speed Demons - Silly violent fun. You're racing on a crowded freeway....

    I signed up for Apple Arcade a couple weeks ago so have been trying out a bunch of different games on my iPhone and AppleTV.
    Speed Demons - Silly violent fun. You're racing on a crowded freeway. There are different modes like "Race," "Destroy," etc.
    Oceanhorn 2 - This plays like a Nintendo adventure game. It's meh. I don't really like Nitendo games, and the controls are kind of frustrating, so I've set it aside for now.
    Way of the Turtle - A mario-like game. It's OK, but a little repetitive for my tastes.
    Discolored - An escape-room-esque/adventure game. You find clues and have to search for various objects that help you add color back to the world and eventually escape. Really enjoyed this one, though it was too short.

    3 votes
  16. grahamiam
    Link
    Just finished up the Heavensward expansion of FFXIV. It's pretty good but I can't believe how much of a gate there is between starting a new character and getting to play current content. I mean,...

    Just finished up the Heavensward expansion of FFXIV. It's pretty good but I can't believe how much of a gate there is between starting a new character and getting to play current content. I mean, the story is great, but the point of an MMO is to play with friends generally, so this is a big mindshift (on that note, the overwhelming shutdown of any criticism on the FFXIV subreddit is pretty annoying to read).

    Started Doom (2016) which is great at what it does, so far! I'm also occasionally touching BOTW Master Mode and I am really enjoying doing shrines but the combat in Master Mode is much more tedious than fun, imo.

    2 votes
  17. kfwyre
    Link
    I'm several hours into the Shenmue remaster. I played (and loved) the original on Dreamcast, but I legitimately haven't returned to the game in close to twenty(!!!) years. I think it's easy to...

    I'm several hours into the Shenmue remaster. I played (and loved) the original on Dreamcast, but I legitimately haven't returned to the game in close to twenty(!!!) years.

    I think it's easy to play it now and see all the things that have aged poorly. There's a lot to criticize. Instead, what I'm trying to do is remember it as I played it, back when it was a landmark, watershed moment in gaming (and the most expensive game ever released).

    What I loved most about the game was how immersive it was. It felt like you were inhabiting a living world. To my modern gaming sensibilities, this is infuriating, because I feel like I want to explore every nook and cranny to see all that there is in the game, but that's only because I've been trained, across decades, to know that valuable items can be anywhere and that a "complete" experience means seeing everything. In Shenmue, however, a lot of its locations and interactivity are there primarily for immersion, not reward. There are tons of places to visit and explore, and many of them are either inconsequential or supplemental.

    When I turn off my "gamer mind" and just let the game be what it is, I'm met with something that created an entirely new experience for me. Shenmue has a wonderful sense of place, with lots of details and mechanics that reinforce this. There's a day-night cycle, weather, explorable interiors, multiple voiced and named characters, and activities that exist simply to pass the time. Shops are only open during certain hours; certain characters can only be found in certain places at certain times. Things progress. People reference past events and upcoming ones. You play cassettes because that's what people did in 1986. You can choose how and where to spend your time. There's a cute stray kitten you can pet on your way to and from your home every night, and, despite knowing that it's just a product of computer code, I still stop to pet the cat every time as if it means something.

    Shenmue was, for me, the most incredible digital world I'd ever been able to inhabit at the time. I'm trying to live in that experience as I replay it.

    That said, I don't know whether this revisit to late 1990s immersion will carry me through the game's full runtime, much less its sequel. It's hard to play the game in 2020 and not run up against its limitations and frustrations. The investigative dialogue is slow and stilted, and I feel like I've spent most of the game simply talking to someone who tells me to talk to someone else who tells me to talk to someone else, and so on and so forth. I've also spent time grinding out combat moves, as I remember that being a sticking point in the original. It's hard to turn off my "gamer mind" and just play when the game keeps reminding you of all the ways in which it's really just a game.

    I'm liking what I've played so far, and my nostalgia hasn't worn off yet, but I can't guarantee it'll last. I'm actually kind of curious to see whether it does, and for how long. Will I make it through this game? What about the second (which I never played)? Will I pick up the recently released third title in the series? I genuinely can't answer that right now.


    I'll also take time here to give a special negative shout-out to Arizona Derby. If you're curious to see what an on-the-ground example of fake reviews look like, check out its Steam page. Its review score has actually gone down recently, likely as a result of a few real reviews entering the fray, but at the time I got it I think it was hovering around 95-97% positive, with many reviews being unconditionally laudatory.

    In reality, the game is so unoptimized that it barely runs (it took me 5+ minutes to simply get to the main menu), and the gameplay is buggy to the point of being unplayable (I only played one race, and in it I crashed several times into seams on the ground's geometry). If I hadn't won the game in a giveaway, I would have refunded it.

    It's sad, because the game's premise is promising (I love a good arcade racer, especially an off-road one), and I appreciate any game that starts with its own musical number. It seems like there could be a good game here with some more polish, but it's definitely not ready for prime time yet. I normally don't like to slam on games, as I know lots of people probably took a lot of time and effort to make what's there, but the fake reviews really get under my skin.

    2 votes
  18. mat
    Link
    I just played through Titanfall 2's single player campaign. It was OK. Nothing special. The mech stuff was fun. The 'enhanced mobility' (aka wallrunning) stuff when not in a mech was annoying and...

    I just played through Titanfall 2's single player campaign. It was OK. Nothing special. The mech stuff was fun. The 'enhanced mobility' (aka wallrunning) stuff when not in a mech was annoying and overused. It was a sci-fi FPS. Some nice set-pieces, some slightly dull ones. Some cool environments, some repetitive ones. Took itself a bit too seriously in places. I'd give it a 6.5/10 - slightly above average but nothing outstanding. I suspect the multiplayer is probably where most of the fun is at, if you like that sort of thing, but I don't.

    All things considered it was probably worth the £50/year I paid for it, assuming I get at least four other similarly not-bad games via Playstation Plus in that year. I can't quite remember when my subscription starts/ends and what I've played so far, but it feels like Plus is still worth it for the 'free' games.

    Holedown remains my go-to mobile game. A couple of levels of that is about how long it takes for my kid to go to sleep to the point I can put him into his cot and walk away almost every time. It has pretty good replay value because the levels are generated and the core mechanic remains interesting enough.

    2 votes
  19. moocow1452
    Link
    Finished A Way Out with my brother. It's a pretty fun game, got to play couch co-op for full effect. It's not like the best game of all time, but it's novel working together. Ending raises some...

    Finished A Way Out with my brother. It's a pretty fun game, got to play couch co-op for full effect. It's not like the best game of all time, but it's novel working together. Ending raises some questions though about how some things worked, but the ride was fun.

    2 votes