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.

28 comments

  1. [3]
    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    Last week, I picked up Temtem. It's a monster battling MMORPG that is heavily inspired by Pokémon. Many elements are borrowed directly from the Pokémon series, such as evolutions, EVs, IVs,...

    Last week, I picked up Temtem.

    It's a monster battling MMORPG that is heavily inspired by Pokémon. Many elements are borrowed directly from the Pokémon series, such as evolutions, EVs, IVs, completing a circuit of gyms dojos for the chance to compete in the Pokémon Temtem League, etc. Even the type chart is very similar to that of the first Pokémon generation with twelve types in total, albeit with more variation and balance.

    There are major differences though. Key items which allow you to rock climb, surf, etc replace HMs. You can also relearn old techniques that your Temtem has previously learned at any time outside of combat, which is a major quality-of-life addition compared to the Pokémon series. The focus of this game is mainly on 2v2 battles, which adds an emphasis on strategy and mixing various moves. There is also a stamina system which the game uses to great effect: More powerful moves are balanced out through having greater stamina costs or a turn based cooldown before they can be used. Status effects such as sleep, poison, paralysis, etc are no longer RNG based and instead apply for a specific number of turns depending on the move.

    From what I also heard, the devs have made a controversial move to balance out Temtem breeding and prevent players from hoarding incredibly rare Temtem. The more you breed a Temtem, the less fertile it will be. Once a Temtem loses all its petals on the Tempedia, it becomes infertile. More powerful Temtem are less fertile.

    Character creation is far more diverse than I expected from a game of this type. You get many options to pick your character's gender, hairstyle, clothing, skin tone, face, head shape, etc. You can even choose whether your character uses "he", "she", or "they" pronouns, which is a great touch. Then we have the Temtem designs themselves. Some of them such as Saku, Saipat and Tuwai could legitimately pass as Pokémon species.

    My first thoughts are that it's good. I didn't expect a refined experience since it just went in early access, but the moment this game gets its MMO elements, single player progression, Temtem availability, zones, endgame and console launches sorted, it will end up being a major threat to the Pokémon franchise.

    And we definitely need a Pokémon competitor, considering how piss-poor Sword & Shield were.

    9 votes
    1. rogue_cricket
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I've been on Temtem a bit as well, I've just beaten the first dojo. I like a lot of the mechanics so far and I'm enjoying the focus on 2v2 battles instead of singles and the increased difficulty...

      I've been on Temtem a bit as well, I've just beaten the first dojo. I like a lot of the mechanics so far and I'm enjoying the focus on 2v2 battles instead of singles and the increased difficulty over Pokémon.

      My main concern is how they will balance the people who want to play competitively being gated by very expensive and time consuming breeding. RNG is more or less eliminated in battles so stats are more important than in non-RNG situations. And they said they were competitively-focused, but if getting good Temtem for PVP takes hundreds of hours then... yikes.

      It doesn't help that making money right now is an absolute slog. I think it's something like 1000+ caught-and-released Temtem per perfect-SV competitive Temtem after the 500% breeding item price increase.

      2 votes
  2. [2]
    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    As I've mentioned in another thread, lately I'm up to playing Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch. My fiancée got into it too after watching me so it's been fun! But she's a bit more...

    As I've mentioned in another thread, lately I'm up to playing Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch. My fiancée got into it too after watching me so it's been fun! But she's a bit more competitive whereas I am more laid back.

    There's a lot of stuff I like about it, and a few things I would change. I am on chapter five. I am an un-fit woman and I think I'm at difficulty ~18 out of 30.

    I like:

    • It is actually exercise. You do squats, planks, yoga poses, etc., with the help of a pilates ring. It's not just all aerobic things, shadow boxing, etc., it's really very flexible.
    • The ring-con feels sturdy and good quality.
    • The whole visual experience is just stellar. I am impressed by the design of every enemy I've seen so far and I think the animations are really, really good. I feel weird saying that the sweat looks awesome but it looks awesome.
    • The amount of content. I am on world five out of twenty-three and putting about 20 minutes of "active exercise time" a day into the game. The worlds have gotten longer and more elaborate as I have gone on. At this rate it will take me months to complete the main story - and then there's NG+ and NG++ modes as well plus collectables and achievements.
    • I like that the "RPG" aspect of it gives you a sense of progression even before you start really seeing changes in your own body. I haven't really hit a fitness milestone with it yet (of course, I have only used it ten times!) but levelling up serves as a nice motivator in the meantime.
    • The tone of the game is really positive. You don't get admonished for missing time, you just pick up where you left off. You are encouraged constantly to hydrate and take breaks if you need to, and to do things only within the limits of your ability.
    • Tying in with the above, I like that the bad guys aren't coded as being fat/lazy/gluttonous which I think would make folks feel guilty or sad about their own bodies and previous habits. The big bad is a dragon who has become obsessed with working out to an unhealthy degree. The mooks are exercise equipment.
    • It's just straight up cute. Some might find it annoying but I find it really charming. Your healing items are all smoothies which you squeeze the ring to produce! That's cute!

    I would change:

    • Add the ability to adjust difficulty per exercise or per target area. The thigh press exercise targets hip abductors and I can knock out an attack without even registering it as real exercise at my current difficulty level. The Warrior Pose 1 exercise involves working the obliques which I struggle with. If I want to up the difficulty fort the Thigh Press it would also involve a harder Warrior Pose 1 and oh my god my obliques hurt so bad today you guys.
    • I find the the leg strap needs frequent readjustment as it slides down my thigh. Apparently not an uncommon complaint. I'm buying some carpet tape today to help with it.
    • I've heard you unlock a "skill tree" later that kind of fixes this, but at least where I am now some exercises aren't really practical to have in my loadout because they have been outclassed in terms of statistical power by newer exercises (e.g. - squats do 30 single-target blue damage, knee lifts do 50 single-target blue damage). Quick Play mode or creating a custom workout would of course let me do them, but I mainly like adventure mode.
    • As I progress I find myself spending a bit more time doing non-exercise menuing than actively exercising. I guess this is really just a necessity of the RPG mechanics getting progressively more complex, and I don't really know what the solution would be here because I like that they're getting a bit more complex.

    Anyway - this is a game I like a lot and I think I'd love to see some kind of update that fixes a few of these issues. I would probably buy a sequel if a sequel came out, or a DLC or add-on with a new peripheral or something. It gets a solid recommendation from me. :)

    8 votes
    1. SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      Skill tree does have upgrades to earlier skills to make them usable again, but it'll take a long while until you'll be able to actually unlock those upgrades. My biggest complaint about Ring Fit...

      Skill tree does have upgrades to earlier skills to make them usable again, but it'll take a long while until you'll be able to actually unlock those upgrades.
      My biggest complaint about Ring Fit is that they reuse locations a tad too often. They are absolutely gorgeous and remind me of Alto's Adventures, but when it's the same location for the third time, only now it's night or raining -- it kind of loses it's charm. Especially since it kind of doesn't make sense story-wise (not that I really care about the story there anyway). Also I'd like to just disable voice for the Ring only, not the voice during stretches (since sometimes you have to rely on voice commands when you turn away from the screen), but the game has only one voice slider, so there's that. And I found myself enjoying mini-games far more than I thought I would. Other than that -- it really helped me to exercise more, so I'm glad it managed it's goal.

      1 vote
  3. [9]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    I've been playing and putting down a bunch of different games this week, but I think something has changed in my relationship with video games. Video games give you difficulties so that you have...

    I've been playing and putting down a bunch of different games this week, but I think something has changed in my relationship with video games. Video games give you difficulties so that you have something to triumph over. But they're entirely detached from reality. What's the difference between rescuing the princess while 110%ing the game and never even starting it? 60 hours of your time. I used to feel like I was learning something, but if I was, I've finished my education. Now I start up something new and just feel jaded by the gunplay or strategizing or platforming. I played some games to find out how the story ended, but why should I spend 30 hours doing rote mechanical actions to get the story? Its like a very tedious hand cranked book.

    I loved video games. I have since I was three. I'm not sure what happened.

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      TheJorro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It sounds like you're having the same problem many people have with a lot of modern games, where they're designed to be huge sandboxes with all kinds of possibilities... but nothing really feels...

      It sounds like you're having the same problem many people have with a lot of modern games, where they're designed to be huge sandboxes with all kinds of possibilities... but nothing really feels satisfying about it. You're still swinging your sword at hour 60 the same way you were at hour 3, except maybe you do more damage now.

      These days, I have a newfound appreciation for games that feel more "old school", like Yakuza or Doom (2016) or games that are mechanically fun to me and I enjoy playing moment to moment, but ones that I can also put down whenever and go back to later. I don't have to commit hours upon hours at a time to them. And, conversely, I don't feel like I have to see them through to the end of the story either since I'm engaging with them because I enjoy the gameplay. It's a godsend for those super long games.

      Yakuza 0 is a 100+ hour game that I've been playing in bursts for over a year and a half (I did the same with the Witcher 3). Eventually I'll reach the end but I'm not rushing it. Cruising through the game at my own speed, glacial or not, is keeping them fun.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the recommendations. I do still want to play interesting things, but I think the bar for what's interesting has undergone a sudden jump.

        Thanks for the recommendations. I do still want to play interesting things, but I think the bar for what's interesting has undergone a sudden jump.

        4 votes
        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          That seems pretty typical. At some point of engagement with a medium you've just kind of seen lots of stuff before so it becomes much easier to see "the seams" in how stuff is put together. AAA...

          That seems pretty typical. At some point of engagement with a medium you've just kind of seen lots of stuff before so it becomes much easier to see "the seams" in how stuff is put together. AAA games are so formulaic and routine than the seams become really obvious and as you get more demands on your time it just feels less satisfying to engage in these sort-of repetitive actions.

          FWIW, the Nintendo Switch has been great for this since it's just so convenient to pick up and play. I feel a lot more comfortable with 20-45 minute play sessions and then being able to put it down when it's no longer engaging for me. Settling in to play something on the computer or a PS4 just feels like a much bigger effort.

          6 votes
        2. TheJorro
          Link Parent
          No doubt, I think the hard part is reconciling what "interesting" has become for yourself. I had a lot of false starts when trying to discover what I was trying to get out of games until I settled...

          No doubt, I think the hard part is reconciling what "interesting" has become for yourself. I had a lot of false starts when trying to discover what I was trying to get out of games until I settled on entering a "flow state" for an hour or so at a time. For example, I went pretty hard into walking simulators and indie games known for story because I thought I was tired of how plodding and uninspired so many games' stories were, only to discover that that wasn't what I was really missing.

          It'll be different for everyone. Finding what it is that still captures your interest will be the first step.

          3 votes
    2. [2]
      VoidOutput
      Link Parent
      Maybe a newfound appreciation of the value of your free time? When you're a kid, you have so much free time that playing is essentially all you do. Being an adult means having a job or at the very...

      Maybe a newfound appreciation of the value of your free time? When you're a kid, you have so much free time that playing is essentially all you do. Being an adult means having a job or at the very least pursuing an education, having to do chores, maybe meet with friends, spend time with your SO, maybe you have children, etc...

      So as a kid, spending 2 hours on a quest did not give you pause for thought. Whereas you now know how precious your free time is, so 2 hours might be double what you have each day.

      Might not be that for you, but I'd be curious what your reasons could be.

      6 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        I do still have the free time to play, but it's true that most games don't feel like a good use of that time even if I have it to spend.

        I do still have the free time to play, but it's true that most games don't feel like a good use of that time even if I have it to spend.

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      I never felt that. I mean, I enjoy learning the game's mechanics, especially in puzzlers, but I never felt I learned something I could use outside of it (unless we're talking about Zachtronics...

      I used to feel like I was learning something

      I never felt that. I mean, I enjoy learning the game's mechanics, especially in puzzlers, but I never felt I learned something I could use outside of it (unless we're talking about Zachtronics games). For me it's always been about the atmosphere, the characters or the immediate pleasure that games provide on mechanical level (like shooting in Doom, or movement in Mario), or the logical challenge, if it's a puzzler or a strategy game. I absolutely love video games and have no desire to stop playing them, but I also recognize that I don't have nearly as much time and that some games will be left beside the road, for being merely good, not great. I don't waste my time with achievements or 100%-ting the game unless I really enjoy the process (I did with Hollow Knight, for example). As soon as I stop having fun, I put down the game and move on to the next. That's also the reason why I don't play online games any more -- I can't fathom the idea of playing the same game over and over again.

      3 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        I do feel like a lot of strategy games helped me in my day job, giving me a real education in cost/benefit analysis, supply chain management and other operations analysis stuff. I know a lot more...

        I do feel like a lot of strategy games helped me in my day job, giving me a real education in cost/benefit analysis, supply chain management and other operations analysis stuff. I know a lot more about history and geography from Paradox's grand strategy games. A lot of puzzle games have helped me work through complex reasoning chains that have helped in troubleshooting errors in people's finances. But I'm with you on the intolerance for having my time wasted. If it's not fun right now, why am I doing it?

        1 vote
  4. Grawlix
    Link
    Last time, I mentioned Magic: the Gathering Arena, Slay the Spire, and Assassin's Cred: Black Flag. Nothing new since then, I've just changed the ratios. :p Magic: Arena is in a bit of a lull for...

    Last time, I mentioned Magic: the Gathering Arena, Slay the Spire, and Assassin's Cred: Black Flag. Nothing new since then, I've just changed the ratios. :p

    Magic: Arena is in a bit of a lull for a few reasons:

    • I hit Platinum, my target rank (since it unlocks alternate art cards). No reason to push any further since I'm not that competitive.

    • Thanks to a new set, the meta is changing, and I don't want to invest in new decks until it settles.

    • I'm holding off on spending in-game currency until I can draft the new set with it, and it's more efficient to open packs after drafting for a while, so... not much to do right now.

    Still fun seeing all the new cards, but since I'm not a whale, I can't quite jump in full force.

    Slay the Spire is on a bit of a break. Beat Act 3 with one of the character classes so far. It lost out largely because I've been spending so much time playing...

    Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. As I said last time, I'm super late to the party, but I'm one of those patient gamers who would rather get a game that's a few years old at a steep discount rather than pay full price for a new game. (With some exceptions. :p) Anyway, it's great. I missed the series, having only played the first two games and then not following up. It's not perfect by any means and I've got a bunch to gripe about, but the good way outweighs the bad for me.

    I'm only a little over halfway done (though that seems to be by total completion, not just the plot) and there just always seems to be something interesting to do. Repetitive, yes, but I kind of like the grind, and there's always the actual main story to progress through. I just wish it were completely an open world, but instead, there's just some content that's locked until you go through the main story. Especially frustrating when you can start these collections almost right away, just not complete them until later in the game. On the bright side, I can just go off and do something else in the meanwhile. :p

    Plus I just love the vibe of the game. It's gorgeous, the story is fun, and it's just one of those times where I get stuck in a theme—in this case, pirates. I have an idea to make a tabletop RPG about pirates, using Forge in the Dark rules (i.e., based on Blades in the Dark). There seems to be a game like that already out there, but I may try my hand making my own. :) It just seems like such a good fit between the rule system and the genre.

    Plus plus, it's going well with my Tiki drink experiments. Those drinks were largely inspired by Caribbean punches, and the Tiki aesthetic tends to be as historically accurate as an Assassin's Creed game. ;)

    Anyway, tangent over. I love the game. It's got a ton of systems to play with that are frequently interconnected, and I'm just having fun hopping between them.

    4 votes
  5. [3]
    Tlon_Uqbar
    Link
    Picked up Super Liminal with my leftover EGS winter sale coupon, and ended up finishing it in a couple of sessions (it's short). I really wanted to like it, but ultimately it left me with mixed...

    Picked up Super Liminal with my leftover EGS winter sale coupon, and ended up finishing it in a couple of sessions (it's short).
    I really wanted to like it, but ultimately it left me with mixed feelings. More positive feelings than negative, but I can't enthusiastically recommend it.

    The basic conceit of the game is that you can change objects by changing perspective. If you pick up an object when you are close (and hence by perspective is bigger) and then let it go, it changes it's actual size to fit the perspective. Likewise if you pick up a small-looking object from far away, when you drop it, it will be actually smaller.

    The game is a puzzle game where you use these perspective tricks to, well, solve puzzles. The problem is that the puzzles just aren't very good. Most of them are one-step solutions: make an object bigger or smaller to get through a door. There are a few that require thinking a few steps ahead, or require some lateral thinking, but overall not the strongest puzzle game I've played by far.

    The other issue I had is in the storytelling. It takes an overly-large dose of inspiration from Portal. Scratch that, it rips off Portal, and feels very derivative because of it. Keeping it spoiler-free, the story does flip the Portal thing on it's head in the end, in a way. However, the overall experience is so derivative, it really can't be saved. Does every first-person puzzle game need an ominous/humorous female AI voice-over and peek-behind-the-curtains moments into sketchy-looking industrial hallways?

    Ultimately, the game boils down to a series of visual gags using perspective tricks and optical illusions, which I kinda really liked? It's fun to be "inside" an optical illusion, especially because some of them are impossible to build in real life and can only be experienced in video game format. The "woah dude" moments drew me along through the game. The music was fantastic as well.

    In the end, I can't get over how much it didn't live up to what I think it's potential is. I really wanted the perspective-changing to be a better puzzle-solving mechanic. And I REALLY wanted storytelling outside of the well-worn Portal model. Still, can't say I didn't have a good time with Super Liminal, and I guess that's what matters most.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      This game instantly reminded me of another perspective based game from mid 2000s called, well, Perspective. It was an experimental student project, but it's still interesting to check out

      This game instantly reminded me of another perspective based game from mid 2000s called, well, Perspective. It was an experimental student project, but it's still interesting to check out

      2 votes
      1. Tlon_Uqbar
        Link Parent
        Oh yeah, I actually remember seeing this somewhere. I'll check it out. Thanks!

        Oh yeah, I actually remember seeing this somewhere. I'll check it out. Thanks!

        1 vote
  6. cwagner
    Link
    Riot’s new game Legends of Runeterra, based on League of Legends Lore. A CCG and Open Beta started on… Friday I think? I’m in love. Ever since The Elder Scroll Legends went down the abandonment...

    Riot’s new game Legends of Runeterra, based on League of Legends Lore. A CCG and Open Beta started on… Friday I think? I’m in love. Ever since The Elder Scroll Legends went down the abandonment crapper a few years ago, I’ve been missing a nice online CCG. Most were either too simple and/or clunky, one too complex and time-consuming (Magic the Gathering, of course).

    LoR, in my opinion, finds a nice balance between complexity and simplicity.

    A unique (afaik) turn system that works very well online (essentially turns decide who starts each round and gets a free attack token, you can take 1 action every round before the other player can take one, repeat until both pass and a new turn begins)

    3 spell speeds that can stack

    1. burst: Instant (interrupt for old MtG players), does not cost an action
    2. fast: costs an action unless played as reaction to another fast or slow spell
    3. slow: costs an action, can only start a stack but not played in response

    Their draft system is great, it actually allows you to draft into synergies and tribals as you get a bunch of categories assigned (I think 4) and every draft round you pick out of 3 of them that include 2-3 thematically fitting cards.

    They obviously thought about how to prevent P2W problems and you can only buy 3 wildcards per rarity per week with money, as well as drafts, but drafts are also capped to 3 per week. The reward system seems too generous for F2P, but that’s just my first impression, maybe that’s wrong (and it’s not better than decent if you only irregularly play matches).
    A moneymaker will probably be cosmetics which seem to be around 5-10€ each (playmats and avatars)

    The art is amazing (example) and you can view it in HD with flavor text by right clicking one and pressing the eye button.

    There are of course still a few problems and with pretty much no one having a full collection, balancing issues will probably take a bit longer to come up. But most problems are UI related and not that big of a deal.

    Well, this got long. I swear, Riot does not pay me, I wasn’t even in the closed beta ;)

    3 votes
  7. SkewedSideburn
    Link
    Kentucky Route Zero had just come out with its final episode. It took them 7 years, but they finally made it. Not glad to see that they broke Steam integration, causing it to crash on some...

    Kentucky Route Zero had just come out with its final episode. It took them 7 years, but they finally made it.
    Not glad to see that they broke Steam integration, causing it to crash on some configurations (mine, for instance), but it works if you launch it from game folder. I'm replaying it from the start, since I don't remember most things, and considering the game's mystical nature, I don't even remember what I'm supposed to not know.
    Still love it to bits

    3 votes
  8. VoidOutput
    (edited )
    Link
    Look at that, still on iRacing! Seems like it's really something I enjoy, which is very nice. I don't feel like I get bored at all, which I find amazing given that now other games frustrate me...

    Look at that, still on iRacing! Seems like it's really something I enjoy, which is very nice. I don't feel like I get bored at all, which I find amazing given that now other games frustrate me extremely quickly.

    I had previously tried to race on Laguna Seca. As a rookie I was very excited, but obviously, there was a lack of preparation. So after panicking I quickly spin out and failed to finish at all. This was slightly demotivating at first, but I knew then that working at it was the only answer. So I set a goal of training for a week on the Tsukuba Circuit and finally race on Sunday.

    I've watched some of iRacing's lessons whilst commuting. Their format is enjoyable, with each video having a single purpose. They get straight to the point and explain every term and concept. This gave me a rough understanding of things like the racing line.

    During offline practice however I did not apply any methodology at first, except maybe "go fast". This was a mistake obviously. All I did was go at breakneck speeds and spin or crash every other lap. It wasn't until I watched this very informative video that I realized this was ineffective. I set out to understand the circuit, spot markers and be consistent in my lap times above all else, whilst trying my best to learn to control my car in order to stay on the tracks. And it worked nicely despite my skepticism. The previous personal best times began to fall, sometimes without even trying to my great pleasure.

    Come Saturday, I decide to do some online practice to get used to other drivers on a track and how to handle them. I also try to do a real race some hours later. It did not go well. I'm afraid to say that iRacing at the lowest levels can be as frustrating an experience as other regular video games can be. In my particular case, another driver got angry that they were pushed off track, so in a fit of rage they tried to block the incoming traffic, which ended up being me, wrecking my Mazda by crashing into them at 80mph despite my best to avoid this. This was really frustrating, because here I had spent a week training for something only for this asshole to ruin my time.

    Anyway, I tried again on Sunday, which went much better. I didn't win, not by a long shot. But I held my own against other rookies, some Class Ds and even a few Class Cs. I ended up finishing 6th out of 12. This was really rewarding and sorta offset the experience of the previous day.

    I'm going to do the same this week and I can't wait :)

    2 votes
  9. FishFingus
    Link
    I've been playing OpenRCT2, and it's been quite good fun indeed. It's a free mod that works if you already have RCT 1 and 2 installed, which you can get for cheapo on GOG.com. The mod adds a host...

    I've been playing OpenRCT2, and it's been quite good fun indeed. It's a free mod that works if you already have RCT 1 and 2 installed, which you can get for cheapo on GOG.com. The mod adds a host of QoL improvements, not least of which is a fast-forward button for those very long scenarios. I've also been watching some great videos by Marcel Vos on YouTube, which have taught me a fair bit about ride design and the mechanics I didn't even know existed (such as guest weight). He has some really good scenario guides and ride overviews as well.

    2 votes
  10. Thrabalen
    Link
    Interstellar Space: Genesis and GTA Online for me, no surprises there. The new casino heist in GTA is the most fun I've had in a good long while. With IS:G, I've noticed something, however. If I...

    Interstellar Space: Genesis and GTA Online for me, no surprises there. The new casino heist in GTA is the most fun I've had in a good long while.

    With IS:G, I've noticed something, however. If I can figure out a game, then I lose interest in it. I'm starting to feel that with IS:G. I can't turn off the min/maxing brain and just play, I always have to figure out optimal builds, and that road leads to boredom eventually.

    1 vote
  11. JoylessAubergine
    Link
    Starsector, I've been trying to get into it for a while, since i watched SsethTzeentach review in which he gave away his cd key. It's one of those small team passion projects and is sort of a very...

    Starsector, I've been trying to get into it for a while, since i watched SsethTzeentach review in which he gave away his cd key. It's one of those small team passion projects and is sort of a very deep Sci Fi Mount and Blade set in space.

    You start off with a couple of ships and the universe is your oyster. Like mount and blade you can choose your own path and your choices have a real impact on how the rest of the universe treats you. Unlike mount and blade but like a lot of scifi it's chocked to the brim full of numbers that you can use to optimise your experience and fleet if you are that way inclined.

    I've had a lot of false starts. Running out of fuel. Running out of money. Running out of Supplies. Running into Pirates, Zealots, Remnants etc.

    My current run is going ok. I'm a scavenger who is starting to be able to punch back instead of constantly running. I started a colony, too early, too far away from the "core" and it constantly got wrecked by Pirate Fleets while i was away trying to earn money to buy upgrades. It lost too much money and was a pain to get to so i had to abandon it. Now i'm mostly just upgrading my fleet and doing "bar trades" which seem nearly as profitable as longer ranged scavenging.

    1 vote
  12. AugustusFerdinand
    (edited )
    Link
    Because I'm an old man and had remember having to have actual LAN parties in order to play multiplayer games, the guys and I still get together about once a quarter or so and have a LAN party even...

    Because I'm an old man and had remember having to have actual LAN parties in order to play multiplayer games, the guys and I still get together about once a quarter or so and have a LAN party even though nearly none of the games today require us to be local. It's just an excuse for us to all hang out, drink, and have fun together for a couple of days.

    We have been struggling to find a game we all enjoy over the past year though and there was a recent deal where you could get 3 months of Xbox Game Pass on PC for $1. The price is right so we tried that out. Over the course of a few days we installed (and subsequently uninstalled) several games. Here are quick reviews:

    1. Halo Master Chief Collection - Mostly old school Halo remastered. We have gotten old and suck at it again. It is nice to have just a normal simple FPS though without all the extras that every other FPS has tacked on to try to differentiate itself.

    2. Gears 5 - Long, annoying, elementary level, hand holding. unskippable tutorial right at the start to waste your time puts an immediate bad taste in your mouth. It's a straightforward FPS that purposefully/lazily omits things like jumping and has very slow gameplay. Never been a fan of Gears and only ever played the first one until I played this one. Played for a few hours and uninstalled.

    3. ARK - Gears may have an unskippable tutorial for a game that practically doesn't need one at all, while ARK goes the other direction and gives you zero direction and desperately needs some. Apparently their definition of a "survival game" should involve having to google how to do anything and then make all of the players die if they go more than 50 yards from where they started. Played maybe an hour before uninstalling.

    4. For the King - Roguelike where the devs have decided that they want to have RNG's baby. Movement per turn? RNG. Invisible unavoidable random encounters during said RNG limited movement? RNG. Non-combat encounters? Buffs if you get a perfect RNG roll, debuffs if you get anything but a perfect RNG roll. How hard you hit in combat? RNG. Whether you hit even with a perfect roll in combat? RNG. Gold per battle? RNG. Price of items you need to stay alive because you get constantly screwed by the sheer amounts of RNG? Expensive. Difficulty curve? Shaped like the letter J. Devs try to get around all this by giving you a warning saying you'll fail like they're the masters of creating a turn based Dark Souls clone when they've decided to just be lazy and let a roll decide literally everything except the difficulty curve. Oddly enough, haven't uninstalled this one yet as I'm not sure if I'm a glutton for punishment or think maybe I've missed something that should make it more enjoyable.

    5. Human Fall Flat - Not drunk enough to enjoy this. Uninstalled in less than an hour.

    6. Wasteland 3 - Did I mention how this is the only game, that we clicked on, that has a future release date that you'll never notice and instead has an "install" option that you'll just get ticked about after trying to launch the game and it failing only to go back to the game page and notice the release date is in the future?

    7. Sea of Thieves - On the on hand I'll give it credit for being somewhat a pirate simulator in that there is no HUD or immediately accessible map to see where you're going in what amounts to a sailing "gopher" simulator. On the other, it's a pain in the ass to not have access to a map or at least a marker visible without wasting a crew member just looking at the map to see where you are and where you are going. The middle level ship requires three people to man it, we tried, it was still annoying.

    1 vote
  13. screenbeard
    Link
    I feel like an idiot when I say it out loud, but i've just got back into Red Dead 2 Online. I love just being a cowboy. My ideal would be to wander the map with a posse of mates just role playing...

    I feel like an idiot when I say it out loud, but i've just got back into Red Dead 2 Online. I love just being a cowboy. My ideal would be to wander the map with a posse of mates just role playing cowboys, but I don't have any mates who want to play.

    It doesn't help much that almost everything fun a group of people could do is turned off online, and all upgrades are locked behind hours and hours of grinding or worse, microtransactions. Also, the open world is not as alive as the single player game.

    But I'll admit I dropped some real money just to be able to unlock some extra play options and the world itself is just so endearing, and I fucking love being a cowboy, so I put up with all that so I can ride my hoss and say "boah".

    Edit: changed an unfortunate autocorrect.

    1 vote
  14. ThyMrMan
    Link
    Light FairyTale Episode 1 Definitely can’t recommend this game as a stand-alone, though that may change if/when he releases the complete story and bundles them together in some way. But as it...

    Light FairyTale Episode 1

    Definitely can’t recommend this game as a stand-alone, though that may change if/when he releases the complete story and bundles them together in some way. But as it stands, it is a very incomplete and barebones jrpg. But let’s start with some positives.
    Positives
    • Music: Definitely was the best part of this game. All the music sounds really good and enjoyable enough to listen to outside of the game.
    • Setting: While it really does come off being a pretty generic jrpg world, it is interesting enough to keep your attention.
    • Visuals: Pretty good overall, chibi characters are enjoyable enough to look at and the game itself looks pretty good. Textures are good, lighting looks good, shadows look really good, as a complete package it all just looks good without any complaints.
    • Performance: Basic style means it isn’t very demanding, never encountered any fps issues at all. And never encountered any bugs ether. Not a ton of graphical options but being so simple and easy to run means it doesn’t really need that many.
    Negatives
    • Story: For a prologue that will launch this jrpg, it just wasn’t engaging at all. The story is super generic thus far, evil empire controlling everything with advanced technology backing them up and some rebel group that is fighting against them for some reason not yet mentioned. Not exactly an original jrpg story thus far. Also, the event that makes the events of this game occur and will lead into him fighting the empire, is wanting to save a cat from some nameless soldier.
    • Characters: Another generic grouping; clueless naïve main character who somehow doesn’t understand the childhood friend likes him, and the childhood friend who likes main character and gets frustrated at him for not getting it. Thus far nether of these characters have done anything that makes them really stand out in any way at all.
    • Combat: Well, this is some really basic jrpg style combat you have seen hundreds of times. Attack, Magic, Defend, Item. And you know the way it works, spam Magic till you run out of mana than spam Attack with the occasional HP potion usage if you get low on health. Occasionally you get a special ability, but you don’t get the ability to store it or avoid using it so at times is actually annoying. But one character can heal, the other does a large damage attack.
    • Difficulty: The difficulty spikes in this game just aren’t well telegraphed at all, and surprise you. You start off the one zone being forced to grind against enemies that end up taking 5+ hits to kill, with no way to grind them to increase your level to decrease this difficulty. Then you will randomly encounter boss fights without warning, so you may end up in a boss fight with no health potions and just die. Would be nice to have a little warning you are about to fight a major boss.
    • Items: For this Ep 1, basically none of the items are achievable to get or even useful at all. The only useful items are the health and mana potions, all the rest of the gear you don’t ever touch due to lack of money. Also not having a compare feature to compare your current gear to that your buying is disappointing.
    • Length: Honestly, I feel like this game should be renamed from Ep 1, to Prologue to reduce expectations of what you get from this game. Overall you can beat it using the main character in about 2 – 3 hours depending on time spent lost or confused. Then you get a new game plus style, with your companion character. But unless you are going for the achievement you have no reason to do it and can finish it in an hour. This second run is almost identical just missing some sections and goes by faster, with a dozen or so extra dialogue and mini events to see. But overall this just doesn’t have enough content to really make it feel complete to me and satisfied that this was worth the money.

    Overall this game was a real disappointment, it was short and generic and didn’t do anything new or exciting. Unless you are just super desperate for a new jrpg to try out, I don’t really see the reason to get this game in its current state. Wait for the rest of the story to get released and see if it gets improved.


    Also random sidenote about this game, saw the second episodes story and already kinda lost interest. I hate the trope of being separated from one of your companions for a long period of time. Specially when the character being separated has an obvious romance story that could play out. And seeing that the rest of the cast is female characters I can already see where that aspect of the game is going to play out before it even getting released. On the journey to reunite with the childhood friend romantic option, gets close and falls in love with new female character which will then cause drama and/or harem creation once they all get reunited. Don't forget that reuniting with the childhood friend won't be easy, of course they are gonna be captured by the evil empire for some reason or another to raise the stakes and reason for the main character to fight more. Also odd that the anime OP they created seems to spoil part of a future story, not sure what is going on with that, maybe a red herring?

    IDK, maybe I've just played too many games and read too many stories. But I am so tired of seeing old jrpg tropes that I thought were dead by this point pop up again in modern stories. Can't we find a new way to twist it so it doesn't feel so tired and generic.

  15. nothis
    Link
    The Touryst. It's absolutely lovely. So many ideas, nothing stretched for longer than it has to and the weird "tourist on a mystery island"-theme is just perfect for it. Short game, but that's a...

    The Touryst. It's absolutely lovely. So many ideas, nothing stretched for longer than it has to and the weird "tourist on a mystery island"-theme is just perfect for it. Short game, but that's a plust for me, these days!