15 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.

16 comments

  1. emnii
    Link
    I got deep into Doom Eternal and I expect I'll finish it before the end of the week. I can describe Doom Eternal with one word: "extra". There was a simplicity and a return to FPS form in Doom...

    I got deep into Doom Eternal and I expect I'll finish it before the end of the week.

    I can describe Doom Eternal with one word: "extra". There was a simplicity and a return to FPS form in Doom (2016) and they took this game in another direction. It's systems on top of systems, upgrades on top of upgrades, and pointless lore on top of pointless lore. Doom Eternal didn't need all of this.

    The good news is that I really started to enjoy it once I'd ingested all of the options. It's still combat arenas connected by either silly platforming or a string of things to kill to replenish your ammo/health/armor. But it feels great to run circles around all these demons and blast them to death.

    10 votes
  2. Grawlix
    Link
    In terms of pure time spent, I'm all in on Stellaris. It's a great grand strategy game, and such a mashup of science fiction tropes that it really feels like a love letter to the genre. At ~50...

    In terms of pure time spent, I'm all in on Stellaris. It's a great grand strategy game, and such a mashup of science fiction tropes that it really feels like a love letter to the genre. At ~50 hours in, I'm still wrapping my head around some of the concepts in the game (as happens with grand strategy games) but the learning curve has actually been pretty satisfying. My other major experience in the genre is with Crusader Kings 2, which I also love, but only ever played as a sandbox; Stellaris feels much nicer as an actual game to win, and I think it would handle multiplayer much better. Absolutely recommended.

    Dabbling with Magic: the Gathering:: Arena as usual, but kind of relaxed on that. I hit the rank I wanted, and it's kind of the end-of-set-doldrums. The events are nice, I guess.

    I'm also still in a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons, where we're playing Out of the Abyss. No spoilers, but our crew ended on a major cliffhanger where there's a good chance we're not going to survive. Well, I say that, but it's modern D&D, so survival is actually assumable most of the time, I just don't see how it's going to play out. Also, my major gripe with the campaign: too much abyss. I know it's the whole theme of the campaign, but there's only so many caverns, mushrooms, and grimdark demons or whatever before they all kind of blend together. I'm having fun playing with everyone, and I'm into the characters, but I really want to shake things up.

    To that end, I've been playing more games with my other group! Quarantine has its perks, I guess (not that it's worth the whole rest of the pandemic, obviously).

    We had a partial group and played Lasers & Feelings, which was a lot of fun! A bit of a perspective shift from the kinds of games I'm used to, but in a very nice way. It's only a page, and I like light systems like this a lot; there's a lot of creativity in paring things down in any artform, and it just works so efficiently at the table. Odds are we'll play this one again.

    And we continued in Blades in the Dark, with my (somewhat slapdash) adaptation of Blood in the Chocolate. My only regret is that I'm kind of practicing the system as I go, so I may not be giving the full experience of the module. I really ought to have pushed the players harder, which I know is in the guidelines for BitD, but the risk of going TOO hard is intimidating. If I could do it again, I'd practice a bit more with the system before trying it, but I really wanted to start it when I did... because it's candy themed... and we started in October. :p Schedules were hard to manage! I'm looking forward to the climax, because we'll be more able to run the game as intended, with single-session heists, and thus play even if one player can't make it. That probably read more as a diary than a play report, but it's a great system, a great module (though a bit edgy in ways I had to tone down), and I'm having a great time. :)

    9 votes
  3. [3]
    what
    Link
    I got Good Job, a Nintendo Switch game that released (out of nowhere) 3 or 4 days ago. I think it's like a mix of Untitled Goose Game and Human Fall Flat, with a very charming art style that...

    I got Good Job, a Nintendo Switch game that released (out of nowhere) 3 or 4 days ago. I think it's like a mix of Untitled Goose Game and Human Fall Flat, with a very charming art style that reminds me of those animations from Portal (with the little scientists in the labs).

    The game has different levels, which are themed as parts of an office building. You're dropped into levels with an objective like "fix the internet" or "move these 5 packages over here". It's fairly open-ended in that you can try to finish the goal as fast as possible, try to do the most/least destruction possible, try to find all the hidden items, etc.

    Speaking of destruction, each level is a highly destructible sandbox. You can grab and push furniture around, knock stuff over, send stuff crashing through walls, etc. The game has a very distinct art style, and it's super satisfying to smash stuff around and create chaos. A text review really doesn't do it justice, I suggest watching a minute or two of a gameplay video to get a feel for it.

    What I love about this game is that it always keeps things fresh. The game has 7 (or 8?) different floors, each with a different theme (i.e. accounting, logistics, recreation, etc), and 4 levels per floor. Every floor has it's own unique mechanic: for example, the first floor has lots of slingshots created by plugging in wires across rooms, the second floor (logistics) has cranes and forklifts, the third floor (recreation) has pools and hoses, etc. This makes me excited for each floor, and gets me wanting to find out what the next floor will offer.

    One of my gripes with Untitled Goose Game (and the reason I haven't gotten it, even though it looks phenomenal) is the extremely short playtime (2-3 hours). This game is the same price ($25), and from what I've read, is around 7-10 hours. I think it also offers a good amount of replayability: like I said before, it tracks time and destruction, and gives you letter grades on how you did, so you can always go back and try to improve your score.

    I've played the first three floors and I'm having a blast, I can definitely recommend this game to anyone with a Switch :)

    9 votes
    1. asoftbird
      Link Parent
      Got a switch incoming this week, definitely playing this! Looks very fun from what l saw in the trailer, thanks for the recommendation!

      Got a switch incoming this week, definitely playing this! Looks very fun from what l saw in the trailer, thanks for the recommendation!

      4 votes
    2. asoftbird
      Link Parent
      Played it a bit so far, it's really fun, thanks!

      Played it a bit so far, it's really fun, thanks!

      4 votes
  4. dubteedub
    Link
    I just beat Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix on the PS4 last night. I really enjoyed the game and think it still holds up surprisingly well. I enjoyed all of the little enhancements and changes made over...

    I just beat Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix on the PS4 last night. I really enjoyed the game and think it still holds up surprisingly well. I enjoyed all of the little enhancements and changes made over the original, the added secret boss fights, the new synthesis combinations, etc. The story was still fun, charming, and surprisingly simple, especially compared to how convoluted things have gotten since then.

    I got the full All-In-One Kingdom Hearts combo-pack for $30 on PSN recently and trying to figure out what I should play next. I have never played Birth by Sleep, Dream Drop Distance, 2.8 Final Chapter Prolouge, or KH 3 and not sure what is really essential or not at this point. Is it worth it to play some of the side stories before jumping ahead to KH 3, or would it be better to just read a wiki?

    8 votes
  5. SkewedSideburn
    Link
    In addition to Animal Crossing, I finally decided to try Doom Eternal. I had my doubts, as the critical reception has not been as unanimous as it has been for 2016. And as it turns out, for a good...

    In addition to Animal Crossing, I finally decided to try Doom Eternal.

    I had my doubts, as the critical reception has not been as unanimous as it has been for 2016. And as it turns out, for a good reason.

    Now, anything that relates to you actually killing demons is absolutely fantastic. I can't remember any other shooter that had me make meaningful decision every second and forced me to keep moving just to stay alive (I'm playing on Ultra Violence and I think it's perfectly balanced). But everything else is just... why? Boring-wannabe-epic cutscenes, laughable lore that tries very hard to both present itself seriously and be aware of its silliness at the same time -- why? Platforming sections with literal yellow poles yanked straight out of Sands of Time -- why? Abhorrent menus, lots of boring upgrade options, again -- why? Huge ship that serves as a hub that you sometimes get forced to rummage in (apparently) just to unlock some costumes for the multiplayer and/or some weapon upgrade -- why?

    I will be finishing this game just for the sheer adrenaline rush that the combat provides, but it's not a coherent experience that Doom 2016 was, not even close. And it's kind of sad. I will be even more wary of the sequel, when it comes.

    8 votes
  6. Wes
    Link
    I've recently gotten back into Elite Dangerous with the recent announcement of fleet carriers. I'm doing some mining to grind up to the required 5 billion credits. I started at 3B so it's not as...

    I've recently gotten back into Elite Dangerous with the recent announcement of fleet carriers. I'm doing some mining to grind up to the required 5 billion credits. I started at 3B so it's not as prohibitive for me as it is for others.

    I decided to forego my core mining Python and spec out a new Cutter designed for laser mining. In three hauls I've made just enough to reach 5B, but will do a couple more for insurance reasons. I normally prefer playing in VR but this is a long task so I've just been playing in pancake with Netflix on the side.

    I finally watched My Neighbor Totoro while playing. Nice film.

    7 votes
  7. kodystriplin
    Link
    I'm DMing Lost Mines of Phandelver. I moved our game to Roll20 so we can continue the campaign despite physical isolation. I didn't want the new tool to detract from the actual story, so I built a...

    I'm DMing Lost Mines of Phandelver. I moved our game to Roll20 so we can continue the campaign despite physical isolation. I didn't want the new tool to detract from the actual story, so I built a side dungeon packed with fun magic items for the party to crawl. Roll20 is working out well for us, but I'm ending up sinking a ton of time into actually building the dungeons. I'm used to a whiteboard or paper battlemat. The dungeons sure look pretty, though.

    I've also started a vanilla Skyrim playthrough. Holy COW does this game have a level of detail I've never noticed before. Morrowind is my favorite game of all time, and I wanted to emulate the exploration mechanic of Morrowind so I'm not using fast travel (except via carriages), and I'm finding all sorts of stuff I've missed in past playthroughs. It almost surprises me that the developers added fast travel with so much stuff scattered throughout the map.

    I'm slowly getting my wife warmed up to the idea of playing Civ 5 and/or Tabletop Sim (she and I are big board game fans -- Scythe was our game of choice before the virus) so we'll see where that goes!

    7 votes
  8. Pistos
    Link
    I recently got together with friends and family, and we played a few things: The Last Guardian, by the developers that made Shadow of the Colossus. This is a one-player game, but we still enjoyed...

    I recently got together with friends and family, and we played a few things:

    The Last Guardian, by the developers that made Shadow of the Colossus. This is a one-player game, but we still enjoyed going through the story line and solving (environmental) puzzles together, with one person using the controller at a time. Somehow, playing with others in the same room heightened the suspenseful moments of the game by a lot, and we laughed, cheered, got scared and screamed all together.

    A couple couch co-op games we played that I can recommend:

    Overcooked -- enough has been said about this game already, but I give it a thumbs up for anyone looking to play together in the same room.

    Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime: You and up to 3 of your friends each take control of one aspect of a single, colourful space ship and navigate through 2D space in a sort of 360-degree sidescrolling shooter. Players can agree to stick to one control, or hop around and switch seats. There are more than 4 controls in the ship, so you have to talk (or yell) things out, coordinating with one another about who controls what when. Someone pilots, someone controls a (directional) shield, and there are 4 turrets, plus a mega cannon, a map console, and other things. Good for an afternoon or weekend of fun.

    7 votes
  9. [2]
    ShrubOfRegret
    Link
    Last night I beat Half Life: Alyx. It could be a sort of recency bias talking, but I think it might be my favorite game of all time. When I first started HL:A I wasn't too sure about it. It came...

    Last night I beat Half Life: Alyx. It could be a sort of recency bias talking, but I think it might be my favorite game of all time.

    When I first started HL:A I wasn't too sure about it. It came out basically right after I beat Boneworks, and the two games have different philosophies on how to handle VR. I prefer the freedom of Boneworks, so the limitations in HL:A really stuck out to me. As an example, while hunting for ammo in HL:A I thought to check a large trashcan, but was stopped a solid foot away by an invisible wall; in Boneworks I could have gotten my entire body inside that trashcan without issue.

    Aside about Boneworks

    If you haven't see it, and don't care about any potential spoilers, I would recommend watching a speedrun of Boneworks. It definitely isn't 100% accurate to how the game is supposed to be played, but it's a good showcase of the freedom I'm talking about.

    However, as time went on, HL:A drew me in enough that those issues just didn't matter a whole lot to me. What really sold it for me was the atmosphere. Valve definitely knows how to craft environments. In particular I would say the last half of the game was phenomenal. This is definitely a game I'm going to be playing again.

    7 votes
    1. ali
      Link Parent
      I also play half life alyx, tho I didn’t today and yesterday. But god damn this game is so incredibly scary. The game without VR would be okay, but with VR and life size Zombies and headcrabs...

      I also play half life alyx, tho I didn’t today and yesterday. But god damn this game is so incredibly scary. The game without VR would be okay, but with VR and life size Zombies and headcrabs jumping at you, having to reload slowly and having to aim. It’s just so spooky. I actually have trouble playing it and I sometimes just need to sit down and take a break because it just looks so real. I think the game is amazing, I wish there was sth like it, but less spooky .

      5 votes
  10. minimaltyp0s
    Link
    We've started playing Battlefield V on Xbox. Much more forgiving as a squad game than PUBG, and much more fun than Battlefront 2. I'm most impressed by the world damage - the battlefield changes...

    We've started playing Battlefield V on Xbox. Much more forgiving as a squad game than PUBG, and much more fun than Battlefront 2.

    I'm most impressed by the world damage - the battlefield changes so much over the course of a 20 minute game.

    5 votes
  11. mars
    Link
    Due to the pandemic my group of friends can't get together for our usual board game nights, however last weekend we played through the games in the Jackbox Party Pack 3 and Drawful 2 over video...

    Due to the pandemic my group of friends can't get together for our usual board game nights, however last weekend we played through the games in the Jackbox Party Pack 3 and Drawful 2 over video conferencing and it was a big hit. We even pulled in some friends from the other side of the country. Jackbox Games has a really nice system of letting anyone's smartphone act as their controller through a web browser and only requiring the host running the game to own a copy, so it is low-friction to get a bunch of friends together and play + hang out. Drawful 2 is also free right now on all their distribution platforms.

    4 votes
  12. [2]
    moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    Finishing up Ori and The Will of The Wisps: cc @cfabbro The second to last escape (explicit spoilers) Fuck that stupid sandworm in it's stupid fucking face. Fuck it's rubberbanding fuckery, fuck...

    Finishing up Ori and The Will of The Wisps: cc @cfabbro

    The second to last escape (explicit spoilers) Fuck that stupid sandworm in it's stupid fucking face. Fuck it's rubberbanding fuckery, fuck it restarting you at the beginning of the sequence when you die on the last stretch, and fuck it killing you when you could easily out maneuver it, or get behind it, or fucking warp out like you could in any other fucking situation! Fuck!!

    Otherwise, I'm having a ball. Kind of annoyed for with the Final Dungeon totes for reals this time, but nothing I can't handle.

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      ROFL... I warned you that escape was insane. :P And yeah the last dungeon was kind of annoying to me too. It took me about 30 minutes of dying over and over to get the first heart, but if it's any...

      ROFL... I warned you that escape was insane. :P And yeah the last dungeon was kind of annoying to me too. It took me about 30 minutes of dying over and over to get the first heart, but if it's any consolation, each subsequent one after that was significantly faster/easier.

      2 votes