17 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.

25 comments

  1. emnii
    Link
    Shrine - This was unexpected. It's what we used to call a Doom Total Conversion, now free on Steam. The replacements of enemies and weapons are fairly obvious, but it's got a good HR Giger look to...

    Shrine - This was unexpected. It's what we used to call a Doom Total Conversion, now free on Steam. The replacements of enemies and weapons are fairly obvious, but it's got a good HR Giger look to it. The level textures are a bit simple, particularly in the first half, but it amps up the weirdness in the second half. I finished it in under 90 minutes, but I had fun.

    Chex Quest HD - Speaking of Doom TCs, here's a remake of Chex Quest except now in the Unreal engine! It's surprisingly well done, but it did make me want to go back to the original game. It's also a little wonky with weapons refusing to fire unless they're on or near an enemy, and sometimes you can't just get it "close enough". Another short one, took less than 40 minutes to run through all of the levels once.

    Warhammer 40K: Gladius - Ugh. I played one game that ended in defeat. It took me about 5 hours to get there. For the first two hours, I was really into this. I was marching my space marines around and building my city and researching, just like a good 4X. But this game only has two win conditions, total domination or completing a quest line (ala Endless Legend, which is a much better game). Since this was my first time playing this, I half-heartedly pursued both. I was surprised to find I'd reached the end of the quest line, which resulted in a final quest: defend a unit for 20 turns.

    At this point, I was growing a bit tired of the brainless Civ-like RPS combat, and the flat tech tree is just bolstering your existing military might or adding new combat units. The game was feeling very one dimensional, like we're playing a 1X and not a 4X. But I had an economy prepared to pump out reinforcements, I had the military might to defend a single unit, and I knew where my competitors were and what they were up to.

    So imagine how surprised I was when the game peppered the map with neutral, high level enemies converging on that one unit, inside my "borders", behind my defenses, and quickly destroyed it, resulting in my defeat.

    This is where I decided I was done with this game permanently. I'm okay with losing in a 4X. It sucks, but I learn something. All I learned here was that this game doesn't have a lot of tactical nuance, it knows it doesn't have a lot of tactical nuance, and I should've just meat shielded that one unit and mashed the "next turn" button until the end.

    Don't play WH40K: Gladius. There are better 4X games out there.

    6 votes
  2. [2]
    SuperGracchiBros
    (edited )
    Link
    Darkest Dungeon had a free weekend on Steam, and I played a few hours. I was really into it in the beginning, it was challenging but fun. I was even considering buying it when on my fourth...

    Darkest Dungeon had a free weekend on Steam, and I played a few hours. I was really into it in the beginning, it was challenging but fun. I was even considering buying it when on my fourth expedition into the Dungeon I had a total party kill.
    For those unfamiliar with the game it has a stress mechanic where team members accumulate stress from things like taking damage, teammates taking damages, spending too long in the dungeon, etc. If the stress gets too high, it can have negative status effects on the character and other teammates. One effect is "abusive," where they berate other team members, adding to their stress. Long story short, one of my characters had that effect, berated everyone else until they got so stressed all three had heart attacks and died, and then they were killed by the enemy.
    I didn't ragequit, but I did stare at the difficulty curve while standing at its base and decided I didn't want to climb it right now. I'd actually still recommend Darkest Dungeon if that's the kind of thing you're interested in. It's is really fun when you're not getting your ass kicked.

    6 votes
    1. viridian
      Link Parent
      I thought I would like the darkest dungeon, but ended up really hating it. It's the only heavily chance based game where the better I got at it, the more luck based it felt. The game largely boils...

      I thought I would like the darkest dungeon, but ended up really hating it. It's the only heavily chance based game where the better I got at it, the more luck based it felt. The game largely boils down to gambling or grinding, and I realized that my natural conservative playstyle was going to lead to a very slow, repetitive progression. The fast paced, low light dungeoneering is probably a lot more exciting, but you'll be building up a stack of bodies along the way, which doesn't sit well with me, because you are just tossing units into the grinder while angling for lucky collector engagements, hidden room procs, etc.

      5 votes
  3. [5]
    Icarus
    Link
    Risk of Rain 2 Grand Theft Auto IV Guacamelee

    Risk of Rain 2

    I keep slamming my head into this wall, trying to unlock achievements, but I think I am about done with the game and need a break at 70 hours. The class that I have primarily played as (Loader), is fun and the mobility options are incredible at end game, but I think I need some time to forget how to play so I can come back and play as a different character with an open mind. Maybe I will limit my play time or brute force my way into learning a new character. I do need something to play during the dead times at work.

    Grand Theft Auto IV

    I have never beaten a Grand Theft Auto game and more importantly, I have never not cheated in GTA. But now I am giving it a fair shot and try my best to hold interest in the story and complete this game. I'm already at about 30% completed, but I am enjoying my time for the most part. An error during Cloud Sync with Rockstar Social Club has borked my system where I can only play the game if I reset my system clock to March of this year. The graphics are a bit dreary and controls are a bit clunky with mouse and keyboard. However, its over-the-top dumb fun sometimes so I think I will do well in my mission to complete it. Maybe I will look into a graphics overhaul mod to make the game pop a bit more.

    Guacamelee

    Didn't expect to play this but I tried it out on a whim. It is a lot of fun! I'm not very good at getting combos and there is so little risk of losing any meaningful progress that its a good game to play on the side. I hope that I will finish it this week, and then start on Guacamelee 2.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      feigneddork
      Link Parent
      With GTA 4, if you can get one I would recommend an Xbox controller. Maybe it is me, but I found on foot controls and driving controls far too clunky for KB+M. I forgot about RoR2, so I'll watch...

      With GTA 4, if you can get one I would recommend an Xbox controller. Maybe it is me, but I found on foot controls and driving controls far too clunky for KB+M.

      I forgot about RoR2, so I'll watch some videos and see if it's for me.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Icarus
        Link Parent
        I agree about the controls, I actually have a Wii U Pro Controller that I leave set up for quick controller action. The shooting though is so much easier with a mouse that I have been sticking...

        I agree about the controls, I actually have a Wii U Pro Controller that I leave set up for quick controller action. The shooting though is so much easier with a mouse that I have been sticking with it more. I think when I get further into the game and have more missions centered around driving vehicles, I will likely switch my controller on to complete those missions.

        3 votes
        1. feigneddork
          Link Parent
          I actually remember that being correct - it was so much more easier to perform headshots with the mouse than it was to do with the controller. I'd always forget to depress the left trigger...

          I actually remember that being correct - it was so much more easier to perform headshots with the mouse than it was to do with the controller. I'd always forget to depress the left trigger halfway.

          Luckily R* have refined the controls, at least in RDR2.

          3 votes
    2. SantalBlush
      Link Parent
      I unlocked most of the Risk of Rain 2 achievements the right way because it was a fun challenge, but as soon as it started feeling like a chore I unlocked the remaining achievements with the XML...

      I unlocked most of the Risk of Rain 2 achievements the right way because it was a fun challenge, but as soon as it started feeling like a chore I unlocked the remaining achievements with the XML file. It's not worth hating the game over. If you're interested, I can link to the instructions for editing the file.

      1 vote
  4. [5]
    kfwyre
    Link
    I finished a 100% run of Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It was excellent -- as good as the first, maybe even better. They nailed everything in the game. The movement alone is incredible, supported...

    I finished a 100% run of Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

    It was excellent -- as good as the first, maybe even better. They nailed everything in the game. The movement alone is incredible, supported by fluid animation, beautiful environments, and great game design. This and Blind Forest are two of the best games I've played in years.

    Pinging @cfabbro now that I'm finished:

    Spoilers

    I wasnt't expecting to be as moved by the story as I was. I don't tend to get too into game narratives like this but I'll admit to tearing up a little bit at multiple points, particularly the ending.

    Also, I was really hoping for a trilogy, but it looks like that won't happen, at least not with Ori at the helm. Maybe a new character (which they kind of teased at)? Or maybe we could play a game as Ku while she's growing up? Whatever it is, all I know is that I'll play it. Moon Studios has shown they absolutely know what they're doing. What a feat from the dev team!

    I'm also finishing up with GRIS which is an artsy, atmospheric 2D platformer. It's the kind of game that I don't really love playing but I appreciate existing, if that makes sense. The game is less about the play it offers for me and more about the aesthetic experience, which is nothing short of gorgeous.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The ending of Ori 2 really hit me hard too. I wept like a wee babe. :P possible spoilersAnd yeah, I would love another game, and suspect there will be one but just with another incarnation (which...

      The ending of Ori 2 really hit me hard too. I wept like a wee babe. :P

      possible spoilersAnd yeah, I would love another game, and suspect there will be one but just with another incarnation (which could really open up the gameplay options). But TBH, I would also be perfectly content with no more games in the series since it was such a lovely and satisfying ending, and a new game would almost cheapen that IMO. Although your Ku game idea (or even another totally new character in the Universe) would deftly avoid that, and actually excites me.

      Also, nice... GRIS is another of my favorite games! From an old comment of mine on it (no spoilers), which funnily enough even compared it to the first Ori game:

      Well, I just finished GRIS and it was truly... magical, unique, special? I can see why so many reviewers are left somewhat perplexed in how to convey what they feel about it and how to describe it to others without spoiling the game for them. To be honest, even calling it a game feels a bit wrong. There are some puzzle elements but none of them are difficult, nor are they really meant to be. There are some platforming elements but they too aren't difficult, nor are they meant to be. On paper all of that sounds horrible, but even without any real challenge to them they do serve to intimately connect you to the main character while you/she journeys from one wonderful chapter to the next, the pacing of which is perfect. None of the chapters outstays their welcome and neither does the game. It ends just when it needs to at around the 3.5hr mark... and what a remarkable ending it was. It's incredibly rare for a game to make me cry, but GRIS managed to do that without even a single word of dialogue having been spoken the entire time. The only other game I can remember having accomplished that was Ori and the Blind Forest, so that puts GRIS in pretty rare company.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I finished with GRIS. It was beautiful. I found that, like you, I wasn't really into the game aspects. Instead, it was something meant to be just sort of experienced. I absolutely loved the game's...

        I finished with GRIS. It was beautiful. I found that, like you, I wasn't really into the game aspects. Instead, it was something meant to be just sort of experienced. I absolutely loved the game's use of color.

        I also think it's interesting that I played it and Ori back to back, which you also mention side-by-side in your review. Quite the coincidence!

        2 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I wouldn't quite call it a walking simulator since there slightly was more to it than most of those, but it was close. It wasn't a visual novel either, since it had no words, but it almost...

          Yeah, I wouldn't quite call it a walking simulator since there slightly was more to it than most of those, but it was close. It wasn't a visual novel either, since it had no words, but it almost felt a bit like one in many ways. It felt mostly like an animated movie that just so happened to allow you to control the character while you watched it, so you could better connect with and relate to her. In any case, it was lovely and the experience incredibly cathartic for me.

          1 vote
    2. BuckeyeSundae
      Link Parent
      I've wanted to play more of both games, but I got stuck on the first one because the barrier to remapping the control scheme from an Xbox 360 controller to PS4 controller was too annoying to dig...

      I've wanted to play more of both games, but I got stuck on the first one because the barrier to remapping the control scheme from an Xbox 360 controller to PS4 controller was too annoying to dig into. With so many games, and more than enough platformers swarming me at the moment, I opted to wait until I had the energy to beat that horse dead.

      2 votes
  5. feigneddork
    Link
    Continuing on from last post, Red Dead Redemption 2. Last time I was a bit disappointed with the game as it seemed a bit rail-roady. That is definitely true and there are all sorts of issues in...

    Continuing on from last post, Red Dead Redemption 2. Last time I was a bit disappointed with the game as it seemed a bit rail-roady. That is definitely true and there are all sorts of issues in this game, but it's winning me over.

    I've often read the writing in this game is great, and for me that isn't a lie. I'm approaching the end of Chapter 6 and man, what a rollercoaster. I'll mark the rest with a spoiler for those who are interested in RDR2 and haven't played it, at least the story bit.

    The slow character evolution really resonates with me in my past when I try to course correct - too much in Hollywood the character is seen to do or have witnessed something that makes them change their mind on the spot. Not here - it's a slow, gradual burn, and even then once the realisation sets in, the wheels are in motion and it's often very late, if it isn't too late, to do anything to rectify the situation. All one can do is move forward with the knowledge and wisdom that comes from the fruit of failure.

    With that praise out of the way, the one realisation I came to while playing the storyline was that this game would be so much better as a linear game than as a sandbox. I do believe the player agency hurts the story a little. I guess what I'm referring to is the honour system - before Saint Denis I was robbing people and horses - mostly horses by shooting them in the face and going through their satchels. I'd always shoot first, then shoot later. Clearly, this made me a bit "undesirable" in the honour system, so once I got to Saint Denis, I slowly trotted across the town and greeted everyone. After a little while later I had a full honour system (I had about half of the honour bar, so admittedly I wasn't too bad). Other missions later on gives me a chance to improve that honour.

    True, one could argue that seeing Arthur improve his honour plays into the main story, and I get that. But by greeting people? Really? I guess it was a video-game thing Rockstar Games put in for people like myself who wanted a rootin' tootin' cowboy game but also wanted the good ending, but given how the game often goes for realism, it feels pretty jarring to have that in. Which is why I felt it could be better as a linear game - have moments that clearly affect Arthur's honour system without player choice, but have moments where the player could choose to improve their honour.

    But overall I'm having fun. Outside of the game stuttering and crashes, of course. Oh Rockstar, when will you be consistently good at PC ports?

    4 votes
  6. aphoenix
    Link
    Elite Dangerous - it's a cool space exploration game. I've mostly been focusing on trade and exploration. I'm planning to outfit a mining and exploration rig and do more fo that soon. I've been...

    Elite Dangerous - it's a cool space exploration game. I've mostly been focusing on trade and exploration. I'm planning to outfit a mining and exploration rig and do more fo that soon. I've been enjoying it a lot, and I am also planning on outfitting a ship for dogfighting. I think I can set things up so that I can change load outs within the one ship? I'll be figuring that out.

    World of Warcraft - my guild is in heroic farm mode; we don't really do mythic. I'm tanking, so I can't really stop because then the whole raid is kind of screwed. That hasn't stopped the other tanks from quitting though... Battle for Azeroth was a pretty good expansion from my point of view. I mostly consider raids and dungeons, both of which were very good. The art direction was also top notch. The story is meh, but contrary to what some people think, the story has never been particularly good for WoW; the writing on a small scale is relatively good, but the overall stories are a hodge podge of lots of other stories. It's all just okay and this is also just okay.

    3 votes
  7. Akir
    Link
    I just started playing Sakura Wars. I get that it's supposed to be largely about the relationships between the characters but it's also supposed to be about the mech action, and those are spaced...

    I just started playing Sakura Wars. I get that it's supposed to be largely about the relationships between the characters but it's also supposed to be about the mech action, and those are spaced so far apart. So far I have only seen one action stage and I have been playing for quite a few hours.

    The only thing that is terrible is how much it doesn't want you to fast forward through dialog. Even unvoiced dialogue is set to a timer most of the time, and you need to press X twice in order to skip to the next line. And in tete-a-tete mode, dialogue is completely unskippable. That mode is also fairly unpalatable because it feels really pandering to straight males, with uncomfortable close-ups for the female characters and forcing you to select actions like holding hands, petting heads, and holding them.

    3 votes
  8. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Banner Saga 3: One was too slow and not enough going on. Two was much better. Now that I've finished three I can say that two was the best. This one just felt like it was dragging along with...

    Banner Saga 3: One was too slow and not enough going on. Two was much better. Now that I've finished three I can say that two was the best. This one just felt like it was dragging along with nothing really added from two except some playable Dredge characters. Got the "good" ending on the first try, manipulated game files to see all the other endings. I don't think there will be a fourth game and if there was I wouldn't play it.

    Cultist Simulator: Randomly fumbling around to see which cards go where with vague descriptions and zero idea of what the goal may be is just not for me. Hard pass.

    3 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Re. Cultist Simulator: It's really an experience engine. The experience of picking at the edge of the known while trying to balance your need for survival is an interesting one, but mechanically...

      Re. Cultist Simulator: It's really an experience engine. The experience of picking at the edge of the known while trying to balance your need for survival is an interesting one, but mechanically it's pretty rough. Much earlier on in its life there was a mod that would let you automate things so it wasn't just tedium for hours while you try to make space for the interesting stuff, but an update broke it.

      My life is full of "doing the thing" so that I can have a few moments of wonder and joy; a game that recreates that is exhausting.

      2 votes
  9. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I finished The Sexy Brutale over the weekend. It's a neat little game - took me about 12 hours to 100% it - with a cool gimmick. I think I expected more because of how much I'd heard it praised...

    I finished The Sexy Brutale over the weekend. It's a neat little game - took me about 12 hours to 100% it - with a cool gimmick. I think I expected more because of how much I'd heard it praised though.

    Thanks again to @weldawadyathink for gifting it to me!

    3 votes
  10. BuckeyeSundae
    Link
    Got into BATTLETECH lately. I fear the ass kicking that cometh. I hear the power curve in this game is gonna come for me. So far I've been lucky. I love the world building and I'm pretty happy...

    Got into BATTLETECH lately. I fear the ass kicking that cometh. I hear the power curve in this game is gonna come for me. So far I've been lucky. I love the world building and I'm pretty happy with the main plot for a generic-choose-your-own-main-character sort of starting point.

    3 votes
  11. [4]
    monarda
    Link
    I've of late been into games I can play for a few minutes and put down, but that also have enough game play that I can play longer if I want. I'm not liking games that have bred into them a need...

    I've of late been into games I can play for a few minutes and put down, but that also have enough game play that I can play longer if I want. I'm not liking games that have bred into them a need to keep going. It also turns out that I am liking simplicity in graphics with a smoothness in movement. I also seem to like replayability, I am finding it soothing to play something I have played already. These gaming habits are new to me, and I'm still exploring the language of what I like in a game.

    I'm still playing Zen Sand and having beat its 64 levels, I still find myself playing the first 32 over and over again. It's soothing.

    Last week cfabbro recommended Osmos , and I cannot recommend it enough. It hits all the things I have been liking in games, graphically simple with smooth movement -- it's floaty, glidy, I don't know (give me words) and it calms me. In the game you're a globe, and you want to get bigger than the other globes. You do this by absorbing globes that are smaller than you, but every time you move you lose some of your mass, and other globes absorb it making them larger. The mass you expel can also change the path of the globes that absorb it. There are faster and slower type games where different movements you make are more or less important.

    I've been playing arcade mode where you can choose which type of game play you like, and I like the kind that is slow. Where a single tap or two has me floating, gliding slowly to the place I need to be, and forcing me to wait and do nothing until I reach my destination. I can be a real stress bunny, so the forced slow down of the mode I've been choosing to play brings me back down to, I don't know, normal? The levels do get harder and take longer to complete, but I can easily go down a few levels and still find those fulfilling when I'm just looking for something to distract me while my brain figures out something without my interference.

    This is the first game in many years that someone recommended to me that 100% fit. If you're looking for a game that can give a quick fix, doesn't require you to go all in, engages you mind, and is beautiful to play, you should give it a go.

    3 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Awesome! I'm glad you're enjoying it, and that it's helping you chill out. I don't actually remember trying the arcade mode myself, so I may have to download it again and give that a try. :)

      Awesome! I'm glad you're enjoying it, and that it's helping you chill out. I don't actually remember trying the arcade mode myself, so I may have to download it again and give that a try. :)

      2 votes
    2. [2]
      SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      Have you tried Eufloria?

      Have you tried Eufloria?

      2 votes
      1. monarda
        Link Parent
        I hadn't, but it's on my list of next things to try. Thank you!

        I hadn't, but it's on my list of next things to try. Thank you!

        1 vote
  12. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I just got Trover Saves the Universe. It's everything I thought it was going to be, and I'm absolutely happy about it. The voice acting is like Rick and Morty's Intergalactic Cable episodes. The...

    I just got Trover Saves the Universe. It's everything I thought it was going to be, and I'm absolutely happy about it. The voice acting is like Rick and Morty's Intergalactic Cable episodes. The game is hilarious, but it's all done in a way that doesn't get boring. Trover says some crazy stuff, but only the first few times collecting a thing, or interacting with an object repeatedly so it doesn't wear thin. I don't have a VR setup, but the game is still a lot of fun, and is designed in a way that it's weird control premise just makes sense. If you have VR and like Justin Roiland's humor, I'd say you have to get this game, I imagine it would be great with it. Even if you just like Justin Roiland's stuff, the game is worth it.

    Polybridge 2 just came out. I bought it as soon as it came out, and it's only $15. It offers a few more materials to work with, but is just as fun as the first one if you like physics-based puzzles.

    I got back into Astroneer in a big way. I was burned by playing it in alpha and beta, and much of how I liked the game was steeped in these older versions. I apparently didn't touch it for a year, and it was enough for me to quit being jaded about it. I'm having a blast with it, trying to level a pole on Novus (a moon) so I can get solar power all day while also developing enough of a base to get stuff to help it go faster. I was going to go to a specific planet, but changed my goal after it was removed, tweaked, and replaced.

    1 vote