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.

25 comments

  1. [4]
    Marijn
    Link
    I got Celeste as part of itch.io's racial justice bundle, and honestly, i don't think i've been this entranced by a game since Minecraft or Cities: Skylines. The core gameplay loop is satisfying...

    I got Celeste as part of itch.io's racial justice bundle, and honestly, i don't think i've been this entranced by a game since Minecraft or Cities: Skylines. The core gameplay loop is satisfying as hell, and it's so easy to get in the zone™: the lightning-fast respawns make sure you never get frustrated by waiting times, and the controls are so tight that you never feel like it's the game's fault that you failed. I've completed the main story (1–7), so now i'm going back and trying to 100% it and collect enough hearts to get access to chapters 8 and 9.

    13 votes
    1. DrStone
      Link Parent
      Overall, I enjoyed the game. My biggest frustration was that the dash mechanic was locked to the 8 directions and using an analog stick would sometimes give unexpected results (though technically...

      Overall, I enjoyed the game. My biggest frustration was that the dash mechanic was locked to the 8 directions and using an analog stick would sometimes give unexpected results (though technically correct for the input I guess).

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      tunneljumper
      Link Parent
      I’ve heard great things about that game; would Super Meat Boy be a good comparison?

      I’ve heard great things about that game; would Super Meat Boy be a good comparison?

      2 votes
      1. PetitPrince
        Link Parent
        Have played both: mostly yes. SMB characters have in general a bigger momentum though. And Celeste has a better narrative than SMB, but it doesn't diminish gameplay.

        Have played both: mostly yes. SMB characters have in general a bigger momentum though. And Celeste has a better narrative than SMB, but it doesn't diminish gameplay.

        3 votes
  2. [3]
    rkcr
    Link
    I got Disco Elysium and as a long-time Planescape: Torment fan, this game feels like it was made exactly for me. It's like someone said "let's remake P:T, only we'll remove the stupid parts of it...

    I got Disco Elysium and as a long-time Planescape: Torment fan, this game feels like it was made exactly for me. It's like someone said "let's remake P:T, only we'll remove the stupid parts of it like the mediocre combat and really lean in to the dialogue trees."

    Haven't finished it yet, but that ain't gonna last long at the rate I'm consuming it. It's very gripping.

    6 votes
    1. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      God, I love Disco Elysium so much. The sheer amount of world-building and the gameplay focus on dialogue/character interactions rather than combat is so enjoyable for me. @Naravara - if you were...

      God, I love Disco Elysium so much. The sheer amount of world-building and the gameplay focus on dialogue/character interactions rather than combat is so enjoyable for me.

      @Naravara - if you were disappointed on Outer Worlds combat focus and want an RPG centered around character and roleplay, I would really encourage Disco.

      4 votes
    2. SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      I already dream of the moment when I'll forget enough of it to replay. It came out of nowhere for me and I was stunned at how amazing this game is

      I already dream of the moment when I'll forget enough of it to replay. It came out of nowhere for me and I was stunned at how amazing this game is

      1 vote
  3. [4]
    NaraVara
    (edited )
    Link
    The Outer Worlds So I know Fallout New Vegas has a cult following and lots of people enjoy the Bethesda style of games, but I just cannot get into this. Or I guess more accurately, I can get into...

    The Outer Wilds Worlds

    So I know Fallout New Vegas has a cult following and lots of people enjoy the Bethesda style of games, but I just cannot get into this.

    Or I guess more accurately, I can get into it but only just. I feel like the fun is more in the looking around and talking to people than the stuff I think of as actual gameplay. I almost wonder if this would work better as a point-and-click or visual novel style of game that completely de-emphasized combat.

    The combat is just not fun at all. It doesn't feel skillful so much as setting up a variety of stat-checks and the gameplay is just about speccing out your character to be able to clear the stat-checks. But is this. . .fun for people? If that's the intention I almost feel a game mechanic like that in Long Live the Queen, where the stat gains are based on how your character chooses to spend their time rather than picking perks and allocating points. There is a bit of this in the game where you can choose or reject handicaps and reputation dynamics. But it all kind of feels too metagamey. It's like they want you to play it as an RPG, but all the gameplay design revolves around munchkinism and their attempts to harmonize the two just don't click for me.

    The story is still enjoyable enough. I think the writing has some trouble figuring out whether it wants to be darkly satirical or more serious drama, but the punchlines are sometimes a bit too obvious. Like "Yes, I get it. Corporations bad. Can we riff on this joke in a more interesting way instead of the same 3 or 4 takes on loop?"

    All that said, I think this is the best iteration of this kind of game I've ever played. If you like Skyrim or Fallout I think you would love this. But it's precisely because it executes so well that the foundational elements of this style of gameplay start to show.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      meenit
      Link Parent
      Do you mean The Outer Worlds? The Outer Wilds is another space game but it's an action-exploration game.

      Do you mean The Outer Worlds? The Outer Wilds is another space game but it's an action-exploration game.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        ROFL yes that's what I meant. I don't know why I have so much trouble with this. I literally accidentally bought this game on sale thinking it was the other game and not checking. (Not a huge...

        ROFL yes that's what I meant. I don't know why I have so much trouble with this. I literally accidentally bought this game on sale thinking it was the other game and not checking. (Not a huge deal, I wanted to eventually try "Worlds" out too, just not at that time).

        2 votes
        1. meenit
          Link Parent
          No problem, haha. I had problems mixing them up in searches.

          No problem, haha. I had problems mixing them up in searches.

          2 votes
  4. emnii
    Link
    Dead Space 2 - EA just put Dead Space 3 on Steam so I thought I'd take the opportunity to replay the last good Dead Space for a third (fourth?) time. This game is a lot easier than I remember. The...

    Dead Space 2 - EA just put Dead Space 3 on Steam so I thought I'd take the opportunity to replay the last good Dead Space for a third (fourth?) time. This game is a lot easier than I remember. The Steam version comes with all of the pre-order DLC, which adds all of the weapons and all of the suits right at the beginning of the game. I'm only partially taking advantage of this. When I find the blueprints for a new weapon or suit, I'll instead use a DLC item, which has some marginal benefit over the base model. Since the DLC items are free, it's saving me some credits that I can spend on power nodes for upgrades.

    Or maybe it feels easier because I know the game's tricks. I don't know every hole a monster's going to pop out of, but I know what each one of them is going to do, and what weapons I like. I'm mostly just on a walking tour of this space station, but every now and then I've got to chop up some necromorphs with my ripper. I do find myself lower on ammo than I remember, but I've been aggressively selling excess ammo too, so I guess I only have myself to blame there.

    I still love this game. The feeling of the weapons, the grating sound effects, the atmosphere of the infested space station, it's all great. I might slightly prefer the original, but this was a fantastic sequel. It's such a shame that they screwed up so much of Dead Space 3, and then EA killed the series for its failure.

    5 votes
  5. [2]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    So help me, I started playing Civilization 6 again. I spent a several hours going through the Ancient Era a few times, but not ending up in positions that I cared much about continuing. (They're...

    So help me, I started playing Civilization 6 again. I spent a several hours going through the Ancient Era a few times, but not ending up in positions that I cared much about continuing. (They're not lost positions, but I can tell they're going to be a grind.)

    Then I finished several games of Compact Conflict in less than an hour. I didn't win them all but every game was fun.

    What is it called when you keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Somehow I want Civ to be a good game, but it's just not.

    4 votes
    1. KapteinB
      Link Parent
      I know the feeling. I like VI better than V, but it still has some pretty glaring flaws. There's an upcoming game named Humankind that I'm kind of excited about. Civilization could use some more...

      What is it called when you keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Somehow I want Civ to be a good game, but it's just not.

      I know the feeling. I like VI better than V, but it still has some pretty glaring flaws.

      There's an upcoming game named Humankind that I'm kind of excited about. Civilization could use some more direct competition.

      5 votes
  6. nacho
    Link
    Monster train: Action card game. There's a lot of variety from round to round. The pvp modes also work pretty well. It's actually pretty difficult to play optimally. Even then you sometimes just...

    Monster train: Action card game. There's a lot of variety from round to round. The pvp modes also work pretty well. It's actually pretty difficult to play optimally. Even then you sometimes just pick the wrong strategy, which is hard to recover from. Not for those who would mind losing more games than winning, but that also makes playing well feel better. I'd rate it maybe around 6/10

    3 votes
  7. charbon_de_bois
    Link
    I just started playing Hardspace: Shipbreaker. It's pretty fun so far but it's also difficult to learn the controls and understand how to dissect the ships properly. I like the concept too, it...

    I just started playing Hardspace: Shipbreaker. It's pretty fun so far but it's also difficult to learn the controls and understand how to dissect the ships properly. I like the concept too, it uses physics puzzles in a similar way to Portal/Cube, but instead of moving through a space you're trying to dissect it.

    If you like Sci-Fi/Space themed puzzle games and you're cool with zero-g it's worth a look. PC only unfortunately right now.

    3 votes
  8. tunneljumper
    (edited )
    Link
    Just started One Step From Eden and I’m not really sure what to make of it yet. It’s a deckbuilding game combined with a tile-based battlefield that requires lightning fast reflexes. Which sounds...

    Just started One Step From Eden and I’m not really sure what to make of it yet. It’s a deckbuilding game combined with a tile-based battlefield that requires lightning fast reflexes. Which sounds cool in theory, but to me it kind of gets in its own way — there’s so many mechanics and synergies to focus on at once but it’s all going by so quickly that I can only button-mash helplessly after level 2. It doesn’t help that the game explains literally nothing beyond basic controls. My other big complaint is that the map design feels tacked on; it has a basic layout like FTL or Slay the Spire but it doesn’t really feel like pathing makes a difference to a run’s success. Whereas in Slay the Spire your path on higher ascensions is literally the difference between dying and going to the next act, I feel like I could just pick my path randomly and I'd be okay 95% of the time in One Step From Eden. To me this is reiterated by the fact that you can look at the map only when you're going to the next room. I’ll need to spend more time with it to tussle apart my actual criticisms of the game versus things I just need to get better at. It’s very much a “git gud” game, for better and for worse.

    I also just started Bug Fables but it stopped working with the Dualshock controller after about half an hour. But I loved the 30 minutes I did have with it! Very reminiscent of the first two Paper Mario games in aesthetics and combat.

    3 votes
  9. DrStone
    Link
    After beating the wonderful games Hob and Moonlighter, my next two haven't been as good... Ruiner - Isometric action "twin-stick" in a cyberpunk setting. The setting is interesting and the art...

    After beating the wonderful games Hob and Moonlighter, my next two haven't been as good...

    Ruiner - Isometric action "twin-stick" in a cyberpunk setting. The setting is interesting and the art style is cool, the characters and character design are generally good, but that's where my praise ends. Level design combined with the art leaves a lot of invisible walls, unexpected losses of line-of-sight over seemingly very short things, etc. Soundtrack is ok, though at times incorporates "game" sounds like alarms that become confusing. Interactions are mostly text-based, but have stupid voiced noises (a grunt or a canned phrase or two) that get real old real fast. The hitboxes and hit detection are a mess. Weapons are not satisfying at all. There's a weird dash planning mechanic - time slows and you can plan up to a few dashes - that sounds cool, but in practice is a bit of a mess; it shares buttons with attack and has a short (slightly varying?) delay for planning to start, so results in a lot of unintended attacks instead and relies on the aforementioned questionable line of sight. Controls suck. With a KB&M, you get an aiming reticle but are stuck with WASD, but using a controller you lose the reticle, everything feels a tiny bit off. Things can be a bit buggy too. I found most of the difficulty and aggravation came from fighting the damn controls. It's <10h, so I pushed through, but I'd never recommend it.

    Just Cause 4 - A little fun, but ultimately a repetitive mess. "Do the thing, take back control of this little map section, repeat" to the extreme, too easy to accidentally switch to a different mission as it pipes in over coms on your way to a different one and you think it's just a part of the first, so many enemies even in sections you've taken back that just moving around is annoying, infinitely respawning enemies on a seemingly short timer, unnecessarilly complex and complicated menu system (1 to open the menu, 2 and _3 to switch tabs, Q and E to switch sub tabs, hold enter to open the customization edit menu of a subtabsubsection, off-low-med-high settings for a zillion retractor options (your grapple thing), etc.), kinda buggy, only some things destructible (usually red colored, except in missions when the target might not have any indication, of course), vehicles control super mushy, and more. When things all click and work, it can be dumb action fun, but mostly it's "meh". I'll keep playing for a bit and see

    3 votes
  10. LukeZaz
    Link
    I recently had Griftlands recommended to me by a friend as a game similar to Slay the Spire, which is another game I'd liked but never got really sucked into. Griftlands, however, hooked me near...

    I recently had Griftlands recommended to me by a friend as a game similar to Slay the Spire, which is another game I'd liked but never got really sucked into. Griftlands, however, hooked me near immediately.

    Primary difference for it versus Slay the Spire is that it's got way more dialogue and narrative in it than StS does. Furthermore, it expands on that with a second type of combat in the form of negotiations, which uses an entirely different set of cards and some different rules to go by, including being boosted or hindered if other characters who love/like/dislike/hate you are around.

    Most negotiations are completely optional and if you lose you don't lose the game, but it's still highly encouraged because beating those fights a lot can mean either better reputation amongst the characters you negotiate with, or better rewards/easier fights later on. Being liked is very useful too, as each character that you are loved by gives you a special unique benefit that your character keeps so long as they still like you, whereas each character that hates you will give you a unique debuff that also stays so long as they hate you. ('Course, you can also just kill them to remove that too, but that'll probably just piss someone else off)

    What more, the artstyle for this game is, at least in my mind, fantastic. The sim-style gibberish-speak threw me off at first, but you get used to it pretty fast, and the characters are very well written in general. Overall, I've really loved this since I got it, and I'm really looking forwards to how it develops; it just entered early access on the 15th, but the roadmap looks really solid and predictable, so I'm not too worried about it being stuck in EA for too long.

    3 votes
  11. wossab
    Link
    Anthem is surprisingly good and I keep coming back to it. It's right there with Titanfall 2 in overlooked shooters with mechanics that just feel right. It's obvious a lot of content ended up on...

    Anthem is surprisingly good and I keep coming back to it. It's right there with Titanfall 2 in overlooked shooters with mechanics that just feel right. It's obvious a lot of content ended up on the cutting room floor, but you'll encounter isolated remains along the way, during freeplay or strongholds. Like Destiny 1, which had its share of recycled content, it actually adds to the mystique of the world and you'll find some genuine surprises. By the time you decide the meta is just too easy for you, you'll have spent hours of quality time in the fun campaign, missions and freeplay.

    3 votes
  12. Pistos
    Link
    Champions of Regnum: I've seen this recommended, but after a short while levelling up (to level 14), I think I am getting turned off at this point because I just want to dive straight into...

    Champions of Regnum: I've seen this recommended, but after a short while levelling up (to level 14), I think I am getting turned off at this point because I just want to dive straight into high-level PvP without needing to grind in PvE. From what I've read, it seems like they even adjusted the game recently to make PvE grinding take less time, but I'm not that interested in PvE, so, no matter how reasonably short the grind is, I would just rather it were not there at all. I know they recently put a new PvP mini map/environment where all players are scaled up or down to level the playing field, but it seemed really underpopulated the few times I went there.

    Eternal Card Game: I'm relatively new to card battlers / TCGs. My only real experience with them is Hearthstone. I liked HS, and played it for a few months a few years ago, but got turned off of it because it seemed pay-to-win. ECG seems very similar to Hearthstone, so I like that, and that also lets me transfer some prior knowledge and experience to ECG. I am still going through the tutorials, and haven't faced a human player yet, so we'll see how this goes, as far as how fun it is, and whether it's pay-to-win.

    2 votes
  13. [3]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Moonlighter: Finished with this; really enjoyed it. It's simple and repetitive but also relaxed and "cozy". I listened to audiobooks all the way through it. I'll probably pick up the DLC during...

    Moonlighter: Finished with this; really enjoyed it. It's simple and repetitive but also relaxed and "cozy". I listened to audiobooks all the way through it. I'll probably pick up the DLC during the Steam summer sale and go for an NG+ playthrough soon.


    11-11: Memories Retold: I really wanted to like this. It's incredibly promising. Unique art style; parallel narratives; fully voice-acted; interesting choices. It should be the kind of game I really get into. Instead, the FOV on the camera made me ill (with no way to change it), and the gameplay felt at odds with what the game was trying to do. For example, early on in the game, you have to steer a ship through a mine-filled waters. It's treated as a tense moment in the narrative but the gameplay is like a bad mini-game where you run back and forth between bells on either side of the ship to repeatedly ring them in order to steer. Furthermore, the voiceover and sound effects during this scene are almost comically out of sync with the intended tone of the moment. It left a bad taste in my mouth and on account of that, as well as the continued camera-induced nausea, I ended up stopping my playthrough about an hour into the game. It's a shame because I really did enjoy what the game was trying to do.


    Chasm: I wanted to like this too. It's an indie love-letter to Castlevania and all the pieces are there, it just felt... hollow? I played it for a few hours and then moved on.


    Distance: I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of the TrackMania reboot which has given me an arcade racing itch that won't be scratched until July 1st. Being impatient, I re-installed Distance, and it floored me once again. What the devs were able to pull off in a racing game is nothing short of amazing. It's got fantastic design, tight controls, incredible levels, and atmosphere that ranges all the way from lively nightclub to survival horror. I think the game is a genuine masterpiece, and I don't use that terminology lightly.


    198X: This is a short, evening-size narrative game about disillusionment, not fitting in, and escapism. The game is told through narrative cutscenes interspersed by retro gameplay sequences (e.g. a beat 'em up, a scrolling shooter, etc.). The voice work is great, the pixel art is genuinely gorgeous, and the games themselves are better than I was expecting. It also permits -- possibly even encourages -- a queer reading of its narrative, which I of course appreciate. All told I was really impressed by this, with my only complaint being that it ends way too soon. I wanted this to keep going well past its 90 minute runtime.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      The good news about 198X is that it's only the first part of a planned series of games.

      The good news about 198X is that it's only the first part of a planned series of games.

      3 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Glad to hear it! I'll definitely pick up the next installment(s) once they release.

        Glad to hear it! I'll definitely pick up the next installment(s) once they release.

  14. austenite
    Link
    I've finally been working my way through Dark Souls III. I played the first one through at least a dozen times but my daughter was born shortly before the first sequel came out and I hadn't put...

    I've finally been working my way through Dark Souls III. I played the first one through at least a dozen times but my daughter was born shortly before the first sequel came out and I hadn't put any real time into any of From Software's games since.

    I've really been enjoying it. I hope I'll be able to finish it before I run out of steam.

    1 vote