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.
I finished outer wilds 3 days ago and I'm still thinking about it. It's amazing that the game provides so much content and progression while simultaneously not really having progression at all. Everything you gain in the game is knowledge, you could look at a guide and beat the game almost immediately if you wanted but it will take hours of discovery to really finish the game on your own. I found the game was large enough to be interesting but small enough that I could fit the entire story in my head. The game reminds me of subnautica (another excellent game) but without the resource gathering that made the late game a tad tedious.
The story was deep and rich, full of existential dread but also rather calming. A lot of games use time loop mechanics, but this is the first game where I've felt like the time loop was really an in universe thing rather than a neccesary mechanical feature.
I posted about this last week, it's such a good game! I must be near the end but there's a few things I can't seem to figure out and I refuse to read guides since it's one of those games where it's so damn satisfying to figure things out by yourself. Also, despite there being basically zero handholding, I also feel that constant stream of progression, so it's never frustrating.
Highly recommended, maybe entering my personal top 10 games of all time. It's almost shocking how unique it feels in its sense of discovery, are there any other games like this?
I have not found one and this makes me sad. The sense of wonder, achievement and satisfaction you get in this game is something I've not been able to replicate in anything else.
If you find something, let me know.
I was the same, but there was 1 specific bit I needed a nudge in the right direction otherwise I don't think I would have ever discovered it, so don't feel bad if you do get stuck.
This game is actually probably one of, if not my all time faviroute.
It was one where I finished it, and just felt so, I don't know, empty, full, sad, happy?? I don't know, it was amazing. It actually kinda killed gaming for me a bit and only VR has started to get me back into it. If I could forget everything and do it all over again I would.
Managed to convince one of my friends to give it a go and he was hooked.
Ahhh what a sense of wonder that game has. I remember trying to land on the "surface" of giants deep, going through the clouds was just..... wow.
Yeah I've been really looking forward to playing death stranding when it came out but I feel like playing it too soon after outer wilds will spoil it for me. For me my favourite was just sitting with Chet roasting marshmallows as they go crazy and watching the loop end. Or the interloper stuff.
Final Fantasy 12: Ended up being a rather disappointing experience for me. The best part was the story, but I felt it was a tad bit odd. The pacing feels completely off and things seem to skip ahead a bunch. You walk into a story mission and the characters are chatting about things you never were involved in, and seemingly out of place with what I know. Than the actual progression through the missions seems rushed, I'm walking in expecting this to be an involved process fighting through this enemy base or through enemy soldiers. But instead you have 12 enemies to kill real quick and you are already fighting the boss, so this whole evil empire feels really lacking. This isn't a big empire but instead a dozen bosses and a couple small rooms. The actual content of the story I liked though, it was a pretty good and I liked it. They managed to fake me out multiple times what I thought was going to happen, and I was satisfied with how it ended up. It is just the process of getting there I didn't like.
That getting there involved the combat, and man combat was a slog. You set up some gambits, that automatically do various things based on settings that you put. And then you just kinda put the game on 2x speed all the time and kill everything automatically and heal automatically. Occasionally during boss fights you have to jump in and manual change things up. This whole experience falls apart though closer to the end game, and harder hunts which I didn't finish fully and not even close. You keep running into enemies that just constantly debuff you so one of your party members is doing nothing but trying to cure those debuffs. Then you get debuffs that you can't get rid of easily, and they don't go away if you die. So many times I had party members with a debuff that I just couldn't use because they had an incurable debuff, and after dealing with this for a couple hours I'm just incredibly frustrated and feel like it isn't worth the trouble to keep trying to clear this hard section. What makes this even worse is doing these hard hunts and fights just isn't worth your time if you are not trying to 100% the game, or just love the combat. Because levels don't help at all in fights so you are doing these for the items, but getting good items relies on luck and not difficulty. So I'm getting frustrated with these tough enemies for no gain at all.
The side content is the worst in this game, mostly cause I can't find it in game. They don't have any quest log or viewer, so you can't monitor your quests. And npcs don't have any kind of quest notification, so the only way you could find them would be to randomly talk to everybody just kinda randomly. Same goes for tracking down various creatures in hunts, they can exist fully off the map in some hidden passageway you can't know exist. It feels like you are required to use a guide to find this stuff and track it manually. Just not a very nice experience at all.
Overall this game just didn't do much for me. The combat was decent at first, boring in the middle, and frustrating near the end. And the story felt inconsistent but I did like it. I have heard people say this game was like their first attempt at a single player mmo, and I can see that. But it just wasn't a good first attempt, and feels like it has aged really poorly. I kinda would rather watch a movie based on the story and skip the gameplay, or see a full remake of the game with modern game design to make it a better experience.
Couple hour later edit, I bought Far Cry 5 the other day for like $7 because I wanted to see if the series has improved. Well I will say it was a complete waste of $7. I hated the gunplay, they all felt super weak and nether arcady or realistic. It seems like I was supposed to be playing more tactical because I die in 5 shots, but if I get spotted everybody has lazer focus on me. And it isn't like I can hide bodies or do any real stealth stuff. Enemies have way too much armor and takes way too many shots to kill compared to how fast I die. And I have trouble healing because I don't have any med kits and constantly running out of ammo. Than I can't stop and actually explore a building or try to loot a body to get med kits or money or ammo, because random encounters are almost never ending.
Oh well, guess I was expecting too much to be able to find a Far Cry game I enjoyed as much as Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 5 is kind of odd. It just throws enemies at you all of the time. That being said, it does certainly feel like some missions are designed to be tackled a certain way. I tried to stealth through all of it and there are plenty of missions where that simply will not work. In any case, the game gets much better when you unlock good companions, especially when they play in a complimentary manner. I.e, you'll want a sniper if you are the type to go in guns blazing.
Coincidentally I just found out I somehow had a copy of Far Cry 3 and started playing that game briefly. It looks like the best way to fight in either game is to sneak or run up behind each enemy and perform a takedown.
Final Fantasy XII was originally supposed to have Basch as the main character, but they ended up throwing in Vaan instead because the game designers thought that he would be more relatable / marketable. I think that issue of "who is the real main character" gets to the fundamental disconnect that I had with the game's story. Vaan and Penello really just seem shoehorned into the story and I was much less interested in them than Ashe, Basch, Balthier, and Fran who all were much more interesting and/or engaged in the overarching stories.
I had heard that Vaan wasn't really the main character, and that really becomes immediately apparent. By the end of the game, I would be shocked if Vaan had more than a 2-dozen lines of dialogue. And Penello doesn't even have a dozen I feel. Heck, I do believe half the cutscenes in the game don't even have those two in the background.
RimWorld: Just bought the Royalty DLC, it's a lot of fun but I really need to tone it down on the mods, it take about 3 minutes to load the game at this point (my computer has 16gb ram and the game is on an SSD) and if I'm on my linux partition it will crash my computer if I have and videos in my browser going
Heroes of the Storm: it's probably the best casual MOBA I've played, the games don't typically run long and people aren't as toxic as Dota/LoL.
COD MW: It's filling that itch for a run and gun shooter.
Hopped back into Astral Chain recently after I finished up the newest tomb raider (had been putting that one off for awhile). Didn't take long for me to figure out how to play it again. Just finished and got onto the bonus file 12 missions. Not sure if I'm going to bother tbh... the combat is fun but it's not really challenging anymore and with no more real story, I'm not sure I care to finish the bonus stuff. Solid 40 or so hours on my play file to get to the point where I'm at, and I replayed a few missions for the S+ ranking and collectibles. Greatly enjoyed it, trying to figure out what to play next. Maybe I'll jump back into the spider-man game that I abandoned ages ago.
I won't bother everyone by listing this every week from now on. Just assume that I've been playing it constantly, because I have and will be. It's wonderful.
Break Stuff With Coins
So, this game doesn't look great, but I'm going to go ahead and say that it's actually among the the hiddenest of gems. It has a whopping SIX reviews on Steam at present, and its trailer doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
However, the game is surprisingly robust:
I legitimately like it far more than the similar and much more high-budget Dangerous Golf. I've put 5 hours into BSWC and will likely do a couple more in order to get most of the remaining achievements.
428 Shibuya Scramble
Speaking of games that have way more depth than they appear to on the surface...
This is a big-budget visual novel that looks and feels very different than standard releases in the genre. It features actual photography of actors in scenes rather than just character portraits on backgrounds. It also is designed around playing multiple characters all at the same time.
The gimmick of the game is that each chapter the game is a specific hour of the day, and you have to get each character to the end of the hour. However, each character will run into a lot of bad endings on their way there, and you have to make decisions in other characters timelines to resolve those issues. So, a character might lose a suspect they're tailing, but if another character happened to create a traffic jam, the first character can more easily tail them and proceed.
It's very interesting and makes for some really great non-linear narrative play, with all sorts of satisfying (and ridiculous) character convergence. The game has a well-implemented timeline interface where you can see where are characters are for any given timestamp, and you can easily hop back and forth between them and into the past in order to cascade events correctly and advance all narratives.
Tonally, the game indulges being over-the-top, and it quickly expands well beyond its initial "hard-boiled cop faces a kidnapping" narrative. My favorite plot line centers around a girl who's stuck in a cat mascot costume, her food-loving co-worker, and her monetarily inept boss.
It's definitely not for everyone, but I'd recommend it for anyone who likes reading. Because it's such a non-traditional VN, it doesn't feel so much like something from that genre as it does a choose-your-own adventure version of a pulpy TV series.
A Mortician's Tale
(A pick from the itch.io Racial Justice Bundle.)
This clocks in at only an hour from start to finish and isn't much of a "game", but I feel it has a resonance and staying power that far exceeds its scope.
You play through days in the life of a mortician, and each day is broken up into three parts: reading your e-mail, preparing a body, and then attending a funeral.
Though fictionalized, it actually feels quite documentary-like. It tackles a lot of real-world issues related to death and burial, and I learned a lot from playing it.
All told, I think it's touching, meaningful, instructive, and a cause for reflection. Well worth your time -- provided you're in a place where you're comfortable playing a game about death and dying.
I picked up Creaks. It's a good little platformer/puzzler. It's nothing Earth shattering, but it's a solid game with a unique design aesthetic. I'm probably halfway through.
Greedfall - I made the terrible mistake of starting this late last week. It was a terrible mistake because I'm really enjoying it and there's no way I'll finish it before Death Stranding comes out tomorrow. I've at least checked out every prior Spiders game, and spent a chunk of time trying to enjoy Mars: War Logs and failing. All the previous Spiders games seemed to be missing something enjoyable, but they just about nailed it in Greedfall.
It's a Mass Effect style RPG in a colonial setting. Combat is fun without being Dark Souls lite or pointless. Companions are functional in combat, don't require that much management (inventory but not skills/level ups). They chat out of combat but not too much. There's a reputation system with your companions and with the factions in the game, and you have to be a bit smart about which companions you take on which quests for risking losing faction or rep for your choices. Maps are large and scattered with ?'s for landmarks to uncover.
If I've got one particular complaint, it's that some quest lines are forcing me to do things I wouldn't otherwise agree to, and I don't think I can avoid that. No spoilers, but there's a religious faction and I don't want to align with them but they're driving a main plot point. I'm going to try doing everything but furthering their plot and see what happens.
But all of this is probably for naught because Death Stranding is out tomorrow, and I'm far more interested in seeing what that thing is. I just hope I can get back into Greedfall whenever I'm done with DS.
Huh, thanks for mentioning this. I've been itching for an RPG like this while waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 to finally come out.
I've been getting back into StarCraft 2, and I'm so happy to be back. It's the game that really got me into following competitive gaming (CS:S had been there for me as a player but not much as a viewer / follower), so I have a lot of strong emotions going back to it. It's the only esport I've found myself still interested in.
(If anyone would like to play, pm me! I'm awful!)
Same. I miss watching ShoutCrafts from TB
We have played Horrified a few times as a family. For reference, my kids are 14, 9, and 5. They were all able to play, but the 5-year old found it a bit on the dry side, but it's co-operative and we were able to help him through turns without many issues, and we gave him some "jobs" to make the game work.
The game is set in a town, with a bunch of town locations that you can move between - the inn, the precinct, the mansion, etc. - and this town is afflicted with Monsters, which the players team up to defeat. There are 6 monsters to choose from - Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster and Bride (they count as a single), The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, the Mummy. You play with 2, 3, or 4 monsters, which makes ostensibly about 50 different variations of the game (though some of them would be fairly similar). I love games where there are some variations on setup; I don't want things to be exactly the same every play through. My wife very much dislikes this; she wants to be able to optimize strategies and get better at games over time.
Every turn has two phases - the player phase and the monster phase. Players can take actions (typically 4 actions) which consist of things like moving, picking up items, guiding villagers to safety, interacting with or defeating monsters. Then a "monster card" is turned over, and you follow the directions on the card, which include placing items, moving monsters, attacking players or villagers. If enough players or villagers are defeated the game ends in defeat. However, if you're able to do whatever tasks you need to do defeat the monsters, then the players win. For example, here is how you defeat the Invisible man:
Each monster has a particular set of things you need to do, and they all tend to involve "pick up items, go to a location, use the items to do something, then go to the monster with more items". It sounds relatively easy, but along the way the monsters are just running through the town trying to eat everyone's face.
The last game we played had three monsters in it, and we were almost successful - everything came down to a single die roll. We had defeated 2 of the 3 monsters, and we had to survive until the next player's turn, but we got an unlucky card, and then an unlucky roll of the dice, and we were defeated. My 5-year old son was in disbelief and felt like we'd wasted a whole bunch of time, but I thought it was a pretty valid learning opportunity; sometimes you win, sometimes you don't.
I'm going to encourage my wife and two older kids to try Betrayal at Bauldur's Gate later this week.
Mad Max: Post apocalyptic GTA, pretty, well designed, side quests are lacking in story and you can almost go the whole game just doing the main storyline.
I haven't started playing yet, and it's not really a game, but with my little free time I think I'll enjoy Townscaper in a way I think many enjoy relaxing colouring books.
Deadly Premonition 2. I knew going in that this was going to be beyond broken, technically speaking. All I was worried about was that they'd lose the charm and craziness of the first one. And I'm glad to report that they didn't. It's absolutely amazing story-wise and character-wise, and the framerate issues I can ignore (though I honestly don't know how they managed to hit it SO low when there's Crysis coming out on Switch soon). My only realistic wish at this point is that they fix the skateboard dialogues: give us a toggle or something, just don't repeat the same two lines over and over and over again!
First time hearing about this, did swery65 produce it?
Yep, it's a full on Swery game, and a true sequel. But it's a Switch exclusive, and they did NOT bother optimizing the game. We're talking under 15 fps when traversing the town, and mostly under 30 in buildings
Digital Foundry put up a performance analysis video for it yesterday, they definitely weren't impressed overall. I've only skipped around, but I heard him say "this might be the slowest modern game I've ever seen" while it's running at about 10 FPS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CHUT-9uofw
Yeah, I saw that video too, it's all true. When traversing town literally nothing major happens, but the framerate tanks to sub15 FPS and lower. They even showed the part when they kept looking at the asphalt with camera facing straight down and it does not affect performance at all, which led them to believe that the problem is CPU based. Something went terribly wrong in the development cycle. I have slight hope that the situation will somewhat improve, but I have no hopes for stable 30 FPS.
(I also found quite funny that the game has unlocked FPS, I saw 36 FPS on some scenes in DF video. A game can dream...)
I really don't understand some of Nintendo's exclusive purchases. This is up there with Bayonetta 2 as a "what in the world is the strategy" move. I have a switch, but I'm probably not going to pick it up unless it lands on PC, but I appreciate the info!
TBH Bayonetta 2 runs fairly well, I didn't have any problems with it, played through both games on Switch
I've been playing Total War: Warhammer 2 with a buddy in a lengthy co-op campaign. I have a lot of hours in the game (and the first) but it's been over a year since I've really played it at all. It's nice to come back to and it's even better with a friend; teaching them about the game has been fun.
I'm finally playing Death Stranding. I wanted it since I knew it was coming to PC, preordered it months ago, and wound up watching a couple lets players play it for a minute to get a feel for it when it launched on PS, not knowing what it was about.
I've never played anything Kojima has touched. Not into horror, never got into MGS, and have only recently become aware of his legendary status. and while I had PS1-3, I wasn't into it. I'll admit I lived under a rock unless it was Nintendo, or on PC. I'm only as far as Episode 2, but got 4 hours in so far.
It's an extremely oppressive game when the story is happening. It's dark in an extremely brooding uncomfortable way. It also quickly tells you the scale of the game. You see an event in the prologue, then see its result on the map, and my jaw dropped at the immensity of it, and the stakes, at least in-world. Then, they pull the darkness away and give you lush, green wilderness with pleasant music, and I flinch at the distant peal of thunder.
I was relieved when the game reveals itself to be relatively low stakes. It means you can relax and not think too much beyond getting into the story, and determining how you want to navigate the hazards, when they exist.
I also got my free copy of Super Hot: Mind Control Delete. I believe you can buy the first one until the 16th and get it free. It's... More Super Hot, so if you like the gameplay (it's a puzzle disguised as a time-bending FPS), then you get some good bang for your buck. It's weird, but you can at least take more than one hit on a level later, which helps because MCD is crazy even early on.
I also started playing Death Stranding on PC yesterday. And I must say, if MGS4 was Kojima taking cutscene lengths to 11, Death Stranding takes it up to at least 20. Though with how well they are put together, I'm not really complaining. And you are right, it's just incredibly depressing during these cutscenes.
But my god it is so beautiful. I'm so glad I waited for this PC release, and I'm extra glad that I upgraded my graphics card just a few weeks earlier; playing this game at 4K at 60FPS really highlights how well put together every single aspect of this game is. Just look at the quality of the hair! And the environments are just so incredibly interesting and and varied. And as someone who's sensitive to bad animations (seriously, it practically ruined my enjoyment of Bioshock Infinite), the quality of each and every animation is just amazingly good.
The animation for Sam during gameplay is especially spectacular - I cannot even begin to imagine how they managed to get animations this complex to work properly. If the majority of the gameplay is a "walking sim", Death Stranding really is several orders of magnitude better than any other I have experienced.
That being said, I'm also very early in this gameplay; I just finally had my first encounter with the BTs. I won't have time to play it in depth until Sunday. And by then I'll be too distracted because I'm finally getting my VR headset. :P
Between the terrain, managing the BB, and the BTs and MULEs (only had a first encounter and mission with the last, it'll definitely be harder next time I see them), the game does a solid job of spicing up the walking. Like Truck Simulator, which also seems deceptively straightforward, it becomes a series of novel problems to solve, with time and resource management and navigation, rather than a smooth crossing of an overworked.
You'll be glad to know there are significantly less cutscenes over the runtime of Death Stranding than MGS4 overall, once you get past the intros.
I got Slay the Spire recently and I'm hooked. I love the edgy horror-esque vibes it has.
I just started a new city in Cities Skyline after sitting down a year or so ago and not playing it all. It's a nice outlet that I can sit down and come back to and pick up without having to sink an hour into it because it's a multiplayer game or something.
Additionally, I just purchased Sims 4 and have been playing that a bit. It's been fun so far, but I can see why it gets a lot of hate from long-time players.
A little offbeat contribution here (seriously, I don't know where you guys find the time to play all these games).
A couple weeks ago I started watching a playthrough of Nier: Automata that I've had on the back burner for more than a year. I didn't really know anything about the game or the franchise before I started, but the amount of praise it got after release piqued my interest. Right now I'm about nine hours in out of 45, and though I think I have an idea of what themes the story is going to engage, I don't think I have a great grasp of the actual plot yet, nor do I figure I've seen much of anything that hints at why this title ended up on so many GOTY lists.
The one thing I do know for sure is I absolutely adore the soundtrack. I came across it before I ever got interested in checking out the game for real and have done many hours of work to it. It's at turns relaxing, hopeful, epic, introspective... just wonderfully evocative on an emotional level, and all in a fictional language. I'm hoping the game itself does it justice.
I just started Sekiro Shadows Die Twice this weekend and christ is this game hard. I've played maybe 6 hours or so but I keep having to put the game down every hour or two from frustration. The minibosses just feel impossible to beat and the timings are really difficult. The game is so much faster than any of the Soulsborne series and requires precision timing needed for deflecting, dodging, jumping, and attacking all at once.
I've beaten all the souls games going back to Demon Souls, but this feels like it is on a whole other level. It reminds me more of the Ninja Gaiden series than anything else.
Conversely, I found Sekiro a lot easier than the Souls games! I think it depends on your playstyle, I was watching a diehard Dark Souls friend of mine play it and he was having a really tough time. I noticed that he wasn't parrying much. I, however, always tried to parry in Dark Souls games. I love the parrying mechanic and one of my frustrations with the Souls games is that it can be so inconsistent about when and where you can parry. Sekiro, however, is extremely consistent and focuses on parrying as much as Dark Souls focuses on dodging.
My best advice is to always try parrying, you can parry attacks you may not even realize you can. The timing for parries is a lot more forgiving than Dark Souls, and you can even spam the parry button without much penalty, unlike Souls games. Prioritize the Mikiri Counter ability too, so you can even parry thrust attacks, opening a whole new world to you that will make all the tougher enemies much easier.
Yeah, I have been focusing on parrying as much as I can. It's just been hard for me to get the timing right as the time it takes to pull up the blade to deflect is a little slower than I am expecting I think.
I did manage to beat the Shinobi Killer in the Hirata Estate and the Shackled Giant in Ashisna Outskirts last night that were both giving me a lot of grief, so I am definitely making more progress and getting a better feel for it.
Hm, that's odd. By any chance, have you tested the input latency of your display? The parry should be instantaneous, or nearly instant. There shouldn't be a noticeable delay.
Does it have little bats knocking you into insta-death pits?