10 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. [5]
    Pistos
    Link
    Started playing Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. Just 6 hours of gameplay so far. I went in with certain expectations, which it doesn't seem to be meeting. I was expecting a 3D stealth game...

    Started playing Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.

    Just 6 hours of gameplay so far. I went in with certain expectations, which it doesn't seem to be meeting. I was expecting a 3D stealth game a-la Splinter Cell (in terms of graphics and mechanics). Instead the gameplay feels a lot more like Metal Gear Solid 1 to 3. It's technically 3D, visually, but it plays like multi-level isometric 2D. On the "Arcade ---- Realistic" spectrum, it's a lot closer to Arcade. Enemies ignore your character if he/she dashes past their line of sight. Also, if your char is above the horizontal level that the enemy is on, you can just freely pass by, even though a normal person in real life would clearly see someone walking across a rope or jumping between rooftops.

    The voice acting is so-so, but it's cringey when they pronounce some Japanese morphemes unauthentically (like -san and -chan). I tried to switch to use Japanese voicovers + English text, but then found that some of the NPC lines don't get subtitles.

    The game seems to be designed so that you replay missions many times, trying to get a higher score or rating. e.g. fewer times detected, fewer alarms raised, shorter completion time, etc. I also wonder how hard it would be to play at max difficulty. The quicksave and quickload functionality is the best I've ever seen. If I didn't know any better, it almost feels like they're saving a small payload to disk, and just ramming it back in place in memory. It's very quick, almost as fast as taking a screenshot. Under 1 second. I guess the whole level fits in memory, so they don't need to reload graphics assets or rerender anything, so they can just save character and object positions and reload quickly.

    I'm still continuing to play for completionism's sake, and it's still moderately fun despite my complaints.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      TheJorro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Ah, it's an old niche type of stealth game, from a time when it wasn't possible to create such large 3D games on anything less than a blockbuster budget. The Commandos series was the defining...

      Ah, it's an old niche type of stealth game, from a time when it wasn't possible to create such large 3D games on anything less than a blockbuster budget. The Commandos series was the defining series for it. It's a genre designed around 2D isometric gameplay and line of sight mechanics. Most of the gameplay is more puzzle-style than direct sneaking challenges as it's about using unique characters in various combinations to get past a variety of challenges on each map rather than getting from A to B unseen.

      It's a pretty rare type of game, outside of the Commandos and Desperados series, there's only been a handful of games that followed the format including the mediocre-but-interesting Star Trek: Away Team. Shadow Tactics is probably the most high budget independent entry in the entire subgenre, and it came after a long hiatus of the subgenre (Shadow Tactics came out in 2017, I think the last major game of this type came out in the mid-2000's). Desperados III only released earlier this year, after a 14 year break from the second game.

      4 votes
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the info. It does illuminate things a bit. I am indeed trying to take this game for what it tries to be; as you say, more like a puzzle than an action game.

        Thanks for the info. It does illuminate things a bit. I am indeed trying to take this game for what it tries to be; as you say, more like a puzzle than an action game.

    2. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      If you're looking for more of a 3D action/stealth game, Aragami might be more up that alley. It's supposed to be similar to the old Tenchu series, if that means anything to you. It seems to go on...

      If you're looking for more of a 3D action/stealth game, Aragami might be more up that alley. It's supposed to be similar to the old Tenchu series, if that means anything to you. It seems to go on sale for cheap quite often too.

      If 2D is an option too, Mark of the Ninja is extremely well-regarded.

      2 votes
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the recommendations. I'll check them out. I did play one or two of the Tenchu series, and had fun with them.

        Thanks for the recommendations. I'll check them out. I did play one or two of the Tenchu series, and had fun with them.

        1 vote
  2. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I just started Celeste yesterday, and am on CH4 today. It's a great game so far, more puzzle than action platformer, which is making me want to pick up and finish Braid. I'm house sitting for a...

    I just started Celeste yesterday, and am on CH4 today. It's a great game so far, more puzzle than action platformer, which is making me want to pick up and finish Braid. I'm house sitting for a friend, and figured it would be a good way to kill time between school assignments. I started it on my laptop one day to test it, and forgot I can hold on to walls, which makes the game considerably more diffucult, but now I'm progressing reasonably well.

    I've committed to finishing Shovel Knight, at least Shovel of Hope, but I'll see about the other 3 campaigns (I got it early, so have Treasure Trove). I didn't know how to play this genre of action platformer, having not grown up with it, and not really played it, so it always kicked my ass. I was fighting Plague Knight and kept losing, and hit the internet, which gave me two answers: use <item>, or "git gud." For me, "git gud" was my only option because I didn't want to redo the level, so I changed how I was attacking (basically, mashing that attack button any chance I got), beat Plague Knight, and have been figuring it out more. I've beaten three more knights so far, and went from "This game is too difficult!" to "Hey, at least it's not Mega Man!" I never have the gold to buy items in the level they're presented, so I have to grind the earlier levels to get the funds to pay for them, but even at that I'm having a blast learning how deep this game goes.

    4 votes
  3. tindall
    Link
    I just played my first game of "6E" by Jared Sinclair, an ultra-stripped-down version of the Dungeons and Dragons rules based loosely on the Powered by the Apocalypse system. Personally,...

    I just played my first game of "6E" by Jared Sinclair, an ultra-stripped-down version of the Dungeons and Dragons rules based loosely on the Powered by the Apocalypse system. Personally, Pathfinder and 4th Edition are my favorite tabletop games, followed closely by the Sprawl, because I love the crunch and minmaxing, but I'm mostly a DM; my fun is my players' fun. So I threw Jared a few bucks and tried out this rules-lite system, and it went super well!

    We had a really fun, casual session with some serious elements and a lot of great role-playing from both of my first-time players within just a few minutes. Character creation took a whole 10 minutes, compared to the usual 2 or 3 hours it takes in 5e - or upwards of 5 hours in Pathfinder. Definitely recommended if you want that D&D feel without as much crunch.

    3 votes
  4. emnii
    Link
    Minecraft Dungeons - I got an Xbox Series X and I'm using it just to play this game. That's not entirely true, but it's probably the game I've spent the most time playing. As I mentioned last...

    Minecraft Dungeons - I got an Xbox Series X and I'm using it just to play this game.

    That's not entirely true, but it's probably the game I've spent the most time playing. As I mentioned last week, it's alright Diablo but crappy Minecraft. It's just a Minecraft skin over a different game. The last level was surprisingly difficult but it also provides a sliding difficulty scale. I played it all solo when it seems tuned for 4 player coop, and I had to bump the difficulty below my level to get past the final stage. I just kept getting swamped with mobs. Still an alright game, and I'm tempted by the DLC addons but maybe not tempted enough to put money into them. There's a good chance I don't ever play this again.

    Gears 5 - Damn, this game is pretty, and damn, this game is exactly like the last four so far.

    3 votes
  5. joplin
    Link
    I've tried out a number of games recently. I started with The Pathless. It's certainly a pretty game, but I found it somewhat incoherent. It's supposed to be open world, but it just feels...

    I've tried out a number of games recently. I started with The Pathless. It's certainly a pretty game, but I found it somewhat incoherent. It's supposed to be open world, but it just feels pointless. I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. After running back and forth across the first level several times, and getting tripped up by super-touchy mechanics, I gave up.

    Next I tried out a word puzzle called Word Laces. It's fine for killing a few minutes of time but isn't particularly challenging. It feels like a low-effort title to me.

    Finally, I tried out Outlanders. It's a town-building simulation. Sort of like if SimCity was Sim-18th-century-village. I like it! It does feel a little unbalanced, being just a bit harder than I think it should be. But it's fun enough that I'm sticking with it. There's clearly something I'm not getting because my villages keep running out of food, even when I have every villager be a full-time food forager. I'm not sure what's going on there, but I think if I get over that hump the game will be a lot more compelling. And as I often complain about, there are things in the game which are apparently important, but are never explained. Every now and then a giant red exclamation point will show up over one of the huts. I have no idea what it means. If I click on it, it just shows the same information about the hut as when there's no big red exclamation point over it. Is it low on resources? Are the people running it dying of starvation? No idea! And the tutorial didn't explain it. Guess I'll just keep guessing.

    2 votes
  6. twisterghost
    Link
    Just started Destiny 2 (never played the original), and after an initial couple of hours of being completely overwhelmed and having no idea what the hell was going on, I feel like I have a better...

    Just started Destiny 2 (never played the original), and after an initial couple of hours of being completely overwhelmed and having no idea what the hell was going on, I feel like I have a better understanding of how to approach the game and what to expect from it, and I'm now very excited to get back to it.

    Absolutely incomprehensible lore. But plays pretty fun once you figure out what you should be doing.

    2 votes
  7. [3]
    floweringmind
    Link
    Been playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I bought the base game as the upgrades are all items of no worth. Great game, super fun. If you play, make sure you spend a lot of time in the starter area...

    Been playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I bought the base game as the upgrades are all items of no worth. Great game, super fun. If you play, make sure you spend a lot of time in the starter area otherwise you will miss out when you go to England.

    2 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      You can theoretically return there afterwards to pick stuff up, though I haven't tried.

      You can theoretically return there afterwards to pick stuff up, though I haven't tried.

      1 vote
    2. FrankGrimes
      Link Parent
      How have you found bugs/issues with it? I keep reading it's a good game, but that it may be worth waiting for the first major patch before buying (which is what I was planning on doing as of now).

      How have you found bugs/issues with it? I keep reading it's a good game, but that it may be worth waiting for the first major patch before buying (which is what I was planning on doing as of now).

      1 vote
  8. DMBuce
    Link
    I've been playing DemonCrawl lately, which adds roguelite dungeon crawl mechanics to a series of Minesweeper levels. Playing it made me realize how much it sucks to play a long game of Minesweeper...

    I've been playing DemonCrawl lately, which adds roguelite dungeon crawl mechanics to a series of Minesweeper levels. Playing it made me realize how much it sucks to play a long game of Minesweeper that ends with a random chance to solve the game or die. DemonCrawl fixes that problem by 1) replacing insta-death with HP/damage/armor/etc. and 2) feeding you random loot that you can use to fight against the unsolvable areas of each level.

    I was sceptical when I bought the game, thinking it would be a disjointed mess of game mechanics from different genres, but after playing it and figuring out how to manage the RNG I'm enjoying the blend of roguelike tactical decision-making and minesweeper analytical puzzle-solving.

    2 votes
  9. MonkeyPants
    (edited )
    Link
    Escape from Colditz board game. They recently re-released a politically correct version with modernized rules. It's a free range/ choose your own escape plan type game. There is asymmetrical...

    Escape from Colditz board game.

    They recently re-released a politically correct version with modernized rules.

    It's a free range/ choose your own escape plan type game. There is asymmetrical gameplay, it's the allied officers vs the germans. It is best with 3-5 players, as it becomes more fun with escape officers teaming up against the germans.

    It was originally invented by the guy who wrote the book, one of the few WW2 vets to escape from colditz.

    2 votes
  10. streblo
    Link
    Just finishing up a Pillars of Eternity play through, it looks like I will actually finish this time. The into Deadfire which I have not played yet.

    Just finishing up a Pillars of Eternity play through, it looks like I will actually finish this time. The into Deadfire which I have not played yet.

    2 votes