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.

39 comments

  1. [6]
    pycrust
    Link
    Just started Ratchet and Clank on ps4. Have you played? I love how light-hearted it is versus other games. I feel like most video games are so dark and scary.

    Just started Ratchet and Clank on ps4. Have you played? I love how light-hearted it is versus other games. I feel like most video games are so dark and scary.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Great game. It is indeed refreshing to play games with vivid colors and a sunny disposition. Grittiness and grey has its place, but sometimes feel like just a default that doesn’t contribute to a...

      Great game. It is indeed refreshing to play games with vivid colors and a sunny disposition. Grittiness and grey has its place, but sometimes feel like just a default that doesn’t contribute to a better game. Sunset Overdrive is kind of an equivalent on Xbox.

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        pycrust
        Link Parent
        Any other suggestions in the same vein on PS4?

        Any other suggestions in the same vein on PS4?

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot Racing and the Sonic racing game as well. Edit: Rocket League! Edit2: every Sonic game!

          Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot Racing and the Sonic racing game as well.

          Edit: Rocket League!
          Edit2: every Sonic game!

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            pycrust
            Link Parent
            Thank you! Needed this.

            Thank you! Needed this.

            1 vote
            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              Awesome! I believe there’s a new Crashbandicoot on the platform, besides the remake.

              Awesome! I believe there’s a new Crashbandicoot on the platform, besides the remake.

              1 vote
  2. evg
    Link
    Townscaper I've had less time to spend on video games compared to when I was younger, and so I've grown to love indie, casual games even more. Paraphrasing the solo creator -- it's like a toy,...

    Townscaper
    I've had less time to spend on video games compared to when I was younger, and so I've grown to love indie, casual games even more. Paraphrasing the solo creator -- it's like a toy, there's no missions or specific goals, you just have fun with it. You create town structures and areas by clicking to add or to remove from environment. It's super simple, well made, and can suit just about anyone.

    7 votes
  3. [4]
    eve
    Link
    I started Spiritfarer! I really loved the look of it when I first saw it a year or so ago, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I haven't gotten very far, I only have the first 3 spirits, but...

    I started Spiritfarer! I really loved the look of it when I first saw it a year or so ago, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I haven't gotten very far, I only have the first 3 spirits, but there's just so much that appeals to me! I like the game play and the aesthetic. I'm playing on the Xbox so interacting with everything uses the 'x' button which... Feels weird but maybe I've been playing too much of my switch lol.

    So far it's a chill game and just feels so peaceful. It's one of the few vide games that makes me feel more relaxed as I play it haha.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I really want to play this game, but I'm afraid that because I've been so busy and depressed lately, I wouldn't be able to maintain my attention on it. And it seems like it's a game that deserves...

      I really want to play this game, but I'm afraid that because I've been so busy and depressed lately, I wouldn't be able to maintain my attention on it. And it seems like it's a game that deserves that much from me as a player, if that makes any sense.

      In most cases, I'd ask you to follow up on what you thought later, but in this case I think I'll want to keep it a surprise.

      2 votes
      1. bkimmel
        Link Parent
        I'll say the game itself deals with depression and it helped me a little bit dealing with my own

        I'll say the game itself deals with depression and it helped me a little bit dealing with my own

        3 votes
      2. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Without talking about the game itself, I'm pretty confident you could play it for short bits of time and that would be ok. The story notes are occasional enough and also self-contained enough that...

        Without talking about the game itself, I'm pretty confident you could play it for short bits of time and that would be ok. The story notes are occasional enough and also self-contained enough that you can just noodle around for a little bit without issue.

        1 vote
  4. joplin
    Link
    I started playing NUTS - A Surveillance Mystery. I like the aesthetic of the game play. It's low contrast and kind of dreamy. The problem is that the in-game UI is also low contrast. In fact, it...

    I started playing NUTS - A Surveillance Mystery. I like the aesthetic of the game play. It's low contrast and kind of dreamy. The problem is that the in-game UI is also low contrast. In fact, it literally disappears if your character is standing next to certain items and facing a certain way. The controls are the same color as some in-game objects with no highlighting to make them visible in these scenarios. Also, there are many places where you need to read something and the text is absolutely tiny. Even with my glasses on I can just barely read it, and there's no way to increase the size. It's ludicrous. I'm hoping they can address the UI/accessibility issues in a future update.

    That said, the game is interesting. You play the part of summer science research intern attempting to figure out where and how squirrels live. In the process you discover some other things about some developers who want to build on the land where you're doing your research.

    5 votes
  5. [3]
    TheJorro
    Link
    I've played through all of the Halo MCC a few times. I don't think there's much more to say about these games, they've been discussed to death over and over. I've never been a huge Halo fan as...

    I've played through all of the Halo MCC a few times. I don't think there's much more to say about these games, they've been discussed to death over and over. I've never been a huge Halo fan as much as I've been a FPS fan, so I've always liked the series well enough but probably less than most people. Here's my power ranking for the MCC games:

    1. Halo: ODST
    2. Halo 3
    3. Halo: Reach
    4. Halo 4
    5. Halo 2
    6. Halo: CE

    If I were to score these, ODST and 3 would be 8/10, and Halo CE would be 5/10. The only interesting thing to me about this is that my overall enjoyment rating of these games have stayed absolutely consistent since I first played each of them. I don't think there's been another series where I haven't changed my mind on at least one entry over the years.

    The MCC package is great, though, I like that I have access to all these in one package that I can also mix and match with. One of the downsides to each subsequent Halo game was leaving the old multiplayer behind, so it's great that it's possible to make playlists that span across games.

    Playing them on PC is a real treat too. They all run very well, support mouse and keyboard and high framerates well, and the multiplayer still holds up well. It's nice to have an active arena-style multiplayer FPS kicking around on PC again, I haven't seen it quite as active since the latter days of UT2k4.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      xnaas
      Link Parent
      Note: I never played Halo on console, so MCC on PC was my first experience with Halo. I played through all of the campaigns with a buddy who has been playing Halo since launch day and can...

      Note: I never played Halo on console, so MCC on PC was my first experience with Halo. I played through all of the campaigns with a buddy who has been playing Halo since launch day and can definitely be best described as a Halo connoisseur.


      I think ODST was definitely my favorite by far too. Being an overpowered "monster" is fun and all, but I liked the more "down to Earth" experience of ODST as a more regular human.


      My least favorite is also probably CE. The game just...has not aged well. I get that it was amazing at the time, but I don't have any nostalgia to help make the game feel good. We've come a long way since then in game design, for sure.

      I also pity anyone who played exclusively with the remastered graphics or whatever, the entire atmosphere of that game was lost in its remaster. The lighting was all sorts of just...wrong. I wonder if I'd enjoy the game more if they went back and properly did a graphics remaster the second time around.


      The rest of the Halo games were all "ok" to me. The most fun I've had to date playing Halo was playing the unofficial ElDewrito/Halo Online mod. Ran a server on there and had some real fun times with some absolutely hilarious game modes. Hope that comes to Halo's "legit" multiplayer Soon™.

      I actually owned https://salmonrun.run and https://salmonrun.fish for a year related to some memes made playing with people on my community's little server. Those sites are archived here and here since I didn't want to pay for those domains indefinitely. RIP Salmon Run. o7


      The rest of the Halo games were all "ok" to me.

      That said, I've never gotten to play Halo 5 (Halo 5: Forge is neat, though). I watched a condensed version of the entire game and a lot of the gameplay mechanics and stuff definitely look really awesome, but I can totally understand the people who were incredibly upset over the direction of the story. Game looked really pretty too, even with such limited hardware. Hype for Infinite for sure. 👍🏻

      2 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        I've always felt that Halo CE wasn't it was all it was cracked up to be, even back then. There's something very poor with its indoor level and art designs that caused major problems like players...

        I've always felt that Halo CE wasn't it was all it was cracked up to be, even back then. There's something very poor with its indoor level and art designs that caused major problems like players constantly getting lost in labyrinthine hallways. The designs were totally unintuitive (wtf were those spaceship layouts?) and looked exactly the same (grey on gray on gray). It reminded me of mediocre Doom clones back when shooters were still using 2D sprites everywhere. The Library level is still probably my single least favourite level of all the games I've ever played, and Halo CE's collection of multiplayer maps are still the ugliest collection of maps I think I've ever seen in a game. I still find it wild that Metal Gear Solid 2 and Halo CE came out in the same week.

        That all said, I'm with you entirely about the Halo CEA graphics. Again, I don't even like Halo CE's art design but they really messed this one up. It went from ugly grey blocks to super busy generic sci-fi vomit. I would have preferred seeing a higher resolution re-attempt at Halo's original art designs because there was some potential to it... but that wasn't it. Though one thing I found funny was that the new graphics added bright arrows to guide players through some of the more notoriously obfuscated level paths in the campaign.

        Halo 2 Anniversary's graphical upgrade is much better. It actually stays true to the original game's graphics.

        2 votes
  6. [6]
    Erik
    Link
    Finished off the Switch remake of Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. It was very fun to revisit this one. The portable Zelda games are very underrated, in my opinion. Link's Awakening was an...

    Finished off the Switch remake of Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. It was very fun to revisit this one. The portable Zelda games are very underrated, in my opinion. Link's Awakening was an original Game Boy game and still managed to have really memorable characters and poignant plot. The remake realizes that so much about the original worked and mostly puts its effort in the art style, which is a title shift stylization with all of the characters sort of looking like action figures. The result is incredibly pleasant and a reminder that games can do things besides just chase after photo-realism.

    It's very short, like the original. I finished it in about a week of just playing here and there. Very easy as well, I never died throughout the play through and thanks to robust hint system (and my memory of the original), I never had to look up anything on-line to finish it.

    My four year old child really liked it. He sometimes checks in on what I'm playing, but he'd rather use his limited screen time to watch his own tv shows/films or play games on his tablet. But for this one, I think the art style made him very interested and he ended up working with me to solve the puzzles and explore the dungeons.

    He seemed kind of bummed after we finished the game and wanted to play more, so now we are playing through the classic SNES RPG EarthBound together. He loves spooky stuff and weird humor, so he is having fun playing it with me. We named Ness after him and while the controller is in my hand most of the time, he is making all the decisions of where we go and what we do. Since I've played EarthBound so many times, I can get us on track if he wanders too far. It's also helped us practice his reading while he gets screen time, so that's been a pretty big win in my book.

    4 votes
    1. [5]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      That's delightful. I'm glad your kid is enjoying Earthbound. I'd love to hear an update on his experience with it as the game goes on. It's one of my favorites of all time and I'd like to hear how...

      That's delightful. I'm glad your kid is enjoying Earthbound. I'd love to hear an update on his experience with it as the game goes on. It's one of my favorites of all time and I'd like to hear how it lands for someone experiencing it for the first time.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        Erik
        Link Parent
        I can think of some highlights (spoilers on the first hour or so of EarthBound follow: He loves that the main character's name is is his name. Just tickled that he can make the story about him. I...

        I can think of some highlights (spoilers on the first hour or so of EarthBound follow:

        1. He loves that the main character's name is is his name. Just tickled that he can make the story about him. I have a feeling he's going to get in RPGs a lot.

        2. He loves his dog and I am bummed that he will not be able to do much more with the dog outside of the very beginning of the game.

        3. Right off the bat he was very excited about the mystery of the meteor. Really wanted to blow past all the cops and just check it out.

        4. He was so sad when Buzz Buzz died. The game really doesn't do too much to endure Buzz Buzz to you, in fact there is supposed to be humor in him just being squatted dead by your neighbor after he seems to assume a mentor role with you. But he didn't really find any humor in it, instead he was very sad about it.

        5. He finds a lot of the actions you can do very fun/funny. Like rummaging around a trash can for a hamburger. Opening presents instead of treasure chests (just had Christmas and his birthday is soon, so he's super into presents right now). Eating as a way of getting health back really speaks to him.

        6. He likes that you tame animals instead of defeating them after getting into a fight. He's very concerned about the well being of the animals.

        7. He very much wants to get right to being a mythical hero. He's into the prophecy and finding the My Sanctuaries. He's not as interested in talking to everyone and the world building. More wants to go from plot point to plot point. I may have to fire up the game some times when he's asleep just to grind for XP so we can keep going at his pace.

        4 votes
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          That's really sweet. Thank you for sharing.

          That's really sweet. Thank you for sharing.

          3 votes
        2. [2]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          I know the feeling. I was so disappointed in that turn of events when I played it, but at the same time I know that it's exactly how my real-world dogs would have behaved. They're lovers, not...

          He loves his dog and I am bummed that he will not be able to do much more with the dog outside of the very beginning of the game.

          I know the feeling.

          I was so disappointed in that turn of events when I played it, but at the same time I know that it's exactly how my real-world dogs would have behaved. They're lovers, not fighters!

          But you know what, it's one part of the larger theme of growing up that the entire game is about. It sounds like you're going to have fun living through this again through the eyes of your kid.

          3 votes
          1. Erik
            Link Parent
            Great point on the the theme of the game. I do agree that it's been interesting seeing the game through a fresh pair of eyes. Especially an actual child's.

            Great point on the the theme of the game. I do agree that it's been interesting seeing the game through a fresh pair of eyes. Especially an actual child's.

            1 vote
  7. [2]
    Icarus
    Link
    Been playing a smattering of new and old games: Terraria: I set up a server for a friend and me to play on throughout the week. I have ~130 hours in Terraria since purchasing for $2.50 a long,...

    Been playing a smattering of new and old games:

    • Terraria: I set up a server for a friend and me to play on throughout the week. I have ~130 hours in Terraria since purchasing for $2.50 a long, long time ago. And yet, I haven't gotten too far into hard mode. Currently, we are still in pre-hardmode beating the worm boss, eye boss, and Skeletron. We good enough gear where we can grind these bosses. At this point though, I'm just taking my time completing odd projects here and there in the game like an expansive rail system and ideal-homes for villagers.

    • Rocket League: I don't know why I keep doing this to myself for over 6+ years but I returned to Rocket League again for the first time since they moved to Epic Games. I promptly played ranked, getting up to Platinum. I really only like playing this with other PC players when we can chat and react to the game. Console players often don't communicate well with just the quick chat commands.

    • Hitman 2: Hitman 3 released recently and the buzz got me looking in my library to see what titles I owned from that franchise. Saw I had Hitman 2 and decided to give it a whirl. Not bad. I can see the appeal in the game and the different ways missions can play out depending on the assassination approach. Will continue playing.

    • Dyson Sphere Program: This is a newish title released in Early Access. It apparently has similarities to games like Satisfactory and Factorio. Essentially, you are on a planet and control a mech that places production buildings to gather and use resources, which over time gets more interconnected with other building processes in the game. Its a game that always has you itching for the next step, but also makes me feel like every moment should count, as efficiency is desirable for progression. Reminds me of those idle games, just with more action added. Will continue to play.

    4 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      Terraria is also the game of choice for me so far in 2021, mostly because my son (6) wanted to get into Minecraft, but I'm more of a Terraria guy. We've been playing a Journey mode together,...

      Terraria is also the game of choice for me so far in 2021, mostly because my son (6) wanted to get into Minecraft, but I'm more of a Terraria guy.

      We've been playing a Journey mode together, building, exploring, and enjoying. He delights in setting pranks and traps for me. For example, he invited me to join him in a world he made, and when I spawned, it was over a huge hole; I wasn't watching and I fell to my death. Another world I joined into a sea of lava and died. He loves setting up explosives to a switch and leading me onto it, or setting up trap doors to drop me in lava. It's pretty cute. He also enjoys building things together; he'll pick something like a castle or a spaceship and we'll build it, though he picks better things than me (a big horse that you can live in, a mountain that's a tree, something PURPLE, a roller coaster, etc). It's tons of fun to play games with one's kids; it reminds me of what I loved while originally discovering these games.

      My daughter (9) has also been playing; sometimes they play together, and that's pretty cool to watch; sometimes I play with her. She has some more cohesive ideas; her current build is a huge tree house, which is a Terraria staple, but she came up with it on her own. She enjoys progressing a bit; she's fought a couple of bosses, god mode off, and enjoys lots of other things.

      1 vote
  8. hamstergeddon
    Link
    I started playing GalCiv3 over the weekend after Epic store had it for free. I'm a long time fan of the Civilization series and briefly played GalCiv2, so it seemed like a no-brainer to grab it....

    I started playing GalCiv3 over the weekend after Epic store had it for free. I'm a long time fan of the Civilization series and briefly played GalCiv2, so it seemed like a no-brainer to grab it. The game's tutorial is pretty useless, so I've had to turn to YouTube and some collections of tips on the subreddit. I'm enjoying it so far though, but I'm definitely still learning.

    One of the first things I did was create a custom race based off of the Redwall series. Had to keep it scifi-ish so I named them the Redwolians and then designated "Warrior Martin" as their leader. Might start playing around with the shipbuilder feature to make some appropriately themed ships. Although I doubt the building materials available to mice and badgers make for good ship hulls.

    4 votes
  9. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Animal Crossing: New Horizons I'm not usually one for these types of games (e.g. I didn't really enjoy Stardew Valley or My Time at Portia), but despite that I have really been enjoying New...

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons

    I'm not usually one for these types of games (e.g. I didn't really enjoy Stardew Valley or My Time at Portia), but despite that I have really been enjoying New Horizons. It's incredibly relaxing, and almost meditative in its simple, repetitive mechanics (a bit like Minecraft in that regard). It doesn't require any sort of major commitment, so I can just pick it up, play for a few minutes or an hour here and there, and put it down whenever I need to. And despite not playing for hugely extended lengths of time, I have still slowly been making progress over the last week+ by earning bells, unlocking stuff, building up and decorating my island, growing the population, etc. which is satisfying to see and experience... Especially since the game also allows me to express my creativity in designing my house and the island.

    With all the horrible shit that has happened in real life over the last year+, it's exactly what I need right now.

    4 votes
  10. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    The acquisition of the Xbox Series S has been proven a good decision. With the Game Pass Ultimate I have a huge rotating library of awesome games. That said, I still can’t resist just playing Path...

    The acquisition of the Xbox Series S has been proven a good decision. With the Game Pass Ultimate I have a huge rotating library of awesome games.

    That said, I still can’t resist just playing Path of Exile most of the time. It’s just a delicious pit of addictive mechanics. I love how my duelist skills feel powerful even in the initial levels, and the gems system kind forces you to be constantly adapting your style. The negative is that sometimes Path of Exile feels too complex for its own sake, and managing skills, weapons, amor, passive skills and multiple stats can easily become a chore. If you’re more interested in having an awesome character that can do cool shit, then it’s awesome.

    I never got to the endgame, though. If that’s your goal, then you gotta do some planning.

    3 votes
  11. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Opus Magnum I loved SpaceChem back in the day, and this is basically SpaceChem 2. It's all about putting together components using machines whose actions you script. I'm loving it so far, and,...

    Opus Magnum

    I loved SpaceChem back in the day, and this is basically SpaceChem 2. It's all about putting together components using machines whose actions you script. I'm loving it so far, and, just like SpaceChem, I fully expect the game to outpace my intelligence. I have no doubt I'll hit an intellectual wall and not be able to move forward, which I think says something about me, as this is widely considered one of the easier Zachtronics games.

    Also, there's a minigame that you get introduced to early on called Sigmar's Garden that's a simple and satisfying matching puzzle, and I completely derailed my progress on the main game to just play that repeatedly. I'm reminded of when my Final Fantasy VIII came to a screeching halt after I picked up Triple Triad. I think this also says something about me.


    DOOM 3: BFG Edition

    I got gifted a copy of this game, which is great, because I've always wanted to go back and re-play it. I haven't played the original since it came out maybe ten years ago. Wait, it came out SIXTEEN years ago?! Well, that's fine. This is the remaster anyway that they put out like two years ago. Wait, the remaster came out SEVEN years ago?!

    I am getting old. And time is moving faster.

    Anyway, the original DOOM 3 is somewhat of a sacred experience for me. I never owned it, and I only ever played it for an hour or two. Me and some friends gathered for a late night gaming session when it released and we waited until it was midnight, turned off all the lights, and then took turns playing until we got scared enough to stop, and the next person would take over.

    At the time it was The. Scariest. Game. I had ever played, and I say that as someone whose entire System Shock 2 playthrough happened in the dead of night, in full darkness, with headphones on, while my parents were asleep, so they wouldn't find out I was playing a violent videogame (because those were a huge no-go for them -- this was back when first-person shooters were called "murder simulators"). It was scary not just for being scary, but also because it carried with it the specific personal fear of being "found out".

    Anyway, DOOM 3 was wonderfully terrifying at the time, but I also remember being in complete awe of the graphics. They were landmark. State of the art! We'd never seen anything like them before.

    It's interesting to play it now ten sixteen years later and see just how dated the graphics look and how formulaic the game's scares are. I do appreciate that the remaster doesn't require the infamous "duct tape mod" that lets you have your gun and flashlight out at the same time, but I'm also a little bit underwhelmed by the remaster's lack of modern options: no subtitles, no adjusting audio levels independently. The game has a lot of audiologs with important information (e.g. keycodes), and sometimes the game's sounds drown out the speech.

    I realize I could get it up and running with a source port instead but I don't feel like going through the effort to get that set up. It's perfectly playable as is, and I'm playing on easy so the resources the locked cabinets give you aren't essential, as I'm already drowning in resources.

    3 votes
  12. [2]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    I'm still doing Link to the Past. I found I was leaning too heavy on ZeldaDungeon's walkthrough on the game. This game is more difficult than I expected it to be, at least for me, because it seems...

    I'm still doing Link to the Past. I found I was leaning too heavy on ZeldaDungeon's walkthrough on the game. This game is more difficult than I expected it to be, at least for me, because it seems to be dependent on testing everything on everything. These seem to be the parts of the game that really trip me up, and when I find a hint online, my first thought is "How the hell was I supposed to know that?!" I'm getting used to it. It's like when I picked Shovel Knight up again, I had to essentially learn how the genre works to be able to enjoy it. I'm thinking of finishing this run, playing something else, and doing it again just for fun.

    I'm sort of mono-cropping Stardew Valley, and the 1.5 update added a lot, at least since the last version I played, which I think was 1.3. I like the new large job system, they're oddly engaging, and pay pretty nicely, at least if you can complete them. I'm doing one where I need to catch 10 dorado, and I don't think that's going to happen. I'm trying to get to the endgame at the end of the next year, but I'm not sure that's going to happen yet, because I didn't plan my playthrough that well.

    3 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Yeah, the Stardew Valley community jobs are way more doable with two+ people than they are by yourself. Solo, they seem to be possible if you're well kitted out and dedicate the whole week to that...

      Yeah, the Stardew Valley community jobs are way more doable with two+ people than they are by yourself. Solo, they seem to be possible if you're well kitted out and dedicate the whole week to that project (I'm looking at you, "Mine 1000 stone"), but with two people you can address them a little more casually.

      1 vote
  13. [5]
    sky_Pharaoh
    Link
    I've been playing Tales of Berseria for the past two weeks and i'm almost done with it. I think it has a very well written plot and interesting characters. For years I had tried getting into the...

    I've been playing Tales of Berseria for the past two weeks and i'm almost done with it. I think it has a very well written plot and interesting characters. For years I had tried getting into the Tale of franchise but I could never get past the first hour or so for some reason. Not sure if it was the gameplay or the characters or something else, but I own Xillia 1, Symphonia, and briefly played Vesperia, and I just never really cared for them. However, Berseria is different for me. Its very fun to play and its intriguing. I love how dark the plot is and how morally grey everyone is. So far i'd give it an 8/10.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      The Tales games are all kind of like that. The first third is stereotypical anime nonsense, the second act is when everything gets subverted and turned on its head, and then the third act is when...

      The Tales games are all kind of like that. The first third is stereotypical anime nonsense, the second act is when everything gets subverted and turned on its head, and then the third act is when things get wild.

      Vesperia's probably the only JRPG I've played that tries to examine the morality of the usual naive goody two-shoes protagonist and what the second order consequences of that approach are.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        sky_Pharaoh
        Link Parent
        Really? Thats good to hear cause I think the anime tropes were what might have driven me away from those games. I thought Berseria was an exception but maybe i'll go back to Vesperia if you think...

        Really? Thats good to hear cause I think the anime tropes were what might have driven me away from those games. I thought Berseria was an exception but maybe i'll go back to Vesperia if you think its better. I like Berseria cause even though it also has its share of anime nonsense I think it handles morality pretty well.

        Just curious, what other JRPGs do you like?

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          TheJorro
          Link Parent
          I've played through a few but I wouldn't call myself an expert or a particularly cultured enjoyer of them. I haven't played through many notable ones, only the most popular ones. Really, the...

          I've played through a few but I wouldn't call myself an expert or a particularly cultured enjoyer of them. I haven't played through many notable ones, only the most popular ones. Really, the difficulty with them is that the first 20 horus are almost always a slog so unless there's something that catches you about them there, it's hard to push past it.

          These are the ones I've gone back to more than twice:

          • Persona 4: Golden is easily my favourite. but Persona 3 and 5 are up there too. They're not interchangeable for me but they are for many other Persona fans. Excellent series.
          • Final Fantasy X was actually my first FF game, so I have a soft spot for it. I really love its art style and I never really get tired of looking at its world. The story is pretty interesting too but not for everyone. I also enjoyed its gameplay mechanics and how turn orders were something that could be played with. But, really, any of the bigger FF games is a safe bet (FF6 through 10) as they're so different that one of them will usually catch a JRPG player but are generally high quality.
          • Tales of Vesperia was actually my favourite JRPG for a long time, until I played Persona 4. If you're enjoying Berseria, it's not a big stretch to imagine why in terms of gameplay, but I found this cast had one of the best developmental arcs for each character and the most interesting interpersonal relationships. It's also one of the few games I tried to make last as long as possible because I was enjoying it so much. Of this list, this is the only game where the first 20 hours felt like a slog to me, but what came after made it more than worth it. Until Persona, this was the most unique JRPG story I'd seen. I've played other Tales games since so this might be another FF situation where everyone finds one that they gel best with. For many, it's Symphonia but for me it's Vesperia.
          2 votes
          1. sky_Pharaoh
            Link Parent
            Interesting picks. I actually really don't like Persona 3-5, I like the Persona 2 duology a lot though, and other Shin Megami Tensei games as well. I have many reasons why I don't like them but to...

            Interesting picks. I actually really don't like Persona 3-5, I like the Persona 2 duology a lot though, and other Shin Megami Tensei games as well. I have many reasons why I don't like them but to keep it short I just have a lot of issues with some aspects of the games. I also really love Final Fantasy X, it was the first FF that I beat but even after playing many other FF games, it still comes out on top. I would say my favorite JRPG is a tie between Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga and NieR: Automata. They're completely different but both are very well written and have cool characters.

            1 vote
  14. Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. Bit the bullet a few weeks ago and decided to start playing the current WoW expansion. I quit all Blizzard games around October 2019 over the whole Blitzchung...

    World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

    Bit the bullet a few weeks ago and decided to start playing the current WoW expansion. I quit all Blizzard games around October 2019 over the whole Blitzchung scandal and only recently came back out of peer pressure.

    So far... not a bad expansion. I'd rate it a solid 7/10 and say it's almost as good as Legion was. Certainly much better than BFA was.

    That being said, Shadowlands has its problems.

    • Class balance is shambolic. Some classes and specs are simply unable to find Arena, M+ or Raid groups.
    • Mythic+ dungeons are unrewarding. Blizzard did this on purpose because they don't want people gearing from M+ alone.
    • Raids are unrewarding
    • LFR has a lot of what I'd call "stupidity checks" - bosses where one person screwing up the mechanics will wipe the entire raid. Artificer Xy'mox is a good example, because one misplaced seed will detonate on the raid and gib everyone.
    • PvP is ironically the best and most consistent way of obtaining gear, which has encouraged win trading, boosting and other pay-to-win ways of getting a high item level.
    • Runecarving screws over players who want to try offspecs or play alts, because you're capped to obtaining 1140 Soul Ash from Torghast a week. For reference, item level 190, 210, 225 and 235 legendary items cost 1250, 2000, 3200 and 5150 Soul Ash respectively to craft. This means that a 235 legendary would take 5 weeks of running Torghast to grind.
    • Torghast itself ranges between a moderately easy (albeit very long) grind through six floors of a roguelike dungeon if you get the right Anima Powers needed to kill the end boss quickly to ball-bustingly unfair if you don't
    • The Maw is empty and tedious. It's a big inhospitable zone where you can't use your mount. The only way you can unlock a mount that can be used there is by doing every floor on every layer of the Twisting Corridors in Torghast, which already has a grindy and time-gated attunement quest.
    • Covenants are very poorly balanced and mostly shoehorn the player into picking Kyrian because 9 times out of 10 they will have the best unique ability by far.
    • Mythic+ has serious balance issues. Sanguine Depths and Plaguefall for instance are substantially more difficult than the other 6 mythic dungeons in the rotation. There are also certain affixes like Necrotic that are far more difficult to deal with.
    3 votes
  15. leif
    Link
    Outer Wilds is the best game I've played since Dark Souls in 2014. It's a short game but it's absolutely unique in how it makes outer space feel unknown and unforgiving.

    Outer Wilds is the best game I've played since Dark Souls in 2014. It's a short game but it's absolutely unique in how it makes outer space feel unknown and unforgiving.

    3 votes
  16. [2]
    nothis
    Link
    The Switch currently lets you play Dead Cells for free in Europe so I gave it a shot! It immediately struck me how similar it feels to Hades, despite being a side-scroller and having less of a...

    The Switch currently lets you play Dead Cells for free in Europe so I gave it a shot! It immediately struck me how similar it feels to Hades, despite being a side-scroller and having less of a focus on dialogue. I can appreciate the lush pixel art and general polish that went into its controls and the sheer variety of fighting styles and enemies but... yea, it's just not for me, I guess.

    I went into this trend with an open mind (bought Hades full price, not regretting it) but I can't help but feel tired of having to replay the same damn sections over and over again. Yea, there's randomization, unlocks to grind for and a sense of simply getting better at the game. But it's the same damn enemies, the same damn corners (even though they're re-arranged) and the same damn weapons (even with a few stat changes here and there). If you made it to the fifth stage and want to reach the sixth next, stages 1-4 feel like annoying time-wasters to me and if you manage to die in them, you have to do them all again.

    I remember when I first started playing PC games and the concept of unlimited saves and quick-saves being an absolute revelation. No longer did I have to grind the boring part over and over. I could save in front of the interesting bit and try out different strategies, reload (even when I won!) to try out different ones, repeat. It seems so obvious that it's the superior way of exploring a game's mechanics. It was kinda cool when Dark Souls started a trend of purposefully punishing you for dying and making the whole thing a little more intense but that's one joke and I'm over it. Just give me quick-saves. Like, as an option. Plant a shame-symbol next to my run in the stats, I don't care. Hades, Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, even Into The Breach, all these games would be significantly better to me if they had a proper save feature.

    3 votes
    1. leif
      Link Parent
      I felt the same playing Dead Cells. The combat is fluid and feels good, but not enough changes between runs so going through the same areas again and again becomes boring.

      I felt the same playing Dead Cells. The combat is fluid and feels good, but not enough changes between runs so going through the same areas again and again becomes boring.

      2 votes
  17. emnii
    Link
    I've been playing Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. If you've played Origins or Odyssey, like I have, this game feels real familiar. What I love about it right now is exploring. Like essentially every...

    I've been playing Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. If you've played Origins or Odyssey, like I have, this game feels real familiar. What I love about it right now is exploring. Like essentially every Ubisoft open world game, there is a huge game map littered with icons. What this one does differently is that the icons are more or less just question marks until get close to them. There are three categories (collectibles, wealth, and mystery), and it's been a blast to pick one out, ride out to it, and see what's going on. Sometimes I go out to a mystery, and it's some kids playing hide-and-seek. Sometimes I go out to a mystery, and I find an alter to some dark god. It's been a lot of fun. This is the right way to extend a game's play time.

    However, I'm only 20 hours into this game, and I know I've got many more hours ahead of me. But this is the time of year where a lot of gaming outlets are discussing the best games of 2020, and new games haven't stopped coming out. I had to start building a backlog of to-play games for me to check out once I get to the end of Valhalla and end up in a post-game depression.

    2 votes